Dehydrators are a versatile piece of equipment and can be used for a number of things from dehydrating food to drying out paper and more. So if you are using your dehydrator for crafts you might be wondering if you can use it outdoors.
Dehydrators can be used outdoors as long as you have a place to protect the appliance, stable power source and the temperature overall isn’t too hot or cold as this will impact the dehydrating process and appliance. Places such as garages are better as they provide shelter to the appliance.
In this article, I am going to talk about whether or not you can use a dehydrator outdoors, what you need to know before you do and if it is safe.
Can You Use A Dehydrator Outdoors?
Yes, you can. One of the best ways to preserve food is by dehydrating it. By drying out your foodstuffs, they can last longer without refrigeration, and they feel lighter, making dehydration the perfect way to make your foods suitable for camping and backpacking.
Rather than just laying your food out under the sun, there are more advanced ways of dehydrating. By using a dehydrator, you can efficiently and safely dehydrate and dry different kinds of foodstuff. Then, you can store them or carry them while you’re traveling.
Although a dehydrator is highly effective in drying and heating food up, one major question asked by many users is whether they can use the kitchen appliance outside or if it’s compulsory to use it in the house.
Keep in mind that it’s not compulsory to use your dehydrator machine outside, but you’ll feel more comfortable doing so. This is because of the smell of the food you are dehydrating, like garlic, peppers, onions, mushroom, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, pickles, and the like.
These foods have a strong smell that can funk up the room or kitchen for a while. So, you can take the appliance outside and dry your food.
Another reason why you might have to use your dehydrator outdoors is because of kids, pets, or people in your house with lung-related medical conditions like asthma, who can be affected by the strong smell of dehydrated food. Staying in the same area as the dehydrator might affect this set of people, so it’s better to use it outside.
If you decide to use your dehydrator outdoors, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
1. The State of Your Garage
If you have a garage, then this is probably where you have decided to use your dehydrator appliance. This is because the garage will have room for plugging a device or appliance, and you can open the doors so the smell goes right outside instead of into your home.
You have to consider whether your garage is clean and if you are storing any chemicals in your garage. If your garage is dusty or if there are chemical supplies around, there’s a good chance that the dust or smell will be pulled into the machine and onto your food too.
2. Have the Right Power Source
Whether you’re using the dehydrator in the garage or right outside, you need to have a proper power source that can take the electrical load of the appliance. You can look at the manual and see if the electrical requirements are there, or on the pack of the dehydrator, and ensure that the outlet you’re plugging it in meets the requirements.
If your plug doesn’t meet these electrical requirements, and you have no choice but to dehydrate outside, you can fix up the power outlets in your garage, patio, or anywhere else outside where you plan to use the dehydrator.
3. The Temperature of the Air
Another important tip to keep in mind is the temperature of the air where you are using the dehydrator. If the air is cold, anything lower than 50 degrees, the machine will pull cold air in instead of warming up your food.
If it’s really cold, the dehydrator has to work hard at drying and heating your food, and this would cause it to use more energy than it’s supposed to. This will reduce efficiency and eat up more power. So, using your dehydrator often during cold seasons can increase your electricity bills.
4. The humidity of the air
You also have to consider the humidity of the air where you are dehydrating your food. Whenever the air is very humid, what you have is moist air going into the machine. This is counterproductive to the dehydrating process because drying your food is all about taking moistness out of it.
It would take very long for your dehydrator to dry your foods if you’re using it in a humid place. There’s nowhere for the moistness in your food to go out, and so check the humidity of the air before you plug in the machine. If it’s too humid, then reschedule.
5. Consider Pollution
If you want to use your dehydrator outdoors, you need to consider the state of pollution in your garage or wherever you’re operating the machine. If you live somewhere where there’s a lot of air pollution or if there are wildfires in the vicinity near you, you shouldn’t use your dehydrator.
There’s nothing wrong with using your dehydrator outside, as long as you consider these tips and use them safely.
Can Using a Dehydrator Outdoors Cause Damage to the Appliance?
As long as you use your dehydrator properly, you can use it outside without causing damage to it. The dehydrator works perfectly when it’s outdoors, except in some situations.
For instance, if the air is too cold, you would be stressing your machine because it would work hard to keep up with the cold air around it. The dehydrator heats the air around it while drying your food, but if the air is cold, it has to work twice as hard in drying up your food and heating the air around it.
If this goes on for too long, it wears the dehydrator out faster than it’s supposed to and can damage the machine.
The same goes for when you’re using your dehydrator outside when the air is moist and humid. The moist air goes into your foods, causing the dehydrator to work counterproductively. It can also wear it out faster and damage it.
Since most power outlets located outside the house are not built for heavy machines, the weak supply can also damage your dehydrator machine.
Apart from these instances, there’s little chance of your appliance getting damaged when you use it inside.
Can Using a Dehydrator Outdoors Damage the Dehydrating Process?
In most cases, nothing bad would happen to the dehydrating process when you use the machine outside. The dehydrator works as well outside as it does inside, and so you get the same results, but this is only if you consider the tips provided above.
The dehydration process can be damaged when you use it during the cold or when the air is humid. Foodstuffs won’t dehydrate completely when you use the dehydrator in these conditions.
Another way the dehydrating process can be affected is when the air is unfavorable, like if there is pollution or dust in the area. Although the food would heat up quickly, it might taste wrong when you eat it later on.
Apart from these, the dehydrating process won’t be affected or damaged when you use your dehydrator outside.
Using a Dehydrator Outdoors: What You Need to Know
As long as you’re using your dehydrator in the right conditions, you can safely and efficiently use the machine outside. Just ensure that there’s nothing that would change the taste of your food or damage the machine, and prepare the power outlets or any other thing you might need for the dehydrator to work perfectly.
Keep in mind that the smell from the dehydrator can affect your neighbors and other people around you. Asides from this, the dehydrator can work perfectly outdoors.