Saturday, January 1, 2011

Testing out the Nesco FD-75PR Food Dehydrator

My first test run with the Nesco Food Dehydrator (thanks Mom Santa) was a success. I sliced some pears that our family received for Christmas. They were from Harry & David, and they in the most ridiculous packaging ever. Imagine a treasure chest with a secret compartment in the bottom. It was pretty impressive.

The preparation for dehydrating was easy. I cut the pears into 3/8in slices and tossed them on the drying racks. They also recommend that you toss the fruit in a solution to avoid excess oxidation and loss of nutrients, but I didn't do it (tisk tisk).

For fruit, it explains to set the dial at 135 degrees - great. But for how long? The directions say "5-16 hours" - no joke. I ended up leaving them in over night, because I didn't feel like waking up at 4am to turn off my Food Dehydrator. I guess that's what I get for purchasing one without a timer.

The dried pears themselves were delicious. They weren't perfect by any means, and I could definitely take a couple hours off the drying time. But they were sweet and tasty. I placed them in a plastic zip-lock, and they lasted a week before my family ate them all.

Tonight, I decided to give mangoes a shot. Mangoes are delicious, and they happen to be my Dad's favorite. So, I decided to make him a treat. First, I had to watch a video to see how to properly cut a mango (thank YouTube). In this video, Chef Allen Susser does a great job explaining concisely how to select and cut a mango. Again, the preparation is easy just slice and place (solution is not recommended for mangoes). Now, I play the waiting game.

All in all, I've been happy with my Nesco Food Dehydrator. It is simple (no on/off switch or timer), easy to clean, and it can hold a heck of a lot of food (with four or five racks). It will take some time, and also trial and error to get the hang for how long to dehydrate certain foods. I figure it will kind of be like using a microwave for the first time. At first, you go by the directions on how long to cook your food. Then, after you've had enough use with the product you just get an idea of how long a food will need based on it's temperature and density. Which means... more experiments!

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