Best Food Dehydrator Reviews & Guides
As we move forward to the future, the way we do things gets better.
Preserving food has long been practice for over a thousand of years thru sun drying, and still being practice by some today.
In this Generation were time is much more valuable than ever, We need more leverage to do more things faster and easier. and that is why buying a food dehydrator is a must.
There are tons of reasons why having a food dehydrator is a good thing, and you may have hundreds or even just one reason why you are interested in buying one.
There are lots of food dehydrator available on the market for you to choose from, but not all of them are worth considering.
Provided for you are list of food dehydrators that are worth buying, and also a food dehydrator buying guide for so you can carefully select the best food dehydrator will be perfect for your need.
Best Selling Food Dehydrator Reviews
Best Food Dehydrator For Jerky Reviews
Best Food Dehydrator For Raw Food Reviews
Choosing The Best Food Dehydrator Guide
Rules before Buying the Best food dehydrator
1.) Know your need – Food dehydrator can be use in a lot of ways but most primarily it is intended for drying food.
Food dehydrators are like cars, It comes with different models and brand.
If your reason for buying is to accommodate everyone, the a spacious model should be your choice, or if you want speed then choose the one with more powerful engine.
2.)Don’t be a cheapskate – Food Dehydrators for home cost at around $25 to over $300. its expensive if its usability only last for a year. But quality food dehydrators can last more than 10 years. Having a product that can be use this long, you want to make sure that it has the feature that is custom to your need so you can maximize the use of it.
2 types of dehydrator design
Shelf type dehydrator – This type of dehydrator have rectangular design. The shelf type dehydrator are best in terms of faster, even & hassle free drying.
Stacking dehydrator – The majority of the design of the stacking dehydrator are round, in which the trays serves as the the main body or structure of the dehydrator. fans on this design are located at the top or bottom of the unit.
Stacking food dehydrator are flexible in terms of capacity and are more affordable versus the shelf type dehydrator.
Primary Features To Consider in a food dehydrator
Fan is a must have feature in a food dehydrator for faster drying. Fans can be found at the top, bottom,rear and for some its nowhere to be found. The location of the fan has significant effect on the flow of heat and air that affects the dehydration process.
No Fan – Do not ever buy a food dehydrator that has no fan If you don’t want to be disappointed because dehydrators with no fans are cheap but they also give you cheap result. Its a waste of money and a waste of time.
Rear Fan – Shelf type dehydrator have fans mounted in the back of the unit.The strategic design of rear fans provides even heat and airflow across the tray that will result to even & faster drying of foods so you don’t have to rotate the trays unlike the dehydrators with fans mounted at the top or bottom.
Top Fan – Units with top fan are available on stack type dehydrators. It has a vertical airflow from top to bottom and can give you a great result but it would require you additional effort since you need to rotate the top and bottom trays to prevent uneven drying. Since food located at the upper portion trays will tend to dry first.
The Nesco brand food dehydrator have models that have a patented Converga-Flow drying system that claims to dehydrate your food faster and evenly. which eliminates the disadvantage of dehydrator with vertical airflow.
Bottom Fan – Dehydrators with bottom fans has the same characteristics with the top fan dehydrator where both have a vertical air flow. The downside of having a bottom fan is it collects the dripping at the bottom where the fan is located making it a problem when cleaning.
Just like the dehydrator with top mounted fan they can dehydrate food really well but you have to check and rotate the trays more often because foods located at the bottom trays will dehydrate faster compared to the other trays.
Most dehydrators with bottom mounted fans are cheaper than dehydrator with top and rear fan.
Being able to control the temperature is vital to maximize the use of your dehydrator.
Different foods requires different level of temperature to dehydrate well. Temperature range varies from different models and brand. The temperature of dehydrator commonly ranges from 95 – 155 F, 95-160, 105 – 165 degree Fahrenheit.
Some food dehydrators have a preset temperature. which means once you use the dehydrator, it will automatically set the temperature to a specific degree.
This type of preset temperature are usually found on cheaper model dehydrator. The problem with this kind of setting is it limits you with what you can dehydrate or the result of the food being dehydrated may not turn out well.
Here are some reasons why you should have a food dehydrator that allows you to control the level of temperature
- If you’re into a raw food diet, A temperature control allows you to set the heat at a temperature below 118°F so that the heat wont kill the enzymes in the food. Also the temperature requirement for herbs ranges from 90 – 100°F.
- The heat recommendation for fruits and veggies range at 130 – 160°F. without a temperature control the result may not turn out really well.
- Meats of all kinds like fish, beef, chicken requires you to heat it at 160 – 165°F when drying it in a dehydrator at home as suggested by USDA. The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline’s current recommendation for making jerky safely is to heat meat to 160 °F and poultry to 165. This assures that any bacteria present will be destroyed by heat.
Choose a food dehydrator big enough to accommodate your drying need.
Most units have a standard of 4 – 5 trays and can be expanded if you’re using a stacking food dehydrator. Each tray can accommodate 3/4 to 1 square feet of drying space.
The trays and capacity are important consideration especially if you dehydrate food more often or if you are a gardener who want to preserve your harvested food to avoid spoilage. The trays of the shelf and stack type dehydrator have several advantage and disadvantages.
Advantage of Shelf Type Dehydrator
1.) Checking the food is much easier – The design of shelf dehydrator are like ovens, you can easily check whatever trays you want, may it be from the top, middle or bottom trays.
2.) Can have space in between -Shelf type dehydrator allows you to dehydrate food that requires more head space by removing the trays above where your food is. or you can simply remove all the trays of the unit if you wish to make a jar of yogurt, by removing all the trays on the shelf you can access all the height of the dehydrator and place your jar inside.
3.) Maximize drying space in each trays – The trays of shelf type dehydrator are more spacious than the shelf type dehydrator because they don’t have a hole in the middle unlike stacking models.
Disadvantage of Shelf type dehydrator
1.) Limited – The design of the shelf type dehydrator are fixed. meaning it wont allow you to add additional trays in case you are in need to dry more food.
2.) Might be too big for your sink – The trays of shelf dehydrator is good for drying but a problem for cleaning because most of the trays of shelf type dehydrator might not fit in the standard size sink.
Advantage of Stacking type dehydrator
1.) Expandable – Most stacking dehydrators comes with 4 – 5 tray and gives you more flexibility by adding up to 8, 12, or even more depending on what type of model you bought.
2.) Extra Trays are affordable – Usually the trays are sold by set of 2 at a price of 10 – 15 dollars depending on the model of dehydrator you have.
Disadvantage of stack type dehydrator
1.) Affects the dehydrating process – Adding more trays to your dehydrator will cause to dehydrate your food longer and more effort will be required since you’ll have to check the status of the food and rotate the trays to ensure every food is dried on the same time.
2.) Checking the food requires more effort – Unlike shelf type dehydrator where you can easily slide the trays to monitor how the foods are drying, Checking the food on a stack type dehydrator can be a hassle since you’ll need to remove the upper trays before you can access the trays below the unit.
Choose a food dehydrator that are safe for your home the one that is UL approved as they met the standard for safety. Most food dehydrators are made out of steel and plastics, In which some plastics may contains Besiphenol – A which can harm human body, so it is important to know what type of plastic materials are use in the dehydrator.
BPA free plastics – This plastics are safe when it comes into contact with the food you dehydrate.
Below are the types of BPA free plastics used by food dehydrator companies.
- polypropylene (PP)
- Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN)
- acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS),
- low density polyethylene (LDPE)
Companies and the plastics they use
- Nesco – ABS
- WARING – ABS & SAN
- L’EQUP – ABS
- STX – ABS & SAN
- TSM – ABS
- Ronco – AS & ABS
- Aroma – ABS & PP
- Excalibur – PP for the tray and polycarbonate for its housing(not registered as BPA free but FDA approved) the reason why its polycarbonate is because its a strong material and Excalibur wants to ensure quality. Since the dehydrated food does not come into direct contact with the housing . its still safe from BPA.
(Note: there are other dehydrator brands that are BPA free, If you’ve chosen a brand of dehydrator that are not on the list, you can email the company what kind of plastic are their models made of)
Stainless steel dehydrator – A steel dehydrator is also available for your consideration, they are more durable and safer. but this type of dehydrator doesn’t come cheap.
List of brands with Stainless Steel Dehydrator
Special Features to consider
Timer in your food dehydrator doesn’t directly affect the result the food you dry, you can still get great the results you expect without having a timer. However having a timer can give you extra benefit of comfort and ease.
Timers can be set for several hour or some might even go for day/s.
Not all food dehydrators have timer feature available on them. but you can purchase an external appliance timer.
Other things to consider in a food dehydrator
Drying your food in a dehydrator will take a lot of time, so it is important to consider the cost of using this product. There are 3 things you need to know to determine your electricity usage using the dehydrator.
- Dehydrators Wattage
- Estimated # of hours you use dehydrator
- Electricity Cost
Lets take a look at this example Using Excalibur dehydrator 3900:
Wattage : 600
Using : At least 40 hours per month
Electricity Cost: 12 cents kwph (kwph varies from each state. lets just use the average of 12 cents)
(Formula = Wattage X #of hours / 1000 (convert to kw) X Electricity cost)
600 X 40 = 24000 watts
/ 1000 = 24 kw per month
24kwp month X .12 cents = $2.88 per month
Dehydrators does not always run at its peak the whole time so it uses much lesser power during the drying process. So you’ll be spending lesser than $2.88/month
Food dehydrator have different level of noise, it can be comparable to the sound of a fan, microwave or hum.
Some food dehydrators emits louder noise which makes you feel uncomfortable.
If you want a much more serene environment when you’re cooking while at the same using food dehydrator. Models like Tribest Sedona SD-P9000 & L’Equip Filter Pro are the best pick for noise sensitive people.
Or you may place your food dehydrator in your basement or in the garage if the noise bugs you.
User experience is important on every appliance, and cleaning the dehydrator is a problem for some. Dehydrators have different designs, usually dehydrators with bottom fans are harder to clean comparing to dehydrators with top mounted and rear fan.
Also some trays of the dehydrator, especially trays of the shelf type dehydrator are bigger that it wont fit in the standard sink.
There are mesh sheets and solid sheets that will help you lessen the mess in you trays.
Choose a food dehydrator that has at least 1 yr warranty, some food dehydrators have 5 or even up to 10 years warranty.
Now that you know the important features as well as other consideration before buying the best food dehydrator. Provided for you below is food dehydrator comparison table with dimensions, features and other considerations that will help you with your selection.Best Food Dehydrator Reviews and Guide