We spent several hours researching different food dehydrators, reading expert opinions, and going through extensive user reviews to determine that the best food dehydrator is the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator for most people. Most people choose this model over the other models because it is easy to clean, affordable, and you can use it to dehydrate of variety of fruits, veggies, and other food items.
General Purpose Dehydrator
Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster provides an adjustable thermostat that allows you to dehydrate your food at the proper temperature and a powerful top mounted fan generates maximum drying food so that you can dry your food faster.
- 5 Drying Trays (Expandable up to 12 trays)
- 2 Clean-A-Screens Sheets
- 2 Fruit Roll Sheets for Making fruit rolls
- 3 Original Jerky Spice Packets for use out of the box
- 52-page Recipe and Instruction Book for quick reference
- Measures 13X13X10” Approximately
- Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
Our Pick is the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro is an affordable, reliable and entry-level food dehydrator. This means that it is ideal for beginners and those who are just getting their hands on a food dehydrator for the first time.
The advantage of this is that you don’t have to undergo a steep learning curve before you can master the unit and produce high quality dehydrated food. Of course this requires some practice but with a few application here and there, you should be good to go.
We have also included some other models here in case the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster is not available.
We have selected different models that caters to different categories of people and for variety of uses too. While the Nesco FD-75A is the overall best food dehydrator, it is by no means the only one you should look at.
If You Have A Small Budget
Nesco FD-37A American Harvest
If you are not into hardcore food preparation or food drying, then the Nesco FD-37A can be your first dehydrator. Not only is it easy to use, but is also cheap and sturdy in design. In addition, if you are single and you want a compact food dehydrator to prevent waste, then this is it.
- 400-watts of drying power
- Except power head, all components are machine washable
- Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
- Measures 9.25X14.12X14.25 Approximately
- Comes in white color
- The trays can be expanded up to 7 trays
The Nesco FD-37A American Harvest is a proof that you can buy the best food dehydrator at a budget friendly without wasting money. It is a simple dehydrator suitable for the beginners to food dehydration. Its construction does not take away the ease of use and can be a good starting point for you if you are looking for a great way to introduce yourself to dehydrators.
Although it is not a big machine like the Nesco FD-75A Pro, the Nesco FD-35A American Harvest can help you get things done. And considering the price is affordable, it is a unit you can try out. Most importantly, it is the cheapest on this list, so if you are looking for a budget dehydrator, this is it.
Mid Range Food Dehydrator
Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator
For a food dehydrator with a decent performance and better design than a basic model, the Cuisinart DHR-20 food dehydrator is a good choice. You don’t need to use preservatives or additives to dry a wide variety of nutritious food items, vegetables, and fruits.
- 9 stackable, interlocking trays
- Roll-up sheet for fruit rolls included
- No need for preservatives or additives to preserve food
- Adjustable temperature control
- 620-watt motorized fan for even drying
- It weighs 8 pounds
- Measures 13.4X15.6X12″ in dimension
The Cuisnart DHR-20 is a mid range food dehydrator with a nice looking aesthetics. It is easy to use and store. Moreover, the trays stacks easily and they are equally easy to wash. This unit comes with a motorized fan that makes drying food efficient and effective.
For a More Robust Food Dehydrator
Excalibur 3900B 9-Tray Deluxe
When it comes to high quality food dehydrators, we start to talk about L’Eqip and Excalibur. Their products are usually of high quality and don’t suffer from the problems that you may likely encounter with many other dehydrators that claim to be the best in the market.
The Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe dehydrator did not disappoint as it builds on the reputation of Excalibur.
- 9-Tray dehydrator
- Powerful 600-watts fan with built in on/off switch
- Adjustable thermostat
- Tray inserts are easy to clean
- Measure 19 x 17 x 12.5″ in dimension
- It weighs 22 pounds
Unlike other food dehydrators, the Excalibur 3900B 9-Tray comes with sturdy trays so that it doesn’t crack easily when it drops. You don’t have to depend solely on the mesh inserts to dry diced foods or herbs since the hole in this unit is not too big.
Moreover, the trays are very big so you have a chance to dry bulky items like flowers and granolas. The great thing about the Excalibur is that it is robust, comes with lovely features, although it is very expensive.
- 1 You Don’t Need To Be An Expert Before You Can Select the Best Food Dehydrator
- 2 What is Food Dehydration?
- 3 Types of Food Dehydrators – Choosing the Best Food Dehydrator
- 4 Best Food Dehydrator Reviews 2017
- 5 1. Nesco FD-37A American Harvest Food Dehydrator
- 6 2. Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator
- 7 3. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
- 8 4. Open Country FD-28SK Jerkymaster Food Dehydrator
- 9 5. Flexzion Dehydrator for Food Fruit Food Dehydrator
- 10 6. NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator
- 11 7. Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
- 12 8. Presto 06301 Dehydro Food Dehydrator
- 13 9. Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator
- 14 10. Aroma Housewares Professional 6 Tray Food Dehydrator
- 15 11. Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator
- 16 Buyer Guide — How to Choose the Best Food Dehydrator
You Don’t Need To Be An Expert Before You Can Select the Best Food Dehydrator
Maintaining all the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in your food can be difficult – especially if you like cooking. This is because cooking takes away most of the nutrients in our foods. And it is even more baffling in this era where junk food is taking over the reign of affairs.
But do not despair. When you choose the best food dehydrator, you can be sure that you will retain all the natural ingredients in your food.
You will agree with me that choosing the best food dehydrator can be quite difficult, especially if you are a beginner. You need to look for durability, good performance, reasonable price point, and sometimes, a responsive brand.
However, when you are able to buy a dehydrator that thicks all these point, you are setup for a long time. Fortunately, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will understand what features to look for when buying a food dehydrator and how to identify the best food dehydrator.
Some people believe that you can’t select the item that suits you exactly when you are buying for the first time. However, following a well laid out plan or pact can help you cut out the stress and land on the best unit for your needs. And the best way is to read the reviews of different items you want to buy to make appropriate comparison.
We have gathered 15 of the best food dehydrators here so that you can see, look, feel, and identify the one that suits your preferences.
In the table below, you can see all the models included in this article for quick review.
|Nesco FD-37A |
|400 Watts; Preset at 160° F.|
|Hamilton Beach |
|500 Watts; 100-160° F.|
|Presto 06300 |
|600 Watts; Preset at 165° F.|
|Open Country |
|Flexzion Dehydrator||1500 Watts; 95-160° F.|
|NutriChef Kitchen |
|250 Watts |
|Nesco FD-75A |
|600 Watts; 95-160° F. |
|Presto 06301 Dehydro |
|750 Watts; 90-165° F.|
|Nesco FD-61WHC |
|500 Watts; 95-160° F.|
|Aroma Housewares |
Professional 6 Tray
|300 Watts; 95-155° F.|
|Cuisinart DHR-20||620 Watts; 110-175° F.|
|Nesco FD-1040 |
|1000 Watts; 90-160° F.|
|Gourmia GFD1650B |
|400 Watts; 95-158° F.|
|Excalibur 3926TB||600 Watts; 105-165° F.|
|Excalibur 3900B |
|600 Watts; 105-165° F.|
|MAGIC MILL PRO |
|400 Watts; 95-158° F.|
What is Food Dehydration?
Food dehydration is a simple process with lots of benefits. Many of those who have read about food dehydrator reviews, followed it and then buy a good product can actually testify to this. Food drying is one of the easiest and oldest ways of keeping your store full of healthy food. And the easiest way of achieving this is to use food dehydrators.
Because food dehydrators are invaluable kitchen equipment, their popularity has been growing steadily over the years. They save you from having the need to dry your fruits and vegetables with chemical. The foods processed in this way are very harmful and staying away from them is the best.
Along with the increasing popularity of food dehydrators is the growing interest in learning about food preservation techniques. As more people are showing interest in different ways of drying their food, so is the popularity of food dehydrators improving.
The dehydration process retains all the nutritional value of the food. In addition, it inhibits the growth of microforms such as bacteria. Fresh foods contain yeast, mold, and bacteria. Because dehydration is a drying process, it reduces the water retention of the food, and significantly minimizes the growth of these things according to the Living Journal.
Minerals in food also include potassium, magnesium, and there is need to preserve them. With your preservation, you can keep them in your food and get a perfect balance of your minerals too. Dehydration also turns your food to living food since it remains uncooked.
And what is living food? This is a food that contains high amounts of enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and nutritious value.
Types of Food Dehydrators – Choosing the Best Food Dehydrator
There are two types of food dehydrators — stacked and box and shelf dehydrators. Stacked dehydrators are usually constructed from racks and stacks and they come with food trays to keep food in temperature. The stacks are arranged atop one another and sealed up so that the heat produced inside the dehydrator is kept from escaping.
The fan is usually at the bottom of the appliance and it helps to circulate air that carries heat in all direction in the food dehydrator. It is important to maintain a proper distribution of heat and air flow so that you can properly dry the food in the dehydrator.
These type of food dehydrator usually have very low footprints and often come in different and variety of sizes. The only disadvantage is that there is need for a periodic shuffling to ensure proper distribution of heat. This is because only food that is closer to the fan dries faster.
Now that you know how to dehydrate and preserve your food, one important question remains unanswered. Which one is the best food dehydrator?
First of all, let me tell you there are several options available for you. Which one you would choose depends on how much food you need to dehydrate at a time and your budget. There are several dehydrators to suit your varying requirements and budgets.
Therefore, it is essential to distinguish the best food dehydrators from others based on quality and performance.
Best Food Dehydrator Reviews 2017
Food dehydrator is a tool that removes moisture from food in order to preserve it. All the food you see everyday contains some certain amount of water in them. Vegetables and fruits are particularly rich in water compared to other types of foods.
While some meat could contain 50-70% of water, vegetables and fruits usually have as high as 80-90% of water. This is why bacteria grow faster on fruits and vegetables than other foods. However, when the water becomes absent — through dehydration process — the growth of bacteria will stop. And this will help preserve the food and make it last longer.
Another advantage of dehydrating food is the reduction in overall weight of food. This makes it easier and convenient for you to carry the food, especially when you are going on vacation. This is suitable for anyone looking for a healthy lifestyle.
Therefore, the water content in food is the culprit for food spoilage. This is why there is need for a food dehydrator.
Thanks to advancement in technology, you can easily dry your food in the comfort of your kitchen. And in doing so, increase the shelf life of the food. All you need is to research and select the best food dehydrator.
Fortunately, we have done all the work for you, all you need to do is just to select.
Most dehydrators have accessories and features that enhance their capabilities. Some food dehydrator have a simple design for ease of use. While others are complex and requires some learning curve to master.
With the way technology is advancing, there will soon be too many food dehydrators to choose from. When this happen, the market will have many of them and it would become difficult to select the best food dehydrator. But if you are reading this, you have come across the solution.
Food dehydrators defer in design, function and capabilities. Some of these appliances use solar energy as their source of power. Others use electricity as their main source of power. They are also available in various sizes to suit particular needs of individuals.
A Little Information on Commercial Food Dehydrators
There are commercial—size food dehydrators and also smaller size food dehydrators. The commercial size units are for drying large quantities of food items and they typically costs more than the the smaller-size dehydrators.
You can use the smaller ones at home for your dehydration needs. These machines also operate at different temperatures ranging from 50 degree C to 70 degree C. These temperature scale is suitable for vegetables and fruits as meats and other heavy food may require higher temperature levels.
Most commercial food dehydrators are for producing large quantities of dehydrated foods. They are usually produced for companies who want to make large quantities of dehydrated foods and resell to consumers. Usually, they are not suitable for home use except if you have a large family that lives on dehydrated foods.
1. Nesco FD-37A American Harvest Food Dehydrator
You don’t have to worry if you don’t have a budget for an expensive food dehydrator.
You can still dry quality food items with a decent food dehydrator like the Nesco FD-37A American Harvest Food Dehydrator.
It is not only inexpensive, but also allows you to have natural, tasty and nutritious food items done quickly and easily.
If you are only looking for a dehydrator for minimal usage, then the Nesco FD-37A American Harvest Food Dehydrator is a smart choice.
It has a temperature controller, an exclusive airflow system, top-mounted fan and 4 trays that are expandable up to 7 trays so that you can process almost everything you want including vegetables, meat, fruits, flowers. Therefore it is capable of giving you great results and tasty dry snacks.
The only hitch of this dehydrator is that it has no timer. But this can’t affect its functionality. In fact, Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator FD-37A is one of the most popular among the best food dehydrators you can find on the market today.
It measures 13.8” x 22.1” x 13.9” and is made from hard plastic (which is BPA-free) in a great shape that complements your kitchen decor. The Nesco FD-37A comes with a top-mounted fan that helps you dry your food evenly. With the fan at the top, you can easily clean the unit and the possibility that food crumbs fall into the fan is slim.
This not only ensures you have an efficient air flow system in place but also a long-lasting food dehydrator. This model features the popular Nesco Patented Airflow System called the “Fan Forced radial air flow, which ensures that you don’t rotate trays. This helps free more time for you to focus on other house chores.
To ensure you get the best performance on a basic unit, the FD-37A American Harvest Food Dehydrator comes with 400-watts of drying power and a temperature that is preset at 160ᵒF that allows you to regulate the temperature to dry varieties of food stuffs. However, you need to avoid drying delicate foods in this unit so the nutritional value is not lost.
It has four removable trays so that you can customize the space according to your food and the amount you want to dry at any point in time. It also have a convenient and compact size that enables it to sit well on the kitchen countertop.
- Top mounting location of the fan allows for even dehydration.
- Depending on the food item you are drying, you can adjust the temperature to suit variety of food items.
- The Nesco FD-37A is compact in size, making it easy to sit it in your kitchen countertop.
- The Fan Forced Radial Air Flow system allows you to dry food without rotating trays.
- You can expand the 4 trays up to 7 trays.
- It doesn’t come with a timer.
- The unit doesn’t feature on/off button so you have to unplug it every time.
The beauty of the Nesco FD-37A is that the trays can be expanded up to 7-trays although you may have to purchase trays WT-2SG. If you don’t have the need to dehydrate large number of food stuffs in a batch, you may not need to use more than the 4 trays that came with the unit. Moreover, adding more trays to the unit adds to the height and if you don’t have enough space, you may be forced to make do with the minimum trays. This unit comes with one year of warranty and all the components are washable excluding the power head. With the clear top design on this unit, monitoring the drying process should be a walk in the pack for you.
2. Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator
If you have no previous culinary experience, the best food dehydrator for you is one that is easy to use, affordable, and without all the bells and whistles that could confuse a new user.
The Hamilton Beach 32100A is a food dehydrator designed for those with little food dehydration experience.The Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator features thermometer and a 48 hour timer that auto shuts off.
The beauty of any food dehydrator is the ability to operate with minimal interference on your part.
The thermometer regulates the power consumption and ensure that the unit uses the appropriate temperature for the food you are drying.
This helps you to not only maintain the nutritional value of the food but also improve on the nutrients. You don’t even have to waste energy and you can leave your dehydrator working while you go to sleep since the timer will auto shutoff once your food is done.
The Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator is not just a working food dryer but also a performance unit that will help you dehydrate variety of food items and fruits. And if you are looking for versatility, you will see that this model is not lacking in that aspect too.
This food dehydrator comes with a mesh sheet as well as a solid sheet. These two help you enjoy the versatility that you may desire in a food dehydrator. Dry your garden herbs with the mesh sheet and enjoy year round or pull up the solid sheet and wipe up a nice tasting homemade fruit roll.
As the saying goes, “there is beauty in simplicity,” the Hamilton Beach 32100A seeks to maximize this quote and provide the best experience for you at a reasonable cost. The simple design coupled with the continuos air flow feature ensures that you don’t suffer uneven drying that is common with most other dehydrators.
All you have to do is line the trays with your stuff, set the appropriate temperature and timer and off you go. The dehydrator will do the rest so you can go to rest or continue with other important thing. However, if you have time on your hand, you can watch the unit perform with the clear lid that gives you unobstructed view.
- Manual is ripe with tips for safe storage, recipes for jerky and drying fruits
- This food dehydrator is is dishwasher washable
- Small footprint
- Better air flow than other food dehydrators
- Friendly price point
- The dial panel is made of plastic membrane
- You need to swap tray for even dehydration
- The fan is a little noisy
While you don’t get 100% accuracy with the dials on the Hamilton Beach 32100A, you can expect that you will experience a better experience controlling the unit. The controls are intuitive and they are sturdy and not easily breakable. The Hamilton Beach is also easier to load and the square construction clearly eliminates space wastage. Most importantly, being able to watch your unit carry out its operation without dissembling it is a great feature, thanks to the transparent lid on the unit.
3. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
Are you still very new when it comes to drying your food? Do you want to try it out without making a big investment? There is a food dehydrator that will fit your needs perfectly.
First of all, in the introductory phase, no one is willing to invest a huge amount right away.
Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric is a blessing in disguise for all who are planning to try an electric dehydrator to dry food. It is the best food dehydrator if you are new at this and want to experiment for the first time.
The Presto 06300 is made of plastic and weighs merely 7.5 pounds. Moreover, it is the best food dehydrator when it comes to mobility.
The only drawback is that it lacks a thermostat. If you are planning to dehydrate meat or dry jerky, then it could be a matter of concern.
However, if you are purchasing a dehydrator mainly for drying your organic produce, then you shouldn’t be bothered by it. Vegetables and fruits need to be dried at a lower temperature to retain all its nutrition.
This dehydrator measures 14″ x 15″ x 6″. It features a cover that is made of durable see-through polycarbonate so you can always supervise the drying procedure without removing the lid.
You can place heat sensitive food in the top tray, so you don’t have to remove the cover time and again to check. Especially convenient is the fan at the base causing vertical air flow which also prevents mixing of the flavor. The food in the lower trays tends to dry up faster than those at the top. In short, id doesn’t heat all the food items evenly.
This food is a 600-watt unit and comes with a standard capacity of four trays that can be doubled to eight trays. You need to purchase the extra trays seperately. Unlike other renowned food dehydrators, it misses out on the thermostat. It does not automatically regulate the drying temperature. According to the manufacturer, the normal operating temperature ranges 135ᵒF to 145ᵒ F.
Apart from the dehydrator, there are four drying trays, nonstick meshed sheets, fruit rolls sheets, a jerky gun, jerky spice kits and instruction guide included in the package. Being dishwasher-proof, you can clean it in the dishwasher after you use it. Finally, it comes with one year warranty.
- Compact in size, lightweight – easy to stack and carry.
- It is expandable, so you can always double the capacity.
- Comes with transparent cover – you can monitor the drying process from outside.
- Makes almost no noise. Some compare it with a running fan.
- Vertical airflow prevents mixing of the flavor of the food.
- One of the most affordably priced food dehydrators.
- No timer or thermostat – chances of getting over-dried. You can easily manage it with a kitchen timer.
- Uneven heating. Food in the bottom trays tends to dry up faster.
Some users complained about the timer and the thermostat. However, the unit is so extremely light and portable that it has already become beloved by many. It is the best food dehydrator available within a limited budget for household purposes. Despite all the criticisms, the majority of the users have reviewed it wholeheartedly. Even without a timer and thermostat Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator is the best selling food dehydrator.
4. Open Country FD-28SK Jerkymaster Food Dehydrator
If you are looking for one of the best food dehydrator for making lots of meat jerky, then choose the Open Country FD-28SK Jerkymaster.
Although it is a starter equipment for those who are new to the jerky making world, it is no doubt one of the best you can select for that purpose.
One of the distinguishing quality of the Open Country FD-28SK is that it is easy to use and clean, which is why it has become the favorite of many when it comes to make jerky.
With this unit, you can make jerky in 4-6 hours. The heating unit is placed on the top of the unit so that you don’t have to worry about cleaning the drippings after dehydration.
The power head provides a quick, efficient, and even dehydration of meat. Thanks to the Fan Flow Radial Air technology, you can have meat dried quickly and evenly without the need to rotate the trays.
The powerhead, the base, as well as the trays are removable so that you can wash them in your dishwasher without any hassle. Moreover, washing them in your dishwasher will not affect the longevity of the equipment.
Unlike the Nesco FD-37A American Harvest, the Open Country FD-28SK Jerkymaster gives you more than 7 square feet of drying space with it 7 dehydrating trays. Now, you don’t have to purchase additional trays — which means more costs to you — to dry sufficient batches of meat.
- The Open Country Jerkymaster is easy to set up
- It dries meat quickly
- Cleaning is a piece of cake
- Can be used to prepare homemade jerky with all the nutrients and taste and without all the chemicals
- Make treats for your dog with this unit
- No detailed instructions on meat drying times
- Lacks adjustable temperature control
The thing that most people like about the Open Country FD-28SK Jerkymaster is that it is designed for a specific purpose — in this case for making meat jerky. Fortunately, this food dehydrator is affordable and performance efficient. With the 350—watt dehydrating power and 1-switch operation, your voyage into the world of jerky making just gets better. The product comes with 1 year limited manufacturer warranty and weighs 5.5 lbs.
5. Flexzion Dehydrator for Food Fruit Food Dehydrator
The Flexzion Dehydrator for Food Fruit comes with 5-stackable trays and a top mounted heating element to for dehydrating a wide variety of homemade snacks and fruit rolls.
You now have the opportunity to make banana chips, kale chips vegetables, dehydrated fruit slices, fruit leathers, and a whole lots of others.
This food dehydrator features a see-through top that allows you to view and observe as your food and veggies dehydrate.
No need to put the product apart to watch what is going on behind the unit.
The control panel is unique and intuitive — it does not have any complicated instructions like competing models.
You can select from 95-to-160 degree Fahrenheit (F) and watch clearly as the machine works on your stuff. The Flexzion Dehydrator is quiet during operation. It comes with the standard trays as those found in other dehydrators of the same size and it is as easy as any of the other models.
The manual provides a time frame you can complete dehydration a set of foods although, you may have to experiment to be sure of the time it will take to dehydrate your favorite food.
- It is inexpensive
- This dehydrator is easy to use and setup
- Adjustable thermostat with 5 trays
- Great price-to-value ratio
- Difficult to find replacement parts
Overall, the Flexzion Dehydrator for Food Fruit comes with 5 trays and you can select from 1 to 5 trays depending on the amount of food you want to dehydrate. The beauty of this unit is that it features an adjustable thermostat, which is absent on most inexpensive dehydrators. The hitch about the product is that the fan is not balanced which can sometimes lead to some noise during operation.
6. NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator
If you are a chef, you can find a good companion in The NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop.
With a maximum dehydrating power of 180 degree Fahrenheits and an enhanced air flow system, you can dehydrate variety of food items, veggies, and fruits in the comfort of your kitchen.
This unit helps you preserve over 50% of the vitamins, minerals, and nutritions in your food without having the course to visit your local grocery.
The NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop comes with 5 trays that are arranged in tiers in the dehydrator so that the heat can circulate easily and help you achieve evenly dehydrated food.
The unit feature a simple on/off switch that don’t bug down your time when you intend to dry your foods. In addition, it can be used in drying variety of stuffs such s fruits and veggies, herbs and spices, snacks, fish, meat, beef, and other food items.
The dehydrator heating element is placed at the base of the unit so that you can access it with ease. And with the availability of two color varieties — black and white — you can easily select one that just goes with your kitchen color palette.
- The dehydrator gets to the dehydrator advertised
- You can prepare safe jerky with this food dehydrator
- The trays allows you to check the progress of the food you are dehydrating
- It is dishwasher safe
- Rotating is required for uniform drying
- Expect longer drying hours
- No optional accessories
- No temperature setting button
The NutriChef Kitchen Electric Food Dehydrator is cheaper than the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster, Presto 06301 Dehydro and only adds couple of dollars to the Hamilton Beach 32100A dehydrators. As you can see, you not only get a feature rich unit but one that is affordable. Most importantly, it is manufactured from stainless steel, meaning that it will last longer than the other models with good maintenance.
7. Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
If you are looking for an affordable and yet reliable food dehydrator, the best option is the Nesco FD-75A. It is one of the most popular models you can find on the market for entry level food dehydration.
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food dehydrator is simple, suitable for those who are on budget, and past record shows it will deliver superb performance.
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro uses a Converga-Flow Drying System, which uses an effective air flowing mechanism to distribute heat through the different parts of the model.
The system forces from the fan down through the pressurized chamber and then distributes the air horizontally through each tray.
The air then converges at the middle of each tray and then spread across it to promote an evenly dried and nutritious food items.
Another advantage of the unique air flow system is that flavors don’t mix and there is no need to use sugar.
It operates similarly to a thermostat. It uses a mechanism where the air is circulated through the middle and along the edge of the trays. This is a good advantage for you because it reduces lots of stress. You don’t have to worry about one side drying and another side half-done.
One of the distinguishing features of this unit is that it is light and easy to move around. The unit comes with 5 trays in total but you can expand it by buying more trays separately if you want to dry several batches of fruits at once. One user even stated that he bought 4 extra trays and claimed he could carry it around full of bananas without feeling too bulky. Another thing is that it can easily blend with the color of the room/kitchen that you may wish to place it.
- It is feature-rich
- Operates with little noise
- No need for tray rotation
- Highly rated among beginners and pro users
- Small yield, no suitable if you want to dehydrate large amount of food in a batch
Generally, the Nesco FD-75A Pro is easy to use and is one of the best food dehydrators in the market. It can dry a thick batch of jerky in between 6 to 10 hours. Moreover, the temperature setting is very easy to use. There are different conspicuous temp settings on the top of the temperature to suit different food and fruit types. The wide temperature range makes the Nesco FD-75A dehydrator ideal for wide range of food items, fruits, and veggies. The Nesco Snackmaster scores a good point here since it is easy to use whether this is your first attempt or you are already a pro.
8. Presto 06301 Dehydro Food Dehydrator
The Presto 06301 Dehdro comes features 6 drying trays, 2 non-stick mesh screens, and 2 fruit roll sheets.
The drying trays can be expanded to 12 trays if you decide dry large amount of food in a batch. The mesh screens also allows you to dry liquid food like cereal, prunes, fruit punch, etc while the fruit roll sheets are useful for making fruit rolls.
It also includes an instruction manual to guide you on how to dehydrate properly with the unit.
The thing about the Presto 06301 dehydrator is that it comes with an adjustable temperature and timer.
The timer uses digital value to measure the hours used while the temperature ranges from 95 degrees to 165 degrees. With the timer, you can set the dehydrator to operate for 4 hours while you work on other things, thus giving you a sort of set-it-and-forget kind of work.
When the timer is used, the unit flashes a green light to signal that the time is up. So you can easily monitor the progress of the food dehydrating from across the room. Or if you want something more personal, you set the machine to work without the timer. It will then count the time it has been on and show you on the display.
Therefore, after a few usage, you will be able to identify the temperature to dehydrate your food and the time it will take to dry most of your food stuffs.
The trays on the food dehydrator are very easy to wash — all you have to do is to put them in the dishwasher under a cycle and that is all you need clean them. Another feature on the Presto 06301 Dehydro Food Dehydrator is that the base unit is easy to clean as well.
The cleaning can be done with a spray and a paper towel. The advantage of easy cleaning is that you don’t have to waste much time on cleaning and most of your time can be spent with other important things.
Another plus to the Presto 06301 Dehydro is the compact size.
You can easily store it in a cabinet and it will not take up much horizontal kitchen spaces when it is in use. Unlike other similarly priced models, this food dehydrator comes with a timer that not only help you preserve energy but also learn a lot about the unit — how long it dehydrates and how it performs with each type of food stuff.
Moreover, if you are new to the world of food dehydration, you will find that the Presto 06301 Dehydro will be a constant companion, especially if you or your kids have an expensive taste for jerky.
The only problem is that if you eventually become preoccupied with making jerky for your whole family, this unit may become too small to make large quantities. Aside from this, this unit is great for making homemade healthy snacks for you and your pets.
- Small footprint
- Adjustable timer
- Digital temperature control
- High price to value ratio
- Instructional manual included
- Makes it easy to make dog treats
- Easy to clean
- Not suitable for drying large batches at a time
- The fan makes humming sound when running although negligible
9. Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator
The Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster is unique food dehydrator with a full kit for dehydrating fruit, vegetables and jerky in a quick and evenly.
It has a variable climate control with temperature ranging from 95 degrees to 155 degrees, 4 large trays, a base, a top mounted fan, and a powerhead of 500-watt dehydrating power.
The Nesco FD-61WHC is manufactured in the United States of America.
The Nesco FD-61WHC Express Food Dehydrator is a very quiet during operation. In fact, this food dehydrator has been described to hum like a window-mounted AC unit while it is working.
This means you can have a conversation while the unit is in operation and your partner wouldn’t be bothered about the sound.
Although the unit comes with only 4 trays, there is an extra 5th tray and you can equally be expanded to 12 drying trays. However, when you expand more than the 4 trays, then you should expect to rotate the lower trays for the upper ones.
Unless you have the time to monitor the progress of dehydration and only if you intend to make large batches should you expand. For a small family, the 4 plus the extra trays should be enough.
If you are looking for a food dehydrator that comes with all the tools for making excellent jerky, this is it. The Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express comes with three tips, five cures, five seasonings, and a jerky gun. You can use the seasons and cures for your ground beef as well as the tips.
The tips include a wide, narrow, and a strip beef stick shape for making delicious beef. With every ground beef you make, you can add one packet of seasonings and cures.
The package also included two Clean-a-Screens. The screens have very narrow holes to prevent smaller food items from falling out of the trays. It also prevent sticky foods like pineapple and banana from being hard to remove after they are done drying.
The beauty of these screens is that you don’t have worry whenever you have the need to dry some items you don’t normally dry before.
You will also find the two fruit roll up trays when you purchase this dehydrator. The fruit roll up trays are soft and are used in preventing small items from falling below.
Moreover, you can use them to make fruit rolls — the main reason they are included in the first place. Another thing you can use them for is to place them at the bottom of the unit to catch junks and grease that slips from above the unit.
- Comes with excellent, useful jerky kit for jerky lovers
- Helpful and well written instruction manual
- Made in the USA
- Very Quiet
- Easy to use
- Lacks on/off switch
In general, you have the recipe guide which includes care handling instructions as well as usage instructions. The instruction booklet has recipe and preparation instructions for fruits, vegetables, desserts, and crafts such as wreath that you can easily utilize. Overall, the Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator is a good dehydrator which is well worth the money. The items in the kit can cost you a lot when you buy them separately.
10. Aroma Housewares Professional 6 Tray Food Dehydrator
The Aroma Housewares Professional comes with 6 trays in metallic black that is ideal for the health conscious and outdoor specialist.
Whether you are looking to prepare custom potpourri, dried herbs and spices or trail mix, this food dehydrator will give you an efficient even drying with the flip of a button.
You can even make fruit slices, beef jerky, and your favorite dried foods with the help of this dehydrator.
The Aroma Housewares Professional includes an adjustable thermostat, which helps to ensure that your food are dehydrated at their optimal temperature.
Moreover, the trays are spacious so that you can dry large amount of food stuffs in a batch.
There are 7 temperature settings where you can choose the precise temperature setting that matches your favorite food.
Although Aroma Housewares Professional 6 Tray Food Dehydrator comes with many beneficial features, the price is a bit on the high side compared with other products in the same category such as the L’Equipe 528 6 Tray Food Dehydrator, Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator and the Samson Silent Dehydrator 6-Tray.
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro costs around $60 while the L’Equipe 528 6 Tray Food Dehydrator costs around $100. The Aroma Housewares Professional price range between $100 to $130 which is similar to the price range of the Samson Silent Dehydrator.
You can also adjust the height of the automatic fan which helps to promote even drying and prevent overheating. The overheating is responsible for eliminating food’s vital nutrients, which can defeat the main purpose of using a dehydrator. The fan is located at the back so that the air blows across and not through.
This ensures that the heat is distributed evenly, which brings about efficient dehydration.
- Works quietly
- Heats well
- Stainless steel trays
- Shuts off automatically
- Comes with a timer
- Not suitable for heavy usage
- Bottom is not very easy to clean
Overall, the Aroma Housewares Professional 6 Tray Food Dehydrator is a solid appliance for those who want are not only conscious of what they eat but also outdoor oriented. It is fortified with 6 removable racks, adjustable thermostat, automatic fan, and a sufficient capacity to ensure you get the optimal dehydration possible.
11. Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator
Got excessive produce in the garden every season? Do you hate throwing them out?
Try Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator and preserve your food for longer.
Although it is a bit pricey, it has some great features like an adjustable thermostat, a timer, a large drying surface, making it the best food dehydrator qualified for professional use.
You can easily reap your desired results with minimal efforts.
When you search online for the Best Food Dehydrator, Excalibur 3926TB is the first name that shows up. It is known for its quality built, extended product life, and great amenities.
It is a box-styled electric dehydrator with a unique drying system to dehydrate all its 9-trays, 15 square feet of drying space evenly. Perfect for dehydrating any food!
The Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator have an adjustable temperature controller with a range of 85ᵒF to 165ᵒF, which means you can use the lower temperature for living foods.
The integrated motor-driven has a 26 hours timer which helps you keep track of the actual drying time in case of a power failure. This Nesco Dehydrator measures 12″ x 17″ x 19″ and the case is made of FDA approved polycarbonate. The Excalibur 3926TB is available in two colors – black and white. It includes nine removable 14″ x 14″ trays with BPA-free poly screen tray sheets preventing food from sticking to the trays.
This food dehydrator comes with a horizontal Paralexx Drying System with thermo-control and 7″ fan with on/off switch at the back of the unit for evenly heat distribution. It has a drying space of 15 square feet, which is perfect for harvesting and hunting season as well as for large families.
The Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator has a removable door – easy to load in bulky food items as well as maintenance. It is a 600-watt powered product with a user guide book for easy reference. You also have an extended warranty of 10 years.
- Lots of dry space (15 square feet) with nine trays – great for harvesting season processing.
- Three separate circuits protecting it from electrical faults – extra security.
- Adjustable thermostat with a wide temperature range for preserving any food including fruits, vegetables, meat.
- Adjustable timer with automatic shut-off. Set the timer and leave it unattended – nothing to worry.
- Removable trays and door – easy to store in thick food items.
- Ten years warranty from the manufacturer renowned for manufacturing superior products.
- Bit pricey in comparison to the dehydrators with no timers.
- Reported to be a little noisy.
- The trays don’t have a lip at the corner – round food can fall off the edge.
- No solid sheet. Could be difficult to dry drippy food.
The review is incomplete without its consumers’ review. On today’s date, it has earned an excellent rating from 82% of its users. The majority found it extremely dependable and useful. One common complaint is that it is pretty loud. But, many came up with smart solutions like shifting the dehydrator to another room. Considering its capacity, durability, and solid built, this Excalibur deserves to be the best food dehydrator of the year!
Buyer Guide — How to Choose the Best Food Dehydrator
There are certain things that you need to look out for when you are shopping for the best food dehydrator. In this buyers guide, we’ll go through some of these things together so that you can be more informed before making a buying decision.
1. Air Flow and Heat
Vertical Food Dehydrators. With a vertical-style food dehydrator, you can easily make meat, bulky root vegetables, and other jerks. Usually, vertical dehydrators have their fans located at the bottom or top. This is done to ensure even heat distribution and efficient dehydration. Moreover, they are cheaper than horizontal dehydrators although are more difficult to clean.
Horizontal Food Dehydrators. Horizontal-style food dehydrators are suitable for preparing fish, vegetables, poultry, fruits and others. They are often larger than their vertical food dehydrator counterparts. Unlike the vertical dehydrators, horizontal food dehydrators usually have the fan located at the back of the unit. This can often cause the food not to be evenly dehydrated. The advantage to them is that they are easier to clean but are more expensive than their counterparts.
2. Tray Access
Shelf Tray Model. These types of dehydrator are easier to use because they are designed like the normal oven with stacked trays. They blow their air in an horizontal fashion, so there is no need to rotate the trays while they are in operation. The advantage to shelf tray models is that all trays on get equal amount of heat although they are bulkier and heavier than before.
Food dehydrators can either be expandable or non expandable. The non-expandable models can only dry a large batch of food at once. You can only make do with the trays that comes with the product — there are no option for buying extra trays. For this reason, they are not suitable for dehydrating food in several batches. The expandable models on the other hand are more flexible since you can buy extra trays if you need more space to dry large amount of food in a batch.
Before making a buying decision, you need to consider the ease of use after purchasing your dehydrator. While it is easy to modify some food dehydrators, others will take much of your time and effort. For instance, box and shelf food dehydrators are better because they allow you to remove the racks and have your food dry uniformly. The stacked models are better for making a huge batch at a time.
Food dehydrators are made from plastic and metal. The models that are made from metal such as Excalibur, usually have longer lifespan than those made from plastic. When you are buying a dehydrator made from plastic, you need to ensure that the product is BPA free and certified by the FDA. This will ensure that there are no plastic fumes when the product is used at high temperatures. However, if what you are buying is metal, then you should see that the material used conforms to the lift of acceptable food materials maintained by the FDA.
When you are shopping for the best food dehydrators, make sure your finally decision reflects your need. If you intend to use the appliance for use for a very long time, then it is better to choose from those that are made from metal. On the basis of this, you should be aware that a unit made from metal will be more expensive since it has more quality materials than the plastic type and is expected to have a higher longevity.
If you are a frequent traveler, then this section is very important for you. Ease of carriage is another factor you need to consider before buying a food dehydrator. If you decide to buy one model just because it is made from metal and of high quality, then you should know that this will weigh heavier than that made in plastic. If you are concerned about portability, a plastic model is the best choice. In economics, this is a called a trade-off. You need to make a trade-off between buying a unit with a longer lifespan and buying a unit for portability. Which one will you go for?
7. Size and Space
If you have limited space, stackable countertop model have smaller footprint — so they are good for you in this case. However, if you have enough space, you can choose to go for the shelf tray models.
Food dehydrators generally costs below $75. Some are cheap while others are expensive. The most expensive ones are the box and shelf models while the cheapest are the stacked models.