home made de-hydrators

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by hague720, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. hague720

    hague720 Member

    Does any one have a link or plans for a diy dehydrator?

    I am looking for something about the size of a domestic oven that can produce reasonable volumes.Also details of power reqs. and times approximately to dry out different foods

    Many Thanks, Thomas , North Wales ,UK:D
  2. Jerseyzuks

    Jerseyzuks Well-Known Member

    Why not just use your oven? I have dried out all kinds of stuff by just leaving the oven on it's lowest temp setting

  3. hague720

    hague720 Member

    I see your point !!:D but why do then people spend a lot of cash on de-hydrators ??

    What do DH`s do thats different??

    Is there a rule of thumb for testing stuff that you can do in the oven to know that every bit is totally moisture free??

    Many thanks friend for your advice....

    Thomas . North Wales , UK
  4. Jerseyzuks

    Jerseyzuks Well-Known Member

    If you were only going to do a small batch at a time, a small dehydrator would be more efficient than heating up an entire oven.

    I have done apples and bananas with a lot of success. I have also dried thousands of hot peppers to make chili powder.

    I have not tried it yet, but I have read about guys making jerkey successfully by hanging the strips of meat from the racks of the oven with a toothpick, allowing them to dry vertically.
  5. Homer_Simpson

    Homer_Simpson Well-Known Member

    My goal this year is to start making my own dehydrated backpacking food, I think I can make better tasting than what you can buy in the store.
  6. dilligaf

    dilligaf Well-Known Member

    manthing built us a new convection solar dehydrator. We had found some plans for this online and although we didnt want to use the cardboard boxes decided it was feasible making it out of wood so that it is more permanent. This can also be used to raise bread dough by simply putting water under the tray.

    The bottom chamber has black plastic on bottom as you can see. there are holes drilled at the bottom and the top of the chamber to allow airflow,as the chamber heats up hot air is forced into the dehydration chamber where it circulates through and gos out the vent in the top.

    The food tray is lined with screen and is about 6 inches above the bottom of the dehydrating chamber,the chamber bottom is black plastic as well.

    We have LOTS more of the same size trays so he can build frames out of 2x4's and just stack them as high as needed then cover with the top.

    this project took about 4 hours, We got the plans from this site,


    The other plan we considered was this one,
    we just felt that the one we made will be more efficient

    pdf's about food dehydration, faq's, indoor/outdoor drying etc...
    compiled and written up by University of Florida.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  7. hague720

    hague720 Member

    Many Thanks Everyone !,

    Thats given me enough to kickstart my plans.....:)

    With luck Im gonna give the oven deal a whizz in Christmas Break , then maybe look at the Solar stuff as the weather becomes brighter in the new year.:D

    Once Again Thank You All ,

    Thomas , North Wales , UK
  8. TrailWalker

    TrailWalker Semper Fi

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  9. Magus

    Magus Scavenger deluxe

    The best dehydraror ever is the back of a sealed up junk car on a hot July day!

  10. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    Hague, I posted 3 pics of the solar dehydrator that I started building last spring in my album. When it came harvest time I put it on the back burner. I am going to finish it before spring planting season comes around. I'll post more when it's finished.
  11. MaryV

    MaryV Well-Known Member

    I bought an excaliber dehydrator, its IMO the best.
  12. MSGarden

    MSGarden Guest

    Solar De-Hydrator out of Old Refrig

    We made a solar heated/wood back up food dryer out of an old refrigerator. The older refrigs work best since they have no plastics inside.

    We turned an old freezer into a smoke house. Both pictures are on
  13. Deacon4541

    Deacon4541 New Member

    I made a dehydrater out of a 32 gal. plastic trash can that work perfectly. I took an electric hair dryer and drilled a force fit hole toward the bottom of the trash can and inserted the hair dryer. New hair dryers will not work as they have an auto shut off. Run the hair dryer for 15 min and if it does not shut off you are good to go. (Before placing in the trash can). I drilled a small hole about 1/2 up the trash can to insert a insta-read thermometer. I used 1/4 dowel rod to make rack supports. I spaced them evenly from bottom to top. Mine holds five racks. I used the racks out of an old dehydrator. The unit runs at a constant 120 degrees with the hair dryer on low. Everything I have dried has been perfect. You could also use a small ceramic heater.
  14. marlas1too

    marlas1too Well-Known Member

    hague720 go to motherearthnews.com and i think you will find several do it yourself projects for dehydrators i have their mags all the way back to vol 1
  15. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

    dilligaf - I like the plan that you went with. I would make sure to add removable trays to the top section. I would find the trays first and then build the box to fit.

    Since a solar dehydrator will be outdoors, what do you guys suggest for insect and pet control? We have dogs and lots of ants in TX.
  16. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Check these out...Food Pantrie Hanging Food Dehydrator - Non-Electric Food Dehydration - Hangable Food Pantry : HFP-5 - Buy.com you could make one very easily. I use Vaseline on the hanging wire to keep ants off of hummingbird feeders.
  17. survivalprepdotnet

    survivalprepdotnet Prepping fanatic

    I've bought a dozen Nesco American Harvester dehydrators for about $25 each on eBay. They aren't expensive at all. ;)