40 Uses for a Dehydrator

40 Uses for a Dehydrator

Disclosure: Some content includes links to sponsors or affiliates, which give me a small percentage of the sale. You are not obligated to use these links when you make a purchase, but when you do so it helps to support this site, so thank you!

Some of you have caught on to the fact that I own a dehydrator. You’ve emailed to ask me what kind it is and what I recommend – you’ve also asked me, “What am I supposed to do with it?” Today I’m going to look at that for ya…and at the end, Cultures For Health is going to let me GIVE AWAY one just like mine to one of you. :-) I love blessing y’all.

Before getting a dehydrator, I read around to see what I would like…that’s customary when Barry and I decide on a large appliance purchase…it quickly became apparent to me that Excalibur was a top notch model that gave great results. And if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right. I had already attempted to use a small, round dinky dehydrator Barry had – but it didn’t get the job done…so, we tried to sell it (no one wanted it, so to Freecycle it went!) and then started looking around for one to buy.

I was very blessed to be able to find a USED 9-Tray Excalibur Dehydrator: the top of the line. It got fabulous reviews and people seemed very pleased with it. An older single lady had purchased it, realized it was too large for her needs and wanted to downsize. Bingo for me! I’m telling y’all…watching Craigslist and asking around are excellent ways to find appliances.

40 Uses for a Dehydrator

This appliance will cost you about $250 brand new – but let me tell you…if you’re into food preservation, this is an excellent appliance to add to your arsenal. It’s rather large, so I have a station set up in my basement canning area. I do my dehydrating there and it works great – it’s also where I mill grain…and where I go if I need to have a fit and not let anyone else see me. Now that I’ve used mine for a while, I am sure if I had not found one used, I would have saved and purchased it new.

It’s not loud, it’s very efficient, and it makes drying things a BREEZE. The traditional dehydrating method of using your oven can give you a bit of a fit, but the Excalibur does all the work for you. You prep the food, put it in there, turn it on and leave. It’ll turn off when the timer goes off and you just come back later to dried food. Amazingly awesome. Plus it’s super easy to clean. The only thing that would make it better is if I could just put dirty dishes in there and come back and they were clean.

So far all I’ve used my dehydrator for is: zucchini chips (awesome!), drying nuts, making crackers, and incubating yogurt…because I have a tendency to forget mine is in the oven and turn it on and set diapers on fire. But today I’m going to give you a list of tons of ways you can use it…and I’m going to start using some of those ways myself, considering it’s almost harvest time around these parts!

40 Uses for a Dehydrator

40 Uses For Your Dehydrator

  1. Making Crispy Nuts and Seeds
  2. Drying Sprouted Flour
  3. Incubating Homemade Yogurt
  4. Making jerkey
  5. Proofing Sourdough Bread
  6. Homemade Fruit Leather
  7. Making Tempeh
  8. Drying Granola
  9. Dehydrating Summer Squash
  10. Making your own Prunes
  11. Drying berries
  12. Dehydrating kefir grains
  13. Preserving Pears and Apples
  14. Making Dried Pineapple
  15. Drying Herbs
  16. Drying Flowers
  17. Dry paper mache or other craft items that need to fully dry
  18. Make Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments
  19. Making Fire Starters
  20. Homemade Dog Treats40 Uses for a Dehydrator
  21. Potpourri
  22. Make Paper
  23. Drying Tomatoes
  24. Dehydrate Mushrooms
  25. Make Long Term Baby Food
  26. Make Zucchini Raisins
  27. Dry Cherries
  28. Make Raw Kale Chips
  29. Make Dehydrated Brownies
  30. Make Oatmeal Cookies
  31. Dry Zucchini Chips
  32. Make Crackers
  33. Dry Celery
  34. Make Almond Cheese
  35. Make Cocoa Mint Macaroons
  36. Dehydrate Broth
  37. Make Yogurt Drops
  38. Make Faux-Cheetos
  39. Make Eggplant “Bacon”
  40. Make PB and Banana Graham Crackers

So, there ya go. Anything to add? :-)

One winner will receive the 3900 Excalibur Dehydrator (value $249.99). Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget (if it isn’t working, try it from your computer/use a different browser). Giveaway will run until Friday, August 23rd at midnight EST. This contest is only open to US residents (sorry, this is a rule set by Cultures for Health).

NOTE: When registering for the Cultures for Health newsletter, you’ll also get four FREE eBooks: Kombucha, Sourdough, Kefir, and Yogurt guides). They are all awesome and I love them. :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post was shared at TGIF Giveaway Link Up at Fabulous Mom Blog, at Clever Chicks at The Chicken Chick, and at Homemade Mondays at Frugal By Choice, at Better Mom Mondays at The Better Mom, at Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager, at Teach Me Tuesday at Growing Home, at Traditional Tuesdays at Delicious Obsessions, at Show & Share Wednesday at Mostly Homemade Mom, at Wednesday Whatsits at White Lights on Wednesday, at Welcome Home Wednesday at Raising Arrows, at Healthy 2Day Wednesday on Authentic Simplicity, at Thank Your Body Thursday at Thank Your Body, at Thriving on Thursday at Domesblissity, at Fantastic Thursday at Five Little Chefs, at Proverbs 31 Thursday Linkup at Raising Mighty Arrows, at Let’s Get Real Link Party at 365ish Pins, at The Weekend Re-Treat at The Best Blog Recipes, at Crafty Friday at Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, at Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush, at Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, at Natural Living Link Up at Little Natural Cottage, at Weekend Wonders at The Thriftiness Miss, at Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home, at Shine On Fridays at One Artsy Mama, at Freedom Fridays at My Turn For Us, at Pity Party at Thirty Handmade Days, at Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff, at Super Saturday Show & Tell at What’s Cooking with Ruthie, at Pretty & Delicious at Your Homemade Mom, at Your Great Idea Link Party at One She Two She, at Get Schooled Saturday at Too Much Time, at Show & Tell Saturday at Be Different Act Normal, at Super Saturday Link Party at Made From Pinterest, and at Serenity Saturday at Serenity You.


Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her two children, Annie (June 2009) and Andy (August 2012). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.

  • Sandy

    I have wanted one of these for a year!!! Thank you for such an informative post for when I am able to get one. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Stacy

      Maybe you’ll win!

  • htboland

    Awesome giveaway! Thanks!

    • Stacy

      Woot!

  • Beth

    I’d like to win that basement room! I grind my grain in the front yard to avoid the mess and who knows what the neighbors think is going on . . .

    • Stacy

      If the neighbors don’t think you’re kooky, you’re doing something wrong.

  • Michelle

    Dude. LOVE my Excalibur! I especially love the non-stick sheets- but I bought an off-brand on Amazon rather than the official Excalibur ones. We make lots of fruit leather on those sheets- sooooo easy! My favorite fruit leather tip- blend fruits together with pears. Pears make it more pliable and chewy. For example, apricots make a crisp, tough leather, but if you blend in pears, you get a sweeter, more flexible and thicker leather. For fruits that tend to brown while drying (like banana, apple, etc.) add a few mulberries or other berry to make the leather prettier. Before I knew this, I had people stopping me in the street to tell me my three year old was eating a huge dry leaf or a paper bag, when in reality she was chewing on a not-so-pretty but oh-so-yummy fruit leather!

    • Stacy

      I have those too….I think they might also be including those in the giveaway – but I’m not 100% sure.

  • Angie R

    You forgot #41 Make banana Bread Walnuts (http://naturallysavvy.com/Eat/raw-banana-bread-walnuts) and then go eat them with a little breakfast salad of chopped dates, bananas and oranges. Scoop of cottage cheese optional. You’re welcome.

    • Stacy

      Wow.

  • Chelle Barnaby

    What? No scoby jerky…lol…:)

    • Stacy

      No…that one didn’t make the cut. :-)

  • Dawn Aanderud-Cosby

    What if you don’t have instagram?

    • Stacy

      That just means you won’t be able to use that entry method.

  • Earlene

    Hey Stacy,
    I bought some nutritional yeast and forgot why, so now I have this can. What do I use it for?????

    • Stacy

      All sorts of stuff! It’s good in soup, on eggs, on pizza, in salads, on chicken…anything you’d use cheese for. :-)

      • Barbara Powers

        Out fav.use for NY is sprinkling onto our popcorn… Tastes like cheese corn. :)

        • Stacy

          Good one! Quite tasty. :-)

  • Darlene D

    This would certainly help with the plethora of tomatoes coming in now. And for next spring when we go strawberry picking. I got one of the dinky round ones from Freecycle and have to agree that it is frustrating. Hmm, I wonder if is the same one you gave away making it’s way around southern VA? :-)

    • Stacy

      LOL LOL LOL Oh dear – that really made me laugh!

  • Missy Homemaker

    I would LOVE to have a better dehydrator. We use ours to make jerky and dry bananas and other fruit mostly.

    • Stacy

      I haven’t ventured into jerky yet…for some reason, it kinda scares me – even though I LOVE to eat it!

  • Patty Schieler

    Hi Stacy ~ I have the same model and I LOVE it! I also had a station set up for dehydrating in my garage. Just an FYI–I used to set a timer and hope I was home when it went off, but then I started using one of the little automatic appliance timers on the plug-in thingy and it works great–I got the idea from using the same thing on my Crock Pot since I didn’t have one with a timer and I had a full time job at the time and never knew when I was getting home from work. The timer works really well with the dehydrator as well. My latest creation in the dehydrator is yummy kale crackers that are made with soaked almonds, nutritional yeast, lots of chopped up kale and a few other spices. they are my THM go to for something S and crunchy! BTW–I just love THM Tuesdays–wouldn’t miss them for the world! You are terrific!

    • Stacy

      I got one after Christmas for my crock…but I’ve never used it. LOL

  • HB Redbird

    I am totally bookmarking this page … even without the giveaway, I am SO needing this right now!

    • Stacy

      They’re so much fun to play with AND useful!

  • DougRobin Cason

    I would just love to win one of those. I have 3 teenagers and a 7 yr old. Good health quick snacks are a must at our house.

    • Stacy

      Yes, it sounds like it. :-) I hear that teenagers can really eat!

  • Heidi P

    You know . . . they already make a machine that you can put dirty dishes in and they come back clean. It’s called a dishwasher, but you keep having Barry remove them ;)

    • Stacy

      I’m the dishwasher around these parts….until my kids are big enough. LOL LOL

  • Stacy

    Yep! Nori Wraps….Crispy Nuts…Flax Crackers. Yummy.

  • Barbara Powers

    I was thrilled to find a raw “bacon” recipe tonight! Score!

    • Stacy

      Bacon….I heart bacon.

  • Holly Koppel

    Awesome! I’ve been thinking of getting one these for my mother-in-law who has a very extensive herb garden, but the price tag always makes me a little nervous.

    • Stacy

      And then she can bring you nice little goodies – I think that’s a great arrangement. ;-)

  • Stacy

    Keep an eye peeled on Craig’s List! :-) I love buying used.

  • Stacy

    I guess I’m in for it eventually. LOL

  • Stacy

    :-) Keep an eye peeled for an awesome deal on a used one!

  • Jill L

    I was wondering, with the dehydrator, they sell plastic sheets to use with it for more “liquidy” things. Do you use these, or could you use parchment paper instead?

    • Stacy

      I have the sheets and I’ve used parchment paper. The sheets are WAY better. :-)

      • Jill L

        Which ones would you recommend, the premium or the ultra non stick?

        • Stacy

          Whatever your budget allows. LOL

  • dholman

    This would be awesome to use with my blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries not to mention the rest of the fruit and veggies around here.

    • Stacy

      I love dried fruit!

  • Dawn

    I would LOVE to try out a dehydrator. Especially for the crackers

    • Stacy

      They make AWESOME crackers!

  • Nicole

    What a great collection of ideas! Thanks for linking up with Let’s Get Real! Hope our readers stop by to see this!

    • Stacy

      I do too! LOL

  • Anne @ Domesblissity

    Hi Stacy! What a wonderful post. I wish I knew half of these before I gave away my dehydrator. I just have to share this with my followers. I’m featuring this at tomorrow’s Thriving on Thursdays. Thanks for linking up.

    Anne xx

    • Stacy

      Thank you!!! I’m honored. :-)

  • orsoshesays

    This is great! Thanks for linking it up at the party on ‘Or so she says…’! I’m actually featuring it this weekend. I would love for you to link back, if you haven’t. And, see you tomorrow with more of your great ideas! ~ Mariel

    • Stacy

      I always try to link back. :-) Thanks for hosting!

  • Ogreletmama

    Sorry for not searching first!! I should have known you’d beaten me to the punch; weeks ago too! Thanks for the advice and ideas….

    • Stacy

      :-) Nah….I’m behind on my posting ideas. Ha!