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Has anyone made a non electric food dehydrator? How difficult is it to make and how well does it work? Just curious b/c I would like to make one that would dry alot of food at one time and the only ones that I have seen for sale are small & expensive.Thanks:)
 

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We simply put screens of food into an old car - on a hot day. Screens placed on the dashboard, or rear window ledge dry very quickly on a warm day.

Motherearthnews.com has lots of info on solar dehydrators, etc.
Bless you for this, I was thinking of doing screen dehydrating and it never dawned on me to put them in the car. Our car sits in full sun all summer and boy, does it get hot in there! Thank you.
 

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Last fall, I had oodles of tomatoes & didn't want to run the dehydrator in the house. I sliced them, sprinkled w/ salt and threw them in our gas oven - with just the pilot light lit, not "on" per se. Worked like a charm.

Now that it's *gasp* SPRING, I am wanting to try the car thing - so clever!!
 

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Google "solar dehydrator", lots of plans available. I plan on making a large scale solar electric hybrid: primarily solar heated with an electric heat source for those long stretches of cloudy, rainy weather.
 

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I dry tomatoes and peppers in my electric oven. I preheat the oven a little by turning it on about 300 for maybe 3-5 minutes. Then shut it off. I put slices of vegetable, or halved cherry tomatoes on a silpat (non stick sheet) and just stick it in the oven. Leave the door shut. Check it in 8-12 hours and see how it is doing. Some things will dry fast, some pieces will dry before others (like around the edge of the pan). Turn the oven on for 2 minutes again if it needs it. Usually within 24 hours I have dried everything.
 

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I never thought of using the car! With the back seats folded down in the van I would have A LOT of room for drying.
 
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