Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator Review

Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster

Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster

The design of the Nesco FD-1040 Digital Pro includes new features in the fan, power and capacity to correct some of the issues consumers have experienced with other types of food dehydrators. The increased power and capacity make it a must-have for anyone who dries food or crafts frequently, or on a large scale.

Most users of the Digital Pro like the fact that the features combine to make it possible to do in hours what would normally take days.

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Features of the Nesco FD-1040

Digital Timer

The digital timer can be programmed for up to 48 hours, giving you a lot of flexibility in how you spend your time while you wait for the food to dehydrate. Just set it and leave it. When the timer goes off, the power also automatically shuts off. I like this feature because I can put food in the dehydrator before I go to work and it is finished drying by the time I get home. If something happens, like I get caught up in traffic, no problem.

Top Mounted Fan

One of the biggest complaints you hear about other dehydrators is the positioning of the fan. When the fan is located on the bottom of the unit, liquids from the dehydrating process drip onto the fan area. If fan is on the side of the unit, it doesn't always dry evenly across the trays. The Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster dehydrator has a top mounted fan that prevents this problem while still heating the food evenly.

The fan is also quiet and powerful, with a 2,400 RPM motor that is specially designed for use with the fan. I couldn’t be happier when drying beef jerky only takes four hours and not all day.


The Nesco dehydrator has an impressive 1,000 watts of drying power so it dries food faster than other less powerful units and has the capacity to dry up to 20 trays of food at one time.

Air Flow System

The patented Converga-Flow air flow system works by forcing heated air down the chamber around the outer part of the unit, and then horizontally across every drying tray before it converges in the center. The result is faster drying so that more of the nutrients are preserved in the food. This system also prevents you from needing to rotate the trays, increasing the benefit of the digital timer.

Adjustable Thermostat

Nothing destroys the quality of the dehydration process more than using the wrong temperature for the food that is being dried. The adjustable thermostat of the Nesco Digital Pro prevents food from being dried on the outside while leaving moisture in the center. Setting the dehydrator to the appropriate temperature for each food results in better drying and food that is tastier, more nutritious and safer.

Included Accessories

The Gardenmaster comes with a no-spill fruit roll sheet for making fruit roll snacks and other foods, Clean-A-Screen flexible screen for drying smaller items like herbs, and a jerky spice packet and cure so you can make your own jerky. The positioning of the fan on top of the unit prevents spills that can impact the operation of the unit and makes it work more efficiently throughout many uses.

Pros of the Nesco FD-1040

The features of the dehydrator work together for more powerful, efficient drying that takes a lot less time. Shorter drying times mean doing in only hours what would normally take days.

The unit has a large capacity of up to 20 square feet so you can do more in a single batch. Combined with the faster drying time, even the most avid user can get everything they need dried in a fraction of the time it would normally take.


Dimensions: 15.5 x 15.5 x 9.5 in

Weight: 8.9lbs

​Warranty: 1 Year


Although one of the pros of the Nesco dehydrator is its large capacity, it only comes with 4 trays. Additional trays must be purchased separately and the unit can expand up to 20 trays. The dehydrator automatically adjusts to the addition of multiple trays without a loss of drying efficiency.

Consumer Ratings

Most consumers have been happy with their Nesco FD-1040, including those who have little to no experience dehydrating food. This Nesco model is rated very highly. Those who aren’t satisfied typically complain about damage to the package or other matters not related to the quality of the product. Read customer reviews.


Most online retailers offer the Nesco Gardenmaster dehydrator at a reasonable price and I find that Amazon usually has the best deals. Check here to find the lowest price.

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