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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 12-26-2011, 06:50 PM   #1
Midnight Smoke
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Default Meat Dehydrator's

I love Beef Jerky and want to get a Dehydrator. Going to return the Knife Sharpener and get something more useful for us.

Looks like the Excalibur is the best one. On the Excalibur Website the 3926 is the only one I can find with a timer.

I have been searching these on Amazon and the 3900 is the only one I see they have, but says, no timer model.

I think the 9 tray is an overkill for me, the 5 tray would probably be big enough. Any advice on this, should I consider the 9 tray?

Does the 5 tray come with a timer? Is the timer really that important?

Suggestions on what Brand/Model I should be looking for?
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:55 PM   #2
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I don't believe the timer is all that important. The more trays, the better. The trays fill up fast.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:56 PM   #3
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I have never had a dehydrator with a timer, but I really don't think it would be overly useful. I'm sure someone might be able to challenge this, but I have a cheap dehydrator and I make jerky quite frequently with it. It's sorta like Q... it's done when it's done. If you are worried about over drying it, don't. After its done, you want to let it 'stabilize' for an hour or two before you bag it up anyway...
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:59 PM   #4
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We have the 3900 no timer -- I would'nt worry about the timer if you decide you need one go to lowes and grab one that plugs in wall 10 bucks or so.
if you like fruit roll ups get the solid sheets to go with it works great.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:02 PM   #5
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I have always made Jerky on the grill or in the oven.....however I think Northwest BBQ
uses a dehydrator...and the Jerky he makes looks good.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=73543
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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One site I looked at said to buy a $10 timer to use with the 3900.

Harvest Essentials had more uses than just dehydrating.

The Ultimate in Versatility - Removable door and trays – This is a MUST- in order to use every other tray or no trays at all, allowing you to dry large items, make yogurt, raise breads, dry crafts, bloom rice, dry sprouted breads, dry pie crust and more.. You do not have to take apart to check drying or add more food.

I would get the larger one. Just like smokers, you will wish you had purchased the largest you can afford.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:19 PM   #7
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Have you seen how Alton Brown does it with a box fan and furnace filter? Lots do space for very, very cheap.

Good Eats S09E03P02 - Urban Preservation II - The Jerky - YouTube
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedyma View Post
Have you seen how Alton Brown does it with a box fan and furnace filter? Lots do space for very, very cheap.

Good Eats S09E03P02 - Urban Preservation II - The Jerky - YouTube
Thank you Kennedyma. I just watched that and now I have to try it.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:41 AM   #9
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I agree with everyone else- you can never have too many racks. Also, any plug-in appliance timer will work.

If you're debating between models, I would suggest going for something that breaks down and is easy to clean.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:51 AM   #10
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I have a plastic one we bought at Bed, Bath and beyond, no timer and it had 5 trays, I found through a friend 4 more trays and it does just fine with 9 trays of meat. I agree it's done when it's done. I do rotate the trays through the drying process
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:10 AM   #11
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I've got The Sausage Maker D-10 model. It works great, and I've got one of the earlier models that has no timer. I really can't say that having/not having a timer would be a make or break decision maker for me if I was currently in the market for one.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:46 AM   #12
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I have the Excalibur 2500 and have used it heavily for many years.
Great unit!!!!!!
Even drying througout the unit, although I still rotate shelves out of habit.
If I was to do it again, I would get the 9 shelf unit--just me.

I can see no need for a timer at all.
Drying time varies too much--it is done when it is done.

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Old 12-27-2011, 09:14 AM   #13
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WHOA WHOA WHOA, wait a second....sorry to hijack but Ive never done jerky or any kind of curing. Just watched that Alton Brown thing and freaked out.

Can you eat raw meat once cured?! I mean I guess dehydrating it doesnt really change it so Im assuming you can, just never thought about it. So can I eat raw bacon thats cured and smoked?
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:22 AM   #14
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I definitely recommend you buy the 9 tray Excalibur model. A timer is not necessary.

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Old 12-27-2011, 09:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrok2118 View Post
WHOA WHOA WHOA, wait a second....sorry to hijack but Ive never done jerky or any kind of curing. Just watched that Alton Brown thing and freaked out.

Can you eat raw meat once cured?! I mean I guess dehydrating it doesnt really change it so Im assuming you can, just never thought about it. So can I eat raw bacon thats cured and smoked?
It's the dehydration that allows it to be stored at room temp and keep for a long time. With out the water in the meat it will last a long long time.
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