Food Deydrator Choices?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by adam d, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. adam d

    adam d Smoke Blower

    So many years ago I used a small food dehydrator and used to make Jerky. Maybe once or twice I made it.

    Now I have a WSM and i've made a few batches of Jerky. Comes out TERRIFIC, especially the smokey flavor.

    BUT it's not that convenient. I have to manage it (which honestly I don't have to do really, with the low heat of 140-160 I rarely have to adjust temps) and it takes about 6-7 hours. Which I understand is normal, but I can't "walk away" from it. I have to be home to keep an eye on the temp. Plus the setup/cleanup is a hassle for something like Jerky.

    So i was thinking of getting a dehydrator... any thoughts on the best one to get for my money? I like to make about 3-4 lbs of Jerky at a time, but I'd make more if I could do it inside where it's easier.

    Let me know... I don't want to have to do any cooking in the oven, nice and simple. As I said I usually do 6 hours or so on the smoker ONLY and it's done. No 1 hour of smoke then cooking in oven/etc... for me.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    I had found this one online, good price, goes up to 160, 10 trays, no need to rotate:
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  2. That should do a fine job. I use a American Harvester that will take 12 trays. I can do 10 Lbs at a time with no problem. The trays will fit in the dishwasher. I make jerky in it more that I do in my smoker because it holds more. My only complaint is it takes room to store as they all do.

    Happy smoken.

  3. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have an Excalibur which throws out the air from the back so less tray rotation is needed.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The Sausage Maker..... made in America..... I have used mine for probably 9 years... had to oil the fan motor once... Flawless use.... It's in use about 3-6 months per year... dried garlic, grapes, plums, basil, tomatoes, onions, cherries.... darn near everything we grow....
    Sausage Maker makes the unit and has unsurpassed customer service... It would be the last dehydrator you have to buy... I use Todd's MATZ on the shelves...

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  5. Im sold out to Excalibur,these units are  absolutely the "sh**"
    They do what they do very well 
  6. bbquy

    bbquy Smoke Blower

    I use the Nesco. You can add up to 20 trays. I've used it for about a year for my jerky and I really like it.
  7. Once you go Excalibur you'll never return to Nesco
  8. I you can afford it buy the Cabela's 80 liter or 160 liter dehydrator. You can set the time and temp and walk away. Glass door allows you watch over everything without opening the door.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  9. I have a Cabela 80 and didnt like the uneven doneness on the set it and forget it "thing".
    The unit it self is alright,it does the job
    You have to tend to your process regardless of unit,set it and walk away is not the mark of a tradesman.
    I like well processed jerky,dusty meat is not well made jerky
    Iced in this week I managed 34lbs of dried product(beef,venison and pork)

    Texas winters aint so bad ..  . .. . . .
  10. bbquy

    bbquy Smoke Blower

    Once my Nesco poops the bed I will definitely consider the Excalibur!
  11. Cool I just sold off my Cab 80 to a member here
    Great excuse to go Excalibur shopping this weekend [​IMG]
  12. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    LOVE my Excalibur ....
    the heat control and having the fan in the back is great, no moving trays around. clean up is a breeze with the trays and sheets ... i waited awhile then bought one and after the 1st round of jerky i was happy. after the 1st round of banana chips SHE WAS HAPPY ...  LOL
    a real well built beauty !!!!

  13. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    That is good to know. Thanks for the information on the unit.

    Hoity Toit
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  15. I am about to start my jerky making journey.

    I was looking and saw the Excaliburs, Nice looking machines but procey for me not knowing of Ill end up getting the value out of it I want. if I don't continue making jerky.

    I bought a Cabelas 12 tray dehydrator. it was $100 off and I was given a $100 gift card from one of my reps and it brought the price down to $129. Ill start with that and see where it goes.

    If it only lasts a  short time I haven't invested much and will upgrade to the Excalibur.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017

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