Ronco Food Dehydrator, Yogurt Maker and Beef Jerky Machine
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- Dehydrates foods for snacks, camping, hiking
- Operates silently with convection air flow; no motorized fan
- Includes five trays for drying fruits, vegetables, jerky
- Fruit rollup trays and herb/flower screens sold separately
- Makes yogurt in eight hours
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Top Customer Reviews
First, the Ronco FD5 is slower. It takes up to twice as long to dry food as the Snackmaster. This may not seem like a big deal, but it's the difference between being able to dry three batches of apple slices in a single day off, versus only one batch.
Second, and more important, the Ronco FD5 does not dry evenly. This is probably because it doesn't have a fan, but it's very annoying. For one thing, it means you need to rotate trays. Regularly. It's no good to set the thing going and then go do other things for four hours; you have to stay close enough that you can monitor it and rotate the trays every hour or so; otherwise the bottom trays get dry, and the top ones don't. Additionally and worse, there is no consistency in dryness from piece to piece within the same tray. One piece of fruit will be dry while the piece right next to it is still wet on the surface, let alone in the middle. Not only does this necessitate removing some pieces early and letting others dry longer, but, worse, it also means checking each piece for dryness (by tearing to see if there are moisture droplets inside) before removing it from the dryer. With my Snackmaster 50, I can just tear one or two of the thickest pieces on any tray, and if they are dry, I know all the fruit is dry on all the trays, and there is no need to rotate trays.Read more ›
You can take apples, peaches, strawberries or other fruits and make candy-like healthy snacks. It's a nice alternative to canning, which uses a lot of sugar. So you can preserve your crop rather easily. All you need to do is slice the peeled or unpeeled fruit. To prevent browning due to an enzymatic reaction, you can dip each slice into a solution of ascorbic acid (available at the pharmacy) or in lemon juice. You can also make yogurt in this, using the gentle heat as the incubator to keep the milk with yogurt starter warm in jars overnight.
The trays feel a bit flimsy; this is a lightweight device and it is a bit large. So you'll probably have to find a place to pack it away unless you have a lot of counter space and use it all the time.
I like the Ronco dehydrator because it makes jerky fast. You don't need to use preservatives when making pet treat jerky as long as you properly dehydrator the food. It is a silent easy to learn dehydrator.
The only real pain was rotating and switching the trays other than that it pretty much runs itself. You can safely run it 24/7 and you not overly worry about something going wrong in the household.
I recommend this product to everyone. Once you get experienced with dehydrating and wear it out. Easily replace it like I am going to do with the same brand or get a more sophisticated one. But I will be buying another Ronco dehydrator in the months to come!
You must practice and experiment to find foods and receipes that work. It's not brain surgery but it takes some patience and time to get things right, like what to soak fruit in so it won't brown while drying, how long to dry things,etc.
I was a little shocked with how flimsy the design was. I was so concerned that I didn't feel right leaving on overnight the first time. The bottom is flimsy and difficult to clean since you can't immerse it and one of the trays had a crack in it and keeps getting worse. Replacements are only available from Ronco too and other accessories like the herb drying tray and yogurt tray are extra ( at least with the 5 tray version).
Like someone else mentioned, this is a good machine to start out with to see if you like dehydrating your own food. I think I might step up to a better quality machine at some point though.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The thing melted on me the 3rd time I tried to use it. Made jerky twice but the 3rd time was a no go. What a mess I got to clean up. Not to mention the money I lost buying it.Published on January 3, 2014 by Chris & Kristin
this thing doesnt have a fan, so it takes days on days to dehydrate anything. get one that has a fan.Published on April 5, 2013 by soundcontrol
I've had this now for a few years, use it all the time and love it. The only down side is the trays wear out over time. Read morePublished on January 9, 2013 by nmart
I have a Ronco food dehyerator that the heating element has gone on steroids & has melted 2 of the plastic trays. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by jollen j gibbs
My wife uses this every fall to dehydrate apples. It works great and was a great price. Would reccomend it to anyone.Published on December 17, 2012 by dwhite
From 1st use it smells of burning plastic. Make the food taste like plastic. There is no fan and this unit takes forever to dry even fruit... DONT BUY THIS UNIT. Read morePublished on April 15, 2012 by xSox
We tried this for the first time and were told how to dehydrate food on a normal dehydrator. So we left the fruit in for a day and then a little more until we noticed a nasty stale... Read morePublished on September 22, 2011 by M. Green
This is a terrible product. First time using it and two shelves melted and cracked. I compared it to my American Harvest dehydrator and the Ronco is made so cheaply. Read morePublished on June 14, 2011 by Georgia
Just was not as simple as it looked on TV. My fruits look more cooked than dried.Published on October 7, 2007 by TJV Golfer