Perhaps the only square food dehydrator with a top-mounted fan, the Nesco FD-80 Snackmaster is a highly rated dehydrator with a modest price. The FD-80 is a medium sized dehydrator of the “stacking” design. It comes with 4 trays, each about 1.3 sq ft, for a base drying area of over 5 sq ft. The FD-80 is expandable to 8 trays for a maximum drying area of over 10 sq. ft.
The FD-80 is a newer model from Nesco that features a patented, top-down airflow system that forces air down the exterior pressurized chamber, instead of forcing air through the trays. The air moves down the walls of the interior, flowing across each tray, into the central core, which results in fast and even drying. The combination of a 700 watt heater and the top-mounted fan speeds up drying times considerably.
The Nesco FD-80 Snackmaster is made from an opaque, BPA-free plastic that blocks light, preserving nutrients in the foods you are dehydrating. The power head on the top of the unit can be conveniently lifted off the trays with a built-in bale handle. The FD-80 has a smaller footprint some dehydrators with larger capacity and has a one-year limited warranty.
The Nesco FD-80 Snackmaster has a large number of positive custom reviews on Amazon. Currently there are over 250 reviews, with just under 70% rating the dehydrator with 5 stars. Some of the key positive points mentioned by happy users include:
- Small convenient size
- Reliable, accurate, even heat
- Square size makes it easy to load more food on trays
- Fast drying
- Quiet fan – one user compared it to a box fan on “low”
- Top-mounted motor stays clean since food is below
- Major food categories (fruit, veggies, jerky, etc.) are printed on the lid with recommended temps
Among reviews that are not 5 stars, users had this critical feedback:
- Small, if you plan to do a lot of dehydrating
- Lack of a timer means you’ll need monitor the unit more carefully while dehydrating
- No on/off switch means it can sometimes be inconvenient to turn off and on