The description for the NutriChef PKFD12 claims all the user has to do is put their food into the trays, flick a switch, and like magic the food will be dehydrated. It claims to retain 97% of nutritional value in the food, and to work on a variety of foods like chips, fish, jerky, etc. It weighs 6.8 pounds and has a sleek design, in either black or white, and should easily fit on any kitchen countertop.
When I first opened the box, I was immediately unimpressed. The dehydrator just sat in the box, no packing peanuts or bubble wrap around it. To be honest, I figured it would have broken during the journey. Luckily, I took it out and everything seemed to be fine, though that is probably more due to luck than the company’s shipping practices.
In regards to the design, I will say that the clear trays are a nice touch. They make it easy to see how your food is coming along, which makes the entire process a lot more pleasant. The operation is as easy as they claim; just a power on and off switch. If you need it, there is also a manual that comes with it but most people should be able to figure it out on their own.
I’ll admit, aside from the packaging, everything looked good and I was eager to try it!
How Well Does it Work?
I figured I would start with something simple, so the first thing that I did was dehydrate some apples. It took about five hours to dehydrate five apples, which is a fair amount of time. Not spectacular, not disappointing. The apples were as dehydrated as any I’d ever seen, so it worked really well as far as I was concerned!
I was also pleasantly surprised to find that cleaning it was a breeze. I was a little nervous to see the trays and thought that food might have a tendency to get stuck, but luckily I was very wrong. No issue cleaning it, and I was ready to get on to my next item.
The next thing I dehydrated was jerky, since the ability to make great jerky has been a selling point with this model. At this point I was starting to really believe in the product, and I definitely did not regret it. The dehydrator took about 7 hours for 1/4″ cup of jerky, but it was worth the wait. Completely dehydrated and the cleanup was just as easy as the apples! A lot of people buy this dehydrator specifically for jerky, and for good reason!
Overall, my only issue with this product (other than the packaging) was that it made a kind of noise when it ran. It wasn’t loud by any stretch, but it also put off a decent amount of heat from the power it was using. It didn’t bother me, but I could imagine it warming up a small apartment, so that is something to be mindful of. Overall, though, I was very much impressed with this dehydrator and would recommend it to anyone in need of a good dehydrator, especially if they like jerky.