1,608 of 1,625 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great little machine
I had been researching dehydrators for months and finally decided on this one. I am happy I did. I have dried veggies, fruits, made jerky and fruit leathers so far. It is easy to use, has great recipes and works well. It is nice to be able to give the kids snacks that are not full of sugars and things no one can pronounce. I only wish it had a timer. I will probably...
Published on April 4, 2007 by B.M.K.
68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad quality and poor customer service at Nesco
I was given this dehydrator as a gift, within a year of receiving it the dehydrator broke. Fortunately it was just barely under warranty and Nesco sent me another head. Unfortunately the new one only lasted 2.5 uses. Now Nesco tells me that one is not covered by warranty and I should just buy another head for $40. But why would I put more money into a product that has...
Published on August 20, 2012 by Trista L Martin
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1,608 of 1,625 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great little machine,
I had been researching dehydrators for months and finally decided on this one. I am happy I did. I have dried veggies, fruits, made jerky and fruit leathers so far. It is easy to use, has great recipes and works well. It is nice to be able to give the kids snacks that are not full of sugars and things no one can pronounce. I only wish it had a timer. I will probably use a regular timer and plug it into that.
Pros: *fan not in bottom of unit - allows for more uniform drying
*size - fits nicely on a kitchen counter
*availability of accessories
*ease of use
Cons: *no timer
*no on/off switch - you have to unplug the unit to turn it off
2,261 of 2,298 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised!,
I was so surprised at how well this dehydrator works
expected it to work okay but not this good!
I put 5 pounds of beef to dry, expecting it to take at least a day.
5 hours later and it was done!
This was thicker sliced than the paper thin I usually do
on top of that!
I love that the heater and fan are on the top
that makes clean up after jerky
My sister just bought one too and is very happy she did.
We both contemplated on buying the Excalibur one but
this by far is a better deal for your money.
I have had it a week now and have used it almost every day.
With the excellent quality of this dehydrator I expect to get
many , many years of use out of it
over a year later and we found that we needed more than one dehydrator, so we purchased another one of these with extra trays, screens.
we were hooked on dehydrating...so easy and no food spoilage!
We found ourselves needing even another dehydrator to keep up with all the
fresh produce and meats that we would purchase in bulk to save money.
This time we bought an Excalibur 9 tray with timer.
I have to say, we should of just bought another Nesco American Harvest
FD-75PR. The Nesco dehydrated the corn faster than the high priced Excalibur and I found I did need to rotate the trays in the Excalibur,
because the foods on the back of the trays dried faster than the foods on the front of the trays.
So ...if we need another dehydrator down the road we're sticking with
Nesco American Harvest FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator and putting the extra cash we save in the bank!
9/21/2012 update...Over 5 years later and still going strong. Have used it for everything from dehydrating fruits and veggies,various types of jerky, raw foods recipes , roll ups and dehydrating meals for camping. Still Very happy with this dehydrator.
8/5/2014 update still going strong!
163 of 168 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good product with minor flaws,
This review is from: Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator FD-75A (Kitchen)
I imported this Nesco 75PR dehydrator to Brazil, so I can tell you how it behaves in very humid climates like we have here, where we get normally 90% air humidity, specially in the summer. I bought a power consumption measuring device to attach between the dehydrator and my power source to check how much power it drains. I guess this data possibly may interest you. Many people say the power consumption is not high, but how high/low it is? I have done some tests and I think I have the answer for different situations. Energy in Brazil is not cheap so this is an important topic for us to discuss. And, of course, nobody likes to shred money and the environment, regardless of energy taxes.
First, lets talk about performance:
Only in a few ocasions I could dry something with less than 12 hours using a moderate temperature and thin slices. This is why I give this product a 4 instead of a 5 stars. But a 4,5 or 4,7 stars would be more fair, since this dehydrator has a lot of good points and we live in a very humid area, in the sea coast. And, the manual covers the "worst drying period possible" as being coincident to ours. In other words, they are not lying when they affirm that something can dry between "6 and 18 hours". We sit right in the 18 hours extreme. Be aware that this may be your case. Evaluate this point before buying a unit. Fruits: unsliced bananas can take 24-30 hours to dry to a flexible texture (we call this "banana passa" in Brazil, that are made in an industrial scale using gas dehydrators and constant 70 Celsius). The drying temperature is between 60 and 70 Celsius. Thin apple slices can take between 12 and 18 hours to get a leathery texture. Maybe if you let it more time it can eventually be crunchy, but be very aware that crunchiness is NOT an easy thing to achieve using dehydrators, because commercial fruit chips normally are made using fried fruits in coconut oil. I also had the fantasy of making homemade banana chips. Well, they get to a chewy point and taste quite good, anyway. (If that serves as a solace...). Meat: Didn't try it yet. Peppers: dried Jalapeños got an undesirable brownish color. I think the temperature cicles got some peaks that cooked the pepper instead of only drying its remaining water. I think if you are willing to put some peppers in a dehydrator, you should use very low temperatures, those used to dry herbs and other fragile stuff. I followed the 135F and it was a bit high, possibly.
Now, about the sound and physical attributes:
This unit is QUIET. VERY quiet. I can not believe some people say this dehydrator makes some undesirable noise to the point that they need to put them in a room far from their bedroom otherwise they couldn't sleep! I am VERY sound sensitive and I can assure you, the sound will not bother you. I can even watch TV close to the dehydrator and I only hear its noise if I mute the TV. Not an exaggeration. A fact.
Weight, appearance, height: Very discreet. Very light. Did I say VERY light? The gray and white marble finish fits incredibly well in any room, like it's camouflaged, hard to explain. It just looks like another generic thing or pan or tupperware that you have in the kitchen, not a thing that a boring friend or neighbor will come and say "WOW, WHAT'S THAT THING?" You know how boring is that kind of people, but they won't bother you, I assure you. I bought 4 more trays (9 in total) and it still feels light. I can carry it with 9 trays full of bananas with ease. (if that matters: 67 bananas).
Cleaning: easy to clean. Dehydrated fruits leave virtually no residue, they stick very lightly to the trays and can be easily pulled out. Not a single banana or any other fruit like apples got stuck in the trays to the point that they couldnt be removed easily with the fingers, and entire, not in fragments.
Power consumption: Ok, here we go. (Room temperature: 28 Celsius) With 9 trays full of fruits: 1st hour: 650 Watts (average). 2nd to 5th hour: 380 watts (average). After 6 hours: 360 Watts (average). Total consumption per run long: 31 hours, 7,16 KWH (average: 231 watts). Temperature set: 145F (63 Celsius). With 5 trays full of fruits and/or fruit rolls, in a temperature set of 135F: 1st hour: 301 Watts (average). After a few hours, it dropped to below 200 watts average. Explanation: the first hours take more power because the machine is heating the trays so the thermostat rarely turns off. After a few hours, the thermostat only activates ocasionally to refresh the temperature, since the trays are already heaten and only need a maintenance to keep the warm air flow. When the electric resistance turns off, the measure of wattage reads 28 watts, that's the power consumption of the fan (negligible). Conclusion: the shorter the run, less efficient it will be, because whenever it heatens up the trays you are removing the foods from the trays. Long runs are more efficient, so I guess its better to make a full charged dehydrator rather than little runs with little quantity of food. Just an opinion without any scientific claim.
I can not say anything about durability of this Nesco dehydrator, since I bought it recently. I will update this review if anything unexpected occurs, or if I have any important thing to add, like new food experiences, et cetera.
To finish this review, I'd like to apologize for my awful English, I had a hard time writting this because I am not a native speaker, so tell me if something sounds odd or particularly unusual, I can clarify your questions in the comments section. I hope this humble review can be useful for you. Thank you very much for the attention.
655 of 699 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing short of great!,
Very impressed with this unit. Don't waste your money on a lower cost dehydrator that lacks a fan or variable temperature. I have made about 6 batches of jerky and each has turned out great.
Can expand the number of trays
Fan to circulate air
No timer - this is a serious bummer
Trays aren't totally dishwasher safe - heat will warp the plastic.
286 of 307 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timer fix - for FD75pr and FD50,
A correction - I once owned the FD-50 version of this dehydrator. It sadly got washed away in a flood.
For all of you who want a timer: Go to the hardware store and buy an outlet timer. This is what I did with the FD50 and it worked great.
352 of 383 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Great!,
OK, this is my first dehydrator so I can't compare this to other units but so far I'm truly impressed! I made my first batch of beef jerky in about four hours and it was delicious! I also made some chicken jerky for my boxer (one of the main reasons I got this unit) and it works great for that as well. I can't wait to try some new stuff!
I've seen a few comments concerned about power consumption so I figured I'd post my findings. This is a 700 Watt unit but remember that appliances controlled by thermostat don't run at peak power the whole time. I tested mine for 4 hours at 160 degrees and it used 1.68 kWh or an average consumption of 420 Watts per hour. Current cost of power where I live is around 10 cents per kWh so this unit costs me a little over 4 cents per hour. If I run it 10 hours a week, I'm looking at around $1.82 per month. I saved more than that making my first 1 lb of jerky!
As others have said, clean-up is a piece of cake especially with the clean-a-screens - I recommend going ahead and getting enough of these to cover each tray. I didn't have to do any rotation and the jerky was done evenly throughout. The fan is quiet - like white noise and the unit puts off a little heat but only right around where it is sitting (where else is the air passing around the food at 160F going to go?).
I guess a timer would be nice but I can pick up a timer at the hardware store. It even helps dog-sit as my boy wouldn't leave the kitchen the whole time it was going...
January 2011 - I've now had this dehydrator 2 1/2 years and it is still going strong. I really don't use the clean-a-screens anymore, I just use the dishwasher to clean the tray's and bottom - you just have to make sure you select "air dry" so the trays don't get damaged. I'm up to 9 trays and for me that's as many as I'll probably ever need. It is nice to know I could add 3 more if I needed to and I have no doubt it would work perfectly with 12 racks. This thing has paid for itself many times over and continues to produce great tasting treats!
Update: June 2013 - Just a quick update to say 5 years in and this thing is still doing great. I wish all of my appliances were this reliable!
534 of 591 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great dehydrator -- if you need one,
If you really need a dehydrator, this is a good one (although I've never used any others, so I can't really compare them).
I have made dried fruit and veggie 'chips', fruit leathers, turkey jerky and even tofu jerky. Everything has come out fine although some items took 12 hours to dry completely (which apparently is the norm).
The unit does generate a small amount of heat in the immediate vicinity, and I wonder how much energy it uses (probably not much, but if you use it a lot, for hours at a time, it may add up).
HOWEVER, after a few weeks I had to really ask myself if I NEEDED a dehydrator. Except for the jerky, it's proably easier to buy dried fruit than to dry it myself, and the price differential isn't that great. My favorites are dried apples and bananas and neither come out the way they taste store bought.
In addition, it's not always as easy as just slicing the fruit or vegetable and laying the slices on the trays. Many items require pre-cooking or pre-treating, so it can be a time consuming process.
I've become addicted to the turkey jerky, so the dehydrator turned out to be a good investment (it's impossible to find jerky made from ground turkey on the market!). But before you buy any dehydrator, decide if you really need it and if it wouldn't be easier and cheaper to buy dried food. If you intend on making jerky of any kind, a dehydrator will no doubt pay for itself in short order, but if you're getting it mainly for fruits and veggies, you might come to a different decision.
77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great.,
Nesco seems to be the top runner for reasonably priced dehydrators. We decided to get this one vs the square one because we werent sure how much we'd use it and wanted the cheapest option.
Having a temperature dial that goes up to 160 degrees is very handy for making jerky. Otherwise you have to pre-cook the meat which seems like a huge pain in the butt.
If you are new to dehydrating, here are some things you should know:
1) For jerky, they give you several packets of cure and spices, each of which is enough for 1 lb of meat.
2) There are 2 types of jerky you can make. The first is what you are used to seeing at the store. It uses strips of meat. You buy a lean cut of meat and cut it into strips. Then use a packet to make a marinade and let it sit for 24 hours in the fridge. Then you cut it into even thickness strips and dry. This is the hardest way of doing it by FAR because evenness of the cuts is very important for drying purposes. You want to make sure you cook the meat all the way through, and thick areas can cause big problems.
The second jerky method is to use ground meat. The major advantage is that it is much easier to make consistent 'strips' and the jerky is a lot more tender. This is a big deal for those who love jerky but it hurts their jaw because it is so tough.
Make SURE that the meat is rated at 95% lean or better. Just because it says 'lean' or 'sirloin' doesn't mean much. Leaner meat means you won't have fat that drips off the jerky that you have to remove with a towel. (like you'd blot bacon that you are cooking to absorb the grease). Remember that the fat does not dry very well at all and can make your jerky go rancid quickly.
You also need a food processor or blender because the ground meat is NOT fine enough to work well enough. Furthermore, you do NOT marinade with this method. Instead you add a packet (or whatever recipe of spices, salt, etc) straight into the meat. Hence it must be blended well.
Once blended, you can use a cake-decorator (that normally holds icing) to make sticks. I'd recommend just making 1 giant swirl on the sheet as that is a lot more space-efficient than making individual strips. After drying you can break em off as desired. You can also buy their special meat holder that makes nice flat strips if you don't have a cake decorator.
I recommend using a sprayer or something to add a fine layer of vegetable oil to prevent sticking.
Most fruit is kind of tough when dehydrated. It is NOT the candied dried fruit that you get in stores! Nor is it the new freeze-dried crunchy type. It is also a lot of work to cut it all up in a consistent manner so it all gets dried evenly. Bananas do make for decent chips, but they arent as crunchy typically because you arent dumping them in oil like the chips that you might have bought.
I would recommend doing fruit rollups. For example, I used pineapple, mango and some applesauce and tossed it into the processor/blender. They give you 2 sheets for rollups that are raised on the edges. You just dump the fruity-product onto each sheet and it pretty much evenly spreads out FOR you since it is much like applesauce consistency.
Let er dry and cut it into pieces. It is tasty and easier. I recommend putting wax paper inbetween each slice though which makes it a bit more trouble but is worth it.
This approach makes it easier to add cinnamon or other spices if you want.
181 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't ignore this one,
This is one of those items that does exactly what it says it's going to do and does it without a fuss. It's simple to use (even I haven't screwed up anything with it yet) and works extremely well. So far I've used it to make both beef and venison jerky and both have been delicious. This is a fairly large appliance and if you are counter space challenged you won't want to leave it out all the time. But it works so well and the things that come out of it are so yummy you won't want to put it away. The outside cleans up easily and the drying trays themselves require a little more effort. The mesh design of the drying trays (think air circulation) gives a lot of surface area for things to stick to so they just require a little more work. Be warned, when you use this your home will be filled with the delicious aroma of whatever you are making. Be prepared for salivating dogs that are unwilling to leave the kitchen and fantastic dehydrated food.
68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad quality and poor customer service at Nesco,
I was given this dehydrator as a gift, within a year of receiving it the dehydrator broke. Fortunately it was just barely under warranty and Nesco sent me another head. Unfortunately the new one only lasted 2.5 uses. Now Nesco tells me that one is not covered by warranty and I should just buy another head for $40. But why would I put more money into a product that has proven to be of poor quality?
I have called Nesco twice, to no avail. The first time I called they suggested I write them a letter, a physical USPS letter in complaint, as if that will help. I wrote it and then promptly called back. Again the CSR was not helpful, I asked to talk to a manager and, big surprise, got a voicemail.
I am very frustrated as I bought all the accessories, have 11 trays, and fruit leather sheets, etc. I will not buy another unit from them but do not want to start from scratch.
I have never had such poor customer service, usually a company that cares about their reputation and product quality will work with you when there is an obvious problem with their product.
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