The Nesco FD-80 American Harvest Square-Shaped Dehydrator
Here's an email sent in from Erin, about her Nesco FD-80 (Thanks Erin!):
I was surprised to see several types and sizes of food dehydrators on display when I went shopping for a new one. Mine was a good ten years old and needed updated but I was on a budget and couldn't afford the Excalibur that I had read about.
As soon as I saw the square Nesco/American Harvest food dehydrator, I knew that this was what I had been looking for. I had never liked trying to place all of my fruit in a circle. It just seemed to waste a lot of space. I took my new FD-80 home and immediately noticed a huge difference when set beside my old model.
The 700 watt motor wasn't going to leave me waiting for hours any longer and the fan was mounted in the top for even drying. An attached adjustable thermostat was another surprise, to regulate the heat, according to the recommended temperature for a variety of foods.
But the ultimate test came when I thinly sliced some peaches from an orchard that I had recently visited and laid them on the shelves of my new dehydrator. I could hardly believe that the machine was running, the sound being so soft. I was able to stack many more slices in my new machine because of the size and square design.
A few hours later, I had crisp, sweet dried peaches, perfect for snacking and recipes. With my old machine, none of the slices seemed to dry evenly. Some stayed soggy while others were ready to remove. I spent more time checking and removing, turning and starting again that I had realized. With the this one, all you do is plug in and walk away. How great is that?
I've been playing around with different recipes for seasoning to use on beef and venison and can't wait to see if the even cooking helps with the marinated flavoring. I am very pleased with my new, larger machine and I paid a little less than $80 for the unit. The only thing that I do not like that my other machine had, is an on/off switch. But other than that, I love it because I'm not the type to leave an appliance running unattended anyway.
I wonder the Nesco FD-80 is the start of a new trend of square dehydrators from the company. I think there are a lot of people like me who've read the good things about the Excaliburs, but can't bring themselves to spend $250. Maybe I don't know what I'm missing, but I'm sure happy about the $170 I saved by getting this one.