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    Brent*'s Avatar
    Brent* is offline Senior Member
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    recommend me a dehydrator

    Primal Fuel
    So I've decided I want to make some beef jerkey. What model dehydrator do you guys use? What should I look for in one? I just did a search on amazon and found this with the best reviews:

    Nesco FD-75PR

    Amazon.com: Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator: Home & Garden

    also, is it pretty straight forward how you make jerkey? just cook the beef, and lay strips of it in the dehydrator? About how long does it take to dehydrate? Also, for fruit, does it turn fruit crunchy like chips? I've tried making sweet potato fries but I think I need to dehydrate them first because they come out not crispy at all.

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Lilyheart's Avatar
    Lilyheart is offline Senior Member
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    We just bought Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator All-In-One Kit with Jerky Gun The Jerky gun realllly isn't neccessary.... but it's actually cheaper (more $ off) then the same machine without the gun (American Harvest FD-61).

    I've made beef jerky, dried strawberries and zucchini chips since we got it.

    The beef jerky (made from ground beef) was fab. Dried strawberries dry solid, but they are not crunchy. They are kinda like fruit jerky... gotta work at it (But so yummy). The zucc chips were nice but I used a little too much garlic and I sliced them too thin. Since veggies are starting to go out of season I'm about to dehydrate stew veggies for the winter (bell peppers, onions, tomatos, and I haven't decided what else yet).

    I recommend getting a mandoline if you don't already have one. Makes prep work so much faster (and consistent which helps greatly with drying times... I remember cutting things with a knife when we had one with I was little and some things would over dry and some would underdry).

  3. #3
    Diana Renata's Avatar
    Diana Renata is offline Senior Member
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    A friend has an Excalibur 9-tray. That thing freakin' ROCKS!

  4. #4
    Brent*'s Avatar
    Brent* is offline Senior Member
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    Yeah I have a mandolin, its awesome to say the least! So for jerky do you cook the meat in the oven after dehydrating it?

  5. #5
    mrsashton1993's Avatar
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    I second the Excalibur 9 tray. I bought one earlier this year and it is one of the best kitchen investments I have made.

    Here is my jerky recipe:
    3 lbs ground beef
    Cumin
    Chili powder
    Garlic powder
    Salt
    Pepper
    You really need to play with these according to your preference. My husband also likes to add cayenne.

    Then press some out on a piece of parchment paper until it is about 1/8 - 1/4 of an inch thick; score it with a butter knife according to how you want your jerky pieces to look. Place the parchment on a tray and put it in the dehydrator. 3 lbs generally takes 4-5 trays of my dehydrator.

    For time... generally mine take 8-12 hours in the excalibur. Less fatty meat (I recently did a buffalo / beef combo) takes less time.

    hth.

  6. #6
    jenni's Avatar
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    Yeah, the Excalibur. When I grow up, I want one. For now I have a Nesco Gardenmaster. Having the temp. settings helps.
    Start of PB weight Aug/2011: 217
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  7. #7
    yodiewan's Avatar
    yodiewan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    Yeah I have a mandolin, its awesome to say the least! So for jerky do you cook the meat in the oven after dehydrating it?
    No, you never cook it. If you dehydrate at a high enough temp you effectively cook it, but you can use a lower temp also and keep it "raw" if you're not worried about E. Coli and such.

  8. #8
    demuralist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent* View Post
    Yeah I have a mandolin, its awesome to say the least! So for jerky do you cook the meat in the oven after dehydrating it?
    nope, its done when it is done dehydrating.

    I use metal pizza grill pans, between air filters, bungie corded onto a floor fan. Yum (adaption of an Alton Brown invention - it stuck to the air filters for me, thus the addition of the grill pans)
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  9. #9
    Barb's Avatar
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    We have the Nesco Professional Food and Jerky dehydrator. It has all the temperature settings for different types of foods. We have used it to dry fruits and nuts. Fruits come out a little chewy like the kind you buy in the store. Dried apples slices were delicious. The trays are easy to wash in the dishwasher. Highly recommend it.

  10. #10
    katiedid's Avatar
    katiedid is offline Junior Member
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    My husband uses london broil, cut in strips. Not chip thin - more like the size of steak fries. He likes to marinate it first, sometimes in beer (yeah, i know).

    Usually only takes 4-5 hours in the dehydrator, but it all depends on personal taste as to how tough you like it. We store it in the fridge when done.

    Dehydrators can be hard to clean - make sure yours is dishwasher safe.

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