The best food dehydrator can be used to make fruit and veggie treats for kids and adults, as well as jerky. Food dehydration, a process where the water content of food is removed through a low temperature, has been a popular method of food preservation for thousands of years. We’ve researched and discovered seven top-rated food dehydrators to help you make these snacks in the comfort of your home, as well as a couple to leave on the rack.
Reviews of the 7 Best Food Dehydrators, Plus the 2 Worst to Avoid
1. Smith & Oliver Professional Series Digital Food Dehydrator Review
First on our list is the Smith & Oliver Professional Series Digital Food Dehydrator, probably the best food dehydrator of 2018 you will find on the market. While this food dehydrator is a little pricey, it is important to take note of the many useful features that you get when you opt for this device. This device features a 1000-Watt power and an adjustable temperature setting, which can be set to a temperature of up to 160-degree Fahrenheit. The device comes with 20 trays that are all made from BPA-Free material, meaning your food will not be exposed to potentially harmful plastic chemicals. Auto shut off digital timer, which can be set to allow for food to be dehydrated over a period of up to 41 hours, ensures you can have more precise control over the dehydration process. This food dehydrator is good for any type of dehydration, whether you want to make dehydrated fruits, vegetables, or a protein option, such as jerky.
We simply cannot make a list of the best food dehydrators of 2018 without including an Excalibur 3926TB food dehydrator review. This is another high-quality dehydrator that offers support for up to nine trays and a multifunctional use – dehydrate meat, fruit, and vegetables in this useful device. The device also comes with an auto shutdown timer, which can be adjusted to a maximum of 26 hours. The device comes with a built-in temperature regulator that can be used to adjust the temperature to suit the particular food items that you will be placed inside. A complete food dehydration guide is also included with the Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator to help you get started quickly and ensure you can make the perfect snacks and treats without any failures. For superior quality, this product is manufactured locally within the United States by one of the most trusted brands in the industry.
3. DUIER Hanging Raw Food Dehydrator Review
The best solar food dehydrator on the market in 2018 is most likely the DUIER Hanging Raw Food Dehydrator. This dehydrator comes at an affordable price and utilizes a solar powered dehydration method to assure heat is evenly distributed without the need for electricity. The device has been designed to capture heat and distribute it evenly on the inside; thus presenting an excellent opportunity to dehydrate a variety of foods, even when the sun is not shining. Most foods can be dehydrated effectively within just a couple of days, giving you the ability to serve up delicious dehydrated food as alternative treats to unhealthy options that are filled with sugar and other harmful substances. The DUIER Hanging Raw Food Dehydrator comes with five trays that can be easily removed and refitted for your convenience. Simply lay your food out on the trays, and you are ready to go.
The Nesco FD-80A Square-Shaped Dehydrator is the best nesco food dehydrator you can buy this year. This device features the perfect balance between functionality, features and, of course, price. The Nesco FD-80A Square-Shaped Dehydrator costs less than $100 and is made by Nesco, a local brand within the United States. The device features an adjustable thermostat, which can be set between a temperature setting of 95 degrees Fahrenheit up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a vertically-stacked food dehydrator with a 700 Watt power setting and a fan that is mounted at the top, which provides a powerful distribution of heat throughout all food. This device is perfect for a variety of food choices, including jerky, fruit, herbs, and vegetables. The Nesco FD-80A Square-Shaped Dehydrator contains a system that utilizes air-circulation for even and faster drying as compared to many of the competing products on the market. Printed guidelines also make using the device very easy and help you understand what settings to use for certain foods.
5. Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator Review
The best food dehydrator for jerky we found is the Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator. This is one of the most complete food dehydrator kits you will find today, providing you with everything you need to make delicious pieces of beef jerky, as well as other snacks like dehydrated banana slices or other fruits and vegetables. In addition to a powerful, vertical food dehydrator, this kit also comes with a Jerky Gun, allowing you to make your own jerky quickly and easily. The Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator has five trays that can be stacked vertically and has a powerful feature of 500 Watts. To provide a better drying speed and superior quality dehydrated foods, this device also comes with a top-mounted fan. In addition to the Jerky Gun and the actual food dehydrator, the kit also comes with a fruit roll sheet, as well as a clean-a-screen attachment that makes the dehydration of herbs a breeze.
6. Gourmia GFD1950 Digital Food Dehydrator Review
The Gourmia GFD1950 Digital Food Dehydrator is the best dehydrator for fruit you will find in 2018. This device is extremely affordable, especially when the many useful features that come integrated into this food dehydrator is taken into account. The dehydrator features a transparent window in the front, making it easy to see your food being dehydrated and to check up on their status frequently. A total of nine trays can be fitted into this dehydrator, which means you will be able to produce a larger quantity of dehydrated foods than some of the other options. In addition to the standard trays, the Gourmia GFD1950 Digital Food Dehydrator also comes with an additional fruit leather tray for the dehydration of certain fruit types. The device has a temperature regulator, which is used to provide precise control over the internal temperature that will be evenly distributed amongst the foods that are placed on the inside of the dehydrator.
7. CO-Z Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Electric Food Dehydrator Review
If you are looking for the best commercial dehydrator, then one of your top choices should be the CO-Z Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Electric Food Dehydrator. This device offers a flexible set of configurable options that allows for maximum control over what you want to produce. Whether you are interested in making meat jerky to sell at a market or some home-made dehydrated food to sell at a shop, this commercial-grade food dehydrator will surely not fail to impress you. The CO-Z Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Electric Food Dehydrator can hold up to 10 trays in total and has several preset temperature options that can be selected for a quick setup. A timer control also allows you to decide how long food should be dehydrated for in order to get the best results and the most delicious snacks and treats. This device features a 1000 Watt power, which makes it ideal for producing larger batches of dehydrated foods in a shorter period of time.
Avoid – Dash DEHY100AQ SmartStore Food Dehydrator Review
The Dash DEHY100AQ SmartStore Food Dehydrator Review is most likely the worst food dehydrator on the market. While this is one of the most affordable devices out there, you should be skeptical if you do find yourself interested in opting for this dehydrator. The device does not provide adequate features to offer you the most versatile of options when it comes to drying various types of foods. Overall, this food dehydrator seems to take a significantly longer time to dehydrate food than other options on the market properly. This might make it more difficult to preserve your food, as the food may start to become spoilt or rotten before it has been adequately dehydrated. The Dash DEHY100AQ SmartStore Food Dehydrator comes in different colors, including Aqua, Black, and Red.
Avoid – Excalibur 3948CDB 9 Tray Food Dehydrator Review
Whether you are looking for a food dehydrator that will give you the ability to serve up healthy snacks to your family or add additional products to your store, you should try to avoid this food dehydrator. The Excalibur 3948CDB 9 Tray Food Dehydrator has tons of useful and convenient features, but the price of this product is completely ridiculous. This device costs over $500 at most retailers and offer similar features than many of the other options that we have mentioned in this review post – which all cost a significantly lower price than this one. The dehydrator comes with the ability to fit nine trays of food and a digital timer, as well as a temperature controller, that allows you to specify the settings for each batch of food to ensure you get snacks that have been dehydrated before the food could have gone bad.
2018 Buyers Guide to the Best Food Dehydrator:
When looking to buy the best food dehydrator of 2018, there are some facts that you need to keep in mind. Not all food dehydrators provide the same features. Some are more ideal for meat, while others offer features that make them a better choice for dehydrating fruits or vegetables.
3 Main Points to Consider:
- Temperature Settings: One of the most important facts to be considered when buying a food dehydrator is the temperature settings offered by the device. Different food requires different temperature settings to ensure they dehydrate properly without any adverse reactions, such as burning or becoming soft, which can be unpleasant when you are trying to make a crispy snack or treat to share with the family. This is why looking at the temperature options that the device features should be one of your main concerns. If the food dehydrator has a fixed temperature setting, then you should consider the temperature it will dehydrate your food at to determine its most appropriate use. Certain temperatures are more ideal for making jerky than for making dehydrated banana slices or apple slices, for example. Many modern food dehydrators provide an adjustable temperature setting. These devices offer a more versatile usage, as the temperature of the device can be set to accommodate better the particular types of food you wish to dehydrate.
- Number of Trays: Another important feature to pay close attention to is the number of trays that are supported by the food dehydrator you would like to buy. This is important because some can only fit around five trays, while others allow you to stack up to 20 trays or more to give you extra room for creating more dehydrated snacks and treats simultaneously. You should consider your own preferences and needs when it comes to looking at the number of trays that can be fitted into a food dehydrator. Do not buy a dehydrator that offers more space than what you need. This will cause you to pay more for the device than you need to. If you are only planning to make some beef jerky on special occasions and just for you and a friend or two, then you may opt for a food dehydrator with five trays. If you plan on making dehydrator food more often and in larger quantities, then a ten-tray option may be a much better fit for you.
- Portability: The third important factor that we want to share with you is the portability of the device. While you may not want to take a food dehydrator with you on holiday or when you are organize equipment for a camping trip, you should still consider its size an important factor in your decision-making process. Some dehydrators are very compact and will only take up an insignificant amount of space in your kitchen, while others demand much larger areas of space to fit into. Consider how much space you have available in your kitchen before you start looking at food dehydrators, then take the measurements you have available in front of you into account when you look at the different options you can choose from. It is a better idea to opt for a food dehydrator that will be slightly smaller than the space you have available than to opt for a device that will be larger.
In what ways is solar dehydrating different from open air sun drying?
Two of the most popular methods of dehydrating foods include air drying the food in the sun and the use of a solar dehydration system. There are pros and cons to each of these two techniques, but when it comes to quality and overall satisfaction, solar dehydrating of food is the way to go. To understand why we prefer solar dehydrating over open-air sun drying, it is essential to consider the differences between these two popular techniques.
With open-air sun drying, fruit, vegetables, and other food options are laid open under the sun to dry out. This means when there is no sun, such as during the winter months when we get a lot of rain, and cold days, the foods are at risk of becoming spoilt. This can be unfortunate and lead to a loss of money and resources. With a solar dehydration system, however, these risks are not present. A solar dehydrator is built to trap heat on the inside of a special box, which is then circulated into the main area where the food is being held. A solar dehydrator helps to keep the heat evenly distributed and provides a significant reduction in the risk that the food will become spoilt due to improper drying or drying too slow.
Using a Dehydrator to Preserve Food (Video):
Final Thoughts On Finding the Best Food Dehydrator:
The dehydration of food does not only serve as a way to preserve fruit, vegetables, and meat in modern times but also as a way to create a more extensive variety of snacks. The best food dehydrator of 2018 can help you prepare beef jerky, as well as many other dehydrated food options at home, helping you save money and giving you an opportunity to serve up some healthier snack choices for your family.