As I'm thinking of finally biting the bullet. I've done very well for many years without cluttering my gear room with one, making my stuff from store bought ingredients or just buying it.. But.. I'll be completely honest here, the main reason that is tipping me over the edge is one single thing.. Sarbar dehydrated GUACAMOLE! It's enough to make me give up and do some things, and maybe branch out a little bit.
So, those of you that have them - what should I put on the list?
Did I mention it needs to be able to dehydrate guacamole?
The one I have has a timer and thermostat and does an excellent job with anything that I have dried. It makes excellent jerky and will dry a pot of stew or chile to a back-packable weight and volume; the results are uniformly good and much cheaper than the chemical-laden commercial freeze-dried stuff.
Nesco FD35 I'm on my second one after some 12 or so years of preparing my own meals for the backcountry. I bought both of them at Wally World. I have often wondered whether one with a temperature control would serve me better....but.....for now this will do, and has done, everything from shrimp to barley to hummus to peaches and pears.
Tonight I had to rehydrate some mushrooms for my pizza - at home on a Saturday nght.
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Excalibur is the "Cadillac" of dehydrators. I bought a 9-tray via e-Bay after burning through multiple cheap ones. There is a "food-preserving" Yahoo!Group that recommends Excaliburs, closely followed by L'Equip and the Nesco from Wally World.
I want a temp control, as some foods do better at lower V higher temps, and I can set the thermostat for 110-115 F to make yogurt. Sometimes I set up something with a heating pad, but the dehydrator is just easier. Meats are often safer dehydrated at higher temsp, but for short-term, fruits and veggies can be dehydrated at lower temps, and "raw," supposedly preserving enzymes.
I like to dehydrate batches of foods when they are in season or sale-priced, then pack into glass jars to vacuum-seal. When I want to concoct a meal, I reach for foods from the shelf. My family avoids deydrated foods if they KNOW about them, but I've surreptitiously served mashed sweet potatoes, chili, spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, peppers, ground meat, and BBQ Pork that has been rehydrated and they have not noticed...
Hubby, on the rare camping trips together, has appreciated foods I've pulled out in the middle of nowhere.
I bought mine from Wally-world for around $30. It works like it should. Sorry, don't remember the brand. But, for what it is worth, it is probably the cheapest out there. If it works, then any you buy will do fine.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
I have a Nesco Pro Model. Adjustable heat. I read alot of reviews before buying at WalMart Online.58.00 There are cheaper ones but reviews were bad. I have only had it three weeks. But so far it is awsome. Two Batches of Jerky, 5 fruit rollups and many dried Vegies later. Oh and dog treats for the dog two. I highley recomend it!