Drying of food is a practice that has endured since ancient times and food dehydrators give us a modern approach to achieving this feat. Drying food enables us to extend its shelf life as well as preserving its nutritional content without compromising on its taste.
Food dehydration machine involves removing the moisture content of food produces by exposing it to heat. In the past, this is achieved by reducing the food products into smaller pieces to increase the surface area which is then exposed to sunlight or fire. Food dehydrators are more efficient and help us achieve a better result with more convenience. It removes moisture from food substances using heat it generates and optimally disperses it among the food pieces.
Modern food dehydrators have a simple design which usually involves a heating component, a fanning system and a stack or shelf of trays. The heating components, generate the heat required to foster dehydration while the fanning system ensures that the generated heat is evenly distributed around the trays which houses the products under dehydration.
Checkout the list of top best food dehydrator available on amazon with discount right below,to read best food dehydrator reviews of 2020 before buying scroll down further.
- IVATION STAINLESS STEEL TRAY ELECTRIC FOOD DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
- EXCALIBUR ELECTRIC FOOD DEHYDRATOR
- MAGIC MILL FOOD DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
- CHEFMAN FOOD DEHYDRATOR
- HOMDOX FOOD DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
- GOURMIA COUNTERTOP FOOD DEHYDRATOR
- COSORI FOOD DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
- PRESTO DEHYDRO DIGITAL ELECTRIC FOOD DEHYDRATOR
- NESCO SNACK MASTER PRO FOOD DEHYDRATOR
- NUTRICHEF DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
There are food dehydrators of varying sizes and means of operation. Large, industrial dehydrators are often significantly large and consume a lot of power since they are used to process large chunks of food products. A family of kitchen appliances like dehydrator, on the other hand, is usually designed to be compact and light with lesser power outputs while still ensuring their efficiency.
Food dehydrators preserve the quality and nutritional values of food products and give us a good alternative to store food and various taste orientation. Since it operates at low temperatures, it significantly preserves the nutritional content of dried food while preventing them from harmful rays from the sun or smoke from fire.
A food dehydrator gives you a lot of option to storing food products and even making them. Dehydrated food products can stay good for up to a year, provided it is stored properly. Proper storage usually include using air-tight container to seal the dried pieces and refrigerating it.
IVATION STAINLESS STEEL TRAY ELECTRIC FOOD DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
This particular food dehydrator from Ivation is relatively new to the market in comparison to the rest on the list. Regardless, it is a thing of beauty that checks every criteria on the list. It is a horizontal flow dehydrator with a rear mounted automatic fan. The configuration and design of the dehydrator and fan makes sure that drying of its content is even and you can leave with a perfectly dried contents with as minimal effort as possible.
It also features loads of automated features that makes life much easier – such as the timer that can be programmed for up to 30 minutes. As well as an overheating safety protection. Thanks to its wide temperature range (95F – 158F), it will safely dry a variety of contents, from fruits to making a meat jerky with this food dehydrator for jerky.
- Weight: 19 pounds
- Dimensions: 19 x 18 x 15 inches
- Rated Power: 600W
- Temperature range: 95F – 158F
- Its parts are mostly made of stainless steel
- It features a digital timer with an automatic shut-off
- It features stainless steel trays
- It has a control panel/regulator on its roof
- The box contents includes: the food dehydrator, 6 drying racks, 1 mesh sheet, 1 solid sheet, a drip tray and the user guide
- It has enough space between each trays for any range of contents
- It features the recommended dehydrating design that allows for optimal and even drying of food
- Its drip tray collects water droplets and prevents a messy environment
- It is convenient and easy to use.
- It is automated and requires as little effort from the user as possible
- It is just as easy to clean, with stainless steel part that cleans easily and are dishwasher friendly as well
- It is versatile. Being able to dry a wide range of food contents
- It is highly durable and can last for years if properly used
- It is a bit pricy
- It lacks adequate room for larger food produces
- It is quite heavy and might be difficult to store
EXCALIBUR ELECTRIC FOOD DEHYDRATOR
Named after the famous long sword of the British knight-king, this model-like its name-sake, is a legend amongst food dehydrators from the US – with years of research and adjustment made to make the dehydrator as convenient for you as possible. With a patented heating system, denoted as “Hyperwave technology” – this fluctuates the temperature of the system to aid even dehydration and prevents hardening of food.
In addition, it features a horizontal dehydration system that allows for even distribution of heat without having to manually move trays around. It has a wide temperature range (105F – 165F) that enables it to dry a variety of food contents excellently – with it, you can safely make meat jerky, dry fish, vegetables, herbs and fruits. It comes with 9 square trays.
- Weight: 22 pounds
- Dimensions: 19 x 17 x 12.5 pounds
- Rated Power: 600W
- It has a patented hyperwave heating technology
- It has a temperature range from 105F to 165F
- It comes with 9 poly screen drying trays
- It features a dial-in to regulate the temperature
- It also features an adjustable thermostat and on/off switch
- It has an excellent heating system that prevents hardening
- Its horizontal dehydrating system and fan enables for even drying of food
- It is highly versatile, being able to perform function from drying fruits and vegetables to making yoghurts and raising bread
- It is very durable and even comes with a 10 years limited warranty
- It is very convenient and easy to use
- It is easy to clean as its trays resist sticking
- It has a wide temperature range that would enable you to make certain delicacies such as meat jerky, safely.
- It lacks a display timer
- It is quite expensive
- Its parts are not dishwasher friendly
- It is not automated and you especially have to turn it off manually when you are done drying
- It is significantly heavier than others of similar capacities
- It is quite heavy and might be difficult to store
MAGIC MILL FOOD DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
The Magic Mill food dehydrator is easy to set up and convenient to use. It uses a horizontal dehydration and airing system which maximizes even distribution of heat. It features an adjustable thermostat with a digital display panel that enables you to program the dehydrating temperature between 95F – 158F. It also allows the user to set a timer that automatically stops dehydration.
It has a unique transparent cover that enables you to monitor the dehydration process in one glance. It is very versatile and it comes with a number of valuable accessories to ease your food processing – such as a special hanging rack for making meat jerky and leather fruit trays.
- Weight: 19.13 pounds
- Dimensions: 18 x 14 x 17 inches
- It comes with 9 drying racks
- It features an horizontal dehydration system
- Its trays are made of stainless steel, while the rest of the body is mostly platic
- It has a see-through cover
- It features a digitally automated timer
- It processes food between 95F to 158F
- It comes with a unique hanging rack for meat jerking
- The pack contains 2 leather trays, 2 mesh trays, a hanging tray and a pair of oven mitts
- It is convenient to use and doesn’t require any special learning curve
- It has a an evenly thorough drying system
- The digital display timer allows you to preset the drying duration, further easing convenience
- Its automated thermostat enables you to program the optimal temperature range for your food
- It is quite versatile as well enabling you to dry a wide assortment of food contents
- Its various accessories allows you to pay optimal attention to each food type
- It is durable and will serve you for long
- It is easy to clean since its trays are stainless and they are dishwasher friendly
- It is affordable
- Its control panel allows for precise settings of ranges
- Its thermostat has preset temperatures that can’t be reprogrammed
- It is mostly made of plastic
- It lacks a drip tray
CHEFMAN FOOD DEHYDRATOR
The chefman food dehydrator comes as a small box-like package in all black with a transparent door that allows users to see through in order to monitor the progress of the drying process. This best small food dehydrator features a digital display timer that has an auto-switch function to prevent overheating and ease convenience.
It is highly versatile – enabling a wide temperature range (95F – 158F). Its dehydrating system follows the horizontal configuration. With the heating component and fan at the back of the box, behind the rows of vertical trays. It also has an excellent airflow that maximizes distribution of heat. It has enough room for six trays which is made of plastic.
- Weight: 5.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 13.6 x 17.5 x 12.4 inches
- Rated Power: 480 W
- It comes in a black colour with most of its parts made of plastic
- It has six plastic trays
- It features a digital timer and a thermostat
- It allows a temperature range of 95F to 158F
- It has an horizontal dehydration system
- Its cover is made of transparent plastic
- It has an auto off feature
- It comes with a small mesh tray
- It is very affordable for its features
- It is very easy to learn to use, as it also comes with a manual
- Its digital timer allows you to set the dehydrating period while its auto switch stops the process once the period is over
- It is very light and easy to store
- Its cover allows you to monitor the dehydration process with ease without opening it, hence tampering with the efficiency of the process
- It is very convenient and time-saving
- It is easy to clean and can be washed with a dishwasher
- It dries food fast and evenly
- It is very efficient with a rated power of 480 watts
- It is versatile and can deliver effectively with a wide range of food contents
- Its plastic trays might be toxic over time
- It has a small room and can’t carry a lot of content at once
- It doesn’t come with a drip tray
HOMDOX FOOD DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
The Homdox food dehydrator has an unconventional design. It has a vertical dehydrating system – with the heating component and fan on the base and trays stacked on each other. It is rather affordable and comes with a lot of features for its price and it one of the food dehydrators for sale in the market. It comes as a stack of 7 transparent trays. The machine allows for two different stacking systems to allow varying sizes of foods.
It is very versatile as well and has an adjustable temperature between 95F and 158F – to safely dehydrate a good number of varying food types. While the trays are made of plastic, the bottom part housing the heating component is made of stainless steel. It has a graduated knob on the stainless region to regulate the temperature.
- Weight: 7.47 pounds
- Dimensions: 15.1 x 12.3 x 11.9
- Rated Power: 250W
- Its trays are made of plastic while most of the other parts is stainless steel
- It has a temperature range of 95F – 158F
- It features a control knob
- It has 7 stackable trays
- It is designed with a vertical dehydration system
- Its trays are transparent
- Warranty of up to 2 years is given – with free tray replacements
- It is very easy to use
- It is very affordable as well
- It is quite versatile and can dry out a good range of food products
- The producers have an excellent customer service and fast delivery within the US
- It works effectively well within a small range
- It is quite easy to clean and its trays are dishwasher safe
- Its dual tray arrangement makes room for larger food items
- It is quite convenient with transparent trays and two different stacking types
- It is very light and easy to transport
- Its dehydration system is archaic and not quite efficient
- It lacks a digital timer, or any timer for that matter
- It doesn’t include an auto-switch
- It often hardens food
- Its trays don’t support heavy food items
- Food items especially those at the top are not evenly dried
- The trays have holes which makes it difficult to dry small products like nuts or herbs
- It doesn’t come with a drip tray
GOURMIA COUNTERTOP FOOD DEHYDRATOR
The gourmia countertop food dehydrator has the appearance of a small oven or refrigerator. It comes in a black colour with a transparent plastic cover. It has 8 different temperature settings from 95F to 158F. It features a display timer that helps in programming the dehydrating period – though it is preset at 30 minute intervals. It comes with six plastic, perforated trays as well a leather sheet, comes handy when you need to work with smaller foods.
It is designed with a horizontal dehydration system, with the heating element and fan in the back with the trays arranged right in front of the fan. It has an ETL certification of quality, and it comes at a price that won’t break the bank.
- Weight: 17.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 19.5 x 15.2 x 14.2 inches
- It has an horizontally placed heating and fanning systems
- It has six trays
- It is packed with a manual, leather sheet – to aid smaller food stuffs and a drip tray
- It is made mostly of plastic
- It has a transparent door
- Temperature settings are pre-programmed at 30 minutes intervals
- It has a temperature range of 95F through to 158F
- It features a display timer to set duration
- It is very affordable and packs a load of features
- It comes with a leather tray to use for tiny products since its perforated
- It automatically stops the dehydration once the timer stops
- It is very affordable
- It is very versatile and would dry anything from veggies to meat
- It is very efficient and dries food evenly
- It is quite easy to use with preset timing intervals and temperature settings
- It doesn’t have a lot of room
- Some components are not dishwasher safe
- The preset temperature settings and timer doesn’t give room for precision
COSORI FOOD DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
This particular food dehydrator advertised as being capable of working effectively with 50 different recipes has a vertical configurations with stacked trays sitting on the heating components and fanning system. For its small appearance and weight of about 9 pounds, the dehydrator has a high power output of 450 watts. Although, it’s a bit small with just room for five trays, it has a sleek appearance.
Coming in a white, cylindrical shape. It features a digital display with an LED screen which supports touch control. With an impressive temperature range of 95F to 165F, you can be sure that it will dry you some excellent meat jerky – safely dried under a constant temperature. It also has an auto shut-off feature that stops the dehydration process – immediately the timer has stopped, to prevent overcooking. It comes with a two years warranty.
- Weight: 9.25 pounds
- Its trays are made of plastic and are stackable
- It has a white overall colour and a cylindrical shape
- It features a digital timer with a touch control
- It has an auto switch-off capacity
- It is capable of running temperatures between 95F to 165F
- It has 5 plastic trays
- It comes with and extra mesh screen, a fruit roll sheet and a free recipe note
- Its trays are BPA free and safe to use
- It has a fairly effective dehydration range
- It is versatile and can be used to process any food item from drying fruits to making meat jerky
- It is easy to learn to use and its controls are easy to use
- It is very affordable
- It is durable and has a good shelf life
- It is very light – easy to move around and store
- It has an auto switch-off ability which increases convenience
- It is very easy to clean, with the trays being dishwasher safe
- The colour is opaque and decreases convenience of monitoring the process
- It can cause hardening of food it processes
- It might not deliver an even drying of the food content especially the upper stacks
- The plastics used in making the trays are not defined and one can’t be sure of their safety
PRESTO DEHYDRO DIGITAL ELECTRIC FOOD DEHYDRATOR
The Presto food dehydrator has a unique portability feature that will save you storage space and storing efforts. It has an internal storage for its cable. It comes with six plastic trays, but they can be increased to twelve – all stacked in a vertical fashion with its heating component beneath the stack. The dehydrator has a temperature range of 95F to 160F which can be adjusted with a few buttons on the machine’s base.
It has a digital timer with a thermostat to automate the drying duration. It is a very affordable option with a good power output and a smooth and silent operation. On the other hand it doesn’t come with accessories and more trays has to be bought separately.
- Weight: 8.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.5 x 15 x 17.2
- It has an expandable six tray system
- Trays are made of plastic with a transparent lid or cover
- It runs on a vertical dehydrating system
- It features a digital timer display
- It has a thermostat that automates duration
- It has a temperature range of 95F to 165F
- It is packed with two fruit roll sheets, two mesh screens trays and a transparent cover
- It is very portable, easy to move and store
- It is easy to clean and the trays are dishwasher safe
- It is very versatile and would deliver on most dryable foods
- It is easy and convenient to learn and use
- It is very affordable
- It has an automated thermostat and timer
- It has a quite efficient dehydration range
- It offers enough room that is also expandable
- It has a number of accessories that easies processing different sorts of food
- It is difficult to monitor the process because of the stacked trays are not transparent
- It might cause hardening of dried products with uneven dehydration
- You have to purchase additional trays separately – which increases the total cost
NESCO SNACKMASTER PRO FOOD DEHYDRATOR
The Nesco food dehydrator gives a different meaning to portability, coming from a well-known producer in the kitchen appliances industry. It has the appearance of a small bowl and doesn’t occupy too much space. It comes in a white and gray colour. Its dehydration configuration has a vertical orientation but with its heating component and fan on the top.
Its adjustable thermostat can run temperatures from 95F to 160F, working at a power of 600 watts. It comes with 5 trays which can be expandable to twelve by purchasing additional trays separately. It has a patented converge flow drying system which channels heat horizontally across each individual tray, ensuring even distribution of heat and preventing hardening of food contents.
- Weight: 7.75 pounds
- Dimensions: 13.8 x 22.1 x 13,.9 inches
- Rated Power: 600 watts
- It comes with five white and opaque trays
- It features a vertical dehydration configuration with converge flow
- It has a temperature range of 95F to 160F
- It features a control knob for temperature adjustments
- It comes with additional accessories which includes: two flexible screens, two fruit rolls
- It is easy and convenient to use
- It is affordable
- It is light, compact and easy to store
- It is easy to clean, with its parts being dishwasher safe
- It is very efficient for a good range of food products including several types of jerky
- It has a very precise thermostat
- It has a very versatile usage
- It is very durable and has a long shelf life
- It lacks a digital timer
- It lacks an auto switch-off function
- It lacks adequate room for larger foods
- You have to buy additional trays separately increasing cost
NUTRICHEF DEHYDRATOR MACHINE
Nutrichef dehydrator machine is an electric multi-tier food preserver that dehydrates food excellently well? It packs 5 small trays – made entirely of plastic. It has a vertically oriented dehydration system, having its heating component at the base and the fan there also. The transparent trays are then stacked on one another. It looks excellently on the kitchen counter, with its mini white colour enhancing its aesthetic look.
It is also very affordable for its versatility. It features a simple button with which you can regulate the temperature with. The temperature reaches an impressive 180F. The machine is very simple to use, hence, you can choose your temperature range with just a click of a button. It is light and compact, which makes it and just as portable and super easy to store.
- Weight: 3.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 11 x 10.2 x 11 inches
- It comes with 5 plastic trays
- The machine is white while the trays are colorless
- It features a single button for control
- It has a vertical dehydration system
- Its temperature can go as high as 180F
- Additional accessories have to be bought separately
- It is very simple and easy to use
- Its transparent trays allow for easy monitory of the items being dehydrated
- It is very effective, having a wide temperature range
- It is very affordable
- Its lightness, compactness and portability makes it very easy to store and move around
- It is very easy to clean, with the trays being dishwasher safe
- It lacks a digital timer
- More accessories, like a leather tray have to be purchased separately
- The trays are not very durable and can’t support a lot of weight
- The trays don’t offer enough room
- It doesn’t have an auto-switch feature
- Its plastic may not be safe for use under very high temperatures
- It may not evenly dry food contents especially those at the top
BENEFITS OF USING FOOD DEHYDRATORS
As mentioned earlier, Food dehydrators afford a lot of storing options and enables you to make homemade snacks from fruits and veggies and help you process them efficiently. More defined benefits of owning a food dehydrated are touched below:
- Preserves quality and nutritional value: Food pieces dried with food dehydrators leaves your food in optimal quality with concentrated flavor without compromising on its safety – leaving you with food with a great taste and a flavor you won’t get through any other means, especially not by cooking
- Reduce waste and extends shelf life: A food dehydrator helps you to reduce waste of leftover or excess food that would otherwise be disposed or wasted.
- It helps produce healthy and non-chemically preserved food: The food dehydration process is totally natural and you can be assured of the safety of the products you are consuming and presenting to the family to eat.
- It helps to save money and costs: By reducing waste you save more money. You also can take maximum advantage of store specials without fearing that the excess products would go to waste.
- It has flexible and versatile usage: Other than preservation and storage of food, food dehydrators can be used to make snacks, meat/fish jerky and other delights
- It is usually simple and easy to use
- It ensures safe preservation of food products when you are thinking of storing them for an extended period of time.
BUYING GUIDE FOR DEHYDRATORS
A food dehydrator has a very useful place in every kitchen and gives you a lot of options to choose from when considering what to buy or to eat. Because of this there are several different types in the market and choosing one from a wide range of options can easily become a chore.
We naturally want to get the best value for our money, which is why we usually pay attention to details when purchasing kitchen appliances – naturally more expensive items are more durable and convenient to use, this is not usually the case. Hence, a few points to pay attention to would be described below to help you make the best choice when choosing your food dehydrator.
- Dehydrator System Configuration:
The very first thing you want to pay attention to while choosing a food dehydrator is the dehydrator’s configuration. This usually determine its efficiency and its ability to make an evenly dried product. There are majorly two configuration types, which is either vertical or horizontal.
A dehydrator with a vertical configuration has its heating component either at the base or on top of the trays. Most dryers with this kind of system don’t supply enough heat to farther trays from the fans and that can cause uneven drying of the food contents. Sometimes leading to hardening. On the other hand, they are usually portable – with the trays stackable and easily stored. They also provide a flexible stacking system that can afford more space for a larger food content.
One with horizontal configuration usually have an evenly distributed heating system anchored to the back of the dehydrator with a fanning system right in front of it – with trays arranged in front of it within a defined space. And then a door to keep the dehydrator’s heat within the system. They are usually rigid and heavier than their vertical counterparts.
The power capacity of the dehydrated loosely translates to the amount of power it releases. The more power it uses, the more energy it consumes and the more heat it is able to produce. So you want to make a choice between a high powered dehydrator which dries your food fast while drawing a lot of energy and adding significantly to your energy bill and one that consumes little power but dries slowly under low temperatures.
The size and space a dehydrator would occupy and afford for food products is a significant factor to consider before choosing one. If you would be needing to dry large pieces of food, you should take one with adequate room and space. But if you are more concerned about storage space, choose a more compact and portable dehydrator. Stackable dehydrators come in very handy in this cases.
When choosing a dehydrator for you kitchen and home you want to pay attention to the trays and lid or door. Stainless steel and plastic are most commonly used. Most times this products are perforated to enhance heat distribution so you might need an additional leather or mesh tray for smaller food pieces. Stainless steel is very easy to clean and are mostly dishwasher safe and friendly but are usually costly and have far more perforations.
Plastics are more difficult to clean and if you wash with a dishwasher you need to get one that is safe with dishwashers. Some plastic materials also release toxic materials under high heat, hence, it is advisable to choose one that is certified to be safe for use in heat.
A transparent door in the case of a horizontal system and transparent trays in vertical systems are also advisable as this enables you to monitor the dehydrating process without disturbing the heating atmosphere by opening and closing – and also makes it more comfortable for you.
Several features are added in food dehydrators to increase your convenience and eases its use. Such features include timers, thermostats and digital displays. Timers allow you to preset the duration of the drying process while the thermostat regulates the temperature automatically to prevent overheating. A digital display helps you to make precise settings easily and accurately.
Many manufacturers gift the user a number of accessories and features that ease the use of the best food dehydrator on the market. Such accessories a drip pan that collects condensed moisture and prevent it from accumulating on the base of the dehydrator making a mess and tampering with the durability of the machine. Others include, mesh trays, leather fruits rolls and kitchen mitts.
FAQS ABOUT FOOD DEHYDRATORS
WHAT IS FOOD DEHYDRATION?
Food dehydration is a process by which the water contents in food products are removed using steady heat applied over a range of time. The primary purpose is usually to increase its storage life – dehydrated foods have much less chances of micro-organism growth or decay. It can also be to bring out peculiar taste and texture in food. I hope you got the reply to your question of which food dehydrator is the best after reading the food dehydrator reviews above.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN FOOD IS DRIED?
Keeping food products at an optimally dried temperature is tricky as you don’t want it to become brittle and brownish and neither do you want to leave it moist or sticky, but when it becomes leathery and elastic, you can be sure that it is dried. Regardless you will become more familiar with the dried states of various food substances with increased use.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DRY FOOD?
Different food stuffs have varying dehydration durations. Fruits and vegetables often dry easily within 30 minutes while nuts, meat and fish typically takes more time to get dehydrated. Consulting recipe books can be a good help to determine the best duration to use for particular foods.
ARE NUTRIENTS DESTROYED BY THE HEAT?
During dehydration, food products may lose a bit of their nutrients to the heat, but a low and constant temperature reduces this to a bare minimum. You want to dry delicate products like veggies under low heat to preserve its nutrients.
HOW ARE DEHYDRATED FOODS STORED?
It is best to store them in air-tight containers and then in the fridge or any cool surrounding to maximize the shelf life. Typically, dried food stuffs last much longer on the shelf than a moist one. Refrigeration significantly extends the shelf life of dried food products.
DO I NEED A FOOD DEHYDRATOR?
Food dehydrators are almost a necessity in every kitchen. You can easily make home-made snacks from fruits and vegetables,fish-meat jerky, preserve the shelf life of food produces, make your own seasonings from vegetables and spices and so on. It gives you the option to keep food stuffs that are perishable for a longer period of time, saves you money and effort.
DO I HAVE TO PRETREAT FOOD BEFORE DEHYDRATION?
Pretreating food can significantly enhance their quality and looks after drying but it is not very necessary. Although you might need to cook meat before drying it to ensure that it is safe to consume.
DOES DEHYDRATION CHANGE THE COLOUR OF FOOD?
It mostly doesn’t, but overheated food may lose its natural color and become brown and brittle.
I am a kitchen expert and connoisseur of food with decades of cooking experience who loves to cook a variety of scrumptious food item to awaken the taste buds of people who eat my food. I know a lot about kitchen utensils and appliances and here to share my years of knowledge about the best kitchen products with you.