How to Make Your Own Solar Food Dehydrator

Dehydrating food is a practice that's been around for thousands of years. It's one of the oldest methods food conservation methods around. Discover how to make your own food dehydrator.
How to Make Your Own Solar Food Dehydrator

Last update: 19 April, 2021

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 foodremoving some of their water content to preserve them without using any kind of preservative.

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. In this regard, a study published by the Journal of Food Quality shows that dehydrated food is beneficial, as long as it’s healthy food.

However, as for the disadvantages of this process, we should clarify that drying processes produce certain alterations in food compositions. The aforementioned research emphasizes that those carried out at low temperatures or those done in a short time are the ones that have the least influence on the properties.

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.

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’ll need the following.

Utensils

  • 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

Remember to be extremely careful when using these elements. If you don’t have experience with them, it’s best to ask someone for help to avoid accidents.

Instructions

  • 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.

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.

Recommendations

  • 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 or if you see that the’ve spoiled or have a strange aroma.

The home dehydrator, an ally for your diet

The use of a solar dehydrator can be very useful when it comes to prolonging the shelf life of some foods. In addition, this type of preserve has interesting benefits and nutritional properties that can be used to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

The best of all is that it can be made at home, with basic materials such as a drawer and wooden slats. If you are interested, try to create one with the instructions we have given you. Ready to use your solar food dehydrator?

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