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Hanging Dehydrator

Posted by Kali615 none (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 18, 12 at 13:17

Hello....

I am thinking about buying something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Food-Pantry-Hanging-Dehydrator-Dryer/dp/B001T426TE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347987869&sr=8-1&keywords=hanging+dehydrator

Sorry for the cut and paste link, but there doesn't seem to be a place to add a link to an original post. Anyway, I don't dehydrate enough to justify buying an electric dehydrator (although maybe a few years down the road), but my kids are dehydrated apple fanatics. While I seriously doubt this was meant to be used during the lower temp months of fall, our un-remodeled home's only heat is an old fashioned hand stoked base burner coal stove. I was thinking about hanging this near the coal stove when we fire it up in Oct. Do a huge run of apples for a week or two.

My questions are:

Anyone do anything similar to this?

Can I REALLY dry the apples out for storage with no moisture? I don't want to run tons of apples then have them go bad because it didn't get them truly dry enough.

Has anyone used this or preferable anything similar that isn't quite so expensive and have any comments?

Thanks in advance,
Kalindi


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

For future reference, the post the link bar is on the Preview page just below your previewed post.

You can buy an inexpensive electric dehydrator for just a few dollars more than that one and get MUCH better results. The problems with drying using this method is that you can't ever get the food truly dried because of the humidity in the air (unless you live in the high desert). And most importantly is that it takes so long to get the food dry that molds and bacteria begin to grow on the food.

Yes it is possible to dry apples for storage with little if any moisture left in them. Many do it. We do it every year as one of out favorites is dried apple pie. You just can't do it with one these contraptions.

One of the dehydrators frequently recommended here in discussions is this one. There are several other models that cost even less.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Your link


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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

Thanks Dave. I guess I was just also trying to get my stove to do some additional work for me. It throws such dry hot air up that I thought I would try to put it to some use. When the stove is running we have to have a huge cast iron pot of water on to put water back in the air. I wouldn't do that if I was drying apples.

I imagine it is hard to believe if you don't have a large fire burning in your main living area 24/7 during the colder months what it is like, it is a little odd (I am originally a city girl you see), but it is a substantial source of heat. I had dried apples in small batches on trays above the stove last year on the mantle, just without room to lay out more, the apples are eaten quicker than I can dry them out. (quicker sometimes if I sprinkle with cinnamon and hubby is walking by). They dry out in less than a day, it would probably be 12 hours if they were hung above the stove instead of having to be rotated to hang over the edge of the mantle to get the heat coming off the stove directly.


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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

Why couldn't you just run a string through them and tie them up to a couple or three nails on either side of the mantle. Like a garland. They'd get air flow all around them and that would have to make it go faster. Just try to keep them separated. I grew up in a fireplace heated house. And the pot of water. I'd hope the coal wouldn't impart any flavor. But if you were running a dehydrator in the same room, you'd get the same flavor.


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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

Garland isn't a bad idea. I can try that without buying anything. And I can hang that from my ceiling beams, plenty of room up above.

I wouldn't imagine the coal would impart any flavor. It is not like it is an open burning fireplace. It is an old fashioned base burner, completely enclosed.


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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

We burn wood for heat in the winter, and have one of those heat-powered fans that sits atop the stove and circulates the warm air - see link.

I wonder if you couldn't use something like that to your advantage.

Noting that with the price of the thing, you could just go ahead and get a real dehydrator.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

David52, we were thinking about getting something like that fan anyway to circulate air, how well does it work? Right now we use an electric fan plugged in at a doorway we need to direct heat out to the back of the house. We don't need to use it all the time, usually only when it is really cold, otherwise it stays warm enough back there because it is the new part of the house and extremely well insulated.


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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

Ah, a subject close to my heart -

We have a single story 2,000 sq foot house, so circulating the heat from the stove is something we've looked into. I do have one of those fans, but to be honest, I use it more as a judge for stove temperature than air circulation.

We use a couple of different Caframo fans to circulate the air in the house - at the link. And its counter-intuitive - you want to push the cold air towards the stove room, not the hot air away from the stove. So we have the fans sitting on the floor blowing cold air into the room where the stove sits. We have a second one behind the stove, blowing air up and out.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

We too heat with wood and use the flue-insert fans linked below in both the wood stoves with excellent results for heat circulation.

But for food drying my main concern is the dust/ash and flue gas contamination that comes from those types of heat. Wood stove heat is a very dry heat true, but not a "clean" or odor-free heat and coal heat is even less so. So foods hanging open to the air are easily contaminated.

So I'd prefer to have my drying foods better enclosed and protected from the air borne contaminants.

JMO

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Magic Heat flue fans


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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

That makes a lot of sense Dave. I hadn't really thought about anything air borne. I have decided against this. I am probably going to spend the money on a plug in dehydrator as originally suggested.

I have seen those Magic Heat Flue Fans, they are neat. Unfortunately they are designed to kick in at a flue temp of 350. With a base burner stove running correctly your flue temp should never reach that. Your stove could be at 550 and your flue never above 150-175. The entire idea behind these old base burner's is that the heat stays in the house and is not wasted up the chimney. It is actually an ingenious design. I have no idea why new stove makers don't re-incorporate into their stoves any more.


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RE: Hanging Dehydrator

If you run the dehydrator in the same room or near the same room as the heat source, it looks like it would just suck in that same air and concentrate it on the foods you're drying. Not sure it would filter it at all.

You could do the Alton Brown thing and purchase a number of fine filters intended for the HVAC system and bundle those together in front of a box fan and let them trap dust at least. They're kind of pricey just to do this with.

I've had an American Harvest dehydrator (NESCO predecessor with fan on bottom) for about 20 years now and it still works great. I occasionally find expansion trays on sale cheap and snag them. I think I have 12 or 14 now. Forget how many it says you can use at one time. I wouldn't use more than 10.


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