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Dehydrators & Techniques

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#1 Dasgrinch



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Posted 22 August 2017 - 05:10 PM

So what kind of dehydrators are people using to dry their peppers?  I've got a Nesco I've used for years, but I was looking to get a bigger one.  The problem I've seen is it's hard to get a full size pepper into most of these little trays.  On my current one I actually bought a second dehydrator, and cut the middle out of the trays.  This gives me spacer rings that I stack on top of each tray to give me clearance and plenty of room to dry them.  I tried doing a ristra but after spending an hour and realizing I was only on pepper number 10 or so I decided back to the dehydrator.


Do you cut your peppers in half, or do they have certain models available that have deeper trays?  I saw a post recommend about someone who put pvc pipes in his trays and wrapped it with cling film....I don't think that's the way I'd like to go. 


I found some topics about dehydrators, but not a lot of details inside.  So share your tips and tricks, advice and pictures!  (I'll post pictures of my current setup when I get home).

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#2 salsalady


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Posted 22 August 2017 - 06:30 PM

Not sure what kind of Nesco you have and how the trays stack together. Check out this ghetto dehydrator set up-  :cool:


unless you want whole pods, to sell or ???, most at least cut them in half which significantly speeds up the drying process.  If you are going to powder them, slicing is the way to go.  You can get quadruple the amount on each tray and there is enough space for good air flow.  Rotating trays top to bottom also helps.  I can't remember the max pounds I've gotten into one batch, it may say in the linked post, pretty sure it's 40-50 pounds.


If you have a food processor, the slicer attachment usually works well enough.  Not the S-blade which sits at the bottom of the bowl but the slicer plate, like the grater plates, which are at the top of the bowl and on a stem.


Edit- instead of cutting grey PVC, buy 1" couplings in white plumbing PVC, safe for water, safe for food contact.


Good Luck and HAVE FUN!


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Edited by salsalady, 22 August 2017 - 06:33 PM.

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#3 AJ Drew

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 07:32 PM

I dehydrate for my own use with some rinky dink model.  I cut in half and bath in a bit of lemon juice and water or citric acid.  Wanted to jump in here because I have noticed fairly large units at a place called Rural King.  No idea the brand name, but if we just go by size alone they seem very well priced.  What made me think to mention it is that the space between shelves is fairly large.  I believe they are designed for making jerky.


If you have a rural king, check them out.  They have them in the hunting section along with every thing you would need to start your own sausage n steak company.

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#4 Mr.CtChilihead


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Posted 22 August 2017 - 08:36 PM

I use a Nesco pro, I bought a bunch of extra trays..Great dehydrator for the money.It is currently making a ten pound batch of pork jerky.I always cut my peppers in half when I dehydrate them..Bigger peppers like bells I cut in slices or dice them..

Edited by Mr.CtChilihead, 22 August 2017 - 08:37 PM.

#5 Dasgrinch



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Posted 22 August 2017 - 11:07 PM

I've always tried to leave them whole because it seems like I have a lot less cleanup that way.  I don't have a cutting board and knife covered in what is essentially bear repellent, and the pods seem to keep most of the nastiness inside.  I also like being able to do whole pods to give to friends, I can put them on strings and make them look like I tied them and dried them that way.


But yeah, cutting them will definitely dry them faster.  And when I do jalapenos for smoking and drying, or anchos, anything big and fleshy, I cut them up so they don't get moldy before they have a chance to dry. 


We do in fact have rural king out here, I'll have to stop by again, I've never looked at their dehydrators.  Mine is a Nesco FD-60. Right now I'm drying some cayenne peppers because that's what I have the most of that are ripe.  I've got some 'jamaican mushroom peppers' that are coming in fast, but those are small enough that I got out the needle and synthetic fishing line and strung those up.




#6 alkhall


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Posted 23 August 2017 - 03:22 PM

After burning out three Nescos in two years, I bought a nine-tray Excalibur.


As I dry whole pods to keep the fumes to a minimum, one good feature of the Excalibur is that I can leave out every other tray to accommodate large pods. With the Nescos, I actually would have to wrap a bungie cord around the dehydrator to keep it closed with large pods.

Edited by alkhall, 23 August 2017 - 03:23 PM.

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#7 dragonsfire


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Posted 23 August 2017 - 03:57 PM

Mine is about 25 years old and still going, American Harvest Snackmaster, guess its been bought out and turn to crap now.

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