I recently got my hands on the OSTBA Food Dehydrator and I can tell you that it has taken my snacking game to a whole new level.
As an expert in food dehydrators in particular and in the world of dehydrating in general, my focus for this review has been primarily on jerky and dried fruits because these are the first and most important tests that a new dehydrator up for review must pass.
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In this article:
Key Points for Ostba Dehydrator
- Design: 3.5/5 – Functional and sturdy design, though it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing option.
- Features: 3.5/5 – Basic features, including temperature control, but the lack of a timer might be inconvenient for some.
- Ease of Use: 4/5 – Easy to operate with a relatively easy cleaning process.
- Performance: 3.5/5 – Adequate performance, but it may not distribute heat as evenly as some other models.
- Value for Money: 4/5 – Affordable option, providing decent value for the cost.
- Overall: 3.8/5
TL;DR (Overall Summary)
Having spent considerable time exploring and experimenting with the OSTBA Food Dehydrator Machine, I can confidently say that it’s a worthy investment, particularly for those who are stepping into the world of dehydrating for the first time.
With its affordable price, ease of use, and compact design, it offers a practical and convenient way to create homemade dried fruits, jerky, and other delicious dried foods.
While it might not be the most luxurious or feature-packed model on the market, it delivers where it counts – in performance. It’s not without its quirks, though.
Cleaning can be a bit of a challenge, particularly the base, which seems to attract drippings and can be difficult to thoroughly clean. A timer feature would also be a welcome addition, and there’s certainly room for improvement in the cleaning and capacity aspects.
But, the OSTBA Food Dehydrator Machine shines when it comes to value for money. It’s not designed to last forever, but it offers enough durability and functionality to justify the cost, especially for beginners. Its compact footprint fits neatly in most kitchens, and its operation is quite straightforward, even for those new to the world of dehydrating.
While the OSTBA Dehydrator may lack some of the features found in other brands, it’s an excellent choice for those just starting out or who have smaller drying needs. Its value for money, compact design, and overall performance hold up well in comparison to its more expensive counterparts.
Jerky and Dried Fruits Tests
Here is what I’ve tried and these are some thoughts based on my personal experience with OSTBA Food Dehydrator:
Making jerky is one of the most common uses for a food dehydrator, and the OSTBA Food Dehydrator does a great job with it.
I’ve made both beef and chicken jerky in this dehydrator and they’ve both turned out really well. The recipe book that comes with the dehydrator is a good starting point, but I’ve also experimented with my own marinades and flavors.
I’ve used the OSTBA Food Dehydrator to make dried apples, strawberries, and bananas. The process is really easy and the results are delicious. The only downside is that it can take a while for the fruit to dehydrate fully.
I’ve used the OSTBA Food Dehydrator to make vegetable chips out of sweet potatoes and zucchini. They turned out really well and were a healthier alternative to regular potato chips. I’ve also dehydrated herbs like basil and parsley to use in cooking.
4. Dog Treats
One unexpected use for the OSTBA Dehydrator that I’ve discovered is making dog treats. I’ve made chicken jerky and sweet potato chews for my dog, and he loves them. It’s a great way to give him healthy treats without any added preservatives or chemicals.
Overall, I’ve been really happy with the types of foods I’ve been able to dehydrate in the OSTBA Food Dehydrator. It’s a versatile appliance that can be used for a variety of different foods, and the results have always been tasty.
Design & Build
Upon unboxing, the OSTBA Food Dehydrator’s compact design immediately caught my eye. It neatly tucks next to my air-fryer, requiring minimal counter space.
Although the unit’s small size (is a lot smaller than expected initially, make sure to note down the dimensions LxWxH: 10.2 x 8.26 x 9.8 inches because the product photos make it appear a lot bigger than it actually is) had me questioning its capacity, I was pleasantly surprised by its efficiency and I must say, it’s added a delightful dimension to my kitchen.
Features & Functionality
The dehydrator comes with five trays, designed to accommodate more considerable gaps between layers, an aspect I found particularly helpful while drying larger chunks of fruit or meat.
The digital timer and temperature control were quite a breeze to handle, offering a fine-tuned dehydration process. However, the timer only extends to 99 minutes, a minor drawback for recipes that require longer dehydration times.
Ease of Use & Convenience
I found this dehydrator exceptionally user-friendly. Assembling it was straightforward, and the enclosed booklet, doubling as a cookbook, provided a treasure trove of recipes and dehydrating times and temperatures for various foods. That said, I wish the instructions were a bit more in-depth, particularly for meat dehydration.
In terms of performance, this dehydrator has exceeded my expectations. From delicious beef jerky to crispy apple slices, the end results have been consistently impressive. The machine runs quietly and efficiently, but it does require occasional tray rotation for even drying.
Value Added Extras
The included recipe book is a nice touch, offering guidance for beginners and perhaps a bit of inspiration for more seasoned users. However, the absence of chicken recipes and instructions for meat dehydration left some room for improvement.
Though the compact design is a plus, the motor’s placement at the bottom is a bit concerning, especially when food drippings accumulate. A protective layer to shield the motor would be a valuable safety enhancement.
Price and Value for Money
Despite its shortcomings, the OSTBA Food Dehydrator offers excellent value for money. It’s an economical choice for beginners looking to explore food dehydration without a hefty upfront cost. However, the price might seem steep considering the size and the lack of a timer.
Pros and Cons
Among the perks, the dishwasher-safe trays, easy controls, and the handy recipe book stand out. On the flip side, cleaning the base can be challenging, and the need for tray rotation may not be ideal for everyone. Additionally, its capacity might not suffice for those planning to dehydrate larger quantities.
But let’s talk about the Pros and Cons in more in-depth because this is important:
- Affordability: One of the standout features of the OSTBA Food Dehydrator is its affordability. It’s a great option for those who are new to dehydrating and want to try it out without breaking the bank.
- Two-Way Trays: The trays on the OSTBA Food Dehydrator are designed to fit two ways, which allows for more space between the layers if needed.
- Dishwasher Safe Trays *: The trays are dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning them a breeze. You don’t have to spend a lot of time and effort cleaning them by hand. But, here is the asterisk, some users are reporting bad experiences with the trays and the top after putting them in the dishwasher.
- Recipe Book: The recipe book that comes with the OSTBA Food Dehydrator is a great starting point for beginners. It provides a base for knowing dehydrating times and temperatures for different types of food. No chicken recipes tho.
- Easy Controls: The controls on the OSTBA Food Dehydrator are straightforward and easy to use. Even someone who is new to dehydrating should be able to figure them out quickly.
- Messy Base: One of the biggest complaints about the OSTBA Food Dehydrator is that the base can get messy due to dripping. This can make it difficult to clean and may require additional tools to get into the crevices.
- Limited Capacity: Some reviewers have noted that the OSTBA Food Dehydrator is smaller than expected and can only hold a limited amount of food. This can be a drawback if you plan on dehydrating large quantities of food at once.
- No Timer: The OSTBA Food Dehydrator does not have a timer, which means you have to keep an eye on it and manually turn it off when your food is done.
- The motor on the Bottom: The motor on the bottom of the OSTBA Food Dehydrator can make it difficult to clean and may also be a fire hazard if food drips down into the unit.
- Inaccurate Temperature and Time Settings: Some reviewers have noted that the temperature and time settings on the OSTBA Food Dehydrator don’t match what is standard for dehydrators. This can make it difficult to follow internet recipes and may require some trial and error to get the right settings.
Tips & Tricks
- Keep an eye on the timer, as it only goes up to 99 minutes.
- Rotate the trays every couple of hours for even drying.
- Be cautious with odorous foods, as they may affect the machine.
Comparison With Other Dehydrators
When looking at similar products in the market, the OSTBA Food Dehydrator stands its ground, although different brands come with their unique strengths and weaknesses.
Compared to the Magic Mill Food Dehydrator, the OSTBA is more compact and affordable, making it a great choice for beginners or those with limited kitchen space.
However, the Magic Mill excels in capacity and power, offering more trays and a stronger wattage, making it a good option for those who plan on dehydrating larger batches frequently.
Cosori’s Food Dehydrator is another interesting contender. Like the OSTBA, it’s also user-friendly and comes with a recipe book. However, Cosori tends to stand out with its sleek design and digital controls, which may appeal to users who prefer a more modern aesthetic.
It also includes a timer function, a feature that is lacking in the OSTBA unit. But this comes with a higher price tag, so it boils down to whether these additional features are worth the extra cost for you.
The Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator is another competitor. Similar to the OSTBA model, it’s user-friendly and comes with a recipe book. However, it stands out with its digital thermostat, 48-hour timer, and automatic shut-off feature, providing more control and convenience to the user.
It’s also slightly larger, offering more drying space. While it’s usually more expensive than the OSTBA, the additional features and space might justify the cost, especially for more dedicated dehydrating enthusiasts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I control the temperature on the OSTBA Food Dehydrator?
Yes, the OSTBA Food Dehydrator has an adjustable temperature control that allows you to customize the drying process according to the type of food you’re dehydrating.
Does the OSTBA Food Dehydrator come with a timer?
No, the OSTBA Food Dehydrator does not have a built-in timer feature.
Can I put the trays in the dishwasher?
Yes, the trays of the OSTBA Food Dehydrator are dishwasher-safe. This makes cleaning up after dehydrating your food much easier.
How many trays does the OSTBA Food Dehydrator come with?
The OSTBA Food Dehydrator comes with five trays.
Can I buy additional trays for the OSTBA Food Dehydrator?
Currently, there is no option to purchase additional trays for this dehydrator.
Can I use the OSTBA Food Dehydrator to dry herbs and spices?
Yes, the OSTBA Food Dehydrator can be used to dry a variety of foods, including herbs and spices.
Is the OSTBA Food Dehydrator noisy when in use?
Most users report that the OSTBA Food Dehydrator operates quietly.
Can I use the OSTBA Food Dehydrator to make jerky?
Yes, you can use the OSTBA Food Dehydrator to make jerky. The recipe book that comes with the dehydrator includes instructions on how to do this.
How easy is it to clean the OSTBA Food Dehydrator?
While the trays are dishwasher safe, some users have reported that the base can be more challenging to clean due to food drippings.
Does the OSTBA Food Dehydrator come with a recipe book?
Yes, the OSTBA Food Dehydrator includes a recipe book that provides a great base for knowing dehydrating times and temperatures for various foods.
In conclusion, if you’re looking to venture into the world of homemade jerky, dried fruits, and other dehydrated foods without making a huge financial commitment, the OSTBA Food Dehydrator Machine is definitely worth considering.
It strikes a good balance between cost, performance, and ease of use, making it a solid choice for those looking to try their hand at food dehydration. Although it’s not perfect, it’s a commendable starter dehydrator that delivers good results.
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