Easy Food Dehydrator

Introduction: Easy Food Dehydrator

Please consider voting for this Instructable if you like it :-)

My family and I are planning to go on a hike for a couple of days. I got an idea to make a food dehydrator out of recycled parts so we could make food that is lightweight and preserves well. Dehydrated food could also come in handy in a survival situation.

For this project you will need:

An ice cream box (prefrerably somewhat like mine).

A fan (salvaged from an old printer).

A power adapter.

Spray paint (optional).

Let's get started!

Step 1: Cut

Take your ice cream box and place the fan on top of it. Now start drawing a line around your fan. When you are done lift the fan off and start cutting. Make sure to cut inside of your line so the fan can sit on the edges.

Step 2: Spray Paint (optional)

If you want your box uniform you might want to spray paint it (I chose light grey). Start by covering the hole with cardboard and tape it down. Next take your box outside and lay it on some newspapers. Now you can start spraying it. Do a few thin coats and let it dry a bit in between. Let dry in a ventilated area.

Step 3: Hot Glue

Once the paint has cured take the box inside, you're now ready to glue the fan on the lid. This one is pretty self explanatory, just put a line of hot glue all around the hole and place your fan in it. Important: make sure that the fan is facing the right way, so it blows air into the box when it's powered. I did that mistake and tried to just switch the polarity but then the fan would not spin.

Step 4: Drill

Along the bottom of the box mark out where you are going to drill out the holes. When you are done you may proceed to drilling. You will have to scrape out the excess plastic and clean up every hole.

Step 5: All Done!

Congratulations, you have finished making your very own dehydrator. To operate it place your food of choice inside on a wire rack, hook it up to the power adapter and put in a warm place (maybe on a radiator). Now you can start experimenting with different dried foods! I recommend trying beef jerky, apples, yogurt and soup.

Feel free to vote if you liked ;-)

Have fun!

Be the First to Share


    • Unusual Uses Contest

      Unusual Uses Contest
    • Paint Challenge

      Paint Challenge
    • Hide It Challenge

      Hide It Challenge



    6 years ago

    Hey Matthiasi

    wonderful and simple !

    i have a few questions:

    is it preferable to have a"pushing" fan or a "pulling "fan (like in cooling car system)?

    wich quantity you can use in this dehydrator?

    how much time (average )it"s take to dehydate food?

    once again i like it!!!!


    Reply 6 years ago

    Hi gilles!
    Thanks for the comment.
    I don't fully understand all of the terms you used, but I will try to answer to the best of my abilities.

    The fan I used blows air into the chamber.

    The amount of food you can put in is actually quite alot, you could have it on two layers with wire racks in between, that would double the capacity. You just have to make sure to make thin slices.

    It is really hard to pinpoint an average time, it depands a lot on where you put it. For example I had apple slices in mine and put it on a radiator and that took about 24 hours. So if you put it in a warm place it will work faster. You just have to judge if it's ready or not.

    Hope I was able to help,