If you’re considering buying a dehydrator, you may be wondering what type of dehydrator to buy. As you check out various dehydrators, for good reasons, Nesco dehydrators come up a lot! There are many different Nesco dehydrators out there. But the question is, are Nesco dehydrators any good? If you’ve been wondering that yourself, keep reading for my unbiased Nesco dehydrator review.

My Experience with Nesco Dehydrators

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dehydrating sliced jalapenos for food storage
This tray has 3 large jalapenos.

Before I dive into the pros and cons of Nesco dehydrators, I want to take just a few minutes to share about my personal experience with a Nesco dehydrator, specifically the Nesco FD-75 Dehydrator.

I first purchased my Nesco dehydrator in February of 2016. I bought a second one in November of 2020. I bought the second one because my first one was still working great, and I wanted to be able to dehydrate more food at a time.

Prior to buying my second Nesco dehydrater, I also purchased additional trays, fruit leather trays, mesh liners, and more.

I’ve also purchased a Cosori Premium Dehydrator, and while I love it, my next dehydrator purchase will be another Nesco.

In the remainder of this article, I’ll share both the pros and cons of the Nesco FD-75 Dehydrator.

What I Love About My Nesco Dehydrator

There are several things that I love about my Nesco dehydrator. Here are the highlights.

The Nesco FD-75 Dehydrator is Inexpensive

First, the Nesco FD-75pr dehydrator is affordable. There are indeed some dehydrators that are less expensive than the Nesco, but it’s definitely decently priced.

Dehydrators come in all price ranges. While prices fluctuate, at the current time, home dehydrators range in price from $39.95 at the low end to $369 at the high end.

The Nesco FD-75 Dehydrator is Easy to Load

I mentioned earlier in this article that I have both a Nesco, and a Cosori dehydrator. The Nesco is stackable, and the Cosori is a cabinet style dehydrator. There are pros and cons to each type of dehydrator. If you’re looking for Cosori dehydrator reviews, stay tuned because I’ll review my Cosori dehydrator in the future.

One of the pros of a stackable dehydrator such as the Nesco is that it is easy to load the trays. I typically put one tray, along with any liners (such as fruit leather trays or the mesh screens) on the dehydrator base. I then fill that tray with whatever I’m dehydrating. Once that tray is full, I put another tray on top of the first tray, and fill it. I keep going until I have all the trays loaded.

What I love about this is that I don’t have to move the dehydrator trays once I put the food on them. This is much easier than loading trays for a cabinet-style dehydrator and then having to put them into the dehydrator after loading.

The Nesco FD-75 Dehydrator is Low-Tech

Admittedly, a dehydrator being low tech may seem like a con. Afterall, bells and whistles are impressive. But since my Nesco dehydrator is made so simply, there isn’t as much that can break. This is why I actually prefer a dehydrator that isn’t digital.

My guess is that this is one reason why some people have Nesco dehydrators that they bought 20 years ago, and they are still working.

While bells and whistles are nice, if you’re looking for a dehydrator that will stand the test of time, then the Nesco FD-75 is the way to go.

My Nesco Dehydrator is Easy to Use

This point goes hand in hand with the last point. Since the Nesco FD-75PR is low tech, it’s also very easy to use.

I recommend reading the instruction manual any time you buy a new product, including this dehydrator. But since it’s so simple, it’s very hard to mess up with this dehydrator.

In comparison, I found it a bit tricky the first few times I used my Cosori. And even now, after using it quite a few times, if it’s been a while since I used the Cosori, I may have to think a bit about which buttons to push and when.

Since the Nesco has so few bells and whistles, it’s very intuitive. Even if you lose the manual, you won’t be at a loss when it comes to how to use it.

Temperatures are Listed on the Dehydrator

nesco dehydrator temperature

Speaking of not having to refer to the manual, another thing that I love about the Nesco is that the appropriate dehydrating temperatures are listed right on the lid of the dehydrator. Obviously, you can dehydrate food at whatever temperature you choose, but the ideal temperature for each type of food is right there, so you don’t need to look it up before dehydrating.

There are dehydrating temperatures provided for each of the following categories:

  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Herbs & Spices
  • Jerky
  • Meats
  • Fish

My Nesco Dehydrator is Easy to Store

Another thing that I love about my Nesco dehydrator is that it’s easy to store. This is true for most if not all stackable dehydrators.

The dehydrator has the following parts that stack together: the base, trays and liners, and the top, that includes the motor and fan. If you have the room, you can keep store the dehydrator assembled.

However, if you are more limited in space, it’s easy to slide the various pieces into shallow spaces. For instance, in my previous home, the bottom shelf in my pantry was just a few inches tall. It was pretty much useless space, but it worked perfectly for storing my Nesco dehydrator, because I could slide the base, trays, and top into that space.

In my current home, I also don’t have much storage space. I’m able to slide my two Nesco dehydrators under my sofa and love seat. Compare this to my Cosori dehydrator, which is a cabinet style. That would take up too much space on my counter, and I don’t have any place inside to keep it. So, I have to store my Cosori dehydrator in a shed in my garage.

If you have a ton of space, this may not matter, but especially if you have limited storage space, this helps a lot.

I Can Really Load Up the Trays on My Nesco

nesco dehydrator
I loaded the top tray with more blueberries, but that worked out okay since the are closer to the heat source.

There are definitely advantages of only putting a single layer of food on a dehydrator tray. But if I have a lot to dehydrate, I can really pile it up on my Nesco. Obviously, there is a limit to how much can fit, but I can fit much more on each layer of my Nesco dehydrator than I can with my Cosori.

With the Cosori, there isn’t much space between each of the trays. Now it is true that I can remove some of the trays from the Cosori to give more space between the trays. But then I may only be able to use three trays instead of six.

I’ve found the space the Nesco offers most helpful when dehydrating something like kale, which tends not to lay flat.

The Nesco Dehydrator is Light Weight and Easy to Handle

Since the Nesco is a stackable dehydrator, each part is very light weight. This makes it easy even for an elderly or disabled person to move from place to place.

Most dehydrators aren’t overly heavy, but unless you have a dedicated place to keep a dehydrator set up all the time, it’s nice to have one that is easy to move from place to place.

I will say that it can be hard to move the Nesco dehydrator if it’s all stacked together. The reason is that since the different pieces simply lay on top of each other, and they aren’t connected, you may find it difficult to move the entire set up unless you do it a few pieces at a time.

Nesco Dehydrators are Made in the USA

When I purchased my Nesco dehydrators, I didn’t buy them because they were made in America. In fact, I don’t think I even thought about where they were made. But in recent months, I’ve become increasingly aware of how dependent the U.S. is on goods manufactured in other countries, with China leading the way.

While there are some benefits to globalism, there’s something to be said for purchasing products made in the USA as much as possible.

Interestingly enough, often products made in America are more expensive, but that’s not the case with the Nesco. So why not buy a product that keeps America working and puts food on the table for those in our own nation?

I realize this point may not matter to everyone, which is why I put it last. But if you prefer to support companies that make products in America, buying Nesco dehydrators is the way to go.

Pro tip: If you’d like a list of dehydrators made in America, be sure to check out my article, Dehydrators Made in the USA.

What I Don’t Like about the Nesco FD-75 Dehydrator

As much as I love my Nesco dehydrator, there are a few things that I don’t like about it. That’s what I’ll get into in this section.

There is No On and Off Switch

On the Nesco FD-75 dehydrator, there is no on and off switch. As soon as you plug it in, it starts running. Unplugging it is the only way to turn it off.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal. However, since I don’t want to put the running dehydrator lid on my table or floor, every time I want to check the food or rotate the trays, I have to unplug it.

That brings me to the next point, tray rotation.

You May Need to Rotate the Trays

I say that you may need to rotate the trays, not that you must rotate the trays, because that’s true. Food dehydrates fine in Nesco dehydrators even if you don’t rotate the trays.

Nesco dehydrators are constructed in such a way that the hot air flows through all the trays. However, since the heat source and fan are on the top, the food on the top tray dehydrates fastest, and the food on the bottom tray dehydrates slowest.

Many times, this doesn’t matter. For instance, I may start my dehydrator before going to bed, and by the time I get up in the morning, the food on each of the trays is completely dehydrated. The same thing is true if I get the dehydrator going and leave home for several hours.

Another way that I get around this is that I load more food on the top dehydrator trays, and less on the lower trays. If I have fruit or vegetables close together or even overlapping on the top trays, they take about the same amount of time as food that is more spread out on the lower trays.

Having said that, if you are home and have the time, rotating the trays helps the food to dehydrate more evenly, but it’s not 100% necessary.

The Nesco Dehydrator is Made Out of Plastic

mesh screens keep small items from falling through dehydrator trays.
Mesh liners keep the fruit from falling through the trays as it dehydrates. It also reduces the amount of sticking.

There are pros and cons of buying a dehydrator that’s made out of plastic vs. stainless steel. Stainless steel is more durable than plastic.

I have heard of people breaking Nesco dehydrator trays. I’ve personally never broken a tray. However, my husband once put one of the trays in the bottom shelf of the dishwasher, and the heat warped it. I can still use that tray, but since it’s a little warped on one end, some of the heat escapes out of the side from that tray.

It’s fine to put the Nesco trays as well as the base into the dishwasher, but if you do, you need to put them on the top shelf.

Considering the fact that so many people have had Nesco dehydrators for many years indicates that the dehydrator being made out of plastic isn’t a deal breaker. But you’ll need to handle the Nesco a bit more gently compared to a dehydrator made of stainless steel.

How the Nesco FD-75 Dehydrator Compares to Other Dehydrators

When it comes time to purchase a dehydrator, it’s good to see how it stacks up against other dehydrators. Check out the chart below for a bird’s eye view of how the Nesco FD-75PR dehydrator compares to other dehydrators.

Dehydrator ModelPrice# of TraysDrying AreaTemp ControlWhere Made
Nesco FD-75 Dehydrator$89.995 trays, expand to 12 trays3.6 to 11 square feet95 degrees to 160 degrees FahrenheitUSA
Excalibur 3900B 9-Tray Black319.999 (non-expandable)10.6 square feet105 degrees to 165 degrees FahrenheitUSA
COSORI  Stainless Steel Premium Food Dehydrator$169.996 (non-expandable)7.86 square feet95 degrees to 165 degrees FahrenheitChina
Presto Dehydro -6300$39.974, expands to 8 traysUnknownOperates at a preset temperature of approximately 165 degrees FahrenheitChina

From the chart above, you can see that the Nesco FD-75 dehydrator is reasonably priced compared to the others. The drying area included with the included trays at the time of purchase is relatively small. However, since you can expand it up to 12 trays, it has the potential to end up with more drying area even compared to the premium priced Excalibur dehydrator.

Pro Tip: To learn more about how the Nesco compares to the Cosori, check out my article, Cosori Dehydrator Review.

Where to Buy Your Next Dehydrator

I have typically bought my dehydrators from Amazon. However, I am beginning to purchase as much as possible from smaller companies. You can buy the Nesco dehydrator directly from Nesco, but I’ve found the shipping cost and often the price to be higher than other places.

My favorite smaller company to purchase products from is Pleasant Hill Grain. For your convenience, I’m linking to the various Nesco dehydrators on both the Pleasant Hill Grain site as well as Amazon, so you can shop wherever you prefer.

Pleasant Hill GrainAmazon
Nesco FD-75PR DehydratorNesco FD-75 Dehydrator
Nesco FD-79 DehydratorNesco FD-79 Dehydrator
Nesco FD-1040 Digital DehydratorNesco FD-1040 Digital Dehydrator

Food Dehydrating Resources

As you begin to incorporate dehydrating food into your prepper pantry, here are some resources to help you out.

First, be sure to check out all of my food dehydrating articles here.

If you’re concerned about nutrient loss in dehydrated food, read my post, Does Dehydrating Food Take Away Nutrients?

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