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 Nesco Snackmaster 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.
Introduction to the Food Dehydrator
Food dehydrators are not found in every single kitchen but that is largely due to the fact that many may not know the benefits of having one. These three top rated food dehydrators are customer favorites for many reasons, including performance, ease of use and the manufacturer’s reputation. These reviews are designed to show consumers the features these models have and help them decide if one of these food dehydrators will be the right one for their kitchen.
The purpose of our reviews and the detailed buyer’s guide that we have provided is to provide information that a consumer may not have when they first go searching for a specific item. In the case of these top rated food dehydrators, we will tell you everything you need to know to separate a good quality food dehydrator with one that may not be as good. We’ll provide information about the features they have and what you should look for during your search.
When a consumer has the right information they can make decisions based on facts and not guesswork. This leads to a purchase that the consumer is happy they made. Our goal is to save you time, money and the hassle of trying to guess which product is the one for you. With our detailed reviews and informative buyer’s guides, you’ll know exactly which food dehydrator is the right one for your needs.
Top 10 Food Dehydrators
|Rank||Picture||Food Dehydrator||Trays||Drying Power (Watt)|
|1||Nesco Snackmaster||5||600 |
|3||Hamilton Beach 32100A||5||600 |
|5||Excalibur 3926TB||9||600 |
|10||Nesco 1040||4||1,000 |
Top Rated Food Dehydrator Summary
All three of these top rated food dehydrators can change the way you look at dehydrating foods. Many people want to eat in a healthier way and having any of these food dehydrators can provide a regular way for you to make all kinds of foods from dried green beans to sweet potato sticks to delicious jerky.
Once you get the hang of drying foods, you will want to experiment with lots of different types of things. Food dehydrators are easier to use than they ever have been and aren’t as user unfriendly and difficult to use as they were decades ago. They have progressed with the times and they are easier to use, operate, and clean.
Continue reading to learn more specifics about food dehydrators in our detailed buyer’s guide. We’re going to give you all the information possible to help you understand everything there is to know about food dehydrators and how to choose the right one for you.
Food Dehydrator Comparison
Nesco Snackmaster Pro
Waring Pro DHR30
Hamilton Beach 32100A
Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC
|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|
|600 W||600 W||600 W||400 W||600 W||400 W||400 W||400 W||600 W||1000 W|
|Voltage||120 V||120 V||120 V||110 V||110 V||110 V||110 V||110 V||110 V||120 V|
|No of Trays||5||5||5||4||9||5||4||6||9||4|
|13.8 x 22.1 x 13.9||14.7 x 12.4 x 11.8||11.2 x 5.9 x 12.8||14.5 x 15 x 6.2||19 x 17 x 12.5||13 x 11 x 13||14.1 x 9.2 x 14.2||14.5 x 15 x 7.2||19 x 17 x 12.5||15.5 x 15.5 x 9.5|
|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
What is a Food Dehydrator?
If 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.