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  • Dehydrator recommendation(s)

    Greetings All.

    I have a plan to send care packages to my oldest son who will be going away to university late summer. He just happens to love certain dried fruit and esp. beef jerky. I figure I cd. supply something easy and healthy in this way to help him limit the crap likely to creep into his diet.
    So, I wd. appreciate any input by those who own and use a dehydrator or any thoughts on care packages, etc.

  • #2
    I have a Nesco FD-75PR 700-watt dehydrator that has served me well. It has an adjustable temperature control, so it can readily be used for jerky and drying fruit. I've done both, a number of times. It runs quietly. Cleanup is fairly easy also.

    The down side: it's a counter hog, so if your storage space is limited you might want to consider a more compact model.
    Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mike in Virginia View Post
      I have a Nesco FD-75PR 700-watt dehydrator that has served me well. It has an adjustable temperature control, so it can readily be used for jerky and drying fruit. I've done both, a number of times. It runs quietly. Cleanup is fairly easy also.

      The down side: it's a counter hog, so if your storage space is limited you might want to consider a more compact model.
      Hey thanks for the input Mike! I'll check this one out on e-bay.

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      • #4
        Have Nesco as well. Got square model on Amazon. Had great reviews. Been very happy with it. Found this beef jerky receipe. Have to share. It is the best. Have to hide it from my family or in will be gone in a heartbeat.

        Latest in Paleo Episode 6: That Cosmic Energy | Main | Latest in Paleo Episode 5: And Immunity for All
        Latest in Paleo Best Beef Jerky*Recipe
        TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2011 AT 10:58PM | AMY COPPOLA
        So here is the much anticipated Beef Jerky recipe. This is a great take-along, tide-you-over-till-your-next-meal kind of a snack. It's super easy, and if you have a dehydrator with a timer or a plug-in timer, you can set it the night before and wake up to a fresh batch that's ready to go!



        Ingredients
        2.5 lbs London Broil, Flank Steak , or any really lean cut of beef. (grass-fed is best, but not necessary)
        2/3 cup tamari sauce (or coconut aminos )
        1/3 cup hot water
        1/4 cup*Worcestershire sauce
        1 Tablespoon Liquid smoke *
        1 Tablespoon Garlic powder
        1 Tablespoon Onion powder
        1/2 Tablespoon Cayenne pepper
        2 Tablespoons Red pepper flakes (set aside)


        Here's how I do it:
        To slice the meat, I use a mandoline set to about medium thickness (about the size of thick sliced bacon). If you don't have a mandoline, hand slicing works, too, it just takes a little longer. Tip: put your meat in the freezer for about an hour to an hour and a half before slicing; this firms it up and makes it much easier to work with.

        Slice all the meat and put it aside in a container. I use glass Snapware*containers.



        In a microwave safe bowl, mix all the other ingredients together, except the red pepper flakes. *Then, pop it in the microwave for about a minute. *Next pour the warmed mixture over your meat, being sure to coat all the pieces. This is where the Snapware*comes in handy, just click the lid on and give it a good couple of shakes.



        Stick it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, overnight is best. You don't have to, but whenever I open the fridge I give it a good shake or two.



        When it's time to dehydrate, I take the meat out of the fridge, and place it in a colander. Using hot water, rinse the meat. Now it's time to start laying the meat on the*dehydratortrays. Be sure the *meat doesn't overlap or it won't dry properly.



        After you finish each tray, sprinkle some red pepper flakes over the meat. How much you put on depends on how spicy you like it. For my dehydrator, I set it to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for about four hours. You will want to check your own macine to make sure it's set for the correct time and temp.

        The jerky is done when the outside cracks when you bend it. *I had to do a few batches before I really got a feel for this, and you probably will, too. Fortunately, even the batches I over-cooked and under-cooked ended up yummy.



        When its done, let the jerky cool to room temperature. Then, when I'm ready to store it, I put the jerky in a gallon size zip lock bag with a paper towel in it (to absorb any excess moisture) and stick it the fridge

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        • #5
          Great post Tbtracy. Post duly copied and pasted. Thanks.

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          • #6
            I was going to buy a more expensive dehydrator, but got a great advice: to get Nesco and an electric mandolin slicer. I run it approximately 1 to 3 x a week, and it has enough capacity. Mandoline Slicer makes veggie chips a breeze.

            From meats, i only made turkey jerky from turkey breast (2 turkeys, about 4 lbs of breast) marinated with ginger, fish sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, Sechewan peppers, coarse salt and orange juice. I have just checked out a Jerky book from the library, and going to make chili turkey breast next.

            I dehydrate root veggies with a touch of olive oil and salt, mostly turnips, jikama, sweet potato and rutabaga. YUM! My fav is jikama, my husband prefers sweet potato.

            When I have space left, I throw in banana and apple slices. Green GS apples are to die for.

            I also soak and dry out nuts.
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            • #7
              I have the 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator. It's been awesome. The only reason I would consider getting rid of it, is to get the 9 tray model!
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              • #8
                Originally posted by rccrsphil View Post
                I have the 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator. It's been awesome. The only reason I would consider getting rid of it, is to get the 9 tray model!
                I'd second the Excalibur.

                My wife and I have the 9 tray... LOVE IT.

                Never had a single problem with it.

                We usually buy a Primal Cut from US Wellness Meats, and use it for a variety of purposes, including Jerky.
                U.S. Wellness Meats — Our Animals Eat Right So You Can Too.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rccrsphil View Post
                  I have the 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator. It's been awesome. The only reason I would consider getting rid of it, is to get the 9 tray model!
                  3rd on the Excalibur. It's a great dehydrator.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys/gals. 2 models to consider....

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                    • #11
                      Love my 9-tray Excalibur. It has served me well for many years. The fruit roll-up sleeves are great for pureed fruits/vegs. Mine is an older model and they didn't have timers on them then. Now that I've seen the timer models, I may have to upgrade!!

                      Excalibur Food Dehydrator Official Website | Buy Direct & Save
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                      If you want to be somebody else, Change your mind...~Sister Hazel~

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