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Thread: Food Dehydrators

  1. #1
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    Food Dehydrators

    I am wanting to purchase a food dehydrator for one of my sons, but have no knowledge as to what to get. Do any of you have suggestions? A favorite brand? What size/how many trays? What should I look for to get something not too expensive, but built to last.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ginaky's Avatar
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    I have a Nesco with 6 trays. It has a fan motor than blows the hot air and drys things much faster than one that is just heat. I have been drying apples and have done 4 batches so far. I also use it for jerky. I got it at Walmart.
    Regina in Richmond, KY

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    My first thought was check at the thrift stores if you are not sure you want one. It seems a lot of people buy them then decide they take up too much room or too much work. A friend of mine had one so I used hers once. Discovered my family was not into the dried fruit.

  4. #4
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Mine is a transparent brown with six trays. I'm not sure of the brand. I think it might be a Ronco. Works very well... could probably find one on eBay.

  5. #5
    Super Member juneayerza's Avatar
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    American Harvester makes one that circulates air with a fan. I've had two of these over several years and they seem to be pretty reliable.
    June

  6. #6
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Why? My husband had to have one.. I was not interested. He used it maybe twice (to make jerky...stinks up the house) and now it sits two years later...as I predicted. You can buy a lot of dried fruit for what you will invest in the machine, the supplies and the HOURS it takes to dry the fruit etc. I figure that he had $100 into a couple of batches of jerky. He bought a "small" one. Ha! Not so small. Takes up space.

    Shop resale stores. You will likely find abandoned dehydrators barely used. Give them a go then decide if you want a new one. Sorry for the discouraging input. I also dont want a juicer taking up room. Too many appliances taking up storage space as it is.

    Sandy
    Last edited by Sandygirl; 10-14-2014 at 02:43 AM.
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  7. #7
    Super Member AngeliaNR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginaky View Post
    I have a Nesco with 6 trays. It has a fan motor than blows the hot air and drys things much faster than one that is just heat. I have been drying apples and have done 4 batches so far. I also use it for jerky. I got it at Walmart.
    I have this one, too, and love it. We dry herbs, tomatoes, and peppers from the garden for winter use. At the end of the season, we dry the green tomatoes that won't have time to ripen, and crunch the dried tomatoes into soups. My husband does a few batches of jerky a year. We've had it for three years an it is still going strong! I paid thirty-something dollars for it--one of the best buys I've ever made.
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    Senior Member Bullock2us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeliaNR View Post
    I have this one, too, and love it. We dry herbs, tomatoes, and peppers from the garden for winter use. At the end of the season, we dry the green tomatoes that won't have time to ripen, and crunch the dried tomatoes into soups. My husband does a few batches of jerky a year. We've had it for three years an it is still going strong! I paid thirty-something dollars for it--one of the best buys I've ever made.



    I also have this one. I like to make fruit leather(so I know what is in it)make raisins,dry apples,strawberries,etc. I just like to dry my own even though it is more work so I know what is in and on them. I also bought my daughter this one when she got married and she likes it too.

  9. #9
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    I have a Mr. Coffee dehydrator and use it all the time. My favorite thing to dry is homemade granola. It's quite easy and it only takes about 24 hours for it to dry. Christmas is the best time to buy one and Aldi stores offer them every so often for a really decent price. I would not pay more than $40. for one. I am going to dry some jalapeños later today. Right now I have a batch of granola in and it's making a wonderful scent drifting through the house.

  10. #10
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    WOW! I am a downer for sure! but I don't garden and I don't have the "time" or desire to dehydrate. Good info here tho! I love the feedback.

    sandy
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  11. #11
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike'sgirl View Post
    Mine is a transparent brown with six trays. I'm not sure of the brand. I think it might be a Ronco. Works very well... could probably find one on eBay.
    Sounds like the one I have and I've used it all summer to dry herbs that I grow and then put in jars for storage. I've even made turkey jerky with it using left-over turkey from the holidays.

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    Whatever brand you buy make sure it has a circulating fan if you want versatility. My experience has been that for heavy use the brands mentioned don't hold up over the years. Excalibur is a good brand for longevity, but it does cost a bit. For those without access to a dehydrator, it is possible to use your oven if you have a gas or convection ( use the fan settings). Just put it on the lowest heat, and walk away for hours.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    Excalibur is the best.
    Michelle Guadarrama

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the suggestions! It is an item on my son's Christmas wish list. After reading these posts, I'm thinking something in the mid price range, with a fan for sure. Again, thank you all!

  15. #15
    Super Member donna13350's Avatar
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    I have a nesco that I use and use! I just love it...but there are a few things to be aware of up front. The add on trays can get costly..anywhere from 10 to 15 dollars and up a piece...so if you think you might need them, try to buy them in your original set up, they are much cheaper when included, that getting them after.
    Some manufacturers, like Excalibur are more expensive up front..but are much more consumer friendly after the sale...they have a toll free number listed on their parts page to call and they will walk you through replacing parts. Nesco...(as I have recently found out)...would NOT sell me a simple fuse, a one dollar pop in part..but offered to "repair" my unit if I sent it to them with postage paid both ways, and $89.99 for the "repair"...I was furious...got the part locally...as I said, I love the unit..but not their after sale support so much!
    Nesco is also american harvest and gardenmaster..they are all under one company now.
    If you are not sure you will want one for the long haul, get one on ebay used..they are very cheap on there(at least some of the lesser known brands)..the unit may or may not last, but at least you won't have a big investment if you decide dehydrating isn't your thing.

  16. #16
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    I think it would be wise to check different brands on Amazon and read all the reviews.

  17. #17
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    If he is very serious about dehydrating one with a thermostat and fan will be the best. I have an excaliber and I love it. But I know there are others that are just as good. I have 9 shelves in mine and they are all full when I have things to dry. It also will make yogurt and raise bread.
    Lynda


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbielinks View Post
    I am wanting to purchase a food dehydrator for one of my sons, but have no knowledge as to what to get. Do any of you have suggestions? A favorite brand? What size/how many trays? What should I look for to get something not too expensive, but built to last.

  18. #18
    Super Member Patchesnposies's Avatar
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    I have to add my agreement that Excalibur is a great choice.
    Do not worry about the past, for it is history,
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  19. #19
    Super Member FancyFoot's Avatar
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    I've had an Excalibur since 1976. It still works great.
    FancyFoot

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