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146 reviews | 3.7 out of 5
I use mine all the time without any of the problems listed by other users. I'd suggest reading the intructions before using as they SPECIFICALLY say that high moisture foods should not be dried with low moisture foods and that you need to cut meat thin for jerkey and not over pack the trays.
If you use it the right way, everything comes out perfectly. I have also found that if you have high moisture foods, put an empty tray on the bottom and on the top and it will help with the convection drying process (think air flow through a chimney).
I dry whole baby carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc and all kinds of fruits.
I have made AMAZING thick cut jerkey as well as thin cut. You just have to make sure the meat doesn't touch each other and you have good air flow, if you can't feel the heat coming out of the top, you need to remove some of the food from the tray to ensure proper air flow.
I love mine so much, I am buying another! I live off grid with solar and wind power and LOVE the fact that the Ronco uses only 500 watts of power and helps stock my pantry as veggies and herb come out of the garden.
After one batch of jerky that we ended up putting in the oven because the ronco never reached a temp above 85 degrees the ronco went back in the box. Honestly we would have been better off putting an old stove coil under a bucket with holes poked in it and added a few trays and called it a dehydrator. Sure it comes with a ten year warranty because on the eleventh year your first batch of jerky will be done. No fan no temp setting heck there isnt even an on off button. Bad product and I should have known better than to buy something that was featured on an infomercial. DON'T BUY THIS ITEM and Wal-Mart I love you get this junk out of your inventory!!!
I only used this once and it cracked and broke while drying my food. I rotated as directed... only had it plugged in for 7 hours and all the trays started to break. This product is garbage!!!!!
Have used my Ronco dehydrater for years to dry fruit, meat, and am using it now to dry chopped up celery, carrots, and potatoes. After losing so much meat after Hurricane Katrina, I prefer to dry extra meat and vegetables, etc. instead of freezing them during a hurricane season.
I chop each bit into about one quarter of an inch wide and thick. Takes about 24 to 36 hours for the meat or vegetable to get dried till done. It doesn't get hot to burn a counter top but I do recommend putting it on a wooden cutting board as it works. It won't overheat a kitchen the way canning vegetables does. I know. I can vegetables, too. Very hot work indeed.
Don't overcrowd the trays and make sure you rotate your trays every three to four hours for even drying. Tray one will go into tray five's spot. Tray two will go into tray four's spot, etc. High moisture food like tomatoes will take longer and need extra spacing. For the price, it's a pretty good deal for the money. By the way, dried tomatoes with the skin taste very sweet with a hint of tomato. Tasty over baked potatoes or baked poultry.
I would never purchase this product again nor recommend it, it ruined 3lbs of deer jerky, the trays melted and made the meat taste like plastic and it does not dry evenly, and takes forever.
This unit is very low quality. It has no fan and only one temp. so makes it take longer to dry. This I could live with as it is a lower priced unit. What really amazed me were the trays, By the time it was one month old every tray was cracked and two were broke in half. This it did on its own from the heat I guess. It was never dropped or abused in any way. They start cracking in the middle and the crack spreads each time you use it. Spend a few more dollars and buy a better unit and not a Ronco.
This is the first year I have had the time to have a garden and I am loving the flexability of canning some things, freezing and dehydrating others. The only problem I have had is that some of my squash has been small enough pieces to fall thru the grates and banannas are not working at all (I had to just wash them off and trash them) a simple fix would be to buy the screen grates to go along with the standard machine. I also tried to dehydrate some balogna but unfortunately that had really bad results (I burned/melted parts of the grates) the fat content in the meat created too much heat and they didn't taste good either but the dogs love them and they make great/cheep chewies for them. I think I am going to figure out a way and keep doing the balogna for the dogs but not untill I am sure it won't hurt my machine. I have dried pickles, squash, cucumbers and zucchini with great results. Before too long I am going to be buying the screen trays so I can do watermelon and cantilope. Overall great purchase well worth the price I paid and it was cheeper here with pretty much the same thing as over the product web site. Very happy with this machine.
I've had great success with my food dehydrator! I'm ordering 3 for Christmas gifts for my daughters! I bought my Ronco over a decade ago for about the same price as Walmart has it today. My girls were young and time was limited. I used it to occasionally make Jerky and dry fruit for several years. About 5 years ago, my husband installed the storage cabinets in the garage and I "lost" my dehydrator to the back of it. I was so glad to find it again. Just in time too. My basil, zucchini and tomato plants are going absolutely crazy. Just as I was about to dry those, I realized I had a large container of mushrooms that needed a home. Woo Hoo! I dried them, used my Food Saver to store them and moved on to my peaches, then the zucchini and tomatoes! A light spritz of Pam or veggie oil and turning the trays 1/4 turn every couple of hours are key. FYI, my Jerky doesn't last long enough to package it for storing.
I've never dehydrated before - so this was very nice for me in that it was simple and easy with many helpful tips in the manual. I have so far prepared apricots and bananas and currently drying some kidney beans. You do need to rotate the trays every 2-4 hours which was a bit of a challenge for the fruit which took a couple of days. I turned it off when I went to bed - which extended drying time but ensured more even results. Unit is very quiet - you don't hear a thing while it is running. I am very pleased!
Great product for the price. Almost all food was dehydrated within 24 hours, so works great.
It really has no features other than off/on, such as automatic turner, fan, or timer/settings, but was expected for the price.
The product/plastic is not as sturdy as I would have expected. Melted when near stove. Very light weight. Just handle with care.
Overall, great product for the price if you just want to do some simple dehydrating. Great simple and cheap way to prepare trail food. I'm having great fun with it.
The one thing that I didn't see when I ordered my dehydrator online is that it doesn't have a fan. I was disappointed at first, but it doesn't make a difference. In fact a friend of mine has a dehydrator with a fan and it's to loud. Also keep an eye on your food in the dehydrator because it has been taking half the time that is stated in the book to dry the food. (Especially pineapple). Overall, I would totally suggest this to anyone who is looking for one.
I love what it does. My 2nd one in 20 years just broke. I've made tons of beef jerky - using london broil cut beef - tons of dried fruit - and fruit rollups. Several friends have tried what I have made and went out and bought themselves a Ronco dehydrator. It is kind of flimsy, but you just have to be careful with it. Heavy duty dehydrators cost thundreds of dollars. I liked this price - so I "deal" with the 'lightweight' part of it. Now I have to get a new one. If the next one lasts another 10 years I'll be happy. Normally I'm a glass half empty person - but not with this easy and inexpensive way to make dried foods. Beef Jerky and Cinnamon Dried Apples are my favorites from the Ronco dehydrator. Just be careful with using the trays and it should last for years.
we have been very happy with these dehydrators, we bought two. It was the only way we could stay on top of the garden.these are great, they don't heat up your house.you have to change the trays out, abt. every 4-5 hours-but they are good for getting the job done.
Is good, but doesnt have a fan to send the heat from the coil around the unit.. Takes a long time to dehydrate the food....
I returned it before I ever used it! I knew that with my usage it would NOT hold up and no fan!? I read the instructions and the drying times were rediculous! Bought the next step up for 10 more dollars and am very happy I did! Drys in NOOOO time at all! banana chips in 6 hrs!
I purchased this dehydrator as a Christmas present for my parents this past year since we could not find our old one. We are a family who loves Carne Seca (Beef Jerky) from our family in New Mexico. However, it can be very expensive. It costs us $20 for only a pound and that doesn't last very long for one person. I had an idea that we should just start making it ourselves. To make a long story short, the directions told me that it would take 1 to 2 days and I was very surprised to find out that it finished in 12 hours or less. I was thrilled. THe best thickness is meat that they cut that is used for milanesa (whatever that is) it is the perfect thickness. I also purchased the meat at my local Super Wal-Mart. Overall this Dehydrator was excellent.
I like this dehydrator alright but it is made with cheap brittle plastic. It does do the job thought. I did pineapple the day I got it and it was quite good.
I Love this Machine. It was a great bargain at Wal Mart.com We make tons of Jerky and dried fruits! This machine is simple to use, store, and clean!
Love love love it!!
No thermostat or timer (not absolutely required but would have been nice). My main complaint is that the trays melted while making beef jerky. I bought this because I didn't need anything fancy, and it looked sturdier than the other low end dehydrators. I was wrong.
Extremely disappointed. Cheaply made. Trays were brittle plastic that warped and melted quickly. Never again..