How to Make Your Own Solar Food Dehydrator

10 January, 2020
Dehydrating food is a practice that's been around for thousands of years. It's one of the oldest methods food conservation methods around. 

Do you want to conserve your food for longer periods of time? If your answer is yes, that you might want to consider a solar food dehydrator or dryer.

Food dehydration is a process that involves eliminating all traces of moisture for preservation purposes. By doing so, food can last for longer periods of time and don’t have to be consumed immediately.

Does your food often go bad?

When we’re at the supermarket, we’re busy thinking about filling our pantries and sometimes don’t consider the possibility of not being able to eat everything that we buy before it expires.

That’s exactly why you should dehydrate food, removing some of their water content to preserve them without using any kind of conservative.

It’s no secret that we’re living in a time that seeks out natural products and where people are more and more driven to follow a balanced diet.

We all want to enjoy the benefits that food can offer. From the vitamins and minerals that we find in fruits to the proteins that are abundant in vegetables and meats.

But, how good is it to eat dehydrated foods?

  • Though dehydrated foods have a sweet flavor, their sugars aren’t processed and they conserve their original vitamins and minerals (potassium, magnesium, phosphate and calcium).
  • In addition, the dehydration process doesn’t alter foods’ iron and fiber content.

Dried foods provide double the energy than their fresher counterparts, which makes them a popular option for snacking.

In addition, these foods contain properties that make for easy digestion and a big help for shedding some extra pounds.

Other reasons for making your own food dehydrator

food dehydrator

When you start using a food dehydrator, you won’t need depend on your refrigerator or freezer anymore because food will keep well in the pantry and conserve their nutritional properties.

Dehydrated foods are a substitute for candies and they’re low in fat because they don’t go through industrial processing. On a further note, they make for great additions for a variety of dishes.

Visit this article: Dried Fruits and Nuts Can Help You Lose Weight

How can you make your own solar food dehydrator?

How can you make your own solar food dehydrator?

To make your own food dehydrator at home, you won’t need fancy equipment nor will you have to fuss over complicated instructions. You’ll only need some utensils that you probably already have at home.


  • Wire mesh.
  • Staples.
  • Hinges.
  • Drill.
  • Screws.
  • Crown drill bit.
  • Wooden box.
  • 4 wooden blocks.
  • Drill bits.
  • 8 wood sheets.
  • Transparent plastic wrap.
  • Black trash bag.


  • To start, you need to make two holes on the sides of the wooden chest using the drill. Make the holes in the center on each side.
  • After, cover the holes with the wire mesh and keep it in place with the staples.
  • Line the bottom of the chest with the black garbage bag. Make sure that it doesn’t tear and that the bottom is entirely covered.
  • Place the four wooden blocks on the shorter sides, one in each corner, to make an elevated shelf.
  • After, make a frame that’s identical in size to the chest with the wood sheets. Prepare the drill bit and secure the corners. 
  • The next step is to cover the frame with the plastic wrap and staple it to make sure it stays secured.

It’s crucial that there are no additional holes in your dehydrator as it could effect how heat enters.

  • On each of the corners, fix the hinges onto one of the longer sides with the screws to make a door that opens and closes the box.
  • After, make a frame a few centimeters smaller than the box. This frame will go on top of the four wooden blocks and serve as the second shelf.
  • To finish your project, cover the interior frame with the wire mesh and staple it securely to the sides.

Want to know more? Clean and Polish Wood Naturally

Using your solar food dehydrator

Using your solar food dehydrator

To get the best results with your dehydrator, you need to work with the sun’s movement in order to ensure that the light enters through the holes on the side of the box.

If you want fast dehydration, you have to find a dry place where hot air circulates.


  • Choose the foods that you want to dehydrate. Avoid foods that are already very ripe.
  • Wash the foods of your choice.
  • Cut into strips, pieces or small cubes for faster dehydration.
  • Evenly spread out the food on the mesh wire to ensure even drying.
  • Remove the pieces of food that don’t dehydrate well to prevent it from affecting the others.
  • Once everything is dried, store them right away to keep them from absorbing humidity.
  • Write down the date of the dehydration. Throw out after one year.

And that’s that. Are you ready to try out your solar food dehydrator?

  • Di Maro, Antimo; Morais, A.; Dammak, I.; Bonilla, J.; Sobral, P.; Laguerre, J.; Afonso, M.; Ramalhosa, E. 2018. Functional Dehydrated Foods for Health Preservation. Journal of Food Quality.
  • Rizvi, S.S.H. Benado, A.L. 1984. Thermodynamic properties of dehydrated foods.
  • M.K. Krokida & C. Philippopoulos (2005) Rehydration of Dehydrated Foods, Drying Technology, 23:4, 799-830, DOI: 10.1081/DRT-200054201