I purchased my Open Country 500-watt food dehydrator and jerky kit a little over a year ago from my local Gander Mountain store. I will start out by saying I love this dehydrator. I use it mostly to make venison jerky and to dry fruits and vegetables. My wife did try making the fruit rollup recipe and it didn’t work. She said she may have messed something up though, and we haven’t tried to make it again. Since the dehydrator works excellently for everything else I am not going to hold it responsible for the outcome of the fruit rollup recipe until we try it again.
I use ground venison that I grind myself, for all of the jerky I make. The Jerky Gun that comes with the dehydrator works wonderfully. Once your meat is ground up, all you have to do is add the seasoning and cure and let it sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. This kit does come with some sample seasoning and cure as well as different size jerky tips. These samples had some really good flavors. When you’re ready, all you do is spoon some of your seasoned meat into the jerky gun until it is full. Then close the jerky gun up and squeeze strips out onto the dehydrator trays until all the trays are full. Set the dehydrator to the recommended temperature and you’re good to go. Your house will smell wonderful well the jerky is drying. For me it generally only took 3 ½ – 4 hours until the venison jerky was done. Everybody that has tried my jerky can’t say enough about how much they love it. My kids eat it like candy. The nice thing about making jerky with ground meat instead of solid pieces of meat is that it dehydrates much quicker and it is much easier to chew. It almost melts in your mouth.
The dried fruits and vegetables come out perfect. We like to use the dried fruits and veggies in meals that we bag up for backpacking and camping trips. This is a much healthier way to make your own lightweight meals and snacks for the trail.
So far we have not had any mechanical problems. I also love that this dehydrator is made right here in the U.S.A. You can’t beat that! If you’re looking for a good simple dehydrator and don’t want to spend too much money, then I recommend that you look into buying one of these dehydrators.
I do toy around with drying things using the heat from the sun as well as smoke from a small fire but this is just a modern convenience that I love using, especially during hunting season. Here are two places where you can purchase your very own Open Country Dehydrators.
$79.99 at Gander Mountain
$73.13 + $15.12 (shipping) on Amazon
Feel free to ask me any questions that you might have. I will try to answer to the best of my ability. I hope this review was helpful to somebody. If you don’t dehydrate your own fruits and vegetables or make your own jerky yet, I highly recommend you try. It’s very satisfying as well as fun. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment or a like.
- Adjustable thermostat
- 1.36 cu. ft. expandable capacity
- ABS construction
- Converga-Flow drying action
- Includes jerky gun and other accessories
Make your own beef jerky or trail snacks with the Open Country 500-Watt Food Dehydrator and Jerky Kit. Constructed of durable ABS, this electric dehydrator comes with four trays and a thermostat that is adjustable from 95°F to 155°F. Thanks to the top-mounted fan with Patented Converga-Flow drying action, there’s no need to rotate the trays. Great for hunters, campers, and backpackers. 1.36 cu. ft. drying capacity. Includes two Clean-A-Screens, two fruit roll sheets, jumbo jerky gun with three tips, jerky spice, cure packets, and instruction/recipe booklet. 14″H x 12″W x 14″D. One-year limited warranty.