Dehydrators are small-sized appliances used for drying fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds, fish and meats. They are helpful for making dried fruit candies, fruit chips, dried herbs, beef jerky and more. This can help preserve your surplus of fruits and transform them as healthy snacks. It can also be used to make your own raw crackers, cakes and cookies made of your freshly made nut flours. If you’re on a raw food diet or thinking of making it a lifestyle, a food dehydrator can offer you a lot of food options.
Dehydrating foods has its own benefits. You can take advantage of the seasonal fruits with reduced prices and dehydrate them so you can keep them fresh and still be able to eat them during off-season. It’s a way of preserving food that is not as labor-intensive as canning, and you don’t need to fill the fridge with more stuff. Hikers and campers can also take advantage of a food dehydrator to preserve foods for outdoor activities, so they can pack good calories in a small and lightweight package.
Food dehydrators generate gentle heat that dries the food at slow and even rate to preserve produce while preventing hardening on the outside. It removes as much water as possible instead of trapping in moisture.
If you want to venture in food dehydrating, here are some great devices to consider:
If you’re a dehydrating beginner, the NESCO FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator is easy to use and reliable. It’s a no. 1 bestseller on Amazon in food dehydrators, and it’s simple, affordable and stackable. You can dry fruit, veggies, herbs, nuts and berries easily in a matter of hours.
The Snackmaster Pro boasts of its patented drying system called Converga-Flow that creates vertical and horizontal air flow for even, fast and nutritious drying without the need of rotating the trays and without mixing flavors. It has a top-mounted fan and heater to eliminate the mess of liquid dripping to the heating chamber. It also has an adjustable thermostat that allows you to dry different foods at temperatures ranging from 95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
This dehydrator has 600 watts of drying power that provide 2100 RPM for faster drying. It comes with 5 trays, but it can be stackable up to 12 if you want to work larger batches. It also includes two solid liner sheets for making fruit roll-ups or drying out sauces, plus three packages of jerky spice for making your own jerky. It also includes a 53-page recipe and instruction book.
The only drawbacks to this device is that it doesn’t have a timer, so you have to just use an alarm or a phone to remind yourself when the food needs to be hauled out of the machine. There’s also no indicator for the fan. But overall, for the price, this dehydrator provides great value for your money.
- Easy to use
- Fast drying
- 600 watts power
- Comes with 5 trays and expandable to 12
- No timer
- No indicator for other parameters except temperature
If you want a highly reputable food dehydrator, go for Excalibur 3926TW 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator. The Excalibur brand is renowned for its quality products, especially dehydrators. Their dehydrators are used in commercial establishments, so you know you’ll be getting a high-performing machine.
This is a powerful dehydrator with 600 watts power. It has 9 trays that provide 15 square feet of drying space all in all. Each tray can be removed individually for easy handling and to make more room for taller foods you want to dry. All trays are fitted with non-stick screens suitable for drying. This machine can also be used to proof dough for baking, warm breads or rolls before serving, and make crackers crisp again. With the help of the fan and heater at the back, there’s no chance of liquids and moisture dripping to electrical components.
Proudly made in the USA, this dehydrator is a great shelf tray model that provides fast, even and efficient drying, thanks to its patented Parallex Horizontal Airflow. It’s easy to use and comes with a 26-hour timer so you can safely dehydrate your food while you sleep and while you go out to work. It has an adjustable thermostat of 105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, Excalibur’s Hyperwave Fluctuation technology helps keep the food temperature low enough to keep enzymes active while air temperature gets high enough to dry food.
This unit is a bit large, it’s only suitable for large kitchens or large families. It can be a little loud due to air circulation around trays and because of its large 7” fan. The control buttons for the machine are located on the back side, which can be inconvenient if the appliance is placed on lower counter cabinets.
- Trusted, reputable brand
- Made in USA
- Convenient to use
- 600 watts power
- Comes with 9 trays with 15 square feet of drying space
- Non-stick screens
- 26-hour timer
- Adjustable thermostat
- Long, 10-year warranty
- Can be too large for some kitchens
- Control buttons at the back can be hard to reach
If you’re looking for the best high-end food dehydrator, get the Tribest Sedona SD-P9000 Digitally Controlled Food Dehydrator. It boasts an elegant package with a see-through glass door and an advanced dehydrating system. It’s a great choice if you want to take your food dehydrating to a pro level.
This unit features a digital thermostat to maintain the ideal dehydration, plus a quiet dual fan technology that offers energy efficiency to dehydrate all 9 trays. And speaking of trays, all of them are made of BPA-free plastic. It has an overheat protection system that uses digital dehydration technologies with accurate temperature controls. Its LED control panels are easy to read and makes time and temperature easily readable. The timer can even be set up for 99 hours of worry-free operation.
The temperature in this food dehydrator is adjustable from 85 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can automatically switch from an initial high temperature to a lower one to avoid overheating or overcooking. It offers 600 watts of power using 2 independent 300-watt fans, two heating coils and two heat sensors. The drying mesh in the device can be used to dry liquids like sauce and soups.
There is not much drawback with this dehydrator except the poor customer service from Tribest. The warranty is 5 years, but should you need to return the product for repair, the process can be expensive.
- Elegant-looking with a glass door
- Advanced dehydrating system
- Quiet, dual fan technology
- Overheat protection system
- LED control panels
- Comes with 9 trays
- 99-hour timer
- 600 watts of power
- 5-year warranty
- Poor customer service
For those in a budget, the Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator is a great choice. It’s a perfect starter unit for its cheap price, and is ideal for small batches.
This dehydrator has a 600-watt motor. The fan and heating element is mounted at the bottom, which provides consistent air flow with no rotation needed. It doesn’t have an adjustable temperature as it operates consistently at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a pretty straightforward device with not a lot of controls, as it automatically turns on when the power is plugged in.
This machine has a four-tray system that can be expanded to eight trays. The top cover is see-through so you can monitor the drying process. The drying trays are easy to store and compact.
- Simple and straightforward machine
- Easy to use
- 600-watt motor
- Comes with 4 trays and expandable to 8
- Easy to store
- Temperature not adjustable
- No timer
Here’s another amazing food dehydrator and one of the best if you prefer expandable devices. This machine only comes with 4 trays, but you can use up to 20 at a time for drying up a lot continuously.
With 1,000 watts of power, top-mounted heater fan and Nesco’s patented Converga-flow air flow system, the Gardenmaster can offer a lot of serious features usually found in higher-priced units. Its programmable, digital timer can be set up to up to 48 hours of drying time. It also has an adjustable temperature control that can be set from 90 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
This model comes with opaque exterior blocks that retain most of the nutrients of the food during drying. It also comes with three no-spill fruit roll sheets, three flexible screens for small items, a jerky gun and 6 jerky spice packets for making your own jerky at home.
Made in the USA
Easy to use
Comes with 4 trays and expandable to 20
Powerful, 1,000-watt motor
Short, 1-year warranty