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|Horizontal||90 - 160||16 x 10 x 16||4||20||1 year limited|
Dried produce has been shown to encourage most children to eat their fruits and vegetables, especially if you ask them to help you with the dehydrating process. More importantly, making your own dried goods, you’ll also be able to avoid the harmful effects of store-bought products.
Priced between $100 and $150, the Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster is a mid-range model that- for a much lower price than top-end models- is brimming with a variety of features designed to help make the drying process easier and more evenly. Indeed, reliable and extremely easy to use, this appliance can be used to dry a plethora of items such as vegetables, fruits, jerky, herbs, fruit rolls, dried soup and non-edible items such as potpourri.
In fact, if you’re on a limited budget, this dehydrator will certainly help you enjoy the numerous health and financial benefits of drying your own produce at home. Best of all, this model is so easy to operate that it’s entirely suited to new users. On the flip side, a couple of customers complained about the noise, however, most users were satisfied with the appliance and found that the features exceeded their expectations in terms of price.
Heat Distribution: 5/5
The Nesco FD-1040 is equipped with a horizontal heat distribution system– something that is normally found in more expensive appliances. Indeed, horizontal air flow ensures even heat distribution across every single tray. The dehydrator also comes with a Patented Converge Flow that forces hot air down a specially pressurized chamber to ensure even drying. Therefore, you won’t have to constantly open the machine and rotate the trays during the drying process. With other less reliable models, users often find that they have to repeatedly open the dehydrator and hence lose quite a lot of hot air in the process- something that can drastically slow down the drying time. However, you won’t have to constantly fiddle with the machine and can go about with your regular schedule while it dries out your produce.
Because of its expandable feature, the Nesco Gardenmaster comes with 4 trays but it can sustain an amazing up to 20 trays at a time, which is a lot more than similarly-priced Excalibur 2400 and L’Equip 306210, and will allow you to prepare a large amount of produce in the same batch. Because of the horizontal heat distribution as well as the ergonomically-placed trays, the machine eliminates every risk of flavor mixing even if you decide to dry various types of produce at the same time. Its expandable feature will also help you save up on valuable counter space.
Other Features: 5/5
The appliance does emit a little bit of noise, but it’s quite bearable especially considering the whirring and clanking that normally accompanies other dehydrators. In spite of its affordable price, the machine comes with a Digital Display control panel which will provide you with greater control over your food. Here you’ll be able to program the dehydration process for up to 48 hours, as well as to adjust the temperature between 90 to 160 degrees F. The exterior is covered with the exclusive Nesco Vita-Save Exterior that prevents any harmful light from touching your food. As a result, your produce will retain most nutrients, vitamins and minerals. With the Gardenmaster, you will also receive several other items designed to render the dehydrating process much more enjoyable. For example, customers will even get a Nesco Dehydrator No Spill Fruit Roll Sheets, a 52-page recipe book, Beef Jerky Spice Packet with Cure as well as a Flexable Clean-A-Screen for small and fragile items such as rose petals, potpourri and various herbs and spices.
Since the fan is top-mounted, it will easily prevent any excess liquid and food from dripping into the electronics chamber, fan or heater. Also, thanks to the powerful 1000-watts motor, you can be sure that your produce will require very little time to dry out. In fact, some users reported that they needed around 4-6 hours to dry apples, 3-6 hours for fruit rolls, 5-8 hours for bananas and 4-6 hours for pineapple.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Its numerous features, combined with the affordability and ease of use makes this appliance quite a recommended purchase. Although its expandable feature is not as big as the one of the Nesco FD-1018P, we consider that this particular model still offers more than enough drying capacity to satisfy most users. The Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster is available in white and is made of plastic. Weighing 8.95 pounds, it is light enough to be carried anywhere in your house. Lastly, this particular model is covered by a solid manufacturer’s warranty of one year.
- Dehydrator Type: Stackable
- Air Flow: Horizontal (top-mouted fan)
- Temperature Range: 90°F to 160°F
- Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 16”
- Expandable: Yes
- Included Trays: 4
- Maximum Trays: 20
- Timer: Yes
- Thermostat: Yes
- Wattage: 1000 watts
- Warranty: 1-year Limited