Our recent run of posts on dehydrating has led to a lot of questions surrounding buying dehydrators.
We ran a very comprehensive article on things to consider when buying a dehydrator – consider it the pre-reading for this article (we won’t be repeating points).
Since writing that article, I’ve learned a few things and would add two considerations to that list:
- The first one is emphasis: buy the biggest dehydrator you can afford – yet make sure that you have room to store it somewhere that is accessible and have the space to use it. I am thrilled with our 9-tray unit and thankful that both Dana and I are ok with it taking so much room in the only closet in our house. Not all would feel the same way. Despite our massive unit (I can dehydrate about 24 square feet of product at a time), I do catch myself daydreaming about running 3-4 units at a time in shed dedicated to drying…
- If you’re patient, you can find them affordably. Today’s articles highlight some examples of ways to find them on the cheap.
I am continued to be surprised by how much we use the unit and how much it has changed our kitchen. Drying is consuming more and more shelf space on The Great Wall of Preserves (so much that we are thinking or relegating cookbooks to another room). The food is fantastic, easy to make and so much fun to cook with. I often think of dehydrating as ‘making ingredients.’
Here’s some ideas on how to buy a dehydrator cheaper than retail:
- The time of year is critical. Spring is the absolute best time to find them – spring cleaning and moving are abundant and there’s more dehydrators on the market than any other time of year.
- Garage sales – especially in cottage or fruit producing areas.
- Goodwill/ Value Village. Keep your eyes out – there are multiple stories in our comments here and on FaceBook of people buying units for $5 or less.
- eBay (be cautious of shipping – large units are…large).
- Craigslist. I learned a trick recently which was to check rural areas outside of my city for equipment like this. When looking for fruit presses in Toronto I found almost nothing – when I searched Niagara, it was amazing how much abundance was so close to home.
It’s my experience that most retail stores don’t run sales on the large commercial units but you may occasionally run into sales on the smaller units at large retail shops. The biggest key to saving is getting out and looking!