Solar food dehydrator
Posted by Solar energy guru | Filed under Solar powered products
If you have an outdoor garden then you already know how difficult it can be to dry your fruits and vegetables. When you end up harvesting way too much when the gardening season is over you will likely find yourself having difficulties keeping up with all the food. If you want to make the drying process as pain free as possible you should definitely consider using a solar food dehydrator. By using a solar food dehydrator you will be able to dry your fruits and vegetables and then store them for much longer than you would normally be able to. If you dry the food properly then you will be able to store it for over six months in most cases. A solar food dehydrator is definitely the best and easiest way to do this.
What Is A Solar Food Dehydrator?
A solar food dehydrator is a device that dries food solely with solar energy. This is an alternative to using an electric food dehydrator and is much more convenient as it does not require electricity to work. Solar food dehydrators are usually custom built and you could probably build one at home if you had the right materials.
How Does It Work?
A solar food dehydrator works with solar energy in order to dry the food you put in it. This is the reason why a solar food dehydrator is really a great option, simple because it does not need to use any electricity at all. Therefore, drying food in the summer could not be any easier or cheaper than it is when you use this type of food dehydrator.
There are different methods that you could follow when drying food but generally this will be the most reliable one to follow:
- First you will have to cut the food into smaller pieces so it is sized perfectly for the dehydrator.
- After you cut the food up you will have to dip the small pieces into citrus juice or a different type of acidic solution. Alternatively you could blanch the pieces of food instead.
- Now the food will be ready to place into the solar food dehydrator. When you put the pieces in you will want to make sure they are placed in single layers.
- As the food is drying you will want to continuously flip it all over until it is done.
- While there is no specific way to know when the food is dried as much as it needs to be, generally vegetables will become crispy and fruits will become leathery once they are done.
If you want to go the extra mile then you could flavor the food when you put it in the solar food dehydrator. Just add some sweeteners to your fruits or spices to your vegetables and you will notice a dramatic difference in flavor when you eat it.
Solar Food Dehydrator vs. Electric Food Dehydrator
You may be wondering if there are really any advantages to using a solar food dehydrator instead of an electric food dehydrator. Well, there are. Simply, the main reason why a solar food dehydrator is beneficial is that it does not require electricity to be used. However, with this there are still some downfalls. An electric food dehydrator can work at any time as it uses electricity and not solar energy. On the flip side to this, you cannot use a solar food dehydrator if the sun is not out or if the weather is not right.
It may seem that an electric dehydrator may be the way to go but you should still consider a solar dehydrator instead. If you decide to buy an electric food dehydrator then you should be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars easily as many models can cost over $200 at most stores.
In closing, deciding whether a solar food dehydrator is the right choice or not is mostly based on your budget. It is possible to make a solar food dehydrator at home without having to spend a penny if you have the right supplies but there are still disadvantages as well. If you are going to need to have immediate access to a food dehydrator and need to use it during the winter months as well then a solar food dehydrator may not be right for you. Otherwise, building a solar food dehydrator is definitely a great choice and it can make drying your food a whole lot easier and it will eliminate the need for using electricity as well.