Dehydration of food like vegetables and meats has been done by ancient people even without technology. What is dehydration? Dehydration is removing moisture or water content from the food to make it dry which helps it to preserve for a long time without any degradation. In ancient times it was done by letting the food sit under the sun, and the heat from the sun did the dehydrating process.
Nowadays, dehydration is done using machines. A food dehydrator consists of a heating element, fan, and ventilation system. The food inside the machine gets heated up which removes the moisture from the surface and also pulls the water from inside. Over time the food becomes dry. Dehydrating food is good because removing moisture keeps the food from growing bacteria or molds thus increasing its shelflife. It also reduces the size of the food. In this article, we will discuss the best food dehydrator.
# Top 5 Best Food Dehydrator in the Market – Editor’s Pick
1. Best Overall: NESCO Gardenmaster Pro Dehydrator, FD-1018A, White
NESCO makes varieties of food dehydrators. This Gardenmaster dehydrator is very powerful and has a unique design. It can dehydrate vegetables, fruits, and meat perfectly and quickly.
- NESCO Gardenmaster Pro is premium quality and powerful dehydrator that dehydrates foods easily.
- It has large accommodation for various foods.
- Its unique heating system dehydrates foods evenly.
- 1000 watt power makes the dehydration process perfect and quick.
- Adjustable temperature setting using a high-quality thermostat lets you dehydrate different types of foods at different temperatures. The temperature setting can be adjusted between 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Eight trays in the dehydrator are BPA free which makes it environment friendly and makes enough drying space on the drying tray to dehydrate various types of foods. It also has provision to expand the tray capacity up to thirty.
- Gardenmaster Pro follows a unique system which is called converge flow. This system lets the heat from the bottom and horizontally to make the process perfect and even. You do not have to change the position of the tray. This process is four times faster than other dehydrators in the market.
- The package comes with eight clean screens, eight fruit roll sheets, a recipe book, and a jerky seasoning and cure.
- This dehydrator can be very loud.
- Some complained about the bottom tray not fitting perfectly.
- Sometimes the fan does not work properly.
If you want to preserve your fruit, vegetable, or meat for a long time at an affordable cost then look no more. This Gardenmaster Pro from NESCO can be a perfect choice for you. The powerful 1000 watt dehydrator makes the process fast and perfect.
2. Best Runner up: COSORI Premium Commercial Food Dehydrator Machine(50 Free Recipes), 6 Stainless Steel Trays with Digital Timer and Temperature Control for Beef, Jerky, Fruit, Dog Treats, Herbs, ETL Listed/FDA Compliant
COSORI food dehydrator is very popular among customers due to its ease of use and simple maintenance. It can effectively pull moistures out of your fruits or vegetables, or meats and keep them fresh for a long time.
- This food dehydrator has a premium design and is built from steel.
- Its powerful fan can easily dehydrate foods in no time.
- It is easy to use and maintain.
- Food grade stainless steel and glass front door makes the dehydrator durable.
- Six stainless steel trays for various foods to dehydrate. The trays are safe for dishwashing. The liners of the trays are BPA free which makes them safe to use.
- The powerful fan which is rear-mounted helps to send the heat to the food evenly.
- Low noise. Below 48 dB.
- A touch-sensitive LCD display makes it easy to handle.
- Timer setting for 48 hours with an increment of 30 minutes and a temperature range from 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit makes it a versatile food dehydrator as you can easily set the temperature for different kinds of foods.
- It has an auto shut-off program that lets it shut down itself when the job is done.
- Overheat protection saves the dehydrator when it gets overheated.
- US Food and Drug Administration compliant.
- 30 days money-back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.
- Have a few complaints about the fan being shut off frequently while using the dehydrator.
- Display malfunction complained.
COSORI premium is a very durable food dehydrator. The stainless steel design is sleek, and all the protections and easy handling make it a perfect choice for dehydrating your favorite fruits or vegetables or making some beef jerky.
3. Best Quality: Chefman Food Dehydrator Machine, Touch Screen Electric Multi-Tier Preserver, Meat or Beef Jerky Maker, Fruit Leather, Vegetable Dryer w/ 6 Slide Out Drying Rack Trays & Transparent Door, Black
If you want fresh dried food or dried fruits or meat jerky in a jerky dehydrator without any preservatives then go for Chefman Food Dehydrator Machine. It’s perfect for dehydrating your foods efficiently.
- Chefman food dehydrator is built with a sleek design, and it works efficiently.
- It can produce a large number of dry foods in one batch.
- It is quite simple to use and maintain.
- Unique airflow system provides heat evenly to the foods.
- Six large trays can hold different kinds of foods in one go. These trays are made from BPA-free plastic which, makes them reliable to use.
- The variable temperature setting is from 95 degrees to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to set the temperature according to different types of food.
- Auto shutoff system lets the machine shut off when the job is done.
- Digital LCD display has 14 different types of presets which make the use of this machine very easy.
- Built-in timer can be set up to 19.5 hours at a 30 minutes interval.
- A clear glass door helps to monitor the dehydration or drying process without opening the door.
- Easy one-button powering option.
- The package comes with one solid and one mesh sheet.
- ETL approval makes it more reliable.
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Takes a long time to dehydrate foods.
- Some complained that the fan may stop working during the dehydration process.
- Meat dehydration is not up to the mark.
Trying food dehydrator for the first time? Then you can easily use the Chefman Food dehydrator machine. It works fine with any fruits, vegetables, or meat. It is also very affordable. The only problem is it takes a lot of time to complete the dehydration process.
4. Best Reversible: Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator, 5 Tray, Gray
Want some dried fruit snacks? But the commercial ones cost a lot. Think no more. Try Hamilton’s Beach 32100A digital food dehydrator. Its simple design and ease of usage will help you to get your desired snack with perfect taste and quality.
- Hamilton’s Beach digital food dehydrator has a simple design which makes it so popular with the customers. Due to its demand, it has become Amazon’s choice.
- It is capable of dehydrating a large number of foods at the same time.
- It is easy to operate and maintain.
- Simple design makes it easy to handle.
- Unique technology lets the air flow even to dehydrate the foods properly, and you do not have to rotate the trays.
- Five stackable trays can dehydrate a large number of foods at the same time. These trays are BPA-free and are dishwasher safe.
- Changeable temperature ranges from 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit makes it easy to maintain the proper temperature for different foods.
- Clear glass doors let you observe the food dehydration process.
- LCD displays with buttons make the operation easy. The on/off button to power the machine. The timer/temp button will let you set the time along with the temperature. The plus-minus button is for setting the temp limit.
- The Beach 32100A comes with a solid sheet for making fruit rolls and a mesh sheet to dehydrate tiny foods like herbs etc.
- 1-year warranty from the date of purchase.
- Hamilton Beach food dehydrator can be a bit noisy.
- Some reports say it has stopped working after a few months of use.
For only fifty dollars price this is a very good food dehydrator. It dehydrates your fruits or vegetables and even meats perfectly, though it may take a little longer. They should work on the noise though.
5. Best Affordable: Excalibur 3900B 9-Tray Electric Food Adjustable Thermostat Accurate Temperature Control Faster Drying Includes Guide to Dehydration, Black
Excalibur has been in the food dehydrator business since 1973. Since then they have improved the design and effectiveness of their dehydrator. Excalibur 3900B is an excellent dehydrator that makes dehydration fast and easy.
- Excalibur 3900B has a simple and effective design.
- Its large capacity lets it dehydrate meat or fruits, or vegetables.
- This device has special cooling technology, which keeps the food from getting bacteria or fungus.
- Simple design makes it easy to use and maintain.
- Has a large capacity of 15 square feet which is supported by 9 poly screen trays. Large capacity and multiple trays let it dehydrate several foods at the same time without lowering the quality of the process. The poly screen trays are safe to dishwash thus making cleaning easy.
- Hyper wave and special drying technology which is covered by a large 7-inch fan’s air circulation with 600-watt power. This technology slowly removes any moisture in the food and retains the quality of the food at the same time. Because by maintaining the temperature between 115 and 118 degrees it can preserve the vitamin and minerals properly.
- A manual knob for on/off and regulating the temperature from 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Multiple temperatures for multiple types of food.
- 10 years manufacturer’s warranty.
- The price is a bit high.
- No timer or auto-shutoff.
- No LCD display or touch control panel.
- Some complained that the fan motor stopped working.
Large capacity and hyper technology which let the hot air flow evenly on the foods upon the tray make this dehydrator different from other dehydrators available in the market. But that does not justify the price. It is too high. You can get something else at a lesser price or may stick to this if the price is not a problem for you.
6. Best Choice: Brod & Taylor SAHARA Folding Food Dehydrator, Beef Jerky, Fruit Leather, Vegetable Dryer (Stainless Steel Shelves)
Looking for something unique? Then look no more. Brod & Taylor SAHARA food dehydrator is what you are looking for. Why? Because this is the world’s first foldable food dehydrator that takes no extra space to store. It is powerful and easy to use at the same time.
- Brod & Taylor SAHARA food dehydrator is the world’s first foldable food dehydrator.
- It has a large drying area to process a large amount of food at the same time.
- It is quite a power-efficient food processor.
- Become one-third of its size when folded.
- A large dehydration process area of 11 square feet is good enough to dehydrate varieties of food at the same time without lowering their taste or quality. All seven trays are stainless steel and can be dish-washed easily.
- Optimal air circulation is ensured by a powerful radial fan.
- A washable or reusable filter is used to prevent any dirt from entering the food tray.
- A powerful 700-watt dual heating system is good for a big amount of fruit or vegetables, or high heat can be mandatory for dehydrating meats. When the food in the processor is partially dried the machine goes to low power mode. The low power mode is also good for drying raw food.
- In the LCD display Dual temperature and time control lets the user set two times and two temperatures at the same time. This time can be set up to 99 hours and 198 hours of continuous operation.
- The glass door lets you watch the food dehydration process in detail.
- The dehydrator has internal storage for power cords. It also comes with a nylon zipper shelf case to protect it.
- Make loud noises.
- The power cord is short. An added length would be welcomed.
One of the best food dehydrators in the market is Brod and Taylor SAHARA folding food dehydrator. Besides the folding ability, it has a powerful heating system, radial optimum air flow system, and dual time and temperature setting. This is indeed a good product. If you want a long-term investment in a food dehydrator then go for Brod and Taylor SAHARA food dehydrator.
How would you know which food dehydrator will be good for you? There are so many, and it’s tough to choose the right one among these many. That is why I am giving some tips below which will help you to choose the best food dehydrator.
Most of the food dehydrators are made from plastic. These plastics are certified by the FDA.So they are safe and reliable to use.
Then some of the dehydrators are made from stainless steel. These are more durable than the ones made from plastic. Both work fine. Depending on the material price may vary.
There are two airflow systems in most of the dehydrators. Vertical and horizontal. The vertical airflow dehydrators have stackable trays. The heating mechanism and the fan will be situated at the bottom-most of the time or in some cases at the top. The problem with this system is that warm air only gets to those trays that are near the heating element. Though some vertical dehydrators have modified processes in which the warm air is ducted equally to all the trays.
On the other hand, the horizontal airflow dehydrators have a heating part and a fan at their back. The trays are slide-in type. As the fan and the heater are at the back they efficiently let the warm air flow to all the trays at the same time evenly. That is why horizontal dehydrators are better than vertical airflow dehydrators.
Temperature is an important factor when you are buying a food dehydrator. Temperature varies according to the type of food. A dehydrator that has a variable thermostat that ranges from 100 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for any type of food. Lower temperature for foods like fruits, vegetables, and herbs. And the higher temperature is for foods like meat. I would suggest buying a dehydrator with a variable thermostat rather than a fixed thermostat.
Most of the food dehydrators’ power ranges from 400 to 1000 watts. More power means quicker food processing and efficient heat distribution. So you can buy anything between the range I’ve given here.
Timer/Auto Shut Off:
Look for a food dehydrator with timers. If you set the timer and turn the machine on it will turn off when the timer stops the countdown. So if you are at work or out of home then you won’t have to think about the dehydrator.
In food dehydrators, the air is sucked in using a fan. If the air contains particles then it may hamper the process and damage the food. So a dehydrator with a reusable filter is preferable.
Buy what you can afford.
Commercial dry foods like fruits or meats are very costly and also not very healthy as a preservative is used in them. So to get fresh dried fruits or meats you can easily rely on food dehydrators. These machines can easily make healthy snacks or foods and also increase the shelf life of your foods. I hope this article will be enough to help you to choose the best food dehydrator for your needs.