There are two purchases that I’ve made in my life (besides the crockpot) that I would say every homesteader should have. As I write that I am now thinking to myself that if you are an electric minimalist you might have to find another way to make one of these…psst youtube.
I am a fairly big gardener. In fact, if I had two more hands I would have twice as big of a garden. As it stands I barely can keep up. One of the best purchases I have made so far is a dehydrator. Now I went on a search for the best dehydrator and on epinions read a review that said this man had a small business. He had a few of these dehydrators that ran 24/7 for 6 years and haven’t broke yet. I thought man ok this is the one! That dehydrator my friend is the Excalibur. Now normally I don’t care what people buy. I’m more of the don’t buy the cheapest or most expensive. I also am big on non electric items in case you are out of electric for a long period of time, but honestly I have to say this is the BEST dehydrator ever!!
Not all dehydrators are equal my friends. If you have a tall round one with a fan on the bottom that is the worst kind ever! Once you load up the bottom tray very little air gets to the other trays. The bottom stuff will get done way faster than the middle or upper trays. Also those don’t have room unless you stack trays.
Here is why I love my dehydrator and why you need one.
- It’s fairly easy to clean
- The trays fit over my sink so the wet stuff can drip dry some before I put it in
- I can remove all the trays and make yogurt inside because of the temperature control (recipe in a few days)
- I can turn it on and the top stays warm enough for me to rise bread when my house is 65 degrees lol
- I can fit a lot in the 9 tray model I have.
- I can buy discounted produce at the store like bananas, apples, mango, kiwis and dehydrate them when others can’t.
- It keeps my pantry full of vegetables I didnt have time to can or freeze, so I don’t waste them. Plus if the power goes out you lose all frozen food after 24 hours or so…dehydrated things stay good for forever it seems!
I would highly recommend buying this dehydrator if you are looking for one. It is easier to dehydrate garden items then it is to can them. The unit is so great that I use it for all the above and well no other item in my house is that versatile. It’s a great first major purchase and I highly recommend it. If you don’t know how to dehydrate, this lady is the queen http://www.dehydrate2store.com . I don’t follow every practice because man she is storing for an Apocalypse or something, but her basics are great and she has a lot of how to videos. Also if you do want to purchase one do NOT buy new on the Excalibur site. Buy a refurb. I did and haven’t regretted it. They are lower in price, may not have the auto timer but who cares I never would use it, and it comes with a full warranty just like the new ones!
Here is an example of what a dehydrator can do for your garden.
Once it is dehydrated I crush it in a bowl like you would dry leaves and place the pieces in jars for soups and stews.
Anyone can dehydrate and it will bring you one step closer to building that months worth of food in your pantry that you really should have. Happy Homesteading!! 😀