Saturday, December 4, 2010

Take a look . . . Nesco Dehydrator

Dehydrating food is an excellent way of preserving fresh fruits, vegetables and even meat.

Dried foods are great to store and then rehydrate for future meals or for making healthy snacks that store for months.

I have the Nesco Pro Food Dehydrator and I couldn’t be more pleased with its performance.  It’s fast, flexible, quiet and expandable.  I can dehydrate in hours without interaction further than the initial preparation.   It expands to up to 30 trays, though I have about twelve and I’ve never used them all at once even with my biggest batches.

It has a quiet, 2,400-RPM motor that creates little more than background white noise.  Plus it has an adjustable 95-155 degree F thermostat which makes for a precise and stable temperature environment. 

It’s also easy to clean . . . a big plus in my book.  You can hand wash the trays or put them in the dishwasher  . . . be sure to follow care instructions.

I’ve dried all manner of things.  I’ve made dried zucchini from the plethora of fruit that squash plants are known for.  I’ve dehydrated tomatoes and packed them in oil.  But a household favorite is beef jerky.

Nesco makes a very cool jerky making kit that allows you to make fantasmic jerky from lean ground meat . . . with very little fuss or muss.  Simply mix the curing salt and spices with the meat, pack it into the extruder and the meat is forced out into a number of shapes and forms.

I’ve also made beef jerky from thinly sliced lean beef.  It’s wonderful!

In addition to food, you can dehydrate herbs and flowers. You can make fruit leathers or dry seeds.  There are so many possibilities.

The only drawback is it’s size.  The trays are 15 1/2" in diameter and can stack up to 30 trays high.  It’s takes up quite a bit of space.  There are smaller units available but may lack the power and capabailities of this particular piece.

I don’t have a lot of room for anything in our condo and I could probably do without it but I wouldn’t want to.  It’s a great kitchen tool and will pay for itself in the money saved by preserving and drying foods.



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