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Food Dehydrator - Should I fork out the cash?

lynnlato | Jan 28, 201103:58 AM

I was in California recently and went to a local farmers market. There was a booth where they were selling all different kinds of dried fruit. I fell in love with the peaches and nectarines. I bought some and have eaten them all and now I'm sad. :-(

I then thought "why don't I dehydrate my own fruit?" I have searched Chowhound for the best beginner models and searched Craigslist, Amazon and Ebay for affordable options for a starter hydrator and I'm thoroughly confused. It looks like the best brand is Excalibur but these things are pretty pricy, even for a 4 tray model (about $120+ with shipping). I found a couple of Rondo models locally on Craigslist but they look cheap.

I think, realistically, that I would mostly use it for fruit. I'm afraid the novelty might wear off. I would like to try jerky and maybe even yogurt but I'm not "gung-ho" into the food dehydrator craze... just yet.

Am I better off spending the extra $50 and buying an Excalibur model or should I start off with a cheaper brand, like Ronco? Also, I read some reviews of an Excalibur model that were negative. Specifically, they said that they had a problem with fuses blowing after only 8-10 uses. Anyone else experience this?

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