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Thinking of shopping for a ...

October 10th, 2013 at 03:14 pm

dehydrator. It would be the main gift to my husband for Christmas. Anyone have one? I think we would make good use of it and am comparing performance and price of basic ones vs. high output ones. Here's a brief summary:

Basic (new)
Cost ~ $50 plus minus $20
Capacity about 5 trays
Time operation from 6 - 12 hours
Some needs attention during drying (turn over food)
Less strongly built, life estimated 5 years

High Output (new)
Cost ~ $200 to $300
Capacity 10 or 12 trays
Time operation 4 hours
More durable, last 10 or more years

The variety of uses in our house are many. I am sure we would make dried backyard produce, eg tomatoes, apples, nectarines, onion, herbs, peppers and more. My husband would make backpack meals but only for a couple years (after which he will probably move on to some other recreation for awhile). And I make trail mix now using separate purchases of raisins, dry fruits and nut which my kids eat ALOT instead of junk food. It would be less expensive to dry my own fruits for the trail mix.

But I certainly balk at laying out $200 plus. Look at ebay, even used dehydrators are barely reduced in price. They are in demand?

Going to research some more.

6 Responses to “Thinking of shopping for a ...”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    I had one and didn't use it as much as I thought I would. I'd recommend buying a cheap one first, and seeing how much you use it before investing in the expensive one. I ended up selling mine.

  2. baselle Says:

    I've found that doing the dehydrating using the oven works okay. Trying it at 200F with a chopstick propping the door. Haven't tried the America's Test Kitchen trick of drying herbs yet - herbs between two paper towels on high. Might be something to try and get your dehydrating groove on before you spring for an appliance.

    I've seen a couple of them at estate sales. I haven't noticed that the price would be tempting though.

  3. snafu Says:

    I suggest buying a gently used dehydrator before shelling out $200. plus to evaluate whether you would use it regularly. Try a 'Wanted' ad on CraigsList or Kijjiji if you have that e-line seller in your area. Try calling the bigger Goodwill or charity outlets to see if they get them as donations.

    I thought I needed a crepe maker [Best price $ 50.] I happened upon on one at a Charity shop for $ 6. Much to my shame, I've only used it twice in 6 months. Not so important after all!

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    I think it really depends on what you are going to do with it. For occasional use the cheap ones are okay, not great, but okay. The Nesco ones seem to work pretty well for the low end dehydrators. If you are going to be putting up a lot of dried food with it, like a supply of dried foods for the year or half the year, I would go with the more expensive ones. I would go with one of the 9 tray Excaliburs, specifically. They are real work horses.

  5. baselle Says:

    @snafu - I'll bet $6 generates less shame than $50!

  6. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    so far exactly what I have learned; a co worker who does major gardening has recently stepped up from a light duty Nesco to a workhorse Excalibur. I am going to scour craig's list.

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