How To Buy The Best Food Dehydrator

How to Buy the Best Food Dehydrator

Prospective dehydrator buyers typically ask is "What is the best food dehydrator?" While there isn't a clear answer, there are some food dehydrator products that stand out from the competition.

Food is an essential nutrient that goes into our bodies. But, you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't have a food dehydrator. Food dehydrators help ensure that the food you eat is free from harmful bacteria, dirt, and other ailments.

That's why it's important to invest in a food dehydrator. In this review, we look at the top five food dehydrators available. We'll give you information on specs to look for throughout the guide to help you make a better investment. You'll purchase your first food dehydrator with confidence by the end of this review.

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

Why Should You Choose Food Dehydrator Carefully

You don't want to waste money on a dehydrator you don't need. Choosing your food dehydrator makes it easier for the user to create high-quality food with no issue. Read below for more reasons why you should choose a food dehydrator.

Better Food Taste

Once the food dehydrates, the salt stays inside the food's flavor for a long time. Because of that, your food flavor becomes concentrated when dehydrating. Dehydrated food keeps a great taste when finished and has a better flavor than store bought meat.

Dehydrated banana.

All Natural Food

Food becomes spoiled when microorganisms grow inside due to enzyme reactions. Molds such as bacteria, molds, or yeast grow when there is an adequate amount of mold stored inside the food. When bacteria grow, your food turns spoiled and unable to be preserved.

Dehydrating your food results in a 100% organic taste. Fungal blooming and bacteria growth occurs inside your food and releases toxins if not dried thoroughly. During the dehydration process, the food removes the chances of molds appearing inside of it.

Cost Effectiveness

Buy your food in bulk during the peak season. During peak season, food is cheaper and easier to obtain in large quantities. After that, dry the food to preserve its quality. With that food amount, you don't have to waste money on food that's unhealthy.

When buying your food in peak season, you'll have access to clean and high-quality peak season foods. Your food will taste better than the commercially dehydrated alternatives. Getting your food in bulk during lean season saves hundreds of dollars in food and access the best-tasting food you'll find.

On What To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Food Dehydrator

Here's our advice on what to pay attention when buying food dehydrator:

Size And Space

Do you have enough room to fit an oven? Or do you live in a limited space such as an apartment. If it's the latter, pick a stackable dehydrator since they have no footprint. Instead, these devices have 10-30 racks that's easy to change and inspect when needed.

Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator

When you do have a substantial budget, you're better off reading stack and shelf dehydrator reviews. After that, you must buy a dehydrator to support your cooking endeavors. No matter what shelf model you choose, it's a long-term investment of kitchen tools.

Stackable dehydrators can emulate the size of a small lunch bag once you remove a few layers of the device.

Heat Passage Of Air

Stackable models tend to distribute heat unevenly when the rack level exceeds past 12. Rotate your food frequently to keep it drying evenly. We recommend investing in a larger shelf model and box if you have multiple foods to dehydrate regularly. This method works since each tray has a fan on the back and works when creating food for a large group of people.

Quality Of Materials

Regardless of the features, food dehydrators consist of metal or plastic. If the device is plastic, the product must be FDA certified. And, the plastic dehydrator must have no BPAs. BPA's reduce the quality and taste of your food. So, get a plastic dehydrator that's durable enough for extended usage.

Similarly, your metal dehydrator should be accepted by the FDA. Opt in for a metal dehydrator if you plan on using your dehydrator to dry a large volume of foods. Plastic dehydrators tend to lose quality faster than metal when used extensively. Thus, the latter is a great option when such circumstances occur.

Portability

Consider taking your dehydrator with you if you travel via train or car. Due to their small size, stackable dehydrators are a great candidate for mobile transportation. Stackable dehydrators are compact and lightweight, meaning that they don't cause issues at metal detector gateways.

Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, White

Source: homedepot.com

Metal dehydrators are heavier than their plastic counterparts. Some state laws prohibit the use of metal dehydrators in public as they'll cause a potential hazard. We suggest getting a plastic stackable dehydrator if portability is your main concern.

Noise Level

Since all dehydrator models come with a fan, expect most of the models to create a distinctive noise. But, the average decibel level varies from unit to unit. Seek out a dehydrator model that makes less noise if you need an appliance that remains quiet during operation.

Ease Of Use

Most of the time, food dehydrating is an easy and streamlined process. You need a dehydrator that cooks your food evenly without the need to rotate the shelves. Having one allows you to leave it on and not worry about it until it's completed. This saves you time and is a better alternative than checking your food during its dehydration operation.

Extra Features

Here are a few features that are added to your dehydrator to improve its utility:

  • Timer: Food dehydration is a long process that takes hours to complete. The long process also makes it easy for users to forget about it. A timer helps you check on your food if needed and alert you when it's completed
  • Automatic Shutoff: As its name suggests, this feature turns the dehydrator off after it's been left on extensively. If you're busy and need to run errands after using the dehydrator, then the automatic shut off feature is just for you.
  • Thermostat: Different foods dry best under the correct temperature. Having a thermostat allows you to measure the temperature until it reaches the desired setting. Find a dehydrator with a thermostat if you're planning on drying multiple sets of food simultaneously.

Modifiability

Remove the racks in the dehydrator if you must dry larger pieces of food. The food will continue to dry evenly throughout the trays. This method isn't available in stacked dehydrators since the racks close by their own.

But, if you know there's extra food that needs to dry, a stackable dehydrator is an ideal choice. Use it with your box and shelf dehydrator to ensure your food is dry in a respectable time frame.

Food Dehydrator Range of Temperature

Price

According to some food dehydrator reviews, the price of your dehydrator is dependent on the features. On average, stacked food dehydrators cost around $70. An all in one dehydrating device cost at least $100 to use.

You can buy a box and shelf type dehydrator if you're willing to pay $200-$400. If you're a tight budget, it's best to opt for a smaller stackable dehydrator.

Best Food Dehydrator Over $100

Here's our recommendation for the best dehydrator over $100:

Magic Mill Food Dehydrator

First on our list is the Magic Mill Food Dehydrator. It consists of 9 shelves, five trays, and nine mesh sheets. You can purchase this device on Amazon at a price around $145.

Specifications

  • Digital Thermostat and Timer
  • Rear Mounted Fan
  • ​BPA Free
  • Features 9 trays
  • Wattage: 600 Watts

Overview

Magic Mill's main feature is its spacious countertop design. For instance, it's dimensions are 18.7 x 17.5 x 14.8 inches. These dimensions make it easier for users to dehydrate multiple types of food and is another reason why you should buy this product.

One thing that sets this dehydrator from the competition is its see through casing. The product comes equipped with a see-through front case that's easily accessed. Shoppers like this feature because they can check the progress of their food without removing the cover. If you want a dehydrator that's easy to use and inspect your food, this product is an excellent choice.

9 Stainless Steel Drying Racks

Another feature is its adjustable temperature. The dehydrator has a thermostat that lets users preset the temperature to their liking. You can set the dehydrator on for the evening and wake up to the aromatic smells of the dehydrated food in the kitchen the next day.

We also like the dehydrator's drying capacity. The dehydrator has nine extra mesh sheets and five nonstick trays. Users can dry up a lot of foods while still preserving the food's quality. You should look at this dehydrator if you have a large farm or garden, and need to preserve your food faster than the competition.

And, the device has a drip tray placed on the bottom of the machine. The drip tray traps and collects residue from the dehydrated food. Users like the tray since it helps them clean the food and reduces the overall mess.

Consumers across the board complained about the lack of durability. 10% of users reported a defective fan after two months of usage. Call for replacements if the issue persists.

Overall, the Magic Mill Food Dehydrator is the best-rated food dehydrator available. The device is easy to control, navigate, and set to dehydrate your foods. If you want a high-quality shelf dehydrator, then Magic Mill has you covered.


Gourmia Food Dehydrator

Gourmia Food Dehydrator ranks second on our list. The dehydrator consists of ten trays, and an LCD control panel, and a polished design that allows users to dry fruits, vegetables, herbs (check how to dehydrate herbs), pet treats, and flowers. Get this dehydrator if you want something that's simple and efficient.

Specifications

  • 10 Tray System
  • Digital Touch Settings
  • ​Transparent Window
  • ​UL Listed
  • Cookbook Included
  • 10 Tray System
  • Digital Touch Settings
  • ​Transparent Window
  • ​UL Listed
  • Cookbook Included

Overview

The customizable setting is the most important feature of this device. Users set the temperature and time to create their dehydrated meals. Once using the device, the LED screen shows the remaining drying time for your item. Users can program the timer for up to 14 hours, making it a flexible and customizable device.

We like the device because of its compact, yet efficient storage system. Each tray holds up to 1 lb of food ingredients. The total capacity is 10 lbs, which is great for such a small device. Since the device weighs 15 pounds, users store it in any location without taking up too much space.

Food Dehydrator With Touch Digital Temperature

Source: gourmia.com

The Gourmia is user-friendly. Since the device uses only two variables, temperature and time, it's easy for a user to control the device and dry their food efficiently. Buy this dehydrator if you want something that's simple and efficient for food drying.

Another feature we've noticed is its practical design. The dehydrator consists of plastic that's sturdy enough to accommodate multiple foods and work extensively. Also, the plastic doesn't stain, making it easy for users to clean up the device after usage.

The CIrcusmart Air Circulation System helps the food dry while it's in use. This reduces the time needed to dry your foods and ensures they'll remain in good condition. Try this product if you want a device that accurately dries your food without losing any quality.

Still, the Gourmia Food Dehydrator is the best commercial dehydrator in the market. It's fast, efficient, and won't take up too much room in the kitchen. Also, it's customizable and easy to make high-quality food using this device. 


Ivation Food Dehydrator

Third on our list is the Ivation Food Dehydrator. The dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat to help dry food faster. Plus, it's anti-overheat feature saves users from paying hundreds on repairs. We recommend this dehydrator for first-time users because it's simple to utilize and create healthy meals.

Specifications

  • Perfect for jerky, vegetables, and fruit
  • Anti-Overheat Mechanism
  • ​Includes Mesh and Solid Sheet
  • ​Digital Thermostat with a 95° F - 150°F range
  • Complies with US electrical safety regulations

Overview

Users like the device because it's easy to utilize and make their snacks. Simply preheat the dehydrator for up to 40 minutes then proceed to start cooking. Then, choose your desired ingredients and to place it in the dehydrator. This dehydrator is a great source of food preservation and helps users reach their nutritional goals.

The dehydrator comes with one mesh and one solid tray. The mesh trays are used for herbs and delicate foods while the solid tray works for general purpose drying. You'll like this dehydrator because it has multiple accessories to help support the user.

Ivation 600w Electric Food Dehydrator

Having a loud dehydrator is a nuisance. But, the Ivation Food Dehydrator doesn't follow that trend. When in use, the device remains quiet through its operation and dries food within a range of 95° F - 150°F. Get this product if you want something quiet and functional at dehydrating your snacks.

The Ivation Dehydrator is proven to extend the user's shelf life. Once completed, the food has an increased life expectancy of up to 2 years. Give this device a look if you need something to expand and extend the expiration dates of your food.

This dehydrator has a high damage threshold. Users like this feature because the dehydrator is sturdy and remains working after spills, falls, and other issues. Shoppers wanting a sturdy and long lasting dehydrator should purchase the Ivation Dehydrator.

However, the consumer's found fault with the device's heating system. It takes up to 15 hours for the heat to work. This heating issue can be a problem if you need your food dried quickly.

Still, we believe that the Ivation Food Dehydrator is the best small food dehydrator available. It has a fast operating speed and enough trays for a versatile range of projects. 


Best Food Dehydrator Under $100

Here's our recommendation of the best food dehydrator under $100:

Nesco Food Dehydrator

The Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator FD-75A is the most affordable dehydrator on this list. The device allows the user to consume and dry foods such as blue berries, strawberries, trout, etc. Get this dehydrator if you want to consume healthy food while retaining 100% of the nutrients.

Specifications

  • Top-mounted Fan
  • Temperature range: 95 to 180 °
  • ​Wattage: 600
  • Flavors Don't Mix
  • Vita Save feature

Overview

With the help of the Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator, users can prepare multiple food recipes. The dehydrator does a great job at dehydrating beef jerky, fish, and turkey. If you are a fan of any of these dishes, then this device is the best for you.

The best thermostats have a high power rating and are complemented by the power capability. This device runs on 700 watts of power. This helps the foods and fruit dry off properly. Buy this dehydrator if you want something strong and useful in your kitchen.

Noise Level

Source: homedepot.com

Vita Save is this dehydrator's main feature. When in use, the herbs or food are protected from light sources. The light source directly affects the user's cutting efficiency and the quality of the food. You'll like this device because it helps you preserve the quality of food and eliminates unwanted bacteria.

This food dehydrator has a Converga Air Flow system. The air released by the dehydrator flows centrifugally and through each tray. People like this device because it has an active dehydration system and is easy to utilize.

To ease the life of novice cooks, Nesco provided a free recipe booklet. The book teaches new owners how to create their meals and how to dehydrate them correctly. Thus, making this device easy for beginners who want to learn food dehydration without extra complications.

We found issues with the dehydrator's motor. The motor isn't durable as advertised and overheats too often. If this issue occurs to you, take the time to lubricate the motors and inspect your trays for any damage.

Still, the Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator is one of the best dehydrators in the market. Its small enough to be easily transported, beginner friendly, and has even air distribution. 


Cuisinart Dehydrator

Last on our list is the Cuisinart Dehydrator. The device has enough power to dry various foods such as kale, spinach, apples, and mushrooms. Each of the woods ear easily to make and take less than an hour for prepping. If you like a simple, yet powerful dehydrator, this dehydrator is easy to utilize.

Specifications

  • Stacks 9 trays at a time
  • Temperature Control
  • ​Naturally preserves food
  • ​Wattage: 620 Watts
  • Easy to use

Overview

The Cuisinart Dehydrator allows users to stack up nine trays at once. The device comes with a special roll-up sheet to ensure everything is covered. Using this appliance on multiple foods helps saves hundreds of dollars and prevent food waste each time it's in use.

A dehydrator has enough watt capacity to dry food effectively. The device has a wattage of 620 and a fast drying top vent. Depending on what food you want, the device as an adjustable thermostat that has five user settings (high, low, medium, and high and low on longer threats. Get this product if you want to create dehydrated food and make it part of your daily diet.

Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator

Source: homedepot.com

Most people who use this appliance like its durability. The Cuisinart Dehydrator comes with a five year warranty provided by the manufacturer. If you need to learn more about the device, there is a detailed manual and a CD-ROM guide for extra information.

We like the product because of its food preservation abilities. The device preserves food naturally without destroying the nutritional value and taste. This appliance is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, and homeowners who want an easy way to dry and preserve their food.

You need to watch out for the weak motor. Consumers complained the device's motor would burn out within two months. Inspect the motor frequently to prevent this issue from occurring.

The Cuisinart Dehydrator is the best food dehydrated for shoppers on the go. The device has enough trays to dry a full course meal completely. 


The Verdict

The Gourmia Food Dehydrator is the winner. It's a reliable box and shelf dehydrator that fits up to 10lbs of food. Since the device has seven different heat settings, it gives the user a lot of control when drying their food. Ultimately, get this product if you're serious about eating better and healthier meals.

Leave a Comment: