Are you looking for the best food dehydrator worth your money? With so many options in the market, it is hard to find the one for you. To help you, we have included a buying guide and top reviews in this article. Check them out below.
What is Good Dehydrator?
The goal of a dehydrator is to remove the water from food, drying them efficiently to make snacks and to store late. For you to be able to do this, you need a good dehydrator that can provide even airflow and constant temperature throughout all trays. The best dehydrators that can provide this are the modern, electric ones with a heating element, thermostat, and a fan.
To elaborate on this, we will list below the different features that make up a good food dehydrator:
One of the most important features to look for is an adjustable thermostat. It will provide you with an even temperature across the trays. Modern dehydrators usually have thermostats you can set from 95 – 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to look for this feature as it will allow you to set up the drying time and temperature recommended for each type of food.
You want a dehydrator with an even airflow. Modern food dehydrators can achieve with the combination of a heating element, a fan that can be either top-mounted or bottom mounted, plus the design of the model. The power used by the model depends on the capacity and size of the fan, which you should consider as well.
You will find out a dehydrator's capacity by the number of trays or shelves it has. Also, even if the dehydrator has 7 trays, its capacity may differ depending on the size of the trays. The smaller model is ideal for homeowners who only do some occasional dehydrating. But if you love to dehydrate lots of foods at once, then we advise getting a larger one.
It isn't a feature that affects how well the dehydrator does its job, but it matters, nonetheless. After all, no one wants an appliance that is too noisy. If you have a separate pantry, it might be okay. However, a noisy dehydrator is not ideal if your kitchen is near a living space. On that note, look for a food dehydrator with a low decibel rating.
Tray vs. Shelf Dehydrator
The type of food dehydrator is an important consideration, of course. The two different designs are Stacking and Shelf Dehydrators, each with advantages and disadvantages. We have listed them below for you:
Its trays are shelves you slide in and out of the box-shaped dehydrator. It usually has a different airflow system with a heating element and a fan mounted in the rear. Thus, it blows air horizontally from the back to the front of the trays for even drying.
Its trays fit on top of one another snugly. As for the fan, it is mounted either at the top or bottom of the stacked trays. Compared to the Shelf Dehydrator, its trays have a hole in the middle where the air is routed. It achieved even heating by forcing heated air along the outside walls, then across the trays towards the center channel before exiting the device.
Other Features to Look For:
Top 5 Best Buy Dehydrator In 2020 and Reviews
At the top of the list is Presto 06300 Dehydro, a dehydrator that turns on automatically when plugged in. It is great for drying all kinds of foods like meat jerkies as well as dried fruits and vegetables without preservatives. To do that, Presto Dehydro uses a 4-tray system that can be expanded to 8 trays. The four trays are included in the product, of course. It also has a see-through cover, ideal for easy monitoring of the progress of the foods you are drying.
Another notable feature of the product is the heating element and fan mounted at the bottom. These help in giving the dehydrator consistent airflow for excellent drying. Besides the trays, Dehydro includes non-stick mesh screens, fruit roll sheets, jerky spice kits, and a jerky gun. Both trays and cover are safe to clean in the dishwasher as they're fully immiscible, making cleaning an easy job. Some users might not like that it doesn't have an on/off switch and that's it is preset to around 165 degrees.
The Snackmaster by NESCO is a dehydrator featuring 600 watts of drying power at 120 volts. It is notably high power for optimum drying courtesy of a top-mounted fan. NESCO FD-75A is ideal for drying all kinds of foods thanks to its adjustable thermostat. This feature gives the user the ability to dry foods at various temperatures from 95-degrees to 160-degrees Fahrenheit. Included in the product are 5 13.5 inches trays that can be expanded to 12.
Besides the trays, it includes accessories such as 2 Clean-A screens and 2 fruit roll sheets, plus a jerky seasoning sample with a cure. The drying ability to this dehydrator comes from the patented Converga-Flow drying system. It is what gives the dehydrator the ability to evenly dry foods without rotating the trays. Also, the Opaque Vita-Save exterior of NESCO FD-75A ensures no harmful light can destroy the food’s nutritional content.
COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator features 6 stackable trays made of stainless steel, plus a mesh screen and fruit roll sheet for drying all kinds of foods. You can use it to make beef jerkies, dog treats, fruit leathers, breadcrumbs, snacks, and more. Dehydrating is ideal using this product as it is made with glass front door and food-grade stainless steel. For controls, you can use the timer in the digital control panel.
The temperature ranges from 95-degrees to 165-degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for food batches of average size. This one has a start button that you simply need to push to dehydrate your foods. With its quiet operating noise, many users love that it isn’t annoying to use at all. It features BPA-free tray liners, auto shutoff to save energy, and overheat protection. As it is dishwasher-safe, cleaning the dehydrator is also quite easy.
NESCO FD-80A is a food dehydrator featuring a powerful top-mounted fan with 700 watts drying power. Along with an adjustable thermostat from 95-degrees to 160-degrees Fahrenheit, you can use it for drying a wide range of foods. Included in the product are 4 square trays you can expand to 8, plus cure packets, 2 jerky spice, and 1 clean-A screen. All of them are domestic parts made in the USA and BPA-free, so they are safe to use.
This model also uses NESCO’s patented Converga-Flow Drying system for even heating without rotating the trays. It is an air-circulation system for faster drying of fruits, vegetables, jerkies, and herbs. The thermostat is adjustable with the instruction written on the motor housing. This model also included an instruction manual. NESCO-FD-80A has dishwasher parts and a bale handle delivered in frustration-free packaging.
An electric, digital food dehydrator, Presto 06301 has a large capacity for drying with its 6-tray system that’s expandable to 12. It is ideal for making jerky and dried seafood using the digital timer and thermostat. With its timer, you can set the temperature for the foods you are drying accurately from 90 degrees to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It boasts of a consistent airflow courtesy of the heating element and a fan mounted at the bottom.
Presto 06301 has an excellent feature in the form of a drying tray nest. You can put the trays and cord here when not in use, effectively saving space. Included in the model are 2 fruit roll sheets, 2 nonstick mesh screen trays, plus a cover. All of them are dishwasher safe, making Presto 06301 easy to clean. The only problem some users complain about is that the fan is too loud and noisy. Some of them also worry about the plastic material of the dehydrator.
Dehydrators are an amazing machine to have if you like to make your nutritious snacks. It is also excellent for when you want to preserve foods by drying. In the list above, you will find 5 different highly recommended dehydrators. Each of them has excellent features that mostly match the buying guide. Choosing the one for you now depends on your preferences and budget. Enjoy shopping!