Effective Budget Dehydrator, Lots of Space
The Nesco American Harvest FD61 is one of the more budget-friendly models available on the market, and while it does not outperform more expensive models it does effectively dehydrate small quantities with minimal oversight. It comes with 4 trays but can fit up to 12, which puts it ahead of the pack for its price range in terms of space. With 500 watts of heating power, it is one of the most rapid dehydrators for its price range. Patented Converga-Flow technology helps this unit dehydrate all trays evenly despite its top-mounted fan and an opaque exterior sustains your food’s nutritional value.
Lightweight and compact
The Nesco FD-61 weighs less than 7 pounds, and its compact, small form makes it incredibly apartment-friendly. Since it can expand to fit an impressive amount of trays, it makes it especially nice that it is so easy to fit into small spaces; comparable dehydrators require lots of space to accommodate as many trays.
Top-mounted dehydrators generally have issues getting even air flow over all the trays, especially rounded, tower-style units like this one. The Nesco FD-61 has bypassed this problem using their patented Converga-Flow System, which traps the cool air coming in from the top fan and pushes it into an external chamber where it is heated, pressurized, and then released horizontally across all the trays, allowing them to dehydrate at the same rate.
The Nesco FD-61 offers 500 watts of heating power, which is above average for this price range and makes the dehydrating process quicker than similar models.
Expands to 12 trays
The Nesco FD-61 comes with four trays, making it ideal for one- or two-person use; however, it can be expanded to fit up to 12 trays, making it one of the more versatile dehydrators available today. This model will automatically adjust the drying pressure according to the number of trays in use.
Easy clean up
Bottom-mounted dehydrators can sometimes experience performance problems due to liquids and food particles falling into the fan and heating element; since the Nesco FD-61 has a top-mounted fan and thermostat, you will not need to worry about moisture or food dropping onto the fan and harming the integrity of the machine. Note: the trays are not dishwasher safe, and will warp in the dryer.
Opaque exterior protects your food
Light can damage your food, destroying vital enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. The Nesco FD-61 comes with a Vita-Save exterior that blocks harmful rays and protects the nutritional value of your food.
Unreliable Temperature Control
This model has a thermostat that can be set anywhere between 95 and 160 degrees, which is more than sufficient for most foods, including fruits, herbs, and jerky. However, the Nesco FD-61 has been the subject of complaints about the reliability of the temperature control; many users have said they need to turn the thermostat to temperatures significantly above their desired temperature in order to get the effect they want. This is not a huge problem, as being aware of the problem is essentially the solution to the problem, but it does limit the control you have over the dehydrating process.
The Nesco FD-61 is one of the more reliable and well-designed dehydrators available today. While it cannot boast the power of some larger models, its compact design makes it ideal for apartment-dwellers and small families. While you may have to adjust the thermometer to make up for the temperature fluctuations, you will find that as a whole the Nesco FD-61 meets the average user’s needs and then some. It outperforms many models in its price range, and outperforms many other rounded tower-style dehydrators in achieving even air distribution.