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Dehydrators?

Hi everyone!
I'm looking for a good dehydrator that will get me through a good amount of summer produce so I can have some for the coming fall and winter. I live in an apartment and my kitchen's fairly small, so I'm looking for something I can actually put into the cabinets. Also, I'd like there to be a thermostat (for raw eats), and a timer. Any recommendations?

Also- how do you, personally, preserve produce for fall through winter? Canning seems like a big pain for an apartment dweller, but I love tomatoes in the winter for stews etc. Any tips/recommendations for produce storing?

Thanks in advance!

x-posted to naturalliving

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
ursy_ten
Jul. 13th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Here's a useful article for tomatoes:
http://www.ehow.com/how_2301238_make-sun-dried-tomatoes.html
It talks about storing them in the fridge, freezer, and olive oil.
the_undertow
Jul. 13th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
ooh YUM thanks!
sulinpanda
Jul. 14th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
I <3 my Excalibur! However, it IS expensive. (Mine was a birthday/Christmas gift from my parents to me and my DH.)

http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/

However, it's WELL worth the price (Current budgets being what they are, I can't buy a lot of stuff for drying atm, unfortunately). It has a thermostat and a timer, and a nice little book. It also dries across, not from the top or bottom, so everything dries at the same time. (No rotating trays like the cheapie ones.)
the_undertow
Jul. 14th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
i definitely don't mind spending more on a nicer one (what's the point if you buy one that doesn't do the job? you spend more money and time, and producing waste even more buying another one? sorry rant!).

i was looking at the excalibur, what model do you have?
sulinpanda
Jul. 14th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
Uh ... Not sure (I'm at work ATM). But it's a 5-tray.

Looking at http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/Dehydrators-37-cat.htm, I'd say it's probably the 3526T (because I know mine has a timer that shuts the machine off when it gets to zero).
the_undertow
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
oh awesome! that was the one i was looking at too, thanks!
rae_11
Jul. 15th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
compare dehydrators
There are many different brands, price points and features on food dehydrators. Two basic features that better food dehydrators will have are an adjustable thermostat for various heat settings and a fan with air vents to blow the removed moisture out of the dehydrator. Entry level food dehydrators typically do not have both these features.

One way to compare different brands of food dehydrators, that contain similar features, is to review the food dehydrators on a price per square foot of total drying area (total price divided by total drying area) while also considering their product reviews.

Dehydrator sizes can range from 4 square feet of drying area up to 15 square feet, so consider how often and much you'll use it.

There are numerous articles at http://food-dehydrator.com/food-dehydrator/articles.aspx that can help you make a decision. Best.
the_undertow
Jul. 15th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: compare dehydrators
oh my information! thank you for this incredibly helpful link!!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )