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How To Buy The Best Food Dehydrator

Best food dehydrator

Looking to buy the best food dehydrator? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the correct one for you.

Dehydration has been used for preservation for ages.
The process of removing moisture prevents food from rotting, and dehydrated food can keep for months, even years, if properly stored.
While foods can be dehydrated in the oven, an electric tabletop dehydrator maintains a constant and controlled interior temperature, unlike ovens, which fluctuate.
Dehydrators also use a relatively minimal amount of electricity, making them an energy-saving solution.

Dehydrating is a waste-free way to use leftover items if you raise your own produce or frequently find yourself with an abundance of fruits, vegetables, or herbs.
The dehydration procedure intensifies the flavours of food by concentrating them.
Fruits, in particular, develop a rich sweetness that makes them an excellent substitute for store-bought treats.
Fruit leather is a simple way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, and all you need is a saucepan, a blender, or a food processor to make it.

Tomatoes and mushrooms are umami powerhouses, and they’re also some of the simplest things to dehydrate.
Dehydrated tomatoes can be used to boost the flavour of a basic tomato sauce, while extra dehydrated mushrooms can be added to a hearty chicken, leek, and mushroom pie.

When dehydrating, a little planning is required.
Make sure that all of the components are cut to the same size.
If they’re a little jumbled up, it can alter the drying duration, causing the smaller pieces to dry faster and forcing you to open the dehydrator and disrupt the controlled environment to check on your food.
The instruments of choice for ensuring equal slices are a sharp knife or a mandoline.

What factors should you consider when selecting a food dehydrator?

What is the purpose of a food dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is an electronic box with a fan (or fans) that removes moisture from fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, meat, and fish.
Warm air is circulated around the food trays by the fan.
The trays are composed of plastic or metal and have a woven, open pattern that allows air to easily circulate around the meal, allowing the water inside to evaporate evenly from all sides.

Removing moisture from food dries and preserves it, allowing it to last longer on the shelf.
All dehydrated foods should be stored in an airtight food storage container in a cold, dry location.

What can you do with a food dehydrator?

Dehydrated food is ideal for a variety of recipes and snacks.
Most fruits may be dried and used to produce tasty snacks or baked goods.
If you have an abundance of grapes, dehydrate them and use them in BBC Good Food’s sticky date and raisin pudding, or make fruit leather for a nutritious snack alternative.

Dried mushrooms are a good example of a vegetable that dehydrates well and works well in a typical mushroom risotto.

If you frequently find yourself with a bunch of herbs that you don’t intend to use any time soon, dehydrating them is the way to go.
Because the process seals in the flavour, dried herbs can readily be substituted for fresh ones, like in this steamed fish with mint and dill sauce.

Citrus fruits, unlike other dehydrated foods, acquire a stained glass-like interior that looks fantastic as a garnish; try a slice of dried lime on the side of your next gimlet or as decoration on a show-stopping lemon tart.

What should you look for in a food dehydrator?

Size: The dehydrators we reviewed range in size from little versions that are hardly bigger than a toaster to behemoths that require their own dedicated counter space.
Before purchasing a dehydrator, consider how much space you have available.

Consider the number of trays you’ll need based on how much dehydration you’ll be doing.
Choose a device with six or more trays if you want to dehydrate large batches.
If you only want to dehydrate once in a while (or don’t have a lot of space), go for a dehydrator with four to five trays.

How long the timer runs: A dehydrator with a timer that operates for up to 12 hours should serve for most fruit and vegetable dehydration jobs.
If you want to dehydrate herbs, though, you’ll need a model with a timer that runs for at least 24 hours.

Additional inserts, such as silicone mats or trays for fruit leather or mats with finer weaving for more liquid materials, are included with some versions.
These are generally beneficial to have because they help you get the most out of your dehydrator.

Best food dehydrator to buy

Bestseller No. 1
Sous VideTools 6 Tray Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator | Touch Panel with Timer and Thermostat Control | Commercial Dehydrator Machine | Better for Drying Fruit, Meat and Vegetables | (229033)
  • NATURALLY PRESERVES FOOD – The Food Dehydrator makes creating healthy, nutrient-dense food easy for any home or commercial operation; the dehydrator’s lower heat levels preserves all the needed nutrients and enzymes to make delicious sweet or salty snacks
  • EVENLY DRIED, INSIDE AND OUT – Unlike other dehydrators that cannot thoroughly dry the inside of food, the SousVideTools Food Dehydrator uses silent fans to circulate warm air for an evenly dried result; there is no need to rotate the trays as the dehydrator inhibits the growth of bacteria, yeast and mold
  • SAVE MONEY AND STAY HEALTHY – Create your own dried food snacks like beef jerky, dried fruit slices, granola or try new recipes like kale chips and fruit leathers; save money as you extend the shelf life of your summer fruits and snacks into the winter; plus, all the food you dehydrate yourself is free from the chemicals and toxins that are often added to store-bought dried food
  • MODERN DESIGN – The SousVideTools Food Dehydrator is sophisticated yet simple; adjust the drying time up to 24 hours by 30-minute increments and adjust the temperature from 35°C to 75°C by 5° increments; additionally, the dehydrator comes with six removable and easily washable racks and a transparent door to keep an eye on your food
  • ATTRACTIVE AND DURABLE – Built for use in a commercial kitchen or shop environment, the stainless steel construction will withstand a busy day and fits right in with your other kitchen equipment; the better part — the stainless steel is a breeze to clean; your operators will thank you for that
Bestseller No. 2
HOMCOM 5 Tier Food Fruit Dehydrator, 280W with Adjustable Temperature Control 40-70 Degree
  • Suitable for normal foods, fruits, or even flowers and pet foods, and can preserve the nutrients, original vitamins and flavor
  • With 5 trays to provide enough space
  • The height between trays can be adjusted from 1.6 to 2.1cm
  • Can adjust the proper temperature from 40-70 Degree
  • Overall Dimension: 26W x 26.5D x 19H (cm); Certifications: CE, EMC, LVD. ROSH LFGB GS
Bestseller No. 3
SousVideTools 6 Tray Food Dehydrator | Removable and Dishwasher Safe Stainless Steel Trays | Commercial Grade Dehydrator Machine | Great for Drying Fruit, Meat and Vegetables | (SVT-12003)
  • NATURALLY PRESERVES FOOD – The Food Dehydrator makes creating healthy, nutrient-dense food easy for any home or commercial operation. The dehydrator’s lower heat levels preserves all the needed nutrients and enzymes to make delicious sweet or salty snacks.
  • EVENLY DRIED, INSIDE AND OUT – Unlike other dehydrators that cannot thoroughly dry the inside of food, the SousVideTools Food Dehydrator forces hot air horizontally across each tray for even and optimal drying. There is no need to rotate the trays as the dehydrator inhibits the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold.
  • SAVE MONEY AND STAY HEALTHY – Create your own dried food snacks like beef jerky, dried fruit slices, granola, or try new recipes like kale chips and fruit leathers. Save money as you extend the shelf life of your summer fruits and snacks into the winter. Plus, all the food you dehydrate yourself is free from the chemicals and toxins that are often added to store-bought dried food.
  • STATE OF THE ART DESIGN – The SousVideTools Food Dehydrator is sophisticated yet simple. Adjust the thermostat for precise temperatures between 35°C to 65°C and monitor your drying food through the transparent front door. Additionally, the dehydrator comes with six stainless steel racks. The racks’ square design offers a larger area to dry food, and their stainless steel construction is healthier and lasts much longer than plastic trays.
  • ATTRACTIVE AND DURABLE – Built for use in a commercial kitchen or shop environment, the robust high-grade polycarbonate will withstand a busy day and fits right in with your other kitchen equipment. The best part — the six trays are removable and a breeze to clean! Your operators will thank you for that.
Bestseller No. 4
Electric Food Dehydrator Tiered 5 Tray with Adjustable Temperature Control, 240W by Cooks Professional (Black)…
  • Easy way to make delicious, healthy and natural snacks
  • Air circulation means food is uniformly dried
  • Adjustable digital thermostat range of 35-70 °C
  • Adjustable timer allows you to program the dehydrator for up to 72 hours
  • Warranty; 1-year warranty
Bestseller No. 5
MisterChef® Food Dehydrator, 250W Large 5 Trays – Perfect for Healthy & Natural Snacks, Dried Fruit - Long 1m Power Cord + Free Colour Recipe Book + Free 2 Year Warranty + Nice Color Gift Box
  • - The fruit dehydrator has two different trays positions-low and high. Using "low" position when dehydrating smaller foods and "high" position when dehydrating larger foods. It has the hot air circulation and high drying efficiency. It will automatically shut off when timer is done.
  • 24 MONTHS WARRANTY: Every product is covered with 2 year seller's guarantee, if there’s any problem, please don't hesitate to contact us, we will resolve your entire problem as soon as possible. We are so confident that you'll love the meat grinder, + **FREE COLOUR RECIPE BOOK ENCLOSED** + **FREE 2 YEAR WARRANTY** + **COMES IN NICE COLOUR GIFT BOX**
  • This food dehydrating machine has the large capacity with 5 adjustable trays which can carry much food, giving you the freedom to choose the amount of dried food, ideal for household use. It's transparent so that you can pay close attention to the drying degree of food inside without opening the lid while it's working.
  • With this food dehydrator you could make the healthy and natural snacks like banana chips, fruit roll-ups, beef jerky and so on. It is also the perfect way to save the food and can let the children change their way to eat the fruits they do not like.
  • Simply put fruits, vegetables, meat, etc. on the trays and set the temperature. Warm, gentle heat passes and then a gourmet meal will be done. It can dry away moisture in the food while locking in the flavor. It has adjustable self-selection function, and you are free to choose the temperature.
Bestseller No. 6
VonShef 5 Tier Food Dehydrator 250W – Large Stainless Steel Food Dryer with Easy to Use Adjustable Temperature Control and Removable Trays for Dried Fruit Meat & Jerky – Heats from 40-70°C
  • Dehydrate and preserve a range of foods quickly and easily for natural, nutritious and tasty snacks. Ideal for fruits, meats, fish, vegetables, greens, herbs, and bread - create beef jerky, banana chips, dried fruits, fruit roll ups and more
  • Large 5 tier design with flow-drying system slowly extracts moisture and preserves food, whilst retaining vitamins, minerals and flavour
  • Easy to use temperature control - adjustable between 40 - 70°C to suit all types of food with fully removable trays for easy loading and unloading
  • Fitted with a powerful 250W motor, top mounted fan and ventilating function. Size: L33 X W26 X H29cm Tray size: L31 x W25 x H2cm
  • Manufacturer 2 Year Warranty Included
SaleBestseller No. 7
BioChef Arizona Sol 9 Tray Food Dehydrator with Digital Display, Stainless Steel Trays, 3 x Non Stick Tray, 3X Mesh Sheet & 1x Drip Tray (Black), BCAZSOL9
  • Digital Display: 19.5 Hour Timer + Adjustable Thermostat: 35º to 70ºC
  • 9x Stainless Steel Drying Trays + 100% BPA Free inner- and outer casing PLUS: 3x Non Stick Sheet, 3x Fine Mesh Sheet & 3x Drip Tray
  • Superior horizontal airflow for even & consistent drying of foods & no flavour contamination between the trays
  • 3 years warranty on motor & parts - UK service & support centre
  • This product is built to British standards and is equipped with a British plug to fit all standard wall sockets
Bestseller No. 8
MisterChef® Professional Food Dehydrator, 250W White Color Large 5 Trays – Easy Clean – Easy to use Adjustable Thermostat - BPA Free – Perfect for healthy Snacks like Banana Chips and Dried Meats
  • - The fruit dehydrator has two different trays positions-low and high. Using "low" position when dehydrating smaller foods and "high" position when dehydrating larger foods. It has the hot air circulation and high drying efficiency. It will automatically shut off when timer is done.
  • 24 MONTHS WARRANTY: Every product is covered with 2 year seller's guarantee, if there’s any problem, please don't hesitate to contact us, we will resolve your entire problem as soon as possible. We are so confident that you'll love the meat grinder, + **FREE COLOUR RECIPE BOOK ENCLOSED** + **FREE 2 YEAR WARRANTY** + **COMES IN NICE COLOUR GIFT BOX**
  • - This food dehydrating machine has the large capacity with 5 adjustable trays which can carry much food, giving you the freedom to choose the amount of dried food, ideal for household use. It's transparent so that you can pay close attention to the drying degree of food inside without opening the lid while it's working.
  • - With this food dehydrator you could make the healthy and natural snacks like banana chips, fruit roll-ups, beef jerky and so on. It is also the perfect way to save the food and can let the children change their way to eat the fruits they do not like.
  • - Simply put fruits, vegetables, meat, etc. on the trays and set the temperature. Warm, gentle heat passes and then a gourmet meal will be done. It can dry away moisture in the food while locking in the flavor. It has adjustable self-selection function, and you are free to choose the temperature.
Bestseller No. 9
Kwasyo Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator with Free Recipe Book, 10 Trays Fruit Dryer Machine Thermostat 30-90℃, Timer 24 Hours, Professional Jerky Maker Dryer for Fruit, Vegetables, Meats, Beef
  • ❤ STAINLESS STEEL MATERIAL - Our food dehydrator is made of Stainless Steel, including the shelves - so your food has no touch with plastic and you get healthy and safe food. 2 years warranty.
  • ❤LARGE CAPACITY & LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION - With 10 Trays and 1 Drip Tray, our 304 stainless steel food dehydrator provides enough space to dry vegetables, fruits, herbs, meat, fish and shrimp, bread, mushrooms quickly and easily. It can lock the minerals and vitamins in the food, Keep more nutritious.
  • ❤ COOLING SYSTEM & FREE RECIPES - 1000 watts of heating power, 7-inch rear-mounted horizontal air-flow Dehydration fan system makes our fruit dryer machine more efficient. Our food dehydrator gives away free recipes to provide you with 67 kinds of ingredients so that you can enjoy the fun of handmade.
  • ❤INTELLIGENT LED CONTROL PANEL - You can set the time of our dryer for food from 0 to 24 hours and adjusted 30 minutes/Times. The Temperature setting from 30℃ to 90℃, adjust the temperature difference every 5 ℃, better drying temperature. You can press the "Temp" button for 3s to switch the temp unit between ℉ and ℃.
  • ❤ Durable, easy cleaning, all removable parts of the automatic dehydrator are dishwasher-safe and therefore always remain hygienically clean.(Can be used with silicone dehydrator sheets, it is more clean and convenient: B07HSWM6R5)
Bestseller No. 10
Maxkon 6 Trays Food Dehydrator | Dishwasher Safe Trays| 550W Commercial Grade Dehydrator| Digital Panel with Timer and Temp. Control | Great for Drying Fruit, Meat Vegetables|
  • MULTI-PURPOSE: The MAXKON dehydrator comes with 6 AS Drying Racks so that you can dehydrate fruit, vegetables, nuts, flowers, herbs, spices, and make meat jerky, fruit rolls for your family, including your lovely pet.
  • DIGITAL LED PANEL CONTROL: Digital temperature pre-set settings range from 35°C-70°C, and the countdown timer can be set up to 72 hours, allowing you to control the drying time accurately and make delicious dried food easily.
  • 360° HEAT DISTRIBUTION: the rear-mounted drying fan and the 360° airflow circulation technology ensure the food is perfectly dried so you can enjoy great-tasting dried fruit slices, dried herbs, beef jerky, and more.
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN: the transparent door allows you to monitor the drying process, and the ultra-quiet fan can ensure a noiseless environment.
  • CERTIFICATION: Made of food-grade material and with SAA, CB, FDA certifications, the dehydrator is safe and reliable to use.

Food Dehydrator FAQs

What is a food dehydrator, exactly?

A: Food dehydrators or dryers are kitchen appliances that circulate warm air over food surfaces to dehydrate or dry it. At lower temperatures than a typical oven, they provide accurate temperature control. Dried foods retain more flavour and nutrition when dried with warm air at lower temperatures. Dehydrators with stacking trays that lay on top of or below a fan heater unit and those with removable shelves that dry with horizontal warm air flow from the back and/or sides are the two primary varieties.

Q: How much does it cost to run a dehydrator?

Not much! All electric dehydrators have a fan and a heating element, but don’t use their power rating as a reference to how much electricity they use. A dehydrator’s heating element is controlled by a thermostat and produces exactly the proper amount of heat to keep the temperature constant. The amount of energy used is determined by a number of parameters, including the temperature and humidity of the environment, the quantity of components to be dried, the moisture content of the ingredients, the size or thickness of the meal, and the drying temperature chosen. Dehydration as a food preservation method adds very little to the cost of those items, especially if you dry in bigger amounts, however due to the various factors, it is impossible to establish an accurate power consumption. As a fair estimate, your dehydrator will cost less than £1 to run for 24 hours for most food preservation applications, and sometimes even less, especially if drying at lower temperatures. Although drying periods vary depending on a variety of factors, many common dehydrator jobs take significantly less than 24 hours on average. Although the average cooking time for raw and living foods is longer, the energy cost per hour is lower since the heating element uses less power at the lower temperatures utilised by raw fooders. Dehydrating your own food is as inexpensive as chips, and fruit and vegetable chips are only one of the tasty, healthful snacks you can prepare with your dehydrator!

Q: What temperature should I dry my food at?

That is contingent on your priorities. Raw foodists, for example, will want to dry at low temperatures to preserve enzymes. For food safety concerns, meat and fish should always be dried on a high setting at first. Here’s a quick rundown of food varieties and temperatures:

35°C (95°F) for herbs and fragile things
Making yoghurt at 46°C (115°F)
52°C (125°F) for vegetables
57°C (135°F) for fruits
68°C (155°F) for meat and fish items

Q: How long does dehydrating food take?

A: Because there are so many factors, there is no one-size-fits-all response to this question. The temperature you wish to dry at, the surrounding environment, the size of the pieces of food being dried, the desired texture of the end result, and the overall moisture content of the food all influence dehydration times. So, depending on the variables mentioned, drying herbs and some leafy vegetables can take just a few hours, whereas drying meat products can take 24 hours or more. If you’re new to dehydrating, a book like ‘Preserve it Naturally’ or ‘The Dehydrator Bible’ will provide you with all the information you need on drying times and temperatures, as well as some wonderful dehydrator recipes (we offer these books free of charge when you buy one of our premium dehydrator models)

Q: Why can’t I use my oven instead?

A: Because standard ovens don’t provide perfect temperature control at the lower temperatures required for dehydrating food, using one is a bit of a gamble. In general, precise low drying temperatures in an oven are difficult to obtain, hence a dehydrator is preferable for preserving raw and living foods. Also, because stagnant heated air poses a food safety concern, if your traditional oven does not circulate air well enough, there is an added risk at low temperatures, especially when drying meat or fish. If you want to keep the highest nutritional values in your food, as well as preserve and increase the natural flavours and smells, you must control the lower warm air temperatures.

Q: Can a dehydrator be used for anything besides food?

A: Dehydrators are quite adaptable and may be used to dry a variety of materials. Dehydrators are sold for a variety of purposes. They may be used to dry clay and metal jewellery before firing. Naturopaths use them to dry substances such as roots and herbs for natural medicines.

Q: What are the benefits of drying food yourself rather than buying it dried?

A: The biggest benefit is that you have complete control over the process, from selecting high-quality components to determining the best drying procedure for preserving nutritious value. In general, homemade dehydrator recipes are less expensive than store-bought versions. If you’re drying foods to preserve their health advantages, having your own dehydrator means you can control the quality of the products and know where the components came from.

Q: Is it possible to dry complete meals to take with me on a hiking trip?

A: Dehydrators are ideal for providing proper nutrition when participating in outdoor activities such as backpacking, camping, and climbing. You can dehydrate whole meals like stews and casseroles, as well as trail snacks and mixes; the possibilities are unlimited.

Q: Why do I have to swap the trays during drying with a stacking dehydrator?

A: Because stacking tray dehydrators dry from the bottom up, they generate a temperature gradient, which means the top trays may be slightly cooler in some situations, especially if extra trays are used to improve capacity. In this type of expandable system, you’ll need to shift the top trays to the bottom every now and then to equal out the drying temperature and time. However, you should be aware of the obvious advantage you have in terms of the amount of trays you utilise not being predetermined. Tray rotation isn’t an issue if you’re using a stacking dehydrator with the regular amount of trays. Even when using extra trays, it’s not a significant deal, but if you want to dehydrate food without checking on it, a horizontal air flow dehydrator like the Excalibur or Sedona may be a better option.

Q: Once the food is dry, how should it be stored?

A: Any sterile, hard airtight container is a convenient storage option, and dried food can be stored for several months without rotting. To keep the volume of air in the container to a minimum, food should fill the containers to the brim. Some folks will go a step further and use a vacuum sealer to remove air from the package and preserve more nutrients over time. Bags that are vacuum sealed take up less space as well.

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