As it stands currently “dry” recipes (powdered/dehydrated/jerky) consume an inordinate amount of time on every run. With the need for shelf stable foods so prevalent in a survival situation it’s not uncommon for my characters to spend literal days drying food. The only problem is because of how drying is currently coded it means they can do nothing else during that time.
Would it be possible to change the way dehydrating foods currently works to a system more in line with the way curing/tanning/brewing is implemented? A food dehydrator isn’t something that needs active intervention once it has been started, it’s pretty much just set and forget.
There are a few ways I’m envisioning this.
Regular dehydrator: Much like a curing hide/pelt it would be activated up to its maximum power capacity whenever a recipe is set. It could have a flag (running/drying/etc) that could also be applied to whatever items are selected to be in it. Whatever the batch size is would determine how long it takes until it can be "a"ctivated to retrieve the dried goods with the resulting power drain. For more complex recipes such as jerky immediately consume the other required ingredients (they go on the meat after all).
Smoking racks: Treat them like a charcoal smoker/still. Once they’ve been started just walk away and come back later to "e"xamine them and retrieve the smoked goods.
Stationary dehydrator (currently only in the Foodco Kitchen Buddy): Much like the smoking rack, it gets put in use. Since the kitchen buddy already has a water purifier function it might not be too much of a stretch to add a “fill/empty” dehydrator function. This would also allow for mixing quantities of items, such as jerky/veg/fruit/dry meat, with each taking up part of the capacity up the maximum batch size.
Obviously there would still be some active time involved, for loading/unloading the products from the equipment, but it could be greatly shortened from the current 30 min/stack.
I’m sure this is a pretty low priority item and since I don’t know anything about coding, nor have the time to learn, I have no idea how complex it would be. It does seem to me like it would shunt a huge time sink for every survivor from just staring at a screen while it processes to something that can happen in the back ground and with a similar implementation already in place for other substances it already has a starting point.