With Christmas and New Years out of the way, how are you planning on spending those Bass Pro Shops gifts cards you received? Many people are discovering the benefits of owning a food dehdrator. Its a great way to save money and eat healthier in the coming year! Imagine being able to make your own jerky, dried fruit, dried herbs, and even fruit rolls!
We have six different styles here at our Sevierville location for you to choose from. Let's start with the bottom of the totem pole and work our way up. Also, I will give you my opinion of each one. But remember, it's only MY opinion and that doesn't really count :)
1. Open Country seven Tray $44.99
Pro's- seven stackable trays, easy to use because it only has one button to push in order for it to work. Doesn't take up very much space. Comes with two spice and cure packs.
Con's- Again, it only has one button to push...no temperature control and no timer. It has a 300 watt motor/fan that is located on the top. The trays are round and have a hole in the middle of them in order for the air flow to reach the bottom trays. This hole, in turn, removes some very valuable service area.
My opinion; If you are just getting into dehydrating and not sure if it's something you want to continue doing, this would be your best bet. Even though Open Country says you don't have to rotate the trays, I would because, again, the fan and motor are on the top, and the air is possibly not even reaching the lower trays. Which brings me to this thought, to check the trays underneath the top one, you have to unstack, taking precious time, heat and air flow away from the ones you have removed. It ONLY has a 300 watt motor...not very powerful if you ask me.
2. Open Country Dehydrator with Jerky Maker $109.99
Pro's- four stackable trays. This one also has a temperature control knob and has a 500 watt motor. Small and you can add trays. It comes with several add on's for Jerky making including a jerky gun. Nice small size.
Con's- The round trays with the hole in the middle. Motor is on top thus making you wonder yet again if you really and truly should be rotating the trays. If you decide to take a peek at the lower trays, then again, you have to unstack the top ones.
My opinion; Between these two dehydrators, I would have to choose the second one. Here's why; adjustable temperature control and bigger wattage motor. Plus, there are all the extras that come with it; two screens, two fruit roll sheets, large jerky gun with three tips, jerky spice and cure seasonings, and instruction/recipe book. Well worth the price!
3. Open Country Gardenmaster Pro- $139.99
Pro's- Much bigger. Also has 1000 watt motor/fan (on the bottom). Bass Pro does sell extra trays for this model and you can dry up to 30 trays at once. Has a clear lid so you can see the top tray at least while its drying. Comes with some extra's as well. Has adjustable temperature control.
Con's- Still has those round trays with the holes in the middle. Bigger size meaning less usable counter space. Having the motor/fan on the bottom, there is a risk of juices falling into them resulting in your machine being harder to clean in that area and also possibly not lasting very long. Probably should still rotate the trays and if you decide to do that, again, you will be unstacking trays and cutting down on drying time (in a bad way).
My opinion; Among these three models, I would choose this one! Why? Because it's bigger, you can add trays to it and it has a bigger motor. And again, the extra's; a 52-page recipe book, instruction book, one mesh sheet, one solid sheet, and one packet of jerky spice.
4. Redhead Dehydrator $69.99
Pros- six square trays instead of round gives more room for your items that you are drying, 550 watt motor, digital time and temperature controls and a clear vented lid.
Con's- Fan/ motor is on the bottom so there's the risk of juices falling in to it. No accessories. Larger so not alot of counter space left over.
My opinion; For the price, I think this is a good deal for starting out. I like being able to see through all the trays but still expect to have to rotate them since the motor/fan is on the bottom.
5. LEM Dehydrator $159.99
Pro's- five trays, steel enforced frame, 7.5 ft of drying space, 500 watt motor/ fan on the back of the unit and slide out trays. LED thermostat and digital timer. Comes with recipe manual and instruction book.
Con's- It's BIG! That is the only con I could come up with!
My opinion; No doubt about it, I would buy this dehydrator! The motor on the back means everything gets hit with heat and air simultaneously so NO TRAY ROTATION! If you want to look at the very bottom tray, just pull it out and look away at it! You don't have to unstack anything else to see it! With the fan/motor on the back, the 500 watts is plenty to get the job done because it's not having to push any air through holes in the middle of the trays. Plain and simple...THIS dehydrator makes me happy just to look at it! :)
6. LEM Stainless Steel Dehydrator $329.99
Pros- ten stainless steel trays and 16 sq. ft of drying space. 800 watt heating element and fan mounted on the back, adjustable thermostat and a 12 hour timer shuts off automatically when time has run out. 110 volts. Instruction books included. No tray rotation!
Con's- Again this until is HUGE! It sits on casters so it's not a counter top unit. Alot of extra space needed for this puppy.
My opinion; I would have to really be into dehydrating food to buy this item. If your serious about it, then this unit IS for you. Again, I love how you can just pull out any tray you want without disturbing the others, thanks to the rear mounted motor/fan.
So, with all this said, I have two favorites; the Redhead dehydrator (for the size, shape and price) and the LEM five tray (for everything about it except size).
Now that you know everything there is about the dehydrator's at Bass Pro Shops, what are you waiting for? Come to get yours show me what you can do with it!
If you still have any questions, please let me know and I will be so happy to answer them for you.
As always, Thanks for stopping by,
Camping Team Lead
Sevierville Bass Pro Shops