Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator Review – Dry your own herbs, fruits, vegetables !

4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5) Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

Drying food is a wonderful way to preserve food and their nutritive qualities. It is also great to dry fruits, herbs and blossoms to dry your own herbal teas to use all year long. I personally own a Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator and have been experimenting with it for a few years now.

Dehydrated food is good also for camping and to eat inexpensive, organic, without additives and nutritious food during winter. A dehydrator works at very low temperatures which allows food to preserve their nutritive values.

We all know dried apricots, prunes, sun dried tomatoes, the fruit leather.. well, you can make those with the dehydrator without using preservatives found in commercial products…. Learn more about it !

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nesco fd-1018a gardenmaster dehydrator review

For 3 years, I have been using the food dehydrator for flowers like chamomile, fruits, vegetables and herbs. This dehydrator is serving me well and it is very easy to use.

Wanting to preserve more of what my garden offers me and to eat organic food all year long and dry my own herbal teas, I have discovered how to dehydrate food a few years ago and I started (really) loving it.

I dry fruits that I will use in dessert or in teas, flowers for teas, crisp vegetables as snacks etc.

I am writing this review mainly because I love this product that I use every summer.

When I first started researching dehydrators, I was a little confused as to what I really needed for the price I was ready to invest. So, I did thorough research about dehydrators and I really made the best choice with this one.

I think it is the best dehydrator to learn and start drying food and it has an incredible capacity of over 30 trays. It is quick and efficient without being too big.

I hope that this review can be helpful if you are looking into buying a dehydrator.

Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator Review

4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

 PROS  CONS
 

    • Simple to use
    • It is a great dehydrator to start with dehydrating.
    • When you receive the box, it contains everything you need to learn and start dehydrating.
    • Two great books come with it
    • Large dehydrating capacity
    • Reasonable price for the capacity
    • The size of this dehydrator is perfect. Can be stored on a counter.
    • The dehydrator comes with 8 trays and it is possible to buy more (up to 30).
    • 1000 Watts which allow you do dry food in just a few hours compared to other models.
    • Incredibly expandable up to 30 stackable trays
    • Powerful and quick
    • No need to rotate the trays

 

 

  • There is no timer on the dehydrator. So you have to be around and turn it off yourself. It is possible to add a timer to it, but I did not bother doing it.
  • The fan is a little loud, so I place it in another room.
  • Circular shape (mostly for storage, I find square shapes dehydrator might be better). But circular shape allows for an even drying without having to rotate the trays.

 

 

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Product specifications 

  • 1000 Watts
  • Air circulation is Converg-A-Flow fan that forces heated air horizontally across each tray
  • Drying area is 1 quare foot per tray ( so up to 30 square feet at one time with 30 trays)
  • Temperature in : 90 to 155 degrees F
  • 8 trays
  • 8 fruit roll sheets
  • 8 clean-a-screen sheets
  • Capacity of 30 trays
  • Horizontal air flow
  • No timer
  • 1 year warranty
  • Dimensions are 15 1/2” dia; 10 1/2” high
  • Weight 10 pounds
  • Motor is on bottom of unit
  • It also comes with : jerky cure and spices pack, a guide with instructions and recipes and How to dry food book.

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How To Dry Food by Deanna DeLong

 

Precautions to take when dehydrating

  • Use the Fruit Roll Sheet for liquids and fruit purees.
  • Clean trays and sheets with a mild detergent. Soak for a few minutes.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or pads.
  • To make sure not to contaminate the food, wash hands and clean the work surfaces.
  • Avoid water on the power head unit, use a soft damp cloth to remove residues.
  • Do not overlap food on the trays.

IMPORTANT

  • Never use the dehydrator with less than 4 trays to make sure not to burn the fan, even if the trays are empty

What to dehydrate ?

Use best quality organic food to dehydrate. For fruits and vegetable, pick them when they are fully riped and flavorful.

Here is a list of food you can dehydrate :

  • Fruits
  • Fruit leather
  • Vegetables
  • Herbs and spices
  • Baby Food
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Meat and fish

I personally like to dehydrate fruits, blossoms and herbs the best and I mostly use them for herbal teas and tisanes.

Drying time, temperature and storage time

Drying time will vary for all different food and depending on the humidity and temperature. Drying temperature will vary as well. In the guide and book that come with the Nesco Dehydrator, there are very informative instructions and recipes to guide you in your dehydrating adventures !

In fact, in the book, you will find a list of fruits and vegetables, recommended time and temperature, how to test the dryness, etc. There is also guides on how to use the dried food, how to store it… and how long you can store it for best quality food. Storage of dried food should always be in a cool, dry and dark place.

It is absolutely amazing. I genuinely recommend this product.

I learned so much from it and there is still so much to experiment. It even tells you which vegetables or fruits have the best quality when dried to help the reader.

For example, the dried quality of cherries, pears, peppers, peaches, figs is said to be excellent, where peas and pumpkin would have a “fair to good” quality when dried. So the book is extremely insightful and it helps to learn quickly by having successful results.

The book covers methods of drying, the process, the history of drying, the equipment and accessories. It also covers how to dry fruits, fruit leather, vegetables, herbs and spices, baby food, nuts and seeds, meat and fish on top of many recipes.

In the guide, there is also a list of food, how to prepare it, the average drying time and uses.

I am really satisfied with the product and all the accessories that came with it.

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Conclusion

As a owner of the Nesco FD-1018 dehydrator, I cannot recommend more this dehydrator if you are looking for one. The list of accessories that come with it, the wattage, the air flow system and the temperature control really makes this product a quality buy.

It is affordable when comparing with other dehydrator, also considering the amazing space capacity it can hold of 30 square feet of food ! Nesco is a well-known for their quality dehydrators and they offer a one year warranty.

If you are looking for a dehydrator, this is definitely a great option for you. This is an excellent investment for a healthy lifestyle.

Impress your friends with homemade Jerky or Fruit rolls !

Leave a comment ! Which fruits, vegetables or herbs would be good to dry ?

 

14 Replies to “Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator Review – Dry your own herbs, fruits, vegetables !”

  1. This is fantastic! Very informative! I like to camp and hike a lot and I’ve always just brought the staples – peanut butter, expensive jerky, protein bars… I’ve never even really considered a dehydrator till now! Why!?! Fruit leather is so sugary from stores, it makes so much sense to make my own at home. And I could make my own jerky as well! I really enjoyed this review, and I always appreciate the videos because I’m a very visual learner. Thank you so much for this!

    1. I’m glad this post inspired you ! It is really perfect to prepare hiking and camping snacks like dried fruits, vegetables and jerky. The dried food can often be stored in a dry and cool place for a year. So you can prepare a large batch of food in season and have it around for the year. It taste so much better also… I just finished to dry cherries and it is truly delicious. Thanks for visiting !

  2. Amazing information. I love dry fruits and never thought about making them at home. It looks like the Nesco Gardenmaster is the right food dryer to get. You’ve made it really easy to understand the advantages of buying this food dryer and not other. The fact that you have used it for many year makes it clear to me. Thank you!

    1. It is super easy to make dried fruit and they really taste a lot better. This dehydrator is perfect for my needs and I like that I could expand for up to 30 trays if I needed to. At the moment, 8 trays are sufficient. It is a great machine and really straight forward to use. Thanks for dropping by !

  3. Very informative and helpful! I didn’t know that you can buy materials like Nesco Gardenmaster to dry up vegetables and fruits. Do you think other dried foods business do it with this kind of material? Because I was thinking that this can help put up a dried food business. Any suggestions?

    Cheers!
    Charred R.

    1. Hi Charred,
      Big fruit industries probably have much larger equipment, but the idea is the same. You want to dry at very low temperatures, evenly, to prevent mold or losing properties. It depends on the size of the business, it can be a good start with this machine as it does dry food very well and they are quality products. There is also Excalibur dehydrators that have a very good reputation as quality dehydrators. But definitely, you could start experimenting with this machine. Thanks for visiting ! Wishing you success !

  4. Wow, I never thought to use a dehydrator to dry fruits, flowers or buds to make my own teas. What a fantastic idea! This dehydrator seems like a great product, it would be a great advantage to have so many trays so that you can experiment. I always appreciate when appliances last for many years too, as so many these days are not built well. I’m not sure if this particular model is available in the UK to buy, do you have any suggestions where I can buy in the UK or another recommendation? Thanks!

    1. It is a really fun machine and it has been working well. Thanks for mentioning to me that it might not be available on Amazon UK. I just looked it up, and in fact, it doesn’t seem like Nesco is distributing the product in the UK. After researching, the Excalibur is the other Brand that I know that is available in the UK. It is more expensive but excellent quality like this one. For the other models, they seem quite basic, and you want to look into the air system and the wattage. Thanks for visiting ! Let me know if you find something good for your needs.

  5. Hello ! thanks for the wonderful blog. I was unaware that by dehydrating foods, that would preserve them. If I were to ever go on a camping trip, the Nesco Gardenmaster would be perfect for me. Thank once again for the vital information.

  6. Great information! I’m sad I already froze my herbs, I don’t know why I didn’t think of using my dehydrator. I have this nesco one and have loved it for fruit leathers and other dried fruit snacks. Thanks for the note about not using less than four trays, I must’ve missed that in the booklet!

    1. For snacks it is really great. I used the dried fruits sometimes in teas as well. For herbs, it is just a lot faster than air dry. It all depends on the space someone has. Yes, keeping a minimum of four trays is important,if not, I know it can damage the machine. I’m glad you love your dehydrator. Thanks for visiting !

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