I've never owned a dehydrator, but I've had one on my wish list for a while now. I figured this would be a good test to see if I liked it, and if it was worth buying it.
I did a google search on-line on how to make banana chips, and the recipes were pretty straight forward. I peeled them, sliced them pretty thin (hoping they would be end up crispy), soaked them in lemon juice (I used bottled rather than fresh because I've got a large bottle that I need to use up), and then put them on the trays.
It was nice to try two different kinds of dehydrators. One of them was a Nesco American Harvest dehydrator.
The second dehydrator I tried is a 7-tray Ronco Food Dehydrator.
This dehydrator doesn't have a fan, but has a heat element in the bottom part that radiates up through the trays to dry the food. Because it doesn't have a fan, the drying takes longer. The banana chips tasted the same from either machine, and the price was very comparable. The model I used (pictured) is not currently available on Amazon, but a new model is, and it is about $49. It doesn't have very good reviews, so I didn't even put a link for you.
The option that I didn't try was my oven. I didn't want to tie up my oven for that all day, and it only goes down to 170 degrees, so I would still prefer to have a dehydrator. Oh, and did I mention that you can make YOGURT in your dehydrator, too!? Guess I know what I'll be hinting at for Christmas this year.
I had enough bananas to do a second round of banana chips. The second time I didn't soak the bananas in lemon juice, because I wanted to see what the difference would be, and I wanted to see if they wouldn't stick to the trays as bad. They actually look really good, and didn't turn darker like I thought they would. The biggest negative, though, is that they taste more "banana-ey", which is a flavor I have a hard time with. In fact, I've only started to even tolerate bananas in the last year.
Next I'm going to make some homemade jerky, but then I better get these dehydrators returned! I have nice friends :).