01 August 2013

I fried our dehydrator!

Before we moved to Costa Rica, family gave us a very practical dehydrator for Christmas. We used it a few times in the States for "sun-dried" tomatoes and then packed it away for the move to Costa Rica. I just knew we would get lots of use out of it here in Costa Rica with our abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.

I used it several times last year when the price on tomatoes dropped to a $1 U.S. for 5 pounds. I probably put up close to 15 pounds of dried tomatoes and a fair amount of dried fruit. The tomatoes were wonderful in pasta dishes, so I put up some more a couple of weeks ago.

This year, our friends, Mike & Joni, had a bumper crop of Mangoes like never before. They have been giving them to everyone that will take them.... the guy that makes the local designer ice cream, friends, neighbors, and fruit sellers. Every time it rains, or we get a little wind, down come more mangoes all over their property.

We picked up several bags of mangoes with the intention of dehydrating them. Once the slices are dehydrated, the flavor intensifies and it's like candy. Yum.

The first batch this week came out perfect, but half way through the second batch the dehydrator overheated and melted the fan. What a disappointment!!

Needless to say, my hero John wrote a scathing review you can read on this product for Amazon.com and hopefully no other consumer will buy this product and run the risk of a fire.

In the meantime, I did a little research to see what heat settings are used for most fruits, veggies and jerky and found my conventional oven won't go low enough.


I got to noodling the problem and suddenly my light bulb turn on. I remembered that the wonderful microwave oven John gave me a few years ago, is also a convection oven!


I checked, and this little baby has the low settings required for dehydrating. Not only that, but all the trays from the burnt out dehydrator fit on the turntable in the convection oven just like they were made for it.

Hooray, we are back in the dehydrating business and the convection oven will probably work much better with it's powerful fans.

In the meantime, if you know any one with a Nesco dehydrator, warn them of the fire hazard.

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