Another food dehydrator question
Is it possible to do in the oven whatever you might do in the food dehydrator? Over the weekend I dried tomatoes in the oven. It took all day and some got browner than others, but wouldn't this also be the case in the dehydrator? I will dry a lot of food, especially toward the end of the summer/early autumn when all the stuff has to be yanked from the vines before a frost hits, but I guess I'm wondering if I should buy a dehydrator or if it's just another kitchen gadget that I don't actually need? Are there disadvantages or problems with using the oven instead?
You can dehydrate in the oven, but the difference between dehydrating and baking is pretty slim, so if your oven temp is spotty, then it's a risky proposition. You'll want to keep the oven at no more than 150 (you can go as high as 170 if you're oven doesn't go lower, but every few degrees takes you closer to baking). And prop open the oven door a couple of inches to get proper air circulation.
You could build a passive solar food dehydrator out of most anything. Do an internet search on solar food dehydrator and lots of info pops up.