Weston has created a food dehydrator that is easy to use and clean, and it produces nicely dried foods that can be stored for extended periods of time. This food dehydrator comes with 10 removable trays, which is unusual for a dehydrator since most come with just a few, often with the option to purchase extras. With the Weston Fruit and Veggie Dehydrator 75-0201-W, you get more than 10 square feet of total drying space, which should work well for even the most avid hunting, fishing and gardening enthusiasts.
Another benefit: You don't need to rotate trays, which is a great time-saver and frees you to do other things while the device preserves your food. The instruction manual states that, at times, you might want to rotate trays, but it is clearly optional. Besides the usual things people dehydrate, this device comes with a drying guide on the front of the machine that tells you the temperature settings for such things as making yogurt, drying herbs and helping bread rise.
The Weston Fruit and Veggie Dehydrator dries food in a way that helps it retains natural flavors, as well as nutrients and minerals, without additives and preservatives. The 600-watt heating power and rear-mounted drying system allows air to circulate from the back to the front of each tray. This action means even, uniform drying for all food placed in the unit.
When we tested the machine with the six trays it comes with, we ended up with some fine results. We dehydrated banana slices that were 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick, following instructions in the user manual and the drying guide on the top of the machine. We ended up with nicely dried banana chips that had a good texture and taste. While in operation, we also measured the sound and this machine was the quietest of all the food dehydrators we tested, with sound levels from the fan measuring 52 decibels.
This is a white plastic unit with 10 pull-out trays that measure at 14 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches each. While Weston also offers a six-tray model, the 10-tray version allows you to dehydrate much larger quantities of food at the same time, which makes better use of your time and puts the machine to work. If you need something more compact for your kitchen countertop, check out the Nesco Snackmaster Pro.
No matter what type of food is being dried on the trays in the Weston Fruit and Veggie Dehydrator 75-0201-W, you can get it off the tray easily, unlike some food dehydrators that end up with still-moist food items stuck to the trays. Soaking that off is no fun and a waste of good food as well as time. The plastic trays in the Weston are easy to clean, but must be washed by hand since they are not dishwasher safe.
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The 5 1/2-inch fan is quiet. In fact, the Weston food dehydrator was the quietest we tested, coming in at 52 decibels. That means you won't have to listen to a loud whirring sound in your kitchen while a dehydrator blows air through its tray racks to dry your fruit, veggies or meats. The color-coded thermostat makes it easy to set temperatures, and it adjusts from 84 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Weston Fruit and Veggie Dehydrator comes with a clearly written instruction book that explains how to dehydrate different types of foods and, especially, how to prepare meats to make jerky. Working with meat can be tricky since there is always the possibility of bacteria developing, so this is useful. You don't get recipes as such, but you do get good information.