Recommend me a dehydrator

I am looking into getting a dehydrator to dry stone and pomme fruit.
Which dyhedrator do you have?
How do you like it?
Any recommendations for a particular model or other information about the process?

I have the Nesco FD-1040. Its 1000 watts and can do a huge number of racks. Its been fantastic for me.

The next cheaper Nesco is only 600 watts … big difference in terms of the load it can handle and drying times. And you are saving only $20.

In terms of the process, there are tricks for each kind of thing you dry. I found persimmons were much easier to dry as leather; to do leather you need to get plastic leather inserts for the dryer racks. Peaches and apples you simply slice onto the racks. If you are doing lots of apples get one of those spinning skinner-corer machines, you will get the job done in a tenth of the time. Make sure to dry really well, or fridge/freeze the result. My first couple batches rotted a few months later. Cutting not-too-thick makes drying to the right level easier. Dry til its dry, don’t base on any time given in a recipe.


x2 on the Nesco, I have an older smaller one that was a hand me down from my mom. It works great, but if I had to go out and buy one I’d spend the extra $$$ to buy the larger size, you can process so much more and save a ton of time.

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I have and recommend the Excalibur dehydrator .

The 3000 series is larger.

I had the Nesco but like the Excalibur better

By the way… you can buy and add additional trays to the Nesco



I also am of the impression the Excalibur is better. But its more than twice as expensive. The FD-1040 hits a sweet spot in performance for the price.

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I can’t argue with that.

My son is still very happy with the Nesco.

It all depends on how much produce needs to be processed. I outgrew the Nesco


I’d second the Excalibur. We had a couple of the Nesco-like round ones (can’t recall the exact brand), and while they worked OK they did not dry evenly requiring moving things around on the trays to get things dried. The Excalibur solved all that. It dries things evenly without rearranging, across all trays.

Perhaps the genuine Nesco’s are more even in their drying, but having to move and rearrange things on the trays to get them dry is a royal pain. If you do any amount of drying, the extra cost for the Excalibur is well worth it to save that effort.


I have the Excalibur that Mike has. Bought it second-hand off of Craig’s List. It was only used once. Works really well. Noisy, though.

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of course, you still have to rotate the trays in the excalibur. Very annoying.

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On my Nesco I don’t need to do anything more than rotate the ordering of the trays. One advantage of 1000 watts is its blasting things very thoroughly; the Excalibur is only 600 watts. The one place I see unevenness with my Nesco is on fruit leather, the sides dry faster than the middle. The problem with leather is many of the vents are blocked.

Actually, we have not found that the food or trays needed rotating or flipping with the Excalibur. We’ve dried apples, elderberries, onions, garlic, various herbs and probably more with it. One of the nice things about it is it eliminated the need to rotate trays, flip the food pieces and all that stuff. The Excalibur fan is pretty noisy but seems to do a good job of moving the air around in there.

Another vote for Nesco here. Dead simple and works well.

@scottfsmith, @MES111, @smatthew, @jeremymillrood, @Steve333, @hoosierquilt, @smatthew, and @MrClint: Thank you for responding with your experience. The information is helpful and I appreciate it.

The number one Question & Answer in my “Excalibur Dehydration Guide” is “One side of my drying trays seems to be dried before the other. What should I do?” Their answer is " Because your dehydrator may dry one side faster than the other, halfway through the drying cycle you may want to turn the trays 180. This speeds up the dehydration process and will reduce energy consumption".

I’ve dried tomato slices, cherry tomato halves, and pepper halves. Every batch has required rotation, otherwise one side of the tray would be brittle-dry, while the other side still plump with moisture. Very disappointing.

I now have 3 Nescos, or I have 2 white ones and one that is amber brown and has more trays, which is either Nesco or something similar.

I bought one years ago. The other two just showed up from people who had gotten them for casual use and one day decided to get rid of clutter.

Anyway, I’m glad to have multiples because harvests tend to come in waves. Having multiples allows not just more to be dried at one time, but also enables separating items that I don’t want to be dried together. I can put hot peppers in one, and fruit and veggies in others at the same time. I can also do more leather at once, since they each came with inserts.

I tend to use lower heat settings than called for because I like the results better. That may be because I do the drying outside and it’s so hot here in the summer that the higher settings may wind up having temperatures than they are set for. I don’t know. But I do know that my crock pot cooks at higher temperatures outside because it also winds up being a solar cooker. It’s possible for me to cook some foods in that without ever even turning it on. :smile:

Just so you understand, I’m not necessarily recommending a Nesco. It’s just what I’m familiar with using.


That may be because you have your heat setting too high.

Long and slow is the preferred way with very wet and juicy things …like tomatos, citrus, peaches.


Reading this thread makes me want to upgrade my bottom of the line Nesco for one that has a temperature control and timer. I’d bought a mechanical outlet timer for half of the problem, but my raisins taste a little caramelized, which isn’t what I’m going for. I’d like to use a cooler setting.

I like the expandable, easy to clean Nesco design. But one nice thing about the Excalibur is that one can put in taller things. I’d like to try grapes on the bunch to keep syrup from oozing out of them.

I’ve used a Nesco American Harvester for years, with thermostat. Works well, but eventually, even being careful, the finer part of plastic trays began to fall apart.

I’ve also used a L’equip and liked that one too. Purchased at a yard sale. Would consider getting another since I have lots of trays, and the size today is the same. It works much like the Nesco - with trays stacked on top of the heat and fan below. Trays sturdier than the Nesco. Amazon sells a couple models.

My favorite however, hands down, is the Excalibur. The trays are sturdy, and the lighter plastic mesh coverings are very easy to clean. And having no hole in the center is wonderful. I do rotate the trays, but it only takes a few minutes, and I like to see how things are progressing. If you’re going to spring for one, get the 9 tray.

I prefer to dry things at lower temperatures, for longer. Dried things taste much better. But I also live with low humidity so there is no danger of mold.

When drying fruit like pears and apples, do you need to put on some sort of coating (like oil?) to prevent the flesh from turning brown before dried out?