Make A Solar Dehydrator from Baking Dishes!

Posted by on Jun 1, 2011 in Food

Store bought Parsley - too much to use before it goes to waste.

I love herbs, and hate to see them go to waste. Last Summer, I could see our herbs dying before I had a chance to use them up, and figured out how to use my baking dishes to create a solar dehydrator. Just last week, I used the method to dry some herbs from the store (they always sell bunches in quantities beyond our consumption) and it worked beautifully despite Seattle-Spring-barely-warm temperatures.. So, how can you do it too?

What you’ll need:

Look through your baking dishes and see if you have either 2 glass Casserole dishes, or just one and a cookie sheet. I used a Stoneware sheet and Pyrex Glass Casserole dish (7 x 11 inches).

How to do it:

1) Rinse your herbs if needed, then pat dry, and lay out on either a cookie sheet or in a Casserole dish. Place the glass dish on top, and don’t worry if it doesn’t create a seal. You need a little bit of air circulation anyway. If your dishes dose fit together perfectly, set them slightly off so that there is a crack for air to get in there.

My Baking Dish Solar Dehydrator in use: Basil and Oregano.

2) Set the “baking dish solar dehydrator” in the sunshine and let sit for several hours (like 4-6), checking it every 2 hours for dryness. Depending on your temperatures, yours may dry faster than mine did.

3) Scoop up your lovely dried herbs and place in a container.

Tip: To avoid the need to use a spatula or your hands to scoop the herbs out of the dish, just line with parchment paper first. Then, you simply use it like a funnel to fill up your dried herb container.

p.s. Shared on Simple Lives Thursday Link Roundup!

10 Comments

  1. Marillyn@just-making-noise
    June 10, 2011

    Great idea!! Thank you for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday!!

    • holliwithani
      June 11, 2011

      Thanks for the comment, I really love the round up.

  2. Krista
    June 11, 2011

    Wow, what an ingenious set-up! I’m go0ing to have to try this for my herbs. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Elizabeth
    June 11, 2011

    Brilliant! Perfect for those of us who need to do things on a small scale.

    • holliwithani
      June 11, 2011

      Thanks! I have only used this to dry herbs, so I don’t know if it would work for fruits – I should experiment more this Summer:)

  4. Yolanda
    June 11, 2011

    What a marvelous idea! Thank you so much!

    • holliwithani
      June 11, 2011

      Thanks! Let me know if you find any other modifications – I’ve only used this with herbs.

  5. pixeltrasher
    June 12, 2011

    What a great idea! I will try this with fruit slices once the weather catches up to the fact that it’s summer, it’s a typical british wet day here! Will let you know how it goes!

    • holliwithani
      June 12, 2011

      Splendid – I’m looking forward to it!