Dehydrator Bleg

So, I keep saying I ought to buy a food dehydrator, I actually tried to make one last spring, with rather poor results (mostly thanks to my having no clue than the plans I found online I think).  So I’ve had my eye on a few different ones for a while.  And now the family is asking what I want for Christmas, I’m thinking of telling them to all get together and pitch in a few bucks to buy me a decent one.

Bogie mentioned on her blog that she’s got an Excalibur 9tray, but had previously had a Ronco and liked it.  I linked there two the two models I found online that caught my eye (no idea of they’re the same models Bogie had).

Course, there’s some huge differences there, not the least of which in size.  Potentially I’d use it quite a bit.  I’ve played around with making fruit leather, using the oven set on the lowest setting, and although I liked the results using the oven for it was rather frustrating.  But we LOVED the homemade fruit leather.  Home dried fruits?  Heck yah, we didn’t spray the apple trees last spring resulting in some really nasty looking apples, but the pears were awesome, and if we DO spray the apples…the quantities those trees produced was huge.  And thats not even taking into account any other gardening I might (would like to!) do.  And unit size isn’t actually THAT big a deal, I’m thinking of consolidating fish tanks anyway (did I mention I have fish? I don’t think I ever mentioned my fish….how in heck did I not mention my fish??) so the dehydrator could go one of those shelves no problem.  Money’s a bit of an issue, no-body in the group is exactly rich, so even with a bunch of folks to pitch in I’m gonna put an upper limit of $200 (and would like to keep it way less than that) on this, at least for the moment.

Anyone else have input on sizes, models, things to watch out for?

4 Comments

  1. Comment by DaddyBear:

    We have a Nesco American Harvest 5 tray dehydrator that we're very happy with, but that's quite a bit smaller than what you're talking about.

  2. Comment by Ruth:

    Probly about the size of the Ronco? I dn't know that I don't want that size either, but I like the reviews on the excalibler too…..

  3. Comment by ZerCool:

    I've been using a Nesco American Harvest 4 (5?) tray dehydrator annually for about six or seven years with good luck. Lots of jerky, tomatoes, herbs, fruits, etc. Best $40 I ever spent at Walmart. Bigger and fancier cost more, obviously, and if I was doing larger quantities of anything I'd seriously consider one of the square-rack cabinet style.

  4. Comment by Ruth:

    See, I'd do fruit leather probly year round. And the square racks would be easier to work with for that too. Which I think is part of the attraction of the Excalibur, all the smaller ones only seem to come in round trays.