Tuesday, June 4, 2013


After debating for a long time, we finally decided to get a dehydrator. (Well, the real story is more like this: one day Maya's daddy came home all excited telling me this wonderful machine his coworker had. I got quite upset, because I told him about this thing months ago, but he totally dismissing the idea and said that "we don't need to spoil our dog more". Now he acts like it's the first time he heard about it and it's so awesome because someone else says so...) Anyways, this thing ended up on our kitchen counter a few days later.

There were a few different models to choose from. I picked "Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC", which is 500W and comes with a jerky gun. So far, I'm really pleased with the product and have made 3 batches of treats for Maya and 3 batches of snacks for the humans. The only compliant is that the whole machine is made of plastic, so I'm afraid to put it the trays the dishwasher and some of the smell is hard to get rid of (like beef liver).

There are also a few lessons learned along the way: 1) Sweet potato and fruits should be cut in very thick slices or they'll turn into chips, 2) Tomatoes will not dry with the skin on, 3) The machines should be moved outdoors when drying smelly stuff, 4) Either start drying in the early morning or late at night, cause it takes about 10 hours to dry, 5) For meat, the leaner the better.

For 1.5 pound (24 oz) of ground beef, I can make about 8 oz of beef jerky, which costs about $6 from the grocery store. Compare to what I paid for commercial treats, it's not really that much of a money saver. However, it's feels much better having full control of what's going into the dogs stomach.

[Edit 6/4 12:53] I just read the product description again, and seems like the entire machine is dishwasher-safe except for the power head. I'll try washing a single tray first tonight. (The one with the strong beef liver smell.)

Sweet potato, beef jerky and beef liver treats

Dried fruits

Sweet potato + sardine


  1. I wonder, how do you clean those small tiny gaps in the tray after dehydrating something stinky considering the liquid/ fluid (esp from meat or liver) will stain corners of those tiny little gaps..

    1. After drying, most liquid/fluid turns dry and crispy, so getting them off the tray wasn't a big problem with a sponge. It's just the smell that stays.

  2. The sweet potato + sardine concoction looks like an excellent idea! I'll have to give that a run. We have the same dehydrator. That's funny about Maya's daddy getting all excited when he discovered the idea through his own channels, haha... I mean, who listens to what these crazy online dogladies have to say about the wonders of making your own treats? ;)

    1. I was hoping to make it a bit softer but it turned out quite crispy. I guess it's hard to soften without adding any starch. Just make sure to do it outdoors, or everything and everyone will smell like sardine for a few days. :p

      In my bf's own defense, he said I didn't tell him the machine can make snacks for the humans as well...