Is electric food dehydrator cost effective? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a small electric dehydrator. I like to use it but my husband can't stand it. He thinks canning is cheaper. Of course, drying outside is cheapest, but the weather doesn't always cooperate. Does anyone know? Thanks for any help.

-- Bonnie (, December 11, 2001



I have an Equi-flow dehydrator, have had it since the early 70's and still dry lots of stuff. This dehydrator takes about $.01 per hour to operate. I don't know what the new ones require, but I love mine.

In fact, I just sent out my oldest daughters Christmas gift. Dried apples, pears, onions, cabbage, peppers, fruit rolls, etc.

-- Cordy (, December 11, 2001.

You betchum, Red Ryder! (Anybody else remember that?). Anyway, I use my dehydrator a LOT. But it has a niche that is, in my opinion, different than canning or freezing. I freeze, or rarely can, meats. Winter squash and potatoes just get stored. Onions get stored, but dry nicely. The other veggies we grow in abundance get canned, such as green and wax beans, tomatoes (and spaghetti sauce), corn, and some others. Rhubarb freezes well, but I can a lot too, as it lasts better. Apples we freeze for pies, but dry for snacks. But mushrooms, whether homegrown (why I started drying) or store bought "reduced for quick sale", are definite candidates for drying. Fruits, especially banannas as chips, are dried. Peppers are always dried, and some tomatoes. I have yet to find a way to store eggplant, except as a target - any ideas out there? OK, my wife is right - I tend to ramble! Bottom line - get the dehydrator and you will find many uses. Maybe not THE answer, but at least an important part. GL!

-- Brad (, December 11, 2001.

Is HE doing any of the canning???? Talk about not cost effective if you include the labor involved.

-- Rose (, December 11, 2001.

Yes, dh does MORE than his share of the work! :) He just worries about the electricity costs. Because the fan is noisy it sounds like it's sucking up a lot of power. I'll reassure him & use it where he can't hear it! Thanks everybody and God bless.

-- Bonnie (, December 11, 2001.

Dehydrating sure takes less storage space than canning, and less time. I have an Excalaber and it has a fan, very quiet and efficient. I know it costs something to run, but the months that I use it most I can't notice my elec. bill being much different.

-- Duffy (, December 11, 2001.

I have an Excalibur too like Duffy, and I use it for so many things. I have mentioned drying sourdough starter as you would do fruit leather so I could ship it to friends, incubating yogurt and similar products, proofing bread when we lived in a chilly house, drying flour/salt dough Christmas ornaments plus all the food items--fruit, jerky, leathers, veggies. I don't notice a rise in the electricity bill when I've done big lots of stuff--like the time I ended up with 100# of bananas from a friend who had a wholesale fruit and vegetable business. I sold the best box (40#) for what I had paid for it and kept the other box and a half for us. My friend had given me the box and a half because they would not have held over until Monday so I did well there. We had a lot of banana foods for a long time there.

Incidentally, I'm no longer mailing the sourdough starter as it is a "fine white powder." I really don't want to answer questions from some very unhappy people should a package fail. Prior to all this anthrax mess, I just stuck the vacuum sealed packet with the recipe sheet folded around it into a regular envelope with extra postage and asked my mail carrier to see that it was hand canceled. Sweetie that he is, he was always kind enough to do it. Wouldn't even risk it now.

-- marilyn (, December 12, 2001.

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