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  #1  
Old 09/28/09, 06:03 PM
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Dehydrator without manual~ how do I work this thing?

Husband bought me a Round "doughnut shape" dehydrator from outdoor sportman catalog many many moons ago. Rarely ever used it since there was no manual or brand name to guide me.
This one at the following link has the lid top with adjustable "vent dial" exactly like mine.
http://www.sausagemaker.com/32215fooddehydrator.aspx
I have brought the dehydrator out of the catacombs and am determined to use it for my sun dried tomatoes (San marzano's)-of which I have about 25 lbs.
It has a fan on the bottom and I have about 20 trays- not that I use all of them at once but have them.
There is a vent dial on top and I have not a clue how to use it for drying effect. Do I leave it all the way open? part way? or close it shut?
It takes almost 24 hours to get just 1 tray worth dried when I used just 1 tray of the small tomatoes-cut in half and seed removed (which I did save for next year crop ) Not sure wat position I put the dial on though...
So any tips on using this thing?

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Old 09/28/09, 07:04 PM
Alice In TX/MO's Avatar
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Put in the name and model number of your dehydrator into Google with the words Owner's Manual after it. You should get a link to the paperwork you need.

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  #3  
Old 09/28/09, 07:07 PM
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Perhaps you could write or e-mail the manufacturer and explain that you've lost the manual? As for the tomatoes, I'd go ahead and start slicing and drying so they don't spoil. Is there a thermostat to regulate the temp? Most fruits & veggies need about 125 deg for successful drying.

NeHi

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Old 09/28/09, 07:08 PM
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Alice's advice is probably better'n mine. Thanks, Alice. I didn't know you could do that.

NeHi

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  #5  
Old 09/28/09, 07:38 PM
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thats actually one of the reasons I am lost on it- there is no brand name on it or the box it came in.
He bought it about 10 years ago through one of the outdoor sportsman specials. Made in china I think...
Really just need to figure out the vent dial.
Anyone else have one with that style dial that could throw out some how to work it tips?

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  #6  
Old 09/28/09, 08:33 PM
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Maybe you could download the manual for the one that you posted the picture of. If might have good directions for how to operate the vent dial.

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  #7  
Old 09/28/09, 09:02 PM
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i have an nesco/american harvester actually 2 my wife bought a second that i am NOT allowed to make jerkey in they are of a very similar design the recepies for the nesco/American Harvester would probably work fine in yours


http://www.nesco.com/category_449f7f01f1ea/

the one in the pic looks like my wifes it is the newer design but my older one looks like your pic with heat and blower on the bottom same recipies for either work time varys slightly and hers is easier to clean with the motor and such never getting dirty.

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  #8  
Old 09/28/09, 09:41 PM
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well, you want the food to dry, so I'd leave that vent wide open - so the warm moist air can get out.

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  #9  
Old 09/29/09, 06:04 AM
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Thank you guys! That dial vent was what confused me. I was not sure if it was to be closed so heat stays in or what.LOL. I know it sounds silly now that I see it should stay open so moisture goes OUT.
I was just not sure what the purpose was since no one else I know has one or even knows how to work it.
Thanks again!

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  #10  
Old 09/29/09, 06:42 AM
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I'm only guessing - but the vent must be adjustable for a reason. It will be trial and error...tho with most fruits & veggies constant. jerkies will require higher heat, herbs less.

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Old 09/29/09, 07:36 AM
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Also if you use more than 1 tray, switch them arround once in awhile so they dry more even.

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  #12  
Old 09/29/09, 09:58 AM
Brenda Groth
 
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the vent is to let out the hot air..so if you are using it to dry..open it..esp if the food is very damp..and if you are using it for yogurt or something like that..close it to keep in the warm moist air.

dryers can be used for more than drying.

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Old 09/29/09, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thswan View Post
Also if you use more than 1 tray, switch them arround once in awhile so they dry more even.
Eeven if you only use 1 tray of food put it in the middle and put at least a few on this was in my directions and it does work best with 3-5 trays on and the food in the middle

one tray doesn't get good air flow all by it's self
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  #14  
Old 09/29/09, 12:04 PM
 
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Adjustable vent - start with it wide open. That's when you have the most moisture to get rid of. Then, as the drying continues, gradually close the vent if you need to retain more heat. Don't close it completely, but maybe 1/2 to 3/4 closed near the end of the drying session.

Put a dial thermometer in the vent to measure your drying temperature. This could have been produced for making jerky only. If that's the case, it may be running too high for best results for herbs, fruits and veggies. They dry at a much lower temp to prevent case hardening and to preserve the nutrients.

Look where the electric cord goes into the unit. There should be a plate or label with electrical information about the unit. Perhaps that'll have a brand name and model number. Oh, and I agree about downloading the manual for any similar shaped dehydrator will give you a lot of information that'll be applicable to yours.

Hope this helps,
Lee

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  #15  
Old 09/29/09, 06:17 PM
 
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Our dehydrator doesn't have a vent dial -- it's always wide open -- but does have a temperature dial on the bottom of the unit.

With the trays we have, it will hold 11 lbs. of paste tomatoes and take 24 hours to dry them to the brittle stage. I slice them as thick as will fit on the trays and turn the temperature all the way up, generally first thing in the morning. I rotate the trays several times during the day, turn the temperature down to about halfway at bedtime, and in the morning almost everything is dry.

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