Food dehydration is an effective way to preserve the nutrients in food. Plus, it also prevents spoilage and microbial growth. One of the easiest ways to dehydrate your food is through the use of a food dehydrator. However, not all food dehydrators can offer the same features and excellent results. So, what should you look for in a food dehydrator?
One of the most important features you should look for in a food dehydrator is its temperature range. Keep in mind that each food has a different temperature requirement for drying. So, a product that has an adjustable thermostat will allow you to dry various kinds of foods.
Another important feature in a food dehydrator is its fan, which can be located at the top, bottom, or back. Remember, the position of the fan can influence the dehydration process. So, you should opt for a product that has a fan that can evenly distribute heat.
Aside from those features, the product’s size and expandability are also crucial, which would differ according to your needs. Moreover, you should also pick a product with a drip tray. This feature will help prevent the food juices from dripping into the heating element; plus, it makes cleaning much easier. Of course, you should also need to consider the product’s price and quality. This will ensure that you’re getting all your money’s worth.
With all these features in mind, here are the 12 best food dehydrators currently available.
If you’re looking for a food dehydrator you can use to make the best jerky, the Excalibur 3926TB should be one of your top choices. This product has a simple design that most people find appealing. Furthermore, this food dehydrator is also made with high-quality materials, so you’re guaranteed that it will last longer.
Aside from that, the Excalibur 3926TB also has ample drying space, which is 15 square feet. In fact, it can fit 9 removable trays. Plus, this product also includes a flexible poly-screen tray insert that helps prevent foods from sticking.
For its performance, the Excalibur 3926TB is powerful and efficient in drying various kinds of foods. This is thanks to its Parallex Horizontal Airflow Technology. But, that’s not all. The thermostat of this product is also adjustable from 105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to balance temperature levels according to the food that you need to dehydrate. This food dehydrator also has a fan at the back that evenly circulates air. Another feature of this product is the automatic shut-off, which is useful if you don’t want to supervise the drying process. This appliance also has a timer for 26 hours.
With all its great features, the Excalibur 3926TB is definitely one of the best food dehydrators available on the market. But, it is also one of the priciest products on this list, with a price or around $300.
Nonetheless, you’ll get all your money’s worth, considering the product’s quality and exceptional performance.
If you’re searching for a high-quality food dehydrator at a reasonable price, the Nesco FD-75A should be on your list. This product doesn’t only offer an affordable price (less than $100), but it also provides great features that you’re sure to enjoy.
For one, the Nesco FD-75A has a Converga-Flow drying system that provides a nutritious and even drying in a fast manner. Moreover, this product also features an adjustable thermostat ranging from 95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This feature provides the flexibility needed to make sure that you get the best quality results for your dehydrated food. Aside from that, this food dehydrator has an opaque Vita-Save exterior surface, which blocks harmful light and helps retain the food’s essential nutrients during the drying process. The machine’s fan is also mounted at the top. Because of this, the liquid will not drip into the heating chamber.
For its accessories, the Nesco FD-75A has two fruit roll sheets, which is perfect for drying semi-liquids. It also has two Clean-A-Screen flexible screens that allow you to dry small items, such as spices and herbs. Lastly, this food dehydrator has 5 trays, which is expandable to 12.
The Nesco FD-75A offers a lot of great features. But, it also has a few drawbacks. For one, this machine doesn’t have a built-in timer. In addition, it doesn’t have an on or off switch, so you need to remove the plug to switch the machine off. Nonetheless, these disadvantages are minor compared to all the features this product can provide.
Another product on this list that has a price of less than $100 is the Hamilton Beach 32100A. Like the previous model, this product is affordable yet a high-quality product. In fact, it offers features that you can also find on high-end models. For example, this food dehydrator has an adjustable digital thermostat that allows you to adjust the drying temperature from 100 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you can use this product to dehydrate various food products. It also has a 48-hour timer with an auto shut-off feature.
Aside from those features, the Hamilton Beach 32100A has a fan that pushes hot air up, resulting in continuous airflow. This feature also keeps the temperature balance throughout the machine and improves the drying time. In addition, this product’s cover has ventilation mesh that lets the moisture escape, preventing problems caused by condensation.
The product’s 5 stackable trays are made of plastic that is BPA-free. As such, it is safe for your foods. The trays also come with a solid and fine mesh sheet, so they can handle various kinds of foods, like herbs and fruit rolls. Lastly, this product comes with a transparent cover, allowing you to see the drying process.
The Hamilton Beach 32100A can certainly provide a lot of great features. However, it has a few drawbacks. First, this machine is a bit noisy. Furthermore, the heat distribution of this product is uneven, which is a common problem in most food dehydrators with a vertical airflow design. Because of this, it is best to check the food you’re drying from time to time.
The Tribest Sedona Express SDE-S6780-B is an excellent product if you want to take your food dehydrating to a professional level. The reason is that this product offers several features that allow you to dehydrate various kinds of foods.
One of the best features of this food dehydrator is its maximum temperature, which is 167 degrees Fahrenheit. The max temperature of this machine is higher compared to most products on this list. But, that’s not all. This temperature also conforms to the USDA Beef Jerky Preparation Guidelines. As such, you can safely cook jerky directly at this food dehydrator without the need to precook it in an oven. Plus, you can also use this machine to perfectly dehydrate other foods because you can adjust to temperature from 77 to 167 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aside from those features, this food dehydrator also has a Two-Stage Sequential Temperature Timer (TST) that allows you to start the dehydration process at a higher temperature. Then, it will automatically lower the temperature at the later stage of the dehydration process. Moreover, the automatic settings of the TST result in faster drying time while preserving the essential nutrients and enzymes in your food.
The Tribest Sedona Express SDE-S6780 has a sleek and compact design with 11 trays. It also has a glass door and an internal LED light so you can check the drying process. It also offers numerous cooking mode, like raw, fast, continuous, and combination. As for its fan, it is located at the back of the machine along with a filter that keeps the dust out of the machine. It also has a timer. Lastly, this food dehydrator has a 10-year warranty.
With all these great features, the Tribest Sedona Express SDE- S6780 is definitely one of the best food dehydrators available on the market. However, it is expensive, with a price of more than $400.
The NutriChef PKFD12 is not only an affordable product, but it also offers great features, making it one of the best food dehydrators available on the market.
This food dehydrator comes with five removable and stackable trays. These trays are made of food-grade plastic, so it is safe to use with any kind of food. Each tray has a mesh surface that improves airflow and prevents the food from falling. This product also includes a drip tray that prevents food juices from leaking into the heater. It also has a perforated cover that lets out moisture and helps balance the temperature.
Aside from those features, the NutriChef PKFD12 is also easy to use. Once you’ve placed the food on the tray, all you need to do is to switch the on or off button, and the food dehydrator will slowly achieve its max temperature, which is 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, this product is also energy efficient, so you don’t have to worry about your electric bill going up if you use this machine often.
Although a great product, the NutriChef PKFD12 has some limitations. First, it doesn’t have an adjustable thermostat and a timer. So, you need to check the drying process often. This is especially true if you’re dehydrating fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, this product can also be a bit noisy.
The Excalibur 2900ECB is a great alternative to the Excalibur 3926TB, especially if you’re looking for a durable and high-quality product at a reasonable price (less than $200).
Like the other Excalibur model, this product is great for big families because it has a drying space of 15 square feet, and it contains 9 removable trays with flexible poly-screen tray inserts. This food dehydrator also has an adjustable thermostat, which you can adjust from 105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is low enough to preserve the enzymes in fruits and vegetables, and it is high enough to meet the safety standards for cooking or dehydrating meat. It also has a rear-mounted fan for even drying and easy clean-up.
Aside from those features, the Excalibur 2900ECB has a basic design. It has a built-in on and off switch. It doesn’t require complex controlling, and it comes with an interface that displays the settings of the machine. Lastly, this model comes with a 5-year warranty.
With these features, the Excalibur 2900ECB is definitely one of the best food dehydrators available on the market. However, its fan is a bit noisy. Aside from that, this food dehydrator doesn’t have a timer.
The Gourmia GFD1950 has a reasonable price (less than $150), yet it offers features that are present in high-end products. For one, this food dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat, which you can adjust from 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. This machine also features 8 computer-controlled temperature settings, starting at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, this product also comes with a timer, which you can set for up to 19.5 hours. When the timer has completed, the food dehydrator will ring and shut-off automatically.
Aside from those features, the Gourmia GFD1950 has 9 trays and a drying space of 9 square feet. Plus, it has a transparent door, so you can monitor the drying process. Also included in the package are a mesh protective food sheet for drying small food items and a drip tray for easy clean-up. The best part is that this product is BPA-free and ETL certified. As such, you’re guaranteed that you’re receiving an efficient, safe, and high-quality product.
One downside for this product is its maximum temperature, which is 158 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is not the ideal temperature for making jerky. Nonetheless, you can still dehydrate other food products on this machine. Aside from that, the trays and mesh protective food sheet are not dishwasher safe.
The Nesco FD-1040 is one of the most popular products on this list. This is not only because of its affordable price (less than $100) and pleasing design. This food dehydrator can also provide a lot of great features.
One of the best features of this product is its Patented Converga-Flow Air Flow that prevents water from dripping on the heater, which is located at the bottom of the machine. Moreover, this airflow mechanism also results in faster drying time, and it prevents the flavors from combining with one another.
In addition to that feature, this product also comes with an adjustable thermostat, which you can adjust from 90 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, you can dehydrate various products with this machine. Furthermore, this product has a powerful fan that is mounted at the top, and it also has a digital timer for up to 48 hours. As for its trays, there are 5 trays included in the package, but it can be expanded to 20 trays.
The Nesco FD-1040 is definitely an excellent product, especially considering its price and features. However, this product has a few drawbacks. For one, you need to buy extra trays if you’re going to dehydrate a lot of food. Aside from that, the trays are a bit fragile, so you need to be careful when handling them.
Another budget-friendly product on this list is the Presto 06300 – with a price of less than $50. Even though it has a low price, this product can perform well, especially if you’re drying small batches of food.
The Presto 06300 has a small and compact design perfect for small kitchens. In addition, this product has 4 trays, but you can purchase four more to double the space. Moreover, this food dehydrator operates at a preset temperature of about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has a bottom-mounted fan and heating element that provide consistent air flow. Lastly, this product is easy to clean. In fact, its lid and drying trays are immiscible and dishwasher safe.
Although a great product, this food dehydrator has a few drawbacks. First, it doesn’t have a timer, but it has a see-through cover that allows you to monitor the drying process. Aside from that, the temperature of this food dehydrator is not adjustable. So, it’s not ideal for drying various kinds of foods. Even so, this is still a great product, especially if you’re just going to make jerky.
The L’Equip 528 offers features that will not only dehydrate your foods evenly but preserve the essential nutrients as well. One of these features is this product’s light-blocking plastic walls that protect the vitamins and minerals during the drying process. Aside from that, this food dehydrator has a temperature control element and a heat sensor. For its temperature, you can adjust it from 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, thanks to its adjustable thermostat.
The heater and the fan of this product are located at the bottom. The heated air can circulate through the trays with the help of a special channel located at the center of the machine. This design promotes a balanced airflow, so you don’t have to rotate the trays during the drying process.
In addition to those features, this product also comes with 6 trays, which is expandable to 12 trays. Also included in the package are 6 mesh screens and 2 fruit leather trays. This product is also energy efficient, and it has a 10-year warranty.
With all these great features, the L’Equip 528 is definitely one of the best food dehydrators available on the market. However, this product is expensive, with a price of more than $250. Furthermore, this product doesn’t have a timer, so you need to check the drying process every now and then.
The Aroma Housewares Professional Food Dehydrator is a great product for those looking for a high-quality food dehydrator but with a limited budget. It offers features that will allow you to perfectly dry various kinds of foods.
First, this food dehydrator is designed to provide consistent and uniform horizontal air flow. It also has a rear-mounted fan that promotes optimal crispiness and even drying. It also comes with an adjustable thermostat, which you can adjust from 95 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, you can dehydrate various kinds of products with this machine. It also has an on or off switch that automatically shuts off the fan once the drying process is completed.
For its capacity, this food dehydrator comes with 6 removable BPA-free trays that support up to 1 pound of food on each level. It also has a drip tray that collects the food juices, so you can easily clean this machine. Aside from that, this machine also has a transparent cover so you can see the drying process. Best of all, you can purchase this product for an affordable price, which is less than $100.
One of the few limitations of this product is its maximum temperature, which is 155 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is not ideal for drying meat or making jerky. In addition, this product doesn’t have a timer.
The Magic Mill Professional Food Dehydrator has a sleek and modern design that you’ll surely love. But, that’s not all. It also offers features that allow you to make various kinds of dehydrated products.
At the back of this food dehydrator, you’ll find a large fan that horizontally pushes the air, resulting in even heating inside the machine. This product also comes with a digital thermostat and timer. The thermostat can be adjusted from 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, while the timer can be set to up to 19.5 hours. This food dehydrator also has an automatic shut-off feature, so you don’t have to monitor the drying process from time to time, although you can still see the drying process, thanks to its transparent cover.
Aside from those features, this food dehydrator comes with six spacious stainless-steel trays. Also included in the package are 2 plastic fine mesh trays, 2 nonstick trays, and a set of oven mitts.
Overall, the Magic Mill Professional Food Dehydrator is an excellent purchase, especially considering its features and affordable price (less than $120). However, some consumers have noted a few drawbacks for this product. The first is its slow drying time. Moreover, this product comes with 6 fixed trays, which you can’t expand if you want to dry more foods.