Drying various foods through dehydration is an ancient practice. And you can find really old recipes containing sundried tomatoes, dates, or raisins.
Preserving food through dehydration is quite effective, and luckily, there are home appliances that we can use to that end. A food dehydrator keeps fruits, vegetables, and herbs edible for decades, and the taste of these foods is pretty amazing as well.
It’s like all of the goodness in the fresh fruits is concentrated in the dried form. The question is then; are they also nutritious? And is a food dehydrator healthy? Let’s take a look…
Are Dehydrated Foods Healthy?
Dehydrated foods are almost identical to the fresh form minus the water content. Various studies showed that effective drying keeps almost all of the proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibers, fats, and carbohydrates as the fresh form.
Furthermore, it was found that leaving fruits and vegetables in the fridge for a few days reduces their nutritional content drastically. Thus, dehydrating fresh produce is a great way to preserve them in the best possible form.
And speaking of preserving foods, there are several traditional methods of prolonging the shelf life of edible materials. Pickling, freezing, sugaring, or vacuum packing are all nice, but they all lose important nutrients while being processed, and they don’t last as long as dehydrated foods.
Possible Health Benefits of Using a Food Dehydrator
Using a dehydrator can be quite beneficial to you, especially, if you consume dried food in the right amount. Here’s how.
It’s a healthy snack that’s easy to prepare and carry, instead of binging on sweets or salty chips.
It’s a good source of dietary fiber, which is essential for digestion and general biological system functionality.
It provides an energy boost that’s perfect for the energy slump one often feels around midday.
An easy and economic way to stock up the pantry with highly nutritious foods. The extended expiry date helps a lot.
The high content of antioxidants improves immunity and speeds up the recovery time from various illnesses.
Dried foods have a low risk of contamination with bacteria or mold, as they don’t contain the humidity necessary for their growth. This is a big plus, especially for the young ones.
A Few Concerns
Too much of a good thing is often not so good. And here’s the catch; dried foods are much smaller in their dehydrated form than in their original fresh form. That’s why it’s quite easy to binge a little bit more on dehydrated snacks.
Here are some points that you might want to bear in mind, so you can keep your consumption within healthy and optimal limits.
The sugar content of a handful of dehydrated snacks can be pretty high. Care should be taken to avoid consuming too many calories.
Vitamins A, C, and B often remain intact after drying, however, some processes could reduce or eliminate them entirely. It’s best then to include alternative fresh sources in your diet.
Some dehydrated foods have a higher than usual vitamin K content, which might affect the efficacy of some medications.
Dried fruits and vegetables have almost no water at all, so you need to make sure that you’re getting sufficient hydration from other foods and beverages.
The Best Ways to Eat Dehydrated Foods
Snacks and Salads
Dehydrated foods are quite versatile, and you can just grab a handful of dried apple chips, raisins, dates, or berries and enjoy them as a snack. They can also be sprinkled over a salad, a nice bowl of oats, or on various desserts.
Cooking and Soups
You can use dried produce in making delicious soups. Dried potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and various other herbs, are perfect additions to a hot soup or broth. They’re fabulous in terms of taste, texture, and of course, nutritional content.
Trail Mixes and Quick Lunches
Trail mixes are another popular way to use your dried goodies. Throw in some dried fruits together with a generous serving of nuts, and you’ve got yourself an energy boost in a little packet. This compact meal is perfect for work, college, hikes, and traveling. We don’t always have the luxury of packing a big lunch, so these mixes can be a nice alternative.
Special Cuisines and Recipes
Some cuisines rehydrate dried foods before using them. For example, Moroccan recipes often require leaving raisins in water overnight or soaking them in hot water for a couple of hours. The fruits then become plump again, and they give a different flavor to the food.
A food dehydrator is clearly a healthy choice. Fruits, vegetables, and other greens that spoil within a week can be preserved for months or even decades. And the best part is that they retain almost all of their initial nutrients.
This method is also quite economic if you compare the price of dried fruits in commercial venues to homemade ones. This increased accessibility to better foods is highly recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Are you looking to upgrade your dehydrator to more of a commercial-grade machine? Need to be able to dry fruits or herbs in large capacity? Do you only use appliances that are energy-efficient? Regardless of your needs, we are confident the commercial dehydrator you need is out there. To help you narrow it down, we have put together a list of the 5 best commercial dehydrators you can find right now. So let’s get started.
Using only 1.5 kWh of electricity for 10 hours of run time, it is obvious why we choose Elechomes’ dehydrator as the most energy-efficient, but that’s not the only perk about this machine. Made of food-grade 304 stainless steel, this dehydrator fits 8 trays. NOTE: There is one tray with a notch on one side. This is the top tray and is the only tray that will fit there. At an affordable price, you will receive the BPA-free, stainless steel dryer, 8 stainless steel trays, 9 free dishwasher-safe accessories, 50 printable recipes, and 4 easy-to-use presets with your purchase. The accessories include silicone mesh screens, fruit roll sheets, and silicone gloves.
To make sure this dehydrator will fit in the allotted kitchen space, allow 20 x 14 x 12 inches. This dryer is equipped with a dual-LED touchscreen that has enough space to show the temperature and the remaining time at the same time and making it easy-breezy to adjust the settings. The inside of the dryer is adorned with an interior light to help you keep tabs on the food drying inside and a right-mounted fan allowing for horizontal airflow which provides consistent drying. This particular dehydrator allows for temperatures ranging from 100-172 degrees Farhenheit and an adjustable time from 00:01-99:00 hours.
Part of what makes this machine energy-efficient is its ability to shut off automatically. Even the light on the inside will turn off on its own after 5 minutes! To boost efficiency more, the dryer also has a tempered glass door and is only 350 watts. Previous users were impressed with how easy the racks were to clean, with the option to purchase additional trays in the manual.
350-watt energy-efficient food dryer
20 x 14 x 12 inches
Includes 9 free accessories and 50 printable recipes
Right-mounted fan for horizontal, even drying
4 presets and an auto shut-off feature
Dual-LED touchscreen display
Often have to rotate the trays to get food to dry evenly
Requires longer drying times if trying to make a large batch at the same time
Boosting 1000 Watts, this commercial dehydrator from Vivohome holds a whooping 10 trays. More flexible than Elechomes dehydrator discussed above, Vivohome’s machine is designed for temperatures from 95-167 degrees Fahrenheit and measures 19.1 x 23 x 19.1 inches. This dryer features a digital timer and temperature controls, but no interior light which can make it difficult to determine the process of the drying without pulling the trays out. The trays that are included are BPA-free and measure 15 x 16 inches.
This drying machine’s 97% vitamin and mineral retention rate makes it a strong contender amongst its competition, being one of the best you can buy. Though this dehydrator is lacking free recipes, its 12-month warranty makes up for it. Being detachable, the trays are easy to clean and store when the dehydrator is not in use. If you are planning to use your dryer for mostly fruits, vegetables, and herbs, this is a solid choice. One of the main goals of dehydrating foods is to remove the moisture from the food while retaining the flavor and nutrients. This is dehydrator will definitely help you get the job done.
1000-watt 10 tray food drying machine
19.1 x 23 x 19.1 inches
12-month warranty included
Digital timer and temperature control
BPA-Free, easy-to-clean trays
No interior light
Some users complained about poor packaging upon its arrival
For the amount of money you will spend, there are not that many features
Perfect for drying herbs, fruit, veggies, meat, and making beef jerky, Ivation’s 600-watt commercial dehydrator isn’t on the list just because the accessories are all dishwasher safe. It is on the list for its many benefits! This food dryer from Ivation holds 6 trays at once and measures 17.75 x 13.37 x 12.25 inches. The 13 X 12 inch stainless steel trays and drip tray are BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
Inside the dehydrator, the shelf heights can be adjusted. Also on the inside, in the back, sits an automatic fan that helps circulate the air so the food dries evenly. Previous users have complimented this machine for how surprisingly quiet the fan is and how it perfectly dries the food. This food dryer has a wide temperature range of 95 - 167 degrees Fahrenheit. The timer can be set to automatically turn off at any designated time or in 30-minute increments for up to 24 hours. None of the other dehydrators on the list can do that!
600-watt commercial dehydrator
17.75 x 13.37 x 12.25 inches
BPA-free, 304-grade stainless steel trays
Quiet, rear-mounted fan
Limited temperature settings
May require longer drying time if making a large batch all at once
The manual included is lacking detailed information
This 12 tray, low-energy dehydrator from VVinRC is one heck of a steal, especially if you plan to use it to make beef jerky! With its rear-mounted, horizontal fan, this food dryer is perfect for jerky and fruit leather. Requiring 1000 watts, this 18.3 x 15.7 x 16.9 inches food dehydrating machine has a temperature range of 86 - 194 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, this is the only dehydrator on the list that allows you to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit! All you have to do is press the button labeled “Temp” 3 times to switch between the two.
Another reason this food dryer is such a great bargain is the delicious recipes you get for free with your purchase; there are 67 of them to be exact. They are a great way to learn everything this commercial food dryer is capable of. Another perk that sets this one aside from others on the list is the ability to use silicone dehydrator sheets on the inside to help keep it clean. Plus all the parts, including the racks and trays, are dishwasher safe making for an even easier clean-up. As if everything we already mentioned wasn’t enough, this specific machine has been applauded by its users for its amazing ability to lock in nutrition, which keeps approximately 97.7% of the food’s vitamins and minerals.
1000-watt commercial, food-grade dehydrator
18.3 x 15.7 x 16.9 inches
Retains up to 97.7% of the vitamins and minerals within the dried food
Rear-mounted, horizontal fan for great airflow
BPA-free and dishwasher safe accessories
The drip tray could be bigger to catch all of the droppings and grease.
Only have 30 days to notify the manufacturer of any damages or non-working parts
This is by far the most expensive dehydrator that made it to the list, but you get a lot of bang for your buck with a total of 170 liters of drying space. This tabletop, double door dryer holds an outstanding 32 trays which are made of 304 stainless steel. This 3,000-watt drying machine is great for bars, cafes, and restaurants due to its incredible space. To make sure this will fit in your kitchen, you will need a space measuring at least 31.5 x 18.31 x 24.41 inches.
Made with tempered glass doors and using smart temperature technology this machine is capable of rapid dehumidification resulting in shorter drying times. Also, unlike any of the others on the list, it is available in two colors: red or black. However, there is no way to specify which color you receive when ordering it. As one last perk of this oversize capacity food dryer is you can purchase it to use either 110v or 220v power outlets. All you have to do is make the request at the time of purchase.
What is the size of the drying space inside of the dryer?
This specific machine measures 170 liters on the inside, which is ample space for large batches of drying food.
Is this 110V compatible?
Yes, you can actually contact the manufacturer to let them know you are U.S.-based and they will customize your food dryer to have the 110V electrical plug as opposed to the 220V it typically comes with.
Which One is Right For You?
Deciding on the right commercial dehydrator for you can be tough. However, we hope this breakdown of different food dehydrators can help make that decision easier for you. If you are needing to dehydrate fruit, veggies, grains, or herbs in large capacities, the oversize commercial dehydrator from Kolice is definitely your best bet. If your wallet won’t allow for it, the 1000-watt 12 layer food drying machine from VVinRC is the next best option, and way easier on the bank account.
If you are looking to upgrade for your own personal use, or because you are sick of using the stove, Elchomes’ 8 tray dehydrator should be just what you need and at a great price too! If you were hoping to save even more money, and require even less space, there is no going wrong with the 6 tray dehydrator from Ivation. If you decide to purchase any of the products listed, please take the time to let us know how it works after your first use in the comments. Looking for ideas on what to make once you get your new commercial dehydrator, check out the best food for dehydrators here.
Everyone knows fruits and veggies are an essential part of a healthy diet.
But unfortunately, sometimes fruit will go bad faster than you can eat it.
Luckily, there are a handful of ways you can prevent throwing away your food at the end of the week.
One of the most popular ways of preserving your food is using a dehydrator.
Investing in a good dehydrator can get expensive.
But no worries. Today we are going to show you how to dehydrate fruit without a dehydrator.
Let's get started.
What Foods Can Be Dehydrated?
Before we share our tips and tricks, let's clarify what can be dehydrated. Even though you can dehydrate pretty much any fresh fruit, not all fruits dehydrate the same. Here are some of the most common dehydrated food items:
Fruit: Apples, bananas, cherries, pears, apricots, berries, plums, etc. They can be used for yummy, on-the-go snacks or pureed into fruit leather.
Vegetables: Tomatoes, carrots, beans, onions, mushrooms, etc. Dried veggies are commonly used in soups and stews or backpacking meals.
Meat and Fish: Chicken, ground beef, turkey, sliced or cured meats, beef jerky, fresh fish, etc. Also, they are commonly used for backpacking meals or for adding to stews or soups.
Nuts/Seeds: Walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, etc. When soaked after sprouting, nuts and seeds can be dried to make them more digestible.
Herbs: Basil, oregano, dill, mint, parsley, lemon balm, etc. They are typically used in teas or baking.
Pro Tip: When selecting your fruits, go for the ripe ones. They will have more flavor.
After you have dried your choice of foods, you can reap the benefits by adding them to your daily diet. Dried foods are perfect for smoothies and snacks, especially for hiking and camping.
Allows you to buy in season and preserve for later.
You can save time from shopping.
You can buy in bulk when prices are low.
You'll get a great supply of antioxidants and fiber.
They take up less space in your cabinets.
Great for snacks while traveling.
How to Prepare Food for Dehydrating
To ensure the food will dry evenly, prepare the food by slicing the pieces into evenly thick pieces. If the pieces are dried thoroughly, it is very likely they will spoil while in storage. We recommend slicing fruit into ¼ - ½ inches thick. There are tools such as an apple slicer that will help ensure your pieces are cut the same. If all you have is a sharp paring knife, that will get the job done as well.
We also recommend using a peeler to remove the skin from most foods. By removing the skin, you avoid bacteria or chemicals trapped in the skin.
If you're drying food to use for soup or stews, you may want to have a food processor to mince and dice any foods as necessary.
Pro Tip: If you do not have a peeler, you can use a simple hack. First, place the fruit in boiling water for 60 seconds. Second, dip the fruit in cold water for an additional 60 seconds or until the skin starts to lift from the fruit. Finally, the skin should quickly come off the fruit. This works well on peaches, apricots, and tomatoes.
If you are looking to preserve the color, you can use the following to extend the shelf life of your dehydrated foods:
Ascorbic Acid: Start by dissolving 1 tbsp of pure ascorbic acid into one qt of water. Next, add the sliced fruits and let them sit for no more than 1 hour. Once they are done soaking, remove, drain, and rinse them off before adding them to the trays you will be using for dehydrating.
Citric Acid: Begin by dissolving 1 tbsp of citric acid (in crystalline form) into one qt of water. Add the fruit and soak for no more than 1 hour to give your fruit a tarter taste. You can typically find citric acid at your local grocery store.
Lemon Juice: Stir 1 cup of lemon juice into one qt of water and dip fruit into the mixture for no more than 10 minutes. Fruit juice is typically not as effective as ascorbic acid, but it will leave a fruit tart taste.
Sodium Bisulfite: To start, dissolve 1 tsp of sodium bisulfite powder into one qt of water. Next, soak the fruit slices for 2 minutes at a time. It would be best if you never reused a sodium bisulfite mixture because it becomes less effective. Additionally, be aware that sulfite allergies are possible when using this method to prep your fruit.
How to Dehydrate Fruit Using the Oven
Using an oven is the most common way to dehydrate food. It is easy to do and requires minimal attention. However, it's also the least efficient way to dehydrate food.
Nevertheless, here's how you do it:
First, turn your oven on to the lowest setting, between 130-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is ready, place the fruit on the parchment paper-lined tray. Now place the tray in the middle of the oven, leave them to dry for 6 to 12 hours.
To give you a better idea of how long to dry your fruit, here is a list of popular dehydrated fruits and their average drying times:
Peaches, plums, pears, apples, and bananas = 6 hours
If you would prefer to dry your fruits faster, you can set the oven temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. But beware, you'll lose a lot of flavors the higher the temperature is.
Please note: all ovens are different, so it will take some trial and error to figure out the right amount of time for your oven.
The best fruits to dehydrate in the oven include:
Pro Tip: If you have a cooling rack, place it over the baking sheet. This encourages airflow underneath the food being dried. Plus, you can leave the oven door slightly open while the fruit is drying to let out moisture. Keep in mind: airflow is just as necessary as temperature when drying fruit.
How to Dehydrate Fruit Using the Sun
Sun drying is usually more common for herbs, but you can use it for fruits as well. Tomatoes are commonly dried in the sun because it adds an extra level of sweetness to them.
If you choose to dry your fruit in the sun, you will have to be patient as it can take a few days for the fruit to dry to perfection.
First, you want to line a tray and place the slices of fruit in a single layer close to one another.
Next, place the tray in a spot that gets a lot of sunlight.
The outside temperature will need to be at least 85 degrees Fahrenheit to sun-dry food. This means you will need to bring the trays inside at night.
People in colder climates make sure to dry foods during the summer months. With the proper preparations, you dry food that will last you until next summer.
Some of the best fruits to dry in the sun include:
Pro Tip: Place mesh/net material or cheesecloth on top of the dying fruit to keep flies, bees, and other insects out.
If you are looking to dry out some herbs, we recommend making a herb-drying box. If you aren't into building things, you can hang the herbs using twist ties. This allows you to adjust the herbs as they shrink as they dry out.
How to Dehydrate Fruit Using a Toaster Oven
Using a toaster oven to dehydrate food is the same as using a regular oven.
Set the oven to bake at the lowest temperature. Then leave the fruit to dry in the toaster oven with the door slightly open to allow the moisture to escape.
The amount of time the fruit takes to dry may take an hour or two longer than it would in an oven. It is also essential that you keep your eye on the fruit as it may need some rotating to get the fruit to dry evenly.
How to Use a Microwave to Dehydrate Food
It is probably one of the less common ways to dehydrate food in the microwave, but it still gets the job done.
For the most part, the microwave works best for fruits and herbs that dry quickly.
Due to the wide range of wattage by microwaves, it will take some testing to determine how long your food will dry. We recommend starting with 10-minute increments on the highest setting and using a glass plate for the best results.
Pro Tip: If you like your dried fruit crispy, add the microwave dried fruit to the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. Once they have sat to cool, you can enjoy the extra crispy fruit snacks.
My mom always had these mason jars in her pantry full of colorful dried fruits and vegetables. Apart from the dried mango slices, which I used to gnaw on as a kid and up till now, I never knew why and how she dehydrated all this food.
It turns out food dehydration is a smart preservation practice that provides healthy snacks, preserves produce for extended periods of time, and helps add a nice touch of flavor to some recipes.
In this article, I’ll tell you why you should start dehydrating food, and I’ll walk you through 12 types of foods that are perfect for dehydration.
Five Reasons Why You Should Dehydrate Food
Food dehydration is an old practice that our ancestors developed to preserve food. Later on, we kept following this ritual because of its health and financial benefits. Here are some of the reasons why you should dehydrate food.
Dehydration is a method of food preservation, only with a twist that it doesn’t retain the food’s form and taste. Yet, it keeps its nutrients. So, you’re eating natural food without losing any of its nutritional value, and you’re 100% sure it’s free of additives or chemical preservatives. Imagine how good this is to your health in the world of processed food we live in now.
Portable & Low Maintenance
Dehydrated food like beef jerky, mango slices, or dehydrated apples serves as perfect on-the-go snacks for people on the road. When you don’t have the luxury of cooking and packing your own food, dehydrated food can be your savior.
Low Risk of Contamination
Given that you dehydrate the food well, you’re granting that it’s safe from bacterial contamination or fungal growth.
Foodborne infections thrive in wet environments. By dehydrating food, stripping it of its moisture, and storing it in air sealed jars, you’re eliminating the possibilities of contamination.
Energy and Money Saving
When you start adopting the concept of food dehydration, you can plan your grocery shopping better. You can bulk up on fresh produce without worrying about its spoilage since you’ll be refrigerating some and dehydrating the rest so that you can preserve them for a long time.
You’ll get to know how beneficial these dried food are when you’re stuck in a recipe missing an ingredient and some dehydrated veggies save your day!
Intuitively, food dehydration cuts down your waste from spoiled food since you’re lowering the chances of food spoilage in the first place. Instead of throwing out spoiled produce that’s been sitting for a month at the bottom of your refrigerator, you’ll be preserving it efficiently and using it through a long interval of time.
Dehydrated fruits are delicious and nice to have around as healthy snacks. Besides, dehydration is a smart way to preserve produce if you have more than your need, where dehydrated fruits will stay a whole lot longer than frozen fruits. This way, you can make use of them before mold and rot get to them.
Bananas go bad quickly, and banana chips are a perfect crunchy option to snack on during the day. Kids love them!
Get some fresh, ripe bananas. Peel them and chop them into thin disks. If the bananas are too mushy to chop, firm them up in the fridge for a couple of hours before slicing them.
A nice tip I learned from my mother is to soak the bananas in diluted lemon juice after chopping them to protect them from browning. Ten to fifteen minutes would suffice.
Next, spread the banana slices on the dehydrator’s rack so as not to touch each other. Your crunchy bananas will be ready in two hours or so.
Dried strawberries aren’t any less tasteful than fresh ones. Yet, a lot of people don’t succeed in drying strawberries because they do it in large chunks. A whole strawberry or even one that’s cut in half won’t be as sweet as a regular strawberry. To get the best results, chop the strawberry really thin, 1\4 inch thick or so, and then place them in your dehydrator or oven.
Typically, strawberries will take somewhere between 4 to 8 hours to dry out. Check up on your dried strawberries every two hours or so.
These go great with granola to add some taste and color to your breakfast.
Dried mango slices taste like heaven, and their tropical look adds to their allure as well. You can easily dehydrate mango at home. All you need is to peel the mango, then slice it into long thin sections, and toss them in your dehydrator.
Mango is versatile when dehydrated. You can sprinkle some ground cinnamon, brown sugar, or red chili pepper ground on top of your mango slices before dehydrating them for different tastes.
It’ll take about four to six hours for mangos to dry out.
Not only are they among the healthiest fruits, but also apples can take different forms as dried or semi-dried snacks.
All you need to do is get the apples and chop them. Peeling them is optional. Personally, I prefer them unpeeled. Preheat the apples in citrus water before placing them into the dehydrator or oven.
Control your dehydrator’s temperature to determine the end result of your apples. You can dry them out like any other fruit or get them out when they reach a chewy texture. Lower the heat after an hour for best results.
You can add a fancy touch by coating apple slices with a thin layer of caramel. You can sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg and enjoy them as a winter snack.
Apricots are super sweet after they’re dried, which is why they appeal to many who’re on a sugar quitting quest as an alternative for sugary desserts.
You wash the apricots, cut them in halves, and put them in the dehydrator. There’s no need to flip them over.
Dehydrated grapes are how raisins are made. You can use the grapes as a whole if they’re seedless or split them into halves and remove the seeds if there are any.
Then, dehydrate them in the dehydrator for one or two days at 135 °F. During the lengthy process of dehydrating grapes into raisins, they’ll release their sweet sticky liquids, which might mess up the dehydrator and stick to the tray. That’s why you should shuffle the grapes now and then to prevent this (every six or eight hours would be fair).
Although they have less water content than fruits, vegetables take longer to dehydrate because they contain less acid. Typically, we dehydrate vegetables to produce chips that are healthy to snack on. Another possible use of dried vegetables is to use them with soup. They enrich the soup they’re added to, and they enhance its nutritional value.
Lastly, dehydration strips vegetables of their taste, so they might appeal to people who’d like to eat them for their health benefits, but they’re not big fans of their taste.
The rule of thumb is to blanch the vegetable before dehydrating it to retain its color and to prevent foodborne infections.
Potato is arguably the most popular vegetable in the world! We love potatoes because they’re flexible and available all-around the year. Think potato chips, wedges, french fries, mashed potatoes, cooked potatoes. Endless possibilities!
Potatoes are great candidates for dehydration too. You can make dehydrated potato chips for they’re convenient as an on-the-go snack. Plus, they’re less greasy than the regular chips. On the other side, you can prepare dried potato flakes to integrate into many recipes like meatloaves and the like.
To prepare potato flakes, you start with peeling a medium-sized potato, cut it into four quarters, and boil it in water for 15-20 minutes. Afterward, drain the potatoes and start mashing them into the well-known texture of mashed potatoes. We need to make sure that there are no lumps here. Dehydrating potato lumps won’t be exactly pretty!
Spread out the mashed potato paste onto your dehydrator’s fruit leather and put it in the dehydrator at a high temperature. Leave the potatoes to dry out for as long as they want (this can reach up to 20 hours or something). It’s better to do this overnight.
After your potato paste is dried out, break up the potato sheet into manageable crispy chunks and put them in the blender to get your potato flakes ready.
As for dried potato chips, you treat potatoes like any other fruit. Wash, peel, and slice, then put the sliced potato chips in water immediately to prevent their oxidation.
An important step is to blanch the potato chips in boiling water for about five minutes till they’re a bit tender. If a fork can stick to your potato chips, they’re ready for the next step.
Place the tender chips on the dehydrator’s tray without overlapping and let them dry out at 135 °F. The process will take about ten hours.
Rarely do we find someone who loves eating beetroot, probably because of its potent earthy flavor. Yet, it’s known for being a powerhouse vegetable, where it’s rich in fibers, iron, and folate.
Lucky for you, you can dehydrate beetroot to make savory beetroot crisps that are tasty and full of nutrients. They’re overall more beneficial than potato chips.
Bonus: They look amazing!
You start by thoroughly cleaning the beetroot and cutting the stem and all the leaves. Then, you peel it and slice it into thin chips. A mandolin or a peeler would yield better results than a regular knife here. Also, beware when you’re doing this, beetroot stains.
Place the beetroot chips on the dehydrator’s rack without overlapping them and prepare them for a long 10 to 12-hour journey there. A temperature of 125 °F would be convenient. You can use sea salt seasoning with beetroot chips.
Dried onions go well with all types of soup. You peel the onions, then -sadly- chop them and put them in the dehydrator. One of the merits of dehydrated onions is that you’ll do one long session of onion chopping, then you’ll rely on your dry onion stock for a long time. How smart is that!
Onions will require three to nine hours in the dehydrator, at a temperature ranging between 120 °F and 130 °F.
A perfect addition to pasta, dried tomatoes can elevate your dish to a whole new level.
Remove the top of your tomato and slice it into 1\4 inches thick. You can do the same with cherry tomatoes if you like, just cut them in halves. Spread the tomato chips on the dehydrator’s tray and put them in the dehydrator at a temperature of 200 °F. The process will take around five to nine hours.
Other Vegetables Eligible for Dehydration
Here’s a table of common vegetables to dehydrate, alongside their dehydration and blanching times.
Other Food Categories
Who doesn’t enjoy some beef jerky on holiday?
Lean meat is a perfect candidate for dehydration when it’s cut into fine slices, marinated well with salt and vinegar, then dehydrated in an electric dehydrator or an oven.
Beef jerky isn’t greasy, and it keeps the meat’s nutritional value. It’s worth trying!
Nuts are good candidates for dehydration. In fact, there’s an argument that suggests we should soak nuts then dehydrate them to get their maximum benefits.
To do this, soak the nuts overnight in saltwater in a covered bowl. After 12 hours, rinse the nuts with fresh water and spread them over the dehydrator’s tray. The process will take about 12 to 24 hours at a temperature of 150 °F.
Dehydration is worth a try, whether to preserve food or to try new tastes. I hope our list has inspired you to try out to dehydrate some foods!
I remember how we used to enjoy the bunches of beef jerky our aunt served during holiday gatherings.
Beef jerky is tasteful and beneficial at the same time. On top of that, the process of preparing it is an art in and of itself. Today, I’ll walk you through this art through the guide of dehydrators for beef jerky.
A Closer Look at Beef Jerky
If you’re not familiar with the authentic American snack staple, we’d like you to take a look here.
A long time ago, before inventing refrigeration, our ancestors found a way to dehydrate beef, fish, and poultry so that they can preserve them for longer times. Fast forward centuries later, other advanced food preservation techniques have evolved. Yet, we kept dehydrated beef (jerky) around as a practical food on the go for hikers and campers. Above all, it managed to stay around as a flavorsome snack.
To make beef jerky, you go through three easy steps; cut the meat into thin slices, marinate using salt and acids, then dehydrate it using the oven or a dehydrator.
Jerky tastes good, and it’s nutrition-dense at the same time, which is pretty hard to find in a snack. It’s loaded with lean protein while being low in its fat content.
What’s the Idea of Food Dehydration?
The removal of water strips food of its tendency to get affected by mold and bacteria. Thus, extending its shelf life. Yet, dehydrated food won’t lose its nutritional value. Need not worry about that.
The temperature used to dehydrate food varies according to the food’s type and its water content. For example, higher temperatures of up to 130° F are recommended for juicy fruits because of their dense water content, so drying them up pretty fast results in the delicious, crispy mango slices you enjoy, while a lower temperature of 120° F is preferred for vegetables with slightly lower water content.
When it comes to meat, a range of 130° F to 140° F is convenient. Yet, you should precook the meat at a high temperature, 165° F or so, to kill any bacteria.
How Do Food Dehydrators Work?
With the aid of heat and electricity, a dehydrator blows amounts of air for extended periods at food till the food is liberated from all its water content. Another common working mechanism is circulating air at low temperatures for long periods until the food dries out.
Most dehydrators use the low temperature, long time combo so as not to zap food of its nutritional value. The fans inside the dehydrator help distribute the low heat evenly across the food so that it’s dehydrated properly.
Try imagining yourself inside a dehydrator with a slice of beef jerky. If the low heat succeeds at absorbing moisture from the meat, that is, converting it into steam slowly, where will that moisture go?
The moisture -that comes off as steam- will stay trapped inside the dehydrator, eventually being reabsorbed by the food and ruining the whole process, unless there’s a way for this steam to get out. Here comes the role of air circulation in a food dehydrator.
Air circulation works by sucking moist air and letting it out through the vent. At the same time, the vent tries to let some fresh, dry air in and the moist air out. This would be an excellent opportunity to discuss the two types of air movement inside an air dehydrator.
Vertical Air Movement
Electrical dehydrators with vertical air movement usually base their fans on the lower or upper sides of the appliance. Thus, heat flows vertically through the food. As you might imagine, inevitably, food will be dried on one side more than the other according to the place of the fan.
Hot air is lighter than cold air, so the heat rises up. If the fan is placed on top of the dehydrator, the food on the bottom will dry more than the food on top.
In the case of a fan that’s placed on the bottom of the dehydrator, food will dry more evenly. Yet, you risk your food dripping and messing up the dehydrator. It’s a tradeoff, after all.
To get over the shortcomings of a vertical airflow dehydrator, move the trays every two hours or so to help with heat distribution. Old school does magic sometimes!
Horizontal Air Movement
Can you imagine how directing the airflow horizontally will rid us of the previous problems?
When the air flows in a horizontal direction, the heat will be evenly distributed through the food. In this case, the fan is placed at the back of the dehydrator, moving air in your direction when you open the dehydrator.
A horizontal air flow dehydrator ensures that the heat goes through the whole beef strip without leaving any bits hydrated, unlike the vertical ones that must leave a part of the beef strip out.
Types of Food Dehydrators
With a lot of options to choose from on the market, deciding on the best food dehydrator to make beef jerky can be confusing. Here, we’ll see the main types of dehydrators so you can know how to choose the best dehydrator for your needs.
Stacked Shelves Dehydrators
Dehydrators with stacked shelves are compact and space-efficient. They have small fans that operate at the base of the appliance to circulate air upwards.
Stacked shelves dehydrators can be rectangular or circular. There are limited differences between the two, but rectangular ones are preferable because they can accommodate a wider variety of food.
One of the basic dehydration principles is that food pieces shouldn’t be touching each other while being dried out, so the rectangular architecture helps with that, especially when we’re talking about beef jerks with their thin, long shape.
Compact and space-efficient
Works well for fruits and vegetables
Heat distribution isn’t the best
Pull-Out Shelves Dehydrators
These are pro dehydrators. Pull-out shelves dehydrators incorporate larger fans at the backs of the appliance to circulate air better and more properly, allowing for overall better dehydration results.
What Factors Should You Be Looking for in a Dehydrator
Now that you’re familiar with the types of electrical dehydrators let’s take a look at the features that set them apart.
Primitive dehydrators had no timers. They operated manually by being turned off and on.
More advanced models have timers that automatically shut off the dehydrator when food is dehydrated. Yet, the best ones have programmable timers that can be preset to long intervals up to one hour. These come in especially handy for forgetful people who don’t want to go through the hassle of waiting for their food to dry out.
Electric dehydrators allow you to adjust heat to your liking. Usually, the range is between 100 to 150 or 160 degrees. While beef requires a 140° F temperature to dehydrate, lower temperatures would be convenient for other food categories like fruits, veggies, and herbs.
Dehydrators with smaller intervals between their temperature options are better to let you have better control over your food. Who wouldn’t like to exercise some extra control? Over a food dehydrator?
The differences in features between electric dehydrators aren’t drastic. However, the determination point is their ease of use; how straightforward and user-friendly this device is. Thus, saving you energy and time.
Although an electric dehydrator won’t be the appliance that you use the most in your kitchen, you’ll be operating it for a long time per use. Because of that, it’s better to opt for bigger sized dehydrators. Especially that most dehydrated food is to be stored afterward, so you’ll likely be prepping large quantities.
Dehydrating Beef Jerky Like a Pro
Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best beef jerky of your life!
You need to adjust the heat well. Find a heat point that’s hot enough to draw moisture from the meat but not too hot that you cook it instead of dry it.
Get familiar with your dehydrator’s airflow direction so you can deal with it seamlessly. As we said before, you should rotate the trays every now and then if the airflow is vertical.
Check the progress of your beef jerky after three hours.
Work in big batches. Food dehydration is time and electricity-consuming; better be smart about it.
Don’t put anything below, beside, or on top of the dehydrator to avoid safety hazards.
Sautee your beef jerky for 10 minutes in butter if it comes out over dried.
Get the leanest meat slices you can for your beef jerky so as not to end up with greasy jerky.
Safely Dehydrating Beef Jerky
A well-made jerky is perfectly safe and even full of nutrients. Yet, there’s a concern of bacteria growing on the surface of your jerky while dehydrating it, which might lead to adverse health consequences. You need to follow these general safety rules when making beef jerky.
Wash your hands thoroughly before dealing with the meat.
Make sure that the beef was refrigerated before using it.
Clean all your utensils before working with meat.
Marinate the jerky in the refrigerator.
Never try to sun dry beef jerky.
Here are some methods we should follow to ensure you achieve a clean, safe beef jerky dehydration process.
Heat and Dry
Drying the jerky isn’t enough to kill bacteria. You need to pre or post-cook it to ensure it’s 100% safe. The USDA meat and poultry recommend you preheat the beef at 160°F before putting it in the dehydrator. You marinate the meat, simmer or steam it, then arrange the meat slices neatly in your dehydrator. You can also bake beef in the oven at 325°F instead of simmering it.
You can do it after the dehydration by placing the jerky slices separately on a rack and place them in a preheated oven for 10 minutes.
When you’re done dehydrating the jerky, press it between some dry napkins to absorb any excess fat. Then, leave it to cool down for a few minutes.
To store it safely, put it in an airtight container and store it in a dry location, away from light. You can keep the jerky for two weeks at room temperature and up to six months in a refrigerator, all given you store it in a vacuum-sealed container or bag.
Using the Oven as a Dehydrator
Some people suggest using ovens as alternatives for dehydrators, which is not ideal, but it can work. The main issue with using ovens as dehydrators is that you need to adjust the oven at a pretty low-temperature setting to circulate air through the food for a long time. Yet, most ovens don’t have this low temperature, to begin with.
In other words, the minimum heat option of most ovens is higher than the temperature required for beef jerky dehydration.
If you’re a dehydration newbie and you just need to dip your toes to test the water, you can try dehydrating food in an oven first. If you love the process, you can invest in a high-quality dehydrator.
Pro Tip If the lowest temperature in your oven is above 160° F, you can leave the oven’s door slightly open to cool it down. Expect the whole dehydration process to take less time than intended.
Food dehydration is one of the healthiest ways to preserve food. Add to it the flavourful marination and texture of beef jerky, and you get one of the most enjoyable snacks ever! I’ve cleared the road for you. Now is your turn to take this info and go get yourself a robust electric dehydrator to get those beef jerkies going!
You do not necessarily need to buy dry herbs from the store -- you can grow and dry them yourself if you have a dehydrator. With a dehydrator, you can dry herbs and meat, fruits, mushrooms, and much more.
It is not considered an essential appliance, yet it is very important as it offers so much convenience.
Best Dehydrator for Herbs
In this product review, we compare the five best dehydrators for herbs. They will do a good job of drying your herbs while preserving the flavor.
The Elite Gourmet food dehydrator is a great choice for your herbs, fruit, vegetables, and snacks. It works with an adjustable temperature of 95 Fahrenheit to 158 Fahrenheit. It is designed to ensure even flow distribution.
The fan is located on the base to ensure even drying and proper air circulation. The unit has five trays that you can use to dehydrate your food.
The dehydrator features a large viewing window to help you watch the drying process.
It is great not only for food but also for flowers and Potpourri. The appliance has been tested for safety and is perfect for home use. Plus, it is easy to wash, and the parts are dishwasher safe. The parts are BPA-free making them safe to use.
When you buy this product, you get a one-year warranty.
Package Dimension: 13 x 12 x 9 inches
Product Weight: 6.21 pounds
It has a wide temperature range to give you options to customize the temperature
The unit has a fan on the base to ensure smooth airflow
It comes with five traits that you can use to dehydrate your food
The dehydrator features a large viewing window to help you watch what you are dehydrating
It has been made with BPA-free material that is safe for home use
It is easy to wash, and the parts are dishwasher safe
The appliance comes with one year warranty
Some users complained it is made of cheap plastic material
This is a six-tray dehydrator that is a perfect companion for your home. It can be used to dehydrate different kinds of foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc.
The six stackable trays are all made of BPA-free material. Each layer has two adjustable heights so that you can dehydrate different foods at the same time.
The viewing window is transparent to help you keep track of the drying process.
The unit features a digital thermostat and timer to give a precise temperature. You can get a temperature between 95°Fahrenheit to 158° Fahrenheit. You can also adjust the timer from 30 minutes to 72 hours for accurate drying results.
It is easy to clean as the base can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and the trays are removable and dishwasher safe.
It comes with an 18-month warranty.
Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 11.4 x 10.9 inches
Product Weight: 5 pounds
It has six stackable trays for more drying space
The trays are made of safe, BPA-free material
It has a transparent viewing window for you to watch the drying process
The unit features a digital thermostat and timer for precise temperature settings
It is easy to wash and can be wiped clean
When you buy the unity get at 18month warranty
Some users complained it takes a long time to dehydrate
This is a compact electric food dehydrator machine with five trays. Unlike other dehydrators, this particular one gives you the option to collapse the trays if you're not using them. This saves 40% more space.
The trays used the BPA-free, ensuring your safety. You can also achieve accurate temperature control as it gives you a wide temperature option for different foods. Plus, it comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 9.4 x 8.7 inches
Product Weight: 5.5 pounds
It is compact with five trays that can collapse if need be
The unit has five trays giving you enough drying space
This is a premium food dehydrator that is equipped with six stainless steel trays.
It is suitable for drying different foods, including beef, fruit, herbs, etc.
Even though it has a stainless-steel body, it has a glass door so that you can watch the food you're drying.
It is simple to use as it has a digital control panel with a timer that you can precisely set. It gives you an option of accurate temperature control between 95º Fahrenheit and 65º Fahrenheit.
When the timer stops, the dehydrator automatically shuts off. It also features overheat-protection to protect the dehydrator from overheating. It is great for users who do not like noise as it is pretty quiet.
The tray liners are made with 100% BPA-free material. Plus, the unit is easy to store and clean. The trays are also dishwasher safe.
Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 17.8 x 12.4 inches
Product Weight: 21 pounds
It is spacious with six stainless steel trays
The dehydrator is suitable for different kinds of food
It is equipped with a glass door to give you the option to watch your food as it dries
It is simple to use as it has a digital control panel and timer
It gives you an option of accurate temperature control
The unit has an overheat-protection feature
It is quiet
The tray liners are made with 100% BPA-free material
Its stainless-steel is easy to store and clean
Some users had issues with control panel malfunction
Any of the five dehydrators can work well with herbs. If you need to choose one and can’t decide, then this section is for you. In this part of the guide, we compare the specifics of the five dehydrators.
The Biggest Dehydrator: The VVinRC Store 8 Layers Food Dehydrator is the biggest. With eight layers of trays, it can fit a big amount of food.
The Most Compact Dehydrator: If you are conscious about space and need something compact, then the DASH DEHY100GY SmartStore Compact Electric Food Dehydrator Machine is the best choice for you. It has trays that can collapse, making it compact to fit any space.
Dehydrator with 360-Degree Air Circulation: 360-degree hot air circulation ensures even heat distribution so that there is even dehydration in the unit. We recommend the VVinRC Store 8 Layers Food Dehydrator for this.
The Most Affordable Dehydrator: When it comes to the price, the least expensive dehydrator is the DASH DEHY100GY SmartStore Compact Electric Food Dehydrator Machine. It retails at only $39.99.
Our Recommendation: Even though you will be okay with any of the five, our recommendation is the DASH DEHY100GY SmartStore Compact Electric Food Dehydrator Machine. It is cheaper, compact, and well designed to give you the best experience.
Choosing the Best Dehydrator for Herbs
Even though you probably already know the best dehydrator to choose for you by now, you still need to know how to choose one. Some of the factors to consider include:
Size of the Dehydrator
The right size depends on individual needs. If you're planning to dry many herbs at the same time, then you need a big dehydrator. Your kitchen counter space is also a factor to consider as you don't want something too big for your space.
Mode of Drying
Some dehydrators have fans on the rear and fans on the base. Others use conventional drying. All the drying methods work well depending on your needs. It is vital to remember that convectional drying takes a long time.
Features of the Dehydrator
The more features on the dehydrator make it convenient to use. When looking at the features, choose features that make it convenient for you, such as digital controls. Digital controls are not only convenient but also help you to achieve precise temperature.
The Material Used
Whether it's plastic or stainless steel, you need to aim for BPA-free material. The material used should also be easy to clean.
Cost of the Dehydrator
Your budget determines what kind of dehydrator you get. A high-quality dehydrator with more features will be more expensive.
Reviews of the Dehydrator
When you look at the customer reviews, you will know what to expect from the products. That will save you from making mistakes and help you to choose the best product.
Even though it's expected with most appliances, it's not always obvious. It will help if you go for a product with a warranty period of at least one year.
Types of Dehydrators
Dehydrators can be categorized into two main types depending on how they're made. There are those with stackable trays and those with a rigid box with removable shelves.
Since they are stackable, they tend to be compact as they can stack up as high as possible. They also tend to be cheaper comparatively. The only problem with stackable dehydrators is that they do not have an even heat distribution. So, dehydration will not be even. The trays near the heating element will dry faster than those that are far away.
Stackable units with a rotating tray tend to be better as they can distribute heat more evenly.
Box and Shelf Dehydrators
Most box and shelf dehydrators have a heat source at the back and do not need to rotate to distribute heat. We also have a big portion of the box and shelf design that use convection drying.
With convection drying, the heat source is at the base and passes up to the top through convection. Even though convection drying is slower, it is great at preventing contamination of foods. Convection drying is also quiet and uses less power.
Tips for Drying your Herbs Well
You should prepare the herbs well. This means that you remove all the dry and bruised leaves and stems before you dry them.
Put a single layer of herbs on the dehydrator tray.
Use fewer trays to ensure good airflow.
Choose the lowest power setting possible to preserve the flavor.
Store your herbs well after.
Even with the best dehydrator, you need the patience to get the best results. Normally convectional drying is the best, even though it takes a longer time.
This is a great versatile tool that your household will love. It is not only a dehydrator but also serves as an air fryer and a rotisserie. So, you know it can serve you well.
It is easy to operate, and it features eight touch screen presets that can help you get precise settings for cooking. The interior has good lighting, giving you the option of watching your food as it cooks.
It comes with many accessories such as two air flow racks, rotisserie spit and forks, a rotating basket/retrieval tool, and a drip tray. The parts are dishwasher safe making cleaning them a breeze.
The dehydrator has been made with safe BPA-free material, so you can be confident you are not taking in harmful chemicals.
The size is perfect for families, as it has a six-liter capacity. You can easily make enough food for the whole family.
Chefman gives a one-year warranty for every sale.
Product Dimensions: 11 x 10.5 x 14.75 inches
Product Weight: 19.36 pounds
It is versatile as an air fryer
It is a good size that is suitable for the whole family with its six-liter capacity
The interior has good lighting
The material used is BPA-free and dishwasher safe
When you buy it, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty
If you are still finding it hard to choose one appliance, then this section is for you. We focus on the specific details to make your decision making easy.
Here's a quick glimpse of what we have:
Best Unit for the Price: If you're looking for something as budget-friendly as possible, you should go with the Chefman air fryer dehydrator. It is the cheapest comparatively as it retails at $144. Being affordable does not mean it's inferior. It does its function very well and will serve you perfectly.
The Biggest Appliance: If you have a big household and you are looking for a bigger appliance, then the GoWISE USA 17-Quart Air Fryer & Food Dehydrator is the one for you. It has a capacity of 17 quarts. This is the right size if you have a big family.
The Most Convenient Unit: We all know the importance of convenience. This is why you should go for the NUWAVE BRIO 14-Quart Large Capacity Air Fryer and dehydrator. It has been specially made for convenience. It has a large capacity and has 100 programmed presets to give you the option to set the exact wattage you want.
Overall Recommendation: Our best judgment is the NUWAVE BRIO 14-Quart Large Capacity Air Fryer and Dehydrator. It has a decent capacity and also has 100 pre-programmed presets. It gives you a high optimization option so you can customize the wattage you want.
How to Choose the Best Unit
To end up with the best appliance, you have to know what to look at. Some of the factors to consider when you're looking for the best appliance includes the following.
Size of the Unit: The best size depends on your needs and the size of your household. It also depends on your kitchen counter size. You would not want a unit that is too big for your space. Luckily, many appliances are meant to be compact.
When shopping for one, you'll notice the size is measured in quarts. The bigger the quarts, the bigger the size.
Ease of Use: When it's easy to use, it will be convenient for you. Some will come pre-programmed to make it easy for you. The buttons should also be easy to reach and use.
The Material Used: Some materials are better than others like BPA-free and dishwasher-friendly options.
Mode of Operation: Some units can do different functions at the same time, while some do one at a time. Make sure you find that out before making your purchase.
The Compartments: The more compartments inside, the more convenient it is for you. Look for an option with many compartments.
Budget: The cost will depend on many factors that influence the price, such as the features and size. As much as finding out the cost is essential, you should not skip out on the appliance's features and size.
Air Fryer Vs. Dehydrator
Air fryers and dehydrators are similar in that they both circulate air to ensure even heat distribution. The thin line between the two appliances is that an air fryer mostly operates at a high temperature to allow the food to get brown and crispy in a short time.
On the other hand, a dehydrator works at a lower temperature and ensures that the food gets dry without getting cooked or having a color change.
Air fryer and dehydrators operate at different times. An air fryer can take just a few minutes, while a dehydrator can take a few hours or even days.
Can an Air Fryer Act As a Dehydrator?
An air fryer can work as a dehydrator as they operate in somewhat a similar way. It just depends on the heat setting. As mentioned, dehydrators operate with mild temperatures. So, to use an air fryer as a dehydrator you will need a low-temperature setting. If it does not have a low temperature, it will cook the food instead.
The air fryer also needs a sound air venting system so that moisture is not trapped. Otherwise, condensation will occur, making the food reabsorb the moisture.
Can a Dehydrator Work as an Air Fryer?
Unfortunately, in most cases, you cannot use a dehydrator as an air fryer. Most dehydrators do not have a high-temperature setting that will help the food to be cooked. If you can get a dehydrator with a high-temperature setting, then you are good to go.
Once you know what to look for, you can make your decision with confidence and get the best air fryer dehydrator for you.
You should ensure that you maintain whichever option you chose so that you can get maximum value from them for a long time.
Curb your store-bought habit with these food dehydrators that create all the delicious dried fruits, vegetables, and jerky at home! Usually, you come across dehydrators that are expensive, bulky, and space-hogs. However, today we bring you the best food dehydrators under $100 that are not only affordable, but work efficiently without taking all the space in your kitchen.
The Best Food Dehydrator Under $100
In the next few sections, we’ll be reviewing the top 5 food dehydrators under $100 and weighing their pros and cons!
The Elechomes 6-Tray Food Dehydrator prepares for you some mouthwatering delicacies that are a treat for all. You can store beef, fruits, vegetables, fruit rolls, and even dog food for your pooch. The machine is exceptionally simple to use and comes with a manual that guides beginners.
Enjoy nutrient-rich food with the 6 stackable BPA-free trays. Each of the trays comes with 2 adjustable heights that allows you to place in a variety of food at once. The transparent trays help you in monitoring the progress of the food so that you don’t have to remove the cover to check every time.
The digital control panel of the dehydrator allows you to adjust the temperature between 95-degree F to 158 degrees F. You can adjust the time from 30 minutes to 72 hours using the timer that will give you the best drying results and that is useful for handling different types of food.
Cleaning out the dehydrator is as easy as drying the food in the dehydrator. You can use a sponge or a damp cloth to wipe the base of the machine. The 6 trays are removable and can be washed in the dishwasher for an easy clean.
The affordable Hamilton 32100A dehydrator offers you plenty of space for drying food and a lot of conveniences. The rectangular shape of the dehydrator makes more room for food compared to the round machines that you come across in the market.
The Hamilton dehydrator's compact size makes it easy for the appliance to fit on shelves without taking up too much space. The 5 stackable trays are shaped out of BPA-free plastics that can be used for any food, whether dry or sticky. To add further convenience, you will find a solid sheet and a fine sheet in the machine that prevent smaller food items from falling on to the base through the holes of the tray.
It has a digital timer that you can set for hours between 1 to 48, depending on the food item. Boosting the efficiency of the digital timer is the auto-shutoff mechanism. The auto-shutoff means you don’t have to stand over the machine all the time to shut it off and continue with your daily chores as the food dries in the dehydrator.
Along with the heating element is the fan that makes sure heat is evenly distributed continuously. The opaque walls of the dehydrator stop light from passing through and destroying the light-sensitive nutrients. However, you won’t have to open the lid for rotation.
The DHR-20 food dehydrator is a versatile machine that prepares for you delicious fruits, vegetables, doggie treats, herbs, and jerky. It suits both your pocket and your health! If you are into pottery, the appliance can be used to help you in drying pottery, as well.
It has five interlocking trays that are expendable and can be stacked over one another. The powerful battery enables the dehydrator to function optimally. The powerful 620-watt motorized fan and vent system ensure adequate drying.
The compact design of the dehydrator is space-efficient. The round shape of the appliance helps in storing it in any place. It even has round trays that are appropriate for even drying of the food items. You can place different food items on the trays, and they will all be ready to devour in one go.
The use of BPA-Free material ensures your health along with delicious food. The plastic does not release harmful components that might cause you to fall ill. The adjustable temperature range handles all kinds of food, all the while preserving the taste and nutrients.
The COSORI dehydrator is capable of rolling out 50 delicious recipes that are safe, healthy, and every bit tasty! It has a cylindrical shape that helps in equal and effective drying of food placed on all the trays so that you don’t have to remove the lid for rotation.
The energy-efficient dehydrator has an automatic shut off feature that shuts the machine down as soon as the drying process is complete. It thus helps in saving energy, reducing electricity bills, and retaining the texture and flavors of the food.
The BPA-free plastic used in the making of trays makes it safe to use. There won’t be any harmful effects of drying food in the dehydrator as no intoxicant is released. Despite the five trays stacked inside, the machine looks all sleek and stylish.
It operates noiselessly so that you don’t have to deal with a list of complaints by neighbors or house members. Cleaning the machine is easy. You can use a sponge to wipe off the base of the machine, and the trays are dishwasher safe. You will be saved a lot of time and effort.
The OSTBA dehydrator functions at a stable power of 240 W that helps in flavorful cooking. It has adjustable temperatures that range from 35- 70ᵒC that maintain the taste of the food placed inside with the right temperature setting.
It is an energy and cost-efficient appliance that automatically shuts off once the food is prepared. You won’t have to stand over the machine constantly to check when to switch off the machine as it shuts off on its own.
You can cook a range of recipes in the dehydrator for your family and even prepare inexpensive dog treats. The recipe book inside will guide you in trying out various other dishes so that you can make more wonderful snacks for family and friends.
The dehydrator is very simple and easy to use and has simple settings that are easy to navigate. You can set your desired temperature and working time. The LED display shows both the temperature and time so you know of the remaining time.
Buying a food dehydrator is an important investment as you have to look after your expenses and budget and buy an appliance that does not harm your health. Therefore, to purchase a food dehydrator for under $100, you will have to make sure of the following determinants.
Ensuring the use of high-quality material for the manufacture of any product is a prerequisite for almost any of your purchases. Similarly, you have to make sure that the dehydrator is made of high-end materials for two reasons.
First, it is the quality of a material that determines how long the dehydrator will last. Secondly, the quality of the material makes sure you are not subjected to any harmful materials that can risk your health and life.
Considering the design of the dehydrator is another imperative factor. You must choose a dehydrator that does not take much of the shelf space and suits your kitchen. Any dehydrator that offers simple and easy storage in your kitchen is a suitable pick for your kitchen so that it does not hinder your movement while you are cooking meals that don’t require your dehydrator.
Clean up should be just as easy as the dehydrating process. Choose a dehydrator that is easy to clean so that you don’t have to spend hours scrubbing the surface of the appliance not to attract bacteria and germs.
Make sure the surface is easy to clean using a sponge or a wipe, and the trays are dishwasher safe. It is important that you check the means of cleaning so that you do not damage the machine while cleaning.
If you are buying a dehydrator that can handle various food items such as meat or herbs and spices, you have to buy one that has an adjustable temperature range. An adjustable temperature enables you to prepare a variety of recipes in the dehydrator without worrying that it will lose their taste or texture. Also, the temperature is important if you want to steer clear of food poisoning.
Another important factor is the noiseless operation of the appliance. It is essential to buy a dehydrator that produces less noise as you wouldn’t want to suffer from a headache or disturb others while the machine dries the food inside. A noisy dehydrator also gives an impression of a poor performing machine that might break at any instance.
Benefits of Food Dehydrators
A food dehydrator is a valuable addition to your kitchen. It will help you get rid of your store-bought habit and actually offer you healthier food options that do not contain any additives.
Here is how a food dehydrator helps you:
High on Nutrition
Food dried and prepared in a dehydrator holds more nutritional value compared to canned and frozen food. The dehydrator protects the light and heat-sensitive nutrients that are otherwise lost in the market bought food that contains a lot of food preservatives and chemical traces.
The sprouts or vegetables do not lose their vitamin C or vitamin A content either during or after the dehydration process. It, in fact, increases the concentration of certain essential enzymes and nutrients so that your desire for delicious food does not cost you your health.
The process of dehydration is an easy one that does not require any hard work on your part.
The timers and auto-shutoff mechanisms in the device further make things easy for you. All you have to do is just place the food inside and adjust the timer, and once it is prepared, the machine shuts off on its own so that even if you have forgotten about the food, it won't burn or lose its taste.
The food dried in the dehydrator does not take much of the storing space. The food is already dried, so you can put them in a jar and leave it on the countertop, or you can place them inside airtight boxes and keep them in the fridge.
With a dehydrator in your home, there won’t be any leftovers or food that lands in the dustbin. You can preserve the food items so that they do not become stale, and you can enjoy it for longer than the undried food. It, therefore, helps in reducing food waste that is the most prized feature of the dehydrators.
Buying a costly or inexpensive dehydrator is not what matters. What matters is your requirement and the quality of the dehydrator. Above were some of the best dehydrators under $100 in the market that, despite their affordability, are high on performance.
In case you feel these do not sit well with your requirements, use the buying guide to buy yourself a suitable food dehydrator for under $100. There are ample options that you can explore to buy in value for your money!
The Excalibur dehydrators have always been preferred for their advanced features and spaciousness, making the food drying process easy and less cumbersome. With so many models and sizes of Excalibur dehydrators in the market, you may be confused in choosing one that is the most functional and suitable for you.
Which is why, in this article, we’ll be bringing you some of the best Excalibur dehydrators through our complete review and buying guide to help you make the right choice for your needs!
Best Excalibur Dehydrator Review
With so many Excalibur options on the market, below are the reviews of some of the best Excalibur dehydrators that have stunning features and are amazingly affordable.
One of the larger dehydrators on our list, this dehydrator has 15 square feet of dehydrating space, which allows you to place greater batches of food to rid it of bacteria and moisture. The 9-tray dehydrator has an easy to read display, making it a breeze to use.
You can monitor the entire process through the lead, see-through door that gives you a view of the inside of the dehydrator. The electric food dehydrator features a 48-hour digital timer with two dials to control the settings. The adjustable thermostat helps in preparing mouth watering delicacies, making your kitchen adventures more enjoyable.
It employs a slow cooking method that enhances the flavors of the meal apart from ensuring the preservation of nutrients. You can prepare delicious roll-ups or make your bread crispier to dip it in the homemade yogurt that the dehydrator also features.
The electric dehydrator ensures you a healthy meal every time by drawing out excess moisture from your food. You can even use it to dry photographs or in other artistic endeavors. The all-purpose Excalibur dehydrator provides both health and fun!
You can now have various snacking options with the Excalibur 3900B that makes high nutrient and low-calorie meals for you. The dehydrator helps you steer clear of the harsh and body damaging chemicals so that you can enjoy and benefit from the fruits and vegetables right in your home.
The 15 square foot dehydrator has 9 trays that provide enough room for the placement of larger batches of fruits and snacks. You can make large batches of dried fruits, vegetables, and jerky using this dehydrator, making this a great option for both gardeners and large families.
This Excalibur dehydrator has a horizontal airflow system located at the rear of the dehydrator to prevent the mixing of flavors of the food inside. The airflow mechanism thus helps in placing a variety of items together at once. You don’t have to tire yourself with the constant manual rotation of the trays with this feature.
The Excalibur 3900b electric dehydrator has a solid black door that helps retain the nutrients in the food that are otherwise lost with exposure to light. The opaque door preserves the flavor of the food by preventing light-sensitive vitamins from destroying. It is exceptionally easy to clean the dehydrator.
This Excalibur dehydrator is one of the most advanced electronic food dehydrators, and the 3926TB dehydrator is every bit worth its price. You get to enjoy delicious recipes that make you feel fuller and are a healthy addition to your diet. The dehydrator has 9 trays and measures 15 square feet, giving you a fairly large space for drying all your favorite foods.
The dehydrator has two temperature control handles on the top right side of the dehydrator. These allow adjustments in temperature and come with a 26-hour timer. It allows a temperature adjustment between temperatures ranging from 105 degrees F to 165 degrees F. A control over the temperature will enable you to dehydrate an extensive variety of foods.
You won’t have to fret about food sticking onto the surface of the trays, as the poly screen material used over the trays prevents food from sticking onto the surface. The screen gets detached effortlessly from the tray once you have completed the first batch of food.
The stunningly large dehydrator has a highly receptive power switch that does not obstruct the appliance usage. Both the temperature control switch and the power switch can work for longer hours without posing any danger or difficulty. It can even do longer cycles of work of 26 hours, wherein it regulates the heat accordingly.
The Excalibur 3948CDB food dryer has exceptional features to help you enjoy tasty and healthy food. Made of stainless steel, the dehydrator has 9 unexpandable trays to load the food on. The trays are made of poly-carbonate plastic with mesh-like sheets that can be removed.
The gaps along the sides of the appliance allow for proper dehydration of the food. The poly-carbonate door is see-through so that you can monitor the progress without the need to open the door. Excalibur 3948CDB has a motor and fan set at the back of the dehydrator that enables equal distribution of the heat.
One of the incredible features of this dehydrator is the Hyperwave technology that fluctuates the temperature around the dehydrator so that the food dehydrates faster. Hyperwave technology prevents the hardening of the edges of food that leaves the middle moist and the edges hard.
There is a 48-hour timer in the dehydrator that is an upgradation. There are two time and two separate settings that together prevent bacteria and mold growth to provide you with healthier food options. In the case of power interruptions, there is a memory system that switches back to recent settings immediately.
The Excalibur 2400 is a mid-range food dehydrator that is both efficient and affordable. You can avoid food with excessive salt and toxic chemicals that are normally sold in the markets. It houses only four trays that make it more appropriate for smaller families.
The horizontal airflow structure distributes heat evenly throughout the trays. You wouldn’t need to swap the tray or change their positions to ensure proper heat distribution, saving you both time and energy.
It has an adjustable temperature range so that you can set the temperature between 95 to 155 degrees F. The Excalibur 2400 functions noiselessly, sparing you the foundation rocking noise that accompanies appliances and the complaints of family members or neighbors.
The after-cooking experience is as hassle-free as the entire cooking duration is, with the easy cleaning that the dehydrator makes possible. It has poly-screen tray attachments that can be removed. Added to that, the trays can be washed in the dishwasher, so you are saved from the tiresome job.
With the top picks for the Excalibur Dehydrators covered above, here are some of the reasons that further convince you of their functionality, making your kitchen endeavors more fun and easy!
Sports Hi-Tech Features
These Excalibur dehydrators have innovative features that are mostly unavailable in others you will find on the market. The decades of experience in producing dehydrators have enabled Excalibur to incorporate advanced features in each of the machines to provide better results and convenience for the users.
Commercial and Domestic Use
Some of the Excalibur dehydrators come with 9 trays so that you can place large batches of fruit, vegetables, or meat. It makes them suitable for restaurants or hotels where the chefs need a reliable machine to help them with the cooking. It is useful for larger families, too, who can prepare food for everyone in a short time.
Helpful for Gardeners
These dehydrators are a favorite of gardeners who have lots of produce and need to have a preservation system so that all the items remain safe and fresh for longer. The large size of these dehydrators allows for multiple batches to be handled in one go, thereby saving time and energy.
The body of the Excalibur dehydrators is made of stainless steel that is quite a strong and robust selection. Some of the models even have shelves made of the same material. Therefore, Excalibur products are strong, durable, and a wise choice for your kitchen.
The Excalibur trays are made of BPA-free plastic that is safe for use around food. It will not release harmful toxins in the food upon heating and contact, making the machine safe for use. Usually, toxic materials are released with increased heat, which then enters the human body through the food.
The harmful materials pose a risk to your health. With the Excalibur dehydrators, you can be sure that you and your family are consuming food that is both safe, healthy, and delicious.
Suitable for Hard Food
You can place hard food items in the appliance without a worry. Even with the extreme heat that hard food requires, the trays won’t melt. It is completely safe for all kinds of food materials.
Since Excalibur uses stainless steel for construction, they are strong, robust, and resilient. They run for long durations and will last years of use, and do not require maintenance or repairs very often. Compared to the plastic food dryers, the Excalibur dehydrators are very strong and do not get damaged or crack.
All the Excalibur dehydrators possess an exceptionally classy look and design. They will enhance the look of your kitchen with their modern and stylish look.
Easy to Clean
All the food remnants can be wiped clean from the surface of the Excalibur quite easily. You can use a sponge to gently clean the walls and case of the machine while the trays are all dishwasher safe.
Q: How do I choose an Excalibur dehydrator if I have a small kitchen?
A: Since all the Excalibur dehydrators are large and bulky, you can buy Excaliburs that have five or four trays.
Q: Are the Excalibur dehydrators energy-efficient?
A: Yes, they are both energy and cost-efficient. Also, electricity bills are affected by products with high wattage power. You can buy a dehydrator with lower wattage power so that your electricity bill remains within your budget.
Q: Are there any harmful effects of the Excalibur dehydrators?
A: No. They are made of stainless steel and BPA-free material that do not affect your health in any way. You can buy the dehydrator without worrying about the harmful effects.
Q: Are all the trays of the Excalibur made of stainless steel or plastic?
A: Although the type of materials used in each of the models varies, they are safe to use. There are no dangerous effects of any of the material, and all are safe and strong to use.
Q: Can the Excalibur dehydrators be used for herbs and spices?
A: Yes, they can be used for virtually any kind of basic food (meats, veggies, fruits, herbs, seeds, and nuts). The adjustable temperatures allow you to place any food item that can then be dried according to the required temperature.
Excalibur is one of the prestigious companies that manufactures high-end and advanced food dehydrators that are revered by all the users. Despite their big size, their functionality makes them a popular choice. We brought you some of the best Excalibur dehydrators that might be bulky but are light on your pocket and are extremely helpful for your health.
The guide following the reviews offers you all the reasons that encourage people to use the Excalibur dehydrators. So, what is keeping you from buying the highly functional Excalibur dehydrator? Buy yourself one now to enjoy mouthwatering delicacies any time of the day!
Do you like potato chips or plantain chips? Do you prefer chocolate bars or cakes for your mid-day snack? You are not alone in thinking about snacks as almost half of the population in the world snack throughout the day.
Dehydrators make your snacks well-arranged and healthier, and prevent food items from turning into waste.
If you are considering buying a dehydrator, you must understand that all dehydrators will fall into two categories: horizontal flow and vertical flow, which refers to food stacked horizontally or vertically.
Here is a trusted list of the top 5 dehydrators for 2021.
Our Recommended List for the Top 5 Dehydrators for 2021
With a much-improved Hyperwave technology and horizontal parallax drying, this dehydrator ensures that any remaining moisture from your food items will be dried out in no time.
There is space for enough food with its 9-tray dehydrator, which is measured at 15 square feet. This model remains one of the biggest dehydrators you can find.
With a 7-inch fan that circulates air around the unit, there is an even distribution of heat that relieves you of any stress associated with switching the positions of every food item in the dehydrator.
While the dehydrator preserves your food, all the natural flavors, aromas, and tastes are also retained. This is way better and healthier than any chemical preservative you may think of buying.
Other features you would love are the auto on/off switch, the adjustable thermostat, and the easy-to-use timer, in case you need to step away from the device for a moment. You can adjust the cooking temperature so that the vitamins in your food are never lost.
This dehydrator has the simplest design on this list and is efficient. This model offers a continuous airflow that guarantees even distribution of heat. There’s no need to move items or rotate trays to achieve a smooth operation.
You only need to set your food items in the tray, switch it on, set the timer, and walk away. The timer will go off on its own.
In comparison to the other dehydrators, drying and preserving food with this unit is faster. With 5 trays and 500 watts of power, moisture is drawn out quickly and the clear lid gives you a front row seat to watch the process from start to finish.
The special mesh screen is present if you are looking to dehydrate garden herbs. The mesh screen will prevent leaves from dropping on the next tray.
You can dehydrate snacks, fruits, veggies, and more, with this lightweight dehydrator. If you are on a tight budget, this model is for you.
Product dimensions: 10.5 x 13 x 11 inches
Item weight: 8 pounds
Number of trays: 5
Wattage: 500 Watts
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Customer reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Improved temperature control
Even heat distribution
Easy to clean
Low noise level
Filling the trays up to full capacity can quickly damage the unit
Elite’s dehydrator will dehydrate more food in a short time. Though it is not as big as the other models, its fast processing time means you can complete the drying process of all your favorite food, snacks, and veggies faster than the other dehydrators.
With 5 BPA-free trays, there is enough room for all your dehydrating needs. This model is portable, easy to use, and has amazing temperature control to retain the freshness and natural flavors of your food. You don’t need to worry about food waste because bacteria will have no room to grow in this dehydrator
Amed with even distribution of heat, there’s no need to constantly rotate trays and to monitor the lid.
A good dehydrator will make the clean up process swift and easy. With this dehydrator, all 5 trays are dishwasher safe. It’s also interesting to note that this easy-to-transport food dehydrator is powered by a 350 Watt motor.
This model works great, has no reported issues, and is affordable!
Buying Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying Dehydrators
Finding the best dehydrator depends on your needs. Factors include what you need the dehydrator for and how you plan to use it.
If you have good working knowledge of the various designs and functions, this information will help you make the best buying decision.
If you want to purchase a dehydrator today, below are the following features you should look out for.
The size of the dehydrator will indicate how much food you can store in one sitting. Logically, a bigger dehydrator can hold more food while a smaller one will hold less food.
You should also think about the available space in your kitchen, so the kitchen will not be too packed with appliances. Although a smaller model will take up less space, it will not hold much food. You have to take this factor into consideration before deciding which model to buy.
If you don’t mind purchasing a bigger dehydrator so you can dehydrate more food, you have the liberty of choosing the bigger models.
What problems does a dehydrator solve? You want to preserve your food, mainly snacks. To do this, you need a consistent temperature that will dry out any moisture remaining in the food item. Pay close attention to purchase a model that evenly distributes heat.
The truth is that some food on the tray will be closer to the heat source than the ones further away. In these cases, a dehydrator with good airflow ensures that the heat is evenly distributed.
How can you make sure this challenge is not a problem when buying a dehydrator online?
Research the product and read the description thoroughly. Focus on how the dehydrator distributes heat. If it has a fan, heat will likely be evenly distributed.
The best dehydrator is one that is easy to use. Certain models will not require you to move or switch the positions of the food items to achieve an even result.
This means that you don’t have to regularly check on your food, giving you the opportunity to focus on other productive activities at or outside of home.
Why is the ease of use an important factor? Dehydrators that prioritize ease of use reduce the stress level while increasing efficiency and convenience. Read the description thoroughly and pay attention to customer reviews to assess if the dehydrator is easy to use.
Most dehydrators come with a fan, which means that the fans will produce some noise. Different brands and models will differ in terms of how much noise they produce.
Pro tip: Choose the model that operates quietly.
Check the decibel ratings from the description, if it’s available. You can also get this information from the customer review section.
If you accrue debt by buying something you need, it is considered a bad business move by many people. There will always be a model that fits your budget after conducting extensive research. The more features a dehydrator boasts, the pricier it will be.
This doesn’t mean that a cheaper dehydrator is a bad dehydrator. Cheap dehydrators will perform the basic functions and will dry out food. These models will require more maintenance and may have some limitations as to what foods you can dehydrate.
When reading the product description, take note of the extra features that make your experience more enjoyable. Extra features include the presence of thermostats, a digital timer, and a programmable on/off feature.
Please keep in mind that extra features will add to the pricing of these models.
There are many options to choose from. Having considered how important dehydrators are and their various designs, you may already have an idea of the type you want.
Be sure you check out the factors mentioned in the buying guide. The goal is to nudge you to make the best choice.
It is also good to consider what your needs are to help you determine the ideal size for your kitchen. All the brands listed in this article offer a solution to dry out foods, and more!