Hi everyone, I was reading threads from time to time, but need a piece of advice. please recommend me a decent food dehydrator. There was a topic 15 years ago as I see Food dehydrators) But there was no useful information. I need it for everyday use, so I guess it should be US-made with a warranty if possible. That’s the difficult part. everything I saw was from China. Please share your thoughts, and if you know a decent model let me know
Hi Red, welcome.
Many people will recommend the Excalibur, which seem to be very good units. I have been using the Nesco 1000 watt model for more than 20 years, and although I am on my second one, it has efficiently dried literally hundreds of pounds of food over that time. I instruct a guide training program and had for several years dried all food for up to 30 people for 4 days. For the Yukon 1000 mile canoe races, I am in a voyageur canoe of 6-7 paddlers. The rules for the first such race held in 2009 required 20kg (44 pounds) of food per person (not including water weight to make it edible, do the math) be carried on board from the start. I dehydrated all main meals (breakfast and dinner) for everyone in my Nesco. Thankfully that was such a ridiculous requirement that it was dropped for subsequent races.
Thanks! Yeah, I saw Excalibur on the list here https://wisepick.org/best-dehydrator-for-jerky/ They say it’s the best, I just wanted to be sure. And you are talking about this one, right? https://www.amazon.com/NESCO-FD-1018A-Gardenmaster-Dehydrator-White/dp/B00GN7O1PO. Well, will read reviews on Amazon, hope that will help, too
I will not contest that the excalibur may be the best, But I have had excellent results with my 1000 watt Nesco for many years, that’s all I am saying. And the Nesco is considerably less expensive. Do not settle for any other you may find at Walmrart, etc. Be certain that it has a thermostat and fan. Some cheapo brands do not and will perform terribly.
I posted the question back then and have a follow-up comment.
The round American Harvest dehydrator I bought from WalMart worked well. Still have it though I haven’t used it in many years.
I also bought a Black & Decker dehydrator, which works OK but be careful when feeding the plastic in to see if excess air is inside. A bag of peaches I had dried was not thoroughly dehydrated (my fault), and the vacuum bag also contained a tiny bit of air. That bag, when later opened, held slightly fermented dried peach slices! They tasted fine (no mold on them), but take great care when processing.
We ended up taking a mixture of freeze-dried meals, commercially dried ingredients and products (such as dried tortellini with dried cheese filling), a couple of cans of “luxurious desserts” (mandarin orange slices, pineapple), lots and lots of homemade GORP, and fantastic beef jerky that one guy made in his oven.
For another trip, I made meat spaghetti sauce at home the usual way, dehydrated it into a leather, vaccum bagged that, and then froze it, just in case. It rode in a cooler in the truck for one day, swaddled in newspapers in the hatch the first day of the trip, and then we ate it that evening, mixed with pasta cooked the usual way.
For using heavily, like the daily drying you mentioned, maybe you can call a university agricultural extension for suggestions.
Or a prepper group…
I haven’t commented so far, due to my use of it was long ago,
I’ll 2nd the comment from @pikabike for the ‘American Harvest’ unit.
On my 1st trip to Australia, I dried a LOT of food (veg’s, fruit, meat).
(was worried about getting it through ‘Quarantine Services’, but they ok’d it)
Though it worked well, I also (much) prefer the ‘freeze-dried’ stuff (some of which you can get in bulk at better prices). These days you can even buy a non-commercial drier (though it’ll be in the $1000+ range).
Auguson Farms sells a tremendous variety of bulk freeze-dried foods.
Probably a Morman-owned company, or maybe owned by the crazy sect that split off from the Mormons and holes up in massive bunkers in rural areas. I hope it’s not the latter.
We bought a container of FD beef stroganoff that contains allegedly 14 servings (very small ones). We haven’t opened it yet, because when that happens, I’ll feel we need to finish the rest of the servings soon. It is probably more like 7 adult-size servings.
Yeah, the local WalMart sells it, and maybe Costco does.
For the first ever running of the Yukon River 1000 mile canoe race in 2009, the officials required 20kg (that’s 44 pounds) of food per person to be carried on board from the start of the race. We were not allowed to include the weight of water to make any dry food completely edible. High efficiency high calorie dehydrated food or cans of beans in sauce if that was your choice, it all counted the same. I was in a crew of 7 in a voyageur canoe. I home dehydrated all of the main (breakfast and dinner) meals for the entire crew (do the math). I did it again for a repeat performance in 2011. My 1000 watt Nesco did it all over a period of about 3 months before the race in July. I kept the dry packaged dehydrated food in a freezer until ready to take the week long road trip in the July heat from northern NY state to the Yukon. It all survived (and so did the team) with no food problems. No one went hungry, and we consumed less than 1/3 of the total supply, which is about right for a 6 day race.