Preservation equipment question

I bought a dehydrator to preserve veggies and meats . I'm wondering if there's a way to keep the trays from getting nasty . I ask because I borrowed one from my neighbor and the trays had a build up of "stuff" that had been processed in the unit - mostly residue from making jerky . Cooking spray ? Line the trays with screen or hardware cloth ? Cheesecloth ? Or did he just not clean his properly after use ? This unit has a fan plus the heater , Nesco model FD-37 400 watt . Supposed to process a LOT faster than the straight convection units . I'm going to try some tomatoes early next week , and probably some deer jerky this weekend .
--
Snag



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have 3 of the Harvest Maid dehydrators. When I first got mine I bought plastic "embroidery" sheets and cut them to size. I can take them out and wash them when too much stuff gets stuck on them.
I usually run 4 to 6 trays when I have a large enough harvest. I have had in the past, when I had more energy, all 3 machines filled with all of my trays. I bought many of my extra trays at yard sales.
Boy do I wish I had that much energy again.
--
USA
North Carolina Foothills
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/14/2015 11:37 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

As Derald and Susan said, keep everything clean. I have a twenty-year old Snackmaster, Jr., bought at a Walmart at a hefty discount that still works well. I also bought several extra trays that I found at a thrift store for about five bucks for the lot. I'm not cheap, just thrifty. <G>
I bought some nylon netting at Hobby Lobby and cut the circles to match the circular trays and they work great for small items. Mostly the dehydrator is used to dehydrate herbs and, occasionally, fruit from out trees.
If you're just starting out keep a watchful eye on the machine as some of them can really dehydrate something fast. Dear wife uses it occasionally and always forgets to keep an eye on the process, thence producing really dry something or the other that is no longer edible. I tried drying some diced onion once and we cried for an hour so quit doing that.
Most dehydrators have plastic trays and they can easily be hand washed when necessary and should be cleaned after each use with fruit and vegetables. Good luck with your new toy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/14/2015 11:37 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

My last experience with a similar task was drying some Bulgarian Carrots, Habs, and misc. other chilis in the oven in preparation for grinding them into custom pepper. Okay, the wife did all the work, but I watched without getting in the way. I do recall watching her line shallow baking pans with parchment paper and placing the peppers on same. Worked like a champ and we have enough home-ground pepper for the entire planet. AD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/15/2015 3:56 PM, adule wrote:

Good man, hope you didn't try to tell her how to do it. Mine gets mad when I try to help her, the puir thing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Soak/wash/rinse. They get nasty by default with anything that's "juicy" - certainly with tomato juice I don't bother to wash them until the season is over (or before the next thing, if the season has left me out of energy.) Jerky juice I might feel a bit different about, but I have not yet felt the need to make jerky, and it's old enough that all the white plastic has yellowed... ;-) I'm not going to pick it up and find the model number, but it's the old model with white, round trays that came with 4 and can be expanded to 12 - and has been. Got some of the "removable center" trays and it gets some use in the off-season as a yogurt maker.
I don't think I'd add cooking spray to the process. I certainly don't, and everything comes off with a soak & wash. Beware that they get brittle with age, so scrub gently if you need to scrub, or just soak more.
Have doe up two batches of yellow transparent apples in the past few weeks - they improve with drying, though the peeling and slicing can be interesting (things go to over-ripe in a heartbeat, and lose structural integrity when they do.) No way to use the peeler-corer-slicer with them (few would be hard enough) - OTOH, sliced thicker than it does and left long enough to dry, one gets more apples dried at one batch that way than on ones that can go though it.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.