Frequently Asked Questions

Dehydrators:

Q. Do you have a diagram of the temperature control knob?

A. Yes! You can find it here. 

Q. How much energy do your dehydrators use?

A. Very, very little! Just pennies worth of electricity per hour thanks to Green-Stat Thermostat technology. You can learn more about that here.

Q. I don't want any off gassing from Vinyl or PVC in my dehydrator. Are the insulated wires inside a dehydrator safe? 

A. We don't blame you! We can't vouch for our competition's wires. They won't answer our calls.  But as far as our Raw Rutes Line of Dehydrators... our wires are totally safe. They're halogen free, eco friendly and won't off gas. Even when you burn them with an open flame. But please don't do that?

Q. What material is the door/control panel coated with?

A. The dehydrators control panel and door are coated with an FDA compliant food grade powdercoating that resists heat and will not off gas. 

Q. What is the difference between the Square Rutes and Square Rutes Eating RED editions?

A. It's just a color thing. Pick the color scheme you prefer. They are otherwise identical. 

Q. Should I get a Five tray or Eight tray Raw Rutes Dehydrator?

A. We get this question a lot. It's personal preference. The eight tray model is the same footprint on your countertop, it's just taller, by around 3".

Usually single people and couples go with the five tray. Families or people following a strictly raw diet (and requiring a lot of space to prepare meals ahead of time) opt for the eight tray. It's a question only you can answer. 

Q. How many _____'s fit on one tray?

A. It just depends. You can usually fit two apples or even three apples on each tray, depending on how you thick you slice them. Each tray measures 16" x 14.25" Figure about 224 square inches of drying space per tray, if you're leaving a little room around the edge. So you'll just have to do some quick fruit math to get specifics. Math??? Not cool? Don't worry. Math is coming into vogue! Just ask any teenager you know!

Freeze Dryers:

Q. How big/heavy is a freeze dryer?

A. The freeze dryer is smaller than a dishwasher and larger than a microwave. The sleek design makes it the perfect size to reside on a countertop, cart, or table.

Small

25” Tall x 16.5” Wide x 18.5” Deep

82 lbs.

Stainless: 97 lbs.

Standard

30” Tall x 20” Wide x 25” Deep

105 lbs.

Stainless: 125 lbs.

Large

32.5″ Tall x 22.5″ Wide x 25.5″ Deep

147 lbs.

Stainless: 177 lbs.

Please note: There is also a detachable vacuum pump that sits outside the freeze dryer. The vacuum pump weighs about 30 lbs.

Q. What can be freeze dried?

A. Pretty much everything! Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, and even prepared meals like pasta dishes, sauces, stews. Plus a variety of treats and deserts!

 

Q. How loud is a Freeze Dryer?

A. About 60 decibels (which is similar to the sound of a noisy dishwasher).

Q. What kind of maintenance is needed on a Freeze Dryer?

A. Every Harvest Right freeze dryer comes with a high quality vacuum pump. Each vacuum pump comes with an initial supply of oil. There are 3 cups of oil in a vacuum pump that need to be changed regularly to keep a freeze dryer running efficiently.

Some customers choose to drain out a tablespoon of oil and add a tablespoon of oil after each batch and and then periodically perform a flush of their vacuum pump to maintain the high quality performance of their vacuum pump. Other customers choose to simply drain their oil after every batch and start with a fresh batch of oil. Many customers also choose to filter their oil in a variety of ways and re-use their filtered oil to save money. Additional vacuum pump oil can be purchased online or from a variety of retail locations (like an auto parts store or a refrigeration supplier).

 

Tofu Presses:

Q. Can I wash my tofu press in the dishwasher?

A. We don't recommend it. Soap scum can build up and leave a haze on the metal. It'll come off, but not without some scrubbing on your part. Having said that, people do put them in the dishwasher all the time. If you're doing to do it, We'd suggest unscrewing the knob as the high heat of the drying cycle may fade it.

Q. Can I use a Raw Rutes Tofu Press to make homemade tofu?

A. Absolutely! It was originally designed for just this purpose. Just line it with muslin, cheesecloth or something like that and use your favorite tofu recipe. We also have one here.

Q. What is the difference between the Tofu Ninja Press and the Tofu Sumo Press?

A. Aesthetics. The Tofu Sumo Press features laser cut designs on two sides. These holes do not necessarily improve drainage or tofu making ability.  The Sumo also has as a red knob instead of the standard black one. The reason for this? If we put a red knob on the Tofu Ninja, people would laugh and call him names like: Rudolph the Red Knobbed Ninja... 

Q. Do I need to use cheesecloth in my tofu press every time?

A. For making homemade tofu? Yes. For draining already made tofu? No. Although... If you want to REALLY, REALLY remove moisture, press the block twice! Once without cheesecloth and then a second time WITH cheesecloth for maximum drying.

 

Fruit/Wine Presses:

Q. What should I lubricate the threaded rod with?

A. The threaded rod on Harvest Fiesta Fruit Presses is the only Non-Stainless component. The reason being that carbon steel is much, much harder, so it will stand up to years of high pressure twisting and turning. We suggest lubricating it from time to time with a light brushing of our Food Grade Grease.

Q. Can I press _______ with the Harvest Fiesta Fruit Press?

A. We get this question a lot. Generally speaking, The Harvest Fiesta Fruit Press will press any soft fruits and some soft veggies that have been crushed or chopped in a food processor or fruit crusher. To name some of the things people have effectively pressed with the Harvest Fiesta Fruit Press: Apples, Pears, Cherries, Plums, Coconut (Shredded and soaked in warm water), Lychee Fruit, Honey Combs , Pineapple, Almonds (soaked and pureed in water), Frozen or Canned Spinach. + more that we can't think of right now. 

 

Fermenting Crocks:

Q. What is a water channel and why do I want one on my crock?

A. The water channel around the rim allows natural gases (a byproduct of fermentation)  to escape, without allowing outside air into the crock. Crocks with straight sides (and no water channel) often get mold on the surface of the food or brine from exposure to air. 

Q. What should I fill the water channel with?

A. Since the water can sit in the rim for days or even weeks at a time, we suggest filling the rim with a brine made of 1 Cup filtered water and 1 tsp sea salt. That way, if you accidentally splash a little into the crock while checking on your veggies, no harm will come from it.

 

Tomato Strainers:

Q. Tell me more about your tomato strainers????

A. We've assembled a little tomato strainer buying guide talking about the features on the tomato strainers we sell. We've narrowed down a few features you may have not given much thought to, but make a big difference. You can check it out here.

 

Q. Why is your tomato strainer more expensive than the plastic one I saw somewhere else for less?

A. Our strainers are Made in Italy, from real metal. The strainer you saw for less is most certainly one that is Made in China from some type of plastic.  Often they tend to leak or wear out quickly. Lots of top notch things come out of Italy: Tomato Strainers, Vespas, Ferraris, and even your Uncle Joey! 

Q. Do the tomatoes need to be boiled/blanched or peeled before processing? 

A. No! We've seen videos of this floating around with other tomato strainers of....questionable quality. Our suspicion is that this is done to help ease the strain on the inferior tomato strainers motor.... By all means, cut them up if you like, but process those little guys raw! You'll save time and preserve more of their nutritional value. 

Q. Do you sell replacement Reber Tomato Strainer Parts?

A. Yes. We stock parts for all of our Reber Tomato Straienr models, as well offering a sweet folding table designed for them, and additional food strainer cones/screens with different hole sizes.

Q. Can I make applesauce with my tomato strainer?

A. Yes, definitely. The stock screen is a good size for this project.  In this case, steam the apples until they pierce easily with a knife first. No need to peel them or seed them. The strainer will take care of that.

Tofu Presses:

Q. Is the Tofu Ninja Press or Tofu Sumo Press is better for draining tofu?

A. Many people wonder if the Tofu Sumo Press is better at pressing tofu because of the added holes along the sides. While some liquid will flow out from these holes, it doesn't remove any more liquid than the Tofu Ninja. Both will do a great job of removing liquid form tofu. Both presses utilize a removable plate in the bottom of the press, and a small gap around the edge of that plate is how both presses drain the liquid from tofu.

Q. How do I Press Tofu?

A. Here's some great thoughts on it! Check it out here.

Q. Why is Your Raw Rutes Tofu Press more expensive than the other ones out there?

A. Because it's Stainless Steel, it's American Made, and it's Built Forever. You'll never buy another tofu press again. Here's a few more thoughts on that.

Q. Is my tofu press dishwasher safe? 

A. Lots of people do put them in the top rack of the dishwasher on a low temperature setting with good results. Just skip the drying cycle and sanitizing setting and don't use too much soap. Why? Drying cycles can be so hot that they fade the color of the knob over time. And Soap? Too much of it can leave a hazy residue on stainless steel.

 

Shippin' Questions:

Q. Do you offer Overnight Delivery, expedited delivery?

A. We don't. We offer one medium-fast shipping speed and that's 3-5 business days. It could be a little faster than that depending on where you live. 

Q. Do you ship internationally?

A. Yes! All the time. We frequently ship to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and of course CANADA!!! It's not exactly cheap. You can add the item you like to your cart, enter your shipping info and get a live rate estimate before you order.

Please Note: You will be responsible for any local province taxes or duties associated with the purchase. Don't be mad. Your governments are just trying to protect you. :D