Eastman Outdoors Food Dehydrator

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Reviews

12

A low priced dehydrator that has a few features normally…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $49

Summary

A low priced dehydrator that has a few features normally found on the higher priced models. After a couple months of usage, this unit has already paid for itself, and I am making meals far superior to the dehydrated meals sold by Mountain House and Backpacker's Pantry.

Pros

  • Variable temperature control
  • Power switch (often missing in cheap models)
  • Price
  • 4 Trays

Cons

  • Noisy fan
  • Low wattage
  • Round trays are not as efficient as square ones
  • Tops out at 160°F

One of my first Trailspace reviews was on the Harmony House Backpacking Kit. While I remain a fan of that kit, I have spent more and more of my time seeking to expand my dehydrated food recipes. After researching numerous models in various price ranges, I settled for this Eastman Outdoors product. In the sub-$100 price range, I feel it offers some of the best options.

This dehydrator operates on 245 watts. This is fairly low, considering there are 700-watt units in the same price range. However, in my research I have learned that more watts does not necessarily translate into more efficient/shorter drying times.

A feature not always present in cheaper dehydrators is a variable temperature range. This unit has a thermostat of 90-160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the perfect range for my needs, with 140°F being optimal for fruits and vegetables. 160°F is the necessary for jerky making. One con is that poultry is to be dried at 165°F, which this unit does not go to. However, as I have no desire to jerky poultry, this was not a negative in my selection.

Another added benefit is the lighted On/Off Switch. Surprisingly, this is not a common feature on lower-priced dehydrators.

Dehydrator-1.jpg

The unit comes with four stack-able, round trays, measuring 14” across. Diehard do-it-yourselfers will tell you that square trays are more space efficient. However, I find I have plenty of room for my needs. The picture below displays enough Apple and Cranberry “Fruit Leather” to last me a few trips.

Dehydrator-2.jpg

(My rotten teenager ate the other apples I was planning to dry out in the fourth tray!)

Once stacked, the dehydrator's noisy blower fan convects heat up through the center. As initially moist food dries, I peel it off the plastic wrap and lay it on the slotted trays to speed the drying process.

Dehydrator-3.jpg

In my cooking experiments, I have taken to grabbing leftovers from dinner and seeing how well they dehydrate and, later, rehydrate. My wife's Campanella pasta and homemade sauce is a winner at home and as a dehydrated meal on the trail.

Dehydrator-4.jpg

1.5 cups of water will rehydrate this dried bag of stuff into mouth-watering goodness!

I will end this review with a delicious recipe I prepared in the dehydrator. Unfortunately, I ate it all without taking any pictures.

Mango Curry with Rice & Lentils (spicy)

  • 1 cup cooked Rice
  • 1 cup cooked Lentils
  • 1/2 cup dried Mangoes
  • 1tsp dried Onions
  • 1tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Chicken Bullion Cube
  • 1 1/2 cups water

AT HOME: Mix and cook all ingredients. Drain thoroughly. Dehydrate until completely dry. Store in freezer until trip (Meal will keep for several weeks if not stored in freezer.).

IN CAMP: Bring 1.5 cups of water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Add water to dehydrated meal. Cover for 10 minutes, or until meal is re-hydrated

Earth Pig

Nice review, G00SE -- and the recipe is a bonus!


12 months ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review and recipe, Goose.


12 months ago
Joseph Renow

Nice review Goose...I assume there is not timer on the device and a manual on and off? Can you get "leather" trays for this model as plastic wrap is something folks shy away from at higher temps? Don't worry about those "square" folks...I dehydrate all the time and frequently do not use all of the space in my dehydrator...so the few extra square inches that comes from "square" trays is hardly my most inefficient factor...so turn that round-frown upside down:-)


12 months ago
G00SE MODERATOR

Joseph, I don't have an answer to your questions. In lieu of plastic wrap, wax or parchment paper might be an alternative.


12 months ago
Bentbrook

Thanks, G00SE. Great review! I "need" one of these. At least I want it!


9 months ago
G00SE MODERATOR

Brent, I'm heading out on a week-long trip this Saturday. My food costs for the week came to $25, because all of my meals are dehydrated leftovers. I just had to buy my snack foods.


9 months ago
Bill "L.Dog" Garlinghouse

I got a Nesco, and love it. I'm still a little unsure of myself as to how long my dehydrated stuff will last, but dehydrating leftovers for an upcoming trip, fruit rolls, and jerky ... Oh man, the salmon jerky I made in it was special!


8 months ago
Joseph Renow

L.Dog...from my experience dehydrated food begins to lose flavor after 2-3 months have passed if you keep it in a dark and dry location (the top of my gear-closet). For this reason I try to only dehydrate 3-6 meals in advanced...but I am super snobby when it comes to food (which is why I dehydrate to begin with...cost being a strong second incentive)...and less picky eaters could safely store dried food in a dark and dry location for 6 months or more and would probably notice no lack of flavor (I sometimes off-load older meals to my "Mikey" friend who will eat anything and he loves them). When I first started dehydrating (before Goose pointed me in the direction of the Mylar freezer-bags which makes re-hydrating food easy + cheap + clean + repeatable) I stored dried vegetables in my freezer for up to a year and ate them safely for years with no side-effects...well at least none I noticed:-)


8 months ago

Eastman Outdoors Food Dehydrator

reviewers paid:
$49.00

The Eastman Outdoors Food Dehydrator is not available from the stores we monitor.

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