Since I wrote a post on making venison jerky, I figured I would give my recommendation on the 2 dehydrators I have the most experience with. The first is the Nesco Professional Food Dehydrator. The second is the Cosori Food Dehydrator. In this post I will concentrate on the Nesco Professional since it was my first.
The Nesco is the dehydrator I cut my gums with. It is the one I used for my first few years of butchering my own deer. I had no children at the time, was not married, and only harvested 1 or 2 deer per season. I wanted to get into the whole jerky making process and to be honest, the first 2 times I actually used my oven to dehydrate the meat. This took forever and was just plain messy!
Why I Chose The Nesco
Well, to be honest, I didn’t “choose” this make or model. My neighbor, who was also a hunter but did not butcher his own deer, made a deal with me. He would give me his dehydrator, if in return, I gave him some jerky!
This was a no-brainer for me! I love to share the jerky I make with everyone; family, friends, co-workers, and yes, neighbors. As it turned out, my neighbor was also interested in learning how to butcher his own deer as well. His wife just wanted none of that business to take place in “her” garage. So not only did a get a dehydrator out of the deal, I got a butchering partner for seasons to come!
One thing his wife was good at was coming up with new jerky recipes. She would send a dry rub or marinade over to the house and we would use that for different batches of jerky. They actually came out really good!
The main reason I used this Nesco for so many years was simple: It got the job done and got it done right! Besides that it was so easy to use. If your can load meat onto the trays and set a button, your can make jerky. It really is that simple.
Here is a brief overview of what your are getting with the Nesco Food Dehydrator-75A:
- Adjustable thermostat allows your to dry different foods at proper temperatures (95º-160º F)
- Powerful Top Mounted Fan. 600 watts of drying power. 120 Volt
- Comes with 5 trays, but is expandable to 12 trays. (Trays are 13 1/2″ in diameter)
- Opaque Vita-Save exterior helps block harmful light which destroys nutritional content of food being dehydrated
- Patented Converga-Flow drying system forces air down the exterior pressurized chamber (not through the trays). The hot air is forced horizontally across each individual tray, converging on the core for fast, even and nutritious drying. No flavor mixing and no need to rotate trays
- Made in the USA of Global and Domestic parts
Some of my personal favorite features are:
- The ability to add more trays without buying a new unit
- The ease of cleaning up (can throw the trays right in the dishwasher and wipe down the rest)
- Small footprint (it’s really just a little over a foot in diameter)
- As I mentioned above, The Price!
A Healthy Choice and Not Just For Hunters
I know in this post I am recommending the Nesco Food Dehydrator to hunters, but that is just because I have a hunting website. This product can be used by anyone, hunters and non-hunters alike. If your like to save yourself money, I would highly recommend drying your own foods.
I like to use this product for fruit as well. I buy my fruit while it’s on sale at the grocery store. Then I can use the dehydrator to dry it all, add nuts, sunflower seeds (or whatever your taste; plenty of possibilities) and make my own trail mix!
I’m not sure about your area, but to buy jerky, trail mix, and dried fruit in my area groceries is outrageously priced. So yes, I forked out some money up front for the unit, but I have since paid for that many times over!
And I really hope the health benefits of drying my own food will pay off in the long run as well. Consuming dried meats and fruits is actually really good for you!
Thanks for reading my post and please share below if you have a Nesco Food Dehydrator. Or if you have any dehydrator at all. What do your like or dis-like about it. And of course, most importantly, share some great recipes, jerky or otherwise!
Yours in Hunting,