Choosing the best food dehydrator from the innumerable option present in the market is quite a mind-boggling task. We have curated the dehydrators which have top notch features.We have spent a lot of time when choosing the best ones for you. Our list is made considering three crucial factors features, brand, and cost. We have tried to cover both stacked and box model in the list.
The prime factors that are looked for when selecting the models are heat and airflow, access to food, temperature control, time control, versatility, and material and quality. We have tested each model for its efficiency. We have tested the products for their performance, dryness level, noise level, and temperature accuracy.
If you want to know detail procedures and tests we have conducted you can see the bottom section of this article.Otherwise, you can select one from the list we have presented below.These are undoubtedly best product available in the market.
Best For All Purpose
Best For Jerky
Best Budget Dehydrator
|Product||Design||Trays||Spec/strong>||TempRange (°F)||Timer||Warranty||Check Price|
|1.Excalibur 3926TB||Horizontal||9||19 x 17 x 8.5 inches,||105-165°F, 600 watt||Yes||10 Year||Check The Price|
|2.Nesco FD-75A||Vertical||5||22.13 x 13.75 x 13.87 in||105-165°F, 600 watts||Yes||1 Year||Check The Price|
|3.Presto 06301||Vertical||4||15 x 14.5 x 7.25 in|
|35-145°F, 600 watts||Yes||1 Year||Check The Price|
|4.Hamilton Beach 32100A||Vertical||5||13 x 10.5 x 11 in||100-160° F, 500 watts||Yes||1 Year||Check The Price|
|5.Cuisinart DHR-20||Vertical||5||15.62 x 13.38 x 12 in||110-175° F, 620 watts||No||NA||Check The Price|
|6.Magic Mill||Vertical||6||13.5 x 15 x 19 in||95-158º F||Yes||NA||Check The Price|
|7.Gourmia GFD1650||Vertical||6||17.8 x 13.5 x 12 in||Up to 158º F, 600 watts||Yes||NA||Check The Price|
|8.NutriChef PKFD12||Vertical||6||12 x 7.5 x 13 in||Up to 180°F, 250 watts||No||NA||Check The Price|
|9.Excalibur 3526TW||Horizontal||5||17 x 19 x 8.5 in||95-155°F, 400 watts||Yes||10 Year||Check The Price|
|10.Nesco FD-61WHC||Vertical||5||13 x 11 x 13 in||95-160º F, 500 watts||No||NA||Check The Price|
Summery Of Best Food Dehydrator Review
1.Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator
The trays are removable which makes it possible to dehydrate a big piece of the food item. There is an inbuilt temperature modulation to transit from high to low temperature with time.
You can set the temperature from 105-165 as most of the dehydrator recipes use this temperature range. It works well for almost all food items.
The fan and the heating elements are present at the back of the machine which dries the food item evenly. The body of the dehydrator is non-toxic to safeguard the food in every way. I would give thumbs up to this product.
2.Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
Nesco SnackMaster is the newest dehydrator. It is one of the top-selling food dehydrators on Amazon. It has a sleek and contemporary design. The product dehydrates the food item evenly.
The product comes with five trays which are good enough to dry moderate amount of food. Nevertheless, if you feel space is less, you can buy more trays and expand the space. You can fit in 12 trays easily.
The temperature settings suit almost all the dehydrator recipes. It has a top mounted fan so be careful to rotate the trays periodically or else it may cause over-drying of the food kept in the top tray.
The size of the product is portable. You can even carry the product where ever you want too. On the whole, it’s easy to use and carry food dehydrator.
3.Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator
Presto deluxe digital dehydrator is a classy and efficient food dehydrator. It comes at a budget-friendly price.
It contains roll sheets which are best for preparing fruit leathers. The non-stick mesh screen trays prevent contamination.
Any particulate matter or dust cant enter the trays if they are covered, so hygiene is ensured
It comes with nine trays, but if you want to maximize space you can buy more trays. There is a digital timer to monitor the time of drying.
Overall, the product has all the necessary features. Multiple users have recommended this product. If you are a beginner, this is the right choice for you.
4.Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator
Hamilton Beach is a square space-saving food dehydrator. It helps to take the food preparation to the next level. The product looks like a square shape tiffin box and could easily fit any space of your kitchen. If you are looking for something that fits into a small space then this one is for you.
The product comes with a mesh screen and fruit roll trays which are best for making fruit leathers. There are only five trays which are sufficient enough to dry moderate amount of food at once.
The smart timer turns-off automatically when the work is done so you don’t have to worry about running and switching it off when the timer is complete.
It’s very easy to use and come at a minimal price.I would suggest this one a good buy. It is good for people who just stepped into food dehydration process.
5.Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator
Cuisinart Food Dehydrator makes easy nutritious food items in few hours. The product works effectively to preserve food naturally without adding a preservative.
The device is expandable up to nine trays. However, it comes with five trays you have to purchase additional trays separately. The good part is you can adjust the fan speed from low to high levels.
You can select it to low when drying herbs or spices as they may fly off with high fan speed.The product works fast.
You can dry almost all the food items in this dehydrator. It is an excellent device to save money and prevent food waste.
6.Magic Mill Professional Food Dehydrator Machine
Magic Mill Professional is an easy functioning dehydrator best for making homemade snacks. You can preserve your snacks, make them last longer without any spoilage with this.
The dehydrator comes with all the necessary attachments suitable for making jerkies and other food items like herbs, fruit leather, etc.
The dehydrator resembles a medium size container box that absolutely goes with almost all types of kitchen decor. The functionalities are easy to understand and works by a single press button. After one single use, you can become a pro in dehydrating snacks. The trays are of different material so as to help you with all the food varieties. Like for example for meat jerky’s, its preferable to use non-stick trays. Likewise, for fruit leathers, it’s preferable to use the mesh trays.
Overall, I would say it has the required features of a standard dehydrator. So, if you are looking for a basic version you can go with this one.
7.Gourmia GFD1650 Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator
Gourmia dehydrator is a quality product. It offers a premium quality and gives desirable results. The product is a box and shelf type dehydrator.
You can keep it on your counter top to add a luxurious decor to your kitchen. The price, when compared to features offered, is remarkable.
The heat air circulation works 360 airflow technology which causes even drying of food items from all sides. Not only this, it evenly dries all the food item kept for drying. You can expand the size up to nine trays. The timer and thermostat can be set as per your recipe requirement. Overall, its an average buy.
8.NutriChef PKFD12 Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator
The dehydrator works on one button. It is a multi-tier pro food dehydrator that preserves a variety of foods. It can preserve a good quantity of food at once.
If you are an occasional user, then this is the best option for you. It’s a space-saving dehydrator meant for people who are too much into drying but at the same time use them once in a week.
9.Excalibur 3526TW Excalibur 3526TW 5 Tray Dehydrator
This one is another compact food dehydrator from Excalibur. The product is compact and fits in a small space.
If you are looking for something small, this one would be a good choice. In spite, of the small size, it comes with eight trays.
The product doesn’t consume much of electricity. You can dry anything in it without a second thought.
10.Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator
It’s a good choice for making jerkies as it comes with three jerky a jerky gun. Additionally, you can even make fruit rolls with fruit roll sheet provided with it. It works great with all the dehydrator recipes.
You can adjust the dehydrator as per your need. The drying is even in all the trays due to its patented converge-flow drying system. Overall, it has all the required features for drying. We can say it’s a good choice in low range.
How We Have Chosen Best Food Dehydrator For You
Now, let’s go on to each factor separately.
It is the amount of moisture removed from the food item when dried for around 8-10 hours. When checking dryness, we also considered evenness of drying. Evenness means how consistently the food is dried on all the trays.
We tested evenness and dryness in on all the trays. For the horizontal flow dehydrators, we especially focused on the middle three trays as they are closer to the heating element. In the same manner, for the vertical flow dehydrators, we especially checked for the bottom or top trays depending upon the location of the heating element.
For temperature efficiency, we checked how close the machine stays on average to the temperature we set on the thermostat. For this, we have taken the average of two trays.
We have tested both the parameters when making the three most popular recipes of a food dehydrator. The results for each recipe are shown below:
For this we selected strawberries. We made a puree and poured it on the trays of the dehydrator. We positioned the trays near to the fan to get the best results. All the dehydrators gave nice results. However, Excalibur and Presto were phenomenal. The food leather was neither too brittle nor over dry with these two. The other dehydrators were sufficient enough to make fruit leathers.
For this, we have cut thick pear slices. We have cut them uniformly to get accurate results. The slices were placed on the dehydrator racks. We even did a pre-treatment with ascorbic acid to prevent over-drying. The slices were left for drying for around 8 hours.
The dryness and evenness level varied with different dehydrators. Hamilton Beach showed the best results for this. It evenly dried the pear slices to approximately 93%. Gourmia GFD1650 gave the lowest level of dryness and evenness. With this, the dryness was ok but, the evenness varied. Five to eight slices were dried to around 50%.
We have cut thin slices of lean meat. We have tried including the fresh lean meat. After selecting and cutting the slices were kept on the dehydrator trays for around 12 hours. For making jerkies, all the food dehydrator didn’t show excellent results.
All the dehydrators were set in between 155-165 degrees temperature. The best meat jerky was made by Excalibur 3926TB and Hamilton Beach 32100A. It does not mean that others didn’t show good results. They also showed desired results but were a little lesser than these two.
|Product||% Dryness & Evenness Of Pear Test||%Fruit Leather Test||%Jerky Test||%Temperature Accuracy||% Overall Performance|
|Hamilton Beach 32100A||93||93||98||90||95|
For this, we have checked the sound level and pitch of the fan produced by each dehydrator. We checked the noise level, especially during the night time. Our test equipment included a calibrated measurement microphone. We mounted the microphone on a stand at ear level. We have kept the microphone next to the dehydrator to get the accurate results.
A lower dB reading is desired. It is because low-frequency noise is less irritating than the high-frequency noise. Cuisinart DHR gave the best sound results. It makes the least amount of noise when compared with the other products.
|4.Hamilton Beach 32100A||54.3|
Things To Consider When Buying A Food Dehydrator
Buying a best food dehydrator is not simple, especially if you want the perfect one. The market has many variants. To help you narrow your search, we have come up with a list of considerations to look for when buying a dehydrator.
The dehydrators have a fan at the top or bottom for heating. But, in the stackable dehydrators, the hot air is blown in an uneven pattern. Generally, the trays kept closer to the fan dries up fast and the bottom trays don’t get sufficient air.
To avoid this, you should go for rotating racks. Rotation distributes the air evenly and prevents the top trays from overheating. If your budget allows, you can opt for box and shelf models. These models have fans at the back too, to provide equal distribution of air.
Buying a food dehydrator that fits your space is always the best choice. You should look at the size especially if you have a small countertop. For small countertops, a stackable food dehydrator is good enough. However, if you have enough space, a box and shelf model is the best.
Space here refers to the space for food. Look for the amount of food that you can dehydrate at once. If you have to dehydrate a large amount of food look for options that have 10-30 stackable racks. Both the models come with few to a high number of trays. Choose the one that suffices your need.
Choosing a modifiable version is preferred. A food dehydrator model in which the racks can be removed is good. Removable racks are preferred as they can be removed when drying large pieces of food.
All the food dehydrators are made of either plastic or metal. When going for a plastic model, check for the FDA certification. Additionally, go for food grade plastic with no BFA. Similarly, when choosing a metal food dehydrator look for the FDA certification. More off, if you are looking for a long-term use, go for metal models. It is because they are not likely to degrade quickly.
A food dehydrator cost starts from $50 normally. A stackable dehydrator can cost you below $100. A box and shelf dehydrator ranges from $200 – $350. Choose as per your budget. If you are on a tight budget, you may start off with a stacked dehydrator.
Now, you have enough knowledge about the food dehydrators. Let’s move on to the interesting part that is buying a food dehydrator. The market has many variants. The large variety is sure to baffle you. To release your stress, we have made a list of the top food dehydrators.
The chosen once have all the necessary features, and all of them are in a budget-friendly range. You can choose any one that suits your requirement. So, don’t wait now. Scroll up get a dehydrator home for healthy life.
What Is A Food Dehydrator?
A food dehydrator is a plastic or metal box that dries food by passing hot air through them. The hot air decreases the moisture content of the food. It lowers the moisture content up to 90%.
Removing the water content increases the shelf life of the food. Moist food when stored gets spoilt so removing it is the best way to preserve food. However, the water content is not completely removed but is retained in a ratio of 0.75 to 1 to the protein content in the foods.
Food stored by this process can be consumed for years. You can consume it, especially during the seasons when it’s not available. After drying the food, you have to seal them or keep them in an airtight jar.
What Are The Types Of Food Dehydrators?
Generally, the market has two basic kinds of food dehydrators. Both of them work well. You can buy any as per your need.
They are often called as Vertical flow food dehydrators. Stacked dehydrator as the name suggests has several racks or trays stacked together.
The heat source is located either at the base or at the top. There is no outer cover instead, each stack or tray is kept on one another. These stacks are sealed so that the heat does not escape the dehydrator.
The fan circulates the air in vertical directions. However, the flow of air is not uniform.The trays on the bottom get the maximum share of the heat and air flow.
Due to vertical air flow, it is often recommended to rotate the trays periodically to avoid over-drying some trays and under-drying others.Vertical flow dehydrators work well for vegetable and fruits.
It’s hard to make a perfect meat jerky with stackable dehydrators. Stacking can dehydrate a large amount of food at once. The size of the dehydrator varies. For large food storage, you can buy the larger ones and vice-versa.
Advantages of Stackable dehydrators
- Size is customizable
- More trays can be added.
- Works best for vegetables and fruits
Disadvantages of Stackable dehydrators
- Uneven flow of air. Bottom trays often get overdried and the top trays are under dried.
- You have to rotate the trays for equal drying.
- Don’t make the perfect meat jerky.
Box and shelf dehydrators as the name says has a box and shelves. They are often referred as Horizontal Food flow dehydrators. They resemble like electric ovens.
In this device, a fan is present at the back to blow hot air through the food. The flow of air is horizontal. The horizontal flow of air is equal on all the trays. The trays on the top and bottom are heated equally which prevents drying or over drying.
They have a better insulation than the stacked dehydrators. You can get the perfect meat jerky out of this. However, they fall in a higher price range.
Advantages of Box and shelf dehydrators
- Uniform drying of food.
- Easy to use
- Best for meat or beef jerky.
Disadvantages of Box and Shelf Dehydrators
- Occupy a large space.
What Are The Benefits Of A Food Dehydrator?
A food dehydrator comes with several benefits. The food stored by this process is fresh and healthy too. You can even dehydrate food in an oven. However, there are many advantages of using a dehydrator instead of an oven. Some of the prime advantages of a food dehydrator are as follows:
First one is the much longer shelf life. A food preserved in a dehydrator can last as long as for one year if kept in proper conditions. Trust me, even the health experts recommend this device.
Dehydrators are easy in the pocket. They are a one-time investment for your health. Additionally, they require very little electricity. So, they lower down your budget in two ways.
Food preserved at home has no chemicals or preservatives. Processed food has some amount of preservatives that are not good for health. Sugar is often added to dehydrated food bought from outside. So, why not preserve food on your own without any harmful additives. More off, it will save your money too as outside food is costlier than the home preserved food.
The food preserved by this process tastes great. It tastes same like fresh food. The food remains rich and delicious for a long time if stored properly.
A food dehydrator reduces waste to a large extent. With a dehydrator, you can reduce waste by dehydrating foods that are coming close to spoiling. When your fresh fruit starts going soft, cut it up and put it in the food dehydrators. You can dehydrate fruits, vegetables, meat, or any other food you wish to dry. This method can help you from throwing out the leftover or soft food that is about to spoil.