Preserving food can be done by drying, canning, freezing and salting but possibly the best way to extend the life of food is to remove all possible moisture from it and preserve it. This is what food dehydrators do. A food dehydrator is a kitchen appliance that will preserve food by removing its water content. A heating element inside an electric food dehydrator warms the food, not burns it to the point that all moisture evaporates. Air is removed from inside the dehydrator with the use of a small fan.
A food dehydrator can preserve almost all kinds of food. The most common food that is preserved is fruits, vegetables, strips of meat, fish and herbs. Food dehydrators have different temperature and time settings since each type of food is dehydrated in a specific time and temperature. There are some dehydrators with a single temperature setting but with a few trays or containers where different types of food may be dried at the same time.
There are food dehydrators used at home and there are commercial dehydrators too. These two types operate under the same principle. The main difference is that food dehydrators used in a home kitchen have smaller capacities than food dehydrators in a restaurant or in a commercial establishment.
Whether you are buying a food dehydrator for the first time or you are looking for a better model or brand to replace a current one then you need this review of the best electric food dehydrator. There are many types currently being sold online with different features, advantages and disadvantages. Learning more about a kitchen appliance model or brand before you make a purchase is always a good thing. You will likely be able to get the best value for your money when you compare products, read reviews and learn more about the product features beforehand. Here are top five electric food dehydrators
#1. Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro is one of the newest electric food dehydrator models in the Nesco/American Harvest line. It has a sleek and compact design that dehydrates food more efficiently compared to other models. It may look small but it can carry up to 6 circular drying trays so users can save time, effort and money by preparing large batches of food at the same time. These trays can expand to 12 trays which makes this unit more efficient than other small-capacity dehydrators.
The Nesco FD-75A will dry food for hours because of its large capacity, not like ordinary food dehydrators which will dry food for days. The secret is the appliance’s drying system known as the Coverga-Flow. Instead of the fan found underneath toe appliance, it is at the middle of the dehydrator to evenly distribute heat for the best results.
This food dehydrator has a flexible thermostat from 95 degrees to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This means it can dry a large variety of food including meats and fish which should be dried at the highest temperatures. Fruits and vegetables may have to be cut into smaller, thinner pieces to dry faster while nuts, seeds and herbs may take time to dry with their oil and water content.
Conclusion: The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro is a food dehydrator that will allow homeowners to dehydrate a variety of food items including meats, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs in a more efficient and faster way. It has a large capacity drying chamber that can accommodate six trays and may be increased to 12 if necessary. Its variable temperature thermostat also allows users to dry different kinds of food, fast. It is handy as a home food dehydrator but is not intended for commercial use.
#2. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
The Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator may look like a simple countertop appliance but it is actually a hardworking food dehydrator. It can dehydrate food at the fraction of the speed and the cost of other commercial dehydrators plus it can do so without the use of any chemicals or preservatives. It lets you prepare food like fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish and nuts individually or at the same time with its compact 4-tray system.
What’s probably unique about the Presto 06300 is its see-through glass cover. You can see and monitor food as it is being dehydrated unlike other dehydrators that got everything covered. You can’t see what’s going on until your food is done. The fan is bottom-mounted and the heating element provides efficient and consistent heating temperature preset at 165 degrees.
The Presto Dehydro is smaller than other home dehydrators so you can store it away easily when it is not in use. And when you are using the appliance, it sits on top of your counter or table without taking a lot of space. All the trays are removable and washable. There are a number of accessories that you can order with this dehydrator including fruit roll sheets, mesh screens, jerky gun and spice kits.
Conclusion: Although the Presto Dehydro electric dehydrator is smaller than other home dehydrators it has handy features that make it a good choice. For one, its see-through cover lets you check the food you are drying. This is a good feature considering that this food dehydrator only has a preset temperature to work.
The Presto Dehydro is also compact, easy to use, easy to store and its parts are washable. Food dehydration accessories are also sold individually. You also have a choice when you purchase this appliance; it is available in a standard version, the dehydrator with fruit roll sheets and the appliance with mesh screens.
#3. Hamilton Beach 32100A Food Dehydrator
The Hamilton Beach 32100A food dehydrator is a machine designed to dehydrate all kinds of food with its unique rectangular-shaped dehydrator body to allow more drying space. It has a 48-hour timer with auto-shut off functions so you can preserve foods with ease. It has an adjustable digital thermostat that lets you specifically choose the right temperature to dehydrate all kinds of food.
It also has a continuous airflow system which lets air move all throughout the machine and passing through different sections or trays. This dehydrator comes with a fine mesh sheet to dry small foods like herbs and can be used to prevent food from sticking on the tray and for making fruit rolls.
This Hamilton Beach food dehydrator could be the perfect dehydrator to be used at home but there are some complaints that its lid is not that tight at all. A loose lid will not provide a good seal to allow heat to concentrate. There are also some reviews that complain about the fan’s noise. Seeing that this machine will run for more than a day to dehydrate food, a noisy fan would be a nuisance.
Conclusion: The Hamilton Beach food dehydrator is a good product to use if you are looking for a kitchen appliance that work well. However, there are some flaws like a loose lid and a noisy fan which could affect the way it’s used. It could have been a good dehydrator with its automatic time shut off and variable temperature controls though.
#4. NutriChef Food Dehydrator Machine
The NutriChef Food Dehydrator Machine is an electric food preserver designed to dehydrate meat, make beef jerky, dry fruits and vegetables and more with its 5 stackable trays. This dehydrator is probably the easiest to use with its single button switch to power it on and turn it off. There is no temperature control but it has an optimum high-heat circulation system that lets warm air travel from the bottom tray to the top in the most efficient manner.
The NutriChef Food Dehydrator can preserve a large amount of food and even a variety of food at the same time. It’s see through cover also allows you to check the status of your food in a snap.
Conclusion: The NutriChef Food Dehydrator is a compact, easy to use machine that will let you preserve different types of food and a large amount of food at the same time with its 5-stackable circular trays. It has an efficient heat distribution system that blows hot air from the bottom of the dehydrator to the top, passing through different tray levels at the same time.
This could be the ideal food dehydrator however it does not have a timer and a temperature setting/control. It could be hard to dehydrate food without controlling temperature and time and therefore you may need to constantly check up on your food. This may be the reason why it has a see-through cover after all.
#5. Excalibur 2900ECB 9-Tray Economy Dehydrator
The Excalibur economy dehydrator has 15-square feet of drying surface. You can dry almost any kind of food using its 9-trays. This dehydrator is among the biggest and it is designed to let you dry food fast and in large batches. The Excalibur has an adjustable thermostat and an easy to use on and off switch to dry all kinds of food conveniently. The trays are stacked and can be pulled individually to inspect the condition of the food being dried.
The Excalibur has a flexible polyscreen that prevents food from sticking on to the trays. It will dehydrate all kinds of food including any variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs. It is a dehydrator that lets you save time and money since you can preserve a lot of food at the same time.
The only flaw to this appliance could be the lack of a timer which is one of the most important things that you must have in a dehydrator. Each food has a specific time and temperature to completely remove moisture. A timer will let you keep an eye on your food especially when you are dehydrating different varieties of food at the same time.
Conclusion: The Excalibur economy dehydrator may be the king of home dehydrators with its large drying space, adjustable thermostat and stackable trays. Users can dehydrate several different kinds of food at the same time and save money and time.
However it lacks a timer which is important in monitoring your food’s dehydrating time. A timer will let you keep a close eye on your work since different food takes different temperatures and time to completely remove its moisture content.
Our Verdict: Picking the best electric food dehydrator can be tough especially if you have never used this kind of appliance before. With product reviews of the most popular brands and models, you will gain good insight on the best model to buy.
Take note of the product features and advantages to get the best deal out of your money. Every electric food dehydrator is different and therefore vigilantly reading reviews can help you pick quality products to the so and so. Good luck and have fun using your new food dehydrator!