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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 November 2013
I bought this book when I bought a dehydrator as comments on any dehydrator I read up on all said the instructions were virtually useless. As I had never dried food before it seemed a good idea to go with what I had hoped would be a good basic guide to drying to get me going. Unfortunatlly it is in American. You need to make sure you convert weights and maybe even the temperature into what you use. The recipes are very fiddly and rather messy too. Everything needs to be blanched and then dipped into citric acid then dried before putting it into the dryer. The few instructions that came with the dehydrator does not mention on many fruit or veg blanching. Only on a few. This book has put me of wanting to drying food as much as I had hoped to do. To learn about drying look for a different book.
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on 13 October 2013
This book is American, measurements are in "cups".

The majority of foods to dehydrate are "blanched" sometimes for seconds, then soaked in citric or ascorbic acid, or lemon juice, for up to 10 minutes prior to dehydrating; though I dehydrated strawberries as detailed in the book, which do not need blanching, and they were very good.

I prepared blueberries exactly as the book said - blanching for 30 seconds then soaking in citric acid solution for 10 minutes, then blotting dry. Oh dear what a mess.

I blotted as dry as possible on paper towel, then into the dehydrator, and what a squidgy mess they were, juice dripping all over the bottom of the dehydrator.

Unfortunately this has put me off quite abit, apart from the faff of blanching and soaking, I don't fancy juice dripping, the fruit has to go on the bottom tray so it doesn't drip onto other produce, which limits what and how much can be dehydrated in one go.

Think I may look for another book, anyone any ideas?
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on 23 May 2014
Whilst I think this is a very interesting book, I have not yet had my questions answered concerning the actual act of hydrating. I suspect that it is a challenging task to describe how big the chunks should be and how long you should dry the products for, but if at least I had discovered just how dry is dry, it might have helped. I am having to work on experimentation in order to discover this crucial information, because sometimes I think the item is dry, but it goes sour in a week, in which case why have I bothered to work so hard? Otherwise I think it is about right and when I go to nibble it, it is so hard that I am in danger of breaking my teeth on it, as it becomes so hard.

All I wanted the book for was some practical guidelines, and I do not feel that I have got them so far. In which case, why did I buy the book, because that is basically all I felt I needed to know!

So far as dehydrating is concerned, although I have yet to perfect the art, I have to say the results are delicious - especially for someone trying to keep the weight down, as each piece takes so long to eat! Whether successful or not, everything I have tried has been very tasty too. I don't feel that I needed a book to discover that, though.
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on 17 October 2014
As a total novice when it comes to using a dehydrator (though I've been drying mushrooms on the radiator for years), I found the book extremely useful, especially as regards timings and temperatures (though I feel the latter err on the low side just a tad, but that's common in other, similar, books too).

I don't know why all the griping about American units of measurement. Apart from cups there's nothing specifically American about them - we used the same Imperial system until relatively recently in our history. And US measuring cups are widely available. That said, it's high time American cookery writers bought themselves some scales. Cups might have been fine for the pioneers, settling the West (scales would have been shaken to uselessness in the back of a wagon), but the world has moved on - time US cooks caught up.

Some recipes are - um - eccentric, to say the least. Dehydrated cheese? Why?

All things considered, a worthwhile buy. and worth its 5 stars.

Tip - some timings might seem too long. They're not.
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on 15 March 2014
all measurements and heat settings are in American, so you constantly have to google the difference. Also no real informatioj as once youve read one page on how to dry one fruit, it's such a small change to do a different one.
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on 17 March 2015
Loads of great recipes and idea's beyond the limiting idea's I started with. Fantastic way of preserving a seasonal larder for later use! Buy this book. Forget the 'American' temperatures and measurements - it's easy to convert them these days. Extremely useful and informative.
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on 19 June 2014
As with all the books I've been able to find on dehydrating there is a slight minus point in that measures are given in cups, but this is a minor niggle, it gives clear broad guides and plenty of recipes.
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on 18 January 2015
Missing some information like- what do you do if the product is ready in the middle of the night? Can you rehydrate again later without threat of mould?. Issues on batching to make best use of electricity etc. These and more I'm trying to learn myself as not covered in book.
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on 14 October 2013
This book is very useful. I am not an idiot but I do not object to the title. In fact it was the title that caught my eye, if an idiot can understand the book then I stand a chance of understanding it as well. It is an essential reference work for anyone starting out on the road to home dehydrating. Highly recommended.
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on 8 January 2016
This is the best Dehydrator book I've seen and is in plain English, so easy to use too, plus there are things for me to make for my dogs too, it gets better and better. I've bought 4 now for myself and my sister and friends.
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