Now I've been through a few models. My first dehydrator was made by Mr. Coffee and was notorious for not drying evenly. The Mr. Coffee finally gave up the ghost and I replaced it with an American Harvest Snackmaster Pro model with 500 watts of power made by Nesco. Five years passed and hundreds of hours of dehydrating everything from wilderness meals to fruit for potpourri. Recently I purchased the Nesco Professional Food & Jerky Dehydrator (model FD-75PR). This is a 700 watt model with a top fan and thermostat. It comes with 5 trays but is expandable to 12 and there are also 2 fruit roll trays and 2 screens with the unit.
I didn't think that the FD-75 would be much different than the model I already had except that it had a top fan which would make it easier for me to clean. Well I am pleasantly surprised. The very first thing I noticed is the unit's top handle that makes it much easier to check on things. I plugged the unit in and was delighted about how incredibly quiet it is. It isn't unusual for my dehydrator to run five days a week so the noise reduction is welcomed. So far so good - easy to clean and quiet - what more could I ask for?
Now it was time to put the FD-75 to the test. So I dried some beef jerky, a shredded pork dish, some fruit and vegetables. Success! What I noticed was the drying time. The additional 200 watts of power definitely sped things up. Food seemed to dry more evenly with the top fan too. The Nesco FD-75 has a really good thermostat. It goes as high as 160 °F which is safer when you are drying items like jerky.
In the past I've always cut parchment to line my trays for items like fruit leathers and sauce. If you buy a Nesco dehydrator buy the fruit roll sheets. They are so much easier and the fruit roll sheets have a little lip so they work really well for soups and sauces. Although many people use a no stick cooking spray on these trays I did not and I the food came off easily once it had cooled to room temperature.
Whether you are buying your first dehydrator or replacing an old one you can't go wrong with the Nesco Professional FD-75PR. This unit will give you years of service. You can create wonderful meals for your wilderness trips that will be lightweight and good tasting.
2006 Laurie Ann March - courtesy of Outdoor