What kind of dehydrator do you have?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Michelle's Avatar
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    Question What kind of dehydrator do you have?

    And what do you like/dislike about it?

    If you were starting all over, would you buy the same one?

    What things should I consider/look for/avoid when buying my first?

    TIA

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    Registered User familyof3's Avatar
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    I have a Nesco. I like it, but it only has 4 trays. I need to purchase more. The Excalibur is nice too. They both have their pos. and neg. You can't go wrong with either IMO.

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    I have a Nesco. And from what I can tell, the Excaliburs seem to dry faster than mine. Maybe because their fan is in the back and blows across all the trays, where mine is on the top and you sometimes need to switch the trays around. Nesco's seem to be a good starter dehydrator. When I can afford an Excalibur I'd like to get one, but I'll still keep my Nesco and use it too. I like mine, but it's the only one I've ever had. I'm just starting out dehydrating.

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    I just ordered this model:

    Nesco-FD-75PR-700-Watt-Food-Dehydrator (Well, it won't let me put in a link, but it's at Amazon.com)

    Had a terrible time deciding what machine to buy. Being single, space constraints, pocketbook constraints.... This machine has great customer reviews and comes with sheets for leathers and small items and seems reasonably priced. And free shipping at Amazon too

    The important features seemed to be fan, thermostadt, lots of great reviews, good price, and the leather sheets have a lip on them so your liquid wouldn't roll off the side (which probably sounds dumb, but concerned me...) If dehydrating turns out to be as awesome as hoped, I can upgrade to a bigger one later. If not, I'm out way less than $200 for an Excalibur.

    Hoping to soon be a dehydrating fool...

    Anne.

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    jas
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    I have the excalibur 9 tray with timer. I like it alot. I probably did not need to get this large of one right from the start, but I am glad I did. The cons would be the size, it is pretty big and the cost. The pros, I can do a lot at a time, I can do larger items by removing some trays. I can use it to rise my dough for bread. I can use it to make yogurt. The fan is in the back so you don't have to worry about drips getting into the mechanisms.

    I am sure you will love which ever one you pick!
    Last edited by jas; 04-19-2009 at 12:18 PM.

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    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    I have a Nesco with a thermostat and an Excalibur 9 tray-no timer. My Excalibur dries much faster and more uniformly. I don't use my Nesco anymore, but I think one of my grown kids wants it.

    Excalibur has a four or five tray model that isn't as big as the 9 tray.

    I bought my Excal with the intent that I will be using it for a long time to come. My first Nesco died so then I bought a second. I don't think I'll every have to buy another. Replacement parts are accessible (i.e. fans etc)

    My Excalibur is easier to clean than my Nesco.
    I can get more food on my Excal
    I have a better warranty on my Excal

    Leather trays are not available locally for my Nesco.

    I can make yogurt and raise bread in my Excal. I like the way I can check on the food by opening the door without taking off the lid and removing heat.

    I have a dedicated space for my Excal.

    Sorry if this post is rambling. I've had a bazillion interuptions.
    Last edited by LastDragonfly; 04-19-2009 at 03:17 PM.

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    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    Michelle, I think that you want to know "Why" you want a dehydrator too. Add to stockpile? Get the kids to eat more fruit? Make jerky? Save $?

    Years ago I only dehydrated jerky. I didn't really need a timer or thermostat. I don't have a timer on my big Excal--I personally don't need one as I am home most of the time. But IF I had a job outside of my home or had to be out of my home alot, I would definately get one with a timer.

    I really upgraded knowing that I would be drying LOTS of food for stockpiling reasons. Grocery prices increase. It's helped me save money already. It's also been useful because it does put out some heat and heater actually doesn't come on at night any longer.

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    Registered User hotprincesscm's Avatar
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    I have a Ronco...Got it at the thrift store. It's my first, it has 7 trays and just a heating element on the bottom, no fan or anything, but I'm pretty happy with it so far. Actually I'm off now to clean it up and load it up again. I have had it less than a week, and it's pretty much been in continual use!!

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    Registered User Laurie in Bradenton's Avatar
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    Nesco American Harvester. Love it most of all because it was a gift. It has 9 trays and an adjustable tstat. Wish it had a timer but maybe the next one. It did take a bit for me to rearrange to find it a home but its got one now and I love it.

    Laurie in Bradenton

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    jas
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    I too am using mine to be able to stockpile large amounts of food. Don't get me wrong you can still stockpile lots with any size. Like Misti said with food prices and the shaky economy it is prudent to add things to your stockpile at todays prices. Even though I have never canned food, I thought this would be easier for me to get the hang of. Now though I am interested in maybe trying it.

    You can buy much more of an item on sale and take advantage of the good price and not worry about waste or stuff going bad.

    I am sure there are more reasons I love my dehydrator!
    Last edited by jas; 04-19-2009 at 05:29 PM.

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    Registered User fixer's Avatar
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    I have an American Harvest with six trays. I think they are marketed under the Nesco brand now. It seems to do a good job although the design of the Excalibur makes more sense to me. I will use mine until it dies then probably look at an Excalibur. It is probably fifteen years old. It has spent most of it's life in the closet until I caught the drying bug here at FV.
    Last edited by fixer; 04-20-2009 at 12:24 AM.

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    I also have an American Harvest and it has 6 trays, I got it at Walmart several years ago and I really can't complain about it!

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    Registered User freebs's Avatar
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    I have a nesco also. On the box it says nesco professional. i purchased mine from amazon.com it cost about $70 but it was worth it it has great reviews also!

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    I also have the Nesco American Harvester with 9 trays and I purchased extra leather trays so I have 4 of those instead of just one.

    I've had mine for years and it works wonderfully, although I do agree the design of the Excalibur makes better functional sense with the fan/heating element in the rear instead of on top.

    My Nesco does have an adjustable thermostat on it and sometimes I have had to rotate trays for even drying but really it doesn't take more than a second for me to do that so it's not really any trouble I think. I've made countless pounds of jerky on it along with dehydrating many other things including a large amount of vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and even Christmas dough ornaments. Last summer it worked over time dehydrating all of my cherry tomatoes (marinated in olive oil and italian herbs). For weeks my house smells like an old Italian pizzeria. Good Lord that was delicious smelling. I plan on doing that again this summer since I've used most of last years bounty up on HM pizzas and in sauces.

    I got to thinking about the good smells of things dehydrating and rambled off track lol. Anyway, honestly either the Nesco or the Excalibur would be a good choice. The Excal does dry things a bit faster than the others BUT the Nesco's work great as well and for the cost you can't beat it....it's a great way to start out in the world of dehydrating. It pretty much is going to come down to how much money you want to spend really. The Nesco's range in pricing from about $40 (for a 4 tray) to just over $100 for a higher wattage and more professional type with more trays, and the Excal's range from just over $120 (for a 4 tray) to roughly $300 for a 9 tray. Both brands do have accessories, extra trays (leather and regular), and replacement parts widely available online.

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    Registered User savvy_sniper's Avatar
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    Penascodragonfly (Misti),

    Thanks so much for your input on my HOPEFULLY new used Excalibur dehydrator from Craigslist. Hubby and MIL said they will cough up the money for my b'day. MIL will go with me to "test drive it" and protect me.

    FYI - the person is selling the dehydrator and lots of other stuff because they are moving out of state and want to lighten their load. Seller states "Have used it to make tofu jerky, fruit leathers, dehydrated countless trays of fruit, made protein bars with it all have come out wonderfully."

    We have emailed back and forth numerous times today. It "feels" right. Hopefully I can arrange to test drive it and pick it up TOMORROW!

    Mary

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