Dehydrator vs Oven
What's the difference in using a food dehydrator or an oven set at a very low temperature?
I'm new to raw and I don't have a dehydrator so I was wondering is using an oven at a very low temperature would do the same thing.
I've read a few comments where people were somewhat successful at using an oven. It's my understanding that most ovens will not hold consistently at a low enough temperature to remain raw.
Some suggestions / comments to check and see if your oven might be an appropriate dehydrator substitute include:
- Turn on the oven light. Put an oven thermometer in the oven. Close the door. Wait a while, then check the temperature.
- Turn the oven on to it's lowest setting (probably "warm") and repeat as above. If it's too warm, try again with the oven door left slightly ajar.
- If you have a gas oven with a constant pilot light, that may provide sufficient heat to dehydrate. In this case, there would be no additional energy consumption.
- I've read of three potential disadvantages to using an oven. (1) Without a fan there is minimal air circulation, so it will be warmer near the heat source and cooler away from it. You might need to rotate the trays. (2) It may not be possible to accurately regulate to warmer or cooler temperatures. (3) It be more expensive to operate an oven than a dehydrator.
I did an Advanced Search for dehydrate and oven, which gets a bunch of stuff that's not relevant here, but if you just check the thread titles, I think you can weed out the stuff that doesn't apply to your situation. Here's the link: http://www.goneraw.com/search/node/type%3Aforum%20dehydrate%20%2...
Newer ovens with digital controls won't go below 170 or so.
There's also a food safety consideration - you want things to dry without spoiling. The moister the food is, the more likely it might be to go bad before it dries out.
Thanks for your input :) I guess it would cost a lot of money to run the oven for hours on end. Not very economical! I checked my oven temperatures and the lowest it goes is 150 degrees, so that's too warm. For now, I think that I will buy my raw crackers and cookies at the health food store, eventhough they cost a lot of money. I don't tend to eat a lot of those anyway, so it's only once in a while.