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Home > Food, Fruit, Vegetable, & Meat Dehydrators / Dehydrator > Stainless Steel Food Dehydrators By the Sausage Maker > BESTSELLER: Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator D5 with Stainless Steel Shelves

Five shelf, compact steel dehydrator!  Item Number: 32766

Availability: Usually ships in 3-4 business days

List: $480.00Order Yours: $428.99
You Save $51.01
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Stainless shelves available. Also available with chrome shelves..

Great for drying jerky, fruit, herbs and vegetables. Comes with:
 Rear mounted fan
 1000 Watt 110 Volt Heating Element
 Adjustable thermostat with a 95 - 150 range
New SS Shelves can be 1/4" grid, or 3/4" grid, call to specify.  (5) Stainless Steel Shelves 16-1/4" x 14-1/2" with 1/4" or 3/4"; Square Holes
Dimensions: 18-3/4" Length x 16-1/2" Width x 9" Height - Weighs 35 pounds


Drying food for preservation dates back to the ancient Egyptians.  The Spaniards were the first explorers known to use dehydration to prepare food for their expeditions.  The method was used extensively in the days of the Lewis and Clark expedition as they charted the expanse of the Louisiana Land Purchase.  Buffalo, elk and deer were plentiful, but their success relied heavily on the proper use of this preserving method.

The D5, D10 and D14 dehydrators were designed and constructed to help you get the best results possible.  The shells are made of durable stainless steel so they are easy to clean and maintain.  They will not rust or crack when used properly.  All electric components used are UL listed for safety and reliability.  The information in this manual is intended to help you get the best results from this equipment.  Please read this booklet carefully and call the manufacturer if you have any questions. 


There are no exact rules that apply to food dehydration because your results can be affected by room temperature, relative humidity and moisture levels in the food that you are drying.  To become proficient, it will be necessary to experiment with your drying techniques.  If you use too much heat, food may harden on the outside while still being moist inside.  Too little heat, your drying times will be very long.  But with a little practice, you will be creating tasty, ready to eat snacks in no time.

Important Safeguards:

  1. Read All of these instructions thoroughly before using.
  2. Save these instructions for the future reference.
  3. Never leave your dehydrator unattended.
  4. Close supervision is required if the unit will be used around children.
  5. For use only indoors in a clean, dry location, free of flammable operating.
  6. This unit gets hot.  Do not touch surfaces while operating.
  7. This unit may scratch household surfaces.
  8. Do not use if the cord or controls have been damaged in any way.  Contact the manufacturer before attempting to make any repairs.
  9. Do not use sharp utensils inside the unit.
  10. Unplug the unit when not in use
  11. Allow unit to cool before cleaning.
  12. Clean with damp cloth and mild detergent.
  13. Never immerse unit or cord in water or other liquids.
  14. Never plug unit into a damaged electrical outlet.
  15. Do not allow the cord to contact the edge of a counter, table or hot surface.
  16. The use of attachments or accessories is not recommended by the manufacturer and will void the warranty.
  17. Do not attempt to move this unit while it is operating.
  18. Continuous operation above 180 degrees F is not recommended as surfaces will become very hot.
  19. Do not operate this unit above 200 degrees F, as this may trip the safety thermo disc .  If disc is tripped, the coil will not heat again until the unit has cooled.

Preparation of Foods (Pre-Treatment):

For best results, select the freshest foods available to dehydrate.  Note that immature fruits and vegetables do not have as much color and flavor as do those that are fully matured.  Foods should be dehydrated as soon after purchase as possible.  Foods high in sugar such as apples, pears, peaches and bananas are prone to darkening as a result of oxidation of the sugars.  Below are some pre-treatments that will help reduce this effect.

Lemon and pineapple juice are natural antioxidants.  Place the sliced product in the juice for a few minutes, remove, drain and place on the dehydrator shelf.  For extra flavor, try sprinkling on cinnamon, Jell-O powders or other sweeteners.

Ascorbic acid mix, a form of vitamin C which is available at most health food stores, comes in either a tablet or powder form.  Use about 2-3 tablespoons of powder or ground tablets per quart of water.  Stir to completely dissolve powder.  Place fruit into the solution for 2-3 minutes.  Remove and place on the dehydrator shelf.

Sodium Bisulfate can be purchased at your local pharmacy.  If you or anyone who will be eating the food has any known chemical allergies, you should check with your physician before using this chemical.  Be certain to ask for food grade safe product only.  Mix 1 teaspoon of sodium bisulfate in 1 quart of water.  Dip the sliced fruit in the solution for a few minutes.  remove, drain and place on the dehydrator shelf.

Blanching is used primarily to prepare fruits and vegetables for dehydrating that have skins that will toughen during drying.  this process helps lock in the color and flavor as well as soften the skin of grapes, cherries, prunes and plums.  There are two blanching methods, water and steam.

  • Water blanching - Fill a large pan about half full of water.  Bring water to a boil.  Use tongs to place food directly into the water, cover pan and blanch for about 3 minutes.  Remove, drain and place on the dehydrator shelf.
  • Steam blanching - Using a steamer pot, put 2-3 inched of water in the pan and bring to a boil.  Place food into the steamer basket, place in pan and cover.  Steam food for about 5 minutes.  Remove and place in the dehydrator shelf.

Operating Instructions:

For the safest and best results, read all of the instructions first. 

  1. Exam the carton and unit for any damage that may have occurred during shipping.  Contact the manufacturer and carrier if there is damage.
  2. Fill out and return the product warranty card.  The card must be on file for your warranty to take effect.
  3. Make sure the power switch is turned off.  Place the unit on a clean, dry surface away from children or pets.  Plug into an undamaged electrical outlet.  DO not use an extension cord with your machine!
  4. Turn on the unit.  You will hear the fan start and on the D12, the number s on the control panel will flash and the unit will beep.  The unit will begin tot heat up.  You may hear the heating element cycle on and off depending on the temperature that you have selected. 
  5. Lift the door up 2-3 inched and heat until at 90 degrees F for 45 minutes to remove any moisture.
  6. If the unit stops for any reason, turn off, unplug, and call the manufacturer.
  7. Follow your recipe for the food that you wish to dehydrate than place the food evenly on the shelves provided.  The manufacturer recommends using cooking spray on the shelves to prevent sticking.  Do not over lap the food.
  8. Using  oven mitts, remove the front panel by sliding it straight up.  Set it aside on a heat resistant surface.
  9. Carefully place shelves onto the rails inside the unit and slowly slide them in.  Forcing the shelves in may damage the heating assembly.
  10. Slide the cover into place.
  11. On the D12, set the desired temperature by turning the corresponding knob.  On the D10, set the temperature by turning the knob on the top of the unit.  Monitor the internal temperature and adjust as needed.
  12. Monitor the unit to ensure that the proper temperature is maintained.  If the internal temperature exceeds 180 degrees F, it may damage the unit.  If the temperature of the unit reaches 180 degrees F, turn off and allow to cool. 
  13. If drying is uneven, use oven mitts to turn the shelves 180 degrees.
  14. For very moist foods such as tomatoes, it may be necessary to prop open the front cover 1 1/2 inches with a small block of wood for the first 2 hours of operation.  This will increase the air flow and help drive excess moisture out of the unit.
  15. Note.  Moisture may collect on the bottom of the unit during operation and can be wiped out with a paper towel.  Avoid touching the walls and shelves with your bare hands as burns may result.

Food Drying Guides:

The following charts are guidelines for the preparation of various fruits, vegetables and meats.  Drying times will vary on the room temperature, relative humidity and moisture levels in the food that you are drying.  If the moisture level is low, the drying time will be on the low end of the range.  If the moisture level is high, then the drying time will be on the high end end of the range.

Keep in mind that drying times are also affected by the amount of food placed on the shelves.  Over loading the shelves will slow the drying times and may produce poorer results.  When dehydrating foods, it is important to check on the dryness of the product.  If the product is not thoroughly dried, mold may form during storage.  To test for dryness, remove a piece of food from the dehydrator and allow to cool to room temperature.  Bend and tear the piece to check for internal moisture.

Food Drying Guide, Vegetables at least 125 degrees F

Food Preparation Test Time

wash and cut into 1 inch pieces.

Crunchy 4-6 hours
Beans, Green or Waxed Wash, remove ends and cut into 1 inch pieces or French style. Crunchy 9-12 hours
Beets Remove 1/2 inch of top, scrub, blanch until tender.  Peel and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Pliable 9-12 hours
Broccoli Wash and trim.  Cut stems into 1/4 inch pieces.  Dry florets whole. Crunchy 10-14 hours
Cabbage Wash and trim.  Cut into 1/8 inch strips. Crunchy 8-11 hours
Carrots Wash and trim tops.  Peel or scrape of desired.  Cut into 1/8 inch thick slices. Pliable 7-11 hours
Celery Wash, separate leaves and stalks.  Cut stalks into 1/4 inch strips. Crunchy 3-10 hours
Corn Shuck corn and trim silk.  Steam until milk is set.  Cut kernels from cob and spread on plastic drying sheet.  Stir several times during drying. Crunchy 7-10 hours
Cucumbers Wash and trim.  Cut into 1/8 inch slices. Pliable 4-8 hours
Eggplant Wash and Peel.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Pliable 4-8 hours
Mushrooms Wash and cut into 3/8 inch slices. Pliable 4-7 hours
Parsnips Scrub, steam blanch until tender.  Peel if desired and cut into 3/8 inch thick slices. Pliable/Tough 7-11 hours
Peppers Wash and remove stems, seeds and white section.  Pat dry.  Cut into 1/4 inch thick strips or rings. Pliable 4-8 hours
Potatoes Use new potatoes.  Wash and peel if desired.  Steam blanch 4-6 minutes.  Cut french fry style.  !/4 inch slices, 1/8 inch thick circles or grate. Crunchy/Pliable 7-13 hours
Summer Squash Wash and peel.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Pliable 10-14 hours
Tomatoes Wash and remove stems.  Slice into 1/4 inch circles.  for cherry tomatoes, slice in half, dry skin side down. Pliable 5-9 hours
Zucchini Wash, peel if desired.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices or chips. Crunchy 7-11 hours

Drying Guide Fruits, 135 Degrees F

Food Preparation Test Time
Apples Wash, core and peel if desired.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices.  Dust with cinnamon if desired. Pliable 7-15 hours
Apricots Wash, halve and remove pit.  Slice if desired and dry skin side sown. Pliable 21-29 hours
Bananas Wash, peel and slice into 1/8 inch slices. Pliable 7-10 hours
Figs Wash, cut out blemishes, quarter.  Dry skin side down. Pliable 22-30 hours
Kiwi Wash, peel and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Crisp 8-15 hours
Nectarines Wash, halve and remove pit.  Slice of desired and dry skin side down. Pliable 8-17 hours
Peaches Wash, halve and remove pit.  Slice of desired and dry skin side down. Pliable 8-16 hours
Pears Wash, core and peel if desired.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices or quarter. Pliable 8-16 hours
Pineapple Peel, remove fibrous eyes, remove core.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices or wedges Pliable 11-18 hours
Rhubarb Wash, cut into 1 inch lengths. Pliable 6-10 hours
Strawberries Wash, cut out caps, slice 1/4 inches thick. Crisp 7-15 hours
Watermelon Cut off rind, cut into wedges and remove seeds. Pliable and sticky 8-10 hours

Food Drying Guide, Jerky at 145-150 Degrees F

Food Preparation Test Time
Jerky Use lean meat and remove as much fat as possible.  Fat turns rancid with time.  Cut uniform 1/4 inch thick or less slices.  Do not over lap slices on the shelves. Pliable 3-4 hours.  Meat Temperature should reach 145-150 degrees F

Food Storage:

Dried foods should be allowed to condition before being placed into a storage container.  Generally let stand about one week in a dry, well ventilated and protected area.  The conditioning time allows for further drying and removes most of the remaining moisture in the food.  Dried foods can be placed into clean, dry, insect resistant containers, preferably glass jars.  Heavy gauge plastic freezer bags can also be used.  Eliminate as much air as possible before sealing the bag.  Vacuum sealers provide ideal storage when properly used.  The less air present, the less potential for the formation of molds.  Stored foods should be checked monthly for insects and mold.  If mold is present, you can scrape it off, place he food on a cookie sheet and heat in the oven at 175 degrees F for 15-25 minutes.  Re-pack into a clean, air tight container.


Dried foods do not need to be reconstituted for consumption.  Many people prefer to eat them in their dried state.  If you want to reconstitute your food, here are some basic guidelines.  Soak food in unsalted water for 3-7 minutes and then prepare as usual.  If you are boiling them, use the same water they were soaked in to preserve nutrients.  If you plan to soak foods more than 1 hour, they should be placed in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth.  One cup of dried vegetables reconstitutes to about 2 cups.  One cup of dried fruit reconstitutes about 1 1/2 cups.  Reconstitution times will vary depending on the thickness of the food and the water temperature used.  Warm water will speed reconstitution but may result in some loss of flavor. 


To clean the unit, remove the shelves and wash separately.  Wipe off both exterior and interior surfaces of the unit with a damp cloth and mild detergent.  Do not use scouring pads pr abrasive cleaners.  Never immerse the unit or power cord in liquids!

Reviewing The Dehydrating Process:

  1. Use high quality food.
  2. Wash food, use clean utensils and keep work station clean.
  3. Pre-treat foods to prevent discoloration.
  4. Do not over lap foods on shelves.
  5. Drying times will vary depending on food thickness, moisture in the food, relative humidity and room temperature.
  6. Cool food before testing for dryness.
  7. Rotate trays 180 degrees F if you notice uneven drying.
  8. Let food condition in a clean, dry, ventilated area for a week before placing them into air tight containers.
  9. Reconstitute as needed.
  10. And last but not least ENJOY!




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Homestead Harvest
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