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Elise

Recommendations for good food dehydrators?

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Saskatchewan. :P In the winter here almost anything works. What I have is a set of plastic trays with perforated bottoms, that stack, have a small heating element below the bottom one and works by convection. But really a fan would be better, don't need or want heat. Outside air at -40 is 100% saturated with no moisture, so warm that up to room temp and it will dry anything out quickly.

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We bought an Excalibur Food Dehydrator several years ago. The reason we chose the Excalibur was because at the time it was considered the best one on the market. I don't know if that holds true today. The reason we bought it was to try our hand at making our own backpacking meals. We also bought one of those Food Saver Vacuum Sealers with it.
I am no expert at dehydrating food. We only used it many times and it worked pretty well. Mostly we used it to dehydrate fruits. Actually, some of the fruits we dehydrated tasted better than before they were dehydrated. Removing the water concentrated the sugars and made the fruits much sweeter. But it never got to looking like the prepackaged fruit trail mixes you can get in the stores. Ours were kind of dull and lacked color. The prepackaged fruit trail mixes have preservatives and food coloring added to make it look much better. We did want to try dehydrating things like chili and spaghetti, but never got around to trying it. I hope to pull it out of storage someday and try it.
We also did some of our own herb and spices. That's where you really can save some money. Its easy, and just as good as any store bought stuff.
We haven't used it much at all after the first year we bought it. Can't really explain why other than it takes some work ( not hard work though ) and time. Time being the biggest barrier. With our busy lives it became something that was kind of set aside. In fact, until I seen this post I'd forgotten we had it. Maybe its time to pull it out again. Thinking I want to try my chili thing.
But to answer your question..... look into The Excalibur. I heard the Nesco was pretty food too.

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