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Topic: Dehydrator comparison< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
Idaho Bob Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2012, 9:46 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My big homemade dehydrator fell apart from being out in the weather too many years.  I am considering a countertop commercial dehydrator.  What kinds do you folks use, and how long would it take to dehydrate 10 small apples?

I bought a super cheap Ronco dehydrator at a thrift shop, and I'm testing it out.  It doesn't have a fan, but I put a decent sized fan under it and I'm giving it a test drive.  I sliced 10 small apples, and filled its 5 trays fairly lightly.  

What brands and models do others like?
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Deborah Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2012, 5:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think you will find that Nesco is recommended frequently.  If you do a search in this forum on the word Nesco there are several older threads asking for suggestions and Nesco is mentioned often.  

That's what I have and I like it.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2012, 6:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep, I like my Nesco. It's the Snackmaster and I sort of wish I had a more powerful one.

It takes me about 8-10 hours to dehydrate chili and pasta sauce.

I did 5 apples in it last week (fills about 3 trays) and it took about 8 hours to get them where I wanted them.
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Idaho Bob Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2012, 11:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My 10 small apples were not done in the evening, so I let it run overnight.  They were dry in the morning, at about 4-5% moisture and breakable  when bent, in the morning, so a total of 22 hours.  That is OK for apples, but for things that take a long time to dry, like cherries or berries, or for veggies where you want a quick dry time, that seems way too long.  

I guess the Ronco goes back to the thrift store.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2012, 7:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a 9 tray Excalibur, 600 watt. Fan forced.

I've only dehy'd a some fruits a few times and jerky once but I have been very happy with it.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2012, 10:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Started with a ronco myself.  It worked but like you said it took forever to dry things. Was always worried when drying meat.  Then I went to a nesco 750?  Great dehydrator.   When I started my own food biusness I needed something bigger.  Went withe the Excalibur 9 tray with timers.  Man I love these things superior to the nesco and I think the nesco kicks but
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2012, 11:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a five-tray Excalibur.  Very happy with it.

The problem with most non-commercial, counter top dehydrators is that the heat source and fan are in the bottom of the unit.  Of course, this poses more of a problem as you place items on the higher trays.  The Excalibur units have the heat source and fan in the back of the unit.  This results in much more even drying than a comparably-powered unit with the heat and fan in the bottom.

I just did 8-10 Granny Smith apples in my Excalibur this weekend.  It took about 14 hours to get them to the point where I wanted them.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 14 2012, 4:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I got an early fathers day and birthday gift: a 9 tray 3900 excalibur.  I got the refurbished model from the website, for $200.  It seems to work great.  I'm ready for some cherries and apricots now.  I dried some bananas in it and was pleased that they popped off the tray without leaving a residue when they got dry enough.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2012, 11:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Let us know how the cherries turn out.  I tried blueberries and some of them simply would not dehydrate.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 18 2012, 7:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nesco

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PostIcon Posted on: May 18 2012, 11:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://www.nesco.com/product....6de6095

I have that and now have 12 trays for it. I really need to use it more for hiking meals.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 30 2012, 7:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Open Country 700 (now they call it the Sportsman's Kitchen).  It's a Nesco brand.  Excellent drier, does it all, very happy with it, about $80 at Open Country Dehydrators

Though you can pick one up on Amazon for about $65.

Highly recommended.

Drake
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PostIcon Posted on: May 31 2012, 1:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have an old (20 year old) Harvest Maid dehydrator with 4 trays. I've always been happy with it :)

Mudinyeri, when I dehydrate cherries, I cut them in half (remove pit, of course), and "pop" them (kind of like turning inside-out). I've never had a problem getting them dried that way.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 31 2012, 4:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Recently bought a Nesco 75 from Amazon.  Think it was $60.  It's my first dehydrator and I'm happy with it.  My main complaint is that it is circular and the trays look like donuts.  When you're done dehydrating it is difficult to bend/fold the trays and slide all your food into a bag or container.  You've got to do something with the food at the top or it just falls through the hole.

The fan is also on the top so you've got to grab hot trays to look at the food drying closer to the bottom.  

The Excaliburs seem to avoid these two problems but they are also 3-4x as expensive.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 03 2012, 11:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have had my Nesco for year and it still works great..
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 04 2012, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Woodswoman @ May 31 2012, 1:40 pm)
QUOTE
I have an old (20 year old) Harvest Maid dehydrator with 4 trays. I've always been happy with it :)

Mudinyeri, when I dehydrate cherries, I cut them in half (remove pit, of course), and "pop" them (kind of like turning inside-out). I've never had a problem getting them dried that way.

Hmmm ... I'll have to give that a try with my blueberries.

Thanks.


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"History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it. "  Walter Bagehot, Founder of the National Review
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 24 2012, 3:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Late reply, but there's a pretty good dehydrator comparison table here: http://www.dehydratorreview.net/compare-dehydrators

We've had a NESCO 1018p for a long time (when they were still american harvest) and had good luck with it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 11:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Another Nesco fan; bought mine at a Goodwill for 7 bucks on "Half-off Saturday."  I'm all for using second-hand stuff that's still functional, especially when it's half off.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 16 2012, 10:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I had an Open Country (it was just pointed out that it's a Nesco product) that I was very happy with: dried lots of stews and pasta meals for my hikes, also kiwi fruit (tangy!) and lamb jerky (yum!).  My brother just gave me an American Harvest, so I'm eager to try it out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2012, 1:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just joined the forums , new to backpacking, kind of new to dehydrating, and have a question. . . Can someone explain to me how you dehydrate stew, spaghetti, ect? We have a Open Country 7 tray we bought at Basspro. . . .    Thanks and sorry for the high jack

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2012, 12:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

This video will get you started. It's easier than it sounds.
dehydrating pasta
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