Keeping tasty dried fruit on hand doesn’t require buying a device off late-night TV. Using the sun as a free energy source, you can use your car’s sun-baked dashboard to get the job done.
Tom, of the home and garden blog The Tangled Nest, had an abundance of fruit on his hands that he didn’t want to let go to waste. He started off by building a simple solar dehydrator out of a box and a piece of window screen, but it didn’t seem to be drying them effectively.
Building an actual solar oven seemed silly when he had a car sitting right in the driveway that rose to scorching temperatures when left out in the sun. He moved the box of fruit he was drying to his car:
Along with them, I moved our kitchen thermometer. For dehydrating, you want the food to dry fast enough that mold does not grow, but you don’t want to cook it, and you want some enzymes to survive. So for vegetables and fruit you aim for temperatures in the 100-150 (F) degree range.
The car proved to be the perfect temperature and the figs he was testing out the technique with dried nicely over the course of several days on the dashboard.
For more details, check out the full post and the additional pictures at the link below. Have a handy food hack of your own? Let’s hear about it in the comments.