Nesco, a well-known brand that makes quality food appliances. And today we’ll be reviewing 5 best Nesco food dehydrator for jerky. Beef jerky is one of the most loved and expensive snacks on the market. Well, it is because it takes nearly 2.5 lbs of beef to make 1 lb of jerky as beef is about 60% water. In addition to quality beef goes spices and preservatives that add on the cost of store-bought jerky. But why go for expensive store-bought jerky when you can treat yourself to delicious snacks by buying the best food dehydrator for jerky.

Despite their compact size, Nesco food dehydrators are more versatile than they look. In addition to tasty jerky, you can make fruit rolls, proof sourdough bread, dry sprouted flour, dehydrated veggies, etc. In short, you can experiment with different foods for dehydrating with Nesco dehydrator. While all their products provide the excellent performance it is difficult to decide which models suit you the best. So we’ve made a short review of the 5 best Nesco dehydrators to suit the different needs of different people.

Best Nesco Food Dehydrator for Jerky Reviewed

Is dehydrated jerky safe to eat?

Yes, dehydrated jerky is safe to eat but only those strips are done. The ground meat should be treated properly before putting it into an electric dehydrator. Use either pre-cooked meat or boil the meat properly before you begin the drying process. Also, follow the timings stated in the Nesco user manual for solid or chewy jerky whichever you like. Now let us begin with the reviews and help you find the best electric dehydrator for healthy snacking.

Best Jerky Dehydrator for Home Use by Nesco

ProductsDrying RackPowerPrice
NESCO FD-75A Snackmaster Pro5 Trays600-watts Check Price
Nesco FD-80A Food and Jerky Dehydrator4 Trays700-watts Check Price
Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Encore5 Trays500-watt Check Price
Nesco FD-28JX JerkyXpress4 Trays350-watt Check Price
Nesco FD-37A Food & Jerky Dehydrator4 Trays400 watts Check Price

1) NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, Gray

NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Compact yet powerful, Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro food dehydrator is perfect for drying beef jerky at home. With a maximum powerhead of 600 watts, it generates enough heat to dehydrate several ingredients. Be it ground meat, tomatoes, nuts, fruits, or veggies, Neso FD-75A can handle it all. Credit goes to its adjustable thermostat that allows you to dry different foods at a proper temperature. If you do not know the drying temperature of foods then not to worry as Nesco FD-75A includes a recipe book that contains several food dehydrator recipes with temperature.

Nesco FD-75A includes 5 trays to dry many items at a time. And no need to worry about flavors getting mixed as they won’t. Also, unlike typical dehydrators, you will not have to rotate the tray every few minutes. Simply place the thin slices of veggies or rolled ground beef on the plates, set the temperature, and continue with your other work. The patented Converga-Flow drying system will dehydrate your seasoned beef slowly without burning or taking away all the nutrients.

Our Verdict

Pros:

  • Best Nesco food dehydrator for jerky under $100
  • Includes 5 trays but is expandable to 12 trays
  • The hot air is forced horizontally across each tray
  • No flavor mixing or need to rotate the trays in between cycle
  • Opaque Vita-Save exterior helps to block harmful light
  • The trays are top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Includes a 52-page booklet that contains delicious recipes and clear instructions

Cons:

  • Less clearance between trays

Key Features:

  • 600-watts
  • 13 L x 13 W x 11 H
  • Adjustable thermostat(95º-160ºF)
  • Top-mounted fan
  • Converga-flow system
  • 5 drying trays
  • Weighs 7.75 lbs
  • 1-year limited warranty

2) Nesco FD-80A Food and Jerky Dehydrator, White

Nesco Food and Jerky dehydrator, White

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Drying food for your family to make them follow a healthy snacking habit? Then Nesco FD-80A is perfect for you. This square jerky dehydrator with rounded corners provides 1.2 square feet of drying space. Besides, it includes 4 square trays measuring 14.5″ x 14.5 ” that sits perfectly in the unit. With this much space, you can easily dehydrate multiple food items at a time. And unlike round, the square shape of Nesco FD-80A lets you dry long strips of jerky. You can dehydrate approximately 30 long strips of beef jerky in the 4 racks.

Just like the above Nesco electric dehydrator, the fan of FD-80A is also located at the top. Once you place your delicious jerky on the racks and turn the unit on, Nesco’s patented Converga-Flow drying system comes into action. Instead of trays, the system forces air down the exterior pressurized chamber. Then the air is horizontally transferred across each tray. This helps to dry juicy fruits and veggies 4 times faster. Be its apples, pears, apricot, or fig, Nesco FD-80A food dehydrator handles them all.

Our Verdict

Pros:

  • Long strips of jerky possible due to the square shape
  • Bale handle to ease transportation and storage of the unit
  • The patented air-circulated system ensures fast and even drying with no need to rotate trays
  • Dishwasher-safe parts
  • Includes 5 square trays which are expandable up to 8 trays
  • 700 watts ensures quick dehydrating of food slices or jerky strips

Cons:

  • No On/Off switch
  • A bit expensive due to the large size

Key Features:

  • 700-watt
  • 14.5 L x 14.37 W x 9.75 H
  • 4 square trays
  • Adjustable thermostat(95-160ºF)
  • Converga-Flow system
  • Weighs 9.9 lbs
  • 1-year limited warranty

3) Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Encore Food dehydrator, Gray

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Love jerky? Then why not make delicious homemade jerky with Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Encore food dehydrator. For all the jerky lovers, this Nesco unit includes one jerky gun with 3 tip attachments. With three nozzles you can make thin layers or rolls of ground beef easily. Simply take the ground beef in a bowl and add your favorite seasoning ingredients. Then add some salt, it will work as a preservative. Transfer this mixture into the gun and start laying your favorite jerky onto the drying racks.

Speaking of racks, Nesco FD-61WHC comes with five round trays that measure 13-1/2-inch in diameter. The 5 trays provide enough space to dry a good amount of fruits and veggies in one go. In addition to the gun, Nesco includes 2 fruit roll sheets. These fruit roll sheets are perfect for making fruit rolls. You can lay the purred fruit directly over the sheet or lay wax paper over the sheets to uproot the dried roll easily. For your convenience, Nesco electric dehydrator has written instructions on the lid. So you will not have to open the manual whenever in the mood for dehydrating favorite snacks.

Our Verdict

Pros:

  • One of the best food dehydrators for jerky and fruit
  • Already includes 5 BPA-free trays that are expandable to 12 trays
  • Includes jerky seasoning and cures to make perfect store-bought jerky at home
  • Small temperature guide on the lid helps with quick temperature settings
  • Comes with a gun with 3 tip attachment
  • A booklet that contains delicious dehydrator recipes and instructions

Cons:

  • A timer and on/off switch would be helpful

Key Features:

  • 500-watt
  • 13.5 x 13.5 x 9.25 inches
  • Adjustable thermostat(95-160ºF)
  • 5 trays
  • Converga-Flow drying system
  • Weighs 8 lbs
  • 1-year limited warranty

4) Nesco FD-28JX JerkyXpress dehydrator, White

Nesco Snackmaster Encore Food dehydrator

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Not only us but our pets also love some dehydrated food. And if you’re planning a good snacking routine for your dog then do consider Nesco FD-28JX JerkyXpress electric dehydrator. This little white unit is best for making chicken jerky out of the chicken breast, the one that your dogs love the most. The benefit of making jerky for your pet at home means less use of preservatives or artificial flavors. Also, it will not take you days to make delicious dry food with Nesco JerkyExpress. Thanks to its Fan-Flow technology.

Speaking of Fan-Flow technology, the top-mounted fan of Nesco FD-28JX dries ingredients more evenly without the need to rotate trays. This one-touch operation is perfect for beginners who are drying jerky for the first time. Besides, it includes a jerky gun with three tip attachments that help you to either lay thin long strips or rolled up meat. There are also small sachets of jerky seasoning and cure to help you make a delicious and hygienic jerky at home.

Our Verdict

Pros:

  • One-touch operation of Nesco FD-28JX is perfect for beginners
  • Expandable to 7 trays so you can make 7 lbs of jerky in one batch
  • The detachable top makes it easy to clean the unit
  • Comes with 4 different types of flavors that include Hot &Spicy, Original, Teriyaki, and Pepperoni
  • Drying trays are top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Top-rated beef jerky dehydrator

Cons:

  • No temperature control
  • Nesco FD-28JX is ideal for meat jerky only (Not for veggies)

Key Features:

  • 350-watt
  • 13.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 inches
  • 0.75 sq ft drying area/tray
  • 4 BPA-free racks
  • Fan-Flow technology
  • Weighs 5.5 lbs
  • 1-year limited warranty

5) Nesco FD-37A Food & Jerky Dehydrator, 1, Speckled

Nesco Food & Jerky dehydrator, Speckled

Read Customer Reviews Here »

A dehydrated food tasted best when you follow a slow drying process. And thanks to Nesco FD-37A food dehydrator with a 400-watt powerhead that generates maximum speed and quality for dehydrating foods safely. Just like the above Nesco unit, FD-37A also has fixed temperature control. But unlike most Nesco food dehydrators, this machine features an On/Off switch. You can simply switch off the unit when you need to turn plates in between the cycle. Speaking of trays, all the trays that come with Nesco FD-37A are BPA-free.

The clear top cover of this Nesco electric dehydrator machine lets you monitor the drying process. However, you can only view the top tray. Besides, the temperature is preset at 160 degrees to dry a wide variety of ingredients. The fixed temperature in combination with fan flow radial air helps to dehydrate food items evenly. A slow yet powerful circulation process ensures drying in hours instead of days. Save energy and snack healthy with Nesco FD-37A.

Our Verdict

Pros:

  • Despite the fixed temperature, you can dry everything from herbs, spices, apples, banana, turkey jerky, fish jerky, etc
  • Clear top lets you view the dehydrating process
  • High-quality food-grade plastic with each tray providing 0.75 sq. ft. of space
  • Sample starter pack for immediate jerky making
  • Expandable up to 7 trays
  • Effective fan-flow technology ensures only hours of drying

Cons:

  • Fixed preset temperature
  • No accessories included

Key Features:

  • 400 watts
  • 13.5 x 13.5 x 9 inches
  • 4 BPA-free trays
  • Clear top cover
  • Fan-Flow technology
  • On/Off switch
  • Weighs 4.7 lbs
  • 1-year limited warranty

How long do you cook Beef jerky in a dehydrator?

Dehydrating beef jerky is simple but time-consuming. And it is worth investing time when the results are delicious. Depending upon the thickness of the meat, it takes anywhere in between 4 to 15 hours to dehydrate beef jerky. But drying is not alone as you also need to marinate the meat before placing it in the dehydrator. Marinating beef is important as it not only adds flavor but preservatives like salt or cure help to keep the freshness of dehydrated beef jerky intact for a long while.

Almost all food dehydrates includes a user manual that contains cooking times of different ingredients. So you can simply refer them for cooking the best tasting beef jerky at home. It will not take long to make chewy sticks while hard rolls will need more drying time. All in all, you can make a great tasting beef jerky in hours with the best food dehydrator.

Can you over dehydrate jerky?

Yes, you can over dehydrate jerky if kept in the machine for too long at high temperatures. This is one common phenomenon many users go through. And this blunder happens when you set the temperature at high for drying the jerky quickly. Avoid doing this as patience is the only key to successful drying. Set the recommended temperature and it will save your delicious beef jerky from cracking, over dehydrating, and under-drying.

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Conclusion

People love to carry jerky with them while out camping, fishing, or on a trip. They are tasty and nutritious snacks that people of all ages can enjoy. Not only us but our beloved dogs also love jerky. Instead of buying expensive store-bought packs make your own homemade jerky with the best jerky dehydrator. These machines are not too expensive and do not demand high maintenance as well. And Nesco food dehydrators are one of the favorite choices of America as they are made in the USA according to US standards.

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