Best pressure canner, dehydrator?

Blaundee

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I am going to buy a pressure canner and a dehydrator this summer. I want to get the best for my money, cannot go over $300 on the canner and hopefully less than $200 on the dehydrator. I want the biggest capacity & best quality for my dollar, but would of course like something extremely inexpensive LOL It must serve a large family with a lot of food to preserve, and last a fair amount of time- nothing junky.

What would you reccommend?
 

cheepo

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well the best is well worth the price...
Definitely canner all American is worth the price in my opinion
from time to time I see them go cheaper on craigslist..
and excalabur..is a great dehydrator...worth the extra price..
I actually had a small one I bought at a garage sale,,for $5
but when we did invest in a larger one..was way more powerfull...
but doing jerky over the years I did go through a couple cheap dehydrators..
and Nesco is probably one of the better stacking round dehydrators
I know the price's suck..but it is a lifetime investment..the dehydrator came with
a 10 year warranty where do you see that in this day and age..
 

ORChick

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My Harvest Maid round, stacking dehydrator finally died in December after doing 30 years good work. I would recommend it in a minute, and buy a new one as well, but they don't seem to have the same type or quality anymore. I could be wrong, and perhaps didn't look hard enough, but I haven't heard many good things about the modern ones - I think the company is Nesco now. Anyway, I did spring for the 9 tray Excaliber as a replacement, and must say that I like it very much. It dries things more quickly, but it is louder than the old one. I don't run the machine overnight because of the noise - but the bedrooms are just down the hall from the kitchen, and the kitchen doesn't have a door. Be aware that that 10 year warranty is only (or was only) when buying directly from the company. I got mine through Amazon, and I think the warranty is only 5 years.
As to canners, yes, many people swear by the All American, and I am sure that it is a great product. However I have a glass top stove, for which the AA is unsuited, so I got the larger Presto, and it is a perfectly good canner, and quite a bit cheaper. It fits 9 quarts or 18 pints. If you buy this one go the extra step and get the 3 part weighted jiggler, which is extra. The pot comes with a weight, but it is a single weight of 15#; the 3 part one can be taken apart to make 5, 10, or 15 # weights, and saves you having to watch the gauge all the time.
If I had your budget restraints I would opt for the Excaliber (which might be a bit more than your budget allows) and the Presto (which is less), and thus have everything even out.
 

Denim Deb

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ORChick, I have the same dehydrator! I'm not sure how old mine is, but it's probably about 30 years old as well. But, I haven't used mine as much as you've used yours probably.
 

ORChick

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Denim Deb said:
ORChick, I have the same dehydrator! I'm not sure how old mine is, but it's probably about 30 years old as well. But, I haven't used mine as much as you've used yours probably.
It really was/is a good machine, don't you think? I never worried about shifting the trays around, or any of the other stuff that people complain about with the round dehydrators. It performed well, even with the extra trays that I added to it - I had 12 trays, and the booklet says that it could have handled 30! I dehydrate in spurts - there are times when the machine is going all the time for days on end, and others when it just sits there. Lately the CSA I belong to has started again, and I've had the machine running to dry things like the greens from turnips and beets. With so much other produce I know we won't eat those before they wilt, so I dry them, make powder, and add them to soups and casseroles and such later in the year. (Other things, like the ends of celery, or a last half pepper, etc. end up in the "veg. powder" jar as well. Never the same, but always flavorful.)
 

Denim Deb

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I have 8 trays, and have never had a problem w/it. I sometimes hate the thought that I may have to replace it some day. When I got it, I not only got the 8 trays, but I also got the sheets for liquids, and the mesh. Normally, even if I'm not dehydrating something small, I'll use the mesh since it's easy to take out. I've found it's much easier to remove everything that way. :lol:
 

moolie

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I have a total of 10 trays for my Nesco dehydrator, it's a workhorse.

And my 18L Presto pressure canner is over 30 years old and still going strong.

I think if you buy a reputable brand of either you should be ok, but go somewhere where you can actually look at them and check them out so you can get what you like :)
 

baymule

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I just bought the Excalibur 3900. It has 9 trays for a total of 15 square feet for dehydrating. I also got 9 sheets for liquids and have made peach/apple fruit leather. Yum! I had a little cheap dehydrator and borrowed my DD's round 5 tray dehydrator last summer. You might have a $$ in mind, but what ever you buy, you will live with a looooooong time, so get what you want and what will work best for you the FIRST time. I love my Excalibur.

I bought a Montgomery Ward pressure canner over 30 years ago. It has the dial gauge and I have been kicking myself ever since for not buying a canner with the weights instead.
 

ORChick

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Denim Deb said:
I have 8 trays, and have never had a problem w/it. I sometimes hate the thought that I may have to replace it some day. When I got it, I not only got the 8 trays, but I also got the sheets for liquids, and the mesh. Normally, even if I'm not dehydrating something small, I'll use the mesh since it's easy to take out. I've found it's much easier to remove everything that way. :lol:
DD - When the time comes (and if you opt for an Excaliber) save your sheets for liquids, and maybe the mesh liners too. I did not get the extra solid sheets for the Excaliber, figuring parchment paper would work as well for what I do (and it would, just with a bit more work), but have found that the round sheets from the Harvest Maid fit nicely on top of the Ex. trays. If you do a lot of fruit leather or the like this may be impractical, but for me, the few times I do something that requires a solid surface, this works just fine. I did not keep the mesh inserts, but they would also fit, and the mesh is a bit finer than those that come with the Ex.
 

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