|1. Nesco||2. Presto||3. Excalibur|
Food dehydrators are slowly shooting to popularity because they offer a healthy way to dehydrate food. Most Americans love snacks and food dehydrators, which are a great way to make homemade meals much healthier than the packaged stuff you can find in the supermarkets.
Whether it is banana chips, fruit rolls, or meat jerky, a good food dehydrator gives you all. So it is hardly surprising that many Americans look for the best food dehydrators.
Preserving food items have been practiced since time immemorial, and with food dehydrators, you can do this easily at your home. It can also be a handy survival gear in times of uncertain events.
While looking for the best food dehydrators, it is easy to get confused with the sheer number of products flooding the market. We have compiled a list of the best products in the market along with their pros and cons. You will also get to know some buying tips to make an informed choice.
Top 20 Best Food Dehydrators 2020
1. Nesco FD-75A Food Dehydrator
If you are looking for a user-friendly and straightforward food dehydrator, then this might just be the product for you. There are five trays in this dehydrator which you can expand to 12, so you can dehydrate multiple food items at the same time.
It has a powerful fan that provides 600 Watt of power, so your food gets dehydrated quickly and efficiently.
This dehydrator comes in a compact size so that you can easily store and transport it. Using this dehydrator is extremely easy since you just need to put the food items inside it, turn on the dial, and then plug it in. Furthermore, this product features an adjustable thermostat, allowing you to dry foods at proper temperatures.
While buying a food dehydrator, you want a device that can be used for different food items like fruits, meat, etc. This dehydrator has separate sheets and mesh screens for fruits, small items like herbs, blueberries, and spice packets for meat.
If you have any doubts regarding how to operate this device, then there is a detailed instruction manual provided which contains recipes, charts, storing suggestions, and tips for dehydrating food.
You will be glad to know all parts of the product except the powerhead are assembled and made in the USA. The product is tested for quality and provides excellent performance for years.
- Locks in nutrition
- No risk of liquid dripping
- Even heat distribution
- Doesn’t have a timer
- No off switch
2. Presto 0630 Food Dehydrator
If you are looking for food dehydrators under $40, then the Presto 0630 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator will put a smile on your face. It can reach a peak temperature of 165 degrees, which means it can dry all kinds of food. This device starts when you plug it into a socket and can be expanded to hold eight trays. Moreover, it has a transparent cover through which you can monitor the dehydration process.
You can use a dishwasher to clean the cover and the drying trays easily. For those looking to dry different kinds of food items using a dehydrator, this device boasts of mesh screens, roll sheets for fruits, a jerky spice pack, and a jerky gun. This device has a power light which is a convenient feature as it lets you know when the device is on.
This device does not consume extra power through tray rotation, as the advanced heating mechanism, and the fan placed at the bottom can uniformly heat the entire device. Using this device, you can dehydrate food items while effectively locking the nutrition inside. It gives you efficient and fast drying at an affordable rate.
- Easy to clean
- Spacious so that multiple food items can be dried at once
- Even heat distribution
- No alarm system present
- Does not have temperature control
3. Excalibur Food Dehydrator
While using food dehydrators, you might want to dry a large amount of food at a time. This food dehydrator from Excalibur is excellent for this purpose, as it is one of the bulky models available. This product features a temperature regulation mechanism and a timer that allows you to turn it on.
You can do other work without worrying about the device overheating because you can just set the timer to a specific value of up to 26 hours. The device will automatically shut down after that time has passed.
Product is a user-friendly device that lets you slide the trays in easily and switch it on for fast and efficient drying of food items. The thermostat has a range from 105 degrees to 165 degrees Fahrenheit so that you can dry large batches of food using this device.
The user manual provided with this device contains simple instructions on how to operate it, along with recommendations for setting the timer, recipes, etc.
This device is ideal for a large family gathering where you can make meat jerky, yogurt, fruit puree, dried fruits, and vegetables using this device. The optimum temperature range allows for the retention of active enzymes and nutrients in fruits and vegetables. Moreover, the temperature is enough for dehydrating meat safely.
- 26-hour timer provided
- Easy to dry large batches of food together
- Ideal for making pet treats
- A bit expensive
- Packaging could be better
4. Presto 0631 Food Dehydrator
This product is similar to the Presto 06300, except that it has a larger capacity so that you can dry more items at a time with this device. With six trays that can be expanded into twelve, it is ideal for preparing a large number of items for many people.
Using this device, you can make jerky out of poultry, seafood, and meat using the cure and jerky spice that comes with this product. While dehydrating food, uniform heating of the chambers is desirable, this is made possible by this device.
The heating element and the fan attached to the base makes sure all the compartments receive enough heat to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, meat, and so on.
It is not always possible to lock in all the nutrients in food while dehydrating, but using the digital thermostat, you can always keep an eye on the temperature. Along with the timer mechanism, you can prevent your food from getting overheated and losing all its nutrients.
Dehydrating fruits often require extra drying trays and mesh screens like the ones provided with this product. These mesh screens are nonstick, so there is no danger of the interiors getting messy.
- Fruit roll sheets available
- Jerky Gun and Jerky Spice are provided
- Can dry a large amount of food simultaneously
- A bit loud
- Could be a little more durable
5. Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator
This sturdy device from Hamilton Beach is among the best food dehydrators in its price range. Within its compact frame, you will get hold of five trays that neatly stacked one on top of another, allowing you to dry food without any of the trays coming loose. There is enough space in each compartment so that nothing sticks to the walls of the device.
With an optimum temperature range of 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, you can ensure your food retains its nutrients. The thermostat has a 5-degree increment so that you can heat your food at many different temperatures for various purposes. The exteriors of the device are transparent, so you can keep an eye on the progress as your food gets drained of moisture.
With a programmable timer, it is easy to dehydrate your food. You can just set the timer and go about your day without worrying about overheating or the device getting damaged.
After a certain period, the device will shut down by itself. The timer can be set at 1-hour increments, but you can program it to heat your food for up to 48 hours. So, in situations where you need to cook the food for an extended period, this timer comes in handy.
- Programmable timer with long hours
- Fruit tray available
- Accessories can be safely washed in the dishwasher
- Temperature ranger can be a bit higher
- You need to unplug and plug the device to turn it on
6. Nesco FD-37A Food Dehydrator
This device is one of the best food dehydrators based on drying power alone. With 400 Watt of power, it provides you with sufficient drying power for making beef and pork jerky. You can expand to adjust seven trays where you store a decent amount of food items to be dried at the same time.
Radial airflow is possible thanks to the fan attached at the base, so all the compartments get optimum heat. This way, your food drying process is fast and more efficient. The compact size of the device allows for secure storage and cleaning. All the parts can be easily removed and washed cleaned using a dishwasher.
The powerhead of this device is a chief contributing factor behind its high drying power. Using this powerhead, you can dry food in less time than usual. The components are made up of high-grade plastic that does not leak toxic substances into your food. Various customers have mentioned this product to be the best food dehydrator under $40.
- Temperature regulator
- Powerful heating
- Jerky spice and cure provided
- No timer
- A bit loud
7. Nesco FD-28JX JerkyXpress Dehydrators
Drying your food using a dehydrator seems like a great idea until you mess up the temperature and spoil the food. This 350-Watt drying power device will make sure every compartment gets uniformly heated.
This way, all your food items can get adequately dehydrated. Each drying tray has 0.75 square feet of space, so there is enough room for food items like fruits, vegetables, meat jerky, and so on.
This product is assembled in the USA and made with quality materials to ensure your safety and satisfaction. The drying trays are made up of high-quality plastic, so there is no risk of your food getting contaminated with harmful materials. A jerky gun is provided with this product that has three different tips for different types of meat.
Cure samples and seasoning are also available, so you can make delicious jerky using this device. This simple and easy-to-use device is perfect for a beginner who is new to making jerky and using a dehydrator. It has an ergonomic design, allowing for easy transportation and storage. You can turn this device on with a flip of a switch. The device sets the temperature by itself, and you get correct dehydration.
- Faster drying
- Powerful heating
- Tasty jerky seasonings
- Fan performance can be better
- No temperature control
8. NutriChef Food Dehydrator
With a food dehydrator, a potential buyer often looks for convenience as it is something that takes a lot of time. It would suck to devote your entire day to it. Therefore, this device has a simple on/off switch, which you need to flip once you have dried your fruits and vegetables in the drying trays.
It boasts of a peak temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit, so there is a wide variety of food items you can use with this dehydrator machine.
As far as storage capacity goes, this product is one of the best food dehydrators in the market since the five trays all have sufficient space for storage. The trays are made up of high-grade plastic and can be used safely with meat, fruits, and vegetables.
Mesh screens are provided with this product that allows for airflow during the drying process.
The handy drip tray protects the heating element from any juice that might drip from fruits and damage it. If you wish to dry thin pieces of produce and meat with this device, you can easily do it since the trays have standard stacking. On the other hand, each of the five trays can be expanded in height, to make room for large chunks of meat.
- Easy to clean
- Jerky spice and cure provided
- Can hold a large quantity of food
- No timer
- No thermostat
9. Nesco FD-1018A Food Dehydrator
This product is one of Nesco’s bigger models as it is ideal for preparing large batches of items for social gatherings. The device has eight trays, each of which is approximately one square foot in size, which means there is enough space for large chunks of vegetables, fruits, and meat.
The eight trays can be expanded in height to 30 trays, giving you a total of 30 square feet of space where you can dry your food items. With such vast space available for drying, you will never have to worry about the trays getting crammed up, and the food items sticking to the walls of the interiors.
An optimum temperature range is generally desirable for a food dehydrator. You will be glad to know this model has a range of 90 degrees to 155 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows you to dry your food without them getting spoilt and robbed of their nutrients.
The air pressure supplied by the fan depends on the number of trays you are using to dry your food. With this dehydrator, you can get rid of extra fat and sugar that you find in snacks bought from the store.
- Multiple mesh screens are provided
- Jerky seasoning available
- Energy-efficient device
- Plastic slivers around the screen
- Makes a bit of noise
10. Magic Mill Food Dehydrator
The popularity of this product is because it was a powerful fan unit attached at the back, instead of the base. The problem with a bottom-mounted fan is that the heat rises to form the bottom to the top, and often the trays at the top are not heated sufficiently.
Another risk such devices pose is that the tray at the very bottom can get overheated. It calls tray rotation, to evenly spread out the heat. But this device has the fan at the back, leading to even distribution of heat with no chance of overheating or underheating.
The ergonomic design of this device makes for secure storage, and there are even handles provided for convenience. The metal interiors are incredibly durable, and they protect the fan from damage. Furthermore, it has an optimum temperature range of 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 167 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence you can dry fruits and vegetables, which generally requires a lower temperature.
At the same time, it can reach high temperatures needed for making meat jerky. A timer is always useful for a dehydrator machine, and this device comes with a 24-hour timer that gives you enough time to dry any kind of food item.
- Can accommodate a total of 13 lbs
- Great features at this price range
- Extremely sturdy
Trays are not expandable
11. Homdox Food Dehydrator
A potential buyer must look for balanced performance parameters while buying a food dehydrator, and this product manages to achieve that. With a temperature range of 95 degrees Fahrenheit 158 degrees Fahrenheit, you can ensure optimum heating that will dry your food items while locking in the essential nutrients.
Moreover, this device has eight large trays, meaning you have enough space for fruits, vegetables, and large chunks of meat.
The timer can be set up to 72 hours, which is a great feature because often some food items need a lot of time for dehydration. The advanced heating element and the fan mounted at the bottom spread the heat out to every drying tray evenly. With 400 Watts power, you can dehydrate vegetables, fruits, make venison jerky and beef jerky.
The quick-heating technology of this device allows dehydrating food items quicker. Moreover, the product comes with a 2-year guarantee, so you get a free repair or replacement for a faulty product. There is also a recipe book where you can find instructions on how to dry vegetables and meat.
- No added preservatives
- Extensible capacity
- Compact in size
- A slight smell may be present
- Instructions could be clearer
12. LEM Food Dehydrator
One of the primary purposes of food dehydration is to preserve the food so that you can enjoy it at a later date. With its advanced features, you can retain all the vital nutrients in the food items as well as prevent the growth of microbes.
With an 800 Watt fan placed at the rear, this device produces sufficient heating power to dry food items like a meat to make jerky quickly. The fan distributes the heat horizontally to each shelf so that all areas of the shelves receive equal amounts of heat.
As a result, you do not have to rearrange the drying trays during the dehydration process. You will notice openings are present in each tray, with each opening having a diameter of half an inch, which allows for warm air circulation.
Each tray is easily removable and made of high-grade ABS plastic that does not contaminate your food. The attractive, transparent design allows you to check the progress.
Furthermore, enough space is available for drying large food batches with ten trays having a combined storage capacity of 15 square feet. This product is one of the best food dehydrators at $150.
- Optimum heat circulation
- One-year manufacturing warranty
- Advanced controls
- A bit large
- Trays need to be covered in parchment
13. Coocheer Dehydrator
If energy-efficiency is what you are looking for in a food dehydrator, this device is one of the best food dehydrators in the market. This device is rated at 110V and has a power of 250 Watt; it can dry different food items like vegetables, meat jerky, fruits, and herbs.
At the same time, it lets you save some money on your electric bills as it does not consume much power while operating.
The temperature range is a standard 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows you to dry your food to perfection while retaining its nutritional values. The trays have adjustable heights, so they can be expanded to hold more food items. Furthermore, it is easy to remove the trays and clean them using a dishwasher.
Another impressive feature of this device is the auto shut-off feature. Often you want to do other things around the house while the dehydrator is operating, but there is a chance of the device getting overheated. With this device, however, you can stop worrying about overheating, as it will automatically shut down once it reaches a specific temperature.
- Adjustable interlayer height
- 360 degrees air circulation
- No harmful additives
- The heating element could use some improvement
- A bit noisy
14. Aceshin Food Dehydrator
This quality product from Aceshin Is one of the best food dehydrators for drying meat. The five trays provide sufficient storage space for small and large food items, while also serving as racks from which you can hang meat products. The trays can be easily removed and washed using a dishwasher.
This unit comes with a transparent door that allows you to monitor the entire dehydration process. You can be assured about the health of your family while using this device, thanks to the high-grade plastic composition. Hence, it is possible to produce nutrient-dense food items, free form harmful additives with this device.
With an operating power of 250W and a voltage of 110V, this device is energy efficient and allows you to run it for long hours without consuming much electricity. What’s more, the timer provided will make sure your device shuts off automatically to prevent overheating.
- Constant temperature
- Easy to clean using a dishwasher
- Durable and safe material
- Take a bit of time to dry food items
- No markings on the trays
15. Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator
Using this five-tray food dehydrator, you can prepare healthy snacks at home without worrying about losing nutrition. The product features a vented lid so that you can quickly dehydrate your favorite food items while monitoring the progress using the transparent trays.
The drying trays are spacious, so you can store thin slices of fruits and vegetables, as well as relatively larger meat chunks for making jerky.
The device is a simple and compact device that you can store anywhere and transport with ease in case you are planning to use it outdoors. The drying trays are dishwasher-friendly and can be easily removed. The air circulates uniformly throughout the device, heating all the trays simultaneously for efficient dehydration.
With the Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator, it is easy to make a batch of pineapple, apple, banana chips, yummy turkey, and beef jerky. You can even dry flowers and herbs using this device. This versatile device is among the best food dehydrators under $40 that give you value for money. It is also easy to operate this device, using the flip switch.
- Ergonomic design
- Stackable and adjustable trays
- Made of high-quality plastic
- Tray rotation can be improved
- Food is often dried at different speeds
16. Kuppet Countertop Food Dehydrator
You can count on this quality product form KUPPET to make high-nutrition, low-calorie, tasty snacks, and food items for your family. You are sure to save a lot of money by buying this commercially manufactured dehydrator. The ten adjustable trays can be used to store a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and meat.
The simple build of this device makes it easy to store it anywhere in the kitchen or outdoors. All the parts are dishwasher-friendly and can be easily disassembled for cleaning.
An adjustable thermostat is always an added plus in a dehydrating machine. You can heat different types of food at different temperatures. As such, this device offers you the versatility you want from a dehydrator.
The manufacturer has made sure; this device is hassle-free as it comes with a timer. So, you can just set the temperature and turn it one, then go about your daily work without worrying about your device overheating and catching fire.
Safety is a concern while dehydrating food, which is why this device is ETL certified and meets all the standards for food grade. It contains no BPA, so you can use it to dehydrate any kind of food safely.
- Free from preservatives
- 360 degrees heating cycle
- Retains nutrients in food
- No option for additional trays
17. Kuppet Food Dehydrator
If you have a small family and do not want to waste money on an overly large food dehydrator, then this product will not let you down. The device features five adjustable trays that can accommodate a sufficient amount of food items like herbs, fruits, vegetables, and jerky.
The digital control of this device allows for precise heat distribution so that each tray receives the same amount of heat in a given time.
Dehydrating food items can be a tricky business because different items need to be heated at different temperatures for them to be dehydrated. The components of the dehydrator are free from BPA and made of high-grade plastic.
So there are no chances of your food getting contaminated with industrial chemicals that can be harmful to your body.
With this quality product, you do not have to worry about throwing away excess food, as you can dehydrate them and preserve them for later. It is recommended that you cut your food into thin slices before using the dehydrator to dry them.
The automatic fan is specially designed to direct warm air throughout the device and provide you with superior results.
- Ideal for making pet snacks
- Retain original flavor
- Spacious drying racks
- Trays cannot be expanded
- A bit noisy
18. Brod And Taylor Sahara Food Dehydrator
This device is ideal for those who live in apartments and need a compact device that does not take up much space. With a drying area totaling up to 11 square feet, you can use this device to dehydrate large quantities of food without it consuming much power. Moreover, it boasts of two powerful 700-Watt heaters that heat your food quickly and efficiently.
Automatic temperature control is always a nice feature to have in a dehydrator because manually setting the temperature can be a little irritating. This device has that feature, along with an air filter that can be reused and washed, preventing the material inside the device from adding any unwanted smell or taste to your food items.
The unique feature of this food dehydrator is the fact that it is foldable, which enhances its portability. The glass doors are transparent, so you can check how much your food has been dried. Furthermore, the device has the remarkable ability to supply more heat and lower the temperature to preserve taste and nutrients.
- No chance of being contaminated by dirt
- Can be stored in the kitchen shelf
- 199 hours of constant operation possible
- Carrying lid absent
- A bit expensive
19. Super Deal Food Dehydrators
Make healthy snacks and treats for your family with this digital food dehydrating machine, which is among the best food dehydrators currently available in the market. You would never need additional preservatives with this device because you can preserve the original flavor of vegetables and fruits.
You can make roll-up treats, fruit chips, sauces from tomatoes, and such using this quality product. It is also possible to make jerky from venison, turkey, and beef.
Moreover, you will get enough space for you to accommodate all your food items, with the six spacious drying racks. Horizontal airflow leads to a perfectly balanced combination of drying and heating. You can also monitor the entire process via the transparent doors without opening them and letting the heat escape.
The fan is placed at the rear of the device, rather than the bottom. It prevents the droplets from the food items touching the heating element and damaging it. You can ensure flavors from different food materials remain confined to their respective drying racks. The adjustable thermostat allows you to heat your food at temperatures between 95 degrees Fahrenheit and 158 degrees Fahrenheit.
- High-quality plastic material free from BPA
- Shuts down automatically
- In-built timer
- Trays can be a bit more expandable
20. Gastrorag Food Dehydrator
This affordable food dehydrator from Gastrorag is highly rated by customers for its strong drying capacity that dries all the compartments evenly. You can make fruit chips, beef jerky, and other tasty treats for your family and even your pets.
With 100-160 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range, you can dehydrate a wide variety of food items while retaining the nutrients and original flavors.
This device has a large and easy to understand display where you have checked the temperature and adjust it. The product features a handy timer is provided, which can be set for up to 48 hours, after which it automatically shuts down. Moreover, the even heat distribution and absence of tray rotation prevent the flavors of different foods from getting mixed.
The quiet operation is a blessing, as many devices make an irritating beeping sound. The device flaunts a stylish and modern design, with a compact build that allows you to store it in the kitchen without sacrificing much space. Furthermore, it is made up of the best quality plastic, which is free from BPA. Hence, there is no odor, and your safety is not compromised either.
- Ergonomic and lightweight design
- Protection against overheating
- Certified by ETL
- Trays are not expandable
Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Food Dehydrators
Choosing the best food dehydrator for preserving your food depends on personal preferences as well as the specific purpose. You should first make sure the device maintains a steady airflow and temperature. Some devices have thermostats for controlling the temperatures; others boast of strategically-placed fans for even heat distribution.
The following are some of the factors you should consider before buying a food dehydrator.
1. Size And Capacity
Before purchasing a dehydrator, you should figure out the quantity of food you are going to put, and the space in your kitchen for this appliance. Smaller, compact models get the job done in no time, but they are not ideal for holding large amounts of foodstuff.
If you plan to use the device for family gatherings or have a garden where there are lots of products for you to dehydrate, then you can go for a larger model. But if you are buying the device just to make the occasional snack item or treat, then you should go for one of the compact models
Food dehydrators usually come with fans attached to them, but you can end up getting the noisy one. The thing is, the noise pollution is not the same for all the models. You must search for a relatively quiet model.
The noise level is often not mentioned in the product specifications. To find this out, you will need to consult some user reviews online. The noise created by the device is usually one of the first things people notice. You are sure to find some information regarding this matter.
3. Temperature And Air Flow
In ideal cases, a food dehydrator should evenly distribute the heat throughout the device. This prevents your food from getting dried in an uneven manner, which is not desirable. The prevailing belief is that the food closer to the fan will get heated faster and dry up quickly, but that is not how a good dehydrator operates.
All the food pieces should be dehydrated at the same rate with evenly distributed airflow. Otherwise, you have to spend some extra time rearranging the drying trays so that the items closer to the fan do not get overheated.
Most dehydrators do not come cheap, and you want to buy a model that you can use for various purposes. It makes versatility an essential factor while buying a food dehydrator for your home. Some dehydrators are stackable and contain about ten trays or so, but adding more trays is made possible by the even heat distribution system.
On the other hand, rack dehydrators cannot be expanded beyond their natural capacity. If you wish to have more room, you have to buy a new device altogether. But these devices can allow some freedom between the plates so that you can dehydrate larger food items in one drying rack. They provide more vertical space than the stackable variants.
5. Quality Of Materials
Durability is the primary aspect many people look for in a dehydrator since many models are quite expensive. You want your product to run for long hours and still last for years to come. Many of these products come with guarantees where you can get a replacement if the device breaks down for some reason.
Several dehydrators these days use high-quality plastic. Many people have this concern about harmful chemicals leaking into their foodstuff during the dehydration process. If you are not sure about plastic, you can always go for a product made of stainless steel.
FAQs on Food Dehydrators
1. Are Food Dehydrators Worth It?
Depending on your food habit, buying a dehydrator is definitely worth the money. It allows you to preserve food and preventing excess food from getting trashed. You can also enjoy tasty treats like dried pineapple rings, banana chips, apple chips, and meat jerky.
2. Are Dehydrators Expensive To Run?
On average, a dehydrator will cost you between $0.29 and $1.20 to operate for approximately ten hours. However, each model features different energy efficiency ratings. More advanced models usually consume more electricity.
3. What Foods Can You Not Dehydrate?
It is not safe or suitable to put any kind of food items inside your dehydrator. As a result, it may be disastrous. The worst part is that your device might get damaged as well. You should not use a dehydrator with items like milk, butter, juice, water, avocados, and so on.
4. Is A Dehydrator Better Than An Oven?
When it comes to drying food items, a dehydrator is a much better option as it consumes less energy and time. It is also easier to operate than an oven.
Enjoy Tasty Treats With Food Dehydrators
We have provided this comprehensive guide to unburden your confusion. You must have a sound idea regarding food dehydrators after going through the above list of products.
Your choice, however, depends on the size of your family, the type of food items you wish to make, and your budget. Once you figure out these factors, choosing the right model will be much easier. Kindly select the model which suits you the most.