Homestead Hack: Use Residual Heat To Dehydrate

by Texas Homesteader ~
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OK by now y’all know I’m a dehydrating fool!  I bought my dream appliance, an *Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator and I think I’m in love! 

I’ve put that thing through the paces, dehydrating all kinds of fruits and veggies. And I’ve even made Italian-flavored tomato leather to just roll out and plop on my homemade French-Bread Pizza. No rehydration needed! I think it’s safe to say I’ve been bitten by the dehydrating bug.

I use many dehydrated veggies in my wintertime simmering Endless Soup. And I use most of my dehydrated fruits as replacement for raisins in my Homemade Pumpkin Granola

But I’ve also been dehydrating veggies to grind and use for my own homemade powdered seasoning. I hate to pull out a large dehydrator to dehydrate such small portions, and it almost seems even my other small household model is a bit much. 

Check out today’s Homestead Hack. I’ve found a way to quickly dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE!

Homestead Hack: I make my own powdered seasoning from dried veggies. But I've found a way to dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE! #TexasHomesteader

Veggie Trimmings Don’t Go To Waste

Recently RancherMan & I were making a spicy dish for a family gathering. Now usually I leave the jalapeno membranes and seeds in whatever I’m cooking for us ’cause we like it spicy! 

But this time we were preparing a dish to share with others who might not have the same tolerance for such spiciness.

So we were removing the seeds and membranes as well as the tougher ends & outsides of an onion. As I set the scraps aside to continue preparing my dish I thought: “Hummmm…  if I dehydrated those and ground them, could I use them in place of the purchased powdered seasoning that I just ran out of?”

Well yeah, sure, that sounds great. But do I really want to pull out my small electric dehydrator just for these few pieces? 

There must be an easier way.

Use Whatcha Got!

Then I had a light-bulb moment. I had just finished baking a couple of loaves of my Homemade KitchenAid Bread and the oven was still hot. I wonder if I can use the residual heat to dehydrate these scraps.

So I put the jalapeno & onion pieces on my small cast iron comal and set it in the still-hot but turned off oven. Then I just left it there overnight. I’ll use residual heat to dehydrate the scraps

Homestead Hack: I'm using residual heat to dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE! #TexasHomesteader

Grind Dried Veggies Into Powder

When I pulled them out of the cold oven the next morning they were all perfectly dry! So I popped them into my coffee grinder that I keep specifically for this purpose and ground them up. 

The resulting powder is stored in a labeled spice shaker bottle.

Homestead Hack: I'm using residual heat to dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE! #TexasHomesteader

You don’t get any more “FREE” than a turned-off oven using residual heat to dehydrate veggie pieces that would have been discarded!

~TxH~

Other Kitchen Hacks

See All Homestead Hacks

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13 thoughts on “Homestead Hack: Use Residual Heat To Dehydrate

  1. Janet Vinyard

    Great ideas! I’ve had the best success dehydrating onions and mushrooms! If you haven’t seen them, there are some awesome videos on youtube.com about dehydrating. Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Janet

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Even if you have a dehydrator, Deborah, sometimes the veggies needing to be dehydrated are so small it doesn’t make sense to pull it out & plug it in. In times like these this homestead hack makes the difference between it not being worth it so you just throw veggie scraps away and dehydrating and using them to replace an item you used to have to buy. It’s worked so well for me! ~TxH~

      Reply
  2. Lisa/Syncopated Mama

    I’ve definitely taken advantage of a still-warm oven to crisp things up before, but I hadn’t thought about leaving something in overnight and grinding it up as a spice – brilliant! Hope you have a fantastic week!

    Reply
  3. Carol

    Sorry to be such a downer, but why not just say skillet or griddle instead of such a word as ‘comal’?? I don’t appreciate having to do a search on a word from a post like this. At least, add in the familiar word as well as such a fancy one.
    Nice post and GREAT idea, though.
    I don’t have an excalibur, and would like a better dehydrator than my cheapie, but doing this in an already powered off appliance is a wonderful idea and great way to save money!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      My bad, Carol. Guess I thought the picture would be a dead giveaway. (I’ll adjust the verbiage in the post.) But yeah, gotta agree with ya – dehydrating in a powered-off appliance really is a great way to save money.

      Reply
  4. Teresa

    Do you can stew meat for your soups or a quick meals. i love canned meat and used to do it a lot now have started again. can’t wait to make some endless soup. colder weather is on it’s way.Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ve not canned meat in a long time Teresa, usually my cooked meat for quick additions to soup are in the freezer. This winter I plan to can my broth instead of freezing though, so perhaps I’ll foray into canned meat as well.

      Reply

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