Dehydrating food is a cost-effective way to prepare and save fresh foods from spoiling. The practice of dehydrating food to preserve its quality has been used since ancient times. The science of food preservation has been used to prolong the shelf life of food and provide enough nutrition even during tough times.
In the modern world, food dehydration is still common practice; however, the process has been modernized and has become easier to do thanks to food dehydrators. Food dehydrators are usually small kitchen appliances used to dry food products such as vegetables, fruits, and meat slicer. It is commonly used to retain the freshness of the food while also preserving the nutrients and flavor.
Food dehydrators simply work by removing water content from different fruits, vegetables, and meat products. By removing the water content from these products minimizes the growth of bacteria, which leads to food spoilage. The removal of water content is processed through the use of heat.
Now that you know how food dehydrators work, it would be nice to know which units are capable of providing you with the best temperatures and airflow to achieve the high-quality results you need. Here are the top 10 best food dehydrators:
1. COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine
This food dehydrator is an easy-to-use machine made for beginners. It has a recipe for beginners that will allow quick and easy dehydration of food ranging from beef jerky to fruits to anything else that can be packed even food for your pets. The dehydrator has a digital timer and adjustable temperature control, which makes it versatile for your dehydrating needs. What truly makes this machine unique is it produces less noise when it is on. With only around 48dB, it runs silently while you go to sleep.
The trays are FDA compliant, meaning they are very safe to use under immense heat while the automatic shut-off feature ensures that the dehydrator does not overheat or instantly shuts down once it reaches a certain point. This is great for those times that you need to leave your home for a while and still have the machine turned on.
Conclusion: If you feel the need to start dehydrating your food, but you do not know how or what the complex process of food dehydration is all about, then this machine is the right choice for you. Easy to learn as well as safe and versatile to use.
2. Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator
When you think of kitchen appliances, the manufacturer has been at it for several years now and has been a mainstay in the market. Their digital food dehydrator has an adjustable digital thermostat that lets you choose a range of temperatures for drying. You can adjust it from 100 F to 160 F, which is enough to fully do its work. It also has an auto-shutoff feature for safety and a clear lid that allows you to check the contents without having to lift it and cause a disruption in the dehydration process.
Create snacks and healthy foods with the help of a dehydrator. This machine has five trays and a fine-mesh sheet that should be good enough for small portions for drying like herbs and fruit puree. The simple design makes it very convenient to use, thus allowing fewer time constraints for beginners to learn. The stackable trays are also very easy to clean.
Conclusion: Making beef jerky or pet foods is much easier with the help of this digital food dehydrator. This easy to use the machine only requires one setting, and all you need to do is to patiently wait until it is ready to be consumed.
3. Excalibur 3926TW 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
This electric food dehydrator features an amazing 9-tray space that allows plenty of space for fruits, meat, and other food items to be stored and dried in the same space. It also features a 26-hour timer with an adjustable temperature control ranging from 105 F to 165 F that suits your needs. The lowest temperature is enough to preserve enzymes from fruits and vegetables, while the highest temperature meets the right standard for meat processing like beef jerky.
This easy to use food dehydrator has a large capacity that should fit the needs of large families and those who have plans to serve dehydrated food on social gatherings. This dehydrator also features a 7-inch fan that increases air circulation allowing for better drying of the food.
Conclusion: When you think about food dehydrators, none comes close to perfect with this electric food dehydrator. The 15 square foot capacity can accommodate large items, and with its 10-year limited coverage ensures owners that they are covered with the warranty for a long time.
4. Nesco Gardenmaster 075 Food Dehydrator
This food dehydrator is unique as it allows for faster drying of food. It will only take several hours instead of days to dry food with its 1,000-Watt power. The adjustable thermostat ranges from 95F to 160F and comes in 8 trays that are dishwasher safe. This dehydrator also includes 8 fruit roll-up sheets, clean-a-screens, a recipe book, and an original jerky spice pack with a cure.
The food dehydrator is designed with a quiet 4 1/2 inch fan that runs on a 2,400-RPM motor. This means food dry faster, and the flavor and nutrients are sealed inside. With its air drying system that circulates air across all trays, there is no need for you to switch trays around just to get an even result. The opaque exterior also blocks light, which helps with the retention of flavor and the nutrients during the process.
Conclusion: Those who plan on making lots of beef jerky or have a business making dried food will surely love this food dehydrator. With its reasonably cheap price and a good amount of space, those who plan on making several large batches will surely get a treat with how fast this dehydrator works.
5. Simple Food Dehydrator Machine
The food dehydrator machine is a simple and elegant food dehydrating unit that has digital temperature settings that you can choose via LCD. With temperature ranging from 35C to 70C, you can assure that you dry out food a lot easier. The bottom-mounted fan provides 360 degrees of constant airflow; thus, there is no need for you to switch out the 8 stackable trays. Food trays can be placed in two different ways thanks to its 180-degree feature.
With around 400-watt power, this unit provides a 72-hour timer for proper and precise drying. The transparent structure also allows you to check the content without having to open the unit and let the heat dissipate.
Conclusion: With its easy to clean trays and tray liners and easy to use controls, this unit creates healthy nutritious food. The only constant worry is that it sometimes takes too long to dry out food; however, the durable and convenience take precedence.
6. Stainless Steel Digital Food Dehydrator
While many of the food dehydrators on this list are relatively small, the digital food dehydrator comes in a monstrous size with a whopping 10 stainless steel racks that are made to accommodate almost all types of fruits, jerky, or vegetables. It features 1,200 watts of dehydrating power, with temperatures reaching as high as 165F. This unit has a 7-inch fan that produces hot air towards all the food within the dehydrator.
The unit also features a digital control panel with different settings. One such setting allows you to automatically shut off the unit once the timer reaches zero. Along with such settings, you can also choose from 7 preset temperatures that will fit the type of food that you want to process.
Apart from that, this unit comes with a cookbook and instruction manual on how to dehydrate different food properly and according to their consistency. This USDA approved process includes drying different types of meat, including chicken and beef.
Conclusion: The stainless steel digital food dehydrator is a classic fit for those who have businesses that deal with dried food. It caters a massive capacity that would fit any business; however, for homeowners who simply want to enjoy dried fruits once in a while, this may not be for you.
7. Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator with 4 BPA-Free Trays
What sets this specific food dehydrator from the previous entry is the number of BPA-free trays. This one only has four at a much lower price. This unit still has the powerful 1,000-watt dehydrating power that allows faster and precise drying of the food. With temperature controls ranging from 90F to 160F, you are assured of having all the necessary food items dried up in no time. As per safety protocol, meat must be dried in a 160F environment to ensure that it is safe and can be consumed.
This unit also includes the usual no-spill fruit roll sheet and many other accessories, including a recipe book that will help you come up with the best and flavorful results.
Conclusion: This easy to use and easy to clean dehydrator matches most of the expectations you get from the units found in this list. While it does only offer 4 BPA-free trays, it also comes at a much cheaper price. This unit fits perfectly for small families who want to enjoy some dried snacks. This is a high-quality unit at a very reasonable price.
8. Electric Food Dehydrator with 9 Trays
This company has been known to produce high-quality food dehydrators for quite some time now. This specific unit offers a good 15 square feet of drying space that can accommodate 9 trays and more room for your snacks. The efficient drying system allows proper air circulation and even heat distribution, so you do not have to worry about the uneven dryness of your food. The versatile thermostat varies from the lowest at 105F to the highest, which is 165F. The accurate temperature ensures that you get the right information for precise drying.
At 600 Watts drying power, this spacious unit cooks food efficiently and conveniently. You don’t need to wait for weeks on end just to prepare the food that you want. Healthy food is preserved properly for you and your family to enjoy.
Conclusion: The food dehydrator offers fast and efficient food drying with the use of its accurate temperature control. Dehydrating food has never been this organized with great and nutritious results.
9. NutriChef Food Dehydrator Machine
This multi-tier electric food dehydrator produces a wide variety of nutritious food ranging from fruits, vegetables to meat, and poultry. Built with convenience in mind, this unit only needs one press of a button to function and provide you with the best-tasting treats. Temperatures can reach as high as 180F, which is enough to dry and preserve meat products. Heat circulation within the unit has been tested and effectively retains 97% of the overall nutrients within the food.
The unit comes with 5 stackable trays that can be removed for proper cleaning. It is made of high-quality, durable material that can withstand the high temperatures generated by the food dehydrator. The strain resistant unit emits low sound allowing it to work in the background while you do other chores.
Conclusion: This easy-to-use unit only needs a press of a button to function, and that is what makes this food dehydrator special. The stackable and removable trays provide good space to accommodate average-sized pieces for drying. Overall, a very good unit for the family.
10. EVERUS Food Dryer with 5 BPA-free Trays
This food dehydrator machine offers an adjustable temperature control ranging from the lowest at 96F to the highest at 158F. This lets you dehydrate and preserve food items from fruits to meat products. The 240-watt power keeps the dehydrator working at optimal conditions, thus allowing for a stable dehydration process.
This easy to use meat dehydrator is designed with the simplest settings. All you need to do is to stack all 5 BPA-free trays together with the products and choose the temperature setting that is needed to dehydrate the food, and you are good to go. All trays and the unit itself is easy to clean and store.
Conclusion: While the 240-watt power offers less than the average, it provides stable and accurate temperature control to the unit, thus allowing for consistent heat circulation. What truly shines with this unit is its 2-year warranty.
Things to Consider Before Buying A Food Dehydrator
When it comes to buying the perfect food dehydrator, you will need to consider a few more things so that you can get the best out of the money you invest for the unit. Here are some of the things that you should be looking for when buying a food dehydrator.
1. Size and Capacity
The size of the unit is one of the most common reasons for purchase. Small units tend to accommodate smaller amounts, while bigger units also equate to bigger yields. If you plan on having some snacks for your own, a small unit should be enough. Those who plan on building a business making dried foods should invest in a bigger unit to accommodate all the products in one go.
When considering sizes, you also need to consider the price as well as the space within the food dehydrator.
2. Design and Features
Look for food dehydrators that have better designs and features such as a full range adjustable thermostat or an automatic shut-off feature for safety. An adjustable thermostat allows you to choose the temperature for your food item while an automatic shut-off timer will keep the food from getting too dry. It also allows you to run the unit even when you are not there and still keep it safe for you, your family, and your home.
3. Even Airflow
A good device often has better and even airflow in them. An even airflow system across the entire unit should provide you with even dryness for all of your items. Check units that have an average of 600 to 1,000 watts of power with around 4 to 7 inches fan. While these units can be loud, at the very least, you are guaranteed to have an even result. The good thing is that most modern food dehydrators often feature a silent system.
4. Stacking Trays
Stacking trays are trays that can be stacked on top of each other. These trays are mounted on top of the unit and allow the heated air to circulate throughout each tray. Find a unit that allows even distribution of heated air that has a stackable tray system. This way, you do not need to rotate the trays or turn off the unit to remove the trays just to check on them.
Not only does dehydration or preservation extend the shelf life of the food, but it also retains the natural essence and flavor of the food. There have been studies that show dried foods to contain produce high concentrations of antioxidants, which is good for the health. With this information, it is important to know that food dehydration is vital to our health and makes preparing food fun learning experience for everyone.
Dehydrating foods will help you save money in the long run. It is a simple and healthy process for your family. This is the reason why searching for the best food dehydrator is important so you can keep on dehydrating foods for consumption and your health.