I had an older model Nesco that finally had the fan motor burn out after many uses. The trays from the old unit fit perfectly on the new unit. It comes with a booklet that gives you an idea about drying time. Suggested times might vary though, depending on how thick you slice the items. After investing $40 in the Ronco dehydrator, I must say that the Nesco beats Ronco hands down. Very little tray rotation is required.
I feel like no matter how I try, I always miss a few food pieces. I’m not sure whether the trays are dishwasher-safe or not, so I just hand-wash them. The fan does make noise but it’s pretty quiet. I could still watch TV even with the Nesco running. I would also recommend purchasing extra trays. The machine comes with 5 but I had to do two batches because all the meat did not fit in one go around (about 3 pounds of beef). I immediately sent it back to Amazon. That’s when I ordered this Nesco unit. I made both of those recipes – it worked out to the T! If you want to have a handy, sturdy food dehydrator this one is for you, affordable and it does the job. The dogs LOVE these healthy treats, it takes little over 5 hours if fully loaded to get them all ready, and I know that there are neither preservatives nor other unhealthy additives that could cause allergies or even worse. Works well for drying apples, bananas, sweet potatoes and herbs as well. It comes with 2 fruit roll screen and 2 easy clean screens and 5 normal trays. The fruit roll screens are awesome. It’s a little noisy, but I mostly ran it overnight and it wasn’t a problem. It’s also quite large.
Six or more will give you shoe leather tough if that is what you like. The lack of a switch is not an issue; I did not see that much difference in rotating up the trays in the vertical stack.
While it was said to dry foods in a fraction of the time that a cheaper unit would require to do it, our experience has not been consistent with this expectation. The Nesco is an attractive unit with seemingly nice features, but our experience with its performance suggests it is about the same as any other similar unit.
I didn’t have to do any rotation and the jerky was done evenly throughout. The fan is quiet – like white noise and the unit puts off a little heat but only right around where it is sitting (where else is the air passing around the food at 160F going to go). Only took about 4 hours to actually dehydrate! It would be nice to have it shut off automatically.
Dehydrating seems to concentrate flavors. USED WINDSHIELDS.