While cooking snacks like potato chips, chocolate bars, and apple chips, etc you can add more taste to them by using food dehydrators. Like most Americans, you can enjoy the delicious snacks all day long if you owe food dehydrators. Some popular options of dehydrated foods include sundried tomatoes, banana chips, beef jerky, raw apple chips, and many others.
How Does a Food Dehydrator Work?
A dehydrator dries the moisture from the food item without cooking it. It needs a particular level of heat to dehydrate moisture and makes it crispier and crunchier to eat. A uniform pressure of warm air goes through the bottom and across the tray to dehydrate the food.
Simply, it removes the moisture only and maintains the high nutritional value of your dishes by adding more flavors to it. It means you are going to eat healthier and tastier food items now.
Best Food Dehydrators
1. NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – Best for Home Use
Capacity: 12 Tray
Power: 600 watts
Weight: 7.75 lbs
This food dehydrator comes with an adjustable thermostat to dehydrate foods at different temperatures from 95 up to 160 degrees. The powerful top-mounted fan throws heated air from top to bottom. It contains 5 food trays. However, you can expand up to 12 trays. Opaque Vita-Save outer layer saves food from harmful electric rays and maintains the nutritional value as it is while dehydrating it. The air circulates in horizontal positions. Except for the powerhead, all parts are made and assembled in the USA.
2. Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator – Best for Cookies
Capacity: 6 Trays
Power: 850 watts
Weight: 8.5 lbs
It consists of the 6-tray system and works faster to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and kinds of seafood without additives/preservatives. You can make jerky quickly from meat, poultry and seafoods by using this quicker dehydrator. The digital thermostat allows you to adjust the drying time and temperature at multiple levels. You can choose a temperature from 90 to 165 degrees F. It has a bottom-mounted fan to provide the heated air continuously. The trays rotate automatically while the process of dehydration is on. The tray-system is expandable up to 12 trays. For fruits, there are two separate roll sheets and for meat, it has two nonstick mesh screen trays.
3. Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator – Best for Backpacking Meals
Capacity: 9 Tray
Power: 600 Watts
Weight: 22 lbs
The thermostat is adjustable from 105 degrees up to 165 degrees F. You can set the Timer for up to 26 hours to dehydrate different food items. The system works on a lower temperature range to preserve the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. It’s high enough to dehydrate meat for jerky. It’s perfect for dehydrating fruits, nuts, meat, fruit purees, yogurt, vegetables, and other foods. The dehydrator contains 9 trays made of flexible poly-screen to provide a non-stick surface for foods. The trays move and rotate automatically during operation. A powerful fan increases the heated air circulation to your desired level. It consumes 600 watts only.
4. COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine – Best for Beef Jerky/Fruits
Capacity: 5 Trays
Power: 450 Watts
Weight: 9.25 lbs
You can use it to dehydrate fruits, nuts, vegetables, and meat. An adjustable thermostat controls the temperature at different levels according to the nature of the food. It consists of 5 BPA-free trays that are removable and easy to clean. The fruit roll sheet and mesh screen are made of non-stick material. You can set the timer from 30 minutes up to 48 hours. The temperature range is from 95 degrees F up to 165 degrees F. You can operate it without difficulty. It works quietly and doesn’t produce noise more than 48dB.
The auto-shut system is an additional feature of this amazing dehydrator. Moreover, you can remove the trays and clean them with a damp cloth easily.
5. Flexzion Electric Food Dehydrator – Best for Fruits & Vegetables
Capacity: 5 Stackable Trays
Power: 400 Watts
Weight: 6.05 pounds
This amazing dehydrator comes with an adjustable thermostat from 95 degrees F up to 160 degrees F. The built-in fan circulates heated air in a horizontal position to dehydrate food items with an equal amount of heat. You can use it for fruits, vegetables, nuts, and liquids. The trays are non-sticky and flexible to remove and clean easily. It’s also good for kale, herbs, mushrooms, and other snacks. The transparent lid allows you to watch the dehydration process.
Before selecting a perfect food dehydrator for your kitchen, consider a few important factors. Check them below and make a good decision.
It’s important to check how much wattage it requires to work. If it has a lower wattage, that means the gadget works on lower energy but takes a long time to dehydrate.
Check the capacity of the dehydrator. If you want to cook a large unit, it should be stackable otherwise; it’s useless.
The food dehydrators come in different sizes. Check the size and select a dehydrator that’s perfect for your selected space. Measure dimensions from top to bottom, front to back and side to side to avoid difficulties.
All brands present dehydrators in a different capacity. Make sure that you have selected the one with the right capacity. If you only dry a few herbs, you can purchase a small gadget. For a business, you require a larger unit to handle a large volume of food items.
The material should be durable for years. If you aren’t concerned with the price, select a durable stainless steel dehydrator. However, you can select a cheaper plastic body construction if you have a limited budget.
There are two types of food dehydrators: Vertical flow and Horizontal flow.
Vertical Flow Dehydrator: It’s known as a stackable unit that doesn’t spread the heat uniformly. A vertical flow gadget is an affordable option and perfect for dehydration of vegetables and fruits. However, it doesn’t work well on meet. You put an extra effort to dehydrate stacks. Furthermore, it doesn’t work well on liquids like yogurt and fruit leather.
Horizontal Flow Dehydrators: Unlike vertical flow units, these have fans to draw air across the tray. They have tray slides to load and unload it easily. These units come in different sizes from 1 shelf to 24 shelves. It’s ideal for fruits, vegetables and even for liquids and fruit leathers.
Consumer Reports & Reviews for NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
Harry Martin: It’s amazing and gives you tastier and crispier foods. I use it for banana and raw apple chips. This mid-sized gadget is perfect for a family of 4-6 people.
Peter Bernard: I love this food dehydrator. I bought it for my kids who love dried vegetables and fruits. It works well on all kinds of foods and doesn’t consume much power.
Ellen Poe: This dehydrator is amazing. It dehydrates without affecting the natural taste and high nutritional value of fruits and veggies. I would recommend it to other users too.
Ernest Goerge: I bought this unparalleled food dehydrator a couple of years ago and it still works great for my family of 4 people. I love the taste of dehydrated food items it cooks for me.
Luella Bates: My sister presented it on my birthday and undoubtedly, it’s a great addition to my kitchen. It’s amazing and works faster than other brands.