I recently purchased a Nesco food dehydrator and wanted to offer an unbiased review of it in hopes of helping others who are shopping for a dehydrator. In case you’re wondering…I purchased the dehydrator with my own money, I have no ties with the Nesco company, nor has anyone paid me to do this review.
* Model FD-75A or FD-75PR (These two models are actually the same machine. The only difference is the packaging.)
* Top mounted fan and a bottom tray
* 600 watts of power
* Thermostat range is 95-160F
* 13-1/2″ footprint (round)
* Comes with 5 BPA-free plastic drying trays
* Comes with 2 fruit roll sheets and 2 small screen sheets (all BPA-free)
* Includes a recipe/instruction booklet
* This model also comes with jerky spice and cure packets (3 of each). This gives you an opportunity to try their spice packets before buying additional ones.
* The unit can expand up to 12 trays being used at once.
* Extra trays, fruit roll sheets and small screen sheets can be purchased in multiples of two.
* The top-mounted fan prevents any spills or fallen food from entering the fan or motor.
* The bottom tray enables very easy clean-up of spills or fallen food.
* This unit is VERY easy to operate. There is literally NO learning curve. Simply turn the dial to the desired temperature setting and plug it in. That’s it!
* Suggested temperatures for specific foods are printed on the top of the unit, allowing for easy, fast operation.
* This dehydrator has a smaller footprint than many others on the market. This is an advantage if you don’t have a lot of counter space for such an appliance.
* The unit is very lightweight and easy to move around if needed.
* This unit has few features (which might be a “con” for some people), meaning less things to break down.
* It is very inexpensive when compared to some other dehydrators. This makes it a good entry-level dehydrator for those new to dehydrating or for those who are not sure just how much dehydrating they will need to do.
* The unit is not overly loud. One can easily talk over the machine. Some units on the market have a louder noise level, which may be a problem for some people.
* This dehydrator has very few features. This can be a “pro” or “con” depending on personal perspective. Most people expect an electrical appliance to have an on/off switch. This unit does not. It is turned on/off by plugging/unplugging it from an electrical outlet. It does not have a timer, which many people expect to see on a dehydrator. It literally has no bells and whistles.
* One year warranty. The lifespan of this unit is apparently not as long as some other dehydrators on the market. However, for the price point, it is what one would expect.
Why did I choose this dehydrator?
(1) Noise level. I have read reviews of other dehydrators where people complained about the noise level. I needed one that was not overly noisy so it does not interfere with my husband’s musical endeavors.
(2) Size. I did not have enough counter space available to devote to a larger dehydrator. This one fit very well where I needed to put it.
Do I miss the bells and whistles?
No, not at all! Personally, I prefer to keep things simple. I will admit that plugging it in/out of the wall to turn it on/off was weird at first. Now I’m used to it and don’t give it a second thought.
I also don’t miss a timer. I check the time when I start it up and figure about when the food should be dried. I check it at that time. If it’s not finished, I simply let the machine run longer. IF I expect the food to be dried while I’m away or sleeping, I turn the temperature down some to prolong the drying time (this is not suggested if you are drying meat, fish, poultry or any animal products).
What have I dried with it so far (as of the time of this post)?
Tomatoes, apples, green beans, basil, juice pulp crackers, kale chips, soaked almonds, and carrots.
How well did they come out?
Everything came out very well, except the basil took a lot longer than I expected. After 24 hours, the basil was moderately dry, but not completely. I removed the herb leaves from the dehydrator and placed them in a paper bag, folded the top over a time or two, and placed it on the dining room table. Each day, I shook the bag a bit to stir up the leaves. The basil was perfectly dry after a few days.
Do I like my dehydrator?
Yes! I LOVE this machine!
Would I recommend it?
Absolutely…IF the buyer can be happy without the bells and whistles, even the features you might expect (like on/off switch and timer).
If a person expects to be drying a large volume of food at one time, a larger unit may be more appropriate. BUT, this machine can use up to 12 trays at one time. So, it’s a matter of personal preference, budget allowance for such an appliance, and space available to house it.
This is a great entry-level dehydrator for those new to dehydrating and not sure just how much they will use it. The investment is small (as dehydrators go), the footprint is small, it is lightweight and can be easily moved, and it does the job VERY well! What more could you ask for? If you’re just not sure that you need a big dehydrator, yet you want to give it a try, DO consider this model! It’s worth the small investment to “test the waters” of this form of food preservation.
Below is my video review of this machine.
I hope this helps!