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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Expanding the Drying Space on My Dehydrator

In August of 2012, I bought a Nesco® All American Harvest® Dehydrator & Jerky Maker at Home Hardware since I no longer have my Jenn-Aire slide-in range as I went to natural gas when we bought this house.  My ancient Mr Coffee Maker stand-alone dehydrator quit back in 2005 and I didn't bother replacing because the Jenn-Aire had a dehydrating setting.  Well, Home Hardware had had the FD-61, 500 W, expandable to 12 trays on sale so I bought one.  It had to be ordered in on a rain cheque but I still got it at the sale price of $65.  I had considered ordering extra trays at the same time but wanted to see how the dehydrator performed.

snackmaster add-a-tray for Nesco dehydrator
The extra trays were $20 for two so expanding to the full 12 trays would cost me an additional $160 plus HST bringing my initial investment close to the cost of a smaller Excalibur dehydrator.  The reality is only a small portion of our food storage goes into home dried foods. Don't get me wrong as I do dry a lot, just no as much as some do.  Now that we are settled into our new home, I will likely do a bit more dehydrating.  One of my projects is to make more home dried foods that could easily be popped into our backpacks when flying down to our vacation home.  Liquids are restricted to a quart bag, 3 oz per container so that eliminates taking any home canned foods.

We stopped at a Bed, Bath and Beyond while we were doing Christmas shopping.  They had my exact same dehydrator and beside it the add-a-trays priced at $9.99 for two.  I popped one box into the cart figuring that it was a good deal and I may not want to fully expand to the 12 trays so reasoned that buying 2 at a time as needed would be the more frugal choice.  My old Mr Coffee was a five tray, round model that served us nicely for several years.

new trays added to dehydrator
My dehydrator has light grey speckled trays but the trays in the package were solid white for the FD-40, FD-50 and FD-60 series.  They are identical in every way except for colour.  They fit perfectly and really, the colour difference might come in handy when drying two or more types of foods.  For the price savings, I can live with two colours of trays!  Besides my husband and I will more than likely be the only ones seeing it and others would realize it isn't supposed to be a stripped effect when assembled.

At that price, I now have $75 into the dehydrator.  If I expand again, it will cost me another $10 for a total of $85 investment, something that would be recouped during the first year of dehydrating depending on use.  Each 2 tray expansion kit gives an additional 1.73 sq feet of drying space meaning each tray is 0.865 sq feet of drying space.  With 6 trays I now have a total of 5.19 sq feet of drying space which is a fair amount of drying space.  Whether or not that is enough drying space for my plans remains to be seen so I will expand further if needed.

1 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

I look forward to seeing how it works!