Best Nesco Dehydrator Recipes for Fruit, Veggies, and Jerky

Women cooking together
Nesco dehydrator recipes are crafted for convenience and allow you to make different foods at the same time. This user-friendly food dehydrator has a high capacity and expert temperature control, allowing you to make jerky, chips, fruit leather, veggies, and more!

Nesco Dehydrator Recipes for Fruit

Store-bought dried fruits are often full of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and added sugar. Use fresh fruits and your Nesco dehydrator to craft these delicious recipes instead!

How Long Does it Take to Dehydrate Fruit in a Nesco Dehydrator?

You can dehydrate fresh fruits in a Nesco in 5-10 hours at 135°F.

The total time to dehydrate different fruits will vary. Drying times are influenced by the thickness of the fruits and their moisture content. Apricots can take up to 36 hours to dry, while strawberries take 6-12 hours.

Jar with dehydrated strawberry slices
Dehydrated strawberries

Nesco Dehydrator Recipes for Jerky

These tried and true jerky recipes are easy to make in your Nesco dehydrator.

  1. Hickory Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe
  2. Pepper and Garlic Sous Vide Jerky Recipe
  3. Spicy Marinated Beef Jerky Recipe
  4. Vegan Teriyaki Mushroom Jerky Recipe
  5. Venison Jerky Recipe

How Long Do You Leave Jerky in a Nesco Dehydrator?

It usually takes 8 to 10 hours of drying time to dehydrate jerky in a Nesco Dehydrator. When calculating your total time, you should factor in the time it takes to create a marinade and marinate the meat. Marinating jerky overnight tenderizes and gives the meat flavor.

Several types of marinated jerky
Marinated jerky platter

Nesco Dehydrator Recipes for Veggies

The Nesco American Harvest Dehydrator is perfect for dehydrating vegetables and offers a range of temperature settings to ensure your food is perfectly dried. It excels at making veggie chips and can help you craft these nutritious recipes:

  1. Cucumber Chips with Salt & Vinegar
  2. Dill Pickle Kale Chips
  3. Sweet and Crispy Beet Chips

What are the Best Veggies to Dehydrate with a Nesco Dehydrator?

Some of the best veggies for dehydrating include beets, kale, celery, mushrooms, onions, and potatoes. These vegetables can serve as the base for many recipes, such as stews and soup, and can be enjoyed as a healthy backpacking snack.

Be sure to thinly slice veggies before dehydrating them. They should be as thin as a potato chip.

Thinly sliced dehydrated vegetables
Dehydrated vegetables

What are the Best Fruits to Dehydrate with a Nesco Dehydrator?

Some of the best fruits to dehydrate with a Nesco food dehydrator include apples, blueberries, kiwis, pineapple, strawberries, and tomatoes. Most fruits can be dehydrated but require different drying times.

It is important to prepare fruit for dehydration by dipping it in an ascorbic acid solution or lemon juice for 10 minutes prior to dehydrating it. While this adds to prep time, it will help prevent oxidation and preserve the color and flavor of your fruit.

Is There a Temperature Guide for Nesco Dehydrators?

Every Nesco dehydrator comes with a temperature guide that you can refer to when making specific recipes.

Both the NESCO Snackmaster Pro FD-75PR and the NESCO FD-75PR Food and Jerky Dehydrator models feature customizable temperature settings which range from 95°F–160°F.

The more affordable Nesco Food Dehydrator FD-37A and Nesco Jerky Xpress have a preset temperature setting of 160°F, which is the ideal temperature for making jerky.

What is the Difference Between a Nesco and an Excalibur Dehydrator?

Nesco and Excalibur food dehydrators are two of the most popular food dehydrator manufacturers, but their products differ in shape, capacity, temperature range, and price.

Nesco Food Dehydrators

  • Features a round shape with a center hole, reducing dehydrator capacity by 20%
  • Half the price of most Excalibur models
  • Has a high temperature of 160°F, which means most meat will need pre-cooking
  • The low temperature is 95°F, making it the preferred machine for drying herbs

Excalibur Food Dehydrators

  • Are square shaped and have a higher capacity
  • Have a high-temperature setting of 165°F, safe for making jerky
  • More expensive than Nesco
  • The lowest temperature of the Excalibur is 105°F, which may be too high for some herbs

What is the Difference Between a Dehydrator and an Oven?

Dried foods can be made in dehydrators and ovens, but food dehydrators are specifically made for dehydrating food. They maintain a more consistent temperature and work to remove humidity as it builds.

Food dehydrators have a lower temperature which allows for dehydrating herbs and delicate vegetables such as mushrooms. Ovens operate at a higher temperature, which tends to dehydrate food faster but puts some foods at risk of burning or case hardening.

What Can You Not Put in a Dehydrator?

Foods that are high in fat or oil, such as peanut butter, should not be put in a food dehydrator. These fats can cause food to go rancid quickly. Instead of dehydrating high-fat foods, freeze them instead.

Storage and Shelf Life of Dehydrated Food

The shelf life of most dehydrated food is three months to two years at room temperature when stored in airtight containers. The best containers to store dehydrated food in are glass canning jars or Mylar bags that have been heat-sealed.

Patrick Anampiu

Patrick has a farming background and is a full-time food writer and recipe creator. His goal is to help you discover how fantastic it is to dehydrate and preserve food by sharing his knowledge. Outside of the kitchen, Patrick enjoys outdoor activities and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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