Dehydrator - Generic Brand

Steve

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Steve submitted a new Showcase Item:

Dehydrator - Generic Brand

After a bit of research into food dehydrators i really couldn't bring myself to paying > $400 (and up to $700 for the really nice ones) for a unit so I went for a generic Chinese-made dehydrator. Was it a good choice.... read on...!

Where:
I ended up buying this one off eBay for $130 with free postage. It was located in the same city as me (Brisbane, Australia) so it only took a couple of days to arrive.
I noticed there were a fair few to choose from on eBay so it really came down to trying to pick one that had the most functionality and was geographically closest to me. I figure if it doesn't have to travel half the world to get to my doorstep then that's a good thing for the environment and also lessens the chance of damage en route.

Brand:
No idea! Really there is not one bit of branding on it or the instructions pamphlet that i can see. All I know is it was made in China and many of the components look awfully similar to many other models on eBay and even some that have a brand. I'm sure these things are all made in the same factory and then shipped out to different suppliers.

Packaging:
It arrived in a massive cardboard box which led me to think I might have gone too big with 10 draws.
It was well packaged with no damage and after removing it from the packaging I realised it was HUGE!
The wife took one look at it and said '...that ain't coming in my kitchen!'. Needless to say it now lives in my garage where I visit it regularly to spend quality time with it. ;)
Seriously though, I am happy with the size as it will come in handy on the big jobs. Better too big than too small. Plus it will keep my garage warm in the cooler months while I tinker around. It's a win/win really.

Functions:
Many of the units on eBay didn't come with a timer, or a variable thermostat (temperature adjustment) or even an on/off switch, or any combination of these functions. It took a while to find one that had all three in the right size, at the right price, and in close proximity to me.
  • Timer - this unit has a digital timer which is very easy to program in hours and minutes. It goes up to 40 hrs (apparently) but I haven't test that yet. Once set via 3 little push-buttons the unit will run at the temp set on the dial and then turn the unit off once the time runs out. the digital readout is large and easy to read and counts down once you hit go. I think this is a must for a dehydrator. You could get around it with a external timer (on...
 

Mark

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I've so got dehydrator envy :D

In truth to myself, these generic branded dehydrators weren't around when I bought my Excalibur - I looked high and low for a cheaper/similar dehydrator on eBay at the time and eventually came to the conclusion it was an Excalibur or nothing...
I'm wrapped you are happy with yours and also that your biltong worked out ok - the pics certainly looked good :twothumbsup:I think the days of overcharging consumers for electrical appliances are coming to an abrupt end with the rise of China as a credible maker of quality products instead of the rip-off junk they used to make - gotta give credit where it's due :)

If I was in the market for a dehydrator now I would do the same as you!

What's next on your dehydrator conquests?

May I suggest cherry tomatoes cut in half and dehydrated are easy and a taste sensation. http://www.selfsufficientme.com/blog/view/299/preserving_food_through_dehydration__cherry_tomatoes_
 

Steve

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Thanks Stevo and Mark, appreciate the feedback.

I think they had a 12 draw unit too. What's two extra draws between friends? LOL
4 hours might not cut it Stevo, unless you like your dried meat very rare.

Yes the products coming out of China are definitely getting better. Not long ago I was looking at a mini spirit-level for my camera. Its a little plastic cube 3-way bubble that slides into the top of the camera (hot shoe or flash mount). They wanted $40 in a camera shop in town. I found the same one for about $3 from China with free postage! So i bought 2 and gave one away to a friend. He thought I was the best for giving such an expensive gift. :sarcasm:

What's next? good question. I like the tomato idea Mark. I also would like to try some types of fruit like banana and apple or maybe a sheet of fruit puree.
The world is my oyster.....(I wonder if you can dehydrate oysters? maybe not) edit: a quick google revealed a recipe for fish jerky.... who would have thought!

Cheers fellers.
 

Steve

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Brisbane Australia
Can you fit some Pandanus in there too?
I dont think it will make it much worse than it already sounds. ....and I quote 'natural dental floss, irritates the mouth, and now comes in dehydrated form which concentrates its fantastic qualities'..... :eat:
 
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