Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Registered User Suzzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-30-2007
    Location
    Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada
    Age
    50
    Posts
    283

    Default First failed attempt at dehydrating

    This weekend I decided to give dehydrating a try. Having a bunch of onions on hand, I decided to start with that... I love onions. Since I hate wasting food I only made one, figuring I'd make bigger batches once I knew better what I was doing. I followed instructions found online and set my oven at 150F (the lowest setting). After 6 hours, instead of looking dehydrated, the onions looked more like they had been caramelized. Looks like I left them in there too long. I guess I should have checked on them earlier but I was busy doing a bunch of other stuff.

    All was not lost, the onions have already been eaten as part of tonight's meal and I can't wait to try it again!

  2. #2

    Default

    Never a failed attempt..... Just lessons to be learned for the next batch.
    Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt, and the forest and field in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul.--Fred Bear

    www.misadventuregear.com

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzzz View Post
    ... set my oven at 150F (the lowest setting). After 6 hours, instead of looking dehydrated, the onions looked more like they had been caramelized...
    I do onions at 130F and I wouldn't expect a total failure at 140, though I would never actually do such a thing. But 150 is just too high, no matter what some directions told you; that's cooking the onions not drying them.

    If I could afford the storage space I'd build an Alton Brown dehydrator. Room temperature and mass quantities of moving air: that's the ideal dehydration. Short of that, get a dehydrator with the most efficient fan you can afford and keep the temperatures low.

  4. #4

    Default

    Did you have the door partially open...could try that if your oven slung go lower than 150.

  5. #5

    Default

    Won't go lower...ugh!

  6. #6
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-14-2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Age
    63
    Posts
    2,050
    Images
    23

    Default

    One of the problems with oven drying. You can use a wooden spoon to prop the door open, to lower the temperature.

  7. #7
    Registered User Suzzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-30-2007
    Location
    Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada
    Age
    50
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wil View Post
    I do onions at 130F and I wouldn't expect a total failure at 140, though I would never actually do such a thing. But 150 is just too high, no matter what some directions told you; that's cooking the onions not drying them.

    If I could afford the storage space I'd build an Alton Brown dehydrator. Room temperature and mass quantities of moving air: that's the ideal dehydration. Short of that, get a dehydrator with the most efficient fan you can afford and keep the temperatures low.
    130F... Got it! I'm certainly enteraining the idea of getting a dehydrator, I just wanted to try with the oven first to see if I could make it work. I do have a rather small house so storage is at a premium but I can certainly make space for a medium size dehydrator.

  8. #8
    Registered User Suzzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-30-2007
    Location
    Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada
    Age
    50
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    Did you have the door partially open...could try that if your oven slung go lower than 150.
    Yes I did. It was open for the whole time the onions were in there.

  9. #9
    Registered User Suzzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-30-2007
    Location
    Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada
    Age
    50
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hikes in Rain View Post
    One of the problems with oven drying. You can use a wooden spoon to prop the door open, to lower the temperature.
    It was open but maybe I could have had it open all the way? Or maybe I should just forget about dehydrating onions in the oven and wait until I buy a dehydrator. In any event it's fun to experiment.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-26-2015
    Location
    Denver Colorado
    Posts
    688

    Default

    I would wait and get a dehydrator, most of the dehydration action is air flow not heat. Heat is needed, but airflow is what will eliminate the moisture.

    BTW, onions are an item I won't dehydrate since they are so cheap to buy.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosh View Post
    BTW, onions are an item I won't dehydrate since they are so cheap to buy.
    Days from civilization and way above any hope of finding wild ones, dried onions are priceless. Anything more than a dayhike and I've got I've got bags of dried onions, red & green peppers and celery; about 2 notches above a sleeping bag on my list of essentials.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-26-2015
    Location
    Denver Colorado
    Posts
    688

    Default

    Well, that has removed all doubt that I need to see your essentials list.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wil View Post
    Days from civilization and way above any hope of finding wild ones, dried onions are priceless. Anything more than a dayhike and I've got I've got bags of dried onions, red & green peppers and celery; about 2 notches above a sleeping bag on my list of essentials.
    Been such a mild year that just the other day I found a wild onion in my yard, made a nice addition as a garnish atop some chicken cordon bleu.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzzz View Post
    130F... Got it! I'm certainly enteraining the idea of getting a dehydrator, I just wanted to try with the oven first to see if I could make it work. I do have a rather small house so storage is at a premium but I can certainly make space for a medium size dehydrator.
    I hear ya about the storage space! We went from a house with basement and spare bedroom, to a house with a HUGE basement, to a HUGE house with no basement, to a small apartment. We currently have a storage unit but it's not something we can access often. Some of the things we did to gain some useful storage is to put a shelf "on top of" existing shelves in the laundry closet. basically the laundry closet shelf had lots of vertical space but it sucks to stack everything on each other so hubs built a shelf to sit on top of the existing shelf just basically giving it a second level. We also have been renting for more than 3 years and discovered an easy way to make "portable" shelves which can go in closets or just in any spare space. we buy those "half cinderblocks" from Home Depot. I think they are 4"x4"x8". We stack 2 on top of each other so we have an 8" deep 8" high but only 4" wide shelf support. Then we use 3/4" plywood if we need to stack heavy stuff like home canned goods. When we did this the first time we measured all our spaces and HD cut the sheets of plywood for free. Since we moved we borrowed a friends circular saw and cut the "old boards" to length for the new closets.

    And I like to cook! And now we have a freeze dryer sitting in our dining room. But for appliances we have bought a very small food processor and we use it all the time but could really use a larger one as we always need to run "multiple batches" through it. We are thinking of selling our 9 tray excalibur dehydrator because when we use it we lose half our dining room table. It's currently in storage. I would think you would find a small dehydrator where you can add/subtract trays to be worth the space. I have also found useful those little "kitchen carts" to be useful. We have one for the freeze dryer and another one for our vacuum chamber sealer and the meat grinder. If we need another it will need to live in the laundry closet when not in use and when laundry isn't being accessed. I cannot stand in the laundry closet and actually open the dryer at the same time it's so small (and the dryer doesn't face the doorway).

    On top of this we have almost no counter space. so appliances can't really sit out.

    Check yard sales and craigs list for dehydrators. you should be able to find a small one cheap. Once you start using it you will find a space for it.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  15. #15
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-03-2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,437

    Default

    Look on the bright side--you ended up with one of the world's greatest foods, caramelized onions.

    As mentioned above, I'd suggest buying a dehydrator. You need moving hot air, not just hot air, and you need to be able to control temperatures on a finer scale than your oven can handle near its lower limit. Also, I'm with you on not wasting food, but if you are trying to make a lot of meals via dehydration, onions are not the way to go. Dehydration is pretty time-consuming, and I would suggest focusing on either dinners or snack foods with calories (granola, dried fruit, yadda). Throw in a few extra onions if you have space when you are dehydrating something that has calories.

  16. #16
    Registered User Suzzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-30-2007
    Location
    Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada
    Age
    50
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    I hear ya about the storage space! Some of the things we did to gain some useful storage is to put a shelf "on top of" existing shelves in the laundry closet.
    Same here... post divorce downsizing and lots of double shelves in every closet and any other available space! But a dehydrator is not that big, I can certainly find space for it.

  17. #17
    Registered User Suzzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-30-2007
    Location
    Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada
    Age
    50
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    Look on the bright side--you ended up with one of the world's greatest foods, caramelized onions.

    As mentioned above, I'd suggest buying a dehydrator. You need moving hot air, not just hot air, and you need to be able to control temperatures on a finer scale than your oven can handle near its lower limit. Also, I'm with you on not wasting food, but if you are trying to make a lot of meals via dehydration, onions are not the way to go. Dehydration is pretty time-consuming, and I would suggest focusing on either dinners or snack foods with calories (granola, dried fruit, yadda). Throw in a few extra onions if you have space when you are dehydrating something that has calories.

    Onions were just a starting point to practice. I don't want to try meals until I've mastered the art of dehydrating one item at the time.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-26-2015
    Location
    Denver Colorado
    Posts
    688

    Default

    When you are ready, Babelfish5 on youtube has some excellent recipes. I have modified them over the years, but it's a great place to start. His Tuna Casserole, Beef Stroganoff, and SW Omelet are our favorites.

  19. #19
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-03-2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,437

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzzz View Post
    Onions were just a starting point to practice. I don't want to try meals until I've mastered the art of dehydrating one item at the time.
    Every food item is different. Mastering onions will not teach you to master apples or fruit leathers or pasta or granola. I would just focus on what you are most interested in eating and learn to do that. I got Mary Bell's Dehydrator Cookbook, which had a lot of good information. You can probably also find good recipes/tips online.

    Good luck with it. Eating food on the trail that you made is really satisfying (not satisfying enough to make up for all the work most of the time, but it's a good feeling).

  20. #20

    Default

    First failed attempt at dehydrating

    What a silly concept! I've never once failed to dehydrate! Just don't bring water on a really hot day! (wow, and they call ME a newb )
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •