Food dehydrators are devices that are usually in the form of plastic or metal boxes that can remove dampness/ moisture from food to aid its preservation. Dehydrators come with home making kits which usually includes all the information required. All new dehydrators come with a fixed temperature. The power heads are awesome for the beginner or an experienced user. They also come with various numbers of trays and jerky gun and tip attachments. Food dehydration has gotten so much easier with lots of dehydrators and accessories.
The water content in food is always very high, ranging from 80%-95% for most fruits and vegetables, and 50% – 75% for most meat. Taking out moisture from food usually restrains certain fungi or bacteria from breeding and causing spoiling food. When moisture is removed from food, it automatically reduces the weight level of the food which means food dehydrators are used in the preservation and extension of the shelf life of food. Dehydration devices require a heat applicator or generating energy sources such as biofuel, a solar or electric power which may vary in output from large-scale dehydration projects to commercial appliances only for domestic use.
To make it easier, I will tell you why you should purchase only the best food dehydrator, because they are so many different electric models out there, and these are the top five dehydrators availably represented in the various designs and loaded with amazing specifications.
Best 5 Food Dehydrator Reviews
Nesco snack Master Food Dehydrator FD-75A pro
Nesco Snackmaster Pro is one of the newest dehydrators launched by the American Harvest company. It is built with a smooth, eye-catching design. It functions highly even without shelf rotation. This product provides a higher quality for drying out the vegetables, jerky’s, fruits, it and is capable of drying food in very few hours – unlike most global food dehydrator.
Features of Nesco Snackmaster Food Dehydrator pro FD-75A
It features a modifiable thermostat (which is 95-160 degree F). It offers flexibility, to yield the finest drying outcome.
It comes with a mounted fan on top and a 600 watt motor which aids in drying the food in the fastest possible amount of time.
Its impervious external body dehydrator helps in blocking the light that kills the nutritious content of the food, which is to be dehydrated.
The ventilation system forces the coerced compartment without the trays to dry quicker.
l doesn’t require shelf rotation
l 600 watts
l 95-150° F modifiable thermostat
l opaque exterior that blocks harmful light
l Weight 9.4 pounds
l Good airflow
l does not have a timer
l It has no power button
l Not power effective
l Unappreciated circular shape
The Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator
The Excalibur 3926TB is among the best modern electric food dehydrators currently present in the market. This product provides numerous outstanding features with superior quality outcomes including fifteen Sq. feet of drying space. It can be used easily in any commercial kitchen, and it comes with an on/off switch and also an adjustable thermostat with a 26-hour timer.
Features of Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator
The temperature of this dehydrator can be modified within the range of 95°-155° F. The high temperature is safe for drying the meat to be used for preparing jerky while the lower temperature is better for delicate foodstuffs.
It comes with a 26-hour regulator for the convenience of the user. Special Parallexx-Drying system is made available in this product to enable controlling the temperature and distribution of heat in all the trays easier.
Detachable Trays/ doors
The trays can be detached to enable dehydration of large items. The door is detachable for easier filling/cleaning up. It consists of nine poly-screen tray attachments and flexible net sheets.
The manufacturer has assured the product is free from defects and workmanship, and it also has a ten year warranty period.
l Temperature control
l Parallexx-drying system
l Detachable trays
l Temperature range of 95°-155° F
l 26-hour timer
l Clear door
l 600 watts
l 15 square feet of drying space
l 10-year limited warranty
l Weight 23.6 pounds
l Loud to operate
l Has no solid sheets
l Controls location is inconvenient especially if it placed on a counter under cabinets.
Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator 06300
Presto 06300 is capable of drying fruits and vegetables and can also prepare jerky from poultry, seafood, and meat. It is user-friendly and quite stress-free, which make it is one of the best dehydrators.
Features of the Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator 06300
It has four tray systems that can be expanded to 8 trays if required.
The fan is mounted at the bottom alongside the heating element. You can observe the whole process of dehydration right through the cover.
The drying trays and the cover can be immersed totally in water and is washable in the dishwasher. The cord and case of the drying trays are stored in the base of the dehydrator to enable proper and arranged storage.
l Expandable and washable trays for accurate compact storage
l nonstick mesh screens
l Weight 8 pounds
l Vertical airflow
l 1-year warranty
l Temperature range 165
l 600 watts
l Space extension
l Low sound pollution
l Gets hot easily
l No added accessories
l It doesn’t come with a timer
l No thermostat
l It has no temperature control flexibility
Presto Dehydro Digital Electric Dehydrator 06301
This electric/digital dehydrator can dehydrate fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, and a make good tasting jerky/fruit rolls.
Features of the Presto 06301
It has a six-tray system for dehydrating food at a fraction cost of commercially dried food with no preservatives or additives. The trays can be expanded up to 12 trays; two fruit roll sheets, two nonstick screens trays, and a cover that is dishwasher safe.
It includes a sample pack of jerky spice/cure, digital thermostat, and timer to archive a precise drying time and temperature. They should be from 90-165°F.
The bottom has a mounted fan, and a heating element that provides consistent air flow for highest drying and no rotation is needed.
l Adjustable temperature control
l Expandable trays
l 8.5 lbs.
l 750 watts
l 1-year warranty
l Expandable trays
l Stackable setup is a bit inconvenient
l Non-machine washable trays
l No detachable parts
Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator
This leading Company known as Nesco is one of the top names in the aspect of home appliances. This product is one of the best food dehydrators of impeccable quality. It is well loaded with remarkable features that are usually found only on the most expensive models of food dehydrators. It is available at a fair and reasonable price and it come with it the largest dehydration capacity, and that makes it a better investment for buyers.
Features of Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator
It has a digital programmable clock that shuts down when each process is ready.
It is embedded with a high motor of 1000-watt power which powers a 2400 rpm fan.
The ventilation tech in this product can perform dehydration on some twenty trays at one point of time.
The temperature control ranges from 90-160° F, and a digital LCD screen is also provided for better governing of all processes.
It is accompanied with a 52-paged guidebook with recipes included
l 1000-watts of drying power
l Expandable to 30 trays
l Horizontal reliable airflow
l Temperature control range 90-160° F
l User guidebook
l No detachable parts
l It is not washable on the dishwasher
Why should you buy one of the above listed food dehydrators?
It’s simple; the best can only offer the best. There are reasons good enough for you to check things out for yourselves before buying one of the best machines. These are simple machines; food dehydrators often come in a wide range of shapes and functions.
Size and Space
If you have a little countertop with limited space, or space enough to fit an oven? These dehydrators come with a stackable countertop model that usually has a minimal footprint. Also 12-30 racks that can be stacked one on top of the other so it can scale up vertically as your food needs increase, but if you have enough space, whatever shelf and box size model you choose, it will be a fixed investment of your kitchen space.
You can remove the racks in a box and shelf dehydrator model. If you must dry food in large pieces, be assured that the foods will dry in uniformity. This is usually not possible in stackable models because the racks fit too tight one unto the other and if you always expect sudden spikes of foods you expect to dry at once, a stackable dehydrator, with better scalability is ideal.
Heat/Passage of Air
The above-listed models come with fans at the top and bottom are notorious for uneven heating when rack levels exceed 10-12. Sometimes you may need to rotate the racks on a regular basis to avoid excessive drying of foods if you must dehydrate lots of food on a regular basis, purchasing a larger box and shelf model will be best as these models have fans at the back that dry all the trays equally.
The features of these products are made of either plastic or metal. If plastic, the products come with FDA certified food grade plastic with no BPA. They are tested to ensure that plastic fumes do not emanate from it at high temperatures.
Likewise, the metals of acceptable food grade materials accepted by the FDA. But regardless of the quality, if you plan to run dehydrators longer at a onetime stretch, the plastic quality will degrade faster compared to metal, so the latter is a good option in such circumstances.
You can consider carrying your dehydrator with you If you often travel often by car or train. In the circumstances like this, stackable dehydrators and their initial small size can turn out to be perfect companions. The stackable dehydrators turn out to be light and don’t cause any alerts at metal detector gateways.
On the other hand, the metal dehydrators are heavy, bulkier and have certain rules that apply to it in states which prohibit carrying of large metal objects in passenger crafts.
Stacked food dehydrators retail at prices below $75, while an all in one stacked dehydrator come in at prices below $100, and the top 5 dehydrators have not only the best quality but also good prices. So, if you find yourself on a tight budget, you might consider going for the best in quality, price, and general delivery.
Basic Components of Dehydrators
The tray designs will differ based on design and model size and design. Some dehydrators have stackable and removable trays, and tough box shelves. All electric dehydrators come with circular drying racks, while higher technology dehydrators may also come with rotating trays. The trays can be adjusted to smooth differences in air ventilation and the trays also multi-tiered most times to allow different sizes and types of food be dehydrated in a simultaneous way.
Fruits that are commonly dehydrated include, cherries, bananas, apricots, cranberries, pineapple, plum, apples, and grapes. Commonly dehydrated vegetables are mushrooms, potatoes, peppers, root vegetables, tomatoes, herbs, and chilies. The dried vegetables could be used in snacks or soups. Dried meat can be seasoned and turned into jerky, the most common types of jerky are beef, turkey, venison, and buffalo. Raw food lovers often use food dehydrators to create pureed fruit rolls and raw granola bars.
Dehydration is said to be complete when the fruits appear leathery or dry throughout. Dried vegetables are often crunchy or tough and are considered ready when there is no moist internally. Jerky also appears leathery with a chewy land tough texture. Foods dehydrated properly have removed more moisture. Dried foods are commonly soft, sticky, or flexible. Dehydrated foods are crisp, leathery, or hard. Dehydrated foods also last longer in storage compared to dried foods.
Basic Usage Information about Dehydrators
l Food Dehydrators require proper air circulation to function properly.
l Place or arrange the raw materials on the trays, and try to avoid overlapping.
l Set the temperature to 104°F if you want your food to dry completely.
l Rotate the trays frequently. When the dehydrator starts working, make sure you regularly check at different intervals.
l Some fruits/vegetables might take approximately 2-19 hours during dehydration. To find out if the food is completely dried or not, you should cut it into slices. When there’s no sign of moisture drop, it means it’s been completely dehydrated.
l Storage, when food is dehydrated completely, cool and store it in an airtight container. Place the container in a dark and dry place. If you find even a little moisture in the leftovers, then place them again in the dehydrator for 1 to 2 hours.
How long does the dehydration process take?
Dehydration commonly takes four to 12 hours. Resist the urge to lessen the time by increasing the dehydrator temperature. By doing this, the exterior of the food is dried, but the interior of the food remains moist. The exact length of time required for complete drying depends on different factors, which includes:
l Amount of water content
l Amount of sugar content
l Size of each piece of food
l Amount of circulating air
l Humidity level in the chamber
l Heat temperature
l The type of dehydrator used
Benefits of food dehydration
Dehydration saves a lot of money by preserving garden harvests for longer periods. Food is often less expensive when purchased in bulk, and by dehydration, you need not worry about any spoilage. Make healthy snacks (fruit leathers/meat jerky). Dehydrated foods are usually lightweight and require very tiny space; they are good for road trips.
Vertical or horizontal dehydrator
When purchasing a food dehydrator, one of the very first things you notice is an obvious difference in size and structure. That difference is basically if the food is dried vertical (up and down) or horizontal (side to side).
The question then becomes: “Should you buy a horizontal shelved dehydrator shaped like a conventional oven? Or the one that has a vertical stack tray? The truth is both orientations have their pros and cons. Let’s talk about some of those pros and cons below.
Vertical Food Dehydrators: Perfect for people who dehydrate a small amount (5 trays or less) of just one primary type of food. Stacking food in a vertical dehydrator is a better choice for those who tend to be more economically conscious. Vertical Dehydrators usually cost much lesser than their counterparts. They are also smaller than horizontal models. One of the best things about vertical dehydrators is that they can be expanded.
Horizontal Food Dehydrators: Perfect for people that dehydrate different types of food all at once. This is perhaps the biggest advantage of the horizontal food dehydrator is that you get the opportunity to experiment with new recipes ideas. The horizontal food dehydrator is an easy and clear choice. Example, lots of recipes need a nonstick surface, and it is easier to find a baking sheet for a horizontal tray than it is for a vertical food dehydrator.
If you are looking for the best food hydrators we recommend those 5 above, and be sure to think about the factors we have listed when you make your purchase.