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How Much Does it Cost to Use a Food Dehydrator?
A common misconception is that running a food dehydrator is expensive, in terms of electricity. This is not true, although dehydrators use electricity to run their heating systems and fans for long periods of time, sometimes up to twelve and eighteen hours.
Food dehydrators are used to dry various foods by removing the water from the food. The water content of food is very high, typically 80% to 95% for various fruits and vegetables and 50% to 75% for various meats. To minimize dehydration time, best dehydration practices include cutting food into strips 1/4 inch or less and spreading food evenly across the unit’s trays to maximize the surface area of the food exposed to the unit’s heat. air flow.
However, even with the best dehydration practices, the process of drying food can take several hours. One temptation is to increase the drying time by increasing the dehydration temperature. This is not recommended and may result in food hardening; That is, food that is dry and hard on the outside but wet and watery on the inside. Microbial growth will spoil the hardened food.
So how much do typical dehydrators cost to operate? Obviously costs depend on the state and local area you live in, however, in the US, on average, it will cost about 8 cents to run a 750 watt unit for an hour. Per state, per hour, the cost of the same 750 watt unit varies from about 5 cents on the low end in North Dakota to about 22 cents in Hawaii.
A typical dehydrator can run for twelve hours. As an example, assuming the dehydrator user lives in the state of California, a food dehydrator calculator can be used to estimate the electricity costs required to run a 750 watt food dehydrator for 12 hours. In this case the cost of electricity would be about $1.21. In fact, most food drying units turn the power on and off during the drying cycle so this will be the maximum power consumption.
If the same California user purchased about 3.7 pounds of apples at $1.29 per pound and dried those apples during that 12-hour period, the user would have about 1 pound of dried apples and the dried apples would cost $4.77. Thus the total operating cost for one pound of home-dried apples would be about $5.98. This domestic price compares favorably to a well-known national brand of dried apples that was recently sold at a major grocery store chain for $2.79 for a 5-ounce bag, or $8.93 per pound. Savings for homemade dried apples, made with a dehydrator, versus store bought – about $3.00.
Dehydrate your own dried fruit, dried vegetables and jerky at home using your food dehydrator. You’ll consistently save money compared to store-bought dried fruit and jerky and get a return on the cost of a food drying appliance. Next, you can control the ingredients that go into your food (most store-bought nuts and jerky are high in sugars and salts) and make great tasting food.
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