Food dehydrators – What to look for:
Perhaps you own a garden that produces more than you can consume in the summer. Investing in the best rated food dehydrator allows you to enjoy the freshness of home-grown vegetable soup during winter using vegetables picked from your backyard. Blowing gently heated air throughout the food drying area, such a device lets you preserve foods and pack their flavors in for storage and later enjoyment. Such appliances carry either a vertical-flow fan or a horizontal-flow fan. No matter which type you purchase, remember that the most reliable food dehydrator needs to carry premium features for top performance.
Food drying takes longer specially when the food item is a particularly juicy one. For the best food dehydrator for the money, the trays need to be able to accommodate plenty of slices for drying. Look for products that feature square trays (not rounded) that have no holes on them. There are models that feature multiple large trays for maximum drying capacity. This way, you don’t have to do lots of drying sessions while using energy efficiently. Ensure though, that you have enough counter space to take on a large food dehydrator unit. Also, look for units which feature expandable tray systems for even more capacity.
Horizontal or vertical mounted heating element of fan
Bottom-mounted fans provide good heat distribution since hot air rises to efficiently dehydrate the food on the trays. Cleaning such units, though, can take time as food drippings can collect on the heating element located at the bottom. Top-located fans solve this issue but foods placed on the top trays should be the juiciest variety and those at the bottom may not be so. This is to ensure optimum drying levels on every food tray. Those that have longer drying duration can be positioned at the top. Horizontal-flow dehydrators have the heating element or fan in the unit’s back, which ensures minimal exchange of tastes between the food items since air does not go direct from tray to tray while distributing heat evenly throughout the unit. Whichever one you choose to answer what is the best food dehydrator, just make sure you know the difference it carries over all others.
Adjustable temperature settings and timer with Auto Shut-off
The unit that gives a ready answer to who makes the best food dehydrator should offer a wide range of temperatures at which you can do drying. This is in consideration of the fact that different foods require different temperatures for drying. The unit should not carry a one-temperature-fits-all system. Go for units with an adjustable thermostat. Also, for more convenience, the appliance should allow you to leave the dehydrator to do its work without you having to worry that the food does not get over-dried. You should be able to set the timer to the time you expect it to complete the drying process for the particular food item inside, and the unit’s timer shuts it off automatically.
Most appreciated Products – Comparison Table
|Product||Number of trays||Price||Watts||Temp Control||Customer Rating||Where to buy|
|TSM 32702 Stainless Steel||5||$$$$||1800||YES||A+||AMAZON|
|Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster
|Nesco American Harvest FD-37||4||$$||400||NO||C+||AMAZON|
|Nesco Gardenmaster FD-1010||4||$$$||1000||YES||B+|
Whether or not you’re working under a budget for a food dehydrator, it’s important that you know what it is you want the appliance to do. Once you’ve established your needs, it becomes easier to know which the best product is for you.
Professional buying guide – How to find the best food dehydrator
In order to have the best possible diet, you need to diversify your menu and this can only be done, if you have a lot of different kitchen utensils. Nutritionists recommend eating dry foods when you are on a diet so if you love dry foods and would like to get the chance to make some for yourself, then a food dehydrator would be the right choice. Buying a reliable food dehydrator is not an easy task so a good idea is to read some things about the main & vital features. Knowing more about the capacity will improve your knowledge and you’ll be not investing in an useless food dehydrator. The first thing you need to consider is how much dry food you and your family consume. This way you can decide on the size of the dehydrator and the number of trays. More trays give you the option of drying more types of food in the same time but if you have a limited amount of space in your kitchen, then you should look for one with a compact design.
You need to be aware that there are 2 types of food dehydrators and they don’t use the same system for drying food: the horizontal system and the round stackable sytem. These separate systems are different and each of them has advantages and disadvantages. The round stackable drying system will heat up the bottom of the device, so the heat rises upwards. The dehydrators that use this system need to be checked if they come with an interior fan. In case they don’t, there is a good chance they won’t dry the food properly, especially for the upper levels. To eliminate the chance of foods not being properly dried, a dehydrator with a rotary system should be bought. With such a dehydrator, the food on the top trays will be dried evenly. This is due to the spinning motion that will create a steady air flow, going upwards from the heat source.
Best Food Dehydrator for Jerky
Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Food-Dehydrator
The top-mounted fan and jerky gun allow you to dry jerky quickly, making the Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Food Dehydrator the best food dehydrator for jerky. The jerky gun forms raw ground meat into round sticks or thin strips for easy loading into the food dehydrator. The unit comes with five trays that you can fill to capacity for easy drying of jerky, vegetables and fruits. The top-mounted fan ensures even heat distribution. You can dry food in hours and not days with this unit that employs exclusive fan flow radial action to force heated air down the center and blow it gently in a horizontal motion across every level.
All the following features were selected by our team only after consulting the most reliable dehydrators reviews. With these features, a top model will make properly dried fruit, which can be used to make some special kinds of desserts . We did the job for you so you won’t have to spend hours reading 10 different product reviews.
Coming back to the 2 options you have…the horizontal drying system requires a fan, that will suck up cool air from the back and heat it, then distribute it evenly inside the dehydrator. Because the air enters horizontally, you won’t need to rearrange the trays every couple of hours. This way the dehydrator will not lose of heat and it will prove to be energy efficient. Different fruits need more or less time to dry and this is why a dehydrator is equipped with a thermostat. An accurate control can be kept over the temperature level inside the dehydrator, if it is equipped with a thermostat. In truth, the square design has been proven to be more energy efficient than the round one. The only downside for this model is the price, which can be more expensive
Best Food Dehydrator for Fruit
Excalibur 3926TB Black Food Dehydrator
With nine trays and 15 square feet of drying space, you should be able to dry lots of food slices in the best food dehydrator for fruit: the Excalibur 3926TB Black Food Dehydrator. The 26-hour timer allows the unit to complete dehydration of even the juiciest fruits while you’re asleep or away, so you can pack them conveniently when you can. The adjustable thermostat lets you set drying temperatures to customized settings. The Excalibur 3926TB has built-in on-off switch for consistently convenient operations. Great for sports-loving individuals, craftspeople and large families, the machine provides optimum drying capacity with its included flexible poly-screen tray inserts that prevent food from sticking.
Before you make the actual purchase, the most reliable sources of information that you need to look for are the best food dehydrator reviews. They will help you to know a model’s pros and cons, so you are perfectly aware of the features that come with the model you have decided to buy. Hopefully you will end up with a model worthy of the title of the best food dehydrator in 2018.
Best Food Dehydrator for Meat
L’Equip 306200 Food Dehydrator
Built to be the best food dehydrator for meat, the L’Equip 306200 500-Watt 6-Tray Food Dehydrator employs a computer-controlled sensor that checks the temperature 60 times per second to ensure a stable drying environment that meat items precisely need. The L’Equip 306200 generates 500 watts of power for premium drying ability and comes with six stacking trays. You can enjoy all the flexibility you need to dry seafood, poultry, meat, vegetables, fruits, granola, jerky and even potpourri. The appliance’s thermostat can be adjusted from 93OF to 150OF, so you can customize it to the proper temperature for the food item you have inside.
Things to consider:
The reviews and customer reports you will read, will prove to be a very important advantage when finally buying a food dehydrator.
– More trays mean more food for you to dry;
– Food dehydrators use 2 types of systems: the round stackable drying system and the horizontal drying system;
– A thermostat will allow you to set different heat levels;
– Energy efficiency is also something to look forward to;
– A built-in fan will make a huge difference.
Top rated Food Dehydrators in 2018
There are different brands and models that have been commended by many people in a variety of best food dehydrator reviews. To be able to help people who are looking for the best product within this category, I will identify five of the possible options that can be taken into account, as well as some of the features that differentiate each from the others.
TSM 32702 Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator
To make natural and nutritious snacks, such as processing of raw foods, the TSM stainless steel food dehydrator can prove to be an option that you will not regret making. It has a motor that runs 800 watts of power, making sure that it will deliver superior and efficient performance to achieve the best results. It also has 5 trays that are made from stainless steel. Such material is commendable because it is not prone to rusting, and hence, you can expect that it can last for a long time.
400-watts of drying power means you can enjoy quality drying of vegetables, jerky and fruits quickly and efficiently
Fan Flow Radial Air ensures even distribution of air through all the trays while eliminating rotation of trays
Clear top allows easy monitoring of the drying process
All components can be washed safely in a dishwasher
No on/off switch, which necessitates user to watch over the unit during the drying process
Unit comes already preset to 160OF, leaving no choice for customized drying
“The palatable taste of some foods dried in TSM Products Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator never diminishes. This is a very effective food dehydrator from my experience with it. My family just loves this model for the tasty dry foods that come out of it.” Joseph Lee
Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator
The Nesco FD-60 is considered by many to be one of the best food dehydrators in 2018 because it has a well balanced set of features while still having an accessible price. The thermostat which it is equipped with can be set from 95 to 155 degrees F, so the fruit or vegetables which you put on its 4 trays will turn out without a drop of moisture.
Five-tray dehydrator provides up to eight feet of drying space to take care of your food harvests
Adjustable thermostat does drying work efficiently with the five-inch drying fan
5-inch fan is powered by the 440-watt engine of this ingenious product praised by lots of food dehydrator reviews 2018
Unit comes with quality assurance backed by a limited 5-year warranty
Can produce a lot of background noise during the drying process due to the extra-powerful motor
Plastic material used in the construction can turn off some people
“Many nutritional magazines suggested that I buy a food dehydrator and I settled for the Nesco FD-60 because it was compact and it had all the makings of a great model. I was right by making this decision.” – Amanda Russell
Nesco Gardenmaster FD-1010 Food Dehydrator
If you enjoy eating dry foods then purchasing the Nesco-American Harvest FD-1010 dehydrator is the best thing you could possibly do. In order to prepare different fruits or vegetables you will have more than one temperature control so the end result is perfectly dry. Use it for preparing desserts or even beef jerky whatever is better for your needs. Multiple trays let you dry different types of foods at the same time for more diverse results.
Built with a more powerful fan that facilitates faster drying than the earlier Nesco-American Harvest FD-1000 model, preserving nutrients more quickly and packing them in
Solid fruit roll sheet allows you to make amazing fruit rolls with pureed fruit
Built-in clean-a-screens let you do dehydration jobs with foods including grapes or tomatoes without the mess
Empty tray at the bottom of the stack catches drips well
Requires the user to employ the unit only after having read the product manual to maximize use
Since the fan runs continuously during operations, the unit can be somewhat noisy
“I like to watch my weight and with this thought in mind I decided to get this dehydrator from Nesco-American. I can’t complain one bit about the dry food that comes out of it, making me a satisfied customer. The excellent functioning level of this model makes me recommend it. I was very pleased to find this food dehydrator for sale on Black Friday.” – Mary Lawson
Excalibur 2500ECB Food Dehydrator
According to many best food dehydrator reviews that I have read in the past, many of the users have been satisfied with the use of Excalibur 2500ECB because it was able to provide them with quick and efficient system in order to dry their foods. Additionally, there were also many who were satisfied with the fact that the unit is relatively easy to clean. Because of this, you can be assured that the product can have a longer functional life because it is easy to maintain such at its best condition.
Four-tray food dehydrator lets you finish full loads in less time
Powered by a 500-watt motor that makes dehydration of foods easy and convenient in just hours, not days
Top-mounted fan is supplemented by an adjustable thermostat that lets you control the unit from 95O to 155O Fahrenheit
Converga-Flow drying system ensures that flavors don’t mix together while eliminating need to rotate trays
Doesn’t have an on/off switch, which means user has to unplug the unit from AC outlet to rotate trays
Trays are big and can be quite difficult to clean in a standard kitchen sink
“With Excalibur 2500ECB 5-Tray Economy Dehydrator fruits and vegetables are quickly dried. I find it very easy to use. Even my daughter can use it all by herself and she cleans the trays after she is done. This the highest rated food dehydrator I’ve ever owned and my husband made the perfect Xmas gift for me.” Geraldine Tran
Excalibur 3500B Food Dehydrator
If you are into food dehydration, which is a healthy and nutritious way of processing your foods, you should definitely give this model a shot. It is one of the food dehydrators from Excalibur, reflective of the commitment of the manufacturer to offer only the best in the market. Although there were some minor issues that have been reported, majority of its users have still expressed favorable feedback about this unit, making it an option that you will not surely regret making.
Top-mounted fan and adjustable thermostat (95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit) work together to deliver convenient, no mess and quick drying of food items
Food dehydrator reviews 2018 laud the large-capacity size of the unit at 13” x 13” x 10”
Trays do not require rotating and also ensure that flavors don’t mix
Unit comes with two solid sheets and a pair of highly-functional mesh sheets plus three packets of jerky spice
There must be room to allow air to circulate in the trays so overloading cannot be done
Absence of timer and on/off switch means user has to keep watch over the unit in operation
“Excalibur 3500B is everything I wanted from a quality and affordable dehydrator. I even make tasty beef jerky with its help, loved by the whole family. It didn’t cost me that much and it has worked like a charm for almost 6 months.” Laura Murray
Nesco FD-75 Food Dehydrator
Among other features of this food dehydrator, one that I assert as being significantly useful is the Converga-Flow drying system. This is an innovative feature that is patented to the manufacturer. This is helpful towards having a more efficient and quicker system to dry the foods that are placed in the unit. Additionally, the Vita-Save opaque exterior of this unit has also been lauded by many people basically because it prevents the penetration of harmful lights that can be detrimental to the processing capability of the dehydrator.
Has built-in switch for on/off, eliminating the need to unplug unit after drying operation
Five-tray dehydrator offers up to eight feet of portable and convenient drying space
Designed for efficient and effective drying process for families that own small gardens
Adjustable thermostat gives variety in drying temperatures so you have more choices
Motor is powerful but can create a lot of bothersome audible noise during the drying process
Requires knowledge of ideal drying times so foods always come out perfectly done
“I used the Nesco FD-75 for dehydrating vegetables and fruits. It made them perfectly dry and in no time. I am really satisfied with the product especially when the holiday season starts. If you ask me which is the best food dehydrator in 2018, my answer is the Nesco FD-75.” – Thomas Trotter
Nesco American Harvest FD-37 Food Dehydrator
Designed with 400 watts of power, this model is another product that has often been given positive remarks in many best food dehydrator reviews. Aside from the powerful motor, I also like the fact that it comes with a transparent top that will make it easy for you to monitor the process of drying that is being done by the machine. Additionally, this food dehydrator also has an air flow that will not require the trays to rotate. Rather, it is activated by the fan that is installed in the product.
Unit is US-made and is ensured of superior quality with five stainless steel shelves constructed of food-grade 22-gauge-304 material
Powerful heating element of 800 watts for efficient and rapid drying during harvest time
Adjustable thermostat range in temperature from 90OF to 165OF
Ingenuous rack design enables complete interior cleaning in addition to maintenance of horizontal air flow
May require a separate thermometer to ensure the unit follows thermostat settings
Requires knowledge of dehydrating techniques for more efficient mobilization
“The 7 trays included in the package of Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 Watt Food Dehydrator are really useful. I can easily dry a large amount of fruits with this top 10 food dehydrator. I already dried a lot different fruits and veggies with it and the results were perfect. I would also like to mention that this is a cheap food dehydrator.” Travis Garcia