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Food Dehydrator Recommendations?

Food Dehydrator Recommendations?
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  • Food Dehydrator Recommendations?

    Post #1 - September 6th, 2013, 3:44 pm
    Post #1 - September 6th, 2013, 3:44 pm Post #1 - September 6th, 2013, 3:44 pm
    There have been a few posts referencing food dehydrators over the years but usually only in passing and most are several years old.

    I'm thinking about getting a dehydrator, primarily for fruit but also for the occasional jerky.

    From what I can tell, Excalibur is the gold standard, but it's also considerably more expensive than the runner-up, Nesco.

    I'm wondering what kind of experience people have with different dehydrators on the market, if they're happy with the one they got, how long they've had it/how much they've used it, and whether they recommend it.

    Thanks.
  • Post #2 - September 6th, 2013, 3:50 pm
    Post #2 - September 6th, 2013, 3:50 pm Post #2 - September 6th, 2013, 3:50 pm
    I love the Excalibur. The best one has 9 trays, a temp and a timer for about $300. On my wish list wherever I consult.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #3 - September 6th, 2013, 8:35 pm
    Post #3 - September 6th, 2013, 8:35 pm Post #3 - September 6th, 2013, 8:35 pm
    The 9-tray one is definitely out of my price range.

    I do care about temp control but don't care about a timer. I can make sure I time things so the process is done when I'm awake. And if I change my mind on that, it seems that a lot of people just buy timers that plug into outlets.

    Thinking about either the 5-tray Excalibur ($160) or the square Nesco ($60). I trust the Excalibur brand more but the Nesco one has been reviewed by over 600 people on Amazon and has 4.5 stars.
  • Post #4 - October 8th, 2013, 9:50 pm
    Post #4 - October 8th, 2013, 9:50 pm Post #4 - October 8th, 2013, 9:50 pm
    Just to report back and complete the thread. I went with the Excalibur and am incredibly happy with the results so far. Haven't done anything fancy yet - just sliced up some apples and pears, put them in the dehydrator when I went to bed and had a finished product when I woke up.
  • Post #5 - October 9th, 2013, 3:27 pm
    Post #5 - October 9th, 2013, 3:27 pm Post #5 - October 9th, 2013, 3:27 pm
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Just to report back and complete the thread. I went with the Excalibur and am incredibly happy with the results so far. Haven't done anything fancy yet - just sliced up some apples and pears, put them in the dehydrator when I went to bed and had a finished product when I woke up.

    I'm really trying to become a minimalist, but I'm craving a food dehydrator. My CSA just acquired an apple orchard, so I probably have about 15 pounds of apples that need to be used up. Apple chips would make me so happy...
  • Post #6 - October 9th, 2013, 9:32 pm
    Post #6 - October 9th, 2013, 9:32 pm Post #6 - October 9th, 2013, 9:32 pm
    Hi,

    My oven happens to have a dehydrator setting, which I have never used. You could maintain your minimalist desires by using your oven.

    I have a cheapo dehydrator, because someone didn't want theirs. No fan and no ability to regulate the temperature, yet it does dehydrate stuff. It probably does as good a job as my oven likely does. I may compare the outcomes sometime and if it works as I suspect, I can get rid of the cheapo dehydrator.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - October 10th, 2013, 6:47 pm
    Post #7 - October 10th, 2013, 6:47 pm Post #7 - October 10th, 2013, 6:47 pm
    chgoeditor wrote:
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Just to report back and complete the thread. I went with the Excalibur and am incredibly happy with the results so far. Haven't done anything fancy yet - just sliced up some apples and pears, put them in the dehydrator when I went to bed and had a finished product when I woke up.

    I'm really trying to become a minimalist, but I'm craving a food dehydrator. My CSA just acquired an apple orchard, so I probably have about 15 pounds of apples that need to be used up. Apple chips would make me so happy...


    I get the minimalist thing; it took me two years to pull the trigger. I love dried fruit and meat jerky and I didn't like the oven as an alternative for several reasons, the biggest being that I didn't like leaving my oven on for that long with the door open a little bit (a step necessary for my oven and, I think, most ovens).

    Anyhow, this afternoon I had my first opportunity to go to the grocery store since my first use of the dehydrator. I bought 4 pounds of pears, 3 pounds of apples, 2 packages of raspberries, and a honeydew. All are going in the dehydrator over the next couple days.
  • Post #8 - October 11th, 2013, 8:00 am
    Post #8 - October 11th, 2013, 8:00 am Post #8 - October 11th, 2013, 8:00 am
    My BIL showed up last weekend with his brand-new, bought at WalMart, Nesco 500. We're in upstate apple country, so we went to the orchard and bought a half-peck of Honey Crisps. Sliced 'em, started the (quite noisy) device. Overnight and we had some *wonderful* crispy dried apples. Except for the noise, I think it is a fine machine.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #9 - October 11th, 2013, 11:18 am
    Post #9 - October 11th, 2013, 11:18 am Post #9 - October 11th, 2013, 11:18 am
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:I love dried fruit and meat jerky and I didn't like the oven as an alternative for several reasons, the biggest being that I didn't like leaving my oven on for that long with the door open a little bit (a step necessary for my oven and, I think, most ovens).


    Yeah, with pets (and no way to close off my kitchen) I'm not a fan of the oven method. Someone should create a Rent-the-Runway like business for small appliances. (Or maybe Home Depot's tool rental business is a better analogy.) Does anyone have a dehydrator they'd want to trade for a gently used slow cooker?
  • Post #10 - November 17th, 2019, 12:30 pm
    Post #10 - November 17th, 2019, 12:30 pm Post #10 - November 17th, 2019, 12:30 pm
    Anyone have any feedback or intel on Brod & Taylor's Sahara Folding Dehydrator? I like that it folds up for convenient storage but it's not cheap and having never owned a dehydrator before, I'm wondering if the device is worth the investment.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - November 18th, 2019, 12:51 pm
    Post #11 - November 18th, 2019, 12:51 pm Post #11 - November 18th, 2019, 12:51 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Anyone have any feedback or intel on Brod & Taylor's Sahara Folding Dehydrator? I like that it folds up for convenient storage but it's not cheap and having never owned a dehydrator before, I'm wondering if the device is worth the investment.

    =R=


    I think whether it is worth the investment is completely in the eye of the beholder. That being said, while the ability to fold up may make it easier to store, is that convenience worth paying 2 or 3 times what other quality dehydrators retail for?

    I have owned a dehydrator for many years and I use it in streaks. I may be on a jerky kick and make batches of it for several weeks/months, and then the dehydrator sits on a shelf for years. If you are using it regularly, it probably is not spending a lot of time folded up, and if you are using it sporadically, the few inches of space savings are probably not worth the premium price.
  • Post #12 - November 18th, 2019, 5:38 pm
    Post #12 - November 18th, 2019, 5:38 pm Post #12 - November 18th, 2019, 5:38 pm
    If you don't have a dehydrator and want to make jerky, I've had success using the oven. Set it to the lowest temp and leave the oven door slightly ajar.

    Not sure how the temp compares to a dehydrater, but jerky still turns out well.

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