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food dehydrators

Old 05-09-2020, 10:27 PM
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Red face food dehydrators

Hope I'm in the right place!
I seem to have a bumper crop of spearmint & want to dry it for tea. Has anybody used a dehydrator that can suggest brands, features, or share knowledge about them?? With the stores in my area still on shut down, I will have to rely on the on line sources. Any guidance will be very welcome.
Thank you for reading & your suggestions.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:59 PM
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I have had the Nesco FD 1040 since 2008 (Amazon) and it has never failed me. I haven't used it much in the last few years though. I used it to make jerky for my kids and treats for my little dog. As well as drying fruits, veggies, and herbs. If you want one to only dry mints or herbs, you may try the paper towel method. Just layer the washed dried leaves between paper towels and sit in an out of the way place for a couple of days or until dry. Store in a jar. The paper towels are reusable for the next batch. I used a cookie sheet to place the layers on to make them easy to move.
I know paper towels are hard to come by but I think clean dry tea towels( the thin flour sack type ones) not terry cloth would work as well.
Worth a try. A dehydrator will do it in hours instead of days though.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:33 AM
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I have one on my birthday wish list (June)...I have not yet picked a certain dehydrator but my girlfriend in California had a nice one. We dehydrated chamomile flowers for tea on my last visit. We filled 3 or 4 layers prior to going to bed and the tea blossoms were complete by morning.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:35 AM
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I have a Nesco food dehydrators at my farm home. I have used it several time to dehydrator pears and it works great, . It just takes several hours and sometimes days, so it's slow. If I have lots to do, I put some in the oven, set it on 200 and it usually takes a lot less time. I have dehydrated mint in my air fryer, set on 150 and it take about 4 hours. It works just as good as a dehydrator and a lot smaller to store.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:49 AM
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My BIL & SIL had a big garden and used a dehydrator a lot. All I know is spend the money and get the best you can get.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:01 AM
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Mint is super easy to dry with nothing much at all. Just take a few stalks and gather together at the cut/stem end (say half inch up to an inch of stems, you don't want a super tight or big bundle you want airflow). Wrap a piece of string, dental floss or thread around it a few times and hang stem/cuts up/leaves down where it can have airflow on all sides but be out of the way. You can hang a few bunches off a coat hanger for example and hang that off something. A garage is usually just fine and full of drying opportunities. Even a covered porch, it shouldn't attract any insects or cause any nuisance problem of its own.

Depending on the humidity (and you might want to let the plants dry out/not be watered for a couple of days before harvest) it will just be a day or two before it is ready for tea, but a little longer to store. You want to make sure it is very dry before storing in plastic. I usually put my home dried herbs in paper lunch bags, which I then fold up, write on them what it is and store long term in a plastic sandwich baggy.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:41 AM
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Red face dehydrators

Thank you all for your input.
I have dried foods in the microwave with paper towels & really didn't feel happy about the fire possibility. I watch food carefully, but the fire thing is scary. Where I am, we are very humid so will need to take that under advisement too. Guess I will need to research some more. I did look hard at the nesco brands. Saw two that seemed to have good features. Didn't know an air fryer does the same thing as a dehydrator. Will check them out for sure!!!!
Love all the knowledge & willingness to share. What a great group of folks to know! Thank you & do enjoy your Mothers Day holiday.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:59 AM
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I'm in Seattle so usually am dealing with moderate humidity, in super humid areas you can warm up your oven to the lowest possible setting, once warmed up turn it off and put the mint directly on the oven racks if you wish or on cooky trays. The easiest would be to take out the oven racks first, warm up the oven and turn it off. Have it open just long enough to reinsert the trays and then ignore until the next day.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:00 PM
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Default drying mint

Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
Mint is super easy to dry with nothing much at all. Just take a few stalks and gather together at the cut/stem end (say half inch up to an inch of stems, you don't want a super tight or big bundle you want airflow). Wrap a piece of string, dental floss or thread around it a few times and hang stem/cuts up/leaves down where it can have airflow on all sides but be out of the way. You can hang a few bunches off a coat hanger for example and hang that off something. A garage is usually just fine and full of drying opportunities. Even a covered porch, it shouldn't attract any insects or cause any nuisance problem of its own.

Depending on the humidity (and you might want to let the plants dry out/not be watered for a couple of days before harvest) it will just be a day or two before it is ready for tea, but a little longer to store. You want to make sure it is very dry before storing in plastic. I usually put my home dried herbs in paper lunch bags, which I then fold up, write on them what it is and store long term in a plastic sandwich baggy.
ryrer


I had a lovely mint patch when we lived in AK,I dried them the same way as this ^ and slid the leaves off into a really big glass cookie jar worked great and I had tea all winter
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:08 PM
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Thank You! I am still looking at all possibilities. Hang , oven , paper towel or machine dehydrating methods, All seem to be tried & true- just a case of what seems the most reasonable. You have given me much to consider.
I know I will be doing some hard thinking while I sew on my quilt.
Hope you all have a wonderful & bright day.
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