comparing dehydrators: Nesco FD-75PR vs. Nesco/American Harvest FD-80
So I'm looking fora dehydrator but don't want to spend too much. Can anyone tell me if they have had experience with either of these models from Nesco, and what is the major difference between the two? I have a hard time from the amazon descriptions on what the major difference is between the two. They are the same price so seems logical to get the newer model (FD-80), yet the FD-75PR has 3x as many reviews. Mainly will be used for making beef jerkey and drying sweet potatoes for chips and dried fruit.
I have two of the $35 super-cheap dehydrators from Target. They are noisy, ugly, and dirty, but work just fine. Fruit takes about 24 hours.
I've had a press'aire'izer which is a Nesco product from about 15 years ago and still going strong. It is 1000watts with adjustable fan and adjustable temp, both of which are very useful. My criticism of the one I've got is the fan and heat unit is in the bottom of the dehydrator and especially with jerky it drips and is impossible to clean. I would recommend the heat and fan unit be in the top or side of the dehydrater for ease of cleaning. Despite its faults mine has lasted forever, it dries apples in about 8 hours and jerky in about 12 to 15. If you do cranberries or blueberries, blanch them first, I found out the hard way that they take forever if you don't(3 days). Kiwi fruit and pineapple dried are addictively delicious as are dried strawberries. Don't bother with seedy berries like raspberries. I've dried vegies to take camping for stews and yogurt leather is rather tasty. Vegies need to be blanched before drying to stop the enzymes in them, so they will last longer. Fruit leathers I usually mix the fruit puree with applesauce just because most fruits are so expensive. Some of the blander fruits need a dash of lemon juice to flavor them up. Dried bananas come out pretty ugly and chewy(I don't like them). On jerky I found out the hard way that you really need to watch how much salt goes in the marinade. I've had jerky come out with salt crystals on it and almost inedibly salty. Don't expect dried fruits and vegies to really last more than a year before they degrade and Jerkies maybe three months, longer if you stash them in the freezer. The leaner the meat you start out with the better the jerky lasts. Cut the meat across the grain or you will have really chewy jerky and it cuts better if it is slightly frozen.