Homestead Hack: Use Residual Heat To Dehydrate

by Tammy Taylor

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OK by now y’all know I’m a dehydrating fool!  I bought my dream appliance, an *Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator and I think I’m in love!  I’ve put that thing through the paces, dehydrating all kinds of fruits and veggies – even Italian-flavored tomato leather to just roll out and plop on my homemade French-Bread Pizza – no rehydration needed!  I think it’s safe to say I’ve been bitten by the dehydrating bug.

I use many dehydrated veggies in my wintertime simmering Endless Soup and I use most of my dehydrated fruits as replacement for raisins in my Homemade Pumpkin Granola.  But I’ve also been dehydrating veggies to grind and use for my own homemade powdered seasoning.  I hate to pull out a large dehydrator to dehydrate such small portions and it almost seems even my other small household model is a bit much.  Check out today’s Homestead Hack, I’ve found a way to quickly dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE!

Homestead Hack: I make my own powdered seasoning using dried veggies, but I've found a way to quickly dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Veggie Trimmings Don’t Go To Waste

Recently RancherMan & I were making a spicy dish for a gathering.  Now usually I leave the jalapeno membranes and seeds in whatever I’m cooking ’cause I like it spicy!  But this time we were preparing a dish to share with others who might not have the same tolerance for such spiciness.  So we were removing the seeds and membranes as well as the ends & outsides of an onion.  As I set the scraps aside to continue preparing my dish I thought: “Hummmm…  if I dehydrated those and ground them, I could use them in place of the purchased powdered jalapeno seasoning that I just ran out of”.

Well yeah that sounds great, but do I really want to pull out my small electric dehydrator just for these few pieces?  There must be an easier way.  I had just finished baking a couple of loaves of my Homemade KitchenAid Bread and the oven was still hot. So I put the jalapeno & onion pieces on my small cast iron comal and set it in the still-hot but turned off oven.   Then I just left it there overnight.

 

Homestead Hack: I'm using redidual heat to dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

When I pulled them out of the cold oven the next morning they were all perfectly dry!  So I popped them into my coffee grinder that I keep specifically for this purpose and ground them up.  The resulting powder is stored in a labeled spice shaker bottle.

Homestead Hack: I'm using redidual heat to dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

You don’t get any more “FREE” than dehydrating in a turned-off oven using veggie pieces that would have been discarded!

~TMH~

 

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17 thoughts on “Homestead Hack: Use Residual Heat To Dehydrate

  1. Helen at the Lazy Gastronome

    Now that’s a great way to utilize energy that would otherwise just be wasted! Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner Link up! And Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  2. Janet Vinyard

    Great ideas! I’ve had the best success dehydrating onions and mushrooms! If you haven’t seen them, there are some awesome videos on youtube.com about dehydrating. Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Janet

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Ya know Janet, I’ve never dehydrated mushrooms. Why oh why is that?? I need to dehydrate some mushrooms STAT! ~TMH~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Even if you have a dehydrator, Deborah, sometimes the veggies needing to be dehydrated are so small it doesn’t make sense to pull it out & plug it in. In times like these this homestead hack makes the difference between it not being worth it so you just throw veggie scraps away and dehydrating and using them to replace an item you used to have to buy. It’s worked so well for me! ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Lisa/Syncopated Mama

    I’ve definitely taken advantage of a still-warm oven to crisp things up before, but I hadn’t thought about leaving something in overnight and grinding it up as a spice – brilliant! Hope you have a fantastic week!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I like to make my own dry bullion with powdered veggies. Those veggie scraps were previously wasted anyway so I dehydrate them using residual heat & grind them into a powder. Than I toss ’em into whatever I’m cooking to add a little flavor and nutrition too. ~TMH~

      Reply
  4. Elaine

    That’s a great idea!! (Ps I love it spicy too!) Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! Hope to see you again this week! Pinned!

    Reply
  5. Carol

    Sorry to be such a downer, but why not just say skillet or griddle instead of such a word as ‘comal’?? I don’t appreciate having to do a search on a word from a post like this. At least, add in the familiar word as well as such a fancy one. Nice post and GREAT idea, though. I don’t have an excalibur, and would like a better dehydrator than my cheapie, but doing this in an already powered off appliance is a wonderful idea and great way to save money!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      My bad, Carol. Guess I thought the picture would be a dead giveaway. (I’ll adjust the verbiage in the post.) But yeah, gotta agree with ya – dehydrating in a powered-off appliance really is a great way to save money.

      Reply
  6. Teresa

    Do you can stew meat for your soups or a quick meals. i love canned meat and used to do it a lot now have started again. can’t wait to make some endless soup. colder weather is on it’s way.Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I’ve not canned meat in a long time Teresa, usually my cooked meat for quick additions to soup are in the freezer. This winter I plan to can my broth instead of freezing though, so perhaps I’ll foray into canned meat as well.

      Reply
  7. simple nature decor

    You are having so much fun with that dehydration machine, its really a funny post! I enjoyed reading it. Maria

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I seem to have lots of those forehead-smacking moments Patti! That little comal of mine is getting lots of activity these days and when the chill of winter hits it’ll be seeing even more action. ~TMH~

      Reply

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