Thursday, August 6, 2009

dehydrating food

Dehydrating food is another option that can help you preserve food that would otherwise spoil. I built this homemade solar dehydrator with scrap wood and a bit of plexiglass. There is a screened vent in the top and the bottom. The interior bottom is black and the back and sides have a reflective metalic adhesive. (I got all this from a dumpster in from a construction site.) Castors on the bottom aid in moving it around.
I have about 9 square feet available to dry apples, bannanas, pinapples, jerky and more.
I've found that on a sunny day most fruits only take about 4 hrs. Compared to my electric dehydrator, that's less than half the time required.
After I dehydrate fruit, I store it in plastic bags or mason jars. Works well for me.
Also, you can plug the top vent and **presto** you have a solar oven. I've got normal temps at 250*. That's plenty hot enough to cook with. Bread, rice, whatever...

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