Nesco Snackmaster Pro

Nesco Snackmaster Pro food dehydratorIf you're in the market for a food dehydrator, there is a lot to like about the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. The Snackmaster Pro (model FD-75PR) has an impressive 700-watts of drying power, and its top-mounted fan and horizontal airflow design make quick work out of jerky and fruit leathers.

An adjustable thermostat provides good control over drying temperatures, so you can choose lower temps to help preserve nutrients.

With five stackable trays, this dehydrator offers five feet of drying space. Trays don't need to be rotated, and if you add or subtract them the Snackmaster Pro adjusts drying pressure automatically.

About the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

  • Five stacked trays (expandable to 12)
  • Includes 2 fruit roll sheet inserts and 2 "clean a screen" inserts (spices, seeds)
  • Comes with trial packs of jerky spices
  • Horizontal airflow
  • Adjustable thermostat: 95° – 160° F
  • 700-watt motor
  • One year warranty against defect
  • MSRP: $79.99

Design and Use

The Snackmaster Pro is equally good at making jerky, fruit leathers, fruit and vegetable chips, and dehydrating foods like soups or meats for camping trips. You can also use it to make your own dried herbs and spices, or even to dry flowers.

If you're a jerky lover, or like to make protein strips for your dogs, this dehydrator will quickly pay for itself. You'll also have the added benefit of knowing exactly what is, or perhaps more importantly, what's not in your food.

Because of the Snackmaster Pro's top-mounted fan you don't have to worry about drips getting down into the motor and requiring messy clean ups. The fan forces heated air down the unit's sides, then out across each tray rather than through them, which means heating is more even. With this dehydrator you don't need to rotate trays mid-cycle, though the uppermost tray does tend to dry faster than the others.

Pros and Cons

Considering that the unit's 700-watts of power outshine many competitors' models, the Snackmaster Pro is surprisingly quiet and doesn't radiate excessive heat. You won't mind having it hum gently on your counter while you watch TV or talk on the phone in the next room.

While generally easy to maintain, with dishwasher-safe trays, the "clean a screen" inserts can be a pain to get clean when smaller, stickier things like jerky spices get stuck in the mesh.

The Snackmaster Pro lacks the digital controls found in many more expensive models, which means there's no temperature display, time-elapsed feature, or timer.

The lack of a timer is arguably the unit's most significant drawback. You can get around this by picking one up at your local hardware store, but a built-in timer would've been a welcome addition here.

Overall Impressions

Nesco Snackmaster ProThe Nesco Snackmaster Pro is well-designed, reliable, and does everything you'd want a food dehydrator to do easily, without mess or fuss.

The unit's lack of a timer can be problematic, and if that's a deal-breaker for you, you might want to go for a more expensive model with digital controls.

Overall, the Snackmaster Pro offers good value for money, particularly when compared with traditional competitors' models like the Excalibur 2000 series. If you use your Snackmaster at least occasionally, you will soon find yourself saving both time and money.

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