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As someone who frequently uses a food dehydrator, I was excited to try the Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator (Magic Mill MFD-1010). It was a bit of a gamble when I ordered the Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator, but boy, am I thrilled I did!
In just a month, I’ve put this machine to work, mainly for making beef jerky, and it’s impressively efficient – a big step up from my old plastic dehydrator. As a hands-on user, I’m here to share my experiences with this powerful piece of culinary technology and provide an in-depth, comprehensive review to help you decide if this is the dehydrator you’ve been searching for.
In this article:
Overall Summary (TL;DR)
I highly recommend this dehydrator. The Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator is a powerful kitchen appliance offering significant drying space and silent operation, making it ideal for bulk dehydrating.
While its size may be a challenge for smaller kitchens, the value it delivers makes it a worthwhile investment for those who frequently dehydrate food and it’s fantastic for both small and large dehydration projects.
Despite minor flaws like the lack of an off switch and slight unevenness in air distribution, the dehydrator’s excellent performance and appealing aesthetics make it a compelling choice.
Overall, it’s a worthy investment for frequent dehydrators. And if you’re considering this dehydrator, I also recommend getting silicone dehydrating mats for each metal tray – a real game-changer, don’t hesitate – it’s worth every penny!
My decision to purchase this unit was fueled by intensive research, and I must say, I have no regrets. Ever since I invested in the Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator, my kitchen game has certainly gone up a notch.
Over the last month, I’ve put this machine through its paces, making beef jerky and the difference from my previous, inexpensive, plastic one is substantial – it takes significantly less time with this dehydrator! I once filled it almost to the brim with 20 pounds of apples, and it handled the load impeccably.
Not just apples, I’ve also experimented with banana chips, pineapple rings, and other dehydrated fruits. The results? My family adores the healthy, homemade snacks I whip up, especially all of the dehydrated fruits it churns out.
The most impressive feature for me is the vast amount of space it provides. Bear in mind that this thing is a beast, an 11-tray model! It’s got a full 18 sq ft of rack space and it’s heavy, courtesy of its sturdy stainless-steel build.
With 11 stainless steel trays, I can fit in a lot of food items all at once. While I do wish it had an off switch at the back and displayed more accurate temperature readings, these are minor inconveniences that don’t overshadow its overall performance.
The temperature control does not allow for selection to 1 degree. It moves in 9F intervals from 95-167F. While this could be a negative for some, for me, it still produces outstanding jerky and dried veggies.
In terms of heating speed, it impressively goes from cold to around 167-170°F in just 20 minutes. And, it does justice to the Magic Mill legacy – having previously owned a 7-tray Magic Mill dehydrator, I was able to compare their performances firsthand. The 11-tray model is a huge step up!
This dehydrator allows me to dehydrate large batches of food at a time. It dries the food evenly, leaving it crispy and delicious. For example, I was able to dehydrate 9 lbs of meat cut 3.5mm thick. The total time was about 5 hours, including 30 minutes to preheat while placing all the meat on the racks. I was pretty impressed by the speed and efficiency.
For fruit lovers out there, this machine is also a fantastic tool to prepare dried fruits and all-natural dog treats, perfect for those trying to opt for healthier snack alternatives.
The Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator is also great for making homemade dog treats and adds a touch of health to your breakfast cereals.
The machine’s size can be a bit challenging in a smaller kitchen, but its quiet operation and functionality outweigh this issue.
Two clever design features I discovered are worth mentioning.
- First, the shelves can stack at the bottom of the unit, freeing up 10.5 vertical inches – a godsend for those of us with limited storage space. Not only does this cater to storage constraints, but it also allows me to use the dehydrator as a bread proofer or plate warmer without worrying about rack storage.
- Second, the cabinet sides and top remain pleasantly cool during operation. This, I figured, is due to the forward-side vent holes acting as inlets, not exhaust ports, recirculating the heat around the cabinet, which ultimately boosts efficiency. The fan in the back draws in air from around the cabinet, improving efficiency by reusing potential heat loss.
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. This machine has no on-off switch and the display remains on. Does that bother me? Not at all! This dehydrator is far too big to permanently occupy my countertop space, so I simply unplug it once I’m done and tuck it away. It’s that easy.
The unit is quite sizable and heavy, as expected from an 11-tray machine built out of solid stainless steel. Before you invest in this dehydrator, consider where you’d use and store it. Its size may not suit a permanent spot on your counter unless you’re keen on sacrificing some space.
For me, it perfectly fits atop our secondary fridge, making the front controls a significant benefit.
This isn’t a cute countertop appliance; it’s a serious piece of kitchen equipment, complete with vents designed for efficient dehydration.
The Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator doesn’t just perform well, it also looks good. It has a smart, industrial design with a durable stainless-steel finish. The ease of use with a raw food setting button is an added bonus for those on a raw food diet.
Despite being hefty, stainless steel, 11-tray machine, don’t let its size deter you – it’s worth every bit of counter space it occupies! There are vents on the side of the unit and the door is purposely designed to not seal, creating a vent. This dehydrator is perfect for a multitude of uses – whether it’s adding a fruity touch to your cereals or making all-natural dog treats. Plus, its ease of cleaning adds to its appeal.
Pros (What I Like)
There’s plenty to admire about this machine. The controls are quite straightforward and user-friendly.
- The vast drying space it provides with its 11 stainless steel trays is incredible, allowing me to dehydrate a large batch of food simultaneously.
- The fact that the trays can be stacked inside the unit and that it has vent holes to reduce heat loss shows that it has been designed with efficiency in mind.
- I also like that it alerts me with a beep when the food is ready, which is a feature that my previous dehydrators didn’t have.
I can’t overlook how quiet it is – only producing a whisper-like white noise that is hardly noticeable and doesn’t produce excessive heat, making it pleasant to have in the kitchen.
One of the features that I absolutely love is the raw food button. With just a single push of a button, I can choose the raw food setting and not even have to bother with the temperature. This is handy for vegans who only eat raw food, so you can only use the dehydrator at 113 degrees for everything.
I’ve even made my life easier by investing in silicone dehydrating mats for each metal tray – these have been game-changers in terms of clean-up.
Cons (What I Don’t Like)
Like all appliances, it’s not without its shortcomings and I’ve found a few small grievances to note.
- Firstly, the door lacks a handle, which makes it a tad inconvenient to open when my hands are full. Instead, I have to wedge my fingers between the door and the body to detach it from the magnets that keep it sealed. I can only assume that they skipped adding a handle for aesthetic reasons.
- Secondly, the machine does require cleaning if anything drops or drips through the trays. It doesn’t come with a removable tray to catch any mess. However, I found a simple workaround for this. I use one of the fruit leather trays it came with and set it sideways at the bottom of the machine while making jerky. This modification does an excellent job of catching all the drippings and makes cleaning a breeze.
- Thirdly, to change the time and temperature settings, the machine needs to be started. This seemed counterintuitive at first as most appliances let you set these parameters before turning them on.
The air blown over the trays is a bit uneven due to the fan hub in the middle of the unit, causing uneven dehydration. The solution? I just leave out the center racks and use 8 instead of 11. It’s a minor inconvenience for an otherwise excellent machine.
- The lack of an off switch is a slight inconvenience, and the temperature control exhibits minor fluctuations.
- Lastly, the trays being slightly off-square could cause confusion when loading. Also, the tray racks can be a bit tricky to pull out once the unit gets warm, especially when it’s filled with food.
That said, I think the fantastic results more than make up for this minor inconvenience.
Maintenance and cleaning are relatively easy, thanks to the dehydrator’s all-stainless-steel design. After every use, I simply soak the trays and use a soft brush to clean them. The inside of the unit also cleans easily with a damp cloth.
For drying sticky items like liver treats for my dog and dog cookies, I use silicon or Teflon sheets, which fit perfectly and make the cleanup a breeze. Moreover, the dehydrator comes with five fruit roll-up/drip trays and fine mesh trays, which have been very helpful in dehydrating smaller items like blueberries.
The unit’s durability and longevity are yet to be fully tested. However, given its robust stainless steel construction, it’s fair to expect it will stand up to regular use over time.
Comparisons With Other Dehydrators
Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator vs. Magic Mill MFD-7070 7 Tray Dehydrator
The Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator has a larger capacity than the MFD-7070, with 11 trays compared to 7. Both have a digital timer and temperature control, but the MFD-7070 includes a keep warm function. If capacity is your top concern, the 11 Tray model would be a better choice, but if you want additional features and a smaller footprint, the MFD-7070 could be the way to go.
Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator vs. NutriChef Premium 14 Shelf Dehydrator
Both devices boast a powerful 1000W motor. The NutriChef Premium has more shelves but is designed with round trays, which could limit the type and shape of food you want to dehydrate. On the other hand, the Magic Mills model’s rectangular trays may offer more flexibility. If sheer shelf quantity is your priority, the NutriChef model would be ideal, but if you prefer more spacious and versatile trays, the Magic Mills model could be the right choice.
Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator vs. Excalibur 3926TB 9 Tray Dehydrator
The Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator has more trays and a higher wattage (1000W vs 600W), but the Excalibur 3926TB includes a 26-hour timer, automatic shut-off, and temperature control. Excalibur is also a respected brand known for its durable and reliable machines.
If you need a higher capacity and power, go for the Magic Mills. But if you want the convenience of a long timer and auto shut-off, the Excalibur 3926TB could be a better choice.
Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator vs. Excalibur 3900B 9-tray Dehydrator
The Excalibur 3900B, like the 3926TB, has fewer trays than the Magic Mills model but includes adjustable thermostat controls. However, it lacks a timer, which the Magic Mills model does include.
Choose the Magic Mills model for more capacity and power, or opt for the Excalibur 3900B if an adjustable thermostat is a priority.
Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator vs. NutriChef Premium 10 Shelf Dehydrator
While the Magic Mills model has an extra tray, both models are powered by a 1000W motor. The NutriChef Premium model features a touch-control LED display for ease of use.
If you prefer an extra tray, go for the Magic Mills model, but if you value a touch-control interface, the NutriChef Premium model may be more suitable.
Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator vs. ROVRak 12-Tray Dehydrator
The ROVRak 12-Tray Dehydrator has one more tray than the Magic Mills model but has no mention of its wattage. It also boasts a double-layer heat insulation feature for energy efficiency.
If you want more trays and energy efficiency, the ROVRak model would be a good choice. But if power is a priority, the Magic Mills model would be better due to its confirmed 1000W capacity.
Ultimately, the Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator is a great option for those who value power and capacity. Depending on your specific needs, one of the other models may be more suitable, but it’s important to prioritize what you value most in a dehydrator to guide your decision.
|Number of Trays
|Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator
|Digital Timer, Temperature Control
|Users who prioritize dehydrating in bulk
|Magic Mills MFD-7070 7 Tray Dehydrator
|Keep Warm Function, Safety Over-Heat Protection
|Users who prioritize additional features over capacity
|NutriChef Premium 14 Shelf Dehydrator
|Users who prioritize shelf quantity over tray shape and size
|Excalibur 3926TB 9 Tray Dehydrator
|26-Hour Timer, Automatic Shut-Off, Temperature Control
|Users who value timer functions and auto shut-off over power and capacity
|Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Dehydrator
|Users who prioritize precise temperature control over power and capacity
|NutriChef Premium 10 Shelf Dehydrator
|Touch-Control LED Display
|Users who prioritize a modern touch-control interface
|ROVRak 12-Tray Dehydrator
|Double-Layer Heat Insulation
|Users who prioritize energy efficiency and a higher number of trays
Is the Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator easy to use?
Yes, it is quite user-friendly. The digital thermostat and timer make setting up the dehydration process straightforward. However, it’s important to rotate the trays for even dehydration.
Does it have an on/off switch?
No, the device does not have an on/off switch. You would need to plug it in and unplug it for operation and shutdown.
How quiet is the Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator?
The Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator is surprisingly quiet for its size and power. Users have reported it’s no louder than a standard fan.
Does it distribute heat evenly?
Some users have noted a slight unevenness in heat distribution, requiring occasional tray rotation for perfectly even dehydration.
Is the Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator easy to clean?
Yes, it is quite easy to clean. The trays are removable and dishwasher-safe.
What is the size of this dehydrator? Will it take up a lot of space?
The Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator is fairly large, measuring 19 x 17 x 16 inches. It will require a sizable amount of countertop space, so be sure to measure your available space before purchasing.
Is the Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator worth the investment?
Yes, despite a few minor drawbacks, its capacity, ease of use, and efficient performance make it a worthy investment for those who frequently use a dehydrator.
Overall, I absolutely adore this dehydrator – it’s an asset to my kitchen and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. From its stainless steel build to its whisper-quiet operation, it’s a quality product that I highly recommend.
Whether it’s a batch of homemade beef jerky, slices of apples, or trays of banana chips, the Magic Mills 11 Tray Dehydrator doesn’t disappoint. It’s a stellar product that I wouldn’t exchange for anything else.
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