Our Choice Recommendation
- By drying foods naturally, 95% of the enzymes are retained
- Complete instruction book included
- Doubles as a seed sprouter & wheat grass growing trays
What is a solar dehydrator?
How does it work?
Is this type of dehydrator as effective as a gas or electric one?
A solar dehydrator is a food dehydrator that is designed to process food using the power of the sun. These types of dehydrators can work for drying out and storing food for use in the future, and they function almost as well as (and sometimes better than) electric or gas options.
Many people enjoy using solar dehydrators to make food for camping and hiking. Some people also like using them while RVing to make snacks like fruit leather or beef jerky. There are many types of foods you can dehydrate in a solar dehydrator, especially with practice.
These types of dehydrators also work well for emergency preparedness. With a solar dehydrator, you can process food for storage and eat it if the power goes out or you lose access to regular food sources for a while.
In this article, we’ll show you a step-by-step guide to learn how to make a DIY solar dehydrator. With this information, you can build a dehydrator in just a few short hours as long as you know how to use a couple of power tools, a hammer, and nails.
Set up a DIY solar dehydrator in your yard and get ready to enjoy the benefits!
How to Make a Solar Dehydrator
Read through the information below to get a good idea of one method of constructing a DIY solar dehydrator. With this dehydrator, you can process a variety of food for storage.
- Four 2×2 pieces of lumber
- Eight 3×1 pieces of lumber
- Twenty 1.5×1 pieces of lumber
- Wire mesh
- Metal covering of your choice
- 9×6 piece of plywood
- Metal hinges
- Black paint
- Hammer and nails
- Electric or hand saw
- Measuring tape
- Power drill and screws
1. First, create the base of the frame. Lay two 2×2 pieces and two 3×1 pieces so they form a rectangle.
2. Use the hammer and nails to nail these pieces of wood together.
3. Repeat steps one and two, three more times. When you finish, you should have four identical frame sides that are nailed together.
4. Lay one of the frame pieces flat on the ground. Stand another frame piece up at a right angle perpendicular to the first and nail the two together at the joints.
5. Repeat step four on the other side of the frame.
6. Finish the frame by laying the remaining rectangular piece on top of the standing sides and nailing it in place.
7. Use the measuring tape to measure the sides and bottom of the frame.
8. Cut your plywood sheet to the appropriate size for each of the two sides of the frame. Use the hammer and nails to nail the plywood securely onto the frame.
9. Repeat the process for the back cover. However, cut a four-inch-tall opening at the bottom of this piece of plywood and attach wire mesh to allow circulation.
10. Use your measuring tape to measure three equal distances apart on the interior of one side of the frame.
11. Nail 1.5×1 inch pieces of wood at each of these intervals to create brackets.
Note: You can add more brackets if you choose.
12. Cut pieces of wire mesh to the exact measurements of the interior of the dehydrator. These mesh pieces will be used as shelves.
13. Stretch the mesh pieces tightly and nail them between two pieces of 1.5×1 inch pieces of wood on two sides.
14. Repeat the process on the other two sides. This will create a frame around the mesh and hold it securely in place, making it easier to use as shelving.
15. Rest the shelves on the wood brackets. If you choose, you can use additional 1.5×1 inch pieces of wood to create grooves for the shelves to slide into instead.
16. Cut another piece of plywood almost the same size as the side of your frame, leaving a three-inch-tall gap at the top. Attach wire mesh to this section.
17. Build a frame around the plywood using the remaining 1.5×1 inch pieces of wood. Secure in place with hammer and nails.
18. Attach this door to the dehydrator using the hinges, screws, and power drill.
19. Paint the metal covering of your choice black.
20. When the paint has dried, nail the metal covering into place on top of the dehydrator.
21. Cut blocks of wood to set the dehydrator four inches off the ground.
22. Congratulations! You are now ready to use your DIY solar dehydrator.
Making your own solar DIY dehydrator can be a fun project, but what do you do if you aren’t very good at working with tools? Don’t worry—it’s easy to find premade solar dehydrators available for purchase, too!
Check out our list of three high-quality solar dehydrators to pick from below. If you don’t like the idea of building your own for any reason, you can choose one of these and enjoy the benefits of solar food dehydration without having to worry about a complicated DIY project beforehand.
Take a look at our choices:
AN&GLOBALS Food Dehydrator
The AN&GLOBALS Food Dehydrator makes it easy to dry herbs and some other types of food for future use. This hanging dehydrator can hold up to 4.5 pounds of produce and herbs per layer and includes a storage bag for times when the dehydrator is not in use.
- This dehydrator hangs easily and holds up well to wind as well as pests that may try to find their way in.
- The dehydrator features four durable layers to allow you to dry herbs and other food items.
- This dehydrator is made of thin mesh material that may tear easily in some instances.
- The dehydrator can be challenging to clean.
Hanging Food Pantrie Dehydration System
With the Hanging Food Pantrie Dehydration System, you can enjoy plenty of space to hang and dry your herbs and other food items with ease. This dehydrator comes with five shelves and includes a mesh covering to keep pests at bay and allow your herbs to dry completely.
- This dehydrator can also be used as a seed sprouter for times when you need to germinate young plants.
- This offer comes with a durable metal hanging hook to hold it in place securely.
- The plastic panels on the top and bottom of this option may melt and warp in hot sunlight.
- The straps may fall off easily on this offer.
Kino-Sol Eco-Friendly Solar Food Dehydrator
The Kino-Sol Eco-Friendly Solar Food Dehydrator offers a sturdy plastic construction that makes it easy to dry fruit, vegetables, herbs, and more. This dehydrator comes with a clear plastic outer cylinder and a black plastic interior shelving unit that contains five total shelves.
- The dehydrator is easy to take apart and clean when necessary, making it a convenient choice.
- This dehydrator offers plenty of room for food and herbs.
- This choice is somewhat flimsy and the outer plastic can break easily if dropped or smashed.
- This dehydrator doesn’t hang in the sun for quicker processing.
Last update on 2022-07-10 at 12:38 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.