Snippet: This countertop machine in your kitchen draws the moisture out of the food to preserve as well as intensify its flavor. When done correctly, dehydrated foods can last for an extremely long while, which makes them a perfect candidate for great snacks.
Food dehydrating is a tried-and-true method of preserving foods for many home cooks and professionals alike. So, it’s no surprise that food dehydrators have been steadily gaining popularity among people these days.
This countertop machine in your kitchen draws the moisture out of the food to preserve as well as intensify its flavor. When done correctly, dehydrated foods can last for an extremely long while, which makes them a perfect candidate for great snacks.
So today, we’re bringing you reviews for the best food dehydrator currently on the market. We rate their performance, evenness, drying capacity, and a whole lot more.
Benefits of Having a Food Dehydrator
Dehydrator takes away food’s moisture to keep it healthier and tastier. After a long day of work, delicious and fresh food is all one craves. Any well-dehydrated vegetables or fruits always taste a thousand times better than deep-fried french fries.
When we think about dried vegetables or dried fruits, we tend to associate them with healthy food in our minds. Dehydrated food doesn’t require any spice, oil, or extra ingredients. So, by dehydrating food, proper amounts of nutrients are maintained.
Extend Shelf Life
Dehydrated food can keep food fresh for a long time. Dehydrated food can be refrigerated for at least two years. This could be a game-changer for people who are looking to stockpile their favorite food. You can quickly rehydrate and use them on various types of dishes or eat them as is.
Save Food Cost
Seasonal fruits cost more in the off-season. So an easy solution for you could be to buy as much as you can during the season. You can buy them cheaply during that time. After that, dehydrate them and store them somewhere. You’re all set to enjoy your favorite fruit throughout the year.
Efficient Food Storage
Food dehydrator removes water from food and fruits, so rarely it leaves any place for bacteria to take over. That allows you to dehydrate your food and forget about it without any worries. Not to mention it keeps safe for a long time, and that’s why campers and even astronauts rely on dehydrated food.
Portability, Flexibility, Diversity
When it comes to portability, dehydrated foods are the best. Any large vegetables or fruits can be made into perfect chips. Dehydrated food can be boxed and packed easily and moved in any place. Dehydrated foods will only give you a refined fresh taste, which can easily take over your regular snack choice.
Ease of Use
For any careless clumsy person, food dehydrators are specially made easy to use. You just have to slice the fruits or vegetables and put them in a tray. Food dehydrators are designed well and always set at low temperatures that you can’t even overdry food accidentally.
Who Needs a Food Dehydrator?
Having a tough time managing all the food your garden is producing? A dehydrator will preserve them for you. It works great with tomato, corn, parsley, peas, peppers, garlic, etc. You can use them for soups, stews, salads, and seasonings.
A dehydrator is an excellent option for someone who wants to try out different foods at home. You can make beef jerky, potato chips, mushroom powder, fruit leather, pickles, and a whole lot.
Dehydrating also works best for people looking for the best dieting options. You can buy healthy foods like vegetables, mushrooms, fruits and store them for a long time for a consistent diet. Dried food will even provide you with much fewer calories than its average counterpart.
For seasonal hikers, dehydrated foods make a lot of sense. You can carry them in your backpack without the fear of getting spoiled or messing up your stuff. Bulkier foods can be dehydrated into chips and can be easily carried.
While you’re backpacking or camping for a long while, having low weight in your pack is a necessity. Dehydration removes most of the water from your food as well as most of the weight. As an added benefit, they will stay fresh for longer.
Dehydrated food is excellent for hunters too. They can be used as good bait for the animals you’re looking for. The dried bait will attract more animals because of its strong smell and increased flavor.
Dehydration makes a lot of sense for fishing enthusiasts. You can make baits for the fish; they work great for fishing. After you catch some fish, you can also dry them to extend their overall shelf life. Moreover, dried fish can make some tasty meals.
The Best Food Dehydrators at a Glance
For your convenience, you have been researching the best food dehydrators for quite a while now. You can look up at the table and compare how they hold up against one another.
|Color||Temp. Control||Tray Number||Wattage||Timer||Noise Level||Construction|
|COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine CP267-FD||23.1 Pounds||19.75 x 15.5||Black||Yes, up to 73°C||6||600W||up to 48 hours||48 dB||Stainless Steel|
|Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator||7.5 Pounds||14.5 x 15||White||No||4||600W||No||–||Plastic|
|VIVOHOME Electric Food Dehydrator Machine||6 Pounds||12.5 x 9.5||Silver||Yes, up to 70°C||5||400W||up to 24 hours||–||Stainless Steel, Plastic|
|NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator||7.75 Pounds||13.75 x 22.13||Grey||Yes, up to 70°C||5||600W||No||–||Plastic|
|COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine CO165-FD||9.3 Pounds||13.8 x 11.3||White||Yes, up to 73°C||5||450W||up to 48 hours||48 dB||Plastic|
|Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator||6.21 pounds||13 x 12||Black||Yes, up to 70°C||5||350W||No||–||Plastic|
|Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator||8 Pounds||10.5 x 13||Grey||Yes, up to 70°C||5||500W||up to 48 hours||–||Plastic|
|Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine||21.41 Pounds||18 x 14||Black||Yes, up to 73°C||10||600W||up to 24 hours||–||Stainless Steel|
|Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator||7.8 Pounds||13.38 x 15.63||Steel Grey||Yes, Low, Medium & High||9||620W||No||–||Plastic|
|Chefman Food Dehydrator Machine||16 Pounds||13.58 x 17.52||Black||Yes, up to 70°C||6||480W||up to 19.5 hours||–||Plastic|
The 10 Best Food Dehydrators for 2021
COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine CP267-FD
The first entry on our list is the latest edition from COSORI. This dehydrator comes with a stylish-looking back door as well as helpful accessories. The six trays, a mesh screen, and a fruit roll sheet are included. The whole construction is stainless steel free of BPA, giving a sleek and durable exterior for the machine.
The precise temperature control ranges from 35° C to 73° C, and you can set up a cook-up time for up to 48 hours with the one-touch LED display. This dehydrator is also very safe to use, comes with an automatic shutoff feature and overheat protection for extra protection. With a noise level of 48 bB, it won’t interfere with you in the kitchen. The fan mounted on the rear provides even heat distribution to every tray.
- Precise Temperature control
- Food-grade stainless steel construction for a durable and sleek look
- Automatic shutoff and overheat detection feature
- Shallow noise profile of 48 dB
- Six trays, a mesh screen, and a fruit roll sheet are included
- The smaller size may create for large batches
- It might not be great for drying herbs
Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
The next item on our list is Presto 06300 Dehydrator. This dehydrator is great for drying fruits and vegetables. This four-tray dehydrator provided plenty of space for home cooking needs. The number can be increased up to eight trays for expanding the drying capacity of the dryer. The see-through cover lets you the progress of your drying while you wait.
This dehydrator comes with a bottom-mounted fan which provides consistent and even heating to the foods for optimum drying. This dehydrator is very easy to use; the included trays are completely immiscible and safe for dishwasher usage. The construction is compact and lets you store it in your kitchen easily. Four drying trays, one fruit roll sheet and a nonstick mesh screen are available with the product. The dehydrator has to operate at a set temperature of 73° C; you cannot change it on the go.
- Four trays provided enough space for home-cooking can be expanded to eight
- The bottom-mounted fan provides consistent air–flow for even cooking
- Very easy to clean, dishwasher proof
- Compact size lets it sit in any kitchen space
- The see-through window enables you to see the progress
- No temperature adjustment
- No timer or auto-shutoff system
VIVOHOME Electric Food Dehydrator Machine
The VIVOHOME electric dehydrator comes with a strong drying capacity; the machine has 400 watts of power for proper cooling. It is made with a premium quality stainless steel base with food-grade plastic trays free of BPA. The 5-tray system is designed with home and professional cooking in mind. The trays are large enough to hold most of the food and provided convenience while drying up a considerable amount of food.
With the adjustable temperature control function, you can set the temperature from 35° C to 70° C. Moreover, you can set the timer up to 24 hours for the best quality dehydration. The included fan will make sure the temperature is evenly distributed among the foods. With dishwasher-proof trays, this dehydrator is very easy and convenient to clean.
- 400 watts of power for powerful dehydration
- Premium stainless steel construction with BPA-free food trays
- Adjustable temperature and time control
- Included fans provided even heating for every food
- Very easy to clean, comes with dishwasher-proof trays
- Quite large for compact home kitchens
- Dehydration might take longer to complete
NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
The NESCO FD-75A comes with a Vita-save outside, which is very helpful for blocking out harmful light. Its package includes 5 BPA-free trays, but if you really need you can expand it up to 12 trays. The patented drying system named Converga-flow forces air through the outer pressurized chamber. Then it pushes hot air through every tray, which ensures even drying. This method ensures that you don’t need to rotate the trays.
It comes with a thermostat that makes sure you can dry different foods at their proper temperature, up to 35° C to 70° C. The 600-watt drying power, along with the top-mounted, ensures the highest quality drying.
- 600-watts of drying power with top-mounted fans
- Includes five trays that are BPA free
- Patented Converga-flow system allows for even drying
- The dehydrator can be extended up to 12 trays
- Adjustable thermostat allows for temperature control
- No timer adjustment
- The dehydrator doesn’t come with an auto-shutoff function
COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine CO165-FD
The COSORI CO165-FD was made to keep beginners in mind. This dehydrator includes BPA-free five trays, one mesh screen, one recipe book, and one fruit roll sheet. The versatile nature of this dehydrator comes in making a variety of foods ranging from fruits, vegetables, jerky, etc.
It comes with a digital timer and temperature adjuster, which range from 30 minutes to 48 hours. You can change the temperature from 35° C up to 70° C. With an auto-shutoff feature and overheat detection function, you can rest assured that you’ll be safe. It’s also tranquil at 48dB, comes with dishwasher-proof trays and components.
- An excellent choice for beginners
- The package includes 5 BPA-free trays
- Digital timer and temperature control adds versatility to cooking
- Very safe to use, it comes with an auto-shutoff feature
- It runs very quietly at 48 dB
- Trays can be harder to clean
- The lid is made from thin plastic, which can break easily
Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator
The next entry on our list is the Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator, a versatile dehydrator targeted at cooks and hobbyists. The fan on this dehydrator is located on the base, which provides top to bottom efficient heat and constant air circulation. It also comes with a large window for viewing the food while the foods are being dried up.
The 350-watt machine provides ample heat for proper dehydration. An adjustable temperature system ensures that you can dry up various food at optimum temperatures from 35° C up to 70° C. Five trays come with the package, which is entirely BPA-free and safe to use. They are also dishwasher-proof.
- Simple to use while easy to clean
- Targeted at cooks and hobbyists alike
- Horizontal air-flow ensures even cooking with an extensive view window
- The included 350-watt machine includes enough drying power
- Adjustable temperature for different types of food
- The temperature might be inconsistent
- Longer time for dehydrating
Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator
The Hamilton Beach dehydrator takes your food dehydration games to the next level by providing you with numerous options. It comes with two specialty sheets so that you can add versatility to your cooking. The mesh sheet is applicable for herbs from the garden, while the solid sheet is perfect for fruits and vegetables. With 500 watts of energy and five drying trays, you’ll never run out of energy for dehydration.
The continuous air–flow can provide an even amount of drying to the food. Included digital thermostat can be controlled according to your need; it can range from 40° C to 75° C. It comes with a 48-hour timer with an auto-shutoff feature to stop overheating.
- It comes with two special sheets
- The machine can output 500 watts of the highest energy
- An included digital thermostat can control the temperature
- Transparent lid for viewing the cooking
- It comes with a 48-hour timer with an auto-shutoff feature
- It can take a long time while dehydrating
- While drying, this thing can get loud
Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine
The Magic Mill Dehydrator is a fantastic choice for someone looking for a great food dehydrator. It comes with a rear-mounted fan, which can circulate heat horizontally for providing every tray with even heating. You don’t need to rotate the shelves or keep too much attention to the dehydration process. But if you want to, you can keep an eye out through the transparent window. The consistent air flow lets the heat to every single food and provides a good amount of dehydration.
The adjustable trays are spacious and can take a variety of foods. They are made out of BPA-free food-grade stainless steel. This is a mill dehydration machine, which comes with 10 of these trays. They are also straightforward to clean as well as dishwasher safe. The digital thermostat enables controlling the temperature according to your need. It also comes with a timer for controlling the time of dehydration and an automatic shutoff feature.
- Rear-mounted fan provided even heating
- The transparent window is excellent for keeping an eye out for the food
- It comes with 10 BPA-free food-grade stainless steel trays
- Digital thermostat for temperature control
- An included timer with an auto-shutoff feature
- It might get too heavy and oversized for standard kitchen space
- The plastic exterior might not be great for durability
Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator
The Cuisinart food dehydrator lets you dehydrate all your favorite food and provides you with healthy and tasty snacks. It comes with a top-mounted fan that lets air pass through the trays for even drying. It is an excellent dehydrator that packs 620 watts of power for proper dehydration.
It comes with five stackable trays, which are food grade and BPA-free. If you want more space, you can stack up to nine trays. The fruit roll-up sheet is included with the package for your convenience. The thermostat can control the temperature into three states: High, Medium, and Low.
- Included fruit roll-up sheet
- Adjustable temperature with the thermostat
- 620 watts of power of intense drying
- Included five stackable trays provide a good amount of food to be dried
- Fruit roll-up sheets are included
- The top-mounted fan is excellent for even drying
- The smaller size may not be enough for some people
- It doesn’t come with any timer or shutoff protection
Chefman Food Dehydrator Machine
The Chefman food dehydrator promises you a simpler and more streamlined dehydration experience, and it delivers. The included six BPA-free spacious plastic trays are enough for home cooking needs. The digital touch setting lets you choose the different temperatures for different types of food, ranging from 35° C up to 70° C. Moreover, the integrated timer also lets you choose a duration for up to 19 hours at a time, guaranteeing you a great experience.
The 480-watt power means that you have plenty of dehydration capabilities at your disposal. Its interior ensures an even air flow to all of the trays for consistent heating and dehydration at the same time. Moreover, you can monitor the process if you want to through the clean glass window.
- Provides you with a streamlined and straightforward dehydration experience
- Includes six BPA-free plastic trays
- Thermostat lets you change the temperature for a different type of food
- The integrated timer can go up to 19 hours at a time
- Monitor the progression through the glass window
- It can get a little expensive
- No auto-shutoff feature included
Factors to Look Out for When Buying a Good Food Dehydrator
Not all dehydrators are made equally; many of them have different feature sets for different people. Here’s a list of things that you need to look out for a while purchasing your food dehydrator.
Food dehydrators come in different capacities, sizes, and configurations. For most home appliances, a medium-sized dehydrator will fulfill most of your kitchen needs. A large-sized dehydrator might look handy, but they’ll take a lot of space in your kitchen space, and they can get costly.
The lower wattage dehydrators will need less electricity but need more time for dehydration. The higher wattage ones might quickly dehydrate your food, but they need much more electricity to run on. Make sure to get one that suits your needs.
Air Flow & Heat
The biggest challenge for a dehydrator is to dehydrate parts of the food at the same time evenly. Most of the food items are not well suited for even heat distribution; that’s where adequate air–flow comes into play. Before buying a dehydrator, look for the type of air–flow and heat distribution they are offering. Horizontal flow dehydrators work best for most people.
Ease of Use
For most dehydrators, ease of use might be a significant factor of consideration. Things like an evenly distributed air-flow system make sure that you can just put the food inside and forget about it. Some basic food dehydrators can work just as fine, but they might need more maintenance and more time put into them.
Fit in the Kitchen
Before buying a dehydrator, make sure it fits perfectly in your kitchen space. Measure your space from top to bottom, side to side, and front to back. Compare the measurements given on the product, and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle.
Different kinds of food might get the best kind of dehydrating in different temperatures. So being able to adjust different temperatures with different thermostats is a must for a good quality dehydrator.
A good quality dehydrator will offer easy-to-open, washable shelves or trays so that you can easily clean them after the process. Some of them are even dishwasher-proof for more convenience.
Timer and Auto Shutoff System
Dehydrating might take a couple of hours to complete, so it’s easy to forget about them. A good quality dehydrator will offer a timer and an auto-shutoff system, so you just need to put the food, set the timer, and it will do the rest.
Many dehydrators come with a fan inside, so they might make some noise while in operation. While decibel ratings are hard to find for dehydrators, make sure to ask around before purchasing.
Most food dehydrators rely on the same principle, and they also work almost the same way. Even drying is one feature that sets apart the good from the average in terms of dehydrators. Good air–flow will make sure that all the food parts get equal amounts of heat while drying.
Some commercial food dehydrators come with meat drying options, which means more temperature and greater air–flow. As meat can be hard to dehydrate in low temperatures, look for a dehydrator that offers meat processing on their list of features.
Type of Tray – Stackable vs. Shelf (vertical flow vs. horizontal flow)
In a stackable dehydrator, trays are placed vertically, while the fan is mounted on either the top or bottom portion. The core channel between the tracks enables the air to go through the stacks vertically and dehydrates all the foods evenly. This style is great for people who don’t want to supervise the drying process, as you don’t need to rotate the trays.
Shelf-style dehydrators offer trays that can be slid in or out. The fans are located on the back of the unit, and they flow the air from back to front in the horizontal direction. This is an ideal choice for someone who wants to look at the dried food for doneness occasionally.
Build of the Tray – BPA free
Before buying a dehydrator, don’t forget to check for its BPA materials. A BPA-free dehydrator is safe to use and will let you cook all kinds of food. BPA-free material in your tray means the foods will be safe from harmful materials and safe for consumption.
There are two types of fan positions available on a commercial dehydrator. One type will provide vertical air-flow from top to bottom, and the other type will provide air-flow from back to front.
Ease of access is an essential thing of consideration for people looking for a good quality dehydrator. Dehydration is a lengthy process, so forgetting about it is easy enough. The dehydrator should be such that you shouldn’t need extra care or effort.
Dehydrator should be versatile enough for dehydrating a variety of foods like meat, vegetables, fruits, fish, etc.
As various foods require different temperatures for proper dehydration, a good quality dehydrator should contain a system for setting different temperatures. The ability to set different temperatures should make your dehydrator pretty versatile.
A timer is a must-have feature for dehydrators. Setting the timer along with even a cooking system makes the whole process of dehydration very seamless.
Aesthetics & Design
Many of the high-quality dehydrators are made from aluminum or stainless steel, but they can be heavy. If you’re price concerned and don’t mind the build quality too much, plastic-made dehydrators will do the job as well.
Food dehydrators cost around $30 to $300, while some expensive models can go up as high as $600. While you don’t need to spend so much if you’re buying it for the first time, try to opt for a good model.
Don’t forget to check out if the dehydrator you’re buying comes with a warranty or not. Most of them will provide your around 12 months of warranty at the least.
Tips & Tricks in Using a Food Dehydrator
Coordinate your drying time
Different foods dry out at different times. If you want the most efficient drying, try to match foods that dry out simultaneously.
Keep an eye on the maximum amount of food the dehydrator can work upon at a specific time. Don’t overload the trays with enormous piles; it will make the food dry unevenly.
Keep an eye out for how long it takes for a specific food to get dehydrated. Overdrying will make the foods unpalatable.
Allow Proper Drying Time
Like overdrying, under-drying will make the food go bad much quicker. When starting the drying process, make sure you have enough time in your hand before using or packaging it.
Most dehydrated food can offer versatile options. Most of them can be eaten as is, and some of them can be rehydrated and repurposed for use in another food. They can be used in baking, stew, or soups. Before you use them, soaking them in clean water for a few hours will do the job.
Some Common Foods to Dehydrate
Here is a list of some of the most common food you can dehydrate, along with their dehydrating temperatures and time.
|Banana||Peeled and sliced||6-10 hours||57° C|
|Apple||Peeled, sliced, and cored||7-15 hours||57° C|
|Grape||Seeds and stem peeled off||22-30 hours||57° C|
|Carrot||Sliced or cut into dice||6-10 hours||52° C|
|Mushroom||Cut into pieces||3-7 hours||52° C|
|Jerky||Heat treatment, sliced into pieces||4-15 hours||57° C|
|Peas||Shell removed and steamed||4-8 hours||52° C|
|Green Bean||Cut into pieces or sliced||8-12 hours||52° C|
Storing Dehydrated Food
Dehydrated food is relatively easy to store, as they rarely go bad because of their low moisture content. They can be stored in reusable mason jars with lids so that you can get easy access. Reusable zip bags can also be used for storing dehydrated food.
If you’re looking to store your food for long, consider storing them in airtight glass or hard plastic containers at a low temperature. Vacuum sealing is a pretty good option for long time storage as it removes most of the oxygen from the container.
Cleaning the Dehydrator Tray
After each round of dehydration, consider cleaning the dehydrator trays for the next batch. Prepare a warm soapy solution, then put the trays into the solution for at least 20 minutes before the hard stains get softer. Then scrub them with a soft brush thoroughly to get the stains off from the tray. For really sticky substances, you might need to do some hard scrubbing. Be gentle with the scrubbing, as it can scratch the surface of the tray.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I use an oven to dehydrate food?
Yes, you can dehydrate some foods in the oven. But they will be in low quantities, and if you opt for a good amount of food, they won’t be heated evenly.
2. How can I dehydrate a blueberry?
First, rinse blueberry well, then poke holes into them, then place them in a dehydrator, and you’re good to go.
3. Which temperature is best for dehydrating?
The optimum temperature for dehydrating is around 60° C.
4. How many dehydrator trays do I need?
Most of the dehydrator comes with a four to six tray, but if you still need some more, you can always get an additional one.
5. How much electricity does a dehydrator use?
It doesn’t cost much electricity as it has removable trays so you can keep the only tray you are drying there. A minimal calculation says, for using 8 hours, every day, it will cost you at most 80 dollars a month.
6. Which foods are impossible to dehydrate?
Every food can be dehydrated, but you should never dehydrate avocado, soda, juice, egg cause they take way too much time and don’t last long. And in most cases, dehydrating them ruins the flavor.
7. How long do dehydrate foods last?
Dehydrated food can last for two years, which almost seems like forever.
As most dehydrators on the market essentially do the same thing, a little know-how about the better ones is great. If you manage to stick with this article for this long, you probably know almost everything there is to know about food dehydrators.
We tried giving you our personalized recommendations for the available food dehydrators on the market. We hope this will help you make your own insightful decision while purchasing the best food dehydrator.