The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Excalibur heat

moving the electric dehydrator out onto the porch

The Excalibur food dehydrator is quickly becoming one of our favorite appliances, but it tends to put off a good deal of heat, which is why we decided to relocate ours to the new porch.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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YEAH! I have one and I love it. From raising bread to making homemade yogurt. One of the better investments I've made so far
Comment by Heather Mon Jun 25 16:40:30 2012

I got my Excalibur last summer but haven't tried raising bread or making yogert in it yet.

I love my dryer though.

Comment by mona Mon Jun 25 17:04:48 2012

Heather --- We've only used ours for drying fruits and vegetables so far, but it's definitely pulling its weight around here!

Mona --- I totally agree!

Comment by anna Mon Jun 25 19:29:16 2012

I read an article about making fruit leather where they mix the fruit with zucchini as a base, and can double their fruit leather output. Have you ever tried stretching it that way? The article mentions 80% zucchini and 20% fruit, but I can't believe that would be very good. Half and half, maybe...

Comment by Eric in Japan Tue Jun 26 03:33:12 2012
Eric --- I have to admit, that sounds kinda...awful. :-) That said, I have quite successfully stretched rarer fruits by adding applesauce. Applesauce probably would have made this batch of blueberry leather a little better, actually --- unlike my strawberry and peach leather, the blueberry leather didn't seem as keen on peeling off the sheet, and apples tend to add some flexibility.
Comment by anna Tue Jun 26 07:15:58 2012

Have you ever tried dehydrating in a solar oven? I've seen plans for solar dehydrators but we get way too much rain and humidity to make that work. A solar oven would seem to have just that extra bit of heat needed.


Comment by c. Wed Jun 27 12:07:16 2012

c. --- I've played with drying fruits in a hot car, and it does work, but is pretty painstaking since the temperatures can easily get too high, and if it turns cloudy for an afternoon, they can go bad. I suspect a solar oven might get too hot (although I've been wanting to try one for cooking).

Like you, we live in a climate that's subpar for drying without a fancy machine. If we lived in the desert, though, I'd be building a solar dehydrator ASAP. (Well, actually, I'd probably be making plans to move out of the desert. :-) )

Comment by anna Wed Jun 27 18:52:11 2012

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