Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator Review: Comparing FD-1040 vs FD-108A Models

Are you tired of buying expensive, store-bought dehydrated fruits and vegetables? Have you ever considered purchasing a food dehydrator for your home? Look no further than the Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator. In this article, we will conduct a thorough Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator review, specifically comparing the FD-1040 vs. FD-108A models.

This review will examine the similarities and differences between the FD-1040 and FD-108A Gardenmaster food dehydrator models. We’ll explore their features, pros, and cons to help you decide which one is best suited for your needs. So, let’s get started with our in-depth Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator review.

Introduction about NESCO

According to Wikipedia, NESCO was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, in the 1930s. This business specializes in producing and distributing electric roasters, often known as portable ovens.

Later, in 1981, The Metal Ware Corporation (based in Two Rivers, Wisconsin) purchased the brand name and its goods. Additionally, this company bought the assets of American Harvest, another business, and now sells most of its household goods under Nesco/American Harvest.

Nesco dehydrators today can be divided into four main groups:

  • Dehydrators for jerky
  • Basic models line
  • Snackmaster line
  • Gardenmaster line.

Nesco Gardenmaster FD-1040 vs FD-108A: Comparison table


Nesco FD-1040

Nesco FD-1018A 





16x16x11 inches

17 x 15.5 x 14 inches

Item Weight

11 lbs

17 lbs


1000 watts

1000 watts

Dehydrator Type


Temp Range (°F)

90°F – 160°F90°F – 160°F

Number of Trays

4 (Expandable to 20 trays)

8 (Expandable to 30 trays)


Digital Adjustable


Digital Timer



Double Wall Converga-Flow




Check PriceCheck Price

Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator Review

Use a food dehydrator to create wholesome snacks and reduce food waste in your kitchen. You can make excellent fruit leather, fruit and vegetable chips, and jerky. Tell those store-bought fruit roll-ups to take a trip.

You can also use it to dry herbs and nuts (for instructions on preparing nuts, consult your manual). We conducted the study. A review of the Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster food dehydrator can be found below.

Included In The Package

  • A No-Spill Fruit Roll sheet
  • Clean-A-screen
  • A packet of Jerky Spice
  • A 52-page recipe and manual
Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator


  • A thermostat with a range of 90 to 160 degrees
  • Digital timer (automatically turns the machine off)
  • It can be expanded to hold 20 trays
  • Reasonable cost for what it provides
  • Uses a heater with high wattage (1000 watts)
  • Juices and food particles won’t harm the top-mounted motor.
  • Airflow with convergence reduces drying time.
  • The trays do not need to be rotated.
  • Has a significant drying capacity.


  • Only includes 4 drying trays; 
  • Additional trays can be purchased for a fee.

Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Dehydrator Review

One of Nesco’s pricier models, the FD-1018A Gardenmaster, costs more than $100. But for some of us, the cost is worthwhile. The extensive feature set of this dehydrator more than justifies its hefty price.

It first features a high power of 1000 watts to effectively dry your food. The eight trays on this Gardenmaster can be expanded to thirty! You’ll adore this model if you enjoy gardening and require a lot of space to pick your crops or if you frequently buy in bulk (among other factors). 

Included In The Package

  • 8 Fruit Roll Sheets
  • 8 Clean-A-Screens
  • Sample of Jerky Seasoning & Cure
  • 52-page recipe & instruction book
Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator

Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator – FD-1018A


  • 1000 watts is a large wattage.
  • A programmable thermostat
  • Swift and a strong fan
  • Includes some useful accessories.


  • There is no timer.
  • Compared to other dehydrators, it can be noisy.

Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator Features 

Both Nesco Gardenmaster food dehydrator models FD-1018A and Nesco FD-1040 are ideal for drying and preserving various kinds of food like fruits, vegetables, jerky, etc. As we can see, they share some typical features. 

1000-Watt Heating Units

If you read through most of our dehydrator reviews, you should quickly learn that most products offer a heating range of 500–600 watts.

Nesco Gardenmaster food dehydrator models bring 1000 watts of drying power, which translates to producing more delicious and healthy snacks more quickly. The Nesco FD-1040 and FD-1018A are effective in addition. They make your favorite fried meals in hours as opposed to days.

Also, they give it twice the power of the Hamilton Beach 32100A, a similarly priced and highly regarded dehydrator (see our review of it here).

Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator

The Nesco FD-1040 and FD-1018A give twice the power of the Hamilton Beach 32100A

Adjustable temperature control

You don’t want a dehydrator that prevents you from setting the ideal drying temperatures for different items.

Low-end, fixed-temperature versions can only dry meals that fall within that temperature range. Foods that dry at a higher temperature and those that require a lower heat range practically never need to be dehydrated in the same machine in most cases.

Top-Mounted Fan

The manufacturer claims that the top-mounted fan on the Nesco Gardenmaster dehydrators spins at 2,400 RPMs (rotations per minute).

Another contentious discussion that features combative participants on both sides is the placement of the engine. Bottom-mounted fan dehydrators are believed to hasten to dry without getting too technical since they frequently use a “pull” technique.

The main drawback of these types is that liquids and food particles frequently fall into the chamber that houses the fan and motor underneath the trays. This makes cleaning exceedingly difficult and could damage the motor in the worst-case scenario.

Converga-Flow Action Technology

Nesco uses the Converga-Flow Action, a patented technique, in its Gardenmaster line of products. This design aims to produce a drying device that combines the advantages of top and rear-mounted fan dehydrators.

These models drive heated and compressed air through a central chamber. Some hot air that is forced horizontally as it rushes vertically is forced through air ducts that guide it over the food on the trays.

>> See more: What Is a Dehydrator? How Does a Dehydrator Work?

Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator FD-1040 vs FD-108A: Which one is better?

When choosing between the Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator FD-1040 and FD-108A, it’s important to consider your specific needs. 

Both models share some common features, such as 1000 watts heating, adjustable temperature control, a top-mounted fan, and advanced airflow technology, which allows for efficient and even drying. 

However, there are some key differences between the two models. The FD-1040 comes with a programmable digital timer, a convenient feature for those who want to set it and forget it. 

Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator

The FD-1040 comes with a programmable digital timer

On the other hand, the FD-108A offers a larger drying space and can expand up to 30 trays, which is perfect for those who want to dry a larger quantity of food at once. 

Both models’ prices are almost the same, so the choice ultimately comes down to your specific needs. If you value a programmable timer, go with the Nesco Gardenmaster FD-1040. But if you need a larger drying space, the Nesco Gardenmaster FD-108A might be your better option.

Dehydrator Buyer’s Guide

Dehydrators are fantastic for various uses, including cooking, food storage, camping, and general scientific curiosity. Here are some things to consider if you want to purchase one of them.

Temperature Controls

It’s crucial to have an adjustable thermostat if you’re not a beginner and want more control over the drying temps. Temperature adjustment is required if you wish to dehydrate items with a significantly shorter (or longer) drying period.

Air Circulation

Airflow A dehydrator needs airflow because the heated tray or container needs it to circulate. You might not dehydrate any food you meant to dry if this airflow is not continuously flowing.


Size is an important consideration for your dehydrator. It could be difficult to avoid the numerous huge dehydrators on the market if you have small kitchen or storage issues. It’s best to keep your personal needs in mind as well. Will you use it frequently or only occasionally?


Consider how much you want to hydrate at once regarding the dehydrator’s tray capacity. You must be certain of the number of trays or compartments you require because most Nesco dehydrators provide expanding tray options. 

Are four trays sufficient? Or you’re a seasoned gardener and require models that can be expanded to twenty or thirty trays.

The capacity of the Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator varies depending on the model. The standard model has 4 trays, but it can be expanded up to 30 trays with additional trays.

Each tray has a surface area of 15.5 inches by 15.5 inches. This means that the total capacity of the dehydrator can range from 4 to 30 square feet, depending on the number of trays used.

This makes it a great option for dehydrating large quantities of fruits, vegetables, meats, and more.

Yes, the temperature can be adjusted on the Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator. It features an adjustable thermostat that allows you to set the temperature between 95-160°F (35-71°C), giving you the flexibility to dehydrate a variety of foods at the optimal temperature.

This feature is particularly useful for those who want to preserve the nutrients and enzymes in their food by dehydrating at lower temperatures.

The length of time it takes to dehydrate food in the Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator depends on various factors such as the type of food being dehydrated, the thickness of the slices, and the humidity and temperature of the environment.

Generally, it can take anywhere from a few hours to over a day to fully dehydrate food. The Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator comes with a guide that provides recommended drying times for different types of foods.

It is important to follow these guidelines to ensure that the food is properly dehydrated and safe to eat.

When drying meat in a NESCO Dehydrator, it usually takes 8-10 hours, but the exact time depends on the thickness of the meat sticks. People who prefer ground meat jerky highlight its taste and texture, stating that it is less tough, simpler to consume, and occasionally more crumbly compared to sliced jerky.


In conclusion, the Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator is a versatile and reliable appliance perfect for anyone who wants to preserve their food at home. The FD-1040 and FD-108A models offer advanced features that make the dehydration process efficient and convenient. After comparing the two models, we can see that they have unique strengths and weaknesses, making them suitable for different types of users.

If you’re looking for a reliable food dehydrator with a programmable timer, the FD-1040 model is an excellent choice. However, suppose you need a larger drying space and don’t mind manually monitoring the dehydration process. In that case, the FD-108A model might be your better option. Regardless of your chosen model, the Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator is valuable to any kitchen.

We hope this Nesco Gardenmaster dehydrator review has helped you decide which Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator model is right for you. If you want to learn more about kitchen appliances and gadgets, check out our blog,, for more reviews and recommendations.

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