preservation Nesco 500 watt dehydrator

Does anybody have any experience with this inexpensive dehydrator?

I am using it to dry habaneros. I figure eventually I'll be in the market for something better, but am hoping for the best with this one.
 
Mr Heat Miser said:
Does anybody have any experience with this inexpensive dehydrator?

I am using it to dry habaneros. I figure eventually I'll be in the market for something better, but am hoping for the best with this one.
It may take 24 hours. But for peppers it's Okay. If there are any other folks in the house sleeping, thats another topic.
 
i just did some habs and a couple other peppers in mine, and it took a while, not exactly sure how long since i did it in sections.

it's a nice dehydrator and reasonably priced. i've basically just used it for jerky, this is the first time doing anything else with it. :)

the bigger the pieces you put in there, the longer each individual will take. i cut my habs into 4 sections and removed the middle part. some seeds i left on top of a pieces thinking they would dry to the peppers. gonna grind them up tomorrow, will probably post the results in that other thread about dehydrating.

oh, and welcome to the boards!
 
I have 10+ racks in mine and I do a lot of dehydrating. I usually dry whole pods and it takes a few days with full racks. Great for jerky too since the Fan on the top makes it so easy to clean.
 
I've also used it to dry herbs. Basil was fine on top 2 racks but bottom 2 needed more time. Made me think twice about doing the deer jerky on the bottom 2 racks unless I cut it pretty thin.
 
theres nothing wrong with this model, yes it might take a little longer than other models but for the price its worth it! I've made thick cut jerky in it before but like eveything I dry in it I switch all the trays around every once in awhile (top to bottom etc..) so its more of even dry time for everything inside it. for the normal person that does some drying every once in awhile this model is worth it (cheap & gets the job done in a reasonable time)
 
which level do you think dries out fastest? i too rotate them, because i think i notice some uneven drying. only problem is..i didn't really take note of which one it was. :lol: i think it's the bottom, but i could be fooling myself.
 
I sort of thought it was the top tray that dried faster. I know they say the vents & the airflow system provides for a even drying time throughout the unit - blah blah blah :lol: I still dont think it dries evenly so I switch the trays around every once in awhile so most is done at the same time.

best person to ask this question would be Potawie since he uses 10 trays (I only use 4 to 6 trays at most) - I cant believe the bottom tray getting the same airflow/heat as the top tray.
but even with its downfalls this nesco model, its still worth it. unless you want to spend alot more money on better brands.
 
i wasn't sure, just the bottom came to mind. the reason i thought that is because the heat only comes out through the center, and the edge. those feed right into channels..so i think most air goes straight down and some spills over into the trays as they go. could be completely wrong though hah.

yea, i don't buy the even dehydrating either, plus it's not time consuming to rotate them anyway. i only use the 4 that it comes with too, haven't bought any extras.
 
I find the top tray dries a little faster so I put larger/thicker peppers on top and sometimes rotate. I had the older version with the fan/heater on the bottom and it was just the opposite. I had it for 10 years and the only reason it burnt out was because earwigs unknowingly got into the heater. When I turned it on, what an awful smell and then fried.
I think they make a similar 1000watt version too. I think Chilliman64 has one.
 
Mine has just the original 4 trays. I'll probably try the rotation deal and make sure not to load up the trays too much for air flow.
 
POTAWIE said:
I find the top tray dries a little faster so I put larger/thicker peppers on top and sometimes rotate. I had the older version with the fan/heater on the bottom and it was just the opposite. I had it for 10 years and the only reason it burnt out was because earwigs unknowingly got into the heater. When I turned it on, what an awful smell and then fried.
I think they make a similar 1000watt version too. I think Chilliman64 has one.

my my, what a memory you have!

I do have a 1000 watt dehydrator but it's not Nesco brand, it's a New Zealand brand called Ezidri - thermostat control with the fan/heater in the base. I got mine in new/unused condition from Cash Converters about 8 years ago and it's still going strong! it dries jerky in about 7-8 hours. haven't tried cooking earwigs in it yet though as I don't know how best to marinade them :D

honestly, if you are a casual dehydrator then a 500 watt machine will suit your purposes, provided you don't mind spending all weekend rotating trays and flipping jerky. for my money, get the thousand watt machine and you won't regret it. when mine dies I'll be getting another one exactly the same!
 
So I guess, all in all, it was $39 well spent.

The first small batch of habs dried out great. Wicked heat.:lol: Will probably work towards a powder instead of the flakes, although I'm guessing more care will be required.

It was only 10 habs, and only used one tray, but probably could have fit 20 habs. I cut off the tops and sliced the pods into quarters, not removing anything. The next batch, and maybe the remainder of my flakes, will be powder.

Thanks for the input everybody.
 
I have this model and though I haven't tried any peppers yet, I've dried bunches of carrots, squash, zucchini, cabbage and eggplant. I fill all four trays completely, turn it on (135 degrees) and go to bed. Eight hours later, it's done. Haven't noticed any difference between the top, middle and bottom trays.
 
wordwiz said:
I have this model and though I haven't tried any peppers yet, I've dried bunches of carrots, squash, zucchini, cabbage and eggplant. I fill all four trays completely, turn it on (135 degrees) and go to bed. Eight hours later, it's done. Haven't noticed any difference between the top, middle and bottom trays.
How long have you used it?
 
cyotefishing said:
How long have you used it?

For about five months, which isn't a long time. As far as hours go, I'm guessing probably close to 200 so far. I'm drying some Thai Sun and Hungarian Hot Was peppers as I type.

One thing I learned was to buy some screening (the kind you use to replace a windown screen) and cover the trays with it. That eliminated sticking as well as allows me to dehydrate the Thai peppers that would normally fall through the cracks, so to speak.

Mike
 
In my case my antique 50 watt antique took 2 days to dry four trays of habs....with rotating trays etc...I like it think ill stick to it till it dies
 
Canuk Pepperhead said:
In my case my antique 50 watt antique took 2 days to dry four trays of habs....with rotating trays etc...I like it think ill stick to it till it dies

there's a lot to be said for blind loyalty! did you say 50 watt??? :rolleyes: is it powered by a windmill or hamster or something? ;)
 
A report on dehydrating the Hungarians - it took about 24 hours and they turned out a beautiful brownish-yellow color. Ran them through a coffee blender (set to fine) and put a couple ounces of spice into a hot sauce bottle. Works a treat. With the dust that remained, I added some thick tomato juice, sugar, a bit of basil and cinnamon. Made about eight ounces of sauce I can even eat, but just barely! My son said it was "okay" which, coming from Shaun, is a 10-star review.
 
so in other words, they may not look all that great, but the flavor and heat is still retained? i've still yet to try any yellow peppers..but the orange habs turned out way better looking than the green jalapenos and serranos i did.
 
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