Ronco Food Dehydrator - World famous, but is it any good?

Ronco Food DehydratorThe world's most famous food dehydrator is the Ronco Food Dehydrator. Ron Popeil, the inventor behind the Pocket Fisherman, Showtime Rotisserie Oven, and Inside-the-Egg Scrambler, is also the man behind this popular dehydrator.

I love infomercials

I used to have insomnia, so I watched a ton of late night TV. There were strange talk shows, public access news, and my favorite, informercials. I'll always remember the Ronco products because the shows were so well done. The items they sold didn't matter because I was entertained by the demos. The first thing I ever bought from a TV ad was the Ronco Food Dehydrator.

My Introduction to Dehydrating

This was the machine that got me hooked on jerky. It was the top recipe on the informercial and it was the thing I made the most. I had beef jerky, of course, but turkey was the best. I think the meat marinated better in a short time, or maybe it just had a softer texture.

Like a lot of things bought from informercials, the fun wore off. I had the thing running all day long, because that's how long it took to make jerky. Eventually, I got tired of waiting and stopped using.

This is a 5-tray model, and has the more familiar cylindrical shape. Keep in mind that this has a hole in the center, so your actual drying area is smaller than it looks.

It's very affordable

The price of the Ronco has dropped quite a bit. I think it was more than $100 when I got it, but it was a while back, so I'm not sure. I just remember it was a fair price. It paid for itself, considering how much it costs to buy beef jerky at the store.

If you're on a budget, the Ronco isn't a terrible choice. It's less than $40, so you can't really expect too much. It'll work great, and if it's your first food dehydrator, you won't know what you're missing. After all, an Excalibur will cost more than two Ronco food dehydrators.

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