Solar Cooking: Dehydrating Garden Produce

by Tammy Taylor
*Contains an affiliate link

I love my solar oven and I use it often.  I love that it takes no purchased energy to run and most of all that it leaves all the cooking heat outside where it belongs.  I recently began dehydrating overage veggies from my garden.  I freeze them as well from time to time but dehydrating them looks pretty cool in my pantry.  It also reduces the volume to store by quite a  bit and it works well for use in wintertime Endless Soups – my favorite application.

I decided to try to use my electric dehydrator trays to dehydrate in my solar oven – BIG MISTAKE!  Although I left the solar oven’s lid unlatched so it wouldn’t get too hot inside the oven, it apparently doesn’t take very much heat at all to do this:

Solar dehydration failure - don't use your dehydrator rack in the solar oven! LOL #TaylorMadeHomestead

Epic FAIL!  So the next batch I placed on the three stack-able racks I got with my the dehydration kit I purchased with my solar oven, covered with a layer of parchment paper.  Much better!

Solar Oven Dehydrating Tomatoes. Did you know you could use a solar oven to dehydrate produce? Then they take no additional energy to store & take up very little space! #TaylorMadeHomesteadI left the lid unlatched to both allow the moisture to escape as well as to not allow the oven to heat too high.  I also kept an eye on the oven temperature & tried to adjust the oven toward or away from the sun to hold the temps to about 150 – 200 degrees.

sun-oven-taylormade-coupon

I found that the top rack dried much more quickly than the racks below so I would remove one rack at a time when the contents were dehydrated and allow the remaining trays just a little more time to finish.  In a few short hours I had beautiful dehydrated tomatoes.

Did you know you could use a solar oven to dehydrate produce? Then they take no additional energy to store & take up very little space! #TaylorMadeHomestead

I’ll grind these using this manual grinder or maybe my electric coffee grinder into a powder that I’ll use to thicken up my homemade salsa or winter soups.  It takes up no room at all in a glass jar in my pantry.  Success!  For those of you asking which solar oven I have, I purchased this *Sun Oven and I highly recommend it.

You can see our other SOLAR oven articles here

~TMH~

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* A word about our Affiliate Link – We are currently enrolled as an Amazon Affiliate.  Occasionally I will insert an affiliate link into one of my posts if I think it may be of interest to you, in this case a solar oven.  I purchased the oven myself and receive nothing from the manufacturer, but I love it & thought you might too. If you click on any of my affiliate links and buy something (almost anything, not just what was linked) I get a small referral percentage from Amazon.  But here’s the really important part – the price you pay for your items is UNCHANGED.

When you buy something through the affiliate link it’s a great way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket so please click often!

*Sun Oven affiliate

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Solar Cooking: Dehydrating Garden Produce

  1. Delci @ Heritage Club Stables

    Wow! I can’t believe it warped the trays like that! I will definitely be looking into one of these! I love getting new ideas! Thanks for sharing on Sustainable Sunday’s blog hop!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I was pretty surprised too Delci. But I love my solar oven – I’m making pumpkin puree with it right now – the temp/humidity index today in NE Texas is supposed to be 105! I sure don’t want to add any oven heat to the house with weather like that! ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Helen at the Lazy Gastronome

    Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party – Next week’s features that also leave a comment get pinned and tweeted!

    Reply
  3. Katy SkipTheBag

    I love the idea of using a solar oven. I’ll have to look into that. I’m sorry it ruined your dehydrator trays though. 🙁 Thanks for posting on the #WasteLessWednesday blog hop! Can’t wait to see what you post next week!

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Super Sunday Link Party #16

  5. Leona

    Thanks for linking up to From The Farm Blog Hop! I am intrigued with solar dehydrating and plan to try it sometime in the future. I’ve chosen your article as a favorite to be featured later this week on the next From The Farm blog hop. I’ll share it on the FTF facebook page and PIN it. Looking forward to seeing what you have to share next time! Watch for your article on the next blog hop which will be live on Friday. Leona from http://www.myhealthygreenfamily.com From The Farm Co-Host.

    Reply
  6. Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    Wow! I haven’t tried drying tomatoes. You always have The Best Ideas! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    Reply
  7. Kristina & Millie

    Wow who knew that could happen! I have dehydrated tomatoes and didn’t like all the energy I wasted. Using the solar dehydrator is a better idea. Thanks for sharing the how to!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve really been on a dehydrating kick this year – my solar oven has been fired up every day for about 2 weeks either cooking or dehydrating something! ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. Barb @ A Life in Balance

    Wow! That solar oven is awesome! I’m putting that on my wish list. That’s a shame about the trays. I had a Mr. Coffee one which died years ago. Oh, well. Thanks for linking up to Fabulously Frugal Thursday.

    Reply
  9. Cindy @ Upcycled Design Lab

    I just fried my microwave on a project I was working on. So I understand the epic fail. Sorry about yours. I am fascinated by solar cooking but I have never done it. Thanks for the info. It makes me a little less nervous to give it a try. Maybe when I have a little more distance between me and the deceased microwave.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      LOL Judith. Yes, TOAST. I’m looking for replacement trays and the top cover & it’s proven to be quite a challenge. Not all trays fit all dehydrators and this dehydrator hasn’t been made in quite some time (It’s a Mr. Coffee brand) Still scouring ebay & the thrift stores – although I’m easily finding the whole unit I only want the trays. I hate to throw away a perfectly working base because I can’t find trays to fit. (it’s an environmental thing for me…) ~TMR~

      Reply

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