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Ronco Food Dehydrator, Yogurt Maker and Beef Jerky Machine

3.0 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
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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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Product Description

Product Description

As Seen On TV, the deluxe 5-tray electric Ronco Food Dehydrator is also a yogurt maker and beef jerky machine. No fan or motor is used; instead silent, powerful convection airflow dehydrates food. Includes a food dehydrator recipe book. No. 1876. Made in USA. 10-1/2Hx12-3/4Wx12-3/4D".


This Ronco dehydrator dries everything from fruits and vegetables to meats and seafood to flowers and herbs to flour-and-water dough for crafts. It makes beef jerky (and other jerkies) and, with the aid of a little unpasturized yogurt as a starter, it also makes yogurt. This 5-tray model is a medium-size convection-air dehydrator, as opposed to the 10- and 15-tray models that use motorized fans, and runs silently. It can take a day or two to dry apple slices, which may be longer than a motorized-fan unit. Up to five trays can be stacked on the base, and then the unit plugs into a wall socket. The included trays are 12-1/2 inches in diameter, the unit is 12-3/4 inches high, and instruction/recipe booklets come with it. For fruit rollups and dried herbs and flowers, special trays and screens can be ordered separately. --Fred Brack

Product Information

Product Dimensions 13.4 x 13.2 x 11.6 inches
Item Weight 1 pounds
Shipping Weight 5.8 pounds
Manufacturer Ronco Inventions
ASIN B000059L4A
Shipping Advisory This item must be shipped separately from other items in your order. Additional shipping charges will not apply.
Item model number 187-04
Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #234,548 in Home & Kitchen (See Top 100 in Home & Kitchen)
#105 in Kitchen & Dining > Small Appliances > Specialty Appliances > Yogurt Makers
#194 in Kitchen & Dining > Small Appliances > Specialty Appliances > Food Dehydrators
#1,013 in Sports & Outdoors > Sports & Fitness > Hunting & Fishing > Fishing > Accessories > Food Processing
Date first available at Amazon.com February 21, 2001

Technical Specification

Warranty & Support

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


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Executive summary: spend ten dollars more and get the Snackmaster model instead. I've got a Snackmaster FD-50 that I bought a year or so ago, and more recently my sister picked up a Ronco FD5, so I've had a chance to compare the two, side-by-side. Buy the FD-50, not the FD5. Details follow.

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.
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If you garden and raise fruit of any kind, this is a useful device. It's also good if you have kids. Here's why:
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.
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A nice inexpensive dehydrator great for those of you on a budget, in school, or just a newbie to dehydrating. I have owned one for at least 3 yrs and love it. However, after these wonderful yrs of daily or weekly consistent use, the trays have now begun to break up. My only drawback is that cost of the replacement trays are looking to cost as much as the actual dehydrator. So now, I am wondering do I buy a different one.
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!
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By A Customer on February 26, 2003
My Ronco dehydrator came to me as a Christmas gift. I love to make jerky with it and it comes out a little cheaper price-wise than what you buy at the store without all the preservatives. I am still in the experiment stage, Jerky and dried apple chips have been my greatest success.
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.
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By A Customer on September 11, 2003
After buying this with 7 racks and a couple of the extra specialty sheets, I thought it was too flimsy to really dehydrate foods properly. I was wrong. It's a great appliance for a vegetarian as well as a carnivore, and I keep the trays moving most days of the week with fruits, vegetables and occasionally fish jerky. I've made a fantastic applesauce, grinding the skins with the apples, and it turned into a delicious fruit leather. When dehydrating garlic and onions, I put nothing else in the dehydrator and my apartment wasn't too overpowered by the aromas. It actually made me crave garlic bread. Bananas are a favorite, as are apples and pears, but the all time best fruit dehydrated is mango. Can't keep enough around here. I sent my daughter a box of dehydrated vegetables, each in a package of it's own, each marked. She, not realizing how much they would rehydrate, put them all into a pot of bean soup. That one pot became two large pots, and it served many, many meals. Yes, the coil is exposed. Yes the base seems flimsy. Yes the trays may crack. Yes, you have to rotate the trays and turn them periodically. But, for a scientist at heart, this is a marvelous contraption because you get to see how foods change as the moisture is removed, and you witness how sugars in foods react to heat if left unattended for too long. Remember, using more trays at a time increases the drying time, so if you're in a rush, try to dry only what you immediately want.
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