Dehydrators are essential kitchen appliances. They allow us to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables year round, as well as make beef jerky or dried fruits. If you want to get the most out of your food, then you should invest in a quality dehydrator.
There are two main types of dehydrators: air and electric. Air dehydrators rely on warm air circulating through the unit, whereas electric ones use heat from electricity. Both types are effective at drying foods, but they each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Air dehydrators are great for smaller spaces because they don’t require much space or power. Electric dehydrators are ideal for larger areas because they can dry large quantities of food at once. The best dehydrator depends on your budget, space, and personal preference.
OUR TOP PICK
The Cosori premium food dehydrator is super efficient and convenient. It makes your life much easier, because you will not have to worry about anything getting stuck in the middle of the tray. It's very easy to use, and it doesn't take up too much space.
Since it's made of metal, it's stain resistant, easy to clean, won't absorb smells, and is dishwasher safe. The glass door allows you to see how your food is doing without turning anything off or separating the trays.
Food dehydrators are great, because they make it easier to dry fruits and vegetables by drying them quickly and evenly.
Stainless steel trays make it easy to arrange the food into layers, and you can easily remove the trays from the machine without having to stack them. These trays are also dishwasher safe, easy to clean, and won't absorb stains or odors.
The glass door allows you to watch what you are dehydrating without having to turn anything else off. Also, the fan is so quiet that you will forget that it is running. For that extra bit of control, you can also adjust the temperature to a single degree, making sure you have an accurate experience using this dehydrator.
The timer on the Cosori dehydrator can be set for any kind of time you want – from 30 minutes, up to 48 hours, and can jump in 30 degree increments by pressing the + or – buttons. The timer counts down whilst the dehydrator is in use, so you will not have to guess when it will finish.
In terms of technicalities, this dehydrator is 600 watts, and it has noise levels of less than 48dB, another reason you may forget it is running!
You can customize temperatures, with a range from 95F, to 165F. The whole unit is made from durable food-grade stainless steel, so it is built to last. The trays that hold your food are made of dishwasher safe stainless steel.
Other great features include automatic shut off, overheating protection, safety features, and quiet fans.
This dehydrator also comes equipped with a nice amount of accessories, for you to dehydrate almost anything. These accessories include six trays, one mesh screen, one recipe book, and one fruit roll sheet. The fruit roll sheet provides a good way to use leftover fruit into fruit roll up style snacks.
Great temperature control and a wider range of temperatures
Comes with a wide range of accessories
Durable stainless steel build for longevity
Less dehydration room than some other dehydrators
The Excalibur dehydrator is the best choice if you're looking to buy a dehydrating machine for making beef jerky, because it's the most powerful and versatile one out there.
Beef jerky takes up a lot of room in a dehydrator, and the first thing you'll notice about the Excalibur dehydrator is the overall size and capacity of the unit. This allows for up to six pounds of meat to be dried in one go.
There are a total of nine trays worth of room in this dehydrator, with an amazing fifteen square feet of drying space.
This dehydrator uses patented hyper wave technology. Although this sounds complicated, this technology essentially makes sure that the parallel during removes water with a continuous circulation of controlled and warm air.
This dehydrator is extremely easy to clean, and there is no need to remove any of the dehydrator trays to clean it. The poly screen trays prevent food from sticking, so it is a simple process of cleaning it when you need to.
The Excalibur dehydrator is known for its excellence in dehydrating fruit and vegetables, along with nuts, jerky, and fruit purée. Additionally, this dehydrator is perfect for helping raise bread, as well as making homemade yogurt.
It's perfect for raising bread because of the way that it can maintain a low temperature, raising the dough quicker than at room temperature. In general, cooking foods at a low temperature, lower than 115F, provides essential nutrients and enzymes for your immunity.
The seven-inch circular fan on this dehydrator ensures that the air circulates successfully, and ensures your food is evenly dehydrated.
The Excalibur dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat, so you can change how low of a temperature you would like it at. This means that you can adjust the temperature from 105F, to 165F in one turn. It also has a built-in on and off switch, to make it easier to turn off your machine when you are done dehydrating.
There is also a timer that allows you to set the dehydrator to run for a certain amount of hours, and shutting off by itself.
This dehydrator is made in California and is of very high quality. It comes with a 10-year warranty, which is the best and longest warranty among all the units on this list.
The 600 watt fan is mounted in front of the dehydrator blowing air vertically over the 9 trays, which makes for a better airflow pattern. You cannot add more trays to this unit to increase its capacity.
Great temperature control of 105° to 165 °F
Dishwasher safe trays
10-year warranty for added security
A pricier option as a dehydrator
You need to rotate your trays
The Colzer food dehydrator comes with a huge twelve trays worth of room. The food grade stainless steel trays and glass front doors make it convenient for you to watch your food dehydrate, and monitor its progress.
With this dehydrator, each tray is 290mmx290mm, so it has a huge capacity for dehydrating food. Additionally, this is one of the few dehydrators that has twelve trays, so it has an unbelievable amount of space, especially for the price.
This dehydrator has an automatic shutdown function, so you will never have to set timers and keep a close watch. Additionally, it also has overheating protection, which means that your dehydrator will be safe, and it will not overheat.
The integrated forced hot-air convective fan generates consistent heat that evenly heats up all the trays, and it is quiet and reliable.
The dehydrator's digital settings range from 68 °F to 194 °F, integrated with a 24-hour timer. This temperature range is exceptional, and it completely allows you to have the freedom of choice over how hot or cold your dehydrator is.
Additionally, the 24-hour time allows you to dehydrate your food for extended hours, at a lower temperature than normal.
The Colzer dehydrator also features silent operation, with it only being 45dB. Its horizontal airflow system, rear motor and fan helps ensure that the dehydrator stays uniform in its dehydration capabilities.
With this dehydrator, you also get some recipes to help give you some inspiration when you use your dehydrator. The glass front of this dehydrator allows you to view your food, and there is so much room in here, you may be spoiled for choice about what to dehydrate!
This dehydrator is pretty large compared to some others on the market. It measures in at 420 mm by 450 mm, and it is 300 mm deep, too. This is something you will have to think about when buying this dehydrator, and you may need to measure your countertop.
This dehydrator is also one of the most powerful dehydrators on our list, with the power of 800W. The dehydrator has mesh trays, and these mesh trays have 6 mm gaps, meaning you can dehydrate smaller things such as herbs that may usually fall through the gaps.
This dehydrator has a built-in timer, which is great because it saves you time, and energy. There are two different settings available: 8 hours, and 16 hours. These settings allow you to choose how long you want to leave your food inside, and to what extent you want the moisture removed.
Extremely roomy, coming with twelve trays
Built-in timer to control your temperature
Saves time and energy
A bit too large if you do not use the dehydrator regularly
The Nesco Snackmaster Pro food dehydrator is the next on our list, and this dehydrator has a lot going for it, including a very affordable price tag.
The Nesco Company has invented the Converge-a-flow System, and it works by using an innovative design. The air flows down quickly along the inside wall of each container, while the air is also moving inwardly through every single tray. This unique feature makes the dehydration process more efficient.
The thermostat is precise enough to dry delicate herbs and flowers. With its higher wattage, this dehydrator provides a consistent and powerful drying process for your foods, giving you the flexibility to dry different foods that may need varying temperatures. You can adjust it to how you like it.
The thermostat is very accurate and powerful. It has a great capacity and provides a high level of precision. The lowest temperature of this dehydrator is 95 °F, and the highest is 160 °F. You can adjust the temperature with the dial to whatever you desire, and with the 600W power, you are sure to see some good results.
Additionally, this dehydrator uses less energy than most other models, by only using the amount of power that it needs.
The Vita-Save opaque casing is a unique feature of this product, and it makes sure that light doesn't affect the integrity of the contents. This ensures the safety of the food stored inside.
Additionally, the hard plastic that is used to make this dehydrator is heat resistant, and there is no risk of your food being contaminated by it, partly because it doesn't get hot enough, but also because of the plastic's properties.
This dehydrator has five racks, which is a small amount, but for the size and price, it's pretty good. The racks are mounted on top of each other, and they are also made of hard plastic. This hard plastic is BPA-free, and is food grade plastic.
There is the option to add additional trays to this dehydrator, which is something great about this one. Overall, you have 0.8sq. ft. of drying space in this dehydrator, which is more than enough to dehydrate fruits and veggies.
This dehydrator weighs just under six pounds, and it measures 14x22x14 inches, making it the perfect dehydrator for the kitchen countertops.
You receive a nice amount of accessories with this dehydrator, too. You receive two fruit roll sheets for dehydrating fruit pulp, two screen cleaners, a sample of jerky seasoning as well as jerky cure, and a care and use guide to help you set it up.
A quality food dehydrator is a must if you're going to be making dried fruits and veggies. You'll need something powerful enough to get the job done. If you're looking for a cheap alternative, the Snackmaster pro is a great choice.
No need to adjust or rotate the racks during the dehydration process
Comes with lots of accessories
Not as power effective as some others
The Magic Mill Food Dehydrator machine is a simple and easy way to dry out your own food. It has a large capacity, so you will not run out of room to store all of your dried products. In addition, it comes with a wide variety of options and settings, so you can customize it to fit your preferences.
This dehydrator is designed to work at low temperatures, which means that you don't have to worry about burning your food. It is also safe for use around children and pets, which is important when you want to give your family healthy snacks.
The Magic Mill Food Dehydration Machine is built to last, and it is made from FDA approved materials. It is also dishwasher safe, which is an added bonus.
An automatic fan at the back circulates warm air and dries food evenly. This helps to ensure that every part of your food gets dried equally. The fan is adjustable, so you can control how much air is circulating through the unit. The fan also automatically shuts off, which is helpful if you are running late.
Also, there is no need to rotate the shelves on this food dehydrator, because of the consistent airflow.
A transparent window lets you see the drying process in this dehydrator, so you will be able to see how your food is getting on during the whole process. This dehydrator also comes with an internal temperature and timer to ensure that your food is evenly dried.
The temperature range of this dehydrator is exceptional, with a maximum temperature of 167F, and an overheating protection feature. This ensures that your food will never dry out too much, and the temperature will not get too hot.
This dehydrator also comes with a nice range of accessories, with two fruit roll up trays, two mesh nets, and a silicone heat glove. This dehydrator has the capacity for five liters, and it comes with five mesh trays, so you can fit as much as you can in.
This product does not break the bank.
It has an automatic shut off when dehydration is complete.
Large capacity and lots of accessories to use
Dehydrators are devices that remove moisture from foods. Dehydrators come in many shapes and sizes. These devices use either hot air or warm water (or steam) to remove the moisture from food. A good dehydrator needs to be efficient, reliable, durable, and easy to use.
It should also be capable of maintaining consistent temperatures during the entire cooking process. A dehydrator should be easy to operate, should have trays that can be washed by hand and stacked.
Make sure the unit is large and spacious enough to hold the amount of food you wish to dry. Make sure the unit comes with an extended warranty, too. This will ensure that you can get the help you need if it has any issues.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the other things that you should consider when buying a dehydrator. Read the buyer’s guide below to find out more.
How A Food Dehydrator Works
Electric food dehydrators use electricity to heat up the air around food items, making the food drier than food heated by traditional stoves. These electric dehydrators are perfect for preserving fruits and vegetables, as well as meat.
Conventional ovens use high temperatures to cook food, whereas electric food dehydrators use lower temperatures to preserve food by removing water. The low heat circulates around the machine, heating up the foods slowly, whilst removing any moisture. Dehydrated foods retain their nutrients and flavor, but are preserved and healthier.
Reasons And Tips for Dehydrating Food
There are several reasons for which you might want to dehydrate your foods. You may want to dehydrate foods so that they're easier to store and don't go bad quickly. Recipes that call for the use of a food dehydration oven include beef jerky, dried fruits, and so on. It's not necessary for these kinds of foods, but it sure helps.
Dehydration is especially useful for vegan and plant-based diets, and dehydrated food poses less of a risk of bacteria and contamination than fresh food. Dehydrating food is healthy, and it will help you make use of those bananas on the shelf.
Dehydrating is a good way to preserve your foods for later use. It's usually easier than having to get out your canning supplies, and it takes less space than freezing!
Remember that the main thing you need to keep in mind when dehydrating food at your home is that the moisture level needs to be reduced to an adequate point so that mold and bacteria don't grow on the food.
Fruits contain a large amount of water, so they retain up to 20% of their weight in water. Vegetables need to be as dry as possible to extend their shelf life, which means they should be as dehydrated as possible.
The size of your dehydrator is something that will matter for your kitchen as well as your wallet. If you plan to do a lot of drying, then you might consider buying a larger model. However, if you only intend to dry small amounts of fruit and vegetables, then a smaller model would work just fine.
The capacity of your dehydrator is also something that is extremely necessary. If you love to use the dehydrator, you may want to think about getting a dehydrator with more trays, and more square footage. This will ensure that there is always enough room for you to dehydrate your favorite recipes.
Airflow And Temperature Capacity
The airflow and the temperature capacity of your dehydrator is something that determines how your food will turn out. There's no point buying a dehydrator with poor airflow and an inflexible temperature control.
Firstly, it is common knowledge that horizontal airflow is better for dehydrating food, because it manages to reach all the food. Vertical airflow tends to dry food inconsistently, so it is important that you consider the quality of airflow over anything else.
You simply need to keep the food hot enough for a long enough time so that a portion of the moisture evaporates. The food should not be cooked and dry, but moisture taken away. The biggest challenge is making sure that the heat is evenly spread out across all the food you're drying.
Since some foods will inevitably be farther away from the heat source in a dehydrator than others, making sure that the device has an efficient airflow helps ensure that they're evenly dried.
Before you buy a food dehydrator, make sure you know what you want, whether that is quality, or space. See what the manufacturer has stated about their airflow, and how well the dehydrator dries the contents out evenly.
Horizontal flow food dehydrators tend to have the best design for this, but many vertical flow models include fans and other design elements meant specifically to help improve airflow.
Ease Of Use
Using a food dehydrator is typically really easy, and you will find that most of them require the same amounts of effort. There are certain features that may actually make it easier for you to use the dehydrator, and this is something that you need to bear in mind.
This includes features like having an even and consistent drying process that will ensure that you do not have to switch shelves around.
There is nothing more annoying than having to come back every hour to swap around the shelves. You should be able to go away and come back when the food has been dehydrated. Equally, if this is something that doesn't worry you, you may want to buy one that is higher maintenance.
Keep in mind that if convenience is an important factor, then the other thing to consider is how much work goes into cleaning the different models you buy. If your food dehydrator consists of lots of different parts, it will make it significantly more inconvenient for you to use.
It also depends on whatever the parts can be washed in the dishwasher, or if you will have to handwash twelve trays at once.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Dehydrate Food Without A Dehydrator?
Dehydrating foods is one of the easiest methods for preserving them. You don't need special jars, preservatives, or special equipment. You don't even have to buy a dehydrator if you don't want to. A regular oven or toaster oven can dehydrate food perfectly.
Putting the oven on a low temperature for up to twelve hours will help you dehydrate your food. This will obviously cost more for your electricity bill than your dehydrator.
How Do I Clean My Dehydrator?
Most dehydrators are easy to clean, and you only need to clean the mesh grate or tray that it comes equipped with. A lot of dehydrators have dishwasher-safe trays, meaning it is super easy to wash them. Always make sure to find out whether your trays are dishwasher safe or not.
Do All Dehydrators Have BPA-free Trays?
Most dehydrators have metal trays, and the ones that have plastic trays usually contain BPA-free plastic. It is rare for a dehydrator of good quality to contain BPA.