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      first atttempt with Dehydrator     

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03/16/2016 10:54AM
Well,

I got a dehydrator for Christmas. Pulled it out today and I am experimenting with some clementines.

I know I will do some jerky soon, but I also have dehydrated ground beef in the oven before and will try that soon.

So I noticed the tray has large holes that I know the ground meet will fall through.

Has anyone tried the dehydrator sheets?

 
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03/16/2016 11:04AM
What kind did you get? I have a Nesco FD-75pr which is also sold as an Open Country unit with a similar model number.

When doing ground beef I use either the fruit leather inserts that came with the unit or I cut a disposable parchment paper insert. The fine mesh screens aren't fine enough to keep all the little meat particles on the shelf, especially when stirring the beef to ensure an even drying.

Do bananas or apple slices. Both are easy and delicious.

I picked up a roast the other day with the intention of making jerky. My current favorite is Esquire's Whiskey Pete recipe.
 
Swampturtle
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03/16/2016 11:33AM
Depends on the style of machine you have. Square or round. Most dehydrators have 2 different sets of trays available for purchase. I have 2 kinds of trays for my Nesco. Fruit roll up or fruit leather trays are solid plastic. I use them for dehydrating ground meat & anything liquid. For jerky that is made from whole muscle meat (as opposed to ground) I use a mesh insert. My Nesco fruit leather trays look like this. Bed, bath & beyond has them.

 
OldFingers57
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03/16/2016 12:27PM
To save you some $$ go with the parchment paper as opposed to buying lots of fruit leather trays.
Also some other easy things to dehydrate are apple slices ( I use the peeler/slicer that you crank).
Strawberries are easy to do too.
If you like veggies, just take a bag of frozen whatever and place them frozen on the dehydrator sheets and turn it on. Some pieces you may have to cut up a bit smaller. We do colored peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms.
Make sure when doing ground beef to go with lean meat and drain and pat and rinse with boiling water to get all of the fat/grease off as that is what causes it to go rancid.
 
billconner
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03/16/2016 01:16PM
I'm a big believer in using parchment paper for everything I dehydrate. Just makes it clean and easy.

I'm in the extra lean ground beef - I can find 96% lean - and don't rinse group, but I do it the days before camping and super dry it - like grape nuts cereal. I don't think it will go rancid in 2-3 weeks - especially in shoulder seasons when I usually go out.
 
eroom
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03/16/2016 01:54PM
Prior to a couple of weeks ago, the only thing I used my dehydrator for was jerky and dried fruit. Now I'm dehydrating hamburger, baked beans, corn, spaghetti sauce, salsa, Manwich, applesauce, homemade pad thai, crushed pineapple, strawberry leather, and chili.

For the sauces I lined the trays with plastic wrap. For the hamburger, parchment paper was used. Both worked ok. I ended up getting some solid and fine mesh liners from Fleet Farm that helped increase the airflow and improved efficiency.
 
OldFingers57
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03/16/2016 04:01PM
Once any of my liquidy type stuff gets somewhat solid and I can peel it off the fruit leather tray I just put it in a regular tray so it gets better air flow and is able to dry both sides as opposed to just the one side with the fruit leather tray.
 
hooky
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03/17/2016 10:36PM
I've done 80/20 ground beef and it's lasted on the pantry shelf for over 6 months without going rancid. It may last longer, but it's been used by then.
 
wingnut
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03/18/2016 07:27AM
Let us Know how the clementines turn out. I have thought of dehydrating them myself but havn't done a batch yet. I have done some mandarin oranges that really turned out good, a little on the sweet side but good. The small canned pineapple pieces dehydrate down well also and are in the same group with the mandarin oranges, almost like candy.
 
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