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Discussion Starter #1
I have to purchase a new food dehydrator fairly soon because I just made 3 pounds of dried liver and have 1 drying tray left. All the other trays have broken from usage during the past 8 months.
I was using a Mr. Coffee dehydrator and the trays are no longer available because the model has been discontinued years ago.

Do all dehydrators use plastic trays? Is this something I can expect from all brands as to lifespan of the trays if they are made of plastic?

I have seen a Ronco at Walmart but wasn't sure if it was any good.
 

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I got a used Excalibur recently and love it. It has a thermostat on it (so I can make jerky for us too). Have also heard good things about the L'quip (I think that's right). I believe all will have the plastic trays. The Excalibur costs a bit more but do have replacement parts available. Have heard of some people having and running them 10-15 years.

This is a new venture for me but I can say it's a user friendly machine!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The reason why I am asking about brands is because the Mr. Coffee drying trays were made of a clear plastic and after each use, a few of them would break.

I am very interested in how durable the trays are and how often they would have to be replaced. I could go to e-bay and purchase another unit with trays but it wouldn't solve my problem long term.

There is Ronco and Deni and, I believe, by looking at the pictures, they are using clear plastic as well. I just want something good that will last.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I read that this morning. The problem is that I am the type of person who wants to see a product before purchasing. The products listed are not available locally, at least, not at this time of year.
 

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I'm not sure about the Mr coffee ones - the Excaliber is plastic but more of a heavy grid for air circulation and faster drying. I only got mine recently from someone on a food preservation group...these are folks that have something drying almost all the time and they swear that it holds up well. Like I said the thermostat was why I bought it over the ones at Walmart - I got one a few years ago there and there isn't a thermostat on it - drying meat can be pretty risky without it. They are an investment more than something to get for a while - I have the 5 tray one and fit just over 2# of beef jerky and a pound and a half of turkey jerky in one go...and it will not be the last time. :p The opinions of drying liver and other treats for dogs with/without the thermostat was mixed. These are pretty sturdy trays though - would have to think it'd take some abuse to tear them up! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I googled food dehydrators and one brand was being recalled because a fire could start. Sometimes I hate myself because my memory is going bad so I couldn't tell you which one for sure. I am thinking American Harvester.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It is a good thing that I didn't win the Mr. Coffee units on e-bay a couple of months ago.
 

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Originally Posted By: BetsyI've been wanting to get one too, I found this web site to help me figure out what I really need http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2003-06-01/Choosing-a-Food-Dehydrator.aspx
FYI that article is five years old. So I wouldn't take any of the model recommendations to seriously there have probably been upgrades since it was written. But for general info it ok.

You gotta watch Mother Earth News the have some ancient information that pops up in searches from their archives.
 
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