Best Food Dehydrator

We spent over 5 days researching and testing 10 different brands of food dehydrators and found that ease of use, performance, and dehydration time were most important. The Waring Food Dehydrator scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. Thanks to the patented Converga-Flow drying system, your dehydration time is just a few hours. You don’t have to worry about mixing flavors and you don’t have to rotate the trays. The top mounted fan prevents any chance of liquid dropping into the heat chamber. The Vita-Save exterior helps block the harmful rays that leach the nutrients out of the dehydrated food. You’ll love all the accessories that come with this dehydrator as well.

Food Dehydrator Review

15 mins to read
23 products considered
10 products reviewed
5 days of reviewing

Top 10 Food Dehydrators

PictureFood Dehydrator
Trays
Drying Power (Watt)

Waring
5600

Hamilton Beach 32100A
5600

Nesco Snackmaster
5600

Presto 06300
4400

Excalibur 3926TB
9600

Nesco 61WHC
5400

Nesco 37A
4400

Presto 06301
6400

Excalibur 3900B
9600

Nesco 1040
41,000

1. Waring

Best Overall Food Dehydrator

5/5 Product Rating
Waring Pro Food Dehydrator is the perfect way to make dried herbs, fruits, jerky and vegetables in the comfort of your own kitchen.

This 620 watt food drying powerhouse has 5 big tiers and a top venting system that produces excellent dried snacks and prepares food to be uses in recipes of all kinds.

The thermostat is adjustable wit h Fan Only, Low, Medium and High selections that can be chosen depending on what you are drying.

Included with the Waring Pro Food Dehydrator are 5 stackable trays that interlock for stability and a fruit roll up sheet to make delicious homemade fruit roll ups.

Dried foods bought in the grocery stores can be really expensive. Buying a food dehydrator enables you to make your own dried fruits, meats and vegetables for a fraction of the cost. If your family loves dried fruits and meats, your food dehydrator will pay for itself in no time.

2. Hamilton Beach

Best Overall Food Dehydrator – Runner Up

4.7/5 Product Rating
If you are looking for a way to offer your family healthy, nutritious dried foods that can be added to oatmeal, salads, ice cream and more, you will love having this Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator.

This 500 watt kitchen wonder gives you endless ways to dry fruits and vegetables as well as making your own spices, jerky and much more. The airflow that goes throughout the dehydrator is continuous so there is no more need for the trays to be rotated.

The adjustable thermometer provides users with better control over the temperature so it can be adjusted to the type of food you are dehydrating.

It is equipped with an automatic shutoff that prevents it from over drying. Hamilton Beach is a well known name and provides users with quality kitchen appliances of all kinds.

This Hamiliton Beach Food Dehydrator fits right in to the high quality products in their lineup. It comes with two specialty sheets; one mesh sheet and 1 solid sheet, that can be used for a multitude of things including drying out spices for recipes or make the kids (or yourself) delicious homemade fruit roll ups.

Once you see all of the options you have you will wonderful how you never got caught up in food dehydrating before. Make delicious beef jerky without all the preservatives, excellent tasting dishes that have been enhanced by homemade dried foods from your dehydrator. You will wish you had gotten one long before now.

3. Nesco Snackmaster

Best Budget Food Dehydrator

4.5/5 Product Rating
There are many great features that this Nesco Food Dehydrator offers users. You will be able to dry vegetables, meats and fruits in a matter of hours.

The speed in which this dehydrator dries the food items you put on it has to do with the patented Converga-Flow drying system.

The Converga-Flow system works by forcing air down into the outside pressurized chamber and then goes across each tray separately. It then converges in the middle which provides you with fast, even and nutritious dried treats.

You won’t have any mixing of flavors and there is no bothersome rotating of trays either. The fan for this food dehydrator is mounted in the top so you never have to worry about the liquid from the drying process dropping into the heat chamber. More nutrients and vitamins are retained during the drying process thanks to the opaque, Vita-Save exterior that blocks the nutrient leaching harmful rays.

You can adjust the thermostat to meet the requirements of the foods you are drying. The thermostat’s range is anywhere from 95 degrees to 160 degrees. This 600 watt unit packs plenty of power when it comes to drying your favorite foods for jerky, dried vegetables and dried fruit for roll ups or dried fruit pieces for trail mix and more.

There are several accessories that come with this food dehydrator as well. These include 5 food drying trays, 2 Clean-A-Screens for tiny items like drying herbs and spices, two fruit roll sheets that are excellent for making fruit roll ups and a terrific 52 page recipe book that includes instructions. The entire food dehydrator measures 13 x 13 x 10.

Food Dehydrator Comparison


Waring Pro DHR30
View

Hamilton Beach
View

Nesco Snackmaster Pro
View

Presto 06300
View

Excalibur 3926TB
View

Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC
View

Nesco FD-37A
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Presto 06301
View

Excalibur 3900B
View

Nesco FD-1040
View
Thermostat
Range
95º-160º F 95º-160º F 95º-160º F 90º-165º F 90º-165º F 95º-160º F 95º-160º F 90º-165º F 90º-165º F 95º-160º F
Drying
Power
600 W 600 W 600 W 400 W 600 W 400 W 400 W 400 W 600 W 1000 W
No of Trays 5 5 5 4 9 5 4 6 9 4
Color Clear Silver White White Black White White White Black White
Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 10 Years 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 10 Years 1 Year

 

Food Dehydrator Buying Guide

Food Dehydrator Reviews

What is a Food Dehydrator?

Food Dehydrator1If you’ve been considering a food dehydrator, now is the time to do more than consider it. The benefits of having one of these kitchen appliances encompass health, financial and cooking.

Health Benefits of a Food Dehydrator

Canned and dried vegetables in the supermarket have had additional things added to them that you probably don’t want in your food. They usually have large amounts of sodium and artificial ingredients that reduce the nutritional benefits that you are trying to get by eating them in the first place.

A good example of this is store bought beef jerky which has high MSG. This is an ingredient that has been linked to headaches, drowsiness and digestive problems. There is also a lot of additional sugar added to dried fruits that you buy in the stores and this sugar turns healthy food into food that you should avoid.

Using a food dehydrator to make your own snacks makes them much, much healthier since you will control how much salt and sugar you put on them during drying process. Additionally there are no preservatives or chemicals that will hurt the nutritional value of the food you are trying to make healthy.

Cost Benefits of a Food Dehydrator

Instead of spending money on expensive store bought chips and other snacks, a food dehydrator provides the ability to make a lot of really terrific, healthy snacks such as banana chips, green bean sticks, jerky of all kind, dried fruit bits, fruit roll ups, and many more.

You can also dry herbs to add to foods you’re cooking as well. The cost savings really add up and before you know it, your food dehydrator has paid for itself many times over.

It is also very good for reducing food waste. You can buy food in bulk and have a means of drying them such as quarts of strawberries and other fruits, and vegetables as well. Food dehydrators are also very handy for those who have gardens and enjoy growing their own food. If you have excess amounts of fruits and vegetables, you will be able to use the dehydrator and then use them later for snacks, recipes and more.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Food Dehydrator

When you start looking for a food dehydrator it is important to find one that matches the jobs that you want to do with it. We’ve listed some common things that people usually ask when it comes to narrowing down the choices and choosing the perfect food dehydrator for you. Make sure you know the answers to these questions BEFORE you do your purchasing.

  • Are you going to be dehydrating a large amount of different foods or will you just be making one or two? If you want to dehydrate a large number of different foods, you want to look for a dehydrator that has an adjustable thermometer which makes it a great choice for those who w ant to experiment with many different kinds of food.
  • If you will doing a lot of your dehydrating during times when you have to be away you want to make sure that you purchase a dehydrator that has an auto-shut off. You will b e able to set the time for the correct setting and rest assured that the food you are dehydrating will not be over dried and ruined.
  • Food Dehydrator2

  • How much dehydrating are you going to do at once? If you have a large garden or purchase a lot of your fruits and vegetables in bulk, you will want to get a large capacity dehydrator. On the other hand, if you’ll only be using it once in a while, you can get away with purchasing a smaller, less expensive model.
  • What kinds of accessories will you need? – If you’ll be drying the traditional types of jerky, vegetables and fruits, the stacking tray variety of dehydrator is fine. If you will be making fruit leather, yogurt and drying herbs for soups and dishes, you want to find a model that has sheets or trays that can accommodate those types of drying.

Common Features Food Dehydrators Have

There are several features that food dehydrators can come with. When you are doing your search, be sure to look for dehydrators that have these features so you will get the most out of your machine.

Adjustable Thermometer – This feature is important for those who intend of drying a multitude of different foods. Meats will need a different temperature than fruit will and so on. The adjustable settings allow for that flexibility and give you plenty of variety to work with.

Auto Shut Off – This feature ensures that none of your dehydrated foods will become over dried. This feature is great for those who want to set it and forget it for awhile.

Top Vent System –The food dehydrators that have their airflow and fans in the top provides faster and better drying and there is no worry of liquids dripping into the heater part of the dehydrator since it is above the food. Additionally, this top heater system dries the food faster and better and more evenly than ever before.

Stacking Trays – If you are going to be dehydrating a lot of food, it is better to get a unit that has a large space for drying and plenty of stackable trays. Many units have 5 and 6 strays to provide plenty of space but you can find units with both fewer and more trays.

Accessory Sheets – Many food dehydrators have additional sheets that are offered for different types of dehydrating such as fruit roll sheets and mesh sheets that are much better for drying spices, fruit roll ups and much more.

Food Dehydrating Tips

  • Not all foods dry at the same rate – In general, the more water that a food contains, the longer it will need to dehydrate. The best way to get the most from your dehydrator is to dry foods that are alike and that have similar drying times together.
  • Dehydration is not like microwaving – Dehydrating foods can take several hours so be sure to allow for that time when you do your dehydrating. This is where your auto shut off comes in handy. If you have food that takes 4-5 hours to dehydrate, it is better to be safe and have the unit automatically shut off than continue and over dry your food.
  • Food Dehydrator3

  • Dehydrate now, Rehydrate later – many of the foods that you may dehydrate now, such as tomatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, etc can be rehydrated and used in stews and soups months later. Rehydrating is super easy; just let the vegetables soak in clean, filtered water. Amazingly enough, once they have rehydrated, they will taste exactly the same way they did before they were dehydrated.
  • Keeps the Nutritional Value 0f Foods- One of the best things about using a dehydrator is that the food you are drying loses very small amounts of nutrients. While some fruits and vegetables are sensitive to low heat such as Vitamin C, most of them remain fully intact during the drying process.

Conclusion

Food dehydrators could very well be the “sleepers” of the kitchen world. While most people know what they are, they are not very common in regular households. If you try what these amazing pieces of equipment are capable of you could very well turn into a dehydrating machine. Your kids will love watching the different healthy and nutritious snacks that you will be able to make and getting them to eat them will be super simple.

The three top rated food dehydrators that we’ve reviewed for you and the buyer’s guide provided give you the information you need to know to decide what you want to do with your food dehydrator and how to go about choosing the one that will work for your needs. This information ensures that you can make an informed choice that will lead to a great experience with your new food dehydrator.