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on October 30, 2011
I have had 6 different dehydrators over the last 20 years. This model (Nesco American Harvest 400 watt) works well, but if you are going to use it a lot I recommend spending a bit more money to get one of the other Nesco models. The fan on this model is fairly loud and after time the heat started melting the inner portions of the trays. I now have the square model from Nesco and it was worth the extra money. The trays have more surface area, the fan is much quieter, you can adjust the temperature and the heating unit doesn't go down the center of the trays so they don't get as hot and don't melt.
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on March 18, 2016
When I first was looking for a dehydrator, I'd read some of the bad reviews here but decided to get this one anyway. I've waited for almost three years to write this review because I REALLY wanted to make sure it was sturdy and reliable. I can honestly say, after using it religiously once a week for three years, it does the trick!

I've been making chicken jerky treats for my dogs, and my family's dogs -- six all together. They are so easy to make, healthy, are made in the USA, and the dogs love them. When I think back to all the money I've saved making chicken jerky with this handy dehydrator... WOW I could go on a cruise! Ok -- bon voyage!
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on May 29, 2016
Works great for what I use it for and I'm actually using it as I write this review! I mainly use mine to make jerky and treats for my dogs, as well as dehydrating fruits and veggies for myself. I made up for the lack of a timer by purchasing an outlet timer at Home Depot similar to those people often use for landscape lighting.

It has done a great job on jerky, liver, strawberries, bananas, sweet potatoes, pineapple and more. For the price, it is well worth it.

However, within a few uses the lowest tray started to warp. I rotated a different tray to the bottom and the same happened again. I purchased 2 add on trays, but I don't like the idea of having to continually replace the plastic trays.

All in all, I'm glad I purchased this product.
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on May 14, 2012
I purchased this dehydrator to make jerky. I tried all kinds of jerky that can be found in grocery stores, and found all of them intolerably salty. I have tried oven baked homemade beef jerky, and always overcook them. I am so glad that I bought this dehydrator. Homemade jerky has never tasted better. I've tried all kinds of marinates. So far, my favorites are korean BBQ and pineapple teriyaki.

Now about the noise. It does sound like a blow dryer on low. You definitely don't want to be in the same room with this dehydrator running (unless with a top quality noise canceling headset, i guess.. ).. Also, it seems quite safe to leave it running all day without attending to it. The unit will stop automatically if it gets too warm.

It is very efficient. It takes about 3-4 hrs to make a batch of kale chips (humidity 60-70), and 6-7 hrs to make beef jerky (I sliced my jerky meat really thin though...) I have also tried apple chips. I read that you are supposed to pre-treat them by soaking them into lemon water to prevent them from browning - but honestly, that doesn't seem to make too much of a difference, my non-treated apple chips look just as good. But do remember to add a dash of cinnamon =) Strawberry and kiwi get sour after dehydrating (from the heating). I probably won't dehydrate strawberry ever again... But if you cut your kiwi a bit thicker (>=1/4 inch), it gets very chewy, yum. Bananas will turn out incredibly sweet, but they will also have that cooked banana after taste.
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on September 27, 2011
I bought this to make dried fruit and jerky for hiking. This thing can crank out the product. It is actually forgiving in variation in thickness of the product (within limits of course). It assembles easily, and dissembles even easier. The clean up is easy (dishwasher). The fan does make it more noticable than say using your oven but it is also seriously faster than an oven could ever be. I have run many batches through it from dog treats (think beef liver) to mangos. I have mixed different fruits on the different trays but not meat and fruit though it claims it isn't a problem to have different flavors. I haven't had anything come out tasting "off".
Because of the fan(necessary for it to dry so fast), I put it out on the porch and then just go turn it off and empty it when its ready.

I would recommend this product. It makes drying your own fruit SO convenient - - and its healthier because you can do unsweetened, unsulfurized, no preservatives, organic.
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on March 18, 2015
Some of the reviewers have mentioned the noise of the machine. I did not find it to be an issue in anyway. I kept thinking it was the fan on the range hood. For my first try I did free range chicken sliced very thin (about 1/4 inch). I started it at 6pm and let it run all night (again the sound did not bother me, and we live in an open concept small house) and took it out at 7am and popped it in the oven at 175 for 30mins for salmonella prevention. The chicken is for the dogs so I put only a little canola oil on them to keep them from sticking to the racks.
It worked perfect! I break off strips for the dogs and they love it. They are small dogs so they chew on them for about 5 to 10 minutes. My next project is beef jerky for us humans but that I want to marinate.
This machine was easy to use, easy to clean and did exactly what I hoped it would.
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on October 24, 2014
It's basically just a hair dryer stuck through the middle of plastic trays, but it totally works! I didn't buy those fancy silicone pads. I just cut parchment paper to fit. I've done fruit leather, jerky, coconut flour, etc., etc... I've had it for over a year with no problems. It's noisy, so I usually run it in my garage. You can plug it into a timer if (like me) you're prone to forgetting it's on!
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on October 18, 2012
I ordered this product, thinking it is a good one. When arrived, I noticed it is done very cheaply. Makes a lot of noise (And I mean a lot!) and doesnt do the job! I followed the recipe in the book, and it came out bad. Returned it. Don't do the same mistake! Buy a better product. Maybe you have to pay a little bit more, but it's worth avoiding the agreivation and getting a worthwhile product!
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on February 22, 2012
Having never owned a dehydrator before, I wasn't sure what to expect from this product. All I knew is that the last time I bought dried apple slices from Whole Foods they were very expensive but OH SO GOOD. With this dehydrator, I was easily able to recreate the dried apple chips with cinnamon at a fraction of the price... they came out GREAT! It takes about 7 hours for perfect crispy dried apple slices if you fill all 5 trays.

I also put some sliced bananas in there and they made quite the treat!

The great book that comes with this product includes a lot of sample recipes and tips for getting the best results, and you also get a packet of seasoning for making your own beef jerky! I will have to try that soon.

Cleanup is super quick, and each rack is machine washable. If you've ever thought of getting a food dehydrator, I highly recommend this model. I am very happy with this purchase.
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on December 15, 2012
This food dehydrator is perfect for making homemade jerky. My wife was against it because she thought it would stink up the whole house. After coming home from work and tasting the jerky fresh off the dehydrator, she commented on how great it tasted and that the smell wasn’t even close to what she thought it would be. (win win situation)

I had read reviews of it being noisy, but didn’t let this deter me. I have it in the kitchen while I’m in my office and it can’t be heard. If you were staying in the same room with it all day, I can see where it might be a little annoying, but come on, it’s a dehydrator, it has to move air. For the price, this product is perfect. I’ve had it for several months and not had a single negative experience. It works perfectly and is easy to clean and store.
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