Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator Review


The Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator is a popular choice for home dehydrators. It comes in two models, the FD-75A with 4 trays and the FD-75PR with 5 trays. Both models can be expanded to 12 trays with the purchase of additional Add-A-Trays.

Technical Specs

  • Power: 600 watts
  • Temperature Range: 95°F – 160°F (35°C – 71°C)
  • Air Flow: Vertical
  • Timer: No (This is a common con mentioned in reviews)
  • Number of Trays: 5 (expandable up to 12, additional trays sold separately)
  • Tray Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Tray Diameter: 13.5 inches (0.8 sq. ft. drying area per tray)
  • Dimensions: 13.5″ x 13.5″ x 13.5″
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds

Features of Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator


Dehydrator with broccoli and strawberries

The Nesco Snackmaster Pro is designed with a 5-tray system, offering ample space to accommodate a variety of foods simultaneously. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and meats in moderate quantities. The design is efficient and space-saving, yet it doesn’t compromise on the amount of food you can prepare. For users with larger dehydrating needs, the Snackmaster Pro offers the flexibility to expand its capacity. Additional trays can be purchased separately and easily stacked onto the dehydrator, allowing for the drying of larger batches of food without taking up additional counter space. This feature is particularly beneficial for gardeners, hunters, or anyone who has bulk food items they wish to preserve.


Solid Sheets Two solid sheets are included, which are perfect for drying semi-liquids such as soups, purees, and for making fruit roll-ups. These sheets provide a flat surface that prevents liquid or very small pieces from falling through the trays. Mesh Sheets The dehydrator also includes two mesh sheets. These are ideal for drying smaller items like herbs, spices, and flowers for potpourri, ensuring that they don’t fall through the cracks of the trays.

Person assembling a food dehydrator

Jerky Spice and Cure Packets For meat enthusiasts, the inclusion of three jerky spice and cure packets is a delightful bonus. These packets allow users to dive straight into making homemade jerky, offering a taste of what’s possible with the dehydrator.

Power and Efficiency

The Nesco Snackmaster Pro’s performance is its powerful 600-watt heating element and top-mounted fan. This combination ensures efficient and even heat distribution throughout the dehydrator, a critical factor in achieving consistent drying results.

Nesco dehydrator with food trays

The top-mounted fan plays a crucial role in circulating hot air evenly across all trays, ensuring that each piece of food dries at the same rate. This eliminates the common problem of uneven drying, where some pieces are over-dried while others remain moist.



Sliced fruits arranged on dehydrator trays

Preparing fruits for dehydration in the Snackmaster Pro begins with selecting ripe or just overripe fruits, as they offer the best flavor and sweetness. The process involves washing the fruits thoroughly, then slicing them into uniform pieces to ensure even drying. For fruits prone to browning, such as apples and bananas, a dip in lemon juice can help preserve their color. Once prepared, the fruit slices are arranged in a single layer on the dehydrator trays, ensuring they do not overlap, which could result in uneven drying.

Fruit Rollups

Dehydrator with thermometer

Making fruit rollups with the Snackmaster Pro is a straightforward and fun process. It starts with pureeing the fruit of your choice, adding a sweetener if desired, though it’s often not necessary due to the natural sugars concentrating during the dehydration process. The puree is then spread thinly and evenly onto a solid dehydrator sheet. Setting the dehydrator to the recommended temperature for fruits, usually around 135°F, the puree is dried until it reaches a leathery consistency. Once cooled, the fruit leather can be peeled off the sheet, cut into strips, and rolled up for a tasty, nutritious snack.


Dried fruit in jars and kettle

The results of dehydrating fruits in the Snackmaster Pro are immensely satisfying. Dried fruits retain much of their original flavor, which becomes more concentrated and sweeter as the water content is removed. The texture can vary from chewy to crispy, depending on the thickness of the slices and the drying time. Fruits like apples and pineapples become sweet, chewy treats, while thinner slices can create crispier snacks. The fruit rollups, with their concentrated fruit flavor and chewy texture, are particularly popular among children and adults alike, offering a healthier alternative to store-bought snacks laden with added sugars and preservatives.

Table Comparison

FeatureNesco Snackmaster ProExcalibur 3926TB
DesignRound, stackable traysSquare, shelf-like trays
Airflow SystemTop-mounted fan for vertical airflowRear-mounted fan for horizontal airflow
Capacity5 expandable to 12 trays9 trays standard
Power600 watts600 watts
Temperature ControlAdjustable thermostatAdjustable thermostat with wider range
Special FeaturesIncludes solid and mesh sheets for versatilityTimer with automatic shut-off
UsabilityStackable trays might complicate access to lower traysEasier access to trays with shelf-like design
MaintenanceDishwasher safe parts, easy to cleanDishwasher safe trays, removable door for easy cleaning
PriceMore affordable, great for beginnersHigher price, reflects larger capacity and features


When choosing between the Nesco Snackmaster Pro and the Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator, the decision hinges on your specific needs and preferences:

  • Design and Airflow: The Nesco’s round, stackable design is compact and space-efficient, ideal for smaller kitchens or infrequent use, while the Excalibur’s square, shelf-like layout offers easy access and more space for larger batches.
  • Capacity and Power: Both dehydrators boast 600 watts of power, but the Excalibur provides more drying space out of the box, suitable for extensive dehydrating projects.
  • Features and Usability: The Nesco includes handy accessories for a variety of foods and has an adjustable thermostat, making it versatile and user-friendly. The Excalibur adds a timer and a wider temperature range for more precise control, plus easier tray access.
  • Maintenance and Price: Both models are designed for easy cleaning, but the Excalibur’s higher price reflects its added features and capacity, making it a better fit for serious enthusiasts.

Ultimately, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro is an excellent entry-level dehydrator, offering good value and expandability. The Excalibur 3926TB, with its larger capacity and enhanced features, caters to more demanding dehydrating tasks and frequent use.

Pros and Cons of Nesco Snackmaster Pro


  • Affordable: This is a budget-friendly dehydrator, making it a good option for those new to dehydrating or who don’t need all the bells and whistles.
  • Easy to Use: With a simple on/off switch and adjustable thermostat, it’s straightforward to operate.
  • Produces Evenly Dried Food: The Converga-Flow drying system and top-mounted fan promote consistent drying throughout the trays.
  • Expandable Capacity: You can increase the drying space by purchasing additional trays, allowing you to tackle bigger batches.
  • BPA-Free Trays: The plastic trays are safe for food use.


  • No Timer: This is a major drawback for many users. You’ll need to keep an eye on your food and manually turn off the dehydrator when finished.
  • Thin Trays: The trays may be flimsy and difficult to clean, especially for sticky foods.
  • Limited Features: Compared to pricier dehydrators, it lacks features like a digital display for precise temperature control or automatic shut-off.
  • Large Footprint: The square design might take up more counter space than some cylindrical dehydrators.

Maintenance Tips

Cleaning the Trays

  1. After Use: Allow the trays to cool completely after use before attempting to clean them.
  2. Removing Food Particles: Gently shake or tap the trays over a trash can to dislodge any loose food particles. For stuck-on food, a soft brush or a spatula can help in removing the residues.
  3. Soaking: If food residue is not coming off easily, soak the trays in warm, soapy water for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will help in loosening the stuck-on food particles.
  4. Scrubbing: Use a soft brush or a non-abrasive sponge to scrub the trays gently. Avoid using harsh scrubbers or steel wool, which can damage the surface of the trays.
  5. Rinsing: Rinse the trays thoroughly under running water to remove all soap residue.
  6. Drying: After washing, allow the trays to air dry completely before reassembling them in the dehydrator. You can also dry them with a clean towel if you prefer.

Cleaning the Dehydrator Unit

  1. Unplug: Always ensure the dehydrator is unplugged and cool before you start cleaning the unit.
  2. Wiping the Interior: Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the interior surfaces of the dehydrator. You can use a mild detergent if necessary. Be careful not to let water seep into the electrical components.
  3. Cleaning the Fan and Heating Element: For most models, it’s not advisable to wash the fan and heating element area directly. Instead, use a soft, dry brush or a cloth to gently remove any dust or food particles.
  4. Exterior Cleaning: Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth. If there are stubborn stains, a mild detergent can be used, but ensure no moisture gets into the unit’s electrical system.
  5. Reassembling: Once all parts are dry, reassemble the dehydrator, ensuring everything is correctly in place.

Tips for Maintenance

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your dehydrator regularly to prevent the buildup of odors and bacteria.
  • Check Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always refer to your dehydrator’s user manual for specific cleaning and maintenance instructions, as some models may have unique requirements.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaners that can damage the surfaces or leave harmful residues.


In summary, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator emerges as an accessible, versatile, and effective tool for a broad spectrum of drying needs. Its ability to adapt with additional trays and the variety of accessories provided make it a comprehensive choice for food preservation. The 600-watt motor and efficient airflow design facilitate even drying without manual tray rotation, streamlining the dehydration process.


1. Can I expand the capacity of my Nesco Snackmaster Pro?
Yes, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro comes with 5 trays, but it’s designed to be expandable up to 12 trays. Additional trays can be purchased separately to increase the dehydrator’s capacity, allowing you to dry larger quantities of food at once.
2. Do I need to rotate the trays during the dehydration process?
No, one of the advantages of the Nesco Snackmaster Pro is its top-mounted fan that ensures even airflow and heat distribution across all trays, eliminating the need for manual rotation of the trays.
3. Can I dehydrate different types of food at the same time?
Yes, you can dehydrate different types of food simultaneously, as long as they have similar drying times. However, be mindful of strong aromas that may transfer between foods, such as dehydrating garlic alongside fruits.
4. How do I clean my Nesco Snackmaster Pro?
The trays are dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean. For the dehydrator unit, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. Ensure the unit is unplugged and completely cool before cleaning.
5. Are there any foods that cannot be dehydrated in the Nesco Snackmaster Pro?
Most foods can be dehydrated, but it’s advisable to avoid high-fat items that can spoil and dairy products that may not dehydrate well. Always consult the manual for specific guidelines.
6. How long does it take to dehydrate food in the Nesco Snackmaster Pro?
Dehydration times can vary depending on the type of food, its moisture content, and the thickness of the slices. It can range from a few hours for herbs to over ten hours for thicker fruit slices. Consult the manual for specific guidelines.
7. Can I make jerky in the Nesco Snackmaster Pro?
Absolutely! The Nesco Snackmaster Pro is equipped for making homemade jerky from beef, poultry, or fish. It comes with jerky spice and cure packets to get you started.
8. Is the Nesco Snackmaster Pro suitable for making fruit rollups?
Yes, the dehydrator includes solid sheets specifically designed for making fruit rollups or fruit leathers. Simply spread your fruit puree on these sheets, and the dehydrator will do the rest.
9. How do I store dehydrated foods?
Once dehydrated, foods should be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dark place to maximize shelf life. Some foods may benefit from vacuum sealing for extended storage.
10. Can I use the Nesco Snackmaster Pro to rise bread dough or make yogurt?
The Nesco Snackmaster Pro is primarily designed for dehydrating foods. While some dehydrators offer the versatility for tasks like dough rising or yogurt making, it’s important to consult your device’s manual to ensure these uses are recommended by the manufacturer.

Joel Cunningham
Joel Cunningham
Forestry Author

I'm Joel Cunningham, an expert in pruning and weed management with over a decade of experience. My skills are rooted in formal training and extensive practice, focusing on advanced pruning techniques and efficient weed control. I'm known for my quality work, precision, and deep understanding of plant health and soil dynamics. My contributions extend to educational initiatives where I share sustainable practices and advice, establishing myself as a reliable and authoritative figure in the gardening community.


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