What is the best solar food dehydrator?
There are many solar food dehydrators on the market. But only a few comes through when it comes to performance.
In this article, you will learn more about solar food dehydrators and close to the end, you will see our review of the Food Pantrie Solar Food Dehydrator. But before we go into the review, there are certain terms you need to know about.
- 1 Solar Food Dehydrator Kit
- 1.1 Homemade Food Dehydrator Plan
- 1.2 Solar Food Dehydrator For Sale
- 1.3 Small versus Commercial Solar Food Dehydrator
- 1.4 The Hanging Food Pantrie Solar Food Dehydrator Review
- 1.5 Full Review of the Hanging Food Pantrie Solar Food Dehydrator
- 1.6 Solar Food Dehydrator Vs Electric Food Dehydrators
- 1.7 Final Words on the Solar Food Dehydrator
Solar Food Dehydrator Kit
A solar food dehydrator kit is a DIY setup that allows you to start drying your food quickly. There are many of them out there and our research shows that most of them have different designs.
Usually, these kits are packed as a ready to assemble pack.
They take up space and are designed for use in an open space. When you complete the setup, you will end up with a complete solar food dryer that you can use to dry food for all summer.
Depending on where you are buying the product from, the materials used in making the kits defer from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, there are certain things you need to look for when you are buying. This will ensure you get high quality setup.
Some of the features you should look for are:
- The dryer should be fast and easy to setup. First, the dryer should be fast when it comes to drying food under the sun. And the assembly should be straight forward too. This will save you a lot of time when you are setting up as well as while using the product.
- The dryer should have sufficient capacity. Depending on space and amount of food you will need to dry in each session, you should buy something that will be sufficient in drying just the amount of food you want to dry. If you don’t have enough space, then you should look at those design – like a wheel at the bottom – that you can move around. This will make it easy to transfer it to another area that may be more spacious.
- Food drying should be fast. Before you buy, ensure that the dryer can actually dry your food the way you like. Some food dehydrator kits can easily dry 6 pounds of food in 2 days. Depending on the capacity of the construction, the number of days to dry food may be more or less.
- It should be compact and light. Although most kits are large and bulky, you can still select base on size and compatibility. Food dehydrator kits actually exist in different sizes, designs, etc. However, the best are those that are compact and light because they are easy to move from one area to the other.
- Vent openings. There should be vent opening. This is where you will place food through as well as allow some airflow inside. In addition, the vent opening should be screened to keep insects away from tampering with the food.
Using this kind of drying will give you opportunity to spend lots of time outdoors and have more fun than before. You will also be able to enjoy more clean air and be free from the heat of the kitchen.
Fortunately, buying a solar food dehydrator kit is a long-term investment.
You don’t need to replace accessories like you would in the kitchen. And if you can maintain it well, it is something you can use for several years to come.
Moreover, it will help you lower electricity bills since you will be spending lesser on your refrigerator and other devices that consume power in your kitchen.
The most important thing you should endeavor to look at is that the kit has high quality construction and good materials. When done this way, you will be able to enjoy several years of food drying.
If you are always on the go, a solar food dehydrator kit is not for you. However, if you are a stable parent with kids, you can make use of the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with your kids and even teach them how to use the tool.
Homemade Food Dehydrator Plan
Building your own food dehydrator is easy if you don’t want to buy from outside. All you need are the required equipments for building it (mostly DIY tools, and they can be purchased) and a plan.
There are many homemade food dehydrator plans out there. If you have the budget and you are short of time, you can just purchase a solar food dehydrator kit. It takes only a day to setup and many years to enjoy.
However, if you have the time, you can just follow a homemade food dehydrator plan. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you just have to follow the plan to the letter.
I must warn you that you have to be analytical and be able to interpret before starting out with a plan. The most important things are the materials you want to use in building a dehydrator.
If you can get the materials, all you need is just follow the plan according.
Fortunately, there are many plans that cover how to build a food dehydrator from scratch. On Mother Earth News, you will find a plan that covers how to build a mature dryer.
There are 13 steps in all and you will need lots of tools, equipments, and the likes to get the job done.
Therefore, if you have no experience with DIY (do-it-yourself) plans before, I wouldn’t advice you get into this because it can be stressful. However, if you have the experience and some tools already, it’s not a bad thing to flex your muscle.
There are many other plans on the internet, but the one linked from here is still the best for now.
Solar Food Dehydrator For Sale
Another alternative to food dehydrator kits are ready-made food dehydrators. Unlike the kits, there are more options for you here in terms of budget, size, capacity, and drying power.
A simple search like “food dehydrator Amazon” will return good results from Amazon where you can see a list of solar food dehydrator for sale and you can easily choose from of them.
Small versus Commercial Solar Food Dehydrator
When you are just starting out, you will no doubt need to choose from either small or commercial solar food dehydrators.
Unless you have a very large family or running a restaurant, you may not need a commercial solar food dehydrator. Small solar food dehydrators are easy to build (if you are interested in DIY) and easy to store.
Moreover, they are ideal if you are on a budget. Therefore, I will recommend you start small and have a plan for a bigger one in the future if you are ambitious.
The Hanging Food Pantrie Solar Food Dehydrator Review
Get one step closer to being healthy with the Hanging Food Pantrie Solar Food Dehydrator, a non-electric hanging dehydration system that also works as a sprouting device.
This Solar Food Dehydrator from Duer international folds into an 3” x 13” x 13” for easy storage. The advantage it has over other models is that it is made from wool which makes it easy to fold in any direction you want.
The beauty of this model is that it is usable both during the day as well at night. During the day, you can use it under the sun and then take it in at night. In a good weather, you can easily dry your vegetables and fruits in 2 days.
Overview of Features
- Great addition to food storage and emergency preparation
- Dries food naturally, no need for electricity
- Doubles as a seed sprouter & wheat grass growing trays
- Comprehensive instruction manual included
- Retains 95% of enzymes by drying food naturally
- No electricity — no noise.
- Saves on energy bills.
- This food dehydrator is lighter.
- It is non-electric and easy to use.
- The Solar Food Dehydrator protects your food from insects and birds.
- Meshed peripheral keeps the unwanted dust and bugs away.
- Prone to attacks by big pests.
- You need a warm and dry climate.
Full Review of the Hanging Food Pantrie Solar Food Dehydrator
First, you will be able to wrap it in a small package and load it with you when you are traveling. This food dehydrator also comes with mesh exterior to prevent pests while maximizing airflow.
The problem with most traditional food dehydrator is that they often lack pest prevention mechanisms and that usually makes them ineffective compared to modern, electric food dehydrators.
With the mesh entrenched in the Solar Food Dehydrator, you will not face the problem of pest eating up your food stuffs. Moreover, the mesh contains thousands of tiny holes that will keep fresh air close to your food.
This food dehydrator comes with five 13” x 13” drying trays which gives you 5-square feet of space. This is enough to make large quantities of dry food for not only you but also your family and friends. Even with one batch, you can be sure there will be enough space to dry large number of fruits, food stuffs, and veggies.
In addition to the food drying capability, this model also works as a sprouting device. If you are into growing of sprout, it is a simple matter of putting them in the dehydrator and drying them yourself. With this, you can kill two birds with just one stone.
The Solar Food Dehydrator does not come with any fan and you don’t need electricity to make it work. This means your energy consumption will lower than if you use other food dehydrators.
Moreover, the noise that often emanates from the fan on most dehydrators is totally eliminated here. Not only will you be able to enjoy a serene quiet operation, but you will also be spending less to maintain and use this model.
Unlike most electric dehydrators, the Solar Food Dehydrator has a slow drying procedure. This means that the nutrients in your food will be fully retained since the product works at a low temperature.
You can hang it anywhere. Whether you are comfortable using the product indoor or outdoor, your preferences will be suited.
There is no restriction with respect to where you can and cannot use it. Other food dehydrators, especially electric dehydrators, need to be used indoor because they need constant power for their operation.
This problem is effectively dealt with the introduction of this model. The Solar Food Dehydrator is easy to use since it comes pre-assembled. In addition, it is durable as well as dishwasher-safe.
The trays are easy to wash and clean. Putting them in and taking them out is an easy matter. There are holders attached inside the mesh that helps to restrain and keep the trays in.
Solar Food Dehydrator Vs Electric Food Dehydrators
The Hanging Food Pantrie dehydrator has a meshed exterior to keep all the pests and dust away while maximizing the ventilation for even drying. It is loved for being durable and reasonably priced, and it is a great way to hang your food away from your kids and pets. Further, it is has a few advantages over electric food dehydrators.
1. It is conventional. Centuries back, people used to dry their fruits, vegetables, or meat under the sun – an old dehydrating method. It seems like Food Pantrie Solar Food Dehydrator has brought the time-honored dehydrating procedure back with a more persuasive approach.
2. Compact. You don’t need to clear the countertop to place it. You can hang it anywhere in your kitchen, orchard, even in your garage. This hanging solar food dehydrator gives you 5 square feet of space.
3. Works on natural energy resources. As the name suggests it works on natural solar energy as well as air. It has five 13″x13″ trays to dry your food. You can hang it outside or inside to dry up your fruits, veggies, and herbs naturally.
4. Saves money. As the Food Pantrie Solar Food Dehydrator doesn’t require electricity you can hoard much on your energy bills. In the long run, it costs you only a fraction of the electric food dehydrator.
5. Even drying. The major concern of electric food dehydrators is even drying. But, none can beat Pantrie in this. There is good space between the trays in comparison to those sitting on your kitchen countertop. It allows the natural air to rise and flow through with little restriction. Therefore, it works as efficiently as an electric food dehydrator, but more evenly.
6. Works silently. Unlike the electric food dehydrators, this solar food dehydrator has no motor, no fan and therefore no noise of airflow. This noise can be very annoying if you have to tolerate it for hours.
7. Fresh food. It got a mesh netting warding off the dust. Therefore, you can dry sticky, moist food with no dust in it.
8. Retains nutritional value. Generally, the electric food dehydrators work at high temperatures between 110ᵒF to 160ᵒF. However, the normal drying temperature should never exceed 110ᵒF. It burns the nutritional value of the food. This solar food dehydrator got an open design drying the food at the surrounding temperature. Therefore, it keeps the food nutrients intact!
9. Acts as a sprouting device. A food dehydrator dries food. Nothing new in that. But, when a food drier grows food – it’s amazing. Yes! Food Pantrie sprouts more seeds than conventional sprouting methods as the seeds get more air.
10. Easy to use and clean. The trays are made of polypropylene and thus flexible and literally indestructible. It is easy to assemble and clean.
Final Words on the Solar Food Dehydrator
Solar food dehydrators are perfect for those with a limited budget as electric food dehydrators are comparatively expensive. However, electric food dehydrators got some great features like an adjustable thermostat, stackable trays, a timer that lets you dry your food with a precision and so on.
If maintained properly, an electric unit can last for a lifetime. Further, you can dry huge batches of food effectively and in less time.
Compared to electric models, solar food dehydrators can take more time to dry your food. Not to forget, you need good sun to sun-dry your food. If it is snowing or raining outside, even the best solar food dehydrator won’t work.