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solar powered food deydrator

I just came across this while researching since i'm on the hunt for a medium sized food dryer.I'm really liking it but am afraid it's too good to be true, What do you think? I have never had a food dryer. I'm trying to find someone who has this so I know how it works.

http://eartheasy.com/store/prodimages/food_dryer.jpg

http://eartheasy.com/store/proddetail.php?prod=DRYER

seems to me thats nothing more then a glorified clothes hanger with mosquito cloth on it. You can get the exact same effect by just filling baking trays with food and covering with cheese cloth and putting it in the window for like 5 days. I would not buy it.

Personally I have a Nessco dehydrator that I bought from walmart years ago. But I PREFER the excalibur, especially if you're thinking of going raw. Its not a requirement but it sure as heck helps. They are quiet pricey though, I suggest a refurbished model like this one. They work fantasticly, my mother in law has had hers for like 20 some years, works like brand new! They also sell smaller models but for less money you can buy the refurbished one with warrenty.

http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/Dehydrators-37-cat.htm

http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/3900-R-Excalibur-with-10-Year-Warranty-184-37-regular-prod.htm

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:) you sound like my son (who is 12) but he about said the same thing when I showed him, I thought maybe this had some sort of solar panel?

The refurbished one is really beautiful and it's not so much, I could save away for that. I am not sure I would need one so big though, but for the price (compared next to the regular ones), it's a really good deal size wise and price so can't see myself paying so much for a smaller one.

Oh did your mother in law buy hers refurbished? and can you buy a smaller sized refurbished excalibur from them? or is it whatever is available? it is going to take me about 2 months to save up so by then they might?

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My MiL got hers as a gift and it was brand new. Although I wouldn't let you discourage you from getting a refurbished one. They come with a 10 YEAR warrenty, which frankly is just amazing.  As far as smaller ones, I would call them and ask, they might be able to sell you a refurbished 5 tray for a lower price, but I'm not sure. I don't know if you're wanting a smaller one because you don't think you'll need it or because you just simplely don't have the space BUT You'd be surprised once you get really deep into dehydrating things how much you'll really do. If you're like me, I like to have veggies, chips, homemade granolas and such all going at the same time. That way I can do alot at once and save energy costs and time later :) Plus you may say "I don't need that much now" but say 2 years from now, if you change your mind you'd have to save back up and buy a bigger one; from my point of view thats a waste of money, bad for the enviroment, and just silly :P

In the end, its your choice but really the size difference between the 4-5-and 9 tray models isn't that much, think of it like a microwave ;)

Solar paneling? Probably not, I looked at it pretty good and tried to search it on google some more and didn't find anything to lead me to believe it has solar panels. Plus... if it did... it would cost more then that heh!

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oh also! on the solar panelling thing, if you look at the various photos of the model "dehyrdator" you can see there are no panels, call me stupid here BUT if it had solar panels I would believe they would be on top, to ya know... catch the sun rays. Clearly looking at the second photo of the top view its nothing but solid  medal or plastic.

and for the excalibur dehyrdators, its also a good idea to buy the special non-stick mats they sell, they are 7-10 dollars a piece, they're a life saver! I suggest getting 1 sheet for every 2 trays in your model. Makes granolas, herbs, and smaller items you're drying much easier as you won't have to use parchment paper or anything. If it was me (and I had the money) I would buy the mats for ALL the trays, plus they give a discount if you buy more then 5. Just another thing to think about.

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Thanks  so much for replying with your opinions and knowledge, i'm thinking really hard about getting the large one. I'm going to call them later today and find out how the whole process works and if they will even have one in about 2 months. I forage chanterelles, most to sell but a lot I end up keeping. I have been smoking them to preserve them a little longer and also freezing them.. I have never dehydrated them  but feel like this will be a kind of investment, because if I can dehydrate them then I will be able to sell chanterelles year round? maybe! that will be a bonus. My son is super excited, he has wanted a dehydrator going on about 2 years so he can make fruit roll ups and his favorite dried bananas, i'm thinking this will end up saving me a lot of money in the long run, because since I live in Washington well there is so much 'free' fruit I don't even have to pay for most of the fruit I get depending on the season of course, but this way I will be able to gather even more to preserve longer. yay.

Oh also found this because i'm still interested in solar powered food perserving, possibly for long camping trips or something, maybe it's just good to know how to build one in case of an emergency,it's a book on how to build your own. Much cheaper than the "glorified clothes hanger" ;D

http://www.motherearthnews.com/shopping/detail.aspx?itemnumber=2648

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lemme know what you end up doing :) I'm glad i could help!!

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