View Full Version : Recommend a Dehydrator
04-26-2006, 04:06 PM
I'm looking for something CHEAP yet use-able. I bought one at Fred Meyer, turned out it doesn't have a temperature control. These things I don't even realize are issues when books talk about having a dehydrator! So what else is an issue I need to be concerned about? Size?
I want to make crackers, breads, desserts. Do I need a large size?
Or if you use something else, what are some of my options? (I heard that I can just put my oven on the lowest setting and leave the door open a bit? But how would I time that, and how high will my electric bill be!?)
Maybe I don't need a temperature control is a dehydrator uses such low wattage that the temperature is already low enough. This may be preferable, because I imagine a low-watt dehydrator would be cheap. Does anyone know? How do watts correspond to temperature?
04-26-2006, 04:25 PM
You can get the American Harvest Snack Master from Walmart, www.walmart.com , www.nesco.com (cost a little more from them) or www.everythingKitchens.com for under $50. You can also order more trays, more fruit roll trays (their equivalent to teflex sheets) and a convert-a-tray that is deeper for making taller items from either nesco.com or everythingkitchens.com.
If you go to Walmart (the physical store) be sure to double check for that temp. control!! As you now know, there are some round models being sold at different stores that do NOT have one.
It's a round model but has a temp. control. I've had and used mine for almost a 2 years now and still use it along with my Excalibur! You can still do pizza and crackers and other stuff in it...you'll just have it round and with a hole in the center...but doesn't do anything to how the food tastes! ;)
This model will suffice until you are ready/able to upgrade to an Excalibur. One thing that you won't be able to do is fit a whole pan into it. But I think you'll get some good use out of it. Can you take the one you got from Fred Meyer back?
04-26-2006, 05:05 PM
Yeah I returned it.
What's so great about the excaliburs?
Educate me... What are the different factors involved in a dehydrator?
04-26-2006, 05:12 PM
As someone who owns both...I'd say that the good things about the Excalibur are:
1. Larger and more capacity. I can dry a whole large tray of crackers and I just feel I can get more dried with the size of the excalibur as opposed to the round one.
2. The ability to remove trays and get larger, taller items in there such as a pie plate, lasagne pan, etc.
3. No hole in the center. When I'm making stuff for myself/family, shape is not much of a factor, but if I'm presenting food to someone else, I'd like my crackers and things to be more uniformly shaped. And again, the missing hole in the center allows for putting pans or containers in there if I need/want to "warm" something.
4. The fan/motor is in the back...not on the top, not on the sides, so it tends to allow for more even drying.
When I had my round model only, I used it...now that I have my excalibur, I still use it, but I tend to reach for the excalibur FIRST and then if I need more trays, I'll utilize my round one in addition.
04-26-2006, 05:17 PM
Thanks! Few more questions...
So with the round one, is there a limit to how tall your "goods" can be? Sounds like it...
So my breads and everything will all turn out round huh? Hmm...
04-26-2006, 05:47 PM
In my initial post to you, I gave a couple of sites (nesco.com and everythingkitchens.com) where you can find the "Convert-a-Trays" for taller items such as loaves, pesto stuffed mushrooms, etc.
Yeah, either round or oddly-shaped after you dehydrate and then cut or break into pieces. But again, won't taste any differently! You could probably also pre-shape things for example, spread a little of the "dough" out on the tray and using a spatula, back of a large spoon or your hand, spread it out and shape it square or oblong (loaf-like). Then choose another spot on the tray and plop some more of the dough down and do the same, etc.
04-26-2006, 09:16 PM
I love my Excalibur, I had a ronco years ago and gave it away.
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