Buying a Dehydrator

Chad5(6)August 11, 2014

Can anyone recommend a good dehydrator for drying superhots? Im looking to purchase one this week as my peppers are rolling in faster than I can use them. I'm not trying to break the bank so I was thinking of ordering a nesco fd60 snackmaster. It has four trays and goes for about 50 bucks. Any advice???

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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

That is the one I have. I'm pretty happy with it. It seems to dry evenly and in a reasonable amount of time. I'm doing a lot of peaches right now and I find that overnight is usually long enough. I will be doing hot peppers later in the year.

Angie

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:23AM
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jutsFL(9b (Orlando))

I have the fd-75, works like a champ. I'm sure that version will as well.

Jay

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:26AM
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northeast_chileman(6a)

I realize cost a consideration but if you want to dry seeds for next years garden temperature control important as you don't want to "fry" the seeds. If you have no plans to dry seeds in your dehydrator, the less expensive models work great!

Hope this helps
NECM

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:30PM
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brian6464(4a)

Or you can simply deseed them if you want the seeds for next Spring and then dehydrate them.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:01PM
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brian6464(4a)

I have the Nesco Snackmaster with 4 trays and it works great.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:03PM
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northeast_chileman(6a)

Posted by brian6464 4a (My Page) on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 20:01
Or you can simply deseed them if you want the seeds for next Spring and then dehydrate them.

Posted by northeast_chileman 6a (My Page) on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 17:30
If you have no plans to dry seeds in your dehydrator, the less expensive models work great!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:10PM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

The dehydrator the original poster was talking about does have an adjustable temperature dial. I'm not looking at mine at the moment, but I think the temperature setting range is 95-160 degrees F. So it's quite versatile. I've used mine for everything from delicate herbs on the lowest temperature setting to making jerky on the highest. I've done peppers on it that turned out well. I will do more once I have more peppers to dry. Right now I'm doing mainly peaches. I'm amazed at how many uses I'm finding for it. You can probably tell that I'm pretty enthusiastic about it. :)

I would not buy one without a temperature dial. Without any way of adjusting the temperature setting, you could end up using way too much heat for some things and not nearly enough for others. I also like having the fan and heating element on top because it avoids juices dripping down into the heating element.

But I'm someone who has way too many kitchen pots, pans, appliances, etc. So I try not to add more if I don't need them because I just don't have storage space. But this is one that I am so glad I added to my kitchen collection. I can't believe how much I am using it.

Angie (who may fill hers up with another batch of peaches before going to bed).

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:12PM
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esox07

I have a Nesco FD75. Works great for everything from fruit, to peppers to beef jerky. I suggest you get an additional package of trays though. It can support up to 10 trays I believe but it only comes with 4 or 5.

Check the link below for Amazon.com or you can find it for about the same price at Walmart.com

Bruce

Here is a link that might be useful: Amazon.com Nesco FD75 Dehydrator & Trays

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:02AM
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scott123456(5)

I just bought a dehydrator myself. I went with the Excalibur 4 tray. They seem to have the best reviews. I think I paid right around $100 with a coupon. ItâÂÂs a little steep for what I need it for (maybe use it one or twice a year), but better then having to buy a new one each year. My theory is to buy the good one and you will only have to buy it once, just something to think about.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:48AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Few years ago i made one myself. A lot of work.
A $50 unit sounds like a good deal.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:58AM
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Chad5(6)

Thanks for all of the replies! I did a little more research and Im ready to order one today (FD75). I'll post pics and a review after my first batch this weekend. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:28AM
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esox07

Good choice. I have had mine for about 8 years. No issues at all. Still works like it did on day one. It should be able to do everything you need it to do and do it well.
Bruce

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:34AM
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esox07

Oh, and if you plan on drying peppers and then grinding them up for powder, you might want to look at a grinder. I use a "coffee" grinder which works great for about $10. But, like the dehydrator, you can spend much more for a really fancy one. The $10 coffee grinder will completely powderize the dried peppers just fine IMO. On a side note for both the dehydrator and grinder: Make sure you throughoughy wash them after drying or grinding hot or super hot peppers if you intend to use them for anything else. Just a word of caution. Oh, and I almost forgot, DO NOT try to dehydrate super hots inside the house. Your significant other will likely file for divorce by the next morning if you do.
Bruce

This post was edited by esox07 on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 11:12

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:09AM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Alton Brown makes his own in Good Eats Season 9 "Urban Preservation II". He uses furnace filters strapped to a box fan with bungies. According to him it works a treat and costs next to nothing.

Dennis

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:11PM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

Oh, and if you plan on drying peppers and then grinding them up for powder, you might want to look at a grinder. I use a "coffee" grinder which works great for about $10. But, like the dehydrator, you can spend much more for a really fancy one. The $10 coffee grinder will completely powderize the dried peppers just fine IMO.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Food preservation is my project to learn about this year. :) I have already dried some peppers this year and I will be drying some others and grinding them to powder later in the season. For other grinding tasks, I've been using a blender on the grind setting and it has worked fine. But is there a significant advantage to using a coffee grinder instead?

I would not mind buying a coffee grinder if it truly is better for the job. But I have plenty of kitchen gadgets lying around and not getting much use, so I don't need more clutter if there is no good reason for it!

Angie

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:32PM
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salevene

I 12th the Nesco FD75, has worked great for me. I usually need about 15 hours though to get them fully dehydrated...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:41PM
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esox07

As long as the blender is working, then keep doing what you are doing. But, does it get it really fine? I prefer my powder to be, just that, powder. I also like to grind Thai Peppers into flakes which I normally do by hand with a mortar and pestal as it provides a lot more control.
Bruce

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 5:10PM
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scott123456(5)

âÂÂOh, and I almost forgot, DO NOT try to dehydrate super hots inside the house. Your significant other will likely file for divorce by the next morning if you do.âÂÂ

HAHA I learned that the hard way last year. I didnâÂÂt have a dehydrator so I used the oven and a bunch of my wifeâÂÂs baking sheets to dry Carolina reapers. It was like someone emptied a bottle or 2 of pepper spray in my house. CouldnâÂÂt breathe face burning the whole 9. I laid down multiple sheets of wax paper but still âÂÂruinedâ my wife baking sheets. We found out weeks later when she made biscuits on the same sheets and they were too hot for anyone but me to eat lol. I thought they were great! She was not amused!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:06AM
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scott123456(5)

I also use a cheap coffee grinder and it works great for me. The only problem I have is when I go from one type of pepper to another. ItâÂÂs a real pain to clean (literally painful) and almost impossible to get the taste of that pepper out. It would be nice to have a dedicated grinder for each pepper variety, but i dont think my wife would like 30 coffee grinders on the counter :)

I donâÂÂt grind everything up at once, I just dry and then grind up as needed. How do you combat the powder clumping issues?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:21AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

For grinding and blending there are various brands that have different containers and blending grinding units with several sizes of containers.

This is sold at Walmart for $49.

I have had another brand for about 6 years. I throw away my old blender ( with several buttons, Oster ?) It way just two big to handle, plus it would not grind/powder.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 1:55AM
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salevene

Scott - I have found that drying for 15 hours helps reduce the clumping issue (and I'm in a relatively humid area).

Sometimes the powder will stick together, but a quick shake and its like there was never any humidity.

How long do you dehydrate for?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:06PM
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plantsman56

The 60 with the adjustable temperature setting disk should be great. I've used my 61 for about 5 years now. I bought some extra trays right from the Nesco website, so now I stack 7 on to of each other. I found I had to increase the time of drying for the extra trays.
+1 on the having to dry the peppers somewhere else. The Nesco has been exiled to the garage.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:06PM
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TNKS(7b)

I have a FD75 that see's year round heavy use
Cant seem to kill it even after near 5 yrs
I fill all the trays 7 times in order to do "a batch" of jerky
I do 10+ batchs every year at a minimum
"Cheap" is subjective I think LOL!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:18PM
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lizbeth-gardener

Scott: Try grinding up a small amount of white rice to clean your coffee grinder. Works great-not sure if it will get rid of pepper taste, but worth a try!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:24PM
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scott123456(5)

Salevene- I used a oven last year I'm not sure how long. This year I will do 15 hrs thanks. Do you grind up all your dried peppers at once or just as needed? If all at once, how do you store your powder?

TNKS- I know nothing about that specific model. In general though, the higher price tag on many items is usually for quality control and customer service. They pretty much are built with the same technology, and when it's made correctly, most companies have a good product. The higher price tag is for consistency. On a lower price tag item, you might get one that is built like a tank and last forever, I might get one that won't turn on right out of the box or dies after one use and when I call I get the run around. Many times it's worth the gamble but sometimes it better to buy pricy one first, so you don't buy the "cheap" one and end up having to by the pricy one later anyways.

Lizbeth- I tried it and it works great , thank you!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:43AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I looked them up on Amazon. Those Nesco models are dandy. I like the way they are so compact and so easy storage. For some one who has use for them, they can be valuable. I do most of my drying on the dinner table, some on the wall, some in the oven, some on the counter. I am talking about small quantities.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:02AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

BUMP

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 6:30AM
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ironmike_usmc zone 6A CT

I bought the Nesco Smackmaster (brand new, with 4 trays) on Amazon a few weeks ago for about $30, including shipping. Haven't dried my superhots yet, but did dry some fruit to make some jams. I don't see any reason it wouldn't work for peppers. At that price, I think it was a steal. Had good reviews, too. No ON/OFF switch (who really cares?), turns on when you plug it in, and pretty quiet too. Several temp. settings. Hope this helps.

FWIW,
Mike

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 6:48AM
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