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Dehydration has been a primary form of food preservation for thousands of years. Even today, dried fruits are a favorite healthy snack among many people. But, prices are rising higher for these dried snacks. If you want to dry your own fruits, there are many options, ranging from super cheap to a small fortune. If you want a dehydrator, you can make one at home for less than $20 dollars.
Why? Because if you follow these simple instructions, making your own dried fruit is as simple as turning on a light.

Step 1: Materials


For this project you will need:

- A cardboard box big enough for your light bulb and your trays

- Aluminum foil

-Staples and Stapler

- Tape (To secure the box)

-Hobby Knife

-Light socket and bulb (I got mine from a lamp kit)

Optional:

-Fan

-Racks

Step 2: Preparation

Take your box and line it with aluminum foil, securing it with staples. Then, make a hole in the top big enough for your light socket. After that, cut a slit about two inches long, and about a quarter of an inch wide.

Step 3: The Light

Now you will need to assemble the lamp kit, following the kit's instructions for putting the socket together. You can mount the light where it will fit the best, and provide enough heat to dry the food.

Step 4: The Door

Now, take some more cardboard and make a door. Make it so the heat doesn't escape and cool down the dehydrator.

Step 5: Reminders

Always remember not to use duct tape or glue for the area where the food will be. This can potentially be harmful, or change the flavor of the finished product.

Also, If you want to speed up the drying process, use a fan near one of the air holes to speed up the removal of moisture.

Step 6: Food Prep

First, before you get the food, you will need a tray. I made mine out of aluminum foil, but if you have a small enough baking sheet, you can use that too.

Next, get your food, and slice it into pieces so they fit on the tray.

After that, place the food on the tray, and then into the dehydrator.

Step 7: Dehydration

After the first 45 minutes of dehydration, check on the food every half-hour to see how dry it is getting. To test dryness, you can use a toothpick to check on the center of the food to see if it is still moist.

Storage:

To store after drying, put them in an air tight container, and if possible, remove the air.
Electric dryers that use heat use it to promote air circulation, the heat source is better put at the bottom of the dryer. A CFL may produce the heat to circulate the air, but their would be no operational savings cost to using one, so an incandescent lamp has the advantage with low purchase price. I would look at the label wattage of a commercial home dryer as a guide to lamp size. A good intractable. I never though about using a cardboard box to make a dryer with.

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