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crashdive123
07-11-2010, 01:42 PM
Yesterday I picked up a Magic Chef dehydrator at a yard sale. The sole purpose of this was to start putting up some food and convince Mrs. Crash that it is a great (and economical) way to store food......and then "authorize" the purchase of an Excalibur. This came with no instructions, and I couldn't find a manual for this model on line, so I did like the shoe commercial and just did it. For all that have said rotating the trays is a PITA - you are accurate in your description. My question is - can you leave things in there too long? Is it possible to "over dry" things?

My first 2 lbs of mixed veggies fit into a quart mason jar.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67/crashdive123/YardSaleFinds002.jpg

Swamprat1958
07-11-2010, 02:49 PM
Crash

I am making my first attempt at drying some bell peppers today. I have dried apples, bananas and have made a bunch of jerky but I have not tried other veggies, good luck!

Mertell
07-11-2010, 03:15 PM
Crash:
I often dry mixed vegetables just like you did. Starting with commercial frozen mixed veggies, I dry them at 125 *F. (According to manufacturer's recommendations.)
I do not rotate trays. I am interested in long-term storage, so I finish the process in the oven on warm, to be sure they are dry-dry-dry. Then I store in canning jars.

I open a jar after a month for a quick sniff. (checking for musty odors) If all is well, and the aroma is sweet, I figure they will keep for years.

-Mert

Rick
07-11-2010, 03:34 PM
First, look for Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook. You can find it everywhere. It's a bible on dehydrator. It's a great book with tons of recipes and ideas. It's a must have if you really want to dehydrate.

Now to your question. If you set the temp too high then you harden the exterior of the food making it harder to remove the moisture. So in that sense you can over dry foods.

Meats and Fish: 145F and above
Fruits and Vegetables: 130F to 140F
Herbs and Flowers: 100F to 110F


Remember that dehydrating doesn't mean you HAVE to store stuff in a jar or bag. You can still freeze it if you want. You might even choose to partially dehydrate something like mushrooms so the amount of time to reconstitute it is shortened. Just remember that the moisture is what leads to spoiling.

One of the things I've posted on before is leathers. If your dehydrator did not come with a plastic tray insert then you can use wax paper. Just line the tray and turn the edges up so no liquids can drip over. Then you can dehydrate stuff like spaghetti sauce, apple sauce or yogurt. It will become a "leather" when dry. You can take dehydrated ground beef, dehydrated spaghetti sauce and noodles, through it all in a pot and have spaghetti. Then have an apple sauce leather for dessert.

crashdive123
07-11-2010, 03:39 PM
Cool. I'll get the book. There is no temperature control on this one, just an on off swithch. I suspect that the temp can be controlled somewhat with the vent on top that can be opened or closed (or stages of in between). It did come with a metal tray and a plastic tray. I remember from your posts about the plastic tray. I was wondering what the metal one was for. Could it be for below all of the trays so that the little mixed veggies don't fall into the heater/blower area as they fall through the holes in the carousel trays?

Rick
07-11-2010, 03:43 PM
I don't know. I had a round one years ago but don't remember a metal tray. Pics would work. Cleaning the round ones can be a pain because stuff drops down into the blower/heater.

Rick
07-11-2010, 03:45 PM
What's the model # on that dehydrator?

crashdive123
07-11-2010, 03:47 PM
I'll take a few pictures.

crashdive123
07-11-2010, 03:54 PM
OK - here are a few pics. It's a four tray unit.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67/crashdive123/Dehydrator002.jpg

The cover.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67/crashdive123/Dehydrator003.jpg

Soft, plastic tray insert.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67/crashdive123/Dehydrator004.jpg

Metal tray insert? Thinking about it, I would think it would really hinder air flow if it was placed at the bottom.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67/crashdive123/Dehydrator005.jpg

Entire unit.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67/crashdive123/YardSaleFinds001.jpg

Rick
07-11-2010, 03:56 PM
Man, you got me. I've never seen a metal one before. That plastic one if for the leathers, though. That metal one doesn't fit in the very bottom to aid in clean up does it?

crashdive123
07-11-2010, 03:57 PM
It can fit below the trays. I wonder about air flow though with it in place.

nell67
07-11-2010, 05:49 PM
Didn't see the model # on there Crash,does it have it listed on a sticker underneath it?

crashdive123
07-11-2010, 05:52 PM
It does. LD-1010(469-1)

nell67
07-11-2010, 05:55 PM
Here is a link to the manual for your dehydrator,still not a peep about that metal tray though!
http://kitchen.manualsonline.com/mdownloads/de2bc434-ec6f-48f1-9b9b-85054b87608b.pdf

crashdive123
07-11-2010, 06:00 PM
Wow! Thanks Nell. I guess the idea of making a giant survival signal mirror with an aiming hole for the visually impaired will have to do then.:D

nell67
07-11-2010, 06:03 PM
Wow! Thanks Nell. I guess the idea of making a giant survival signal mirror with an aiming hole for the visually impaired will have to do then.:D
LMAO!!! Think so!

Rick
07-11-2010, 06:06 PM
Either that or you could use it like Dave Canterbury does to make a solar fire starter. You'd have to use an actual birds nest however.

dscrick
07-12-2010, 02:16 PM
First, look for Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook. You can find it everywhere. It's a bible on dehydrator. It's a great book with tons of recipes and ideas. It's a must have if you really want to dehydrate.

Now to your question. If you set the temp too high then you harden the exterior of the food making it harder to remove the moisture. So in that sense you can over dry foods.

Meats and Fish: 145F and above
Fruits and Vegetables: 130F to 140F
Herbs and Flowers: 100F to 110F


Remember that dehydrating doesn't mean you HAVE to store stuff in a jar or bag. You can still freeze it if you want. You might even choose to partially dehydrate something like mushrooms so the amount of time to reconstitute it is shortened. Just remember that the moisture is what leads to spoiling.

One of the things I've posted on before is leathers. If your dehydrator did not come with a plastic tray insert then you can use wax paper. Just line the tray and turn the edges up so no liquids can drip over. Then you can dehydrate stuff like spaghetti sauce, apple sauce or yogurt. It will become a "leather" when dry. You can take dehydrated ground beef, dehydrated spaghetti sauce and noodles, through it all in a pot and have spaghetti. Then have an apple sauce leather for dessert.

Rick is correct. If you dry too fast or at too high a heat for the product you are dehydrating, you can "Case harden" the product, and it won't dry compltetly. This lady has a great website with tons of info on dehydrating and storage, nice videos too:

http://www.dehydrate2store.com/

rwc1969
07-12-2010, 02:46 PM
I was gonna say if you dry mushrooms to use the lowest heat setting possible, but you'rs doesn't have one. But, just in case, you shouldn't wash mushrooms you intend to dry.

The only things I worry about overdrying are jerky and fruit. Actually I quit doing fruit because I'm afraid of it not being dry enough and can't seem to judge when it's just right. I always overdo it and end up with fruit caltrops.

Rick
07-12-2010, 02:49 PM
RWC - I wash everything I dehydrate. I just pat it dry with a paper towel when done.

Crash - A lot of things do better by slicing them. The more surface area exposed the faster it will dry. Try some grapes. Slice them into three sections and dry. You won't believe how good they taste compared to commercial raisins. Soooo sweet.

dscrick
07-12-2010, 04:00 PM
One of the easiest methods for drying fruit, and even vegetables, is to buy it frozen. Try frozen sliced strawberries. put them right on the trays frozen. If they are clumped together run some cold water over them and pat dry.

I learned this from the website I posted earlier. Works like a champ. Peas, Green beans, carrots, corn, hash browns, onions, you name it.

No need to blanch, the stuff is already cut up, dries perfectly in my Excalibur.

crashdive123
07-12-2010, 06:32 PM
Thanks all for the tips and advice.