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Dehydrator for Under $100?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Can anyone point me in the direction of a decent dehydrator for under $100? Labor Day weekend I usually buy a 30# sack of New Mexico fresh green chile, and I'd love to try dehydrating a few pounds for reference. I usually end up roasting most and then freezing them as they hold up really well throughout the year. Actually some seem to get HOTTER!
post #2 of 17

American Harvest

Try the American Harvest Snackmaster express. Found it of $79. I bought mine a few years ago and I'm real happy with it. It drys with air flow and has an adjustable thermostat.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Shorts, I just ordered the F-60 model w/500 watts and adjustable thermostat. from Ikitchen.com. on sale for $54.99. I'll let you know about my first trial run on serrano chiles. Thanks for the heads-up.
post #4 of 17


Hot damn richoso1! I think I paid more then that a few years ago! You're going to love it! I burned through our old one but this one seems to be more heavy duty! Let us know how it goes!!!
post #5 of 17
I have done jalapeno's in my American Harvest with good results. I grind them into a powder and I have it all year round. I have done bell peppers without great success. They tend to get very brittle. I think blanching them for about 5 minutes before you put them in the dehydrator might help a bit.

I have always wanted to take that 5 hour drive over to Hatch NM the 1st week in September for their chili festival, but haven't made it yet.

Let me know how your peppers turn out..
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm just gonna wait for the trucks to pull in this area. I can buy a 20# bag of fresh New Mexico green chile for $25 and have the bag/or part of it roasted there in front of me for another $5. But I must admit that I'd like to go to the hatch Chile Festival someday.
post #7 of 17
after joining this smf and the reading i have done on rubs ect. I told the family we needed a deyderator..so they gave me one for fathers day..
a nesco gardenmaster/ professional. 1000 watts.
thank god the direction book is only paper thin and not like my newyork phone book instructions for my cell phone.

I will be doing apples for rubs, all types of peppers. and any fruit I think might be good to mix into a rub. there is a big thing ,at least so it seems going on with mangoes right now..may try some of them.

dried green jalepenos are great on foods..both smoked an unsmoked..
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Congrats on a great unit, mine is not as powerful as yours, but it gets the job done. I love to use it for chiles, I usually slice them in half to help the drying time. Have fun my friend.
post #9 of 17
seems you are some what of a pepperhead your self. great..
I can'nt wait to get started..
did you ever make the hatch chili festival?
post #10 of 17
You guys are in for a treat, biggrin.gif
post #11 of 17
i've used the cheapo sunbeam and mr. coffee dehydrators for many years and they work great $20.00,i always smoke and dry my garden peppers,and just a tip for those that are thinking about this, cut off the stems and leave
a hole in the top of the peppers to make sure they dry properly.

post #12 of 17
I like a stack of All Natural Furnace filters strapped to a box fan on high. Works like a charm.

Beef Jerky
Alton Brown
Good Eats

1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Special Equipment: 1 box fan, 4 paper air-conditioning filters, and 2 bungee cords

Trim the flank steak of any excess fat, place in a zip-top bag, and place it in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours in order to firm up.
Remove the steak from the freezer and thinly slice the meat with the grain, into long strips.

Place the strips of meat along with all of the remaining ingredients into a large, 1-gallon plastic zip-top bag and move around to evenly distribute all of the ingredients. Place the bag into the refrigerator for 3 to 6 hours. Remove the meat from the brine and pat dry.

Evenly distribute the strips of meat onto 3 of the air filters, laying them in the grooves and then stacking the filters on top of one another. Top these with 1 empty filter.

Next, lay the box fan on its side and lay the filters on top of it. Strap the filters to the fan with 2 bungee cords. Stand the fan upright, plug in and set to medium. Allow the meat dry for 8 to 12 hours.

Once dry, store in a cool dry place, in an airtight container for 2 to 3 months.

This method also works for vegetables like peppers to replicate the idea of Hang drying them on the vine. Just lay the peppers in the grooves turn the fan on high and wait overnight.
post #13 of 17
that makes a lot of sence. as some pepper are loaded with moisture.

also when roasting peppers some times they will explode if you do not make a vent hole in them.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
That's why I roast my New Mexico red & greens at night on an open grill, love the fireworks!
post #15 of 17
Rich do you roast over coals or what?? and do you leave the skins on after the roast??? i'd like to try this method.

post #16 of 17
Just picked up an American harvester FD-61 at Bed, Bath and Beyond for under $60, looks like it's gonna do a lot better job than my hacked Mr Coffee dehydrator.cool.gif
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes I do roast them over charcoals, When i take them off of the grill, I put them in a plastic bag. When they have cooled, I peel the skin off and zip lock them for the freezer/fidge/kitchen. They are very durable and can take being thawed and then frozen again. Try a few to see how it works for you, godd luck my friend.
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