Solar dehydrator

I’m going to try to dehydrate some fruits and veggies in the sun. I’m reading up on how to make dried fruit, and I see that if the temps are 100+ and there is low humidity, I can dry stuff in the sun on a screen. I need only bring it in at night to prevent dew from forming (not that I notice much around here). I just need to get a screen.

This came about after a failed attempt at sweet potato jerky. A friend had recommended it as a dog treat, and I’d just bought some sweet potatoes to try it. But before I did, our dog trainer gave us a piece of sweet potato jerky for Pierogi. She scoffed at it at first, so we left it out on her bed for later. She eventually tried it and loved it. Best of all, it took her a long time to soften it and eat it. Other treats, even bully sticks, are demolished within a hour, but this potato treat lasted into the next evening.

I tried making the treats according to instructions I found online. But at 250 degrees, the potatoes were not the beautiful texture of the store-bought potato jerky. The dog again ignored them until I put one in her crate, where she eventually gnawed it a bit. She did not carry it around and guard it as she did the original treat, though.

With all the sun we get, it seems silly to run the oven at 100 degrees for a whole day. I can find a cheap screen, I’ll report back here on how my solar jerky turns out.



Filed under kitchen, Life in Coachella Valley

2 responses to “Solar dehydrator

  1. I read this last week, but wasn’t energetic enough to reply. I’m wondering whether plans have progressed? A few years ago I had fun looking at all these plans for solar cooking, etc.

    I am interested in building a solar water distiller, but haven’t done anything about it.

  2. Cool stuff, Ann! “Food Jammers” did a solar cooking episode and it looks like a lot of time and setup involved. I haven’t bothered looking for a screen yet. This was a good reminder to head to Lowe’s this week. And your water distiller idea is a good one. I should look into that, too. We have awful hard water here. One pot of tea and my kettle is covered in scale, even if the water is filtered.

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