Author Topic: how make dry fruit...  (Read 7293 times)

FuckRx

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how make dry fruit...
« on: February 22, 2014, 06:58:42 PM »

anyone have experience how to make dry fruits? it's been forever but i just snacked on a mix of dried fruits and it was delish.

iamlindoro

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 07:36:14 PM »
Alton Brown showed this on Good Eats. You need a box fan, a couple cinder blocks, stacks of air conditioning filters (the pleated ones), and a bungee cord. 

Essentially, put down the two cinder block on their sides maybe 18-24 inches apart (depending on the size of your fan), lay the box fan on the cinder blocks (so that they support the edges of the box and air can pass through).  Lay one AC filter on the box fan.  Lay your sliced fruit or meats on the filter.  Lay the next filter down.  Repeat.  When done, cap with one last filter, and bungee cord the whole thing *gently* together (it shouldn't smash anything down, just hold it together).

Run the fan.  Check daily until you're happy.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 08:58:39 PM by iamlindoro »

iamlindoro

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 07:37:41 PM »

Russ

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 08:10:26 PM »
alternately: oven on as low as it will go (150 or so) for 6-10 hours. I've done apples this way and they turned out alright

the fixer

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 09:29:28 PM »
You can also use a commercial dehydrator, but I'd recommend trying the two suggestions above before you go out and buy a bulky and somewhat expensive kitchen appliance just for this purpose.

Jamesqf

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 11:01:43 PM »
My own method (for fruit leather - I've never tried drying plain fruit) is to park the car or truck in the sun, and put sheets of puree inside.  Obviously this works best in late summer & fall, but that's when most of my fruits ripen (at least the ones that I have more of than I can eat fresh).

Later in fall, I also make membrillo (which is mostly quince, with some lemon, vanilla, and sugar) by cooking it to a jam-like consistency, then spreading it on trays that I put on a rack in front of the wood stove.

lsalinas

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 09:27:12 AM »
My husband is a chef.  He says to ensure food safety if you dry food in the sun it should be at least 95 degrees for three days in a row with little to no humidity (bring the fruit back inside at night).  We live at the beach so its always too humid for us to dry food that way.  The oven is a good option, for best results only dry 5 or 6 pounds at a time.  The oven and the dehydrator will take about the same time to dry food.  I am not sure which one is more cost efficient but I hate appliances crowding our kitchen so I've never looked into whether there are benefits to the dehydrator or not.

FuckRx

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 10:14:58 AM »
i thought the fan idea to be pretty cool, found the youtube video to it...
i'll try the oven idea since i got no fan ...
thanks

MayDay

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 10:59:17 AM »
I picked up a basic dehydrator for 5$ at a garage sale.  We have an unfinished so it just sits down there 11 months out if the year.

We got a bumper crop of apples this year (1000 lbs, no I am not kidding) so after I filled up all my canning jars with applesauce, I started drying apples.  I figure in the fall/winter when I am heating the house anyway, it isn't a huge additional cost (natural gas heat is cheaper than electrical).  I keep them in the freezer so there isn't any spoilage, and we should have eaten most of them by the time I am freezing summer garden produce.

 I have a friend who dried tomatoes, and in the winter instead of a bag of dried tomatoes she had a bag of bugs that hatched from the eggs they had laid in the tomatoes.  Gag.  So now I keep mine in the deep freeze. 

ysette9

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 06:25:19 PM »
I ended up getting a new dehydrator on Amazon back when we were doing more backpacking. I think the thing only cost something like $20-30 bucks, so I treated it as an experiment. I primarily use ours for dehydrating full meals for backpacking, but fruit works as well. We have also tried doing jerky (left it too long and it was more dessicated beef than jerky, but I'm sure we could get it right with a little experimentation) and a number of other things. It is fun to experiment and most things can be dehydrated and rehydrated. For example, I have cooked full meals like pasta with red sauce and meatballs, chili, and baingan bharta and then just thrown it into the dehydrator. It rehydrates nicely on the trail, is fast and easy, lightweight, and the dried food lasts a long time also. I have read that some people dehydrate food and then keep it in the freezer for long-term storage in case of emergency (the "big one" earthquake hitting or a major storm, etc.)


wtjbatman

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 10:45:01 PM »
You can also use a commercial dehydrator, but I'd recommend trying the two suggestions above before you go out and buy a bulky and somewhat expensive kitchen appliance just for this purpose.

Ok, a dehydrator is out because it's expensive and bulky, but using two cinder blocks, a box fan, and a bungee cord is not ridiculous?

You're three paperclips and a stick of gum from turning into McGyver.

iamlindoro

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2014, 10:59:46 PM »
You can also use a commercial dehydrator, but I'd recommend trying the two suggestions above before you go out and buy a bulky and somewhat expensive kitchen appliance just for this purpose.

Ok, a dehydrator is out because it's expensive and bulky, but using two cinder blocks, a box fan, and a bungee cord is not ridiculous?

You're three paperclips and a stick of gum from turning into McGyver.

Well, how is it ridiculous?  They're household items, the box fan can be used for other purposes when you aren't drying something, and the total investment is a couple bucks in filter screens, making it cheaper than a dehydrator, too.  IMO this trivially easy DIY project is the essence of mustachianism.

Watch the Good Eats episode-- it can be found on Youtube. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLCmxKs4oXU

wtjbatman

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2014, 11:18:58 PM »
You can also use a commercial dehydrator, but I'd recommend trying the two suggestions above before you go out and buy a bulky and somewhat expensive kitchen appliance just for this purpose.

Ok, a dehydrator is out because it's expensive and bulky, but using two cinder blocks, a box fan, and a bungee cord is not ridiculous?

You're three paperclips and a stick of gum from turning into McGyver.

Well, how is it ridiculous?  They're household items, the box fan can be used for other purposes when you aren't drying something, and the total investment is a couple bucks in filter screens, making it cheaper than a dehydrator, too.  IMO this trivially easy DIY project is the essence of mustachianism.

Watch the Good Eats episode-- it can be found on Youtube. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLCmxKs4oXU

I don't have any cinder blocks in my house. I do have a box fan. Not sure about bungee cords, I'm sure I could find one or two.

I can't watch Youtube at the moment, but I have to assume this monstrosity looks ridiculous (the one picture I found when I googled it sure is). My $30 dehydrator from Target does a great job, takes up 1/4th of the space, fits on my kitchen counter and won't draw the attention of local law enforcement for looking like something Homeland Security might be interested in.



Just my opinion of course.

iamlindoro

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2014, 11:30:12 PM »
I'm not sure I understand what the argument you're making is-- Are you genuinely concerned that it looks ridiculous to you?  Are you genuinely concerned that law enforcement would be interested in you for rigging it up?  I'm assuming you're being facetious about that, and that something that you only use on occasion for 1-2 day periods (and which you can leave in a bathroom or any other out of the way space) isn't principally about aesthetic appeal.

So, doing it with a box fan and some filters has the following advantage:

1) A box fan can be used for another purpose, as dehydrating food is likely to be infrequent
2) A box fan is something many people already own
3) The total cost for the parts is easily < $15.

What would be the advantage of using a dehydrator, given equivalent functionality?  I'm not trying to start a fight, I just can't quite parse what your complaint about the suggestion is.

wtjbatman

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2014, 11:52:57 PM »
I'm not sure I understand what the argument you're making is-- Are you genuinely concerned that it looks ridiculous to you?  Are you genuinely concerned that law enforcement would be interested in you for rigging it up?  I'm assuming you're being facetious about that, and that something that you only use on occasion for 1-2 day periods (and which you can leave in a bathroom or any other out of the way space) isn't principally about aesthetic appeal.

So, doing it with a box fan and some filters has the following advantage:

1) A box fan can be used for another purpose, as dehydrating food is likely to be infrequent
2) A box fan is something many people already own
3) The total cost for the parts is easily < $15.

What would be the advantage of using a dehydrator, given equivalent functionality?  I'm not trying to start a fight, I just can't quite parse what your complaint about the suggestion is.

My complaint is partially legitimate and partially facetious, but are you seriously claiming you can't parse what my complaint is? I can understand the key points of wanting to do this (the DIY aspect, a bit of fun factor, the fact it does work), but my initial reply was to someone who said using a commercial dehydrator is bulky, to which I pointed out a box fan and cinder blocks is much bulkier. He also mentioned that the commercial unit is more expensive, which may in fact be true for initial upfront cost, but you also don't have to keep buying filters for the commercial unit like you do the "DIY" box fan/bungee cord/filter version. That said, I do parse why one would want to do this, I just wouldn't.

The part of my post that was facetious was about law enforcement.

I am complaining about the looks. It looks ridiculous in my opinion. Not yours, or his, or anyone elses. Mine. It's large and unwieldy, it ties up the use of a box fan that you may otherwise be using for something else, and you have to continuously be buying filters to use it. Unless you reuse the filters indefinitely, which seems unsanitary to me. Advantages of a dehydrator are that, in the long run, it's cheaper. It takes up less space. You don't have to assemble/disassemble it, other than removing a lid. And yes, it is far more aesthetically pleasing.

MustachianAccountant

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2014, 07:07:50 AM »
My husband is a chef.  He says to ensure food safety if you dry food in the sun it should be at least 95 degrees for three days in a row with little to no humidity (bring the fruit back inside at night).  We live at the beach so its always too humid for us to dry food that way.  The oven is a good option, for best results only dry 5 or 6 pounds at a time.  The oven and the dehydrator will take about the same time to dry food.  I am not sure which one is more cost efficient but I hate appliances crowding our kitchen so I've never looked into whether there are benefits to the dehydrator or not.

We have this totally non-mustachian (or maybe it is??) Excalibur Dehydrator:
http://www.amazon.com/Excalibur-2400-4-Tray-Economy-Dehydrator/dp/B0047WOWHE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1394028306&sr=8-5&keywords=excalibur+dehydrator
that works wonderfully. I also make a gallon of yogurt at a time in it.
I also used the Alton Brown method once to make beef jerky from that episode. It worked awesome. I will note that he specifically says you need a dry, cool day, so mid to late fall is best.
It should be noted that, if you're going to dehydrate often, the box fan/filter method can get expensive. Filters are not free. But it's good for someone who dehydrates small amounts once or twice a year.

anastrophe

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2014, 05:55:11 PM »
I just use a dehydrator I got on Craigslist for $15. It's too humid in my climate to do it otherwise but the oven would also work...if you try that fan thing (assuming you live in the Southwest) let us know how it goes.

ysette9

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Re: how make dry fruit...
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2014, 05:46:08 PM »
Dehydrator vs. oven:

We did an experiment once and made kale chips in the dehydrator and in the oven at the same time and compared the end result. They were both delicious (think of how for some people, you can't eat just one potato chip but you have to eat the whole bag, except it is kale). The dehydrator kale chips were more ascetically pleasing though because they retained their bright green color while the oven kale chips looked baked (i.e. darker brown). I don't know if that says anything about the vitamin content of the end product or not.