Updated again: Just got a another Weston dehydrator from the company to replace the broken one. Nice. Trying it out right now. Drying some garden Brussel Sprouts. I noticed the heating part working way better that the last machine. So, I geuss it was never working right to begin with. I am excited to see the results of the new machine. Thank you Weston.
Online it said the trays have a chrome finish, but the manual says that they are only stainless steel. Even if they were to have a chrome finish it would not be and issue. Only because you must have at least 10.5% chrome (chromium) as part of the steel for it to be called stainless steel. Chrome needs extreme temperatures to exhaust toxic fumes. So, industrially making stainless still has toxins in the air. That is why much of that process is now mechanical, run by people away from the fumes. I am sure there are still some level of toxic risk working in that environment. Some Stainless steel uses 7% Nickel to and is more flexible. I have read that perhaps it is less toxic to use/process the nickel than the Chromium, But we would have to find different ways to have such strength in metal and or with less pollution. There are other ingredients that have toxic qualities to.
There is 15 square feet of tray space and I bought 4 silicone high heat resistance baking mats to fit the trays. Yes, I may need to by more with a ten tray ability. This will allow me to dry my baked pumpkin/squash in order to then bend it and store in glass jars. Plus the trays square openings are large and items will fall through. I am even considering trying to find stainless steel mesh screens to fit. But I need to find where to get such an item.
This dehydrator is not any louder than my Nesco American harvest was. The fan and heating element are in the back and dehydrate items much more evenly than my old machine. My Weston was half the price of an Excalibur and non-poly=toxic.
I have been using it nonstop since I got it. It has a 12 hour timer. I just crank the timer up whenever I need more time or it is bed time. The front door comes off. I can open it while the machine is on to check food. I have only heated it to 145 so far. The side and top do get hot and I am sure the back with the heating element gets very hot. This machine needs a lot of clearance (more so in the back) and have it be non accessible to people bumping or touching by accident.
If you have a small or large garden. This machine will help you store your harvest and more for a long time in glass jars or other forms of storage as noted at the dehydrate to store site. No hot canning, no freezer to overload. No worry about an electrical outage in the hot summer or cold winter. I learned to dry many items from dehydratetostore.com.
Yes, it is the end of December and I am still processing food. I just finished boiling and then dehydrating the last of my acorn nuts. Blanched and dehydrated some cabbage. I have cabbage, and brussel sprouts just about ready to harvest. Still harvesting and drying Kale, Kohlrabi, and eating Butter crunch lettuce. I have to cover the 2 greens garden boxes during freeze warnings, but so far everything is still alive and producing.