tomato on food dehydrator

If you're like me, a food dehydrator is a dream come true. After all, what could be better than having banana chips on hand at all times? Add this to the option of having homemade beef jerky and saving fruit before it goes bad. But to truly enjoy this sort of treat, you need the best food dehydrator available.

Food wastage is an unfortunate reality, and we must do our best to limit it. Think of all the people who are starving the world over. With modern technology like food dehydrators, we can avoid throwing out food and save some cash as well.

The food dehydration process involves drying out most of the water content from food. Since bacteria thrive on moisture, it won’t react to the food after this process. Choosing just the best food dehydrator can be challenging, but a little research will make the decision easier.

A Battle Against Food Waste: How to Choose an Awesome Food Preserving Machine

food dehydrator nesco brand

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When you want to choose the best food dehydrator for your kitchen adventures, you should know what to consider first.

Here are a few factors to get you started:

Capacity Is Worthwhile

You might want to have several trays and a large enough dehydrator to make lots of snacks. However, some tiny homes might not have much kitchen space.

We’d recommend a stackable dehydrator so you can save counter and cabinet space if you have a small kitchen. Such options usually have a lot of racks. So you can easily change them when it’s necessary.

It’s All About Air and Heat Passage

If you do get a stackable model, you should keep in mind that it could distribute heat a little unevenly. That’s especially the case if you put in more than a dozen racks.

If you’re dehydrating multiple kinds of food regularly, it’s time to get a large model and keep rotating the trays. The larger versions will usually have a fan at the back of each tray.

Quality Standards Apply to Food Dehydrators Too

The best food dehydrator options don’t come cheap. Therefore, you should be absolutely sure of the quality before investing. If one device is made of plastic, it’s wise to ensure its BPA-free. Otherwise, the result of your drying process will be lower in taste and quality.

If a dehydrator is made of metal, it should have a certified rating from the FDA. We recommend this option over plastic, especially if you plan on drying a lot of foods. Extensive use tends to wear out plastic over a relatively shorter period of time.

Portability Makes Everything Easier

If you travel a lot, you might want to take the best food dehydrator with you. Again, stackable dehydrators are among the best choices here. These will shrink to the size of a regular lunchbox once you remove a few trays.

Plus, plastic dehydrators are light and won’t give you trouble at the airport metal detector.

You can also plan to use the device in public, such as with a food stall. If this is the case, you should go for a plastic one. Metal dehydrators are illegal for public use in certain areas and might present a hazard.

Noise Pollution Can Be Manageable

Even the best food dehydrator may make some noise. After all, the functionality of such machines is linked with the use of several fans. Still, some models tend to make more noise than others.

The noise factor might not be an issue with you if you need the device for personal use. If you’re using the device in a public area or risk disturbing the neighbors, a quieter model is best.

User-Friendliness Should Be the Main Concern

Dehydrating food may seem like a complicated process. But the right device will make it easy. Again, though, you should look for models that will make the process as simple as possible.

Ideally, you’d want to get the best food dehydrator that will dry out food without the need for tray rotation. That will allow you to switch it on and get on with your life until your snacks are ready. Since the dehydration preparation may take hours, an easy option is a blessing.

How We Reviewed the Best Food Dehydrator

slice apples on food dehydrator

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We’ve reviewed some of the best food dehydrators on the market today according to the considerations above. This assures us about quality, performance, user experience, and many other aspects of each item.

Some Really Worthwhile Options to Dehydrate Foods

Below are some excellent options to consider when you’re looking for the best food dehydrator.

COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine

COSORI
1,605 Reviews
COSORI Dehydrator Machine (50 Recipes) Food Dryer for Fruit, Meat,...
  • Designed in California. Comes with 5 BPA-Free Trays, 1 Mesh Screen, 1 Fruit Roll Sheet, 1 Manual, 1Recipe. Check out our...
  • EASY FOR BEGINNERS - With digital timer and adjustable temperature control. Time ranges: 30min-48hours, set the timer in...
  • VERSATILE DEHYDRATOR - Dehydrate beef jerky, turkey jerky, meat, fruits, vegetables for a healthy life; Make non-addict...

The COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine is capable of drying out nuts, fruits, and vegetables. You can also use it to dry out meats and fruits of all kinds to make some delicious jerky and roll-ups. It comes with the standard timer and temperature control features, and the material is thankfully BPA-free.

This one is also FDA compliant and ETL-listed. That, along with the two-year warranty, should ease our minds about quality and safety. 

Fortunately, this dehydrator is easy to use, with digital controls and a timer that goes up to 48 hours. You have a mesh screen, a fruit roll sheet, and a wide temperature range here as well.

According to the customer reviews, the COSORI food dehydrator is among the best choices one can get for making dried snacks easily.

Its only downside is that the trays inside aren’t dishwasher-safe. Still, a bit of soaking should make hand washing easy. In any case, most appliance parts call for hand washing in order to preserve durability.

New House Kitchen 5 Round Dehydrator

New House
193 Reviews
New House Kitchen Compact Multi-Tier Dehydrator with 5 BPA Free Round...
  • DELICIOUSLY DEHYDRATES: Superior air flow for even and consistent drying, every time. Great for making homemade granola...
  • SIMPLE TO USE: This dehydrator has a simple one-touch operation for ease of use. The transparent trays and lid make it...
  • PRESERVE FOOD LONGER: Cut down on food waste by dehydrating food – great for making snacks, breakfast granola, beef...

The New House Kitchen 5 Round Dehydrator is a BPA-free and stackable option. It has transparent trays for easy viewing and can make your beef jerky and several preserved foods without much hassle.

It boasts superior airflow, so we can be sure of a consistent and even drying process. That way, you can feel free to try out new and exciting recipes, including granola bars, dried herbs, trail mix, and fruit leather.

You get a one-touch operation here. It means that the device is easy to use. We also like the fact that the trays are adjustable, so there can be different shelf heights for various foods.

Unfortunately, the trays might seem flimsy to some users. We’d suggest sticking with hand washing, though the details do say the parts are dishwasher-safe.

Gourmia GFD1680

Gourmia
663 Reviews
Gourmia GFD1680 Countertop Electric Food Dehydrator - 6 Drying Trays -...
  • Healthy & delicious : A more flavorful, preservative-free, and cost-friendly alternative to commercial products.
  • 6 Trays : Simultaneously dry a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, or meats.
  • Digital controls: LED touch interface allows for easy setting of time and temperature.

The Gourmia GFD1680 is a premium countertop food dehydrator with six drying shelves. It will provide ample space for all your dried food needs. The operation is fortunately quite easy given the digital thermostat and preset temperature settings.

The Gourmia food dehydrator can help you create some relatively healthier snacks. You can find beef jerky and dried fruits on the market, but they usually contain additional preservatives, sugar, and salt. With a dehydrator like this one, you’ll be able to control what goes into your snacks.

The efficient power consumption, transparent door, and heavy ABS housing really draw us towards this choice. We also love the adjustable shelves, the quiet operation, and the impressive airflow that eliminates the need for rotation.

If you do decide to go with this one, though, you should make sure you have the space for it. It isn't your standard lightweight dehydrator, so clear a space on the counter.

Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine

Magic Mill
758 Reviews
Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine - Digital Adjustable Timer |...
  • REAR MOUNT FAN FOR SUPPER HEAT DISTRIBUTION – DRIES FOOD EVENLY The electric dehydration machine is equipped with a...
  • DIGITAL THERMOSTAT AND TIMER- AUTOMATIC SHUT OFF WHEN TIMER DONE -- An adjustable temperature and timer ensure you to...
  • SPECIOUS ADJUSTABLE STAINLESS STEEL TRAYS – INCLUDED FRUIT ROLL TRAYS AND HANGING RACK FOR JERKY Use the trays for...

The Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine is a cinch to set up and a breeze to operate. You can control the temperature and set the timer through a digital panel. With just a few taps, you can look forward to dried and preserved foods in a matter of hours.

This dehydrator has nine stainless steel trays, which is a nice change from all those plastic options. There’s also a feature to protect the device from overheating. That’s a great relief, as constant monitoring isn’t viable for everyone.

This device is sure to perform as required. The rear-mounted drying fan will give you proper air circulation, with no need for manual rotation. If you simply must check on your precious snacks, the transparent window will provide you with a nice view.

It’s again a large option. Therefore, you should make sure that you have the room for it. On the upside, the large size reportedly makes this dehydrator quite easy to clean.

STX International Food Dehydrator

STX International
91 Reviews
STX International STX-DEH-600W-SST-CB Stainless Steel Dehydra 10 Tray...
  • 600 Watts of Drying Power - Stainless Steel Construction - Heat Retentive Front Door
  • 10 Stainless Steel, Dishwasher safe, “Fine Mesh”, Trays with 1/4" X 1/4" openings
  • Horizontal Air Flow System with Rear Mounted Motor & Fan ensuring more Uniform Drying

The STX International Food Dehydrator is among a well-received series by this company. It comes with a handy 40-hour timer, a free cookbook, and 10 trays for all your dehydrating needs. We especially appreciate the stainless steel construction, especially the heat-retentive front door.

Overall, it’s a great option if you want dishwasher-safe stainless steel tray along with several other features. Unfortunately, there might be a rattling sound during the operation. That doesn’t affect the performance, though.

Guide Gear Food Dehydrator

Guide Gear 10-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator - 750 Watts
2 Reviews
Guide Gear 10-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator - 750 Watts
  • For making jerky or preserving fruit, vegetables and herbs
  • Rear-mounted heating element
  • 85–150°F adjustable thermostat

The Guide Gear Food Dehydrator is perfect for making jerky, drying fruit, and several other preserving techniques. The body and parts are made of plastic, which should make cleanup and transporting easier. The appearance is also quite nice, so it wouldn’t look bad on your countertop.

The rear-mounted heating element and innovative door design make for great airflow. That’s why we’re prepared to believe that the rating is still accurate.

Homdox Food Dehydrator Machine

Food Dehydrator Machine, Digital Timer and Temperature Control, 5...
704 Reviews
Food Dehydrator Machine, Digital Timer and Temperature Control, 5...
  • ✓Timer-72 hours timing for precise drying time and temperature choose drying temperatures from 35º-70º C
  • ✓LCD digital temperature settings: Easy to watch, the accurate temperature setting allows you to dry out different...
  • ✓No rotation needed: The bottom-mounted fan and heating element provide consistant air flow for optimum drying. Two...

The Homdox Food Dehydrator Machine boasts a digital timer, temperature control, and about five trays. The latter is made of BPA-free plastic and suitable for several kinds of meat, veggies, fruits, etc. In fact, you can even try your hand at dry soup mixes with the Homdox Food Dehydrator.

After all, this option comes with a whopping 72-hour timer and a wide temperature range. You don’t need rotation, especially with the bottom-mounted heating and fan.

The two-year warranty further increases our confidence that we’re getting a quality product. However, this isn’t one of the larger units. You should confirm that the capacity is sufficient before placing an order.

Chef Sifu Digital Food Dehydrator

Chef Sifu Digital Food Dehydrator Electric Machine - Professional...
113 Reviews
Chef Sifu Digital Food Dehydrator Electric Machine - Professional...
  • Create fruit leathers, jerky and even treats for your dog without any additives or added flavors
  • Dry fruits and vegetables to create healthy, quick snacks for you and your family
  • Hot Hurricane Technology circulation allows for an even dehydration

The Chef Sifu Digital Food Dehydrator is a professional electric machine that can dry out several kinds of food. There are four mesh screens with this package, along with five stackable trays and a fruit roll tray. It makes for a versatile option that should suit most users.

The adjustable thermostat and clear cover make the whole operation very simple.Using this food dehydrator will help you cut down on empty calories like crackers, chips, etc.

You can fulfill your crunchy cravings with some apple crisps instead. With the lightweight construction here, you can easily take this machine wherever you like.

If you’re a food drying novice, the lack of clear instructions might be an issue. While they do provide a manual, it doesn’t specify which temperature is right for different fruits. However, a quick Google search could probably answer such burning questions.

Commercial Chef Compact Dehydrator

Commercial Chef CCD100W6 Compact Dehydrator, Beef Jerky Maker, Food...
578 Reviews
Commercial Chef CCD100W6 Compact Dehydrator, Beef Jerky Maker, Food...
  • DRYING CAPACITY - Equipped with 280W of drying power, this food dehydrator removes moisture and locks in the original...
  • 5 LAYERS OF TRAYS - Designed with 5 circular trays, which is enough to hold most food items and create uniform drying; 5...
  • ADJUSTABLE THERMOSTAT RANGE - Features adjustable temperature range. Drying temperature can be set from 104 degrees to...

The Commercial Chef Compact Dehydrator can make your beef jerky, fruit roll-ups, and preserve your food as well. It’s simple to operate, fast in drying, and can handle all kinds of natural snacks. You can even make little treats for your pet without breaking the bank.

It confirms that the airflow system is indeed consistent and safe. Though this has a knob for adjustment instead of digital controls, the feature is still convenient.

The trays here might be a little flimsy, but they get the job done. They’re also not dishwasher-safe. But that isn’t a deal breaker for us.

Wondering Which One to Choose?

dehydrated tomato on  food dehydrator

Image via Pexels

The very best food dehydrator for your needs will depend on what you require. Do you want a large unit, a small portable one, or something in between? Some might prefer plastic trays for the easy cleanup while others shudder to think of plastic touching their food.

Have you made your final choice, or will you spring for another item we haven't covered? Tell us the details in the comments below!

Featured Image via commons.wikimedia