Finding the right work tables for your business is pivotal to your kitchen's efficiency. Tables come in dozens of sizes with a variety of options, including undershelves and backsplashes, and can have square, rounded, or countertop corners to accommodate virtually every need. If you know the specific properties of the kitchen work table you'd like to purchase, our work table selection tool will quickly locate all of the tables that meet your specifications. To make sure you take care of your valuable stainless steel, be sure to check out the stainless steel care guide!
Stainless steel is everywhere in a commercial kitchen, and it's no wonder--it's such a durable, easy-to-clean material that comes in many different types, plus it looks great too. But it's not a totally maintenance-free item, and it can start to rust if not properly cared for. Fortunately, properly caring for your stainless steel flatware, cookware, work tables, sinks, and even stainless steel equipment is easy. Read on for the best way to clean stainless steel and keep your equipment, cookware, and flatware looking great for years to come!
No matter what type of foodservice establishment you operate, its important to outfit your kitchen with commercial work tables, so you can prepare entrees, sides, and desserts. Whether you own a restaurant, hotel, or catering business, or you run a bakery, cafe, or supermarket, we have kitchen work tables for you.
Our selection of commercial work tables includes all stainless steel models with sturdy tabletops and strong legs, allowing you to tenderize meat, chop veggies, slice up fruits, and mix salads. Choose from models with undershelves, cabinets, or other storage options, and check out our selection of compatible accessories that will improve the functionality of your unit. You can even find smaller tables that can be used as equipment stands to hold anything from a mixer to a panini grill.
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"TheExcalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydratoris a professional-quality appliance that is perfect for all of your food-drying needs. This nine-tray electric food dehydrator offers ample space for bulk drying and features an adjustable thermostat that ranges from 105F to 165F, which ensures a low enough temperature to preserve the active enzymes in fruits and vegetables and a high enough temperature to safely dry meats for jerky. It also features a built-in on/off switch with a 26-hour timer, a seven-inch fan for increased air circulation and 600 Watts of power, amongst a bevy of other ultra-convenient features." - BGR.com
When I first took up self-reliant country living in the 1960s, I tried drying foods in a sandwich of old window screens laid at a sun-facing angle across a pair of sawhorses, but found that Mother Nature dries slowly in our changeable New England weather. I also tried an antique sheet-metal wet-heat corn dryer designed for wood-stove-top use, but its single, rusty-hardware cloth tray left barbecue-marks on the apple slices. Plus, it was too small to keep up with our kids' hearty appetite for dried delicacies.
In the 1970s I gave in to progress and got one of the MacManniman's big yard-square electric food dryers. For two decades, its gentle electric heat preserved apricot halves and apple sections for babies to teethe on, along with other fruits, fishes and meats.
But in time the plastic screen on the racks snagged and frayed, and the oversize box got creaky from being hauled from cellar to kitchen and back. When it came time for a new dryer, all I could find for sale were little round, plastic kitchen gadgets and a couple of large and expensive wood-box units from makers I'd never heard of. So I designed and built my own.
Being of dark-stained plywood, it absorbs solar energy for sun-drying and works with stoveheat and electricity as well. Just one of its trays holds as much as one of the plastic dryers, fully-loaded, but the box is hinged to fold flat for easy carrying and storage. Here's how to make one for yourself! It's a great late-winter project offering a promise of the gardening season and harvest to come. Materials cost about $50, or half again that much more if you buy the optional electric fan and thermostat.
The hardest parts of a food dryer for an amateur wood butcher to fabricate are framed screen drying-racks. They are continually being pulled in and out, and for adequate strength, you'd have to mortise or dovetail the joints, then stretch and fasten window screening to the wood a job requiring building jigs, a stretching frame, plus precision tools and set-up time not warranted by a single project. I have the tools and materials but not the time, so I improvised pre-assembled racks.
Know those telescoping half-window screens? I bought three of the largest I could find (the store carried 12"-, 15"- and 24"- high screens), pried them apart and trimmed them for six ready-made screen-racks, measuring 23 5/8wide x 18 3/4 deep to give 18 square feet of drying area the perfect size for a home-size dryer. Made of strong-enough galvanized steel rail and screen with wood endpieces, they are rust-resistant, easily replaced if need be, and fit neatly into channels made by screwing and gluing wood molding to the sides of a sturdy plywood box that is hinged for easy breakdown, transport and storage.
At a hardware store, building supply outlet, or lumberyard, buy three 24"-high telescoping window screens for about $8 apiece. You'll also need the better part of a 4' x 8' sheet of finished-both-sides, 3/8"-thick, exterior-grade plywood, a small can of moisture-proof glue (the best is ugly red Resorcinol), a box of #6 3/4" zincor brass-plated, flat-head wood screws, and a handful of #6 1 1/2" flathead wood screws. If using a power driver, be sure to get Phillips-head screws. Have on hand a dozen 1 1/2" finishing nails. To hinge the box, buy three 24" lengths of brass piano hinge for some $6 apiece. For framing, buy or cut 30' of inch-square wood (square pine molding costs a half a dollar a foot; cheaper is to rip your own from any nominal 1"-thick board.) To make the rack supports, you'll need 30 feet of 1/2" quarter-round molding, or more home-cut square strips. For the base, get 6' of 1" x 6" pine shelving and about 3' of 2" x 6" lumber.
If you are handy with electrical appliances you can disassemble a toaster oven and hook its heating element to the house wiring, or shop around for a rheostat-controlled, low-power, resistance-wire heating element used in commercially made dryers. But, as a cheap and easy heat source,I use a a 25' string of Christmas tree lights (and unscrew lights to moderate heat output). Lights are strung between screw hooks under the drying racks. Optional to speed airflow and shorten drying time is one of those little plastic-shrouded muffin fans used in computers and copiers. You'll find them used in surplus electronic-goods catalogs for a few dollars, or at an electronics supply store for under $20. You might have one appliance do double-duty and rig an electric hair-dryer to blow heated air through a hole in the back of the dryer, but I've never tried it and doubt that a household-quality model would hold up long under continual use.
A thermometer is a very helpful option to gauge dryer temperatures. I invested $15 for an electronic inside/outside thermometer. Its "outside" probe can be inserted deep into the dryer to gauge drying temps while the "inside" reading warns if the unit is getting too warm when used over a stove.
Metal-working tools you'll need include needle-nose and side-cutting pliers and a hacksaw with the finest-toothed blade you can get. A flat metal file will smooth any exposed metal snags. A hot glue gun is an almost indespensible aid in tacking on small frame boards that are best fitted on the work. Buy a small one at any hardware store for under $15 if you aren't already so equipped.
First, disassemble and trim the screen frames. With a little wiggling, and screwdriver and pliers use, the screens will pry apart. Trim off all but 1/4" of the ends extending beyond the crossbar. Next, saw notches in the angles of the trimmed ends up to the crossbar. With the pliers, bend the 1/4" flap of rail sides, tops, and bottoms to form a boxed end. File any snags or sharp edges.
First, connect the side panels to the back panel with piano hinges. Placing the best side of the plywood down, lay a side panel on each side of the back panel long dimensions running up and down. Nudge long sides of the two side panels an even 1/8" away from the long sides of the back panel. Place hinges between back and side panels with the flat side of the hinges facing up, the mid-hinge bumps nestling into the space between panels. Use your steel rule to assure that top and bottom edges of the panels are even, so the box will set square. Tap panels as snugly together as you can without pushing the hinges up. Then insert the little wood screws that come with the hinges into 1/16"-wide, 1/4" deep pilot holes, drilled through the precise center of the holes in the hinge and into the plywood (use a centerpunch of sharp nail to center the drill bit). Tighten brass screws by hand, not with the power driver too much torque can bruise the soft-grooved heads.
To locate the rack rests, scribe eight lines from side to side, across all three panels every 3" from and parallel to the bottom edge. Do not fix rails to the top or the bottom lines. Apply waterproof glue to one flat side of the six 22" lengths of quarter-round molding and center them with their top edges just below the lines on the back panel. Locate the 18" quarter-rounds with one end 1 1/2 " in from the outer edges of each side panel and glue in place even with the rails on the back. As you go, pilot-drill and set 3/4" brass screws through the belly of the quarter-round rails and into the plywood one screw an inch from each end and one in the middle.
Try folding the three hinged panels into a three-sided box. Folded flat-side-in, the hinges will stop, making each corner a tight 45 degrees.If inner ends of rails meet and prevent full closure, file or saw their inside corners off.
The box rests on square-stock rails attached to the inside of a base of 6"-wide lumber. As your final box size may vary depending on hinge design and placement, build the base (as well as the top and door) around the three-sided box. Set the box square and perfectly centered in the 25" x 27" plywood bottom panel. Trim the two 27" x 6" boards (one of 1"-thick lumber, the other of 2") the width of the back plus 1/8" inch. Center the 1" x 6" on edge 1/16" from the back. Center the 2" x 6" flush against the front edges of the side panels. Trim the 23" 1" x 6"s to box the front and back boards. (For a sturdier fit, cut a 3/4"-wide, 3/8"-deep notch at the inside ends of the 2' x 6' front board so the nominal 1" side boards will snug into it. It also looks best to trim the back and side boards at 45 degreesto make a mitred joint. Just be sure the box has about 1/16" of clearance from back and sides of the base.) If the plywood base panel extends beyond the baseboards, draw around outsides of the latter and trim the plywood to size.
The box rests on four rails of square stock fastened to the inside of the base boards. On each base board, draw a line three inches down from and parallel to the top edge. Center two 22" lengths of square stock on the side boards and the two 19" lengths on the front and back boards with their top edges along the bottom of the drawn lines. Fasten the boards with glue and screws.
Replace base boards carefully around the box, maintaining the 1/16" clearance at back and sides. Remove the box and, on the plywood base, draw around insides of baseboards. Removing and replacing one board at a time, apply glue to the bottoms and to the edges of joints and set into place inside the drawn lines. Weight corners with bricks. Then pilot drill and fasten ends of side boards to front and back boards with two 1 1/2" screws or three 1 1/2" finish nails per joint.
When glue is tacky enough to hold, flip base over and put 3/4"screws every four inches through pilot holes in the plywood and into the base boards. Flip again and, for added strength, cut four 3"-to-a-side triangular gussets from scrap 1" x 6" lumber and drill a 1/16" pilot hole in the center of each. Coat one flat side and the two 45degreeedges with glue, press one gusset hard into each corner, and screw to plywood with a3/4" screw.
Now frame the top with a dual row of square-stock rails arranged around the edges so the box will nest into it. Place the three-sided box on the base and put the 22" x 26" plywood top panel on top so that it extends 1/16" more than the actual width of your square stock beyond the back and equal distance out from each side panel (you want the front to extend out a bit). On the underside of the top panel, draw carefully around the outside of the three box panels. Remove top, measure, and trim one 21" and the two 26" lengths of square stock to fit in a box-top-opening size "U" shape with their inner edges just outside of the lines just drawn. Draw around the outsides of rails, and trim outer edges of the back and sides of the plywood even with the outer edges of the rail "U." Tack-glue the three frame boards onto the top panel and screw-fasten.
Cut three 8" lengths of scrap square-stock and tack-glue them to the underside of the top, parallel to and a 1/2" inside the outer frame members (so they will hold the panels loosely against the outer frame members). One board should be centered along the back, and the front ends of the other two even with the front ends of the outer-side boards already in place. Cut two 4" pieces of square scrap and tack them 1/2" inside the outer side frames toward the back. Check how well it fits by putting the top on the box; then pilot-drill and fasten the frame boards to the panel with two 1" screws every three inches. Now, the top will fit down over the three-sided box and hold it square.
Next make the door, which hinges to the nominal 2"-wide front baseboard and is held at top by a strip of square stock you will measure and attach to the front of the top panel. Place box into base, put on the top, and slide in the drying racks. If need be, trim the upper edge of the door panel so its width is the same as the base frame is wide, and its height 3/16"less than the front opening with top on. Trim the two 28" lengths of square stock the height of the door and screw and glue them to the inside of the door so they make a flange at each side of the box. Trim the 24" of square stock so it fits loosely into the top of the box-front opening, just under the top. Center it along the inside upper edge of the door; glue and screw it on.
Then attach the door to the base with the remaining length of piano hinge. Fit the door snug against the box, so it closes the opening. Orient the hinge bumped-side up and bend up at a 45 degreeangle. Press angled hinge into intersection of door bottom and top edge of the front baseboard. Tack glue, then fasten upper flange of hinge to door with screws provided, pilot-drilling the holes. Press door tight against the front of the box, then tack-glue and fasten the lower hinge flange to the top of the front frame board with pilot-drilled 1 1/4" #6 screws (the small screws provided with the hinge are too small to hold in softwood lumber). The door will now open out flat and swing up to close the dryer reasonably airtight.
Finally, trim the last 26" of square stock the full width of the door, close the door, and fasten the square strip to the underside of the top panel in a lip snug enough against the front of the door that the top will keep the door closed. Trim front of top even with the front edge of the lip.
To provide bottom vents to admit drying air, use a large-diameter (1/2" is best) twist or spade bit to drill slightly up-trending holes from outside to inside, every 3" or so through all the base boards. (Don't try to drill through screws fastening boards to the plywood baseboard.) Set the base on scrap wood you don't mind drilling through and make a grid of holes spaced about 4" apart each way through the plywood. (For the cleanest cut through plywood, drill slowly and straight down through and into the scrap beneath it.
For a top vent, use your jigsaw to cut a hole in the center of the top (drill a blade-size hole on the inside of the scribed circle, insert blade, and go around). Make it the same diameter as the circle described by the moving blades of the muffin fan if you are using one. For unpowered, gravity-drying, cut out an 8"-diameter circle. From scrap plywood, cut out a circle an inch larger than the hole with a nickel-size bump on the rim. Center lid over hole, drill through the center of the bump and the underlying top panel; then fix lid to top with a small bolt so you can adjust size of the opening to control airflow and drying temperature.
If you plan to dry fish or use hot spices on meat or in leathers, finish the inside of the box and the wood of the screens. Apply two or three coats of sanding-sealer, sanding each coat smooth. Then paint with several coats of white enamel or clear varnish so that the wood is shiny and impermeable as the inside of a refrigerator. For a kitchen furniture-like outside finish, sand, seal, and paint white. For a living-room finish, seal, stain (with a dark furniture stain if you plan to use sun power), and varnish.
To power the dryer electrically, insert six small screw hooks, three inches apart into each side rail inside the base. Suspend a 25' string of Christmas tree lights tight between the hooks. Be surethat no bulb touches wood or awire. Cut an inch-long notch into the bottom of the rear base board wide enough to run the cord through. At the middle of one side, drill a hole under the third-from-the-bottom drying rack rail to admit the probe. Mount the thermostat above it with screws provided. Lead the semi-flexible tubing into dryer through the hole, stapling loosely along the underside of the rail, and staple the end of the probe to the middle of the back panel the element of the probe extending out into the dryer.
As noted above, food will dry (slowly) in sub-freezing weather and if given ahigh air flow will dry at any warm temperature. However, the most effective drying-temperature range is 110 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Old-timers dried foods at high temperatures; however a temperature above 150 degreeswill destroy nutrients. Indeed, recent research suggests that the lower the drying temperature, the more nutrients are retained. If you use a thermometer, juggle vent opening and fan speed to regulate air flow, so as to keep the temperature around 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When sun-drying in mid-summer, you may find that a high air volume is needed to keep temperatures from skyrocketing and cooking the food.
Drying times depend on the nature and thickness of the food, as well as warmth, humidity, and air-flow. In dry winter air, you may find that the fan alone running at top speed with vent open wide will dry thin apple slices in 24 hours. In humid weather, you may need the heat lights, with the fan moving a small but constant volume of air, to dry a batch in two days or more. Experiment remembering that the dryer the food, the better it will keep.
To keep wet food from sticking to the drying racks, either let it air-dry awhile, lay a donut of wax paper or square of cheesecloth over the wire screens for the first phase of drying, or (with fish, meat, or cooking vegetables, but not fruit products) spray Pam or another non-stick cooking aid on screens.
Lay pieces close together but with space for air to circulate between. Shake the trays or hand-turn larger pieces two or three times a day. To maintain continuous production, compact pieces on fewer screens as they shrink and move screens from top to bottom as food dries. Unload the lowest rack when its load is dry and introduce new foods to the upper level.
To use a dark-stained dryer with free and natural energy, take the box off the base, and set it on bricks or 2"-high wood blocks over a dark, heat-absorbing platform in the sun. Turn the box from time to time to keep the internal temperature even, and crack the top or regulate the top vent to maintain internal temperature.
If the woodstove is really pumping out the heat, place the dryer-box on blocks on a table that's a safe distance from the stove's radiant-heat-projecting surfaces (typically, any combustible must be kept 18" from the back or sides and 36" from the front, but check your stove's installation instructions). Open the top vent for gravity-drying or place the fan on top so it pulls air up. Adjust blade speed with a rheostat or regulate the vent cover to maintain a gentle air flow (fan-forced air will dry effectively even if cooler than 110 degrees Fahrenheit).
If the wood stove is warm but not hot, you can take the box off its base and place it on stacked bricks over the stove top. You can do the same over a gas or electric stove top if you're careful and plan to stay in the kitchen all day. But wood can ignite if overheated even if not touching flame. The inside/outside thermometer provides a safety factor; don't let the outside temperature exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit. And never set a wood food-dryer over a potential fire-maker if there is a remote possibility that you might be called out of the house.
In winter, if you have forced hot-air central heating, place the dryer over a register. In subfreezing weather, put the dryer on the porch and turn on the fan; dry-cold air will "freeze-dry" foods slowly but effectively as frozen water "sublimates;' turning directly from a solid to a vapor state without going through a liquid state in between. But easiest, fastest, and most worry free even if your electrical bill will be a tad higher is to use the Christmas-light heater with the fan. Place the box on the heater base, open the top vent, and maintain a gentle warmth and constant air flow by adjusting size of the the top vent under the fan and by screwing-in and unscrewing bulbs. If a single strand of lights doesn't provide enough heat, string on another. Wrap wires with flexible black electrician's tape on both sides of light sockets if lamps threaten to touch the insulation.
For storage, unfold the box and lay flat or support firmly against a wall to prevent plywood from warping. Fold door down against the base base and pile together with the top and stacked drying racks on top of the box panels.
In some of my recent woodworking articles, I have mentioned the pleasure I experience when using the silky, rosewood-handled try square that I inherited from my grandfather. I suggested that readers buy a similar tool, new or used, at an auction or yard sale. Well, I've just learned that rosewood is one of several tropical rain forest trees being over-harvested in the wild, to the point that they have become seriously endangered. Others over-harvested woods include: ebony, roko, padauk, and true mahogany. Coincidentally, all these woods used for ornamental inlay work and musical-instrument finger boards, as well as fine tool handles contain toxic phenols and are best not worked by amateurs.
Teak, a tropical (though not strictly a rain forest) species widely used for outdoor furniture, is also endangered in the wild. However, most raw boards and teak products on the U.S. market are from plantations (and have been in existence since the days when teak was used to deck sailing ships) and are now being certified by several international conservation organizations. Hopefully, rosewood and other endangered trees will also come under cultivation or controlled harvest providing cash incomes to people who are now burning the rain forests for subsistence agriculture. Till then, to do my small bit in reducing the total demand for these endangered woods, I will not buy rosewood, ebony, etc., as raw stock or in a finished product, new or used; I both regret and retract my earlier recommendation. Try squares come with American walnut and other type handles, and readers wanting to work with dense, easy-working but common domestic woods having all the character of an exotic, might look into the Texas Mesquite.
The Solar Food Dryerbook, by Eben Fodor. If you are thinking of building a solar food dryer, or you just want to learn the basics of how to preserve food by dehydrating, this is the best book available. Includes full details on how to build a very effective solar-powered dehydrator.
Surely you've got to be kidding us. Sorry you feel obligated to try selling a book for funding. Perhaps your heart is in the right place, but you've no engineering aptitude. My dehydrator is simple, has lasted for 3 decades [so far], works with only a 40W string of xmas lights (about 100 bulbs long) doesn't require any kind of attention during operation, any air moving fans or other gadgets. I use my old picnic cooler (Coleman polylite) which is about 22inches x 12in x 12in. Spread out the string of lights around the bottom, put in some dollar store (stainless) steel mesh collanders resting atop the lights and then just prop open the lid a few inches. The inner temperature naturally rises to 105-110 deg F (at ordinary room temps) and never overheats. I use it to sprout seeds / rye grain (only 1/3 of bulbs inside); dehydrate seeds / thinly sliced fruit (most of the bulbs inside) or malting (dehydrating) sprouted rye grain (for sourdough bread). PS- Solar powered? In my view, that's a buzzword not an effective method.
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Dehydrating was one of the earliest forms of food preservation since all it required was a safe place to keep the food while all the moisture dried out. Dehydrating foods concentrates flavors, so fruit tastes sweeter and herbs more flavorful than their fresh counterparts.
Whether you want to preserve an overabundance of home-grown produce, create homemade fruit rollups, treat your pooch to fresh dog treats, or experient making your own flavored jerky, food dehydrating is a fun and healthy alternative to store-bought snacks. You can even use food dehydrating to make your own dried herbsa great no-waste project when you have leftover fresh herbs that will wilt before you can use them up.
Electric dehydrators make the drying process nearly foolproof, thanks precise temperature controls and proper air circulation. Most dehydrators have stackable trays to maximize drying area and there are small and extra-large models depending on how much food you need to dehydrate at once.
A number of factors, such as uneven slicing, variations in fruit or vegetable size, or different amounts of moisture can affect drying time even in the controlled environment of an electric dehydrator, so taking the time to prep foods so they're similar in size and thickness will ensure the best results. A mandoline slicer can help ensure even cuts of fruits and vegetables.
This dehydrator comes with only four trays, but you can buy extra trays and use up to 30 at a time giving you plenty of drying space. The drying pressure adjusts for the number of trays being used, for more even drying no matter how much food you have. The temperature control is digital and adjusts from 90 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
This unit has a top-mounted fan, and the timer can be set for up to 48 hours of drying time. Our tester didn't need nearly this much dehydrating time, however, thanks to the model's 1000 watts of power: "just six to 10 hours for fruit and 10 hours for jerky," she says.
This model has a white exterior, and it comes with one screen and one fruit roll sheet. If you want to start with more drying space, this model is also available at a higher price with six trays instead of four, as well as three fruit roll sheets, three screens, six packets of jerky spice, and a jerky gun.
This model is perfect for average-sized batches of dried foods. It comes with five trays, but can handle up to 12 if you want to work in larger batches. The thermostat on this dehydrator is adjustable from 95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has a top-mounted fan thats designed to send the air downward and then horizontally across the food trays for more even drying.
Along with the dehydrator, it also includes two solid liner sheets for making fruit rollups or drying sauces or other liquid-like substances, two mesh sheets for other foods, and three packages of jerky spice to get you started making your own jerky. The exterior is speckled gray. Both the dried fruit and the beef jerky our tester made turned out as flavorful as she hoped.
The temperature is adjustable from 77 to 167 degrees Fahrenheit, and that high temperature means you can cook jerky from start-to-finish in this machine without needing to pre-cook it for safety. Plus, it can automatically switch from an initial high temperature to a lower one for quicker drying without overcooking.
This unit has 11 stainless steel trays, a glass door, and an interior LED light so its easier to check the drying process. There are several cooking modes (fast, raw, combination, and continuous) and the timer can be set for up to 99 hours per mode or up to 120 hours totalmore than youll ever need.
This top-of-the-line dehydrator can do it all, and its price tag shows it. If you want to save a bit of money, you can opt for plastic trays instead of stainless steel, but the stainless steel ones will last longer.
It's got a digital control panel that is simple and intuitive to use. Simply set time and temperature you can control the temperature between 95 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer can be set to operate up to 48 hoursand you're ready to make loads of dried herbs, fruit leather, or jerky.
You'll receive six stainless steel drying trays, along with one mesh screen that can be used to dehydrate small fruit, like blueberries, and one fruit roll sheet. Cleanup is easy since all the food trays are dishwasher safe.
"It didnt matter if the food was positioned toward the top or bottomall seemed to be exposed to equal amounts of heat, thanks to the rear-mounted fan and heating elements." Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
If you want a dehydrator that easily fits long sprigs of herbs or strips of vegetables or steak, a rectangular model might be the best option. This Hamilton Beach model comes with five rectangular shaped stacking trays.
The timer can be set up to 48 hours and as an automatic shut-off you can turn it on and walk away. The temperature can be set 100-160 degrees Fahrenheit. The clear lid lets you check on your food without opening the dehydrator.
Like most food dehydrators, this model includes two specialty drying sheets for versatility. The mesh sheet can be used to dry herbs that would otherwise fall through the screens, and the solid sheet can be used for fruit purees that can be turned into homemade versions of fruit rolls.
This dehydrator provides a lot of drying spacewith nine trays totaling 15 square feet to be exact. It's so spacious, in fact, that one reviewer was able to make 7 pounds of jerky (before dehydration) with room to spare.
Each tray is fitted with a nonstick screen, which is suitable for most drying. But there are also several types of dehydrator sheets available for the trays, which are ideal for making fruit leather or drying other thick liquids like sauces. If you have taller foods, like celery, you want to dry, you can remove some of the trays to make more room.
The thermostat is adjustable from 105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and it has a 26-hour timer so you can leave food drying while you work or sleep. A fan at the back of the unit circulates air evenly throughout.
Here's an affordable and compact model that's an excellent choice if you're just getting started with dehydrating your own food or you don't need a ton of food capacity. This dehydrator from Cosori is a round model and comes with 5 BPA-free food trays, plus a mesh screen and a fruit roll sheet.
Reviewers say this model is easy to use and quiet in operation. Noise level is important to consider since dehydrators run hours to days. The time and temperature on this dehydrator are set with digital controls. The timer can be set up to 48 hours and the temperature range is 95-165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The perfect starter unit and ideal for small batches, this dehydrator comes with four trays but you can add an additional four trays to double your drying space. The fan is at the bottom of the unit which means its possible for food juices to drip down onto it. So keep that in mind when youre dehydrating fresh produce.
The temperature isnt adjustable; it operates consistently at about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The bright side to this for our tester is that the dehydrator couldn't be easier to use, as there was no way for her to set it to the wrong temperature.
The trays nest for more compact storage and the cord stores out of the way in the base. Fruit roll sheets and mesh sheets are available to fit this dehydrator. The dehydrator has a white exterior with a clear top cover so you can watch the drying process. Sadly, there is no timer, so youll have to be nearby to turn it off when the food is done.
"While its a bit annoying to have to restack the trays every time you want to store it and again when you want to use it, we appreciate how this step lessens the dehydrators footprint and makes it easier to store." -Katie Begley, Product Tester
If food dehydrating is something youll do occasionally, rather than the way youll feed yourself over a long, harsh, winter, youre probably looking for a budget-friendly dehydrator like this one. It does what you need, but without breaking the bank with extra features.
This operates with just one button that turns it on to start the dehydrating process. The temperature is adjustable up to 180 degrees, so you can dry a variety of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. It includes five removable and stackable trays that are easy to clean.
Our tester appreciated the simple, plug-and-play style of the machine, which she believes will make it a great option for anyone new to dehydrating. However, useful features that could have been included, she notes, are a timer and automatic shut-off.
The Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator takes our top spot. Not only is it reliable, with an intuitive temperature-setting dial, but it's also affordable. Plus, our tester's jerky and dried fruit turned out as flavorful as their store-bought counterparts. If you're serious about dehydrating, go for the Tribest Sedona Express Food Dehydrator (view at Amazon). It's expensive, but it gives you great temperature control from 77 to 167 degrees Fahrenheit and runs super quiet.
Dehydrating isnt a fast process, so a larger-capacity machine can save you time if you have a lot of food to drythough they also take up more space. Smaller units, on the other hand, work well for little batches and small kitchens.
When dehydrating a batch of food, you want to make sure your machine dries it all evenly. To ensure this consistency, look for a model with more trays so you can space out your food as much as possible.
Because meat is more prone to spoiling than vegetables, not all food dehydrators are capable of drying it safely. If jerky-making is high on your list of priorities, its wise to make sure the machine you buy is up to the task.
Food dehydrators contain a heating element that produces low levels of heat and a fan that keeps the warm air circulating. Pieces of food are placed on drying racks, which are perforated to allow the warm air to circulate 360 degrees around each piece of food.
The heat in a dehydrator typically doesn't exceed 145 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just warm enough to evaporate moisture from foods without cooking or burning. The exact temperature to use and the length of drying time depends on which type of food you're drying. Consult a recipe book and/or the instruction manual included with your dehydrator as a starting guide.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends that dried foods can be stored on average for four months to one year. The exact storage period depends on a few factors, including how much moisture remains in the finished product and the method of storage.
Dried fruits, vegetables, and fruit leathers are chewy because they still retain some moisture. They should be stored on the shorter end of the scale because this moisture can be breeding grounds for bacterial growth.
In general, dried foods stored at lower temperatures will last longer than those stored at room temperature or in warmer climates. You can store dried jerky and snacks in the refrigerator or freezer to extend their shelf-life. Vacuum sealing will also help dried foods last longer.
Dehydrated foods that you'll be eating right away should be stored in airtight containers. To store dried foods for longer periods of time, plastic freezer bags or vacuum sealed bags or jars are the best option.
When packing dried foods for long-term storage, it's recommended to put only as much food as you will use at once or is needed for a given recipe in each package. Storing more than you can use at once in one package will decrease the shelf-life since opening and closing a package several times increases exposure to oxygen which promotes spoilage.
Yes, a standard oven or even a toaster oven can be used to dehydrate foods. However, if you're not comfortable leaving an oven run over the course of several hours or even overnight, this method may not be the best option.
Some ovens and toaster ovens may have a dehydrate cooking preset. If yours doesn't have this, you can still dry foods by setting the oven to the lowest possible temperature setting. Place foods on parchment-lined baking sheets in the oven, prop the oven door open slightly to help moisture escape and evaporate, and be sure to check your food periodically.
Cookbook author Donna Currie covers kitchen tools and appliances for The Spruce Eats. In addition to food dehydrators, she's written roundups on the best air fryers, food steamers, and Instant Pots (among many more) for the site.
This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a home cook who happens to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She happily makes space for any gadget that makes cooking faster and easier and specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats.
Small hot air food dryer machine is small drying equipment compared todouble-door drying ovenfor drying fruit, vegetable, fish, meat, garlic, ginger, etc. The food in the small hot air food dryer machine is dried by the circulating hot air. The oven dryer adopts low noise, high temperature resistant axial flow fan to deliver air, an electric heater or radiator for heating the air. The fan motor drives the wind wheels after heated by the heater, the hot air is delivered into the drying room through the air duct. Used air is absorbed into the air duct and recirculates. By the constant replenishing of fresh air from the air inlet and discharging of wet and hot air from the humidity outlet, the suitable relative humidity in the heating oven is maintained. The whole circulation system is completely closed, having 35-45% thermal efficiency, while the highest efficiency can reach 70%, saving energy and increasing the economic benefit.
1. Small dimensions, saving land area, mainly stainless steel constructed, hygiene and durable. 2. Most hot air is circulating in the oven, high heat efficiency, saving energy. 3. Using forced ventilation function to achieve temperature balance, the materials are dried evenly. 4. Multiple heat sources: steam, hot water, electricity, far infrared, and electricity-steam dual-use. 5. Low noise, balanced operation, automatic temperature control, easy installation, and maintenance.
Hot air oven is a universal drying equipment which can dry various materials. It is suitable for the heating and drying of raw materials and products in the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, light industry, and heavy industry, etc. Such as: 1. Pharmaceutical industry: Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, crude drug, Chinese medicinal decoction pieces, extracturm, powder, instant granules, watered pill, packing bottle, etc. 2. Chemical industry: pigment, dyestuff. 3. Food industry: vegetable, fruit, meat, fish, etc. 4. Light and heavy industries: plastic, resin, electric component, baking finish, etc.
The oven utilizes forced ventilation function to reduce the temperature difference from top to bottom. You can adjust the air distribution plates before the operation to achieve the temperature balance. If the temperature is low, increase the gap between the wind guide blades near the point; if the temperature is high, reduce the gap. Continue adjusting till reaching the temperature balance. Once ready, theres no need for readjustment.
1. Operating temperature: 50-140 for steam heating, max. 150; 50-350 for electricity and far infrared heating. If higher than 140 or lower than 60, please indicate. Automatic control system and computer control system for your selection. 2. Commonly used steam pressure: 0.02-0.8Mpa(0.2-8kg/cm2). 3. We can customize the hot air dryer according to your special requirements. 4. Baking tray dimensions: 460*640*45mm.
Inspired by the Food Jammers, these are plans for a food dehydrator based on the one they used to dehydrate a turkey. Mine will mostly be used for fruits and jerky but you can literally dehydrate anything with it and if you have access to a junkyard and thrift stores you can find a lot of the major supplies for cheap making the whole project less than $30.
Tools Circular/ table saw - not really needed if you have a lumber yard that will cut to size for you Power drill Wire cutter Supplies Plywood- preferably 3/4 in thick. I used 1/2 in and it worked fine though metal racks- For the shelves, I went to a local recycling center. They were nice enough to let me dig through their pile of appliances and random metal. There I found 5 racks out of old ovens and had them cut down so they were all similar sizes. they sold me all five for a $1 so I couldn't complain with that. light sockets wall plug in wire- i used 12 guage, probably could use something smaller cabinet hinges some type of closing mechanism- I took a metal clamp off an old grill that works great to hold the door closed small fan - You can usually fine these for cheap at any thrift store light bulbs optional wire mesh- I live in an area where there are a lot of bugs, therefore I put mesh on the air holes to keep them out
Figure our the size you want your dehydrator to be and cut the panels to size. Mine ended up being 19" by 16" because that was the size that fit my shelves. I left the height a 4' so I wouldn't have to cut down the plywood from it's original size. The leftover wood I used to cut feet and holders for the shelves.
In hindsight, I should have placed the shelf holders on the panels before assembling. Use screws to assemble the box. and use the hinges to attach the front door panel. It might be easier to drill you air holes before assembling as well. The largest drill bit I had on hand was 1/2" so I drilled five 1/2" holes in the top panel and 5 holes on a bottom corner of the back panel for circulation.
The only experience I had with wiring was from high school when I took home maintenance, which is basically none. I asked my local hardware stores if they had any tips and they all said they couldn't tell me anything for liability purposes. After looking around for tips online, I figured that would try using a daisy chain pattern. This is a pretty basic wiring set up. Having little to no experience in this I will describe it the best I can. Starting from the wall plug in, connect the black and white wires from the plug in to short pieces of black and white wires respectively. For the rest of this I'll just talk about one wire but it's the same for both the white and black. To the short wire you connected to the plug in, using a twist on wire connector connect two short wires. One of these will go to your first light socket, the other use another twist on wire connector to connect 2 more wires. One of these goes to your second light socket and the other goes to the third. I'm not good at describing this kind of thing but I hope the pictures help.
Place the lights and fan in the base of the box. I use 100W light bulbs and when I did a test run without the shelves the box held at 125 degrees Fahrenheit . I placed shelved 6" apart but you could do closer for more shelves. Right now I have watermelon and pears in mine. most fruits from what I have heard will take 24+ hours but I'm still experimenting. Good luck and enjoy!
They are NOT going to stop making incandescent light bulbs. They have already developed incandescent bulbs that meet the efficiency standards. Yes we will pay more for them like we already pay more for cars that meet fuel economy, emission, and safety standards. Many dry food without using electrical power at all, with using dryers that have a screen enclosure that allows natural air circulation.
2. They may be getting rid of these bulbs, but this eis simply the way to create heat. You can simply put an electric griddle in place of the bulbs... Or a heating element, or a hair dryer... Anything that creates heat. Simple fixes for the doubters in the comment section here.
This giant version of an Excalibur is far less food-safe than its competitor. Heating a giant formaldehyde-plywood container up with Grid-based electricity, with food on aluminum screens may not be the best option. For the past 30+ years we've used a radiant solar dryer we designed back in 1985. It uses stainless steel screen, doesn't off-gas into the food, and uses only sunlight for heat. The design has been used both for household and commercial drying, and has been modified for various climates and foods, worldwide, since then. It was even featured in a United Nations alternative energy publication in the late 80's. If you are interested you can see our version of it here:
Use a 600 watt come element (just one) instead of light bulbs - these will never be banned, probably. You may need a thermostat to control it if it gets too hot - a lower element water heater thermostat is a good one for this.
The steps you are telling is simple and humble to set compost screen stainless steel wire mesh. The racks should be chosen with the high quality to extend durability. http://brand4india.com/wire-mesh-suppliers/products/stainless-steel-wire-mesh/
To use this unit correctly you need the following temps, Herbs= 105F, Fruit n veg =135F and Fish n Meat=150F to 155F. 12v fans easy found in old pcs and there power pack are easy to wire, put a few in to move the heat around even. Bulbs are the best way to heat this unit cheap but remember its the heat you need heating the food not the light. If your going to use mains power and you only want it for lets say fruit n veg you could fit a basic thermal switch that opens contacts at 135F this way you should get the perfect drying temp for them type of produce. Its also a good idea to check the temp in each tray bay some movement of the fans will be need to get the heat just rite. A unit of the above size will need 4 one inch vent holes top and near the bottom if you make the vents on diffrent sides this will help promote air flow in your cabinet...One last point you should use pot light fittings as this units get rather hot around the bulbs and the fitting will burn and go brown, it may even give of some gases that may affect your food over time, good luck with your project and happy drying;-)
I did watermelon but it turned out kinda weird. Some people I work with said that the melon tasted over ripe so that may have been the case. I lost some that fell through the grates. I have used my cooling racks that stack easily to dry bananas which turned out amazing. Gordrh, I didn't think about using a metal mesh for shelves. I do have some leftover metal mesh used for window screens. I haven't noticed the plywood affecting the taste but the watermelon had a strange smell that may have been from the plywood.
In a house plug, the black wire is the Hot wire. The White is a neutral/ground. Whites can be hooked from one item to another item's hot black putting them in series. The downside is that when in series, the things further down the line depend on the power to go through the first things. The best is to have the small prong (hot/black) hooked to all black hots(tip of the bulb), then have the large prong (white/neutral)hooked to all the white wires(outer edge of the bulb). Black wire | | / | \ OOO BBB OOO \ | / | | White wire
I'm going to have to try the hanging food with toothpicks idea. I've lost some of the watermelon I have in right now from it shrinking and falling off the racks. I've had someone else say the same about temp with jerky but the way I make it the brine I soak it in actually cooks it. I've dried it multiple times before with just a box fan and no heat but with no issues.Get in Touch with Mechanic