Food dehydrator is more than preserving the food. It preserves a centuries-old tradition. Across the globe, people preserve food by drying under the sunlight. Obviously, it is necessory in ancient time to survive the cold winter. Today, it is more of a delicacy. We still do it because the dried food is so delicious to give up.
The traditional way of drying under the sunlight is difficult in city environment. We don’t have the space and sunshine in buildings to make it possible.
Today, you can buy a food dehydrator from home appliance shop to dry the food by hot air. It is costly, not just the up-front cost of the machine, but the running cost as well because it uses lots of electricity to generate the hot air.
I built an effective food dehydrator using simple materials from home accessories shop. The following are the material you need:
A metal-blade fan (9-12 inch blade diameter) that can tilt to horizontal level [ HK$220 ]
40x40cm Barbecue Grate (3-4 pieces) [ HK$12@ ]
Hanger (12 pieces) [ HK$12 ]
Nylon cord [ HK$6 ]
The metal-blade fan is recommended because it produces strong wind and dries the food fast. Once you have the materials ready, you can make the food dehydrator in minutes. The following is the working model.
The nylon cord attached the top barbecue grate to the support on the top. The hangers connect the grates together. The fan is placed at the bottom with the wind blowing up. The fan power consumption is 28W, which means running 24 hours is only using 672W (0.672kWh) electricity. It is very economical when you compare to the power consumption of a standard food dehydrator at 300W per hour and 24-hours means 7200W (7.2kWh) electricity.
You should turn off the fan regularly to prevent the fan from overheating. If you don’t want to do it manually, you can buy a electric wall socket timer to turn off the fan regularly.