This one is 3 times as fast as my old Nesco 300 watt unit. My first set of 3 pounds of beef jerky, I started at 8 pm, with slicing and putting it in marinade sauce. After 3 hours of soaking in the refrigerator, it went into the dehydrator at midnight. At 7 AM, it was completely done! I had sliced it at about 1/8th inch thick on an electric meat slicer so it was evenly sliced, and used the packets of spicing that came with the unit for flavoring/marinade. I put the meat and marinade into ziplock bags, which made it very easy (and mess-free!) to "squish" the meat and marinade to make sure all surfaces got an even chance at absorbing the spices. I also "squished them" every hour during the 3 hours, including turning the bag from "side A" to "side B" to let gravity help during the hour between squishings.
The jerky was very delicious, lightly spiced, very mild in flavor.
Oh, did I mention that I'd prevously had a Nesco 300-watt machine, and the same amount of meat would have needed at least 20 hours of drying time? Or did I mention that the trays from my old Nesco actually are identical to the new ones, and fit the new machine perfectly? That was an unexpected bonus! I have 8 trays where I was expecting only 5, so my next run, I did 4 pounds of sirloin with my own recipe for spices, and they were ready in just 10 hours of drying time.
Like every other reviewer, my only "complaint" is that there is no timer or "off switch", so you have to babysit it or use an external timer/off switch to control the drying time if you're not there (NESCO -- are you listening?!!?).
The greatest part of this machine is that the controls and delicate electronics are on top, so they don't get dripped on and have the potential of getting wet during cleaning (I think this is an area that NESCO did listen to customers on since I bought my old machine years ago). The drip pan is super-easy to clean! Thanks, NESCO for a great product! And thanks, WalMart for keeping it at an affordable price. When I "Walk Across America" beginning October, 2012 through October, 2013, I will be munching on healthy snacks of dried fruits and meat and fish jerky because you made it possible. Watch my website, WhereIsLee.org for news of my 7400 mile walk for charity!
God Bless you, everybody! Lee
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