April 17, 2018

Book Review: Prepper's Dehydrator Handbook

I am very pleased to share this book with you, Prepper's Dehydrator Handbook: Long-term food storage techniques for nutritions, delicious, lifesaving meals by Shelle Wells. It's the latest edition in the Ulysses Press prepper book series.

I have an electric dehydrator, but admit I don't dry much. I think that's mostly because of my preservation and cooking habits, but a book like this inspires me to expand my repertoire of preservation methods.

When I read through chapter 1, "Why Dehydrate," I was reminded why this is truly one of the best methods of preserving and storing foods. Dehydrated foods save on shelf and freezer space, have the longest shelf life, and are the most portable of all preserved foods. This chapter also includes really good ideas on developing a food storage plan with some helpful charts.

Chapter 2 discusses the various ways to dehydrate foods: solar, oven, microwave, and dehydrator, including a description of the different types of dehydrators. Chapter 3 offers basic instructions: equipment, general rules, both small and large batch drying, blanching (or not), how to prevent oxidation, conditioning after dehydrating, and rehydrating. Chapter 4 discusses finding and choosing foods to dehydrate (including frozen foods), as well as safety considerations such as what not to dehydrate and what foods are most commonly contaminated with E.coli, and how to safely prepare them. I appreciated the section on how light, heat, oxygen, and humidity effect dried foods, because I live in an area with hot humid summers! Chapter 5 gives you storage options for dehydrated goods, including tips on both short and long term storage.

The next several chapters teach you the specifics for a variety of dried foods: fruit and vegetable leathers, jerkys, soups, powders, and herbs. Details on dehydrating 50 fruits and veggies are next, and then come the recipes. Things like blueberry basil syrup, pink grapefruit jelly, honey peach BBQ sauce, cinnamon apple leather, candied ginger, and how to make pickles from dehydrated cucumbers. Four conversion charts complete the excellent information in this handbook.

This is a great book for every food preservation and prepper's library. Click here to "Look Inside."


  1. Nice review Leigh :) I've been wanting to dehydrate more, but my dehydrator isn't very good. One of these days I want to get one that actually works more efficiently, or learn other ways of doing it.

  2. We have an electric one and go in stints. I will use it a lot for a month or two and then it will sit in the basement for a couple years before I drag it out again. I use it a lot for backpacking or long canoe trips where weight and lack of refrigeration is a concern.

  3. One of my favorites is to make turkey jerky.

  4. Rain, a good dehydrator is important, but like you, I'd like to learn some other ways to dry foods, like build a solar dehydrator!

    Ed, dehydrated foods are perfect for backpacking. So much easier to carry! Jerky is one thing I've never tried to make, but I'm feeling inspired to drag out my dehydrator and try some new things. :)

  5. This sounds like a book that should make it to my sustainability collection - I have a dehydrator and admit that I don't really use it enough. I am going to put this book on my wish list.

  6. Thanks for sharing. I use my dehydrator a lot. I just used it for drying chickweed yesterday. Pineapple is on my list to dehydrate next.

  7. Susan, I think this is one of the more comprehensive books on the subject, plus I like the recipes. :)

    Kristina, thanks for sharing that! seems like quite a few of us don't use them as much as we should, so encouragement is welcome. :)

  8. If you park your car outdoors, like we do, it makes an EXCELLENT dehydrator! Just put your stuff on baking trays, and (depending on the size) they will dry in a day. The book looks really interesting, Leigh. Thanks for the review. :)

  9. That book sound wonderful and just what I need. I got a dehydrator at a garage sale and have never used it simply because I don't know how! LOL!
    I could research on the internet but I haven't done so as of yet. This would be a perfect book to get me off and running or dehydrating.


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