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Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator

in Foods - Energy Bars, Gels, and Drinks

Average Rating
4.20 / 5 (5 reviews)

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b d
( bdavis )

Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator on 12/04/2006 21:44:33 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I bought my dehydrator years ago. It looks like the one below, it only cost me about $60.00. Now I don't really know what they cost or where to get them. Update: I just found one that looks like mine for $60.00 on sale at

Food dehydrator.

It has easily paid for itself, especially with the amount of beef jerky it has made. Which must have saved me at least $500.

Now I am making dried ground beef to take trekking -- it works great -- my last experiment was to see how long it would last after drying in a ziplock bag without making me sick when I ate it. Lasted two months and then I had eaten all the test beef.

Once dried you can put turkey, chicken, beef, or anything else in a baggy with water and let it soak while you walk. Giving a reconstituted food to cook with later.

Ground beef reconstitutes in minutes if you put it in your cooking water while boiling, so do things like green onions and other stuff. Home dried tomatoes are a favorite. Then you put that with some powdered potato or into a freeze dried pre-prepared food bag (love putting a big pile of dried ground beef into the .5 ounce Mountain House corn bag)and it adds more food, taste, and calories.

I also make soups with thin, SUL asian noodles with a few dried veggies and make a kind of miso out of a couple of ounces of dried stuff and some little packages of soy sauce, ground pepper and other spices, or other stuff from restaurants and some Arrowroot for thickener, if I want it. I've also experimented with the different hot sauces from Taco Bell and other places as seasoning packets.

Anyway, they are still making various models of the same type of dehydrator I got at somewhere like Costco in the early 1990s -- by Nesco and called the American Harvest. They vary in price, I guess because of the quality of the heating unit and frills. It is good to have the thermostat since some things need a longer lower temp to really come out right, like fruits or veggies v. beef, in my experience. Altnough I am not that sure it matters.

All you need is about 4 trays minimum and up to 10 or 12 on the stronger units. I use about six and it handles beef jerky from a roast on sale for $1.99 a pound, making a lot of jerky worth lots of bucks more than what I paid.

They sell the basic trays separately for like 2 for $6.00 - $15.00 so you can always get more.

You also want to have at least one fruit bar tray to spread smashed up fruit on to make fruit jerky.

They will dry anything you want to make, as far as I have experienced. So this is the way to make your own healthy dried food without all the salt and have the freedom to experiment, dry your favorite fruits, vegetables, or goo.

It takes up to 24 hours to dry stuff and you need to learn when to take it out, I have made beef jerky that was so dry and hard it was like crackers. But it didn't weigh anything for a whole baggy, like maybe an ounce.

Anyway ... it is a great tool when it comes to resolving and planning food issues. I would look in the WalMarts, Targets, and such stores for a sale item. Mine has lasted and is still going strong after more than 10 years.

Edited by bdavis on 12/04/2006 21:49:49 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Mountain House Corn priced at: $3.35 - $3.39
Shop American, HOme, Taco products at GearBuyer
Laurie Ann March
( Laurie_Ann )

Ontario, Canada
Nesco Professional Food & Jerky Dehydrator (model FD-75PR) on 12/06/2006 06:23:20 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

As an author and instructor of an online wilderness cooking course I use a dehydrator much more than the average person and I've had good experiences with the Nesco line.

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.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 12/06/2006 06:26:21 MST.

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Greg Vaillancourt
( GSV45 )

FD-75PR died 1 month after warranty expired on 04/15/2008 14:19:41 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

Cheap Chinese junk.

I'm using my oven at 140 degrees with equal or better results.

George Matthews
( gmatthews - M )
Works well on 04/27/2008 08:44:26 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is the only dehydrator I've used. It works well at dehydrating food. I bought 6 more trays to now have a total of 11. I can add one more.

The few problems I have experienced have been due to user error - usually my lack of experience using it or not reading a recipe carefully.

If you are going to venture into this area for your meals, then I recommend you go for this model. If possible, don't buy one until you find a good bargain.

( tfouks )
dehydrator experiences on 09/13/2009 09:06:44 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I use dehydrators in a home-based business to dry dog biscuits after baking. I have learned that the key to Nesco dehydrator survival is to buy one with a temperature control. I burned out two that didn't have that. I currently have four with temperature control, and they have stood up wonderfully and am looking for a fifth, which is what brought me to this website.

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