A food dehydrator is an often overlooked, yet incredibly fun and economical small kitchen appliance. Whether you have a wonderfully productive garden yielding excess vegetables, or have an unquenchable desire for awesome jerky, a food dehydrator is your answer.
At FoodDehydratorReviewsGuide.com our objective is to provide you with a comprehensive resource for everything food dehydrators, enabling you to select the best food dehyrator for your needs, with our vast selection of food dehydrator reviews.
|Food Dehydrator||Our Review||Rating||Price|
|Nesco FD-1040||Best Value For Money, Our Most Recommended Food Dehydrator, Excellent Performance And Build Quality||Check Price|
|Presto 06300||Cheaper Food Dehydrator, Lower Quality Build, Slower Food Drying Process, Less Capacity, Good Value For Money||Check Price|
|Excalibur 3926TB||Best Food Dehydrator But Rather Expensive, Good Quality Build, High Speed Drying, New Advanced Technology||Check Price|
Best Food Dehydrator
Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator
This food dehydrator priced at a modest price point provides exceptional performance and capacity. With a 20-tray capacity it can hold large quantities of food. You can fully adjust the temperature to your desired setting, to make sure that your food is dried to your standards. Alongside the dehydrator comes a digital dimmer that can be professionally programmed to take care of the drying process for you. Providing 1000 watts of drying power the FD-1040 is more than capable of doing all that you require from it. You can use this appliance to dry vegetables, meats, fruits, pasta and even dry milk powder. With the solid opaque exterior, you can expect your food to hold all of the precious nutrients, shielded from the light.
Nesco offer a 1 year warranty to compliment their product, should you ever experience any issues or manufacturing defects with the food dehydrator, simply contact Nesco support and they will take care of you. We can only say good things about this appliance and list it as our best food dehydrator.
Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
The 06300 produced by Presto is a very simple to use food dehydrator. It is one of the most affordable available on the market, and boasts good quality production for such a cheap price. It is extremely simple and features a very easy to use interface. Although it is priced at a very affordable point, it still comes with a wide array of features and will help you dry out your food in a very short period of time. You can produce some tasty banana chips in under 4 hours with the 06300 and can dry most other fruits and vegetables in just an hour. Although it lacks power compared to our best food dehydrator, it does come with 600 watts of power which is more than enough to keep your food dry.
This appliance by Presto will last you for over 10 years if you take good care of it, so it provides amazing value for money. Should you have any difficulties or issues with the machine, it does come with a 1 year limited warranty, so you can get a replacement or your device fixed.
Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator
The 3926TB may be on the more expensive side, however it is certainly the best food dehydrator on the market. Although it comes in at nearly double or triple the price of other dehydrators, you will not experience such high quality performance from any other brand or appliance. This food dehydrator will have your food taken care of in no time and produce beautifully cured and dried fruits, vegetables or any other food selection you desire. Alongside the appliance you receive a timer and a thermostat to monitor your food dehydrating process. This is one of the larger food dehydrators available on the market, so you can dry a large quantity of food at a time. The heat distribution is perfect among all the food contained inside and will provide a balanced drying process distributed throughout all of the food evenly. With the “Excalibur Hyperwave Fluctuation Technology” you will receive food that still contains all of the important nutrients and vitamins even after being dried for hours, it also takes care of any mold and yeast that could be growing inside the dehydrator.
Excalibur offers 10 year warranty which is far superior to any other food dehydrator on the market. You are unlikely to ever need the warranty, however it is there just in case, although the build is of such a high quality that manufacturing defects are very few.
What Is A Food Dehydrator?
A food dehydrator is an appliance that extracts water from food to aid in the preservation of that food item. Food dehydration, or food drying, is a great method for preserving a variety of fruits, vegetables and meats. Foods are mostly comprised of water, with most fruits and vegetables containing up to 95% water and most meats being comprised of up to 75% water. The water is what causes food to spoil. Removing a substantial amount of the food’s water content will extend the life of the food by restricting the bacteria from growing.
A food dehydrator works using a heating element, fan and air ventilation. These three elements works simultaneously to remove moisture from the food items placed inside. The heating element warms the food. The warmth causes the moisture to be brought to the food’s surface, where the unit’s fan blows the moist air through the dehydrator’s vents. This process goes on for several hours until the food is dried to a level sufficient for its intended use.
Benefits of Dehydrated Food
There are several wonderful benefits that come from food dehydration. Dehydrated food is economical, healthy and great tasting. The following are some of the most readily apparent benefits that come from using a food dehydrator in your home:
If you habitually purchase dried foods from the grocery store you will immediately realize its costs a heck of a lot less to dry the foods yourself at home. Additionally, you can save money by buying food items in bulk, and then preserving the food for later use. You will also save money by reducing the amount of food lost to spoliation. Finally, you will realize a cost savings by enjoying healthier, cheaper snack foods to replace the expensive snack options found in stores.
Avoid Harmful Preservatives
The only thing contained in your dehydrated food is the food itself. There are no harmful preservatives or chemical additives necessary to extend the foods life, and therefore you eliminate the health risk that comes along with these harmful substances.
Great Tasting Food
Dehydrated food tastes awesome. The flavor of the food item becomes concentrated when you remove the moisture, so if you love the flavor of say, bananas, then your dehydrated banana will provide a concentrated banana flavor explosion.
Dehydrated foods weight much less, and take up less space, than the same food in its pre-dehydrated state. Additionally, items that previously required precious refrigerator space can now be stored away in a pantry, contained neatly in a ziplock sandwhich bag.
Dried food are fantastic for bringing along on camping trips, extended hikes, long marathon training runs, and long-distance car rides. Since the dried food is lightweight and compact, it is the perfect fuel source to have when food storage would otherwise be inconvenient or impractical.
Enjoy Seasonal Food Year Round
Preserving food through dehydration will allow you to enjoy your favorite seasonal foods at all times of the year. Simply buy excess during the food’s peak season, and dehydrate what is not used to save for the times of the year you otherwise cannot enjoy your favorite seasonal foods.
Maximize Nutritional Value of Food
Dried food provides a higher nutrient per calorie by volume ratio than non-dried food. For example, 5 raisins will have the same calories as 5 grapes however 1 cup of raisins will contain approximately 400 calories while 1 cup of grapes will have about 60 calories.
Common Uses for a Food Dehydrator
The many uses for a food dehydrator are only limited to your imagination and access to food. The following are just a few of the most popular uses for a home-use food dehydrator, and this certainly is nowhere near an exhaustive list:
- Making beef, deer, turkey jerky
- Homemade air fresheners or potpourri
- Creating fruit leathers (Remember…”fruit roll-ups”)
- Drying herbs to make your own tea
- Soup mixes
- Backpacking meals
- Dried pepper flakes
- Seasoning powders
- Banana chips
- Trail mix
- Making raisins
- Drying nuts
Types of Food Dehydrators
There are two main categories of food dehydrators designed for home-use. First are those dehydrators that contain stackable trays for placing the food to be dried. Second, are those dehydrators designed as a box containing removable shelves for placing the food to be dried.
Additionally, there are three different drying methods common with these home-use dehydrators. First, some dehydrators have base-mounted fans that expel the hot air vertically through the unit. Second, other dehydrators have a rear-mounted fan that will expel the air horizontally out of the unit. Finally, a few models have no fan whatsoever, and rely on convection drying to remove the moist air.
How to Select the Perfect Food Dehydrator
Before you select a food dehydrator for your home, you first must consider what your primary use will be for the machine. If you intend to dry specialty items, or use the food dehydrator mostly for one particular use, research which models are most appropriate for your intended use.
For example, some food dehydrators come with jerky kits and are built ideally for creating jerky from meat. Other units come with stick-proof sheets for creating fruit leathers. Size will be a consideration in determining the perfect food dehydrator.
These dehydrators differ dramatically in size, however most current food dehydrators are less than 12 inches in diameter and easily store away unobtrusively on a kitchen countertop. Finally, price is really not much of a concern for food dehydrators, as most commercial models can be purchased for between $30 and $500.
Recommended Drying Temperatures
- Fruits, Fruit Rolls 130º to 140º F
- Vegetables 130º to 140º F
- Meats & Fish 145º to 155º F (Set at Max. Temp.)
- Nuts & Seeds 90º to 100º F
- Herbs & Spices 90º to 100º F
- Dried Flowers/Potpourri 90º to 100º F