As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Beef Jerky is a tasty treat that can get pricey.
Making on your own beef jerky, DIY-style, allows for saving money, knowing exactly what you are eating (ingredients), and having some fun along the way. Here is the review of the best dehydrators for beef jerky for 2020.
This list will focus on the dehydrators that work the best for beef jerky, but you may find that your dehydrator can do a lot more.
Once you choose the perfect dehydrator, you can be on your way to making beef jerky with no additives. When you dehydrate your food, it maintains it’s natural vitamins and minerals.
1. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
If you are looking to start dehydrating your food, one of the primary reasons is to save money. This dehydrator is an ideal choice for people on a budget but is also a great option for those who are unfamiliar with dehydrating.
The Dehydro dehydrator has four expandable trays with four drying racks included. If you feel like that’s not enough, this dehydrator is expandable for up to eight trays. Aside from being a solid choice for beef jerky, you can also dehydrate fruits and vegetables.
It works by creating consistent airflow from the fan mounted on the bottom. You won’t need to rotate the trays or set the temperature. Plug this dehydrator in, and it sets itself to 165 degrees and begins. You can watch it work through the see-through cover. Note that it does make some noise while it’s working, so you may want to use it away from your gathering.
When you are done, it’s easy to clean because you can dunk every element into some dishwater or keep it simple and place them in the dishwasher.
- It has four trays
- See-through cover
- Dishwasher safe
- Does not have an on/off switch
- Only operates at 165 degrees
- Doesn’t work for herbs
2. Cosori Premium Food Dehydrator Machine
The Cosori Premium Food Dehydrator is one of the more expensive dehydrators on the list, but with everything it can do, you’re likely to find that it’s a worthy investment. If you plan on making beef jerky on a regular basis, the Cosori dehydrator will easily pay for itself. While it’s a premium dehydrator for beef jerky, it’s perfect if you decide to expand on the foods you want to dehydrate.
The Cosori dehydrator comes with five stainless steel drying trays, one mesh screen, and one fruit roll sheet. It even has recipes, so you can get started right away with new things to try. The control panel makes setting the timer easy. It gives you a bit more control than other dehydrators when it comes to temperature.
When you are setting the time, you will have to set it in 30-minute increments, and it goes up to 48 hours. Once the timer is done, you don’t have to worry because it has an automatic shutoff. If, for any reason, the dehydrator overheats, it will turn off automatically as well.
This premium dehydrator is also one of the quietest ones on the market. The fan is specialized with an internal rear-mounted system. It won’t roast your food as it dries it out; giving you the perfect snack every time.
- Food-grade stainless steel
- Temperature control between 95-165
- BPA-free trays
- Dishwasher Safe
- Auto Shutoff
- Set timer in 30-minute increments
- Six trays are small
- Mesh and fruit tray won’t work well for drying herbs
- No options to expand or buy more accessories
3. Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
The Nesco Snackmaster Pro is a powerful dehydrator. With a 600 watt powerhead, you can dehydrate foods quickly and safely. This is the only dehydrator on the list that doesn’t come with a see-through lid or door. This dehydrator is ideal for users who want to make large quantities of beef jerky due to it’s fast dehydration time.
It is also the only dehydrator that comes with a top-loaded fan. The heating system is a good one for even heat distribution. You won’t have to rotate the trays. Please don’t set it and forget it, though there are no automatic timers on this model.
You will need to have a good idea of what you need to set your thermostat to and how long you will need to cook it. The thermostat is an adjustable dial that can be set at various temperatures between 95 and 160 degrees. You won’t be completely lost if you aren’t an expert because it does have temperature settings suggestions written right on the lid.
It tells you what temperature you should use for fruits, nuts, and herbs. If you are only looking to make beef jerky that’s okay too. This dehydrator comes with a recipe booklet and beef jerky seasonings.
It has everything you need to get started right away. If you decide later that five trays aren’t enough, you can always add more because it’s expandable.
- Temperature control between 95-160
- Five trays
- Comes with a recipe book
- Can’t see food while it is dehydrating
- BPA free trays
- No timers
Each of these dehydrators on this list has been quite different. Each fan is in a different place and has various dehydrating benefits. One thing that is for sure is that using a dehydrator to lock in nutrients and dry your food is a great idea.
While we love all of the dehydrators on our list for various reasons, our top choice is the Cosori Premium Dehydrator. The food grade stainless steel trays are durable and easy to clean and the whisper-quiet operation is a nice change from noisier dehydrators. Overall, its performance and ability to dehydrate beef jerky is what has us sold.
When choosing a dehydrator, ask yourself what’s most important. Consider the price, accessories, capacity, airflow, noise, and how easy the dehydrator is to use. No matter what you choose, you’ve already won by choosing to make your own nutritious additive-free jerky.