TEMP. RANGE (°F)
130 – 160
– Purpose built for jerky – Simple design – Excellent performance – Unbeatable price – Efficient – Reliability
– Noisy during use – Limited versatility – No temperature adjustment – Uninspiring looks
When you want a kitchen appliance for making delicious dried jerky snacks you probably do not want to pay extra for features you will rarely or perhaps never even use. Not everyone needs dried fruits and vegetables and instead prefers to dehydrate only meats. This review focuses on the Open Country FD-28SK Jerkymaster – a purpose-built machine that specializes in meat drying and even comes with recipe guides and spice packs for added value. In the rest of the review – we will explain in detail why this can become your go-to choice of a dehydrator.
TEMPERATURE RANGE: 130 – 160°F
AIR FLOW: Vertical
NUMBER OF TRAYS: 7
DRYING SPACE: 7 square feet
WARRANTY: 5 years
NO FRILLS DESIGN
For what it is, FD28SK Jerkymaster offers everything the average family needs. The basic design might look all too plain yet everything is dedicated to performance. The inner volume consists of a maximum of 7 trays which offer plenty of space for food processing. The controls are also simple which keeps the price down and that is an advantage if you ask us.
QUALITY OF DEHYDRATION
Having a low power heating element adds greatly to the efficiency scores. It also ensures consistent drying results in no matter the amount of meat you cram inside. The whole design of this appliance is purpose-built to direct heat and spread it evenly across the tray surface.
THE VERTICAL FLOW
The hot air moves from bottom to the top in a controlled fashion and because of the side rib surfaces, it starts to whirl on the inside. This keeps the heat evenly spread across the food and slows the exit speed. In the end it all adds up to performance and makes your jerky crisp and juicy.
For its relatively compact dimensions, Open Country FD-28SK Jerkymaster allows you to process a lot of jerky in a single go! We were able to dehydrate around 7 pounds of meat at a time. Needless to say, you can’t ask much for more than that given its size and the number of trays. Who could guess that the whole inner capacity measures 7 square feet of drying space by judging its looks?
The shape of the trays is oval and all seven of them eventually add up to an impressive amount of food they can accommodate. Perfect even for bigger families that want to store more meat for longer lasting supply. The trays are well spaced in between and designed to both restrict and release hot air and moisture for best drying results.
At a first glance, the controls for this dehydrator appear outdated and perhaps out of this century even. Because of its detachable design, the control interface is as simple as they come which is reasonable. You only need the power on and off switch and the dehydrator does everything else for you. There are no fancy displays and unnecessary tech which is good as it keeps the price down.
POWER AND EFFICIENCY
Given its size and volume, we feel that the 350 Watts power rating is a perfect choice by the manufacturer. Combined with a very powerful fan you can be sure that drying full capacity will take less than with models that can also dry fruits and vegetables too. A purpose made appliance is always better than the universal one! Still, you can use the Jerkymaster for some types of fruits and veggies too with some minor adjustments to the trays.
Open Country FD-28SK
Weight of exactly 5.5 pounds empty means that even after you fill it up and add a maximum 7 pounds of food – it will still somewhat be easy to move around. Thanks to compact size – it can even be considered as being portable!
Measuring 12.25 x 14 x 14 inches affirms what we say about its compact size and places it in the compact dehydrator category. You can certainly count on it not taking up too much space in your kitchen or wherever you decide to place it, for that matter.
Thanks to its closed design – you will not be able to peek inside it during its operation. Basically, once you place the foods and finish adding the spices and place the trays inside – it’s a “set and forget” process from there until the end.
Having a fixed, non-controllable temperature range means that you can not do anything wrong and as a consequence always get great dried foods each and every time. The moment you flip the start switch the heating elements goes to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and continues to heat up to its maximum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit value. Everything is automatic which makes for a hassle-free experience.
There is no included timer and digital display whatsoever which keeps the cost down and limits the versatility entirely.
The trays are entirely made out of BPA free plastics and we commend their size and heft as it makes them really durable and simply feeling long lasting. You get seven of them as standard which means that you can remove and add them as you see fit.
Things We Liked
You might not feel any kind of excitement just by judging the appearance of Open Country FD-28SK yet those feelings change once you start seeing the results of its operation.
FAST FOOD DEHYDRATION
Can you imagine processing full seven pounds of jerky in less than 8 hours? We couldn’t either till we got our hands on this amazing performer. Strips of jerky take 15 minutes from start to finish. Because of the powerful fan and airflow restricting the design – foods get dehydrated that much faster!
Because of the straightforward design decisions and barebones functionality – Open Country manages to keep FD-28SK at a constant affordable price bracket. Considering numerous and frequent discounts it’s no wonder that this model is a category best seller!
It’s great that it performs brilliantly for dried meats each and every time you use it. It is truly a rare breed among other universal dehydrators on the market. If you exclusively prefer dried jerky then this model is a no-brainer choice.
BUILT TO LAST
Given the use of durable materials and its simple design means that you won’t have to worry at all about it breaking down. Good warranty and customer support service additionally assures confidence about quality.
Things We Didn’t Like
Being a purpose made appliance does have its advantage although it introduces some downsides which is a true case here.
All that fast dehydration performance does come at a rather noticeable price. Having a low power heater and a very powerful fan is a combination that performs true and yet leaves us complaining about the overall noise it makes during operation. You will notice it working and you will not be happy, that’s for sure.
You can forget about processing fruits, vegetables, and yogurt with this model. You can make a compromise and dry foods other than meat although your options are severely limited by tray design and the fixed temperature range.
If appearances matter in your kitchen – you might start planning ahead where else you may want to store this dehydrator. It doesn’t look stylish at all and we would, in fact, judge its appearance by resembling military issue equipment instead which can appeal to some buyers.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the warranty?
The Open Country FD-28SK comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
2. What is the main build material?
Everything is made out of plastic, except the heating elements and the fan.
3. Is this dehydrator BPA free?
Yes. Trays are entirely BPA free.
4. Can I remove and/or add the trays for more space?
Unfortunately no, you can’t. You can use up to 7 trays maximum.
5. Are the food trays dishwasher-safe?
Yes, you can wash the trays in the dishwasher.
The Jerkymaster – Open Country FD-28SK honestly deserves more praise than we can allow ourselves to give it. It is a purpose made dehydrator that sacrifices no features when it comes to meats drying. If you do not care about drying fruits and vegetables and instead mostly focus on jerky then this model is the ultimate choice. Just be prepared to ignore its dated looks and live with its basic functionality.