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Gas Range/oven Questions?
Old 07-05-2008, 08:07 AM   #1
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Gas Range/oven Questions?

Any safety issues w/ using the gas oven as a dehydrator: low temp and
door not fully closed to vent moisture? Thinking of carbon monoxide formation or over temp issues or anything else.

Any issues w/ the range top burners? I don't recall reading anything in
the owner's manual but that was some months ago. Seems like the issue
w/ the range top would be less of an issue because cooking is usually shorter times but the dehydration in the oven would be like an all day (12 hr) thing.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Any safety issues w/ using the gas oven as a dehydrator: low temp and
door not fully closed to vent moisture? Thinking of carbon monoxide formation or over temp issues or anything else.

Any issues w/ the range top burners? I don't recall reading anything in
the owner's manual but that was some months ago. Seems like the issue
w/ the range top would be less of an issue because cooking is usually shorter times but the dehydration in the oven would be like an all day (12 hr) thing.
You'll be putting CO into your house, but it's hard to know if it will be a problem. Gas stoves aren't vented to the outside, so all combustion that occurs results in CO being added to your room air. OTOH, all the older stoves had pilot lights that burned continuously (oven's warmth/lower relative humidity from the pilot light was often sufficient to dry foods, etc). And, obviously, the stove is safe for cooking, and you could conceivable have all four burners going plus your oven, which would add much more CO (in a shorter time) than your little dessication project. But, stoves are not to be used to heat a house, for instance, because the CO buildup would be a problem if you keep the oven going for hours.

Here's the problem: It's hard to know how much your oven burner will actually be running. Sure, you only set the thermostat to 120, but the burner is either on or it s off. If the door is open, then conceivably the temp would never get to 120 (until your whole house were that hot) and the oven burner would stay on continuously. That doesn't sound safe.

How much the CO builds up will depend on the air exchange in your house and how much you add..

The best thing to do is to get a good CO alarm (one with a digital readout of CO) and plug it in. You should have one anyway if you have gas appliances. And, don't do this food drying when you are asleep. If you feel like you want to go to sleep, that could indicate another problem.

Or, go buy a bag of dried goodies for 5 bucks.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:28 AM   #3
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Should be fine, but I'd run the range hood or downdraft on low fan periodically.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:18 AM   #4
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Making jerky?
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:35 AM   #5
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My understanding of gas burning is: for every gallon of gas burned, a gallon of water vapor is also created as a byproduct. I'm sure some chemistry majors can confirm.

Most houses leak a lot, several air changes per hour, so unless yours is super airtight, should be no problem with CO.
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Old 07-05-2008, 01:59 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the replies. Sounds like w/ some range hood fan action and
opening doors/windows, should be ok.

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Originally Posted by Notmuchlonger View Post
Making jerky?
no, fruit leathers. We have a small plum tree that does the same thing every year. One plum the first day, 2 the next, 4 the next, and after leveling off at a small bag or two a day so you think you can keep up by inflicting some on the neighbors, you never want to see another plum, it's off to the races and we get drowned in many bags a day. Jam first, then fruit leathers.




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Old 07-05-2008, 02:03 PM   #7
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Oh those are good! You can also use a fan system. At the bottom of Alton Browns jerky method..you could probably substitute the meat for plum. If you were worried about using the stove. You use furnace filters. Get the ones that are cellulose.

Recipes : Beef Jerky : Food Network
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:32 PM   #8
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Heh, I forgot about that episode. Pretty good idea for doing bulk jerky making on the cheap.

As an aside, for people with ovens (gas or electric) that can do low temperature control, you can do some pretty amusing beef roasts by cooking them for 10-20 hours at a very low temperature.

I had a post around here somewhere about it and made a roast this way once. Basically you set the oven temperature to what you want the finished meats internal temp to be, and leave it in there until it reaches that temp. Sear it first.

Sort of a dry sous vide without the bag.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:19 PM   #9
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What about just putting them out in the sun with some screening or gauze to keep out insects? Just a thought.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:12 PM   #10
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I think I tried that once before but it didn't work too well here (N.CA) . It might be
OK at selected times like the heat wqve supposedly coming in a few days so might be
worth a second try then. Some worries about dust and overhead feathered bombers tho.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:22 PM   #11
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I think I tried that once before but it didn't work too well here (N.CA) . It might be
OK at selected times like the heat wqve supposedly coming in a few days so might be
worth a second try then. Some worries about dust and overhead feathered bombers tho.
Live in N CAL too. Made jerky using AB's method came out fine. Maybe I dont mind a bit of dust
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:27 PM   #12
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My folks just dried some apricots in N CA, yummy. We did fruit leathers when I was a kid, but don't remember the methods. I think my dad props some screen or cheese cloth over it to protect from the various nasties.

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Old 07-06-2008, 02:41 AM   #13
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You could buy a dehydrator Fruit Dehydrator - More Categories - Compare Prices, Reviews and Buy at NexTag - Price - Review
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:53 AM   #14
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I dried a ton of jalapenos by putting them on cookie sheets on the shelf under the back window of my car in the driveway when it was 105 out.

Car smelled like hot peppers for a week after that too, which was a bonus!
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:35 PM   #15
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I dried a ton of jalapenos by putting them on cookie sheets on the shelf under the back window of my car in the driveway when it was 105 out.

Car smelled like hot peppers for a week after that too, which was a bonus!
Hmm.....not a bad idea. Maybe a hybrid gas/solar vehicle........start w/
gas oven/move to enclosed car during mid day/then back to oven if necessary in evening. How hot does a closed car get? Recipes seem to indicate
140-150 deg in the oven.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:10 PM   #16
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Reminds me of the time..I wanted to saute some Jalapenos. Ahem..oil was a bit too hot. I basically mace'd myself. Was great hehehe..
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:52 PM   #17
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How hot does a closed car get? Recipes seem to indicate
140-150 deg in the oven.
Well it was 105 outside. Black car sitting out in the sun. Under a nice angled piece of glass.

Certainly did the job. I was quite tempted to throw some tomatoes out there the following day but I wasnt really ready to have a car smelling of salsa.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Well it was 105 outside. Black car sitting out in the sun. Under a nice angled piece of glass.

Certainly did the job. I was quite tempted to throw some tomatoes out there the following day but I wasnt really ready to have a car smelling of salsa.
I have a vague memory of an article (Mother Earth Magazine, late '70s?) on how to use a hatchback as a dehydrator.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:54 PM   #19
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Hmmm..."pacer jalapenos"...I wonder if thats where Pace got their name...
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:41 PM   #20
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How hot does a closed car get? Recipes seem to indicate 140-150 deg in the oven.
Easily-- you see those numbers all the time in the warnings to remember to remove kids & pets from parked cars.
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