I have a couple of dried-fruit addicts here in my house, and at least a few times a year I puzzle over whether or not buying a good dehydrator might ultimately be cheaper than continuing to buy the stuff pre-made.
I’m not sure I have the right algorithm yet—how, exactly, does one do higher order math when dealing in apple rings?—but I do know that this Nesco American Harvest Dehydrator is generally consider to be among the very best, and right now it’s $130 shipped from Amazon, about the lowest I’ve ever seen it.
Granted, that’s a lot of apple rings, but… I’m considering taking the plunge. Hmmmm.
I have a cheapo one that works OK, but I only use it about once a year. I’m too lazy to bring it out, slice and prep everything, load it up all nicely so it’ll dry properly, then clean it all out afterwards. But that’s probably just me. 😉
They will stop wanting dried fruit the moment you get one of these. Just sayin…
Yeah we have this brand and its ok. But we’re hoping to replace it with an Excalibur next year for the square shape and larger trays. Its nice enough though.
I have the American Harvest Snackmaster jr dehydrator. It looks very similar except I don’t think it expands to as many trays. I have 6 trays and have never used all at once – it takes a long time to prep that much food. I like it well enough and use it a couple of times a year, but I would never pay a lot for it. I got lucky and found mine at a church yard sale for $2! I’ve never figured out how to get the same type of dried apples I can buy – mine always end up shriveled little things.
I picked one up at a garage sale too. We love drying strawberries!
Wow, $130!! Ours is from the local big box store, maybe cost $30, which I considered acceptable. We only do apples in ours though. The process does make a sizeable mess, so I usually slice and peel enough apples for two batches and store one batch in the fridge (soaking in a lemon/orange juice and water mix) and as soon as batch # 1 is finished I throw batch # 2 into the dehydrator. It’s even better when you borrow one from a friend and then do that whole process-4 dehydrators worth of dried fruit for only one mess in your kitchen!
P.S. I would encourage you to lightly sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar mix over the apples while they are on the dehydrator, but only if you’ll always want to eat them this way because it’s hard to go back to plain apples after having ones with cinnamon-sugar.
I have a Cabela’s dehydrator which is similar in shape and function to an Excalibur but cheaper. :>) I really, really like it! I wrote a review on it here, after reading a comparison of the Excalibur versus the American Harvest here.
I struggled with the same type math with the SodaStream leading up to Xmas. Finally a friend told me they were not worth the hassle and didn’t save any money, so I didn’t buy one for my bubbly-water-addicted husband. Then on New Year’s we visit a friend who got one and says it’s the most convenient thing ever. Sigh. I still don’t know!
Mir, have you bought the Nutty Guys Groupons when available? (which is often) Also today there’s this new dried organic fruit deal: https://www.gaggleofchicks.com/home/
I’m totally in “need” of a juicer. Let me know if you find one. I “can’t live without one.”
I got a dehydrator for Christmas years ago but have never used it. Maybe this winter?
don’t do it…I think if someone wanted to research the issue, they might find that the food dehydrator is the #1 appliance taking up room in the landfills.
Julie (etsy stalkers)- there is a juicer on special in local Aldi stores this week. Not sure about the quality, but at 34.99 it’s a pretty good deal. HTH!