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Nesco/American Harvest FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator

4.4 out of 5 stars 476 customer reviews
| 12 answered questions

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  • Easy-to-use dehydrator for drying fruit, vegetables, herbs, and jerky
  • Air-circulation system ensures fast, even drying; no need to rotate trays
  • Adjustable thermostat; printed guidelines on motor housing
  • Bale handle; dishwasher-safe parts; instruction manual
  • Measures 14-1/2 by 14-1/2 by 9-5/8 inches; 1-year limited warranty
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Nesco/American Harvest FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator
  • +
  • Nesco SQT-2 Add-A-Tray for FD-80 and FD-80A Square Dehydrator, Set of 2
  • +
  • Nesco SQM-2-6 Clean-a-Screen for FD-80 and FD-80A Series Square Dehydrators, (2 sheets)
Total price: $103.95
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This item: Nesco/American Harvest FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator
Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars (476) 4 out of 5 stars (2547) 4 out of 5 stars (515) 4 out of 5 stars (1182)
Price $80.95 $64.99 $99.86 $246.99
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Modern Home Products
Material Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic
Item Weight 9.35 pounds 9 pounds 8.95 pounds 22 pounds
Color White Gray White Black
Warranty Description 1 Year limited warranty 1 Year limited warranty 1 Year limited warranty 10 Year limited warranty
Wattage 700 Watts Information not provided 1000 Watts 440 Watts
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Product Description

Dry slices of fruit and vegetables, herbs and flowers, granola, or strips of jerky using this easy-to-operate dehydrator. With its square shape, the countertop appliance provides 41-percent more room for drying compared to round dehydrators. It also features a unique air-circulation system with a top-mounted fan and patented Converga-Flow Action, which pressurizes heated air downward through the outer ring and horizontally across each tray, converging at the center. This delivers not only speedy results but uniformity, so foods dry evenly--no need to rotate the trays around during operation. Its 700-watt motor also helps ensure fast drying times for results in hours versus days. A simple control knob adjusts the heat from 95 degrees to 155 degrees F to accommodate appropriate drying temperatures, and printed guidelines on the motor housing help determine the correct thermostat setting. Other highlights include a bale handle for removing the power head, dishwasher-safe parts, and an instruction manual for getting started. The dehydrator measures 14-1/2 by 14-1/2 by 9-5/8 inches and carries a one-year limited warranty.

From the Manufacturer

NESCO/American Harvest - "The Best Food Dehydrators in the World."

FD-80 Dehydrator
The Nesco/American Harvest FD-80 Dehydrator
Dehydrating Food

NESCO/American Harvest has been the leader in food dehydrators for over 30 years. These units feature patented technologies that dry your food faster and more evenly than any of the competing models available, we know, because we've tried them all. Our Converge-a-Flow air flow assures even drying from top to bottom, without the tray rotation required by others.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced "pro", making beef jerky, drying fruits, vegetables, herbs, or flowers, NESCO/American Harvest offers the best units available.

Introducing our newest dehydrator the FD-80 square dehydrator & jerky maker. This innovative design features 700 watts of drying power, and generates maximum speed and quality for dehydrating fruits, vegetables, beef jerky, and venison jerky. The top mounted fan eliminates liquids dripping into the heating chamber.

  • Adjustable Thermostat
    The adjustable thermostat allows you to dry different foods at proper temperatures (95-155º F), providing the flexibility to produce the best drying results.
  • New, Powerful Top Mounted Fan
    Top mounted fan and 700 watts of drying power generate maximum speed and quality for dehydrating fruits, vegetables, and jerky. Helps dry food in hours, not days like other food dehydrators.
  • ExpandableThe FD-80 comes with 4 trays, but is expandable to 8 trays. Additional SQT-2 Add-A-Trays available in sets of 2.
  • Dehydrate a Variety, All at Once
    The patented Converga-Flow drying system forces air down the exterior pressurized chamber (not through the trays). The hot air is forced horizontally across each individual tray, converging on the core for fast, even and nutritious drying. No flavor mixing and no need to rotate trays.
Drying time
FD-80 Dehydrator
FD-80 Dehydrator

Because of the unique design of the patented Converga-Flow system of your NESCO/American Harvest dehydrator, you’ll be surprised at how quickly most foods dry. Drying times may vary, depending on the type and amount of food, thickness and evenness of the slices, percentage of water in the food, humidity, temperature of air, altitude and the model of NESCO /American Harvest dehydrator you are using. Drying times may also vary greatly from one area to another and from day to day, depending on the climatic conditions. Keep records to help you predict drying times for specific foods.

Drying Temperature

Fruits, fruit rolls and vegetables should be dried at 130°F to 140°F (55°C to 60°C). By drying foods in this temperature range you will minimize the loss of heat-sensitive vitamins A and C. All foods sweat when they begin to dry, the temperature may be set higher than 140°F (60°C) during the first couple of hours of drying. The actual temperature of the food will remain 15°F to 20°F (6o to 8o°C) lower than the air temperature for the first couple of hours. Meats and fish should be dried on the highest temperature setting of your dehydrator. These temperatures also keep bacteria and other spoilage micro-organisms, common to meat and fish, to a minimum during the first stages of drying. Nuts and seeds are high in oil, and if higher temperatures are used, they will tend to become rancid, developing off flavors. The best temperature is from 90°F to 100°F (30°C to 40°C). Herbs and spices are most flavorful when they first open and should be harvested while very fresh, before they begin to blossom. Because the aromatic oils are very sensitive, temperatures should be 90°F to 100°F (30°C to 40°C) for drying. Take care not to load trays too heavily as this will prolong the drying time. Dried flowers, herbs and spices used for potpourri should be dried at temperatures ranging from 90°F to 100°F (30°C to 40°C) to maintain aroma and color.

Drying Fruit Rolls

Fruit rolls are a favorite snack for young and old alike. It is a chewy fruit product made from puréed fresh fruit, which has been dried and rolled into snack sized pieces. Fruit rolls are easy to make and cost less than those bought at the store. Selection Almost any fruit will make an excellent fruit roll. Most fruits can also be combined with others. Some fruits, such as apples, are high in pectin and fiber, and have an excellent texture when dried. The combinations are limitless. Use your imagination and have fun. Use fresh fruit in season. You can also use slightly overripe fruits, irregularly shaped fruits, or slightly bruised fruits that would be unsuitable for canning or drying. Some fruits, such as citrus, should be used in combination with other fruits because they have so much liquid and very little pulp. If you find that a fruit is too runny, combine it with apple, applesauce or a similar fruit that will give it more substance. When fresh fruits are not available, canned fruits (either sweetened or un-sweetened) can be used. Simply drain the liquid, and pour the fruit into the blender. Applesauce can be taken directly from the container for wonderful fruit rolls. Frozen fruits can also be used, although they tend to be a bit more runny. Simply thaw and follow directions for using fresh fruits.

Drying Jerky

Jerky is a favorite snack for school, lunch, on the trail or just about anywhere. It is made by seasoning lean, raw meat in a salt mixture, then drying it without cooking. The finished product is a protein-rich exercise in chewing and ever so delicious. Jerky also makes a savory broth base for soups and stews.

Meat Jerky

Homemade jerky is much less expensive than jerky slices or sticks purchased at a grocery or convenience store. Most lean meats will yield about 1 pound of jerky for 3 pounds of fresh meat.

Drying Meat

Jerky may be made from a variety of wild game meats, fish and poultry. Use filets of fish and the breast of chicken. When purchasing meats for jerky, choose lean meats with minimal marbling (fat), as fat tends to get rancid during storage. A lean cut of flank steak or round steak makes excellent jerky. You can make delicious jerky from ground meat, using the NESCO/American Harvest Jerky WorksTM kit. It’s best to use ground round or lean (or extra lean) meat. Season with NESCO/ Harvest Jerky seasoning mixes.

  1. Q: What is dehydrating?
    A: Dehydrating is a method of food preservation in which moisture is removed from the food. Dehydrating inhibits growth of microorganisms and decay. Dehydrating can dramatically increase storage life for food.
  2. Q: Does Dehydrating food destroy its nutrients?
    A: Dehydrating causes minimal loss of nutrients, but if done properly that loss is quite small. You will retain about 90% of the vitamins and minerals. When using higher heats, foods will dehydrate faster, but this will result in more nutrient loss.
  3. Q: How do you know when foods are dry?
    A: Always let foods cool for a few minutes. Check to see if the food is still moist or sticky. If it is leathery and pliable, it is usually done. However, foods that are overdried may become brittle and turn brown.
  4. Q: How do you store dried foods?
    A: Always store dried foods in airtight containers. Store containers in a cool, dry place. Exposure to humidity, light and air during storage adversely affects storage life of dried foods.
  5. Q: How long can I store dried food?
    A: We recommend a maximum storage time of one year for the best appearance and nutritional value. Vacuum packing greatly extends shelf life. Refrigeration or freezing will double or triple shelf life.
  6. Q: How long does it take to dehydrate foods?
    A: It depends on the type of food you are dehydrating, quantities, and capabilities of dehydrator. Refer to your fruit drying guidelines.
  7. Q: If I powdered my dried vegetables, what could I use them for?
    A: Powdered onion and garlic, of course, are great seasonings for meats and sauces. Powdered tomatoes can be reconstituted into tomato sauce, paste, catsup, juice or soup. A blender or food processor will give you the finest texture. Store in air-tight container.
  8. Q: Is it necessary to pretreat foods before dehydrating them?
    A: Pretreating can enhance color and flavor of certain foods, but is not necessary. Pretreatment options are dipping, blanching, and marinating.
  9. Q: My apples and pears have darkened to a rusty-brown color while drying. Are they safe to eat?
    A: Yes. Fruits that have turned brownish color are safe to eat. Many fruits will oxidize when the flesh of the fruit is exposed to air. By pretreating fruits, oxidation is reduced.
  10. Q: What kinds of foods can you dehydrate?
    A: You can dry fruits, vegetables, meats, herbs, flowers, pet treats, etc. Dry left over bread for bread crumbs. You can dry almost anything that contains water.
  11. Q: Why should the edges of my fruit leather be thicker than the center?
    A: With fruit leathers, the edges of mixture tend to dry first. If edges are the same thickness as center, they will dry too quickly and become brittle.
  12. Q: Will flavors mix if I dry different foods together in the same dehydrator?
    A: If you dry foods in the same category, such as fruits with other fruits and vegetables with other vegetables, the flavors should not mix. However, we do not recommend drying onions with any other foods.
  13. Q: Are dehydrated foods recommended for camping and hiking?
    A: You can use dehydrated ingredients to speed up preparation time. Dehydrated foods are lightweight and easy to carry in your backpack or camper.
  14. Q: What are the benefits of food drying?
    A: There are many benefits of drying food. Here are some:
    • You are in control of the quality of food you eat.
    • You will save money.
    • You can take advantage of supermarket specials.
    • You can create a tasty snack that is good for you.
    • You can take advantage of your own garden by drying your fruits and vegetables to be used year round.
  15. Q: My banana chips don't taste or look like the ones in the stores. What can I do?
    A: The banana chips you buy in the store are deep fried. Dehydrating your own banana chips taste great and are more nutritious than store bought.
  16. Q: The fruit sticks to the trays. How can I prevent this?
    A: Fruits or thinly sliced vegetables may stick to your trays. You may want to purchase Clean-A-Screens to put on your trays to prevent these items from sticking.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 15.2 x 15.2 x 10 inches
Item Weight 9.3 pounds
Shipping Weight 8.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Department Kitchen & Dining
Manufacturer Nesco
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Shipping Advisory This item must be shipped separately from other items in your order. Additional shipping charges will not apply.
Item model number FD-80
Customer Reviews
4.4 out of 5 stars 476 customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #44,594 in Home & Kitchen (See Top 100 in Home & Kitchen)
#76 in Kitchen & Dining > Small Appliances > Specialty Appliances > Food Dehydrators
#276 in Sports & Outdoors > Sports & Fitness > Hunting & Fishing > Fishing > Accessories > Food Processing
Date first available at May 5, 2003

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
This dehydrator is great. I've had the unit for almost a month now. So far I've dehydrated 20 pounds of "eye of round" for jerky. The recipe I used is at Recipezaar (can't post URL), recipe number 161262 (modified a bit to suite my taste, like I added about 1 tsp of onion powder and cut the liquid smoke about 25%). In fact I just did 10 of the 20 pounds yesterday. I've also dehydrated cantaloupe, kiwi slices, strawberries, grapes (come out as plump and juicy raisins), limes, oranges (those were more of an experiment), banana slices and watermelon (now that was interesting... sweet as candy), but back to the review.

I also got two sets of the Add-a-tray (two trays per package). It dries with all 8 trays just fine. I do rotate the trays about half way through, but I'm not sure I would really have to. The instructions say that the trays are top shelf dishwasher safe, but that would limit my dishwasher to only two trays per load, so I take my top rack out of the dishwasher and stand the trays vertically in the lower rack. I can get all eight trays and the base into the dishwasher at once. I figured that my water heater is only set to 125 degrees and I dry jerky at 165, so the trays shouldn't have any problem. Just make sure that you turn off any internal water heating the dishwasher my have and make sure that you turn off heated drying (use air dry). I just wait for the washer to stop, take out the trays and shake them off. Stack them, put on the power head and run it at 125 for 30 minutes. All nice, clean and dry.

Now for the hint that Nesco doesn't want me to share :) for fruit, you really need to use the Clean Screens, but at 8 bucks for a pair, you'll spend $32.00 (plus any shipping) to get enough for all 8 trays.
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Years ago I had one of the round dehydrators with the drying unit on the bottom. This one is great because the drying unit is on the top. No more liquids dripping down onto the operational part of the unit. It has a plastic tray to catch the drips. I also like the square shape. I am able to get more on each tray compared to the round tray design. The plastic screens are round though. I did like the review from someone here suggesting using plastic mesh from the craft store. Wish I had seen that before I ordered my extra ones. I also like that it is quieter than the one I used to have. I have dried tomatoes, carrots and herbs so far. Jerky is next on the list.

Update: I still use this dehydrator. But I would no longer recommend it if you are going to do alot of dehydrating. I spent the extra money and bought an Excalibur and it is amazing how more efficient it is compared to the Nesco square dehydrator. While I liked having the fan element on the top away from any drips it is not as efficient as the Excalibur's fan that blows the air across the trays instead of vertically through all the trays and the wet food. The Excalibur is noisier than the Nesco.

Bottom line: If noise is a bigger issue than efficiency for you then get the Nesco. If efficiency is more important than noise and you will be dehydrating a lot then splurge for the Excalibur with the horizontal blowing air.
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Verified Purchase
I have put this dehydrator 'through the paces', making jerky and drying fruit. It's done a great job with both. I've had the more common round type of dehydrator in the past, so I was interested in this square-shaped one. Much better! Food fits on the square sheets much better. The drying is very uniform, without need for moving the trays during the drying process. Great price too, with several accessories available. Very pleased with this compact, efficient dehydrator--and it's American-made too!
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I originally bought this dehydrator with the idea that I wanted to make dog jerky treats. You have no idea how expensive they are to buy on the open market! We buy these beef jerky treats and they are like $3.00 a pop.

Well, I bought a London Broil on sale for $7.00 at Whole Foods which looked really lean and used my mom's meat slicer to make paper thin cuts. Oh, you have to freeze it for an hour or so, that way the meat cuts easier.

Anyway, I cut it, layered the meat on the trays after adding a tiny bit of salt to the slices to preserve them and plugged in the machine. I started up my dehydrator at 11:30 and kept it going till 4:30 and used the jerky temperature setting. I also made sure during the last two hours to take the hydrator top off and used paper towels to wipe any oils that came out of the meats. Basically, this didn't take too long and I put the lid back on and did this two more times. They recommended that in their recipe book.

The good news! The jerky tasted great and was sorta like a roast beef jerky. My dog wouldn't leave my side and basically woofed at me as I put it all into storage bags for the freezer (with air removal too). Basically, we both enjoyed a few slices of jerky together and were in heaven. I plan on stopping at Whole Foods to buy another to make a Teriyaki version for myself since I was avoiding chemicals for the dog treats. Unfortunately, they taste good enough that I'm tempted to eat them!

I am more than happy with this machine! It's great! My mom had an older model with the fan underneath and this is way easier to clean and did a better job.

The only thing I did do was switch the order of the trays so that the bottom one was up close to the top and so on halfway through the process.
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