HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Food Dehydrator Ideas

madgreek Aug 15, 2008 09:50 AM

I bought this for beef jerkey, used it to dry some fruits, and now it's collecting dust in my basement. Help me resurrect it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. amyzan RE: madgreek Aug 15, 2008 01:12 PM

    Dehydrators make great macaroons, because the outsides get dry and crispy while the interiors stay moist. Somehow the contrast is greater than with those baked in an oven.

    12 Replies
    1. re: amyzan
      madgreek RE: amyzan Aug 16, 2008 03:34 AM

      That's interesting. Now, I'm assuming you mean the American coconut macaroon, and not the almond flavored Italian/French cookie, or the meringue-like confection. Correct? The only thing is, I'd worry that they wouldn't taste right because there is insufficient heat to promote carmelization of sugars. It's worth a try, though.

      1. re: madgreek
        amyzan RE: madgreek Aug 16, 2008 08:01 PM

        Yeah, definitely American macaroons, not macarons! They're different in a dehydrator, but deliciously so. I like them, though I think that to some people they'd merely taste like dried out sweetened and flavored shredded coconut.

        Dehydrators also do a nice job of recrisping anything that's gone stale. I use mine to keep a steady temp for culturing yogurt or proofing/rising bread dough, too.

        1. re: amyzan
          madgreek RE: amyzan Aug 18, 2008 06:26 AM

          Ooh, good points about the bread and yogurt. If properly covered, this would work well.

          1. re: amyzan
            FallsChurch2 RE: amyzan Aug 29, 2008 09:10 AM

            Amyzan: "A good job of recrisping anything that's gone stale"? Like what? Bread? (Stale means the humidity had been sucked out, so how is putting it in a dehydrator going to refresh it? I don't get it.)

            1. re: FallsChurch2
              amyzan RE: FallsChurch2 Aug 29, 2008 09:50 AM

              Sorry, I should've been more specific. Not anything, but rather items that have lost their crispness. Crackers, cereal, that sort of thing.

        2. re: amyzan
          pondrat RE: amyzan Aug 18, 2008 07:18 AM

          Great tips amyzan ! I JUST bought a Nesco American Harvest dehydrator and this helps me present additional benefits for my impulse buy to my always skeptical CFO at home ! I was trying to work on a business angle for bringing cell phones back to life after being put in the washer.

          1. re: pondrat
            amyzan RE: pondrat Aug 18, 2008 10:47 AM

            Yes, it can be economical if you buy milk on sale and make yogurt or kefir, etc. I also like that I don't have all those number 5 plastic yogurt containers I feel guilty throwing out but for which I don't have THAT many uses. Making bread is always less expensive than buying the artisan loaves, though I don't quite have an on par product, it's good enough, certainly. If these are a regular part of your diet, they make an excellent argument for that testy CFO!

            1. re: pondrat
              madgreek RE: pondrat Aug 20, 2008 06:48 AM

              This cracks me up. I also had to make a case for the device when I bought it. I think I told my wife that in addition to jerkey, I was going to make fresh fruit leather, instead of buying them in the store (the kids love it). The fact is, the store-bought isn't really more expensive, and the stuff I made was garbage.

              1. re: madgreek
                amyzan RE: madgreek Aug 20, 2008 11:21 AM

                Oh, phooey, I wish I had a good recipe for you. When my mom lived in TX one of her neighbors made divine fruit leathers. She actually sold them at flea markets and to her neighbors. They were that good. I haven't found a storebought one I actually like, as they're either too thick or when they are the right texture, the flavor is artificial. Luckily, I'd rather just eat a piece of fresh fruit, though I can see their appeal in winter months.

                1. re: madgreek
                  pondrat RE: madgreek Aug 20, 2008 11:28 AM

                  I wish they made the model I bought in black or some other stealth color. The large white pod makes it look like I bought a medical instrument sterilizer large enough for a full hospital ward. She's getting home today so it's been nice knowing you guys..

                  1. re: pondrat
                    madgreek RE: pondrat Aug 20, 2008 11:33 AM

                    I have the same one. I know. It looks terrible.

                    Coming home? Uh Oh! My advice? Hide it from the CFO :)

                    1. re: madgreek
                      pondrat RE: madgreek Aug 20, 2008 11:46 AM

                      I just bought a plaid cover for it....She'll hopefully LOVE the new ottoman in the living room !

                      Plus she won't have to worry about putting her feet up with wet boots or shoes..Just set it to high and whoosh...moisture gone..

            2. m
              mnguyen RE: madgreek Aug 29, 2008 09:33 PM

              I had dehydrated watermelon at a bar recently....in the shape of the thinnest wedge. Very tasty.

              Show Hidden Posts