Best Dehydrator

After countless hours of thorough research and testing we now present to you the best food dehydrator money can buy, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator. Dehydrating food can be a thoroughly rewarding and satisfying culinary hobby. It provides you and your family with great tasting and healthy snack options while ensuring that there are no additives or preservatives in the food you give your family. With more people leaning towards healthy and whole foods, dehydrating fruits and vegetables has become a viable and affordable option for many. It is with this goal in mind that we have curated the below list of the best food dehydrators in the market for you. Whether it is a budget friendly option or a professional food dehydrator, we are sure you would find something to delight you in our reviews.

Our top pick, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator is a dehydrator worthy of a professional. However, it is also one many a home cook would covet. In addition, it happens to be the number one best seller in the dehydrator category on Amazon with close to 2,500 customer reviews. We are sure that this food processor will occupy a place of prominence in your kitchen once you get your hands on it. With the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, there will be no shortage of dried fruits and veggies to munch on when hunger pangs strike in between mealtimes.

That being said, its design is also quite different. Our budget pick is rectangular whereas our top pick was circular and it boasts different features from the top pick. However, it comes with great reviews and ratings from its customers. You can use it to dry anything from fruit, vegetables, flowers or even jerky. The Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator is a great product for a lesser price. Read on to find more about our budget pick below and to see if this is the food dehydrator for you.

It has been said that any professional chef or culinary expert interested in dehydrating food, should own an Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator. That reputation is what our step-up pick, the Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator brings to the table. Undisputed popularity coupled with state of the art food technology. This is a dehydrator for the professional, as is depicted by its upper range price. With the default nine trays which provide for fifteen square feet of drying space, you can dry large amounts of food at once, saving up on your energy costs in the long run. The best part about this dehydrator is the trust placed in it by countless foodies who swear by the efficiency and effectiveness of Excalibur dehydrators.

What are dehydrators?

Drying food to preserve them has been done by humans for millennia. A long time ago, the sun was the main source of drying food. But now, however, there are electrical and mechanical food dehydrators. These are easy to use and get the job done fast. Dehydrators have a heating element and a fan which help dry the food. The heat is kept lower than that of an oven, and the fan running so that up to 95% water is removed from the food. And as explained in this article on how dehydrators work food dried using a dehydrator also retain the natural enzymes of the food.

Types of dehydrators

As explained in this this Wikipedia article on food dehydrators, the main categorization of dehydrators is based on the kind of power they use. As such, there are electric dehydrators, solar powered dehydrators, and dehydrators run on an oil such as biofuel.
The dehydrators produced for domestic use typically run on electricity and are smaller in scale. They fit on a countertop and are fairly easy to use. These electric, domestic use dehydrators are the ones we are focusing on here. Solar powered or oil run dehydrators are large scale ones and are typically used for industrial or commercial drying of food.
When it comes to domestic dehydrators, there are circular dehydrators and cubic shaped ones. While, they are both equally popular, the famous brands in the market such as Excalibur use the cubic design for more efficiency. Whether circular or cubic, all these dehydrators have the same basic features: a heating element, a fan, trays, (optional tray liners), and fruit roll up trays. Some of the dehydrators also come with a recipe and instruction book to get you started. If you are interested in making jerky, some will even provide you with a jerky starter kit including spices and cure.
The number of trays in a dehydrator can vary from four up to twelve. The heating element can be located either at the bottom or the top. The consumption of energy can also vary from 600W to 1100W. As you can see, the options are numerous and having done a good research on each of them is important before making a purchase decision.

How to pick a good dehydrator

Finding the perfect dehydrator for your needs can be quite tricky. Are you planning on storing up your herb cabinet with freshly dried herbs and spices? Or do you have a fruit orchard with fruit by the bushel you want to preserve? Or are you a frequent camper and hiker who wants to make his own travel food including jerky? The answer to the above questions will basically determine the kind of dehydrator you should buy. These questions made the base of our research and testing as well.
For instance, when testing, we found out that most dehydrators dried up herbs and spices fairly easily. They also dry most vegetables and fruits well. If you want the most basic of dehydration, it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on a state-of-the-art dehydrator as a basic dehydrator will do the trick just fine. The problem arises when presented with fleshy fruits with more water content such as peaches or tomatoes. Spending a little extra cash will give you a dehydrator with extra space between trays and which will run the heat evenly. If you want to make meat jerky, you need a dehydrator which reaches the temperature 160 degrees Fahrenheit to rid of harmful microorganisms.
Other factors to consider when buying a dehydrator are its’s size (whether it fits on your countertop or not), whether the food gets dried evenly, how long it takes to dry different kinds of food, and how solidly it’s been manufactured. Put all these in together to find the perfect one for you.

Our Top Pick: Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Before tell you why we picked this food dehydrator as our top pick, let us give you details on its specifications.
The Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator comes to you with five drying trays, two clean-a-screens, and two fruit roll sheets. However, the total number of trays can be increased up to twelve. Nesco additional dehydrator trays can be bought separately on Amazon. Fruits and vegetables are not the only food items you can dry using this dehydrator. You can dry up your own herbs and spice and even venture into making spice and herb blends. And here’s something else you never thought you could make at home: potpourri. With the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, you can dry up flowers right at home for your own scented mix. You can also make delicious jerky from a variety of meats, poultry, and even fish. To give a leg up for your jerky making, the pack also comes with three original spice packets. And whether you are trying to make trail mix or fruit roll-ups, you are off to a great start with the fifty-two-page recipe and instructions book which you receive with your dehydrator.
The drying system of the dehydrator is called the Coverga-flow system and is patented. This unique drying system ensures that food is dried within hours. The Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat with the temperature range of 95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The optimum temperatures for drying fruits and vegetables fall between 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, where the vitamins and other nutrients do not get destroyed. The higher end of the temperature range dries up meat, poultry, and fish while effectively guarding against the growth of microorganisms. The top mounted fan is efficient and ensures that no liquid gets dripped from one tray to another. In addition, there is no need to rotate the trays to make sure that everything gets dried out evenly. Because of the efficient design, even if you had different types of food in different trays, the flavors do not get mixed.

Flaws but not deal breakers

Our top pick, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator is undoubtedly one good piece of equipment. And most of the customers who bought it loved it. It’s convenient and produces amazing tasting dried food. If there was ever a flow we could pick on, it is the consumption of power. At first glance, this dehydrator is classified as using 600W. However, in the description page of the product, it is described as having 700W drying power. This to us looked like too much power to use for a dehydrator.
However, as we looked at other dehydrators in the market we noticed that most of them worked in the power range of 700W to 1000W. This means that our top pick is not an anomaly. And therefore, the presumed higher power consumption is not a deal breaker and not in any way a deterrent from purchasing this product.

Our Budget Pick: Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator

Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator
Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator

This food dehydrator which comes in color gray has five stackable drying trays, one fine-mesh sheet for drying herbs and other small foods, and one solid sheet for drying up fruit puree for making fruit roll-ups. It also uses 500W when in use, which will be a concession for the budget concerned.

The dehydrator keeps up a continuous airflow which ensures even drying of all food stacked in the trays. And this eliminates any need for the trays to be rotated at an interval. The internal thermostat regulates the temperature so that it stays in the optimal range for dehydration and is automatically shut off when the temperature rises too high. The temperature range of the dehydrator is 100 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The heating element of the dehydrator is at the bottom and blows heated air upwards.
A feature that the Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator has but our top pick does not, is the automatic timer. To enjoy great tasting dried fruit, veggies or jerky, all you need to do is load up the trays with the food, adjust the temperature accordingly and set the timer. When the food is done, the timer will go off. To know how much time to set for each food item, just refer to the instruction booklet you received with the product. It also features great recipes for you to start your food dehydration journey. The clear lid on the dehydrator allows you to watch the dehydration process as it happens.

Our Step Up Pick: Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator

Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator
Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator

Even at first glance, you can tell that our step-up pick, the Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator is different from other dehydrators in the market. For starters, it looks rather sleek. The black version we are reviewing for you here especially looks like it could be a centerpiece on a kitchen countertop. There is also a white option for you to choose.
The Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator comes with standard nine trays, and a flexible poly-screen tray insert to prevent food from sticking to the trays. The cumulative nine trays give fifteen square feet of drying space, perfect for large batch dehydration.
The on/off switch is built in for your convenience and the thermostat is adjustable for you to select the best temperature for your food. The thermostat also has a timer of twenty-six hours. The temperature range of the thermostat is 105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The dehydrator runs on 1100W with a 7-inch fan.
The dehydration system employed by Excalibur is patented and is called the Parallex Horizontal Airflow. This is the reason why Excalibur dehydrators are considered the best, as it helps retain more nutrients than other dehydrators while doing the job faster. Drying up fruits, vegetables, and flowers for potpourri, and making jerky are not the only functions of the Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator. You can also use it to raise bread dough, make yoghurt and even dry up photographs.
The construction of the Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator is solid and it has been made to last you years. There are customers who bought their first Excalibur dehydrator over thirty years ago and is now buying our step-up pick because they have absolute faith in this brand.

Other Noteworthy Contenders

We believe that the more information you have, the better decisions you can make. This is why after we found our top pick, our budget pick, and our step-up pick, we went a step further and compiled another list of more noteworthy dehydrators for you to make your pick from. After all, we had already done all the research and the testing. Here we lay before you these dehydrators in the ascending order of price.

Ronco FD1005WHGEN 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

Ronco FD1005WHGEN 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
Ronco FD1005WHGEN 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

The Ronco FD1005WHGEN 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator is one of the least expensive dehydrators you will find the market. When it comes to energy consumption, it uses an all-time low of 125W.
This dehydrator has five interchangeable trays. The airflow is conventional and is produced by electrical heating coils at the bottom. The internal temperature of the dehydrator reaches 133 degrees Fahrenheit at the maximum. The size of the dehydrator is small, making it a perfect fit for small kitchens. If you are just starting to dry fruits and veggies, this dehydrator might be a good starting point for you. Even though it is smaller in scale, it can dry large capacities of food due to the use of five trays. As an added bonus, the lid and the trays are all dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze.
It must, however, be stressed that the Ronco FD1005WHGEN 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator is an absolute beginner’s dehydrator. If you are into serious food dehydration, this is not the one for you. Read on to see if you can find one which better suits your needs.

Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

It carries four trays which are dishwasher safe and fully immersible for sink washing. If you want more space, up to eight trays can be used. These additional trays, fruit roll sheets, nonstick mesh screens, jerky gun, and jerky spice kits can be purchased separately on Amazon.
The cover of the lid is transparent so that you can easily monitor the drying process. The heating element and the fan are both bottom mounted constantly send up heated air for consistent drying. There is also no need to rotate the trays to ensure even drying. The dehydrator’s preset temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It works under a wattage of 600W.
The Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator is also very easy to store as the trays are stackable. The cords can also be stored in the base. It is also sturdy enough to last for years giving you hundreds of uses. You will enjoy a variety of dried fruits, vegetable and fruit roll ups for years to come.

NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator and Food Preserver

NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator, Food Preserver

NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator and Food Preserver

Slightly more expensive than the previous dehydrator we discussed, the white NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator and Food Preserver are winners.
To begin with, it has a single button operation, which makes it very convenient for everyday use. Foods dried using this dehydrator retains up to 97% of its original nutritional value. The dehydrator carries five stackable trays for easy storage. The height between each tray can be changed so that you can customize the amount of food you dry in each tray. Even though only five trays come with the dehydrator, you can stack up to twenty trays in it. You can purchase the additional trays and tray liners (If needed) from the seller on Amazon. Food dehydration is not the only use of this machine. You can also use it to reconstitute foods, i.e. let dried food absorb water and come to its natural size. The dehydration unit has a maximum temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
The NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator and Food Preserver is also very easy to use as the cleanup is a breeze. As it measures only 12 inches in diameter, it will sit on your countertop without taking much space even if you had a small kitchen.

Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator

Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator
Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator

The 06301 food dehydrator by Presto, is one up from the Presto 06300 we discussed earlier. And to reflect the improvements, the price is slightly higher than the 06300.
This dehydrator carries six trays as opposed to the four trays of the 06300 and the number of trays can be extended to twelve for more space. The package also comes to you with sample packets of jerky spice and cure. There are also two fruit roll-up sheets and two nonstick mesh screen trays included. In addition, it comes equipped with an inner thermostat so that you can set the perfect temperature for what you want to dry. The temperature range is from 90 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator

Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator
Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator

The basic package of this dehydrator includes five stackable, interlocking trays, and a fruit roll-up sheet. The temperature is adjustable and the temperature setting can be set to off, fan only, low, medium, and high. The low setting reaches around 110 degrees, medium around 140 degrees and the high setting around 175 degrees Fahrenheit. The high setting is perfect for making jerky as it eliminates all harmful microorganisms. Energy consumption of this dehydrator is 620W.
The moisture from the drying food is drawn up with a top-ventilating system which emits the saturated air out of the dehydrator, providing great results. The operation of the dehydrator is also rather quiet that your daily lives will not get disturbed. The trays are also easy to clean and you can clean them up in a hurry without having to scrub them.

Gourmia GFD1650B Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator

Gourmia GFD1650B Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator
Gourmia GFD1650B Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator

The best feature of this dehydrator is the digital thermostat and timer which allow for precise drying times and temperatures. With this dehydrator, you can choose the optimum drying temperature and time for any type of food for best results. The range of temperatures is from 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The dehydrator comes with eight adjustable trays, one mesh sheet, one solid sheet, and a user guide.

MAGIC MILL PRO Countertop Food Dehydrator

MAGIC MILL PRO Countertop Food Dehydrator
MAGIC MILL PRO Countertop Food Dehydrator

The dehydrator comes with six adjustable stainless steel drying racks and six plastic mesh trays. It works on 400W between a temperature range of 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the large capacity and spaciousness of the trays, more than 6 pounds of food can be dried at once. This dehydrator also has a timer and a thermostat for optimal drying.

Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator

Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator
Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator

As discussed before, Excalibur is a renowned name when it comes to food dehydrators. This particular version is also very popular among dehydration enthusiasts. It is a nine-tray dehydrator which works on 600W.

In conclusion

People have been drying food as a preservation method for thousands of years. But drying food under the sun used to be a laborious and time-consuming task which would take days, if not weeks. But now with the advent of new technology, fruits, vegetables and even meat items can be dried in hours. Dehydration of food becomes a piece of cake with a food dehydrator such as our top pick, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator.
The Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator dries food in hours, is discreet and quiet in operation. It is also very light in weight and because of its white marbled appearance, would fit right on your countertop. It is also very easy to clean.
If you are considering investing in a food dehydrator, consider purchasing one such as our top pick. It’s great value for money and comes with raving reviews. If the top pick doesn’t suit your taste, we are sure you will find something you like from the numerous dehydrators we have reviewed for you.

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