Food Dehydrators- Make your Own Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Dried Apples And More

This month's notes: March 2017: Stored US apples are still  available.  See your state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops.

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Easter will be April 16, 2017 - if you want to take your children to a free Easter egg hunt - see our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!

And we have home canning, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! Also make your own ice cream; see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals. Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy  directions

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Ordering Food Dehydrators (Fruit and Vegetable Dryers)

Drying foods is one of the oldest and safest ways to preserve food. And while that often conjures up images of tough beef jerky; there are more gourmet dried foods appearing in fancy restaurants these days, such as "sun-dried" tomatoes!

Food Dehydrators

A food dehydrator is a small electrical appliance for drying foods indoors. A food dehydrator has an electric element, similar to a a hair dryer) for heat and a fan and vents for air circulation. Dehydrators are efficiently designed to dry foods fast at 140ºF.

Costs vary depending on features, from a low of about $35 to a high of $200. Most models are expandable and you can purchase additional trays later. Twelve square feet of drying space dries about a half-bushel of produce. The major disadvantage ofmany dehydrators is their limited capacity.

Dehydrator Features to Look For

bulletDouble wall construction of metal or high grade plastic. Wood is obviously not recommended, because it is a fire hazard and is difficult to clean. bulletEnclosed heating elements. bulletCounter top design. bulletAn enclosed thermostat from 85ºF to 160ºF. bulletFan or blower. bullet4 to 10 open mesh trays made of sturdy, lightweight plastic for easy washing. bulletUL seal of approval. bulletA one-year guarantee. bulletA dial for regulating temperature (the low end models only have a fixed temperature setting). bulletA timer. Often the completed drying time may occur during the night and a timer could turn the dehydrator off and prevent scorching and over-drying.

Types of Dehydrators

There are two basic designs for dehydrators. One has horizontal air flow and the other has vertical air flow. In the units with horizontal flow, the heating element and fan are located on the side of the unit. The major advantages of horizontal flow are: it reduces flavor mixture so several different foods can be dried at one time; all trays receive equal heat penetration. Vertical air flow dehydrators have the heating element and fan located at the base, which is normally on the top, so that liquids will not drip into the electric components. If different foods are dried, flavors can mix.

Here are a variety of food dehydrators, at the best prices I could find. Scroll down this page for photos, descriptions, prices and ordering information. For more information about drying food see our directions here and this pdf file from UGA. Also, see this page for Canners (all types).

All can be shipped by a variety of methods, including overnight, if you have a canning emergency!

For more information, and NO obligation to buy, just click on the links in the Amazon boxes on the left!

Strainers for Canning and Cooking

Aroma Food Dehydrator

(10 customer reviews)

About $35

Features

bullet Won't overheat
bullet Five reversible, rotating stackable trays
bullet One roll-up sheet for fruit leathers
bullet One drying screen
bullet Instructional cookbook

Well, it's inexpensive, but since the temperature is not adjustable, I'd recommend one of the ones below if you can afford them.

 

Nesco Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrators - FD-60

About $60 to $65 (click links at left for current price or more information)

Features:

bulletAdjustable Thermostat bullet500 watts (generates 95F to 155F temperatures) bulletNew-Powerful Top Mounted Fan bulletExpandable FD-60 comes with 4 trays, but is expandable to 12 trays with optional Add-A-Trays bulletVita-Save Exterior bulletPatented Converga-Flow drying system forces air down the exterior pressurized chamber (

Nesco American Harvest FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator

About $65 to $70 (click links at left for current price or more information)

Blake: I think this one is the best value!

Features:

bulletMore powerful than the model above (FD-60) bullet700 watts (generates 95F to 160F temperatures) bulletSleek contemporary design bulletAdjustable thermostat bulletConverga-flow drying system bulletVita-Save exterior

 

Nesco American Harvest FD-1010 Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

About $130 (click links at left for current price or more information)

Features:

bullet1000 watts of power dries foods, flowers in hours, not days bulletUse for fruits, vegetables, herbs, jerky, granola--for camping, hiking bulletFour trays included; expandable to 30 trays; 64-page recipe book included bulletPatented system pressurizes heated air up through and across each tray bulletThermostat adjusts from 95 degrees up to 155 degrees

 

Excalibur 5 Tray Dehydrator - ED 2500 Dehydrater - Jerky Maker Food Dehydrator Excaliber
(1 customer review)     

About $180 (click links at left for current price or more information)

OK, this is the professional model.  If you plan to do a lot of drying, this the the creme de la creme!

Features:

bulletThermostat adjusts from 95 - 155 degrees bullet8 Square Feet of drying space bulletTrays can be removed to expand the drying chamber bulletEach tray is supported on its own 'shelf' making it easy to slide in and out bulletMade of FDA Approved polycarbonate plastic

 

  And for more information about food dryers, see Food Dehydrator information

   

Canning Jars

Canning jars delivered to your doorstep and guaranteed! Any size you need.  Click on the links below

Canning jars: quart (32 oz) jars

Canning jars: pint (16 oz) jars

Canning jars: 8 oz jars

Quilted Canning jars: 4 oz glass jars

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8 oz canning jars shown below:

Quilted 4 oz jars below:

Books

Canning books

Canning & Preserving for Dummies
by Karen Ward
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 24 hours

Price:   $11.89
You Save:   $5.10 (30%)



The Ball Blue Book of Preserving

This is THE book on canning!  My grandmother used this book when I was a child.  It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc.  If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)

Click here for more information from Amazon.com about the
Ball Blue Book of Preserving

 


 

Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving

by United States Dept. of Agriculture

Practical, easy-to-follow guide contains virtually everything consumers need to know about home canning: how to select, prepare, and can fruits, vegetables, poultry, red meats and seafoods; how to preserve fruit spreads, fermented foods and pickled vegetables; how to prepare foods for special diets, and much more. Also includes scores of simply written recipes that even beginners can handle (smoked fish, turkey-tamale pie, chicken croquettes, more. It's the second book to get, after the Ball Guide. Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)
List Price:   $8.95
Price:   $8.95 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. 
Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours

 

More Canning Supplies

       

Lids, Rings and Jars

 

 

 

Need lids, rings and replacement jars? 

Get them all here, delivered direct to your home,  at the best prices on the internet!  

Pectin, Pickle Mixes and Sauce/Salsa Mixes

Making Jam?  Need Pectin, but the local store is out?

Is your jam too runny? Pectin enables you to turn out perfectly set jam every time.  Made from natural apples, there are also low-sugar pectins that allow you  to reduce the sugar you add by almost half!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!

 

Pickling Mixes and Pickling Supplies

Pickles

Whether you want dills or sweet pickles; canning them or straight into the refrigerator; there is a mix for every taste and need here!Get them all here, delivered direct to your home,  at the best prices on the internet! Get everything you need to make pickles: mixes, salt, brine, etc. here!      

     

Sauce and Salsa Mixes

Get ready season mixes for tomato sauces and salsas here.  They make it simple to get it right every time!

 

 
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Picking Tips

[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]

Home Canning Kits

Features:

Ball Enamel Waterbath Canner, Including Chrome-Plated Rack and 4-Piece Utensil Set

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!