Yep. Round Sunbeam for me too. If I weren't such a stingy bastard at times, I'd spend the $500ish dollars and get a good one.
But the only real difference is time taken; still does the same job in the end.
I understand the reasoning behind a round dehydrator, but in reality, it's not the most practically-shaped appliance for dehydrating meals.
Those whinging about the Sunbeam are irregular users, at best. Get into a routine, and you'll be satisfied with the Sunbeam.
I'm a very regular user of the sunbeam, and I have never rated it.
I make ten serves at a time date and prepare all ingredients with my partner. It's a massive event.
I dry whole bananas. Vegetables. Have tried different meals. It's unbelievably slow. Times stated are never as they are in the book it comes with. It's very in efficient and don't try to load all baskets at once cause it won't dry evenly and can take all day.
I do about twenty tramps a year and all meals are made and prepared by me. I just don't like the sunbeam. It really is crap at doing anything other than drying fruit and vege and not even that good at that.
I now just use it to dry mixed vege because I'm over waiting all day.
Probably 6 or 7 years ago from Briscoes.
Look it does the job. But it's very slow and inefficient . It's the same round one everyone has.
It wasn't made for making high grade tramping meals.
Yes it will dehydrate. But it takes for ever and isn't much better than a normal oven set on 50 degrees with the door slightly ajar.
I guess it depends on what your trying to do and what you expect.
8+yo, model DT5600 - three heat settings but I only use the highest (and the medium if I'm drying veg or fruit overnight).
Gaiters, mine doesn't have a door - it's a stack of round trays with a top that has a central fan and small heat element.
I also use it for meals - all my tramping meals - average of 30/yr.
Easiest is some form of curry/stew. Meat needs to be minced to dry fully. A chicken red curry works well - lots of coconut milk - yum. Reduce it until most of the liquid is evaporated. I line the trays with baking paper (cut out centre hole and cut a few gaps) and spoon on the curry thinly.
After a couple of hours, turn the drying mix over - it's dry enough now to not need the paper. Let it run overnight and it it'll be fully dry.
I add separately dried veg to it rather than cook and dry in one meal - better texture in the finished product.
Soup is a little harder but the results are great - potato zucchini and leek is very good.
Flavour is diminished so make it stronger (eg lots of chilli) than for normal.
Oh, re-read your post - oven door :) now it makes sense.
Here's an easy recipe if you like tuna.
3 425g tins of tuna, drained
1 400ml tin coconut milk
Sambal ulek to taste
Corriander (fresh seed is great but any spice/herb you like)
Put all in a wok (pot) and simmer and reduce until moist only (don't let it stick - the last bit needs near constant stiring).
Allow to cool then spoon onto trays (baking paper as per previous post) and dry on high for a couple of hours (maybe rotate the trays is you're using 3 or more). When dry enough to hang together, remove paper and continue to dry (probably another 6 hours or so). Remove when quite dry, cool and bag.
For me, 50g of this with 40g veg and 90g carbs = a filling meal.
Carbs = rice/pasta (cooked and dehydrated), couscous mix, ramen noodles, etc
It's shelf stable for months but can be fridged or frozen. Tends to lose much of the flavour beyond 12 months.
On a tramp, rehydrate meal mix with 1 cup water (min 1hr but 2hrs better - I have water tight container and add water at lunch so its very well hydrated for dinner)
Boil 1 cup water, add carbs and let sit. Heat hydrated meal, add carbs and eat.
Substitute any of the above ingredients with whatever you prefer - prety flexible recipe, really :)