convection oven vs. dehydrator?

kterlep(5/6)April 5, 2009

Hi - my house came with a Jenn-Air convection oven, and while considering buying a dehydrator, I wondered if my oven would work to dehydrate.

Apparently you can now buy a dehydration kit for some Jenn-Air ovens but mine doesn't have the dehydration setting (or at least I couldn't find it in the manual or on the web). The kit costs around $100.

Still, I monkeyed with it a bit...I set the temp to 100, and it was happy to heat that low, but the convection didn't kick on (I'm not a baker - I mostly make casseroles and bake squash) - and I wondered if I would have to keep the oven open to dehydrate.

Does anyone have an opinion about the feasibility/cost effectiveness of dehydrating in my oven (Jenn-Air ww30430) - does it cost more time/kwh to run the oven vs a dehydrator?

Thanks, this list is such a great resource.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Electric ovens, which require 220 service and a 50 amp circuit breaker pull substantially more watts than does the average electric food dehydrator. Dehydrators run on 110 and can easily run on a 15 amp fuse.

Watts are the unit of power consumption. Amps x Volts=Watts used so check the amp and Volt rating on your JennAir and you'll see how much electricity your stove would use per hour for dehydrating. Or if a newer one it will have KWH (kilowatts per hour) rating on it.

Dehydrating most things takes several hours so if you use it to dehydrate go out and watch your electric meter spinning away. ;)


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:40PM
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That's what I thought - plus in the summer (when I would do most dehydrating, I think) I would be working against the A/C if I used the oven but I could run a dehydrator on the porch or balcony.



    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:54PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Most stove ovens can't get below about 200 degrees, unless you can adjust the offset, as mentioned in another thread. Even for that convection only moves the heated air inside and doesnt take in outside air like a true dehydrator.

I just completed a batch of 'converted' corned beef to pastrami. It was baked below 150 degrees at its startup, as my oven goes to 170 degrees and then can be offset to 30 degrees lower.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 1:01PM
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My Jenn-Air stove with regular/convection oven does have the dehydrating setting and came with a small round metal piece to sit between the door and the stove so that it is open a bit while dehydrating. I have a large dehydrator that I bought back in the seventies and that is what I will use rather than the stove. I figure it will be less expensive on my electric bill and it would be less expensive to replace it should it wear out.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 2:55PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Yes, I agree A low wattage dehydrator does save a lot of $$. A friend has aparatments that he rents to section 8 low income. One tenant cant even afford heat in winter, so they use the oven and leave the door open. Last winter the water pipes froze.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 3:45PM
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My husband is a pastor and before I left my last job to go to seminary, I was the director of a non-profit. We have spoken to a lot of people who were utilizing "creative heating" methods. I feel bad for landlords who end up holding the bill when "creative heating" damages the property but I also feel terrible about people on fixed income who are living in a home with inefficient heat or poor insulation/weatherproofing. This is not a good time to be a tenant or a rental property owner.

P.S. I'm going to buy a dehydrator. :)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 6:02PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

My friend has been replacing the stoves in the apartments as they tend to burn out quickly, due to the improper use. Fuel oil here is expensive and he does pay that bill every month, unlike some places were landlords are always running out of oil and not paying the oil companies in a timely manner. I lived in one place where heat was on timers and it never got higher than about 60 degrees in the dead of winter. We, as tenants chose to break into the furnace room and remove the timer cams off the furnace. Having young children living in that kind of environment is not very healthy. The place was almost unlivable most of the time and with 80+ apartments, they were doing nothing about heat issues. They aprtment building also had all aluminium wiring, a product now banned in my state. Fire ravaged the building after I left and even though it was just 6 years old, was totally demolished.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 12:05PM
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