Author Topic: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?  (Read 4369 times)

Offline stephense

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can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« on: September 09, 2011, 10:43:20 am »
I was thinking about buying a dehydrator to preserve fruits, veggies, as well as meats and I wanted to know if you can dehydrate foods (with out the smoking process) with a smoker?  Any input would be appreciated. 

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 11:02:07 am »
Most dehydrators that don't have a temp setting operate around 150*.

You would need some way to keep the temps in that range.

I would think you would need some way to circulate the air.

On meats, they would have to have cure#1 added to them.

OH Yea! Welcome to the Forum.

Offline Gizmo

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 12:36:24 pm »
Typically lower temperatures and airflow are used for non-meat foods.  A dehydrator with a fan is a better way to go IMO.
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Offline ghost9mm

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 12:39:08 pm »
What Gizmo and CRG said...
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2011, 01:00:25 pm »
Hi stephense;
Welcome to the forum.

I have used mine for dehydrating vegetables and whole muscle jerky, using a temperature controller. I like to set it at 140°F, and you will have to rotate the racks frequently; top to bottom/front to back. You will also find that you will need to remove some pieces early, as the tray will not dry evenly. So it can be done if you don't have a dehydrator, but it is time consuming.


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Offline viper125

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2011, 12:56:36 pm »
Hab, I realize this is a old post. But I want to bring up a new idea. I know the trick to dehydrating isn't heat but airflow. Now I can't help but wonder if people who have done the fan mod can now do dried fruit. If a little heat is needed their would be several options I would think. With a pid you could set it low,you could run SG with out pucks ( don't like that much) or if you have a small hot plate insert that and use with the fan. Amy I making sense or just babbling?
A few pics from smokes....
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Inside setup.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 01:39:27 am »
With the fan it would improve the dehydrating ability of the Bradley. The heat does helps accelerate the dehydration. Either of your suggestions could work, but if you have the OBS; using the element with the slider adjusted to provide little heat would probably work better than adding a hot plate.

I have dried fruit (apples, pineapple and bananas) in small amounts, but note you will obtain a slight smoke flavor even if you don't use smoke.



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Offline cgaengineer

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can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2011, 07:10:20 pm »
I use an Excalibur 9 rack unit for both meat an veggies, it's equipped with a fan, a timer and temp control...the cabelas unit is a direct copy of Excalibur but made in China...think twice before buying it, support the family in Cali who makes the Excalibur.

In addition to my dehydrator, I also use my smoker...I can lightly smoke my food and finish in the Ex...works great. I have also use just the smoker...the only difference I see between the two is I don't have to babysit the Ex and I can do veggies without smoke in the Ex.


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Offline CoreyMac

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2011, 09:36:05 am »
Hab, I realize this is a old post. But I want to bring up a new idea. I know the trick to dehydrating isn't heat but airflow. Now I can't help but wonder if people who have done the fan mod can now do dried fruit. If a little heat is needed their would be several options I would think. With a pid you could set it low,you could run SG with out pucks ( don't like that much) or if you have a small hot plate insert that and use with the fan. Amy I making sense or just babbling?

I actually did somehing very similiar to this 2 days ago with my 4 rack digital. I did a smoke extractor mod for my garage (mounted on top of smoker) I found with the fans on full and all the holes plugged it creates a wind tunnel effect. I just had to set the heat alittle higher than the digital setting because some of it was getting drawn out but it dried very well. (jerky) came out exactly like my dehydrator. I can't see why non meat wouldn't work, but as stated you have to tend it quite often.

devo

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2011, 10:01:45 am »
Hab, I realize this is a old post. But I want to bring up a new idea. I know the trick to dehydrating isn't heat but airflow. Now I can't help but wonder if people who have done the fan mod can now do dried fruit. If a little heat is needed their would be several options I would think. With a pid you could set it low,you could run SG with out pucks ( don't like that much) or if you have a small hot plate insert that and use with the fan. Amy I making sense or just babbling?

I actually did somehing very similiar to this 2 days ago with my 4 rack digital. I did a smoke extractor mod for my garage (mounted on top of smoker) I found with the fans on full and all the holes plugged it creates a wind tunnel effect. I just had to set the heat alittle higher than the digital setting because some of it was getting drawn out but it dried very well. (jerky) came out exactly like my dehydrator. I can't see why non meat wouldn't work, but as stated you have to tend it quite often.



Just like Cory did works for me. Using my fan on high speed and low temps set on my pid works.

Offline viper125

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2011, 04:26:10 pm »
Never heard of a smoke extractor mod.
A few pics from smokes....
http://photobucket.com/smokinpics
Inside setup.

devo

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2011, 04:33:16 pm »
It's just piping to take the smoke outside Viper, i'm sure you seen this before. There are lot's of different ways to do it

Offline CoreyMac

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2011, 04:39:44 pm »
Never heard of a smoke extractor mod.

Sorry, fancy way of saying a fan attachment to vent the smoke outside your garage or shed etc.

If your smoking in the cold winter like us Canadians :'(

Offline viper125

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2011, 05:17:34 pm »
Well my garage set up uses a chimney but doesn't need a fan. I suppose I good get a bathroom vent fan that attaches to the vent pipe.
A few pics from smokes....
http://photobucket.com/smokinpics
Inside setup.

Offline CoreyMac

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Re: can you use a smoker for dehydrating non meat foods?
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2011, 08:26:33 pm »
I just use a couple of the inline duct fans and it pulls all kinds of air. ;D