Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Posts: 1768 | TRs | Pics
I've been dehydrating food for hiking/kayaking for probably 30 years and just learned the kind of lesson that makes you want to slap yourself upside the head accompanied with a "Duhhhhh!".
I have a Nesco that I bought maybe 10 years ago to replace an older one. It has a temperature control knob, marked with assorted temps. I recently was drying some artificial crab (basically fish with crab-like flavorings, which dehydrates quite well) and had the temperature set to 145 degrees.
I decided to check the temperature of the middle tray two times, using a cooking thermometer: first after maybe 15 minutes, when it was just getting going; and then again towards the end. The initial temperature was fairly close to 145 degrees, perhaps a titch more, but pretty close. However, the temperature towards the end was literally 200 degrees! Apparently, as the moisture evaporates and the contents dry, the dehydrator no longer has much cooling it down and the temperature soars!
Obviously, these things don't really control the "temperature" of the interior (like a true thermostat), but merely scale up or down how hot the heating element gets. I'm just posting this in case someone else can benefit from my lesson!