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A must read for Jerky Lovers, a homemade dehydrator!

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posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 04:04 PM
That's really cool. Perhaps for your next project you could try to make a solar version of this, similar to a solar oven. That would be really helpful for when there's no power.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 04:34 PM
I have been using the commercial WalMart dehydrators.

I have been able to find a number of them at thrift stores for $5 dollars and i buy only two brands

I now have two stacks of about 10 trays and a number of spare heat units

The trays are interchangeable and you can take trays for two or more units and stack them as one bigger unit
Mine are stacks of trays from 5 units with a lid and heater unit
This gives me a super size unit.

To store the dry jerky i use Mason jars.
you fill the jars with jerky and add a oxygen absorber then put then in a oven at 150º for 20 min.with just the seal lid setting on the jar and the threaded ring only a half turn.
When you take the jars out you just turn the threaded ring tight

If the jerky is going to be later used for soups or other non stick uses you can grind it before canning and put more in the jars.
But you will need to increase the heat and time during canning.

almost anything that you find dried at stores can be dried at home and stored in jars.

edit on 30-9-2011 by ANNED because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 05:24 PM

Originally posted by ANNED
I have been using the commercial WalMart dehydrators.

I have been able to find a number of them at thrift stores for $5 dollars and i buy only two brands

What brands do you like to stick with?

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 05:31 PM
reply to post by ANNED

Ohh, but the trays are so messy, and you have to clean them afterwards. Takes all the fun out of it, plus, in a SHTF scenario, water will be a rather precious commodity.

I like your canning technique, that would preserve it better than a ziploc bag and refrigeration. Unfortunately, jerky doesn't last too long in my house. Your method is good for long term storage.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 05:40 PM

Originally posted by JacKatMtn
reply to post by Druid42

Very innovative, thanks for sharing..

It reminded me of another method I have been meaning to try..

Now I have two methods to see how they perform, I do have the regular dehydrator but you can only make so much at a time, I would much rather have a larger setup like you created

Eww, read your instructable. Not liking it.

1. Filters are used once or twice.
2. They hold a small volume. Maybe a lb at a time.
3. Takes ten hours.
4. I wonder if it really works?

Good idea overall, but I'd rather be creative with cardboard and tape. A personal preference.

If you build one of my contraptions, please post your results. I'd love to see them, and yes, I was going for the most drying capacity possible in the smallest amount of room. The benefits are the reduced cleanup time and novelty of a simple device. It works well, minimal effort to build, and is re-usable to the point of your own desire to create a new one.

edit on 9/30/11 by Druid42 because: fixed the quote tags

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 05:50 PM
I felll wery about doing this with cardboard because the risk of fire. You may save 30 dollars on jerky but will you lose a 100k house? I have some extra wood laying around, I think I will use that and turn it in to a something I can set on the kitchen counter.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 05:59 PM

Originally posted by wastedown
Hey Druid, Great Thread!!!

Can you please post a pic or to of the internals where you connect the boxes?

I didn't photograph the assembly process, but it's easy enough to figure out. Take the big box, which is your heat collector/drying area, assemble it, then take the dimensions of your space heater (height x width), and mark in pencil the size you need to cut out. The cardboard tunnel for your heater is inch bigger than your heater. That allows 1/2 inch on each side to prevent overheating.

Also, do you seal around the heater inside the smaller box to prevent the air escaping?

Nope. The heater is injecting lots of ambient heat into your collection chamber. You want a loose fit to remove your heater for other uses, plus, it just sits there. No fasteners required, as it's the simplest design I could think of. Air-flow is the key, and remember, the excess heat is also being absorbed by the surrounding room, so you are still using your heater for it's original purpose, with a beneficial side effect.

I have been doing a lot of research lately on storing food items without electricity.

My only issue with the design is the need for power. I was thinking though... in a SHTF situation the power could be acquired through some "black ops". If solar panels can be added to electric cars to run the air conditioning without using the main batteries, I am sure one could be "acquired" and adapted to power some small items like your dehydrator.

My design can be scaled back if needed. I could run a 300 watt model heater, instead of 1500 watts, and I have an inverter for my truck that produces 500 watts, so I could easily take the dehydrator on the road, if need be.

If we ever loose the electric grid, a redesign is required, but it would be a wood fired version utilizing the same parameters, with air-flow determining the heat produced and the drying temp. I'd probably make a sheetmetal version then, and place the heat tunnel over the edge of the coals, and let induction run it's course, with no fans or electricity required. The sheet metal version wouldn't catch fire, like the cardboard box design would.

Adaptability is the key to survival.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:07 PM
reply to post by Druid42

I certainly will update when I can get around to trying your setup.. most likely, something I will take up next spring..

As far as the box fan method, I would probably use one filter (next to fan to keep any dust from blowing on the jerky) and fabricate a better jerky tray arrangement fabricated from something other than those filters, could probably use it in combination with your box deal with the skewers, I really like that approach.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:15 PM
This is SO AWESOME!!! I bought a "dehydrator" at Goodwill and it took DAYS to dry my meat. It's was horrible!!! I am so going to try this! Thanks very much for the pics too!

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:22 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:26 PM
This is just great and exactly what I was looking for.
I was wondering ...

If I put two or three skewers and a piece of something like aluminium screening on the you think it would work?

That way I can dry slices of bananas and such.

I have one of these small heaters and I want to start tomorrow.

Thank you so much!!

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:28 PM
Another option is to just check out craigslist. I go to yard sales all the time and see dehydrators for pennies on the dollars in excellent condition. These are the ones with trays.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:32 PM
so technically, if you had a holder for a hair dryer, like a blow dryer, you could rig something like this up on a smaller scale?

i'd like to make fruit jerky and veggie jerky.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:35 PM
reply to post by Druid42

Good on you Druid, for introducing and getting us thinking about dehydration. One of the hardest things in my experience to dehydrate are tomato seeds; there is a fine balance between heat, air movement and humidity that makes for drying a delicate seed such that it can be used to grow a plant.

I make coconut oil and since I use a hand-crank oil expeller, I have to dehydrate the coconut first. i've made a solar-powered dehydrator based upon this design,.

I want to be able to dry fish, make jerkey, dry seeds and vegetables and fruit. This does it all, with no fuel/energy cost, just the sun.

I really respect that you've posted this, and posted it in 'survival'. This is the kind of information we all are going to have to absorb and master in order to survive in the next wave of humanity. IMO. I think we're all going to have to look backward several generations to what worked and emulate those ideals, and perhaps tweak them with the knowledge we've gained in the past 50 years.

Good job. BTW, your jerkey looks to have that perfect glaze that makes it last a long time. My Mom taught me how to make pemmican and she also made jerkey. If it is properly salinated and has a baked glaze, that is almost bacterially impervious and can be stored away for a very long time and still be fit to eat. Can't tell for certain, of course, but your jerkey has the appearance of that baked glaze.

Mom always said, "make sure you cut all the fat off the beef before making jerkey. It won't do you any good; it won't do anything but turn rancid."

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:42 PM
Got to try this! Looks to easy to work, but does. Can't wait to try it. Thanks

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:51 PM
Over the winter I acquired a hefty amount of venison and was trying multiple methods of preparation. As a jerky lover, I decided to make my own. I did a lot of research, and to be honest... the easiest way was to use an oven.
I would lay the meat across the oven racks after a day of marinating. Set the oven to between 140-210 and leave the oven door open a couple of inches. Usually I would find something laying around the kitchen and wedge it in the door to keep it propped open. Lay foil along the bottom of course to catch any drip, and the viola! The jerky using this method was quick and effective.
However, I do like your method, very creative. Ultimately I would like to build an off grid dehydrator without reliance on electricity somehow.
But until then, the oven method works like a charm.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:51 PM
reply to post by Druid42

D00d you are a legend. I was only thinking of making my own jerky yesterday. I've actually seen a machine on tv that can marinade any meat all the way through in like 10-15 mins, pretty much it keeps turning the meat over with all the marinade in the machine... like a little sideloaded washing machine, but it marinades instead LOL.

Anyways that is genius good stuff. Thanks for your hard effort. I'm going to go get myself some beef, and a few card board boxes, some skewers, a temperature guage, some foil, and a little portable heater. Oh and some marinade..

You rock!

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 07:00 PM
reply to post by Druid42

You sir,

are a freakin genius!!!

I only have one question.

Can you come up with a cheap source of meat LOL!

I've seen where you can use pig but I'm just too chicken to try (sorry for the joke but i'm actually serious).

have you done this? What was your method for safety? I've done a ton of beef and venison.

Recipe? I usually never wrote it down but the basics were like yours.

Plenty of salt (preservative), a lot of black pepper (I like it with kick), Worcestershire, soy.

It just occured to me, in place of syrup, why not honey? Honey is antibacterial and will inhibit growth.

hmmm. maybe i need to make a batch?

Funny, you make beer and I make wine.

whats your beer recipe if you dont mind?

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 07:00 PM
I can not wait to try this. I love beef jerky. I have tried other methods at home, but this sounds like a great thing to try.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 07:10 PM
reply to post by Druid42

OH hold on so are you talking about 120 - 160 degree FAHRENHEIT or CELCIUS???? ;-P

(actually no need i figured it out.. Here is a Jerky Safety website that explains how to kill the bacteria in different ways etc...

What are the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline's Recommendations for Making Homemade Jerky? Research findings support what the Hotline has been recommending to callers. Additionally, safe handling and preparation methods must always be used, including: Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after working with meat products. Use clean equipment and utensils. Keep meat and poultry refrigerated at 40 °F or slightly below; use or freeze ground beef and poultry within 2 days; whole red meats, within 3 to 5 days. Defrost frozen meat in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter. Marinate meat in the refrigerator. Don't save marinade to re-use. Marinades are used to tenderize and flavor the jerky before dehydrating it. Steam or roast meat to 160 °F and poultry to 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer before dehydrating it. Dry meats in a food dehydrator that has an adjustable temperature dial and will maintain a temperature of at least 130 to 140 °F throughout the drying process.

edit on 30-9-2011 by DaRAGE because: (no reason given)

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