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Thread: Food dehydrators that do liquids aswell?

  1. #1
    Mini Goon
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    I'm looking for a decent food dehydrator that also does liquids. Has anyone got any recommendations? Some of the cheaper ones specify they don't do liquids as all their shelves have holes in. Also looking for recommendations for a good vaccum sealer if anyone knows of any?



    Cheers.

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch cathyjc's Avatar
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    If the foodstuff you want to dehydrate is very liquid it pays to reduce it down the way you would a sauce - on the hob. When doing fruit leather - if the fruit is wet eg. strawberries, I part dry them in pieces before I liquidise - helps reduce the liquidity problem.

    I have an Excalibur (expensive) and special 'sheets' to go on top of the trays/shelves when dehydrating liquids.The sheets have to be bought separately. You can use silicone baking sheets - but they are nearly as expensive as the Excalibur ones.

    I cannot speak for other dehydrators. Some have a central hole and that could I guess be troublesome for doing 'liquids".

    Vaccumn sealer. I bought a cheap Lidl one - don't bother - the sealed bags won't hold a vacumn. The next price bracket up (professional vacumn packer) was prohibitively expensive for me. The specialist bags you have to use don't work out cheap either. I now just double bag + knot all my dehydrated food in ordinary freezer food bags.

  3. #3
    Ultra King MoS's Avatar
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    The nearest thing to a liquid I've dehydrated is fruit puree and yoghurt. Both were solid enough to stay on the sheets/trays and not flow over the edges. I also use an Excalibur with big flat trays that slide in from the side.

    There are ways to adapt the smaller/cheaper dehydrators to cope with 'wet foods'...... you can line them, but the shape of the trays makes it fiddly I think. When I researched those methods I decided it all sounded too much of a faff and for us, the more expensive option was a worthwhile investment at the time.

    A dehydrator which takes trays and doesn't have the holes to contend with also allows for easier breaking up of food at intervals and speeds up the process. If I'm leaving things overnight I spread food out thinly but if I'm around and can check on the progress, I can put in more per tray and break food up and turn it as it dries.

    Anything sauce based is best 'reduced' as cathyjc said. It speeds up the process and more 'solid' food is easier to handle.

    I don't use a vacuum sealer, just bag up and keep in the freezer.

    This chap has dehydrating down to a fine art - backpacking chef




  4. #4
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    +1 for the Excalibur. Expensive but worth it.

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch cathyjc's Avatar
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    The Excalibur has the advantage that you can prove/rise bread in it too. In fact I use mine for the bread a lot more than for dehydrating food.

    I have also used it sucessfully for drying down and small down garments as I don't have a tumble dryer.

  6. #6
    Mini Goon
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    I heard it dehyrates water really well.

    Theres an excalibur on ebay at just over 50 quid right now. Will end higher but beats over £200.

  7. #7
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    I'm currently on a desert island that gets precious little rainfall, doesn't have any rivers or streams, and no water table worth exploiting. It had occurred to me to dehydrate hundreds of litres of water, so that it would weigh nothing and take up no space. Then I thought... where will I get the water to rehydrate it?

  8. #8
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    Yeah drying pure water is, well,a neat idea

    But seriously in each dehydrator you can dry sauces, pulped fruit and what ever that has some fluid form. The trick is using silicon leafs on the trays. In a vertical airstream dehydrator you cut a hole in the middle of the silicon leaflet and leave some space free along the tray borders for good airflow.

    Ofcourse in a horizontal airstream dehydrator like an Excalibur that isn't necersaary to cut holes in the leaflet or leave room free around the edges. More effective drying technique


  9. #9
    Mini Goon
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    At the minute I'm mostly wanting to dehydrate scrambbled eggs (which would be in liquid form) so would one of the £20-£50 range of dehydrators do for that or would an excalibur be needed for that?

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch cathyjc's Avatar
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    Commercial dehydrated scrambled eggs are available.

    If your eggs are uncooked before you dehydrate then there are health issues re salmonella, and keeping time/quality is quite limited. Commercially dried eggs are pasturised and spray dried.

    Do you really want to do this?

  11. #11
    Mini Goon
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    Not buying anything commercially available and pre-packaged as most are full of additives and are expensive. Definatley won't use anything that's pasturised as that kills all the beneficial microbes and bacteria (I've drank raw milk for years daily). There's no danger of salmonella as all the eggs I'll be using will be from my own hens that are well looked after and very clean. I've read Trail food byAlan Kesselheim and he reckons eggs are ok to dehydrate but don't think he mentions much the kind of dehydrator he uses to do it and I now can't find the book to re-read. Just wondered if anyone had much experience of dehydrating eggs with a cheapy machine and with what results.

  12. #12
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    Any dehydrator suffices you only need to cut some teflon sheets to the size of your trays. With a vertical dehydrator you need also to cut center holes in the sheets and leave some space open between tray border and edge of the sheet to allow airflow in the vertical dehydrator (cheap models are always vertical dehydrators).



    I've both type of dehydratords. The vertical one is a Stockli and the horizontal one is an Excalibur. Wehn planning a trip I found out that having a massive drying capacity speeds things really up.

  13. #13
    Mini Goon
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    Eventually got myself an excalibur. Tried it a few times and it works great on fruit. Had 1st attempt doing eggs and don't think scrambling them before hand works very well. Lots of lumps and doesn't seem to re-hydrate very well. Think I need to do it by whisking up the eggs and de-hydrating them raw but even if using the paraflexx sheets if you poured the mix on it would just go everywhere and run through the holes etc at the sides onto the tray beneath. Excalibur don't seem to sell any "solid" trays with a lip around the edge that could be used for really runny liquids.

  14. #14
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    I wouldn't recommend dehydrating raw eggs. too much potential for nasty disaster.

    buy powdered egg instead.

  15. #15
    Widdler
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    Are you using this thing for carrying multi day food amounts? Personally I don't see the point unless you are doing a few days.

  16. #16
    Mini Goon
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    I eat a paleo diet and eggs are my favourite food and wanted to make up my own mixes ie with gluten free sausage, cheese etc mixed in. I think alot of the salmonella scare from the 80's was to do with political reasons and I don't believe there's much truth to it to be honest. All the eggs I use are from my own hens which are free from disease. I can't afford to by the pre-packaged powdered eggs so want to make my own.

  17. #17
    Widdler
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    Have very successfully dehydrated many times - even given jars of our powdered eggs to family as presents. The only fiddly thing is we didn't buy the silicone sheets to go in our Excalibur as there were no lips on the edges to stop the overspill so we just carefully covered the shelves with cling film. Time consuming but with 9 shelves we had 1-2 jars of powdered eggs so worth it. We would love to be able to get proper shelves with lips on the edges but as yet can't find any.


  18. #18
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    http://www.ukjuicers.com/dehydrators...FU-6Gwodu3YCFg

    My friend Danielle has one of these things from UK Juicers.com

    She is insanely rich though of course, living in the millionaires triangle between East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells. Unlike myself, living there too, but not having any money!
    Trevor DC Gamble

  19. #19
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/d...on-accessories

    Might find some bits on Ebay, as my friend apparently, just said to me that she did!
    Trevor DC Gamble

  20. #20
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    http://www.juiceland.co.uk/cgi-bin/c...Fc-6Gwode1gNuA

    And I just got told off for not giving you the link above, that she just sent to me for you there, Linda! Sorry!
    Trevor DC Gamble

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