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Our Personal Review of the Nesco 700-Watt Food Dehydrator

Our Nesco 700 Watt Food Dehydrator on our dining room table. Over the weekend, we used the dehydrator to make tasty golden delicious apple, zucchini, squash and kale chips along with dried cantaloupe.

Waking up in the morning to the warm and inviting aroma of apple cinnamon really clinched that we’d made a great decision on buying a food dehydrator. While my wife and I slept, our Nesco dehydrator was busy drying sliced apples.

And this morning we were treated to the mouthwatering sweet tartness of fresh apple chips.

Since buying it a couple of months ago, we’ve become passionate dehydrators. To her surprise, my wife, Debi, has fallen in love with dehydrating foods and has recommended that her friends get one as well.

In fact, our co-Healthy Midlife writers, Devin and Kathy ended up buying the Nesco 700 Watt Food Dehydrator based on our experience.

“When you think about adding something to the kitchen, you typically think about adding a blender or a mixer. The last thing I ever thought about was a food dehydrator. The dehydrator has quickly become my favorite new kitchen appliance,” says Debi.

Why We Chose the Nesco 700-Watt Food Dehydrator

These zucchini and squash chips dried in our Nesco Food Dehydrator are thin, crispy and tasty snacks that help us avoid fattening potato chip cravings.

Our primary reason for getting a food dehydrator was to create healthy snack foods we could have around the house that would replace the unhealthy chips and candies that, for some reason, made their way into our pantry.

After much research, we were close to pulling the trigger on an Excalibur Food Dehydrator. Reading through some of the dehydrator blogs, this was a popularly recommended brand. At $250, there was certainly an “ouch factor” on our budget, but, hey, we were buying this for health reasons.

While on Amazon, with credit card in hand to purchase the Excalibur, we spotted the Nesco Dehydrator. At around $70 and rated 4.5 stars out of 5 from 640 customer reviewers, it definitely had the attention of our wallets. We quickly disengaged from making our purchase until we could learn more about the Nesco.

Key features that made the decision easy for us

The Nesco Food Dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat that ranges from 95-to-160 degrees.

Temperature control

This was a must for us.

Some of the less expensive food dehydrators we saw did not have any way of controlling the thermostat.

The Nesco Dehydrator has a very simple adjustable thermostat on the top of the unit that ranges from 95-160 degrees. There’s also a useful temperature guide on the top for different types of fruits, veggies and meats. We’ve found these to be a good guideline in the beginning of our dehydrating adventures.

Fan on top

Until we investigated the Nesco, we never thought about how important this feature was. By being on top, it allows for a more uniformed drying process. Plus, there it removes the risk of dripping getting into the motor and hosing things up.

Here are apple slices, sprinkled with cinnamon, laid out on a Nesco Dehydrator food tray. The dehydrator comes with 5 stackable trays and can be expanded to 12 trays. Food contact surfaces are BPA free.

It’s expandable

The Nesco Dehydrator comes with 5 food trays, which we’ve found to be plenty enough. However, if we ever need more, it’s expandable to 12 trays.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) Free Plastic

Exposure to BPA with the Nesco Dehydrator was a concern for us, especially since our dehydrating food would be in contact with the plastic for a long period of time. We reached out to Nesco and voiced our concerns.

They responded that “the food contact surfaces are made of ABS plastic, which is BPA free.”

Deciding Factor for Us: Positive Customer Reviews

With the key features and BPA concerns out of the way, our chief deciding factor in purchasing the Nesco 700-Watt Food Dehydrator was that the Amazon reviews were strong and we would be getting basically the same benefits as more expensive dehydrators at a quarter of the price.

How Much Should You Pay for the Nesco 700-Watt Food Dehydrator

We also looked at this as a potential entry level dehydrator. At $70, we weren’t risking too much money if we found that dehydrating foods wasn’t for us.

“Price was the main reason I didn’t buy a dehydrator in the past. I wasn’t willing to pay over $200.00 for one. When I found out Grant and Debi were happy with theirs and it was only $70.00, I made the purchase and have been extremely happy with the product,” says Kathy.

What You Get with the Nesco Food Dehydrator

As we mentioned earlier, our experience with the dehydrator inspired our Healthy Midlife friends, Devin and Kathy, to purchase the Nesco Dehydrator from Amazon. They were happy to share their opening box experience in the video below.

See more details on the Nesco Food Dehydrator on Amazon

Our 4-Month Experience

Our Nesco Dehydrator has gotten a workout in both Healthy Midlife households. We’ve experienced much of the positive benefits we’d read on the Amazon customer reviews.

Easy to Use

Honestly, this couldn’t be an easier kitchen appliance to use. It’s quick to load up, set the temp and then plug it in. We usually will start drying foods in the evening so that they are done when we wake up.

Easy Clean Up

Cleaning up is pretty simple since the whole stackable unit comes apart. One of the concerns we read about was warping the plastic with dishwasher heater. That’s easily solved by just taking the trays out before drying. We’ve had no problem with washing the trays in the dishwasher.

Dried apple chips from our Nesco food dehydrator
We love dehydrating apples. These granny smith apples were sliced 1/8 inch thin. We then put them in lemon water to prevent browning during the drying process. Once we put them on the dehydrating tray, we sprinkle cinnamon, set the thermostat 135 degrees and dehydrate 10 hours.

Overall Food Drying Experience

Over the last several months, we’ve dehydrated a lot of foods. Making kale chips is pretty popular in our household as are apples. We’ve satisfactorily dried zucchini and squash. A few times, we’ve purchased London Broil and created our own jerky. The beauty was that we controlled the amount of seasonings that went into the jerky.

We’ve had a few misses. Our sweet potatoes dried to chewy leather-like morsels. While not to our liking, our dogs enjoyed a week’s worth of healthy doggy treats.

What Other Are Saying

If you’re considering buying a Nesco Food Dehydrator, it’s worth it to read through some of the Amazon customer reviews. The 4.5 out of 5 stars by 640 reviewers is pretty impressive and helped us to make our final decision.

Below are some of the comments to date:

Over 5 years later and still going strong. Have used it for everything from dehydrating fruits and veggies, various types of jerky, raw foods recipes , roll ups and dehydrating meals for camping. Still Very happy with this dehydrator.

I decided to buy this dehydrator after reading the reviews for it and the Excalibur. I had planned on buying the Excalibur until I read about all the people who had had trouble with the fan. This one was much cheaper, and I figured I could deal with the inconvenience of no timer for a couple hundred dollars! I haven’t missed the timer at all.

This dehydrator is so easy to use and to clean. The trays are ample to hold the product that you are dehydrating. Takes up little counter space.

Any Complaints So Far?

There are a couple of common complaints regarding the Nesco Food Dehydrator.

No timer. For twice the price, we could have bought a dehydrator with a timer. However, not having one has not been as big deal for us. However, Devin and Kathy found an inexpensive timer solution. They plugged their dehydrator in an outlet timer, which cost less than $20.

No On/Off Switch. It would have been nice to have an on/off switch. However, this has not been a major negative for us.

Where Can You Buy the Nesco 700-Watt Food Dehydrator?

You can buy a Nesco Dehydrator directly from Nesco or from Amazon. At the time of writing this review Amazon has the best price and often times you can get free shipping.

Click to Buy the Nesco Food Dehydrator from Amazon>>

As we use the food dehydrator, we’ll share many of the recipes on Healthy Midlife. We’d also like to hear from readers on their experience with dehydrating foods on our page