Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dehydrating

A few years ago I dried some tomatoes in the oven on a low temperature. It took forever and I was a little scared of how much it was costing to have the oven on for a day!
It worked really well though.

Then last week I got an email from grabone - it's a deal of the day site - and they had a food dehydrator for sale. I thought the price seemed pretty good so bit the bullet and bought it.
It came within a couple of days, which was great service. It's MUCH bigger than I thought it would be - which is also great.

Yesterday was the first chance I'd had to put it to work, so I went out to the garden and picked about 4 large (bloody butcher) tomatoes and around 30 odd cherry tomatoes. Then I went to the orchard and picked an apple! Oh yeah, a huge bounty!

In actual fact I didn't want to fill the thing in case I made a right stuff up and wasted everything. But it turned out that it worked amazingly, way better than I ever expected.

I didn't do anything fancy at all.

For the tomatoes I sliced the big ones into thinish slices and the cherry tomatoes were cut in half.
Then I wiped a very thin layer of olive oil onto the 'plate' so that nothing would stick.
I sprinkled a wee bit of salt onto the tomatoes and that was it.

For the apple I just sliced it to about the same thinness as the sliced tomato.

Set the temperature to 55 and left it. ( I put everything in at 2.45pm...)


It has 7 shelves in total

Then we went to the cinema to see The Intouchables - a must see film - it's amazing.
Came home and after the 5 and a half hours the thinly sliced tomatoes were ready.
By 8 hours everything else was as well.


The apple is so lovely - I've just eaten it while typing this. So, its a huge success and something we can do with a lot of the apples.

The tomatoes are also lovely. The taste is out of this world. 
It also makes everything a whole lot easier to store, as it shrinks way down.


I actually put the tomatoes in a jar with olive oil to preserve them. I did this with the ones I did in the oven ages ago and it was really good. We used them on pizzas. I think they'd also make a great gift if you didn't eat them all first.
I'm so delighted with it - I really think it's something we'll get a huge amount of use out of. I'm really pleased we got it.  Now I just need to do more experimenting...

19 comments:

  1. OOO lucky you I'd LOVE a dehydrator keep hoping I'll find a secondhand one but keep missing out... Enjoy

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    1. have you tried ebay? I know when I was looking here I tried our version and there were a few :)

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  2. Oooo! My lady is happy to see that you like your dehydrator. She has envied people that have them but always wondered if they actually worked! Yummy!

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    1. I think there's mixed reviews tbh - from my readings! You either love them or hate them! Thankfully I love mine :)

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  3. I am still in the experimenting phase with my dehydrator too, but I use it more and more every year. Dried tomatoes are probably my favorite. I really like the idea of drying. It seems brilliant. Its so space and energy efficient. If you have any great drying breakthroughs be sure you share them with me!

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    1. I really got it for the tomatoes, out of season here they cost a fortune, and we do like our home made pizzas, so to have preserved ones will be perfect! I'll totally share!!!

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    2. So true, and out of season they never taste as good as when they were picked and preserved at the height of their season, in my opinion.

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  4. That looks really good Laura, I an amazed at the lovely colour of both. I too love dried tomato on pizza, I also really like them in a cheese omelette, not nearly so "wet" as fresh tomato ! An excellent purchase for the kitchen, especially with all your home grown delights :) xx

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    1. I know what you mean about the colours, they've really kept their brightness. I'm going to try out more things - but just waiting for a decent amount of tomatoes to be ready first! Off to buy more olive oil!

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  5. Awesome! A dehydrator is high on my wish list right now. I want to preserve a lot more of our food this year, so this is really appealing. Especially for tomatoes, which we will hopefully have lots of this year!

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    1. I must admit I hadn't really thought about one all that much, but when I saw this one ot seemed a bit too good to miss out on. I'm really glad I got it.

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  6. I've been thinking about getting a dehydrator but am wary that it could be another 'white elephant' kitchen appliance purchase. Is it easy to clean? Aldi had one on sale and I was wondering how it would fare. The family loves beef jerky so I'm wondering if this would do the trick. What brand is this one that you have?

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    1. It could be for sure. But Im thinking that in the summer we'll use it heaps.
      Mine is a no brand! It's obviously from China hence why it was so cheap - but so far so good. Its pretty robust.
      I cleaned mine as soon as it was finished -all it had on it were 2 tomato seeds!

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  7. Yum, yum, yum. I've struggled with our dehydrator, nothing has really worked (operator error I'm sure). But, maybe I'll try again. Alison xxx

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    1. Alison, I did everything at 55. I did have it up at 60 but thought that might be too hot...
      give it another go!!

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  8. Ouuu, those tomatoes look soooo good! It's 6 degrees here now in Western New York. My garden seems so far away, it's nice to see your summer pics.
    Thank You!

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  9. Just saw your link over at The Chicken Chick’s link party and wanted to come over and check out your dehydrating post! I totally need to get one of these!

    I'd love for you to link up a few recipes at my weekend link party that is going on right now (well, until midnight tonight, lol) @The Weekend re-Treat!

    Hope to see you there!

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  10. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com



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I love it when you leave me comments, it lets me know there are folk out there reading my ramblings! Thank you, I appreciate them loads and loads
Laura x