My brother has made beef jerky for years, and i finally decided this winter to try making some. This dehydrator is simple to set up and easy to use. My brother taught me a few of the tricks. I like a more tender cut of beef, so i got sirloin tips. I used a low-fat piece, and trimmed off any visible fat. I cut across the grain, so the length of the fibers is short and it’s easier to bite into. If you like more chewiness, cut with the grain. For tender beef, I like a thicker slice, so i cut it over 1/4 inch thick, and you have to cut it to an even thickness so it’s all dried at the same rate. With this dehydrator, the drying was super easy. I just set it and checked now and then. My jerky came out perfectly on the first try! I also tried a little bit of super thin slice, which dried into a crispy chip. That dried much faster, and came out evenly cooked, better than when i tried it in my oven. I think this dehydrator heats more evenly than my oven, probably due to the air circulation. One more trick: i like dried apples to be softer inside, more like a potato wedge. So i sprayed them very lightly with a light oil like safflower before drying. I dried a few with and without the oil, and the oiled ones were definitely softer! I just kept it light, and i didnt get oily results. I didnt have much dripping from meats or fruits during drying, but there was a little at the start. If you are drying different foods together, it makes more sense to have all the fruits on one side of the dehydrator, all the veggies on another side, and any meats on their own side, so you dont mind the mixing of flavors from any of that early dripping. Another way would be meats on the bottom racks, because it wont hurt them at all if some fruit or veggie juices drip onto them. The racks cleaned up pretty easily with a little soaking, because the low drying temperature doesnt burn anything.