Dehydrating food is a healthy and safe method of food preservation in which moisture is removed from the food while dramatically increasing its storage life. While we are used to buying dehydrated foods from the market such as jerky and fruit roll-ups, having one for home use will put you in control of the quality of food you eat and ultimately save you money.
Below are some of the best food dehydrators we have found that will make dehydrating foods your next favorite past time. Besides taking up minimal space, these dehydrators have large capacities and expandable tray systems that allow you to dry all your fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices at the same time without ever having to worry about flavor mixing.
Digital thermostats and control knobs make it easy to adjust the heat to accommodate appropriate drying temperatures and when you are finished, simply throw the dishwasher-safe parts into the machine for easy clean-up.
1. NESCO FD-80A Square-Shaped Dehydrator
The Nesco Food Dehydrator uses 700 watts of cooking power for fast, even and nutritious drying of food. Dry fruit, vegetables, granola and strips of jerky in hours instead of days and with its patented drying system. And as a bonus, you will never have to worry about flavors mixing. A simple control knob adjusts the heat to accommodate appropriate drying temperatures and printed guidelines on the motor housing help determine the correct thermostat setting for easy cooking.
Pros: This dehydrator is expandable to eight trays and is dishwasher safe.
Cons: There is no built-in timer.
2. Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator
The Presto Dehydro Food Dehydrator is a digital dehydrator that includes six drying trays (expandable to 12), two fruit roll sheets and two nonstick mesh screens for drying small and sticky foods. Its digital timer and thermostat provide precise drying times and temperatures and a bottom-mounted fan and heating element provide consistent airflow for optimum drying. A see-through cover on the top tray lets you monitor drying progress and the drying trays nest when not in use for a reduction in storage space.
Pros: The drying trays and cover are fully immersible and dishwasher safe.
Cons: This machine might be louder than expected.
3. Nesco Snackmaster Express dehydrator
This dehydrator features an adjustable thermostat to provide the flexibility needed to ensure the best quality results while a unique drying system provides fast, even and nutritious drying, without mixing flavors. Its opaque Vita-Save exterior surface blocks harmful light to help retain more of the food’s nutrients and vitamins during the drying process allowing you to enjoy your favorite snacks the way they were intended to taste. Also included are two fruit roll sheets, flexible screens for drying small items and three spice packets for making jerky.
Pros: This dehydrator expands to allow up to 12 trays and the drying pressure automatically adjusts to the number of trays.
Cons: Thermal fuse may blow easily.