The Top 5 Food Dehydrator Reviews (#1 Will Make You A Happy Buyer)

Thankfully, the emergence of various food-preserving devices has come a long way now. One of the groundbreaking inventions that are birthed from this era is the food dehydrator. It has instantly become our go-to device at home as a lot of us are health buffs now. But choosing the right one may take days and even months if you're not equipped with the essentials of a good food dehydrator. Worry not, because I've collated some of my food dehydrator reviews that'll serve as your guide.

Meanwhile, as some of us are still unaware of this product, the task of choosing the right food dehydrator at times could be quite frustrating. As such, the perfect choice often boils down to your needs, budget, and requirements. What you're about to read are some of my personal tips on selecting the best food dehydrator.

But first, let’s cover the basics:

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*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

What Is A Food Dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is an appliance essentially developed to dry your food. This came after most kitchen chefs have found that dehydration is not only good for keeping your food well-preserved, but can also sustain the food's nutritional value. In a nutshell, drying your fruits or vegetables will extend their shelf life and in the long run, decrease the number of bacteria and their chance to spoil.

Meanwhile, removing moisture from your food can take hours. And as it happens, this affects your food’s color and would generally weigh less.

Watch these video if you’d like to know how to operate a food dehydrator.

How Does It Work?

How dose food dehydrator work

A self-proclaimed technophobe myself, I reckon that any piece of appliance could be a little daunting especially when you try to understand how it operates at first. However, I'm making an exception with food dehydrators. What I once thought as a complicated device has turned out to be quite easy to follow and use.

Your food dehydrators operate under a central heating element that's aided by a fan, air vents, and food trays. For some dehydrators, food trays can multiply depending on your liking and purpose. The fan, on the other hand, pushes the excess moisture through the vents and on its way out the dehydrator.

Meanwhile, the flow of air varies depending on the location of its fan. For air that circulates horizontally, the dehydrator must be operating a rear-mounted fan. For the one that circulates vertically, the fans should be placed on top or bottom of the appliance.

What Are The Trays For?

The trays that come with it depend on the food dehydrator’s model size and design. Some dehydrators are equipped with rigid box shelves while others come with stackable or removable trays that I find to be more of my style. Now for some highly-advanced food dehydrators, trays can be rotated.

Most food dehydrators have adjustable trays to enable differences in ventilation. Also, these trays are multi-tiered so you can dehydrate different types and sizes of food at one time.

Why Is Temperature Important?

As most foods are dehydrated at temperatures between 95 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit, I recommend that you first determine whether you’d be dehydrating meat or fruit, because the former should generally be dehydrated at a higher temperature than the latter. Dehydrating your food at considerably higher temperatures can result in uneven drying. You wouldn’t want to see your output with dry exteriors and moist interiors now, would you?

What Else Can You Do With A Food Dehydrator?

What else you can do with food dehydrator
  • It can make your own yogurt
  • It dehydrates common fruits such as cranberries, cherries, apricots, pineapple, apples, banana, plum, and grapes
  • It dehydrates common vegetables like potatoes, root vegetables, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, chilis, and herbs
  • It soaks and dries crispy nuts and seeds
  • It can create sprouted flour
  • It can make beef or pork jerky
  • It can keep your sourdough starter warm
  • It can make Natto, a Japanese protein-filled food
  • It can make fruit leather
  • It can make tempeh
  • It can make granola

Are There Disadvantages To Using Food Dehydrators?

Your food dehydrators also possess a set of drawbacks. However, these disadvantages mostly come after the process of dehydration.

  • Dehydrated foods are mostly high in calories. This is chiefly due to the process itself that removes water.
  • Dehydrated foods can contain high sugar. As such, sugar can add extra calories without giving additional set of nutrients.
  • Dehydrated foods can possess high sodium. As dehydration results to salt, your food might cause or worsen your hypertension and coronary heart disease.

My Personal Tips On How To Get The Most Out Of Your Food Dehydrator

Now that we have covered most of the essentials of a food dehydrator, I am recommending these personal tips so your unit can maximize its potential while extending its longevity.

  • As your food dehydrator requires air circulation for it to work efficiently, don't place it directly beside any other appliance
  • Don’t make your food overlap inside the dehydrator. Overlapping items can result in uneven drying
  • As flavors transfer during air circulation, mixing the sweet and the savory isn’t a good idea
  • Only use the best quality of food
  • Remove all visible molds before drying as the process won’t kill the mold spores
  • Rotate your trays occasionally to achieve even drying

My Top 5 Picks Of Food Dehydrators

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator


One of the newest dehydrators in the Nesco/American Harvest roster, this contemporary food dehydrator comes in grey and marble color. It comprises of a top mounted fan and 700 watts of drying power.It also has an adjustable thermostat from 95-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, your flavors here won’t mix and rotating your trays won’t be a task. What else? This unit can makes a mean beef jerky.

Pros

  • No need to rotate trays
  • Various flavors won’t mix
  • It comes with a recipe book, 2 solid sheets, 2 mesh sheets, and 3 jerky spice packets
  • It comes with 5 drying trays

Cons

  • Problematic temperature gauge
  • Timing issues
  • A bit louder

Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator

Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator

With nine large trays in glorious black color, this one is definitely on my list. It includes a flexible poly-screen tray insert that is ideal for food that easily gets stuck. Its adjustable thermostat is from 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

A total of 15 square feet of drying space along with a 26 hour times are also featured. The firm’s proprietary Parallex Horizontal Airflow will help you dehydrate your food way faster while retaining more of their nutrients.

Pros

  • Exclusive Parallex Horizontal Airflow
  • 9 large trays included
  • Comes in sleek black color
  • Flexible poly-screen tray insert
  • 26 hour timer

Cons

  • Not ideal for locations with very high humidity
  • Produces a louder noise than usual
  • Problematic fan
  • Plastic material

Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator


With a see-through cover and a bottom-mounted fan, this food dehydrator is ideal for those who like to monitor their foods’ drying process. It comes with a four-tray system that dehydrates food and is expandable up to eight trays for added capacity.

This Presto product also is equipped with fruit roll sheets, non-stick mesh screens and jerky gun and jerky spice kits. Ultimately, its drying trays nest for compact storage and can be easily stored.

Pros

  • It comes with a see-through cover.
  • 4-tray expandable system
  • It can be easily stored
  • Operates at a preset temperature of approximate 165°
  • Jerky gun and jerky spice kits are available

Cons

  • No timer
  • No ability to set the temperature
  • It makes a loud noise.

Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator


The 3900B 9 Excalibur gets things done as they should be. With a total of 9 trays and 15 square feet of drying space, this is ideal for consumers who are planning to dry various foods at the same time.

It has its patented Hyperwave Fluctuation technology that dries your food, safer, faster and better.With the same technology, the unit’s temperature fluctuates up and down to prevent it from producing yeast, mold, and bacteria growth.

Pros

  • Accurate temperature control
  • No moving food or trays during dehydration
  • Dehydrates faster with its Hyperwave Fluctuation technology
  • Includes the patented Parallex Horizontal airflow

Cons

  • Cleaning can be a challenge
  • Poor construction
  • Fan motor produces loud noise

Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator


This premium electric food dehydrator will serve your drying needs with six trays that are also expandable to twelve trays for an added capacity. The Presto Dehydro is ideal for those who don’t want to check the unit from time to time while foods are being processed. Why? It comes with a digital timer and thermostat.

Meanwhile, a see-through cover is included for your viewing pleasure. It also has a bottom-mounted fan along with its distinctive heating element that provides optimal and consistent air flow.

Pros

  • It comes with a digital timer and thermostat
  • It's cover and drying trays are immersible and dishwasher safe
  • It comes with a see-through cover
  • Six expandable trays included

Cons

  • Produces loud noise
  • Expensive replacement trays

Final Say

The Nesco Snackmaster Pro is still reigning supreme. With its smooth and modern design, this latest product from the American Harvest company is the one to beat in the market. Its strong and topnotch quality, the impeccable air flow system, and its affordable price are the deciding factors when buying a food dehydrator.

My husband is a beef jerky fan, so I must say that this is just the right one for our family. Which one do you think is yours?

Please write your comments below and share your experience with the food dehydrators you've owned before! Share the article, please, if you liked it!

Paula Hughes
 

I’m Paula, and I’m absolutely in love with food blogs. I’m a foodie at heart but being the mother of two small boys, it’s not always easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so I rely on the support of other blogging moms like me to help along the way.

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