Yeah now that would be very cool. I would like one too!
Interesting - can’t say it would be worth the money, for me
I highly recommend the Excalibur 3000 series ( 9 trays) . They are a little more expensive than the Nesco (which I also had - gave to my son) but the Excalibur can handle more volume and is powerful.
see link below. all price points and features.
Nine trays would hold a lot
I have 8 - 9 trays for my Nesco
I find that the square trays are more space efficient and being that they are a slide out design it is easier to flip/reverse or change their position.
Also if I am drying something thicker I can install trays on every other or third level for more space between them
That’s definitely an advantage
I also have the Excalibur 9-tray and used it a lot when putting together Meals-In-A-Jar but I set those aside for emergencies as all you do is add water and heat. But I consider canning to be much more convenient for most foods when it comes to preparing meals since it does not require rehydrating (or thawing, in the case of freezing). Potatoes, for example, are mashed and on the plate in no time, vs dehy (or even freeze-dried).
The bigger units are better, but the Nesco’s get the job done. If I dried more than 2 months a year, i would get one., But I only dry a few items. I don’t make jerky, etc. I too can more than i dry. Some items after freeze drying you can just eat like ice cream or fruit. The advantage of rehydrating is with some dishes, you can’t even tell it’s not fresh.Those freeze dry units are amazing if you ask me. If I could afford one, I would get one. I have way too much of a debt load as is, so not in my budget anytime soon.
Rather than starting a new thread I’ll resurrect this older thread.
I saw a stack of cheap Presto dehydrators are WalMart on clearance the other day and bought one for the heck of it. Its a round model with 4 trays that can be expandable to 8 trays. I didn’t harvest much this year so I bought a few supermarket apples, pears, and peaches to try out. I ran the apples through my spiralizer but cut the pears and peaches up by hand. The apples definitely turned out best but I was still uncertain as to how long I needed to dry them. I think I took them off after about 6 hours. They were not brittle or crunchy but more like limp and chewy. My daughter and I both liked the concentrated flavor and chewiness. My son did not care for them.
Obviously the thicker they are cut the longer they will take to dry. What have you guys found to be the ideal thickness for apples and what level of dryness do you prefer? I think next I will try sprinkling a bit of cinnamon on the apples and see how that works.
I’m surprised your dehydrator did not come with instructions or a chart for drying different fruit or directions for jerky etc. I would google Presto products and look for your specific machine and instructions. Not all dehydrators use the same drying time.
Thanks mrsg47. It did come with some instructions with general guidelines for fruits and meats. But there is not much information regarding dryness levels and what my end product should feel and taste like. I’ve actually not eaten much dried fruit in my life as I’ve always preferred to eat it fresh. Just curious if there are best practices for certain types of fruits that may not be discussed by the manufacturer.
It depends on storage. How long do you plan to keep the dried fruit? Leaving moisture in it will invite mold after a while.
One technique is to pack the fruit into a ziplock and close it. If moisture evaporates onto the bag, it’s not ready to store.
Otoh, I’ve taken to storing my bags of dried fruit in the freezer, where mold isn’t an issue
I like mine crisp crisp because I do it for long term storage and I like mine to be like potato chips. Others like them more chewie. There are flavor differences based on degree of dryness.
I set my Excalibur at 135f for 24 hours and that usually does it. Although just over-night will produce a chewie but still dry product. I then vacuum pack either in Ball glass Jars. 1/2 or 1 gallon jars work best because there is enough jar width to jiggle the odd shaped pieces to settle and get more in the jar. This way they last forever.
I also vacuum pack in plastic bags, but, CAUTION, with bags use a much weaker vacuum to avoid them “clumping-sticking” together in the bag.
NOTE FOR FLAVORLESS APPLES; This year with so much of my harvest coming after long rainy periods, many of my apples were beautiful but flavorless and bland. Although the dehydrator will concentrate whatever little flavor there was I found that sprinkling a little Orange Tang powder really boosted the flavor profile. I guess you can use sugarless drink mix as well…
Most years I dry a lot of fruit here.
Apples are dry when they feel leathery , they don’t have to be dry such that they would break if bent.
Most dryers dry more in one area than in others , so the trays need moved around to even this out,
Also check the feel of the fruit when unloading , as some may be to wet --squishy feeling and need to be dried more. Drying is an easy way to store the excess fruit.
I built a dryer over a gas room heater , so it keeps me warm as I dry fruit.
Try dipping them in pineapple juice before dehydrating. Adds a nice tang as well as a touch of sweetness.
Does anyone have tips about using preservatives in drying fruit?
I dried some apples to the point of them being very crisp. Two days later they where chewy.
What’s the best way to keep them crisp? I’ll try silica gel but maybe there is another way.
Try rice! I have a cottage on an island that is only like 1 mile by 1 mile. In 2 weeks anything crisp is soggy. Whole cans of salt rock hard. Rice has worked for the salt. Everything else I buy in sizes once open, you consume all of it. So I feel your pain. Rice works with wet cell phones, it should work very well.
“I dried some apples to the point of them being very crisp. Two days later they where chewy.
What’s the best way to keep them crisp? I’ll try silica gel but maybe there is another way.”
Maybe they were dry on the outside, but had some moisture in the center.? Maybe too thick?
Sometimes I dry.things to the point they feel right, put in a moisture proof container , and check in a few days after the moisture has " equalized"
Might need another run through the dryer ?
If dry and put in glass jars, sealed Mylar bags they should stay dry.
Ziplock freezer bags are “ok” thinner bags not so much