Sunday, May 1, 2011

Food Dryer

 This is the food dehydrator I built about 25 years ago.
  I have the plans to build this dryer but they are on a pdf file and for some reason I am having difficulty in creating a link for you to find it. That means I can't do it.  But I will send them to you personally if you are interested.
This is a pretty serious tool, costing about $100 in materials but mine is 25 years old and still working perfectly.  The heat source if from 12 60 watt lightbulbs and it requires a small fan and thermostat.  It has five shelves made of window screens and can dry about a five gallon bucket of tomatoes at one time.
 Seven varieties of heirloom tomatoes
You can buy dried tomatoes at the store but not like you can do yourself!

The year before last was a terrific season for tomatoes and I sent dried tomatoes all over the world.  I dry them to the point of potato chips and there are lots of ways to prepare them for eating.  My favorite by far is nothing.  Just as is, on a cracker with a bit of cheese.  It is an explosion of flavor in your mouth
like you wouldn't believe.  The problem with store bought dried tomatoes is they are from store bought tomatoes, picked green and flavorless.
 it takes about 5 days to dry a batch
  You can also rehydrate them with a dash of wine and some olive oil and put them is salads.  You could cook with them and put them in soups but that is such a waste of a perfect product that I never do it.  They are just too good on their own.

 "Cherokee Purple"
     You can buy little kitchen top dryers at your local hardware store for smaller batches and maybe to see beforehand if you would like to make this bigger model.  I seldom can my tomatoes anymore as drying them is so much easier, less work and not so messy.

  I am hoping for a good season this year but the weather is so strange.  We got a dusting of snow only two days ago in the nearby hills and it is still frosting at night!
More pics of my garden HERE and I will try once again to link to the plans for the food dryer HERE.
Cool, that worked this time!!!  These are great plans for a perfect dryer!


Kay said...

Jerry that dryer looks fabulous. I have a dryer that I unearthed last year from the shed and will hopefully get to use it this year on my own fruit and vegies. But if it doesn't quit snowing..4 inches yesterday here..then I am afraid my will to get the garden going is going going gone!

Constance Stanza Extravaganza Extraordinaire said...

I've just downloaded it Jerry, NOW I have to hope for some good weather to plant my seed, it's currently 6 degrees C, overcast and there is still snow ice packed up against the side of our house. I can see green grass however, and there are dandelions flowering in our lawn :-)

AutumnLeaves said...

Jerry, you are such a font of wonderful information. I love reading here!

Chez said...

Jerry you are amazing.
Such talent!
There is nothing quite like 'home grown' and dried. Things I did in a 'past' life. Good on you!

SooZeQue said...

That's a lot of tomatoes! Do you realize how expensive sundried tomatoes are? You could sell those on the side. It's seem to hot here for good tomatoes, or else I just can grow very many. They all look so wonderful!