Electric Food Slicers and Mandolines
Using a food slicer can make life in the kitchen a little easier. When dehydrating food, you're going to need to slice things up, and a knife can be unwieldy for some. With a mandoline, you can put the knife away.
Mandolines for Quick and Even Slices
A mandoline slicer is a great utensil because it can make uniform, even cuts. The way it works is a blade is mounted on a board, while a food item is slid across. The food is cut and falls under the mandoline. You can adjust it for different sized slices.
Having uniform slices is important for consistent drying. If all the pieces of food are the same size and thickness, they'll be dehydrated at the same time.
Tip: If you have a dehydrator that requires tray rotation, one shortcut is to make your slices thicker for the bottom trays.
Another benefit to using a mandoline is you can adjust it for very thin slices. Sometimes, it's hard to cut food very thin with a knife.
One thing to watch out for it safety. Since you can slice foods very quickly with this, you might become careless. Make sure to watch what you're doing and always use the hand guard. If you're worried about cutting yourself, you can try wearing a metal glove that's blade-resistant.
Affordable and Efficient
Mandolines are very versatile, and you'll be able to slice any fruit or vegetable in any thickness. The professional cooks may use French stainless steel models, which can cost quite a lot. But, you can easily find Japanese plastic ones that cost around $20. No matter your budget, you'll be able to find one and start making perfect food slices.
If you're a jerky fan, get yourself an electric meat slicer like the best-selling and inexpensive Rival or the even better, the Chef's Choice. Like all foods, you want your beef or turkey or venison to be sliced evenly, so they dry at the same rate. It's hard to do that with a large knife, but so easy with an electric.