I want to start this review by stating that this is not something that was sent to me to review. We purchased this dehydrator. I decided to post this review because I received a few emails asking me what we bought and if we would recommend it or not. I have good and bad things to say about this machine, but overall I am happy with the purchase. I will try to make it easy to see the pros and cons by making two separate lists with bullets.
• The machine has a variable temperature control that so far it true to the setting. I have tested it using my laser temperature gun and the actual temperatures have been within 2 degrees of the setting. Pretty good I thought.
• Nine trays give the machine a higher capacity than this family of two has needed yet. However in the summer when tomatoes are plentiful I imagine I will be giving this baby a work out.
• Good warranty. We bought the model that had a 10 year warranty which is much longer than most small appliances.
• Exterior remains reasonably cool so I am not worried about it catching anything near it on fire.
• The teflex sheets are very easy to clean.
• It is easy to remove a tray if you need to make something that is taller than the space between the racks.
• All the trays are removable. This is nice so that you can remove one of two trays from the bottom and place a shallow container in the base of the unit and warm a sauce. I did this with the sun –dried marinara for pizza and it worked great.
• BPA free plastic. Always a good idea.
• Price. This unit is not inexpensive. By the time we bought it and the teflex sheets it was over $250. A little more than I thought it should cost, but everything is getting more expensive these days, so maybe I am too frugal.
• Much more noisy than I expected it to be. You constantly hear a very noticeable motor noise when it is on. This does tend to ruin my Zen mood on occasion. I have gotten used to it, but it did take a while. There is a constant hum when it is on.
• Big. This unit takes up a lot of counter space. I don’t have that much room so I didn’t set mine up the kitchen. The nice thing is that you can set it up anywhere since it doesn’t produce heat or cooking grease like a stove. I intentionally photographed it next to my big coffee maker so that you can see how big it is. I couldn’t find a ruler but I am guessing it is 16 by 16 at the base and about a foot tall.
• The Teflex sheets are coated with Teflon. I wasn’t too crazy about this, but without the sheets the machine isn’t that useful. Thankfully the sheets are cheap so if they begin to deteriorate they can be replaced at a low cost.
General Thoughts About the Machine:
I have learned that the machine is less noisy when you aren’t using the teflex sheets. But so far I have needed them for most of the things I have made.
While I haven’t used all the trays at one time yet, I have used 5 and had to remove two, for height reasons. I think having 9 trays is a good plan. I am happy I didn’t get one of the smaller dehydrators. I think I would have outgrown it quickly, and there are only two of us.
So far I have made raw burgers, bread, pizza, dehydrated onions, flax crackers and spiced nuts. I have just begun to scratch the surface of raw food preparation. With all the snow we have now I have not been too inspired to cook a lot of raw food recently. But we are trying to eat more raw food for nutrition so here is hoping the weather turns soon. I think this will be great to have come the heat of summer when I don’t feel like turning on the oven.
We did purchase this from the linked provider above. We also bought our juicer from the same place. Both items shipped quickly and were received in good condition. I would buy from coolshinystuff.com again.
If anyone has any questions on either the machine or the seller please feel free to ask, either by comment or email. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
I would recommend this unit but you should know both the pros and the cons. I was not prepared for the level of noise it makes and I considered returning it for that reason. I have gotten used to the noise, but it would have been nice to be prepared for it.