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#3742086 - 08/23/14 03:16 PM Food dehydrators
Vermin93
12 Point


Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 5638
Loc: Dallas, TX & Signal Mtn, TN

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I'm thinking about adding a dehydrator to my processing arsenal to help with jerky making and other things. I'm wondering if anyone has one and whether they feel it's a worthwhile investment. I did a quick check online and it looks like you need to spend $200 - $300 to get a model that has consistently good reviews.

One of the main reasons I'm interested in one is because I like making jerky. Right now when I make jerky I use my electric smoker from start to finish. The smoker is great for adding smoke flavor at the beginning of the cooking process, but it's not so great at finishing the cooking process. I'm thinking it would be easier to start the jerky in the smoker for an hour or so and then transfer it to a dehydrator to finish it off. I've also thought about just using the oven on low temp to finish the jerky, but I'm wondering if a dehydrator would produce better results.
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“The more I read and the more I listen, the more apparent it is that our society suffers from an alarming degree of public ignorance” - Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

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#3742102 - 08/23/14 03:47 PM Re: Food dehydrators [Re: Vermin93]
Trapper John
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/13/99
Posts: 11783
Loc: La Vergne,TN/Decaturville, TN

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I smoke for an hour or so then dehydrate the rest of the time. I'm sure someone will give you reviews on a good one. I'm using an old cheap one from Wal-Mart and it works fine. Once it dies (Going on year 10 right now) I'll upgrade. The only complaint I have is it's small.
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#3742191 - 08/23/14 05:49 PM Re: Food dehydrators [Re: Trapper John]
Forvols
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Registered: 08/20/14
Posts: 6
Loc: NE TENNESSEE

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I have an excalibur 9 tray 2900. Had it for about 4yrs, made plenty of jerky, dried fruit. Well worth the investment. Have had no issues what so ever with it. The excalibur has the fan in the back this provides better air circulation meaning no need for tray rotation. Also the fan etc is not getting dripped on by whatever you are dehydrating...my opinion you cant go wrong with the excalibur line.

http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/exmoded2.html

Here is the next step up the 3900

http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/ed3900.html

tony
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#3742208 - 08/23/14 06:04 PM Re: Food dehydrators [Re: Forvols]
Vermin93
12 Point


Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 5638
Loc: Dallas, TX & Signal Mtn, TN

shocked Online
Thanks, Forvols. I noticed the Excalibur dehydrators have really good reviews on several different sites.
_________________________
“The more I read and the more I listen, the more apparent it is that our society suffers from an alarming degree of public ignorance” - Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

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#3742230 - 08/23/14 06:42 PM Re: Food dehydrators [Re: Vermin93]
Vermin93
12 Point


Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 5638
Loc: Dallas, TX & Signal Mtn, TN

shocked Online
I researched it a little more and the Excalibur dehydrators sound like really good. I found the 3900 for $200 shipped with no sales tax and pulled the trigger. Can't wait to try it out on a batch of jerky.
_________________________
“The more I read and the more I listen, the more apparent it is that our society suffers from an alarming degree of public ignorance” - Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

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#3742308 - 08/23/14 08:05 PM Re: Food dehydrators [Re: Vermin93]
dmonty
6 Point


Registered: 07/19/12
Posts: 683
Loc: Knoxville,TN

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I have one of the small size Cabela's brand cabinet models and it is great if you do alot of jerky. It is easy to clean and is force air type so jerky dries very evenly,has timer and adjustable temp.i normally do around 20 lbs at a time and this only fills it about half way.
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#3742594 - 08/24/14 06:38 AM Re: Food dehydrators [Re: dmonty]
Forvols
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Registered: 08/20/14
Posts: 6
Loc: NE TENNESSEE

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93 - That is a great deal, I went and checked my its a 3900 - I think I paid 225.00 for mine. I believe you will be very happy with the excalibur. Also you can put a timer in line with the power source and there you go. Just make sure the Timer wattage rating is correct for the 3900

Tony
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Tony

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#3742779 - 08/24/14 10:32 AM Re: Food dehydrators [Re: Vermin93]
Vermin93
12 Point


Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 5638
Loc: Dallas, TX & Signal Mtn, TN

shocked Online
Thanks for the tip on the appliance timer. I was thinking about getting the 3926T for its built-in timer, but this guy sold me on the 3900. He recommended an external appliance timer as well.

Excalibur 3900 vs Excalibur 3926T with Built in Timer - Which Is Best ?
_________________________
“The more I read and the more I listen, the more apparent it is that our society suffers from an alarming degree of public ignorance” - Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

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#3744426 - 08/25/14 08:15 PM Re: Food dehydrators [Re: Vermin93]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9512
Loc: Memphis

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For the money, I'd just start it in the smoker for the flavor, then finish in the oven. You can pack a whole lot more in the oven than a dehydrator. Run a toothpick through each strip, then suspend the strips vertically. Lowest setting with the door cracked ought to finish the job.
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#3744452 - 08/25/14 08:33 PM Re: Food dehydrators [Re: TAFKAP]
WestTn Huntin'man
16 Point


Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 11967
Loc: Benton Co.

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I use the Square Nesco dehydrator. Bought the kit with 2 extra trays.Does a good job holds about 6 or 7 lbs of ground meat.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00179DCCQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?tag=scale-t-5-ag-1-20
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