Food dehydrators have been popular over the last few years since they offer a healthy way to preserve food and also add variety to your diet. In fact, food dehydrators have multiple health benefits; they help you avoid chemicals and toxins that are added to commercially dried vegetables and fruits.
Studies show that such chemicals can cause serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure or some forms of cancer. Thus, a food dehydrator helps you enhance an organic diet without spending a lot of money. If you are new to food dehydrators, purchasing your first machine may be quite overwhelming.
Also, more companies are continuously launching new brands due to the increase in demand. Therefore, there is a risk of making the wrong choice. To avoid such issues, we have done extensive research and reviewed the best food dehydrators on the market.
There are numerous brands of food dehydrators on the market, so it was a bit challenging to choose the best. However, after extensive research and testing. I selected some models that offer quality results. First, I compared the stackable and box and shelf dehydrators. Although they both have different shape and configuration, I considered their functioning. Other factors that I considered include portability, market acceptance, size, and washability.
Best Food Dehydrator 2021
Excalibur 3926tb Food Dehydrator
- 9-tray dehydrator
- Adjustable thermostat; 26-hour timer
- Adjustable poly screen tray inserts bars foods from sticking
- Great for sportsmen, large families, and gardeners
- 7 inches fan, 600watts
Dehydrating is the most economical, easiest and healthiest way to preserve food. The Excalibur 3926tb offers all these benefits. With this food dehydrator, just load the trays and then set the temperature. All the tray contents will be dried uniformly, so everything is done at once.
Note that dehydrating with this machine concentrates on the sweetness, natural flavor, and aroma of your food. The result is a flavor that is far healthier than high-sugar candies and high-fat snacks that have high amounts of chemical preservatives.
This unit offers 15 square feet of dehydrating space making it one of the biggest brands in the market. Excalibur 3926tb is perfect for sportsmen, craftspeople, large gardens, and large families. It includes adjustable poly screen tray inserts to bar foods from sticking to trays. A 7 inches fan, built-in on/off switch, a timer and adjustable thermostat combines to offer excellent drying results.
- Suitable for commercial/large scale food drying
- A 26-hour timer alerts you when the drying is done
- 7-inch fan for uniform effective drying
- Built-in on/off switch for easy control
- It is huge and thus not perfect for home use
- The fan is a little bit noisy
Excalibur 3900b 9-Tray Deluxe Dehydrator
- 9 trays; 15 square feet drying space
- No rotating trays or food during dehydration
- Adjustable thermostat from 105-165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Accurate temperature control to dry veggies, fruits, meat, herbs
- 7-inches fan, 600 watts
Excalibur 3900b 9-Tray Deluxe Dehydrator features 9 trays and 15 square feet dehydrating space for commercial drying. The adjustable thermostat temp control ranges from 105-165 degrees Fahrenheit, making it safe to dry meat for jerky.
The heating element, thermostat, and fan are in the back of the dehydrator, so air is drawn into the unit, heated and then dispersed uniformly over each tray. It features Parallex Horizontal Airflow to dehydrate food faster while retaining more nutrients and natural taste. You don’t have to rotate the trays since heating is uniform.
Excalibur 3900b 9-Tray Deluxe Dehydrator offers enough temperature to dry your food and overcome mold, yeast, and bacteria. The design of this dehydrator is mainly concentrated in airflow, materials and heating dynamics to ensure you achieve the best results.
- It dehydrates food faster than traditional methods
- Uniform heating
- Adjustable thermostat for effective drying
- 9 trays to dry more food at once
- Huge and not perfect for use in the home kitchen
- It is expensive
Excalibur 2900ecb 9 Trays Economy Dehydrator
- 9 tray dehydrator
- 15 square feet of dehydrating space
- Built-in on/off switch
- Great for sportsmen, gardens and large families
- Easy to clean
- Polyscreen tray inserts
- 110 voltage, 600 watts
Excalibur 2900ecb 9 Trays Economy Dehydrator is a great food dehydrator designed to suit the needs of large families, gardens, and sportsmen. If you want a dehydrator for commercial use, this model will serve your needs. With 9 trays, this dehydrator offers 15 square feet of dehydrating space. It features a built-in on/off switch for simple operation.
This unit comes with an adjustable thermostat to allow you to set optimal temperatures for all food types. 7 inches fan offer even airflow for excellent cooling. Excalibur 2900ecb 9 Trays Economy Dehydrator includes poly-screen tray inserts to prevent food from sticking. This unit features 600 watts of drying power to dry virtually everything. It has a voltage of 110 volts.
- Offers 15 square feet of dehydrating space
- Perfect for large families and commercial use
- Easy to clean to prevent cross-contamination
- 600 watts of drying power
- It is large and not suitable for light users
- It is costly
Nesco Snackmaster Pro dehydrator fd-75a
- Top-mounted fan
- Adjustable thermostat ranges from 95-160 degrees Fahrenheit
- Flavors don’t mix; you don’t have to rotate trays
- Opaque exterior prevents harmful lights
- Includes recipe book, 2 mesh sheets, 2 solid sheets, 3 jerky spice packets
- Measures about 13 by 13 by 10 inches
The Nesco Snackmaster Pro dehydrator fd-75a is among the newest dehydrators in the American/Nesco Harvest product line. It has a contemporary, sleek design in grey and marble color. This food dehydrator features a top fitted fan, 700W of drying power, and produces maximum quality and speed for dehydrating veggies, fruits, venison jerky and beef jerky.
It helps dry your food in just a few hours and not days like traditional food dehydrators. An adjustable thermostat enables you to dry various foods at the right temperature; temperatures range from 95-160 degrees. It offers the flexibility to achieve the best drying results.
Nesco Snackmaster Pro dehydrator fd-75a expandable unit features five trays, but it can be expanded to twelve trays with optional Add-A tray. This feature is handy when you want to dry lots foods. This dehydrator features an opaque vita-save exterior that blocks harmful light which can destroy the nutritional value of your food.
- Very versatile
- Has a sleek, contemporary design
- Dry food in just a few hours
- Can fit up to 12 trays
- It comes with only 5 trays; you have to purchase the others
- It doesn’t have a timer
Nesco fd-37a American Harvest Dehydrator
- 400 watts of drying power
- Adjustable to 7 trays
- Clear top to monitor the drying process
- Dishwasher safe, except the powerhead
With the Nesco fd-37a American Harvest Dehydrator, you will save since it allows you to make your own trail mix, jerky and more. Thus, you will not buy foods with packages that end up in landfills. This unit features excellent technology that offers fast and even drying.
It is a 4-tray dehydrator and has 400 watts drying power. With a temperature of 160 degrees, this dehydrator dries everything from spices and jerky meat to herbs. With this dehydrator, you will not have to rotate trays since it offers uniform drying.
Nesco fd-37a American Harvest Dehydrator allows you to improve the taste of your foods at a lower cost. A clear top lets you monitor the drying process. There are plastic side clips to hold the dehydrator trays for simple transporting and storage. Your food will dry in hours without flavor mixing.
- 7-tray expandable to suit heavy-duty use
- Offers uniform, effective drying with 400 watts
- No tray rotation needed
- All components can be cleaned easily in the dishwasher except the powerhead
- It has a low drying power as compared to the Nesco snackmaster.
- It is not perfect for frequent users
Presto 06300 Dehydro Food Dehydrator
- 4-tray system for drying foods at a lower cost
- The see-through cover allows you to monitor the drying process
- Bottom-mounted heating and fan for uniform drying
- Cover and drying trays are fully immiscible and dishwasher-safe
- Easy to store; power cord stores in the base
What do you want to dehydrate? The Presto 06300 Dehydrator can be used to dehydrate vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs. It makes fruit jerky and rolls too. This dehydrator features a four-tray system to dehydrate foods at a lower cost. You will enjoy commercially dehydrated foods without preservatives or additives.
It is stackable up to 8 trays to suit those who want to dry various foods at once. However, additional trays are sold separately. The Presto 06300 Dehydrator features see-through covers that allow you to monitor the drying process. This unit is easy to clean to prevent cross-contamination and odors.
The cover and drying trays are fully immersible and dishwasher-safe. The fan and heating element is mounted at the bottom to offer uniform airflow for optimum drying. Therefore, you will not be required to rotate trays. A compact design makes it simple to store.
- Easy to clean
- Transparent cover to monitor the drying process
- Bottom-mounted fan for uniform drying
- Four-tray system dehydrates food at a lower cost
- It produces some noise when dehydrating foods
- You have to buy extra trays
Aroma Professional 6-Tray Food Dehydrator
- Large capacity
- Automatic fan for uniform drying
- 6 removable racks
- Adjustable thermostat from 95-155 degrees Fahrenheit
- Includes drip tray to collect any overflows
With the Aroma professional dehydrator, you will enjoy homemade dried foods. This dehydrator is made for efficient, uniform drying and thus ideal for everyone from the health-conscious to outdoor hobbyists. You can use it to make trail mix, custom potpourri, fruit leather, dried spices and herbs.
All this can be prepared with just a flip of a switch. Aroma professional dehydrator tackles everything from beef jerky to fruit slices on 6 spacious, height adjustable trays. An automatic fan enhances uniform drying and prevents instances of overheating that may eliminate food’s important nutrients. The adjustable thermostat allows you to dehydrate foods at their optimal temps.
- 6 removable racks hold up to 1 pound of food on every level
- Even drying due to the automatic drying
- A wide range of temperature ensures optimum heating
- Comes with a drip tray to collects any liquid overflow
- It is bulky and heavy, weighs about 11.7 pounds
- It is a bit expensive
Nesco American Harvest fd-28jx
- 350 watts element; top-down, fan-driven power head, fixed-temperature
- Dries food faster and evenly in hours
- Jerky gun with three attachments and spice packets of 4lb of ground meat
- Measures 14 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches
- 1-year limited warranty
The Nesco American Harvest fd-28jx comes with all the features you require to prepare delicious homemade jerky. It features 350 watts, top down power head and fixed temperature for an experienced or beginner jerky maker. Four various flavors of jerky spices are included in this unit, spicy and hot, original, teriyaki and pepperoni.
It dries food faster and uniformly in hours instead of several days with no tray rotation. The Nesco American Harvest fd-28jx food dehydrator comes with 3 attachments. It measures 14 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches and thus, fits on your countertop easily. This unit weighs about 4 pounds making it perfect for sportsmen and travelers.
- Compact design for storage and portability
- 350 watts of drying power
- Dries foods quickly and evenly
- Comes with spice packets
- It has a lower drying power as compared to high-end models
- It produces fairly low noise
Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator
- Five stackable drying trays
- 1 fine-mesh sheet perfect for small foods
- 1 solid sheet for fruit rolls
- 500 watts of drying power
Do you want to prepare snacks with high nutrients and low calories? Or do you want to prepare delicious food for your family to replace potato chips or dress up morning oatmeal?
The Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator is a great food dehydrator that can help you achieve these goals. Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator offers endless opportunities when it comes to dry food preparation.
It has 5 stackable trays and 500 watts of drying power. Continuous airflow and even heating eliminate the need to rotate drying trays. Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator allows you to dry various foods such as banana, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. You will enjoy healthy food without preservatives and additives.
- Offers a great way to make snacks without preservatives and additives
- Perfect for drying vegetables, jerky, fruits and more
- Offers uniform heating
- Highly affordable
- It is a bit huge and bulky
- It doesn’t come with recipe booklet
Samson “Silent” Dehydrator 6 Trays with Digital Controls
- Very quiet as compared to other dehydrators
- Push-button digital control panel featuring LCD
- 400 watts, 120VAC
- BPA-free trays
- 5-year limited warranty
The Samson “Silent” Food Dehydrator has a compact size and offers a drying space of up to 6.5 square feet. It allows you to enjoy delicious, fresh homemade dried fruits and vegetables, trail mix, fruit leather, and berries. This compact food dehydrator is designed for even air flow and heating.
It features BPA free material for healthy food drying. The 8 temperature settings range from 95-158 degrees Fahrenheit. A timer range allows you to dry food at its optimum temperature. Samson “Silent” Food Dehydrator features a clear panel that allows you to monitor the drying process. An automatic fan offers consistent drying while preventing overheating.
- Noise-free drying
- Digital control panel
- 400 watts drying power
- BPA-free trays for healthy drying
- It is very costly
- It takes a bit longer to dry food
Waring Pro dhr30 Professional Food Dehydrator
- Interlocking trays, 5 stackable
- Includes fruit roll-up sheet
- Adjustable temperature
- Great for dried fruits, beef jerky, and herbs
- New fan system enhances better airflow
The Waring Pro makes it easy to prepare your own dried herbs, vegetables, fruits and beef jerky at your home kitchen. It has great features that combine to offer excellent food drying. This professional dehydrator stacks 5 trays allowing you to dry large amounts of foods at once.
Waring Pro dhr30 Professional Food Dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat that includes fan only, high, medium and low setting to suit your drying needs. A top-venting system effectively draws moisture out for excellent results. It features a new fan system to promote better airflow. This feature ensures uniform drying and eliminates the need or rotating trays. It is a 620 watts unit.
- Easy to clean
- Features fruit roll-up sheet
- Adjustable temperature for predictable drying
- Interlocking trays for convenient storage
- It produces some noise
- At first, you may have challenges cleaning the base
Ronco fd1005whgen 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
- 125 watts; 5 interchangeable trays
- Internal operating temperatures of up to 133 degrees Fahrenheit
- Electrical heating coils offer even heating
- Measures 13 inches by 13 inches by 12-1/2 inches
The Ronco fd1005whgen 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator saves you time and money by helping you create low carb and healthy snacks easily and quickly at home. It is highly versatile that allows you to dry virtually everything from banana and pineapple to vegetable and herbs to apple and beef jerky. This unit features 125 watts of power and 5 interchangeable trays.
Electrical heating coils provide convention airflow to dry your food evenly. The internal temperature rises to 133 degrees Fahrenheit and the machine operates quietly. It measures 13 inches by 13 inches by 12-1/2 inches to fit on the countertop. Ronco fd1005whgen 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator comes with a recipe booklet to give you some ideas. It comes with a one-year warranty.
- Compact design to fit on your countertop
- 5 interchangeable trays for more drying
- Includes recipes booklet to give you some ideas
- Can dry virtually everything
- It takes slightly longer to dry food
- It has a lower drying power of 125 watts
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Food Dehydrator
Food dehydrators come in different shapes and have a range of functions. Although these machines are not complicated, there are various factors you should consider before purchasing one. Price should be the last element to consider; prices range from $75-$350.
Size and Space
Is your countertop small or does it have sufficient space to fit an oven? If space is limited, consider a stackable countertop brand as it has a minimal footprint. It has 12 to 30 racks that can be placed on top of one another to scale up vertically according to your needs. However, if you have plenty of space, you can consider a box and shelf food dehydrators.
The racks of a stackable dehydrator fit closely onto each other. Thus, this model is not a good choice if you want to dry huge food pieces. In this case, you should consider a box and shelf dehydrator since it allows you to remove the racks to fit large food pieces. A stackable dehydrator is perfect if you want scalability.
Heat and Air Passage
Stackable dehydrators have fans either at the top or bottom, so there may be instances of uneven heat if the racks exceed 10-12. You may be forced to rotate the racks constantly to prevent over-drying of foods. A huge box or shelf dehydrator can save you that stress if you want to dry a lot of food since it has fans at the back and promotes uniform heating.
You may want to carry your dehydrator with you if you often travel by train or car. In this case, a stack able dehydrator can be an ideal company since it is small. Also, it is light and doesn’t cause alerts at metal detectors. Conversely, metal dehydrators are heavy, bulky and are prohibited in some states that don’t allow people to carry large metallic objects in passenger crafts.
Regardless, of the features, a food dehydrator is made of either metal or plastic. Plastic dehydrators should be FDA certified and should not emit plastic fumes. Similarly, metallic dehydrators should also have FDA certification.
A food dehydrator allows you to prepare delicious snacks without additives and preservatives. It helps you eliminate the need for potato chips or morning oatmeal. Also, you can use a dehydrator to preserve food for long. You can easily preserve dehydrate food by using a vacuum sealer.
Your food will not lose vital nutrients, natural taste and flavor. Thus, it is a great kitchen machine. Some models are perfect for light use while others are meant for large families and sportsmen. If you want to enjoy, these benefits consider purchasing a food dehydrator. You should check the size, drying power, noise level and ease of washing when making a choice.
I hope this food dehydrator review has equipped you with invaluable information. Make a choice today and choose a healthy diet.