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View Full Version : I was thinking of getting a food dehydrator?



bert304
03-01-2014, 11:06
I was on Amazon today and I was looking at food dehydrators. I found this model as a best seller, Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator. Is this worth buying?

LuckyMan
03-01-2014, 11:14
I've been happy with mine so far. I have found it worth the cost and effort to have more vegetables and lean meats and less junk food when backpacking. I recommend buying a few extra trays so you can make bigger and thus fewer batches.

bert304
03-01-2014, 11:19
I am trying to rethink what I eat while I am out on the trail.

Pedaling Fool
03-01-2014, 11:30
I have an excalibur, but started out with a dehydrator that had less then that model, if this is what it is {FD-75} (2-minute video review) http://www.dehydratorreview.net/videos/nesco-fd-75-snackmaster-pro-food-dehydrator-2-minute-review

Which is perfect for beginners, that way you don't waste too much money if you decide dehydrating is not for you.

BTW, I would also recommend getting the extra trays, but then again I like dehydrating.

Spiffyguy
03-01-2014, 11:42
I have the Nesco Professional. Works well at making jerky and dehydrated veggies. My suggestion is extra trays but also the screen inserts if you are doing smaller things like veggies. I just did a batch of veggies and only had two screens. As they shrunk some of the carrots and beans started to fall through the trays.

atraildreamer
03-01-2014, 12:27
If you are going to get into food dehydrating on a regular basis, (such as preserving excess production from the garden or orchard) then get the best unit you can afford. If you are just going to use it occasionally, then get a cheaper model. You can save some $$$ by looking around. I got two units at yard sales for a total of $12. People get tired of the work involved in drying food and get rid of dehydrators all the time.

Adriana
03-03-2014, 07:47
This may sound strange but Kitchenaid makes a really nice wall or under-counter oven with a dehydrator setting called the Superba. Stand-alone dehydrators are bulky. I needed a replacement oven for my condo and picked one up on Craigs list for $125.00. If you are a bread baker you can also proof bread dough in it and has convection as well.

Offshore
03-03-2014, 08:55
I've had that Nesco for a couple of years and its really been great. While you're at it, consider buying a couple of packs of the expansion trays because you'll be surprised at how quickly the trays fill up. I've run my Nesco with 9 trays with no problems. When I was shopping, I was also considering an Excalibur. No doubt its a great machine but at that price point I figured it was easier and cheaper just to go and buy dehydrated items, so I gave the Nesco a shot and haven't looked back.

Tipi Walter
03-03-2014, 10:27
If you are going to get into food dehydrating on a regular basis, (such as preserving excess production from the garden or orchard) then get the best unit you can afford. If you are just going to use it occasionally, then get a cheaper model. You can save some $$$ by looking around. I got two units at yard sales for a total of $12. People get tired of the work involved in drying food and get rid of dehydrators all the time.

Agree. Like everything else, if you use something frequently and depend on it for efficient home drying (and to prepare backpacking meals), you will want to get something which is big enough and stout enough to help make drying easy and fun. I used to use those white plastic Nesco models and they actually discouraged me from in depth drying and food prep for backpacking trips. I ended up giving them away to interested friends.

Check out the TSM 5 tray dryer with the added silicone sheets for doing soups, etc. Sure it's expensive but well worth the price if you go out alot.

http://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/Backpacking2013-1/Test-Gallery-For-Trip-150/i-LjzZh9K/0/L/TRIP%20150%20005-L.jpg

tiptoe
03-03-2014, 14:19
I've had an Excalibur 5-tray model for several years, and I'm very pleased with it. I routinely buy apples, bananas, and pineapple when they are on sale and put up batches, either for trail use or for home snacks. It's also handy for preserving garden produce. If you get one like this, you may have to purchase Teflon sheets separately. Use these when you are dehydrating whole meals, soups, barks, fruit roll-ups or other semi-liquid items.

Superbugz
03-03-2014, 20:55
I have a cheap hand me down "Home trends" and have been happy with it until now. Just finished dehydrating some chili and the fan broke. Hence, I'm in the market for a new one too. I enjoy dehydrating my own meals and have had a lot of fun with it. You can really get creative. Mine was good, it got me going and into it but I think I'll upgrade now. Remember, you get what you paid for.

LaurieAnn
03-05-2014, 12:51
I thought I would weigh in on this. I have used both the Nesco FD75 and an Excalibur (the 9-tray model). As an author I dehydrate more than the average person and both units have stood up to my abuses. I like the Nesco because of the fruit roll trays with the lip but the timer on the Excalibur is awesome. I also like that I can change the tray height on the Excalibur and use the unit to dry larger items like whole peppers. If you will use it a lot I'd highly recommend Excalibur just because of the convenience of the timer. Happy dehydrating!

burger
03-05-2014, 13:27
I've had the Nesco model that the OP mentioned for several years, and it works just fine. If you need a timer, you can get a get a plug-in timer for like $5 (the kind that you might use to set your lamp to go on and off at certain times of day).

Game Warden
03-06-2014, 00:39
I have a LEM 5-tray. I use it for jerky, dehydrated apples, etc. the controls are clumsy, but it's good for the occasional user like me.

atraildreamer
03-11-2014, 20:05
I thought I would weigh in on this. I have used both the Nesco FD75 and an Excalibur (the 9-tray model). As an author I dehydrate more than the average person and both units have stood up to my abuses. I like the Nesco because of the fruit roll trays with the lip but the timer on the Excalibur is awesome. I also like that I can change the tray height on the Excalibur and use the unit to dry larger items like whole peppers. If you will use it a lot I'd highly recommend Excalibur just because of the convenience of the timer. Happy dehydrating!

Hi LaurieAnn!

Did you get your hubby to replace the dehydrator thermal fuse that you posted about on that other forum a few years back?

rustmd
03-11-2014, 20:16
i use the nesco, it's a work-horse. i dehydrate meals for my AT section hikes as well other weekend backpacks and canoe camping trips. one of my well-worn cookbooks is "A Fork in the Trail" by Laurie Ann March...think she has anotrher

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rustmd
03-11-2014, 20:17
sorry about the above reply, hit the send too soon.

I think Laurie Ann March has a 2nd cookbook out now. her recipes and tips for dehydrating are wonderful, esp. for beginners. i eat very well out in the woods now.

.com

BryceB
03-11-2014, 20:56
I have a LEM 5-tray. I use it for jerky, dehydrated apples, etc. the controls are clumsy, but it's good for the occasional user like me.

Just upgraded to this from an old Harvest Maid (round Nesco style). It is so much better and appears to be the same as the Excaliber 5 tray with timer but the trays look a bit different. jerky, dried fruit and fruit leather have all turned out great.

Demeter
03-13-2014, 02:57
The Excalibur is amazing. I have gone through 3 dehydrators and the features I like best about the Excalibur:

1. The thermostat (although I understand some of the round ones have a thermostat now)
2. The fan is at the back of the unit instead of the bottom, so you don't have to rotate trays to get an even dry time
3. The flexibility of the height of the trays
4. The square trays are great for cutting fruit leathers and dried sauces with my pizza cutter

HikerMom58
04-01-2014, 10:36
Dehydrate your apples and apples skins with this quick and easy way to peel your apples. Love it! :D


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=766116623432696&set=vb.166337376743960&type=2&theater

Nameless
04-04-2014, 00:22
I've had a Nesco for about a decade, my mom has had hers for about 5 or 6 years. We both love them and haven't felt like we need to upgrade (in the summer they run nearly continuously when we are in town).

MeatTrapper
04-04-2014, 13:05
I second the Excalibur. I had a cheap circular dehydrator that I bought from the thrift store and it ended up being more trouble than it was worth. Uneven drying, hard to clean, etc. The Excalibur is a great piece of gear. I really enjoy using it.

Deacon
04-04-2014, 21:13
I second the Excalibur. I had a cheap circular dehydrator that I bought from the thrift store and it ended up being more trouble than it was worth. Uneven drying, hard to clean, etc. The Excalibur is a great piece of gear. I really enjoy using it.

I third it. I dehydrate all my dinners with my Excalibur.

Nameless
04-05-2014, 14:04
Well, all y'all can be proud of yourself. After calculating electricity costs for square footage, I broke down and bought myself a 9 tray Excalibur with a timer.

My mom can have a second Nesco :)

Demeter
04-05-2014, 14:36
glad to hear you drank the Kool Aid. You won't be disappointed!

LaurieAnn
04-07-2014, 17:45
It wasn't me with the fuse issue... but a fellow cookbook author. If I remember correctly Christine's husband replaced the fuse and the Nesco was still going strong.

RustMD I do have a second book out. Thanks for the kind mention. I'm working on a third but it's not suitable for this type of camping.

beachbunny
04-07-2014, 17:51
Hikermom,that was too cool,I am going to do that, thanks
A+on excalibur

Socalhiker87
04-20-2014, 22:33
Does the food taste better dehydrated rather than freeze dried?

Demeter
04-21-2014, 02:18
Freeze dried is almost always the winner in a taste test, but costs significantly more.

Demeter
04-21-2014, 07:27
but I should add that I prefer dehydrated food I make myself because I know what is in it. Lower sodium, no preservatives, locally grown produce, etc.

Rocket Jones
04-21-2014, 07:39
Another advantage to the Excalibur is that because the trays are square you can rotate them partway through the drying time to make sure everything dries evenly. I did trays of spinach, saurkraut and scrambled eggs this weekend.

I highly recommend the backpacking chef's book, "Recipes for Adventure". My trail diet has vastly improved, and it wasn't terrible before.

sarbar
04-24-2014, 11:31
My opinion of dehydrators is this: If you think you will use it, a Nesco is a cheap investment. I don't use my dehydrators for meals, rather I dry components, things I cannot buy commercially (like artichokes!) and for fall preservation from the garden.
A $50 Nesco will do most people just fine....

slbirdnerd
04-24-2014, 12:22
You all inspired me (thanks OP!) and I ordered the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. Can't wait to see what all I can do with it!

gunner76
04-24-2014, 19:32
Freeze dried foods are dehydrated, its just done by a different method. IMO most Freeze Dried foods have too much salt in them.