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Thread: Food Dehyrdator plans

  1. #1

    Default Food Dehyrdator plans

    anyone ever made an electricc food dehydrator??? from my thoughts it cant be much diffrent than a incubator. except temp and air flow.... temp has to reach 140 anymore and your smoking and its got to be enough to evaporate.... so 110 to 140 degrees and air flow i would assume needs to be pretty good... what do you guys think or does anyone have plans???
    God Created Man Samuel Colt Made Them Equal

  2. #2
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I made one about 15 years ago from plans from (I believe) Outdoor life. Used it only for about 5 years.

    It was a plywood box about 24"H x 16"W x 16"D.

    The shelves were screen door material, framed.

    It was heated by a light bulb 60 or 100W in the bottom.

    It was pretty simple but it worked well.

  3. #3
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    Google "solar dehydrator", cool idea but have yet build one.

    George

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    I think I must have seen similar, but slightly larger plans as kingfisherktn. I haven't used mine in a while, but I still have it, and it works great.

    Mine is made with a 1x2" wood frame and plywood sides. The trays are 1x1" square wood frames with fiberglass window screens stretched across the bottoms. They eventually sagged, but that hasn't seemed to hinder anything.

    I made mine with an 8" tall air plenum in the bottom, with a small fan on the left side that drew air in through a screen in the lower left side. The air blew across a 600 watt heating element, that was a ceramic cone with Nichrome wire coiled around it. I don't know where you might get those today, but a 200 watt light bulb should work. The heating element screwed into a ceramic light socket, which mounted in the middle of the lower air plenum. I used a simple wall switch type light dimmer to control the heat. I also used some thin metal sheets to shield the heat from any wood that was too close, and lined the plenum with a 1" layer of fiberglass insulating tile. I also found I needed to add a small deflector after the heater to mix the air better. I used a tin can for the metal sheets, as this was a low budget project.

    The warm air is directed up the right side through another, thinner, air plenum, and then the air flows across the 10 food trays and out the left side, through an exhaust screen above the intake. There is a door on the front of the box that opens up to allow access to the trays, which slide in from the front.

    I eventually trusted the thing enough to use indoors, but I'm still not sure how smart that was. Personally, I think the thing is a potential house burner, so I would recommend setting it up outside, and not in, under or on anything that might catch fire with it if it suddenly burst into flame.

    I built this when living in Washington, where I had almost limitless access to cheap fruit and vegetables. But I have also dried beef, moose, caribou and salmon since returning to AK.

    I like the easily adjustable heat control, and large tray space. I can put about 20 lbs of fish filets in mine. If you add a bit of smoke flavoring to the brine it tastes mighty fine.

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    JIm,
    Nice description, how about a photo of the heating/air pleneum section?

    George

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    i once saw alton brown on the food network dehydrate some food using a large box fan, some large air filters, and some bungee cords. He simply placed the food into the natural slots that the air filter has, stacked the filters, and then bungee corded them to the fan turned it on high and let it go for a few hours
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...7412723519389#

    Found the link, have not tried it but it seems like it should work, most of his stuff does.

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    I have used the furnace filter/fan method. It does work, make sure you get the paper type filters and not the fiberglass type, i tested the results and in my storage spot it took about 7 years for mold to start forming. i'm not sure what is more impressive to me, that it took that ling to mold, or that i was able to not eat the last few peices ans let them set that long! one thing i can note about it is make sure you don't use any peices with much fat marble in it, the fat will store water, lean meat is better.

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    If you use a fan like an inline 4" fan from Home depot or Lowe's and construct a plywood box.. depending on what scraps of wood you have available and how big you want to make it- one about 4 feet tall by 2 feet deep and 4 feet wide for well less than $100. I agree with Jim, use a light dimmer switch on your heat element and another on your fan. I used an old fifth burner, and bought a long stemmed thermomiter to watch temps. I found cheap 2' x 2' screens at hardware store in Fairbanks (less than $5 each). You just got to look around and see what you can use safely- (both fire and food) and put it together. Make it like you would a simple cabinet with one or two doors on the front, and the "shelves" will be your screens. Make sure you give plenty of room between the screens for airflow. Have fun!

    Chris

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