Best Food Dehydrators

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 12, 2019
Want to enjoy the natural taste and aroma of your favorite fruit and veggies summer and winter alike? A food dehydrator will not only dry your food but also keep minerals and vitamins. Among dozens of products available, we have chosen the best Food Dehydrators for you! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
STRUCTURE
NUMBER OF TRAYS
SHAPE
POWER
THERMOSTAT
TIMER
TRAY SIZE
BEST FOR
Warranty
 
PROS

The Parallex Horizontal Airflow technology makes rotating of trays unnecessary. The even dehydration is achieved by even air distribution. So, there is no need to control the process. 

CONS

The fan of the Excalibur meat dehydrator might be slightly noisy during operation.

OUR VERDICT

The Excalibur 3926TCDB food dehydrator is designed for a preparation of large amounts of food. You will find everything you need to dehydrate any type of food. And you can choose either white or black color to satisfy your needs. Definitely the best dehydrator. 

detailed parameters
TYPE

Convection

STRUCTURE

Horizontal with slide-out trays

NUMBER OF TRAYS

9

SHAPE

Square

POWER

600 W

THERMOSTAT

105°F–165°F

TIMER

Yes

TRAY SIZE

15" (W) x 15" (L)

BEST FOR

Fruits, vegetables, meat/fish jerky, breads, crackers

Warranty

Limited 10 years

PROS
A very quiet dehydrator compared to other models. A compact body with air circulation will provide an even dehydration of your food.
CONS
The holes in the trays are quite big. To load small food pieces you will need to purchase special mesh sheets.
OUR VERDICT
This model of Nesco fruit dehydrator is good for both novice and experienced users of food dryers. A perfect model for permanent use.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Convection
STRUCTURE
Vertical with stackable trays
NUMBER OF TRAYS
4 (extendable up to 8)
SHAPE
Square
POWER
700 W
THERMOSTAT
95°F–160°F
TIMER
No
TRAY SIZE
14.5" (W) x 14.5" (L)
BEST FOR
Fruit rolls, jerky, meat, fruit
Warranty

Limited 1 year

PROS

A 48-hour timer with auto shut-off makes it possible for you to just set the needed drying time on an LCD screen and go do something else.

CONS
Only 5 trays.
OUR VERDICT
A convenient and functional gadget for a small family. The Continuous airflow feature ensures even drying without turning the trays, and an adjustable thermostat will let you set the temperature for various foods.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Convection
STRUCTURE
Vertical with stackable trays
NUMBER OF TRAYS
5
SHAPE
Rectangular
POWER
500 W
THERMOSTAT
100°F–160°F
TIMER
Yes
TRAY SIZE
11" (W) x 13" (L)
BEST FOR
Fruit rolls, fruit, vegetables, jerky, herbs and spices
Warranty

1 year

PROS
You can add 7 more trays to this food dehydrator. That is quite a lot of food to dry in one go and keep all the good elements in them.
CONS
Fine mesh trays might be somehow difficult to clean.
OUR VERDICT

The Nesco FD-75A is an extremely high-performing food dehydrator, yet is so easy to operate that even a complete novice will manage. It includes a recipe book that will help if you've got no recipes of your own yet.

detailed parameters
TYPE
Convection
STRUCTURE
Vertical with stackable trays
NUMBER OF TRAYS
5 (extendable up to 12)
SHAPE
Round
POWER
600 W
THERMOSTAT
95°F–160°F
TIMER
No
TRAY SIZE
13.5" in diameter
BEST FOR

Fruits, vegetables, beef jerky, venison jerky, turkey jerky, fish jerky, nuts, seeds, dried herbs and spices, potpourri and dried flowers

Warranty

Limited 1 year

PROS

The company supplies you with complimentary starter jerky spice and cure packs. In addition to these packs, you receive 2 fruit roll sheets. Using these sheets, you'll be able to prepare healthy fruit rolls and strips from fresh, frozen, or canned fruit.

CONS

The instructions could be a little clearer.

OUR VERDICT

Presto 06301 offers excellent value for its price. The machine is as versatile as its high-end competition, as effective, and more or less as functional. Plus, it does not present any storage/transportation issues.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Convection

STRUCTURE

Vertical with stackable trays

NUMBER OF TRAYS

6 (extendable up to 12)

SHAPE

Round

POWER

750 W

THERMOSTAT

90°F–165°F

TIMER

Yes

TRAY SIZE

15.5" in diameter

BEST FOR

Fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, fruit rolls and jerky

Warranty

Limited 1 year

Excalibur 3926TCDB

Type an Shape

The Excalibur 3926TB is a convection-type food dehydrator with horizontal tray loading. It is rather big and designed to dry large amounts of food. The trays of this meat dehydrator are completely BPA-free. Also, you can easily wash them after each use. We would highly recommend this food dryer for large families, gardeners, sportsmen. It will be a truly invaluable purchase for anyone who loves healthy and tasty snacks like dried fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish.

Review of Excalibur 3926TCDB Dehydrator with Clear Door and Timer

Performance and Intended Use

The Excalibur food dryer incorporates several features that enable it to deal with various foods with minimum effort on your part. The power of 600 Watts is enough for quick and effective dehydration of various amounts and types of food. The nine 15" x 15" trays serve the same purpose. The fan and the heating element are at the back but, owing to the Parallex Horizontal Airflow, this meat dehydrator dries the food evenly.

You do not need to rotate the trays like you'd have to do with most other dehydrators of this type. Also, ascribe here such a valuable addition to any cooking device as a thermostat. It will hold the temperature you have selected, so you will use next to no efforts to dry your fruit, veggies, meat, or fish for jerky. 
Excalibur 3926TCDB Dehydrator with Clear Door and Timer in the use

Convenience

As for this parameter, Excalibur wins here as well, with its Hyperwave Fluctuation Technology. The use of this technology ensures that the food dryer will preserve all the healthy enzymes in your food. There is a temperature scale on the housing, near the thermostat, so you can select a necessary temperature mode for the type of food you want to dry. And with the Excalibur 3926TB, you will easily make the process even more automated by setting a timer (can be set for up to 26 hours). No need to monitor it, the Excalibur fruit dehydrator will do everything on its own! 

Detailed review of Excalibur 3926TCDB Dehydrator with Clear Door and Timer

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Nesco FD-80

Type and Shape

The Nesco FD-80A can be considered as a hybrid model of food drier. Usually, the square food dehydrators have a horizontal tray loading and horizontal air blowing. However, this one is an exception, it is a convection-type food dryer of a square shape, but the trays are loaded vertically and the air is blown from the top down. This device is pretty compact in size and takes up almost no space in your kitchen.

Review of Nesco FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator, 4 Tray

Performance and Intended Use

The trays are 14.5" x 14.5", there are 4 of them purchased with the fruit dehydrator. To dry more food, you can purchase additional trays as the meat dehydrator is designed to store up to 8 of them, doubling the capacity. Owing to the 700-Watt power and the Converga-Flow® drying system, the drying of fruit rolls, jerky, meat, fish, and fruit will be very fast. The Nesco FD-80A food dehydrator does have such a valuable device as a thermostat. The thermostat can set the temperature in a range from 95°F to 160°F, so you are able to choose the best temperature for each of the dishes you are cooking at the moment, keeping all the useful healthy elements.

Nesco FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator, 4 Tray in the use

Convenience

The Nesco FD-80A is an extremely compact and easy-to-disassemble device. And you won't need to bother with washing the trays after preparing the food — just put them in a dishwasher and they'll be okay. Moreover, they do not contain any elements that can be harmful to your health. Together with this food dehydrator, you will also receive a recipe book. Also, a wide assortment of additional components is provided by the manufacturer. Just imagine, you can additionally purchase Nesco Trays, Nesco Fruit Roll-Up Sheets, and even Nesco American Harvest Jumbo Jerky Works Kit. Fantastic!

Detailed review of Nesco FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator, 4 Tray

VIDEO
Nesco FD 80 & Nesco FD 80Kit Snackmaster Express Dehydrator Product Overview

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

The shape allows for more food to fit on the trays at once

Size & Weight

Suprisingly light weight and easy to use and move around.

Details

The unit has an adjustable thermostat so you can dry other foods and not turn them to powder or have them be too crispy.I

Control

Variable temperature settings with oven markings i.e., "125 degrees" and what most used for, such as "fruit", "vegetables," etc.

Features

We were initially concerned that the plastic parts contained BPA, but after doing some research found that it is made of food grade ABS, so no worries there.
 

Hamilton Beach 32100A

Hamilton Dries — You Rest at the Beach

The Hamilton Beach 32100A food dehydrator is often the choice of people who care about their health. Why so? Well, it is created to dry quite a number of foods, from greens, veggies, and fruit to jerky. It is also perfectly capable of preparing raw breads, paste, yogurt, and even of proofing dough.

The Hamilton Beach 32100A has 5 trays, making it a perfect device for a small family in no need for loads of dried food. The lid and all the trays are made of durable BPA-free plastic, and the main body is stainless steel. There is a fan, a thermostat (100°F–160°F), a 48-hour timer. The power here is 500 Watts. It's all pretty simple, in the end: you just put your sliced foods on trays, turn on the dehydrator, set time and temperature, and go take your time doing anything else. No need to track time, the Hamilton Beach 32100A will do it for you. Entrust your food drying to a pro!

Review of Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator

№1 in Kitchenware Business

The Hamilton Beach Manufacturing Company was founded at the beginning of 20th century when two extremely talented engineers L.H. Hamilton and Chester Beach created an innovative lightweight motor that worked from the mains. This gave a push to the first ever mixer in 1911. From that time and still, the company is on the roll. In the 1930-s, their assortment included mincing machines, blenders, juicers, coffee machines, ice shavers, dehydrators, toasters, and many more. The 1970-s presented humanity with the first blender featuring a microprocessor control. Over more than a hundred years of history, Hamilton Beach never stopped its development, creating new ideas and developing new technologies non-stop. And it paid back with recognition. Hamilton Beach today is the manufacturer of ergonomic and stylish kitchenware known and respected worldwide. They provide everything necessary for restaurants, bars, and of course your home. With the variety of home appliances this company offers, there will be no end to the choice of dishes.

As a token of gratitude for its customers, Hamilton Beach is out there to answer your questions 24/7. You can follow the company news on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. Or you can contact them using a Contact Us form at the official site.

Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator in the use

Items to Go With This One

To make the dehydrator use as comfortable as possible, we recommend you to buy non-stick dehydrator sheets. Yogurts, rollups, taffies, and crackers will be a breeze to make.

Detailed review of Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator Review

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

There are 5 plastic trays for the food that you want to dehydrate. The trays have some kind of a glossy coating that makes it easy to clean.

Features

The automatic timer shut off is great especially since I do most of the dehydrating overnight.

Control

I simple love the timer and multiple heat settings.

Size & Weight

It has a small footprint, is light weight

Details

The digital timer and temp control is really convenient and I love the auto shutoff once the timer runs out.
 

Nesco FD-75A

The Easiest Way to Dry Food

The Nesco FD-75A will help you dry almost any food you wish, from fruit and vegetables to meat, fish, and other. All that — at any weather and in any season. So, what do we see here?

The FD-75A is really compact and is delivered with 5 trays in a pack. If you wish, you can buy 7 more trays separately, the dehydrator will operate just fine with 12 trays on it. This way, you can cook more dried food in one go. The fan and the heater are located at the top, which means no liquids will get to them from the trays during food dehydration. This is important safety-wise. The trays themselves are round in shape and quite compact. You might want to switch their order during the process for exceptionally even dehydrating.

At the top of the unit, you will find an adjustable thermostat with a temperature range from 95°F to 160°F. There are also indications regarding what temperatures are the best for the most popular foods to dry. With this, you won't need to go get the recipe book or surf the internet every time you dry something. Although there is no timer in this unit, you can set a regular alarm to notify you that the time has passed. As for the material, the Nesco FD-75A food dehydrator is made of non-transparent BPA-free plastic that blocks the light and helps save all the healthy elements in your food.

As you can see, the manufacturer has created the device for you to enjoy mouth-watering and healthy food without having to put a lot of effort. And if you have any troubles with this food dehydrator or questions regarding its use, you can always contact the company's Customer Service.

Review of Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Coverga-Flow For the Quickest Results

Coverga-Flow air flow technology is pretty simple but really capable. The trays have holes in the middle and there are special channels at the sides for the hot air to flow down through all the trays and horizontally between them. This unique system makes it possible to dry food faster and better, without mixing the flavors. And you don't need to rotate the trays. But still, note that the drying time still varies depending on what you dry, how much, how thick the pieces are and how much moisture they contain.

Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator in the use

Items to Go With This One

For your food to be fresh and delicious for longer periods of time, we suggest you also buy a vacuum sealer. This device is intended to completely remove the air from the package with food creating a vacuum, hence the name. Vacuumized food can be stored for a very long time. You can choose this device from here.

Detailed review of Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator Review

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

The trays stack well but don't load too many as the bottom dries a lot slower.

Size & Weight

The gray and white marble finish fits incredibly well in any room, like it's camouflaged, hard to explain.

Details

It does have a wide range of temperatures and the thermostat appears to be fairly accurate.

Control

Easy-to-use and controllable temperatures.

Features

I called Nesco and Customer service told me that the trays, the fruit roll up trays and the inserts are all BPA free
 

Presto 06301

Reduced Storage Space

The Presto 06301 doesn't necessarily present anything we haven't seen before. At the same time, its well-thought-out design makes the product appealing enough to make our list. The biggest contributor to that well-thought-out design is the model's expandable six-tray system that is able to expand up to 12 trays for added drying capacity.

These drying trays nest when not in use, delivering over 40% reduction in storage space. The cover, as well as the trays, are fully immersible and dishwasher safe. Plus, you can store the cord in the dehydrator's base too, further making that storage case.

The model's bottom-mounted fan and heating element provide consistent airflow for optimum drying. You won't have to rotate the trays.

Review of Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator

Going Digital

The model's build and functionality are more or less intertwined, so you can't really cover the one without the other. For example, the see-through cover on the top tray allows you to monitor the drying progress.

At the same time, the food dehydrator's digital timer and thermostat are able to deliver precise drying times and temperatures that range from 90 degrees to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

The product isn't without its flaws. The instruction manual is a little confusing at times. It isn't necessarily the most difficult machinery but that doesn't entirely excuse the flawed manual.

The model's power draw/consumption is as much its upside as it is its downside. Drawing 750 watts, this dehydrator is far from economical. At the same time, it is able to dry food faster than any other model on this list. Generally speaking, it doesn't take the Presto 06301 more than 8-10 hours to fully dry out the juiciest fruits/meats.

Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator in the use

Solid Package

Other than that, there isn't much left to cover here. As per usual, you'll be able to prepare homemade jerky using any meat, poultry, or seafood of your choosing. The people behind the product supply you with complimentary starter jerky spice and cure packs. In addition to these packs, you receive 2 fruit roll sheets. Using these sheets, you'll be able to prepare healthy fruit rolls and strips from fresh, frozen, or canned fruit. Finally, another part of the overall package is these 2 non-stick mesh screens that you can use for drying small and sticky foods.

All things considered, the Presto 06301 offers excellent value for its price. The machine is as versatile as its high-end competition, as effective, and more or less as functional. Plus, it does not present any storage/transportation issues.

Detailed review of Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Presto® Dehydro™ Digital Electric Food Dehydrator
 

What Is a Food Dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is a cool kitchen device used to extend the shelf life of food. It works using a heat source and an airflow which allow it to reduce the moisture content in various foods (50% for meats and 80-90% for fruits and vegetables) so that you can preserve it longer without a fear that it might go bad.

food dehydrators are easy to use. All you will need to do is cut the food into small pieces and place them on special trays. And the device will get the job done for you. Equipped with adjustable thermostat, food dehydrators maintain a constant temperature and support an adequate airflow, which is important for removing the maximum water content.

A food dehydrator is a healthy way of preserving food fresh longer and a nice addition to the kitchen of any healthy life-goer.

We've also written about vacuum sealers. Similar to food dehydrators, these are used to expel air from the package to extend the shelf life of its contents.

What Features to Compare

Type and Shape

When deciding on a food dryer, firstly, look at its type and shape. These are very important features. The type of a dehydrator can be either convection or infrared. Convection-type food dehydrators use a heating element with a fan that moves the air inside the housing. They are more popular than infrared ones which use infrared rays to heat up the fruit surface, thus evaporating the moisture. As for the shape, the food dryers can be round (oval shape is possible, but rare) with the trays one on top of the other over the heating element, and square that look like drawers with the trays on the rails. Both types have their pros and cons. The round ones take less space, almost as little as your average cooking pot, but you may need to rearrange the trays from time to time for more even drying. The square ones don't require that, but instead, to dry equally on different ends of the tray, you may need to rotate the trays. Also, these models can be somewhat bulky.

Performance and Intended Use

The next important criteria while choosing a food dryer should be the performance and intended use. The performance is affected by several key characteristics like the dehydrator's power, the availability of a thermostat, the size and number of trays, which affects the capacity, and the types of food you will be able to dry. The power of your food dehydrator directly affects the type and amount of food you are going to dry. If you wish to load a lot of fruit, meat, fish, etc. then 1000 watts or more will be a suitable power for your dehydrator. For small supplies, any 250-watt device will be more than enough. For the moderate price, you will mostly find fruit dehydrators of 700–800 watts. They are quite okay for drying fruit and vegetables. For those who would like to dry meat or fish, we would recommend purchasing more powerful devices, although they cost slightly more. 

We also attribute here important control functions like a temperature range and the built-in adjustable thermostat. As a rule, the simplest fruit dehydrators only have the ON/OFF switch, which might be inconvenient as different vegetables and fruit require different temperature modes. The best would be to have 2–3 modes of dehydrator temperature (at least 104°F and 160–170°F). The lower temperature is good for drying herbs and berries, curing fruits whereas the higher temperatures are perfect for drying most fruit and vegetables. Most state-of-the-art models with electronic control allow maintaining the heating at a precise temperature. And finally, look at the size and the number of trays. This number will tell you exactly how much food you'd be able to dry in one go. In some models, you can add trays and dry more fruit or meat simultaneously.

Convenience

Finally, look at the food dryer's convenience. For example, the timer might be a very useful feature. Sometimes the drying process can last for a whole day, or even more. If your meat dehydrator has a timer, you just need to set the turn-off time, and freely go to work or fall asleep. You wouldn't need to fear that your food will overdry and become too hard or coarse. Also, find out if it is easy to clean the device after each use, what material it is made of, what options it's got to simplify the operation (for example, an opportunity to monitor the process), and whether the device is noisy or not. The user-friendly interface is also very important.

We hope our review will be of help to you in the process of selecting your food dehydrator.

Sources:

1. Good Questions: How do I choose a dehydrator? Nourished Kitchen. July 25, 2014.

2. Emily Church Choosing a Food Dehydrator, Everything Kitchens.

3. Kristen Hicks How to Choose the Best Food Dehydrator [Buyer’s Guide], Compact Appliance.

4. Choose A Good Food Dehydrator [Infographic], Visually.

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