Best Food Dehydrators of 2018: Reviews & Comparisons
The functions of a food dehydrator are already included in its title. It decreases moisture from various kinds of foods, such as fruits, vegetables and meat! Basically, this machine eliminates water from different food items. The drying process makes it possible to preserve food for longer. Using a fan and a heat source for an enhanced airflow, a dehydrator has power to do great things for your family.
Let’s investigate the point! Irrespective of age, the vast majority of children strive to obtain vital nutrients, which are abundant in vegetables and fruits. It means that a great part of them do not get their 5-a-day!
The main aim of a food drying machine is to change things by changing usual fruits into nourishing and healthy snacks both children and adults adore and can munch on all throughout the day. To make it clear, certain components you usually see in your favorite cereal have been dried up. Besides, you may notice a much more appealing texture of such ingredients if compared to similar ingredient following harvest. The process is also used to make an exclusively popular snack called Beef jerky. Certain reasons may be sufficient to ensure you to purchase a food dehydrating machine. Nevertheless, it’s important for you to carry out an investigation thoroughly primarily to placing an order.
The main purpose of the guide is to deliver an extensive research and offer you top picks, which may become perfect for your home. Concentrating tightly on the value of price-performance, these incorporated food dehydrator reviews and guide will help you select the best food dehydrator suiting your needs and requirements.
Once you are in search of the top food dehydrator for jerky, the Excalibur 3926TB will probably be the best and the most obvious pick. The Excalibur 3926TB has a unique design and is available in two colors, including white and black. Thus, the machine will satisfy the expectations of the most exacting aesthetes. The no-nonsense simplistic design is rather appealing. Besides, it looks like a heavy-duty set due to the use of high quality material. Being someone who is commonly concerned about the quality of such appliances, you’ll be impressed with a 10-year warranty offered for this Excalibur dehydrator. Even though it is not a perfect match for people who are selecting their first machine, the 3926TB is definitely an ideal choice of experienced individuals. Equipped with a huge 9-tray design, the machine also features an ability to provide over 15 square feet of space. It is considered to be the highest from several high-end items, that indicates ideal suitability for big families! Moreover, the 3926TB will be appropriate for heavy users.
Among other impressive features of this dehydrating machine there is an opportunity to easily remove the trays. This will give you extra flexibility if you need to create more space for cumbrous food stuff.
Considering usability, it is important to highlight that the thermostat is also adjustable, so you are free to balance temperature levels, according to the product type you need to dehydrate and store. Moreover, you’ll get a chance to utilize timer for 26 hours. Additionally, the automatic shut off feature is rather useful if you are tired or busy and have no desire to supervise the process!
Talking about drying process, the 3926TB is found to perform brilliantly. It has already been mentioned that it is a top-notch fruit, vegetable and meat dehydrator. It is an undeniably powerful machine, which carries out the whole process quite efficiently. Actually, the unique Parallex Horizontal drying technology of the Excalibur combines ideally with other peculiarities to help the dehydrator dry diverse food items.
To be honest, this is a fabulous product and the leading food dehydrator available on the market in 2016. Nevertheless, one of the core downsides of the Excalibur 3926TB is its comparatively high price.
Despite this fact, if you’re still in search of a reliable product which will perform in a similar range, you probably won’t find cheaper models. However, once you’re ready to make a minor compromise on the item quality, you can find a lot of more affordable units. That is why you should buy the Excalibur only in case you are not going to settle for a less quality food dehydrator, while a large drying room is ultimately vital for you!
Excalibur 3900W Deluxe
The Deluxe version of Excalibur 3900W is another impressive fruit and meat dehydrator, even though it is less expensive than the 3926TB. Irrespective of its low cost, the qualities it has do not differ greatly. Basically, you’ll still obtain a large 9-tray machine, which will perfectly suit an overwhelming majority of people. The 3900W Deluxe, in fact, will suit everyone regardless of their experience using such machines.
Talking about performance, the presented machine operates rather similarly to its more expensive counterpart – the Excalibur 3926TB. It has already been mentioned that the dehydrator is equipped with a huge 9-tray design that will provide you with over 15 square feet of space.
Like the 3926TB, the machine trays have been designed the way to prevent food from sticking. Polyscreen trays which should be inserted into the dehydrator are available. It means the details can also be easily cleaned!
Once you are turning fruits into tasty treats or drying meat for jerky, you’ll find the drying process highly efficient, while the performance of the dehydrator type will exceed your expectations! Nevertheless, the model has two significant differences from the Excalibur 3926TB. First of all, this dehydration machine is not equipped with a timer function that means you need to supervise the whole process to make sure it goes smoothly. As a result, the lack of a timer presupposes an auto shut off feature, too. Some people consider it highly inconvenient.
While the cost of the 3900W Deluxe is a bit lower than the 3926TB, the difference is not that significant to ignore some of essential weaknesses of the Deluxe version. During the research, we found out that it is worthwhile to spend an extra sum of money and get a model with a shut off feature and a timer! Due to the size of the particular item, you may be sure it is the best solution for large families. Besides, it means you can easily utilize it to cater for garden parties and picnics.
Another important point that divers Deluxe from its original version is smaller warranty that covers only 5 years. Again, this feature may be very important for some users. In conclusion, you’re considering one of the leading food dehydrators in the price range and a machine that’ll do the exact things it is supposed to.
The 2900ECB serves a slower, though more economical food dehydrator machine if compared to the two mentioned above. It has quite many similar features with the 3900W Deluxe and the 3926TB. For instance, it is offered as another model suitable for big families, as it contains 9 trays as well as 15 square feet of drying space!
Nevertheless, comparing it to the 3926TB, the warranty for 5 years is considerably smaller while details, including the motor, heating elements and thermostat are of worse quality. Moreover, the plastic material utilized is of worse quality if compared with the material used to build the 3900W. However, you should know the fact that even though the overall quality will never beat the 3900W or the 3926TB, it will remain an excellent machine of its range. It’s inevitable to note that there is no bid price discrepancy between the 2900ECB and the 3900W. Consequently, it definitely makes sense to opt for a higher quality model instead!
Irrespective of all the points, the Excalibur 2900ECB dehydrator machine performed rather well during the conducted tests. The whole process was simple to carry out, while the drying time was rather efficient. However, the exhaust may cause disturbance and be a little loud when you are actively using the machine!
I am quite sure that an overwhelming majority of people will consider the model the leading alternative in this peculiar line of products. It is offered in an impressive size, which can be easily suitable for a big family, while complete ease of use is very obvious. The only complaint I would mention is the noise of the fan. I suppose some people may not consider it as an issue, but I feel it can get quite irritating when the machine is on for a long time.
Generally, this is an ultimate model, even though the associated value of price-performance is much lower than of the Excalibur 3900W Deluxe. The machine definitely meets the requirements necessary for our list of dehydrator machines, but we actually would prefer some other variants offered in this list.
Nesco Snackmaster Pro FD-75A
Certainly, most people are tempted to buy premium quality machines, while others still aim at selecting a dehydrator with a reliable price-performance value. It would also be advisable in case you’re going to buy your first dehydrator!
Considering the superb value for money, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro FD-75A is difficult to look past. Priced significantly lower than its previously mentioned counterparts, the FD-75A is a high-quality item. It’s obvious that this fact will be connected with worse quality than Excalibur, though it will be even more suitable for customers who have never utilized such a machine before!
The FD-75A is the best-selling dehydrator within its category on Amazon.com. It happens mainly due to the ultimate value provided, the point that we got very impressed with! The dehydrator is very simple to use and easy to set up. An adjustable temperature control the machine is equipped with has 5 trays for profound food drying! This is definitely fewer than the Excalibur models have.
In terms of the elements, the fan is located at the top of the item. The drying process may seem impressively uniform, but it depends on the products you are using. For instance, it is perfect in case you are working with a jerky dehydrator. But, drying more delicate foods, the process might not be that uniform!
The size of the machine also serves a positive feature, since it won’t be too large to be stored in the kitchen for frequent use. Nevertheless, there are certain drawbacks about the FD-75A, too! First and foremost, there is no timer built into the machine that means you are to supervise the process all the time! Secondly, the machine is not equipped with a special manual on and off button too, so that you need to remove the plug every time you want to switch off the machine.
Despite the Nesco has a certain serious disadvantage that may cause significant inconvenience for many people, the overall quality of the machine cannot be questioned. The item performs quite well, is simple to use and rather affordable! These features make the dehydrator appear in our list of the most reliable and quality food dehydrators.
Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express
The impressive Nesco FD-61WHC belongs to a similar price range with the previous dehydrator. Despite it is not as powerful as the FD-75A, the machine contains an all-in-one kit together with a jerky gun.
A range of additional accessories that come with the product includes such elements as a clean-a-screen for items like herbs and a roll sheet for fruit. Additionally, we will get a recipe guide, which will be definitely useful. To my mind, these accessories serve the best guarantee that we obtain fabulous value for money!
Having 5 trays of drying area, this is another great unit with a fan mounted to the top! It means you might need to rotate the top and bottom trays in a while. Considering the overall quality, the Nesco FD-61WHC is a dependable dehydrator. The machine is designed to perform great in most scenarios. Besides, it is simple to use! Despite the FD-61WHC details are made from BPA-free plastic, the elements seem to be of decent quality!
In terms of cleaning, the machine is rather easy to handle. Everything except of the powerhead is adjustable and can be easily cleaned in your dishwasher making everything much easier for the owner.
Talking about performance and related peculiarities, the FD-61WHC does not lag behind the FD-75A. Surely, we cannot omit the fact that it is considerably less powerful which can make it problematic to dry thick items, such as turkey for instance! The crucial thing about the drying process with this machine is its rapidity, since it takes a couple hours rather than numerous days. Consequentially, it’s not a great deal if the dehydrator is not too powerful if compared to more valuable alternatives.
Generally, it is a sophisticated machine that enriches our list of dehydrator machine reviews! It is perfect for drying vegetables and fruit, as well as making jerky! The affordability is probably the main advantage of the FD-61WHC!
Presto 06300 Dehydro
Once you are hunting for an inexpensive dehydrator, which will perform rather well, then your best match will probably be the Presto food dehydrator. It is one of the most quality machines available at such a moderate cost. The dehydrator is equipped with 4 trays of drying area, but can be increased to 8 trays!
Considering the build quality, it serves a relatively sturdy set, which should last you for years. The item is easy to use and quite convenient to clean. In addition, the model is rather small, so it is very comfortable to store even in a small kitchen! Nevertheless, there are a few major downsides, which make the Presto 06300 totally unsuitable for heavy use!
To begin with, the machine does not have a timer function, though it is an expected point for such a low price. However, there is no temperature control, too! During food dehydration, the temperature is probably the most essential factor that requires constant control, depending on the food type! It means you’ll have to select a single temperature level for all the products.
Moreover, the fan is not built into the machine. It presupposes that you need to keep rotating the trays in order to warn over drying. Additionally, numerous complaints have been reported considering the noise produced by the fan. I had no such experience, but I think it may grow a serious concern in a while.
If you have an ultimately limited budget for the dehydrator, you should ignore certain drawbacks we’ve highlighted. The truth is the following: despite the modest cost and some clear limitations, the Presto 06300 performs rather well, especially if you need it only to make jerky! The machine is relatively robust and also extremely light. The most advantageous feature is its great functioning and moderate cost.
Everything you have to do is be alert during the drying process! The see-through cover allows you to balance the inside of the machine quite effortlessly!
Nesco FD-37A American Harvest
Once you have come across a top quality food dehydrator machine and feel that you need one, then I’m convinced you have your own shortlist already. However, I’m also sure if you’ve never used anything of this kind before, you’d definitely want to invest in a simple and low cost item.
After all, there is no point in purchasing the leading food dehydrator, pay much money and have no idea of its use. Being in search of an inexpensive product, which is easy to use, the Nesco FD-37A is a perfect solution. By obtaining this, you will have an opportunity to carry out drying of diverse food types, and after using it for several months you can easily upgrade it, when you are sure it is time to do so.
If you look for details of the machine, you’ll find out that it has no special features since it is an entry-level dehydrator. The item is the best option for new users, since it is simple to use, but fulfills its main functions.
The heat distribution system included in the product operates rather well and will surely impress you. The fan that is placed at the top of the machine flows through the trays, ensuring adequate heat distribution. The radial airflow eliminates the necessity to rotate trays for the drying process. The feature does influence convenience, since even several more expensive machines require the trays to be rotated once in a while.
The dehydrator’s capacity isn’t very bad, too, and it is simply due to the fact that the item can be increased to accommodate 7 trays. It means you have enough space to store more items and dry them together. Additionally, the machine’s capacity is impressive, as it overcomes the capacity of similar priced alternatives.
The machine is basic in terms of operation and functionality, but it means it’s easy to use, if compared to similar products. Besides, most elements, except of the powerhead, can be safely washed in a dishwasher.
Generally, it is a rather decent dehydrator machine that will help you get proper value for money. Nevertheless, the fan works rather loudly, thus, if you need a machine for constant use, you’d better consider higher grade models
NutriChef Kitchen PKFD12
Another budget model of dehydrator machines is the NutriChef Kitchen PKFD12 that serves the best pick for users who have never had similar equipment before.
The first impressions about the machine were formed based on its appealing design. It is rather small but looks good to stay on the kitchen counter.
The trays can be stacked, so you’ll surely be able to order them in the most suitable way for you. It means you should try and get used to the way everything functions. With the stacking options you have a chance to place bulkier and heavier meat types with ease.
Additionally, the trays have perforations that basically mean the airflow can spread rather easily. This will impact heat distribution that will ultimately decide on the level of the drying process.
Considering the heat distribution, the machine has several disadvantages. They are commonly related to uneven distribution when certain trays get more airflow than others, leading to uneven drying. To be honest, I haven’t experienced this to that extent, though it wasn’t an issue for me at all. Consequently, you will have to rotate the trays for better results.
As a rule, when you consider drying foods in order to make them like jerky, you should think of the oven use, even though it will take some time. Taking the temperatures into account, the machine cannot reach promised ranges. It means that the process can be easily and quickly finished without the use of the oven or other equipment. The most pleasant part is that it may get something like jerky ready just in a few hours increased of days.
The machine has several problems which are vital to point out. Firstly, it is a low-cost dehydrator, so you can question its durability. To my mind, the build quality is not perfect and you should avoid overloading the trays. Taking these factors into account, you should be fine with the item.
In overview, the dehydrator is a decent product and a great example of the machine that provides proper value for money. It is rather good looking, which is the feature the majority of customers prioritize. However, it will not serve you forever, since it is not the most durable machine ever. But it is the issue of all the items of this price range. Nevertheless, I am sure that if you’re purchasing an ultimate entry-level product since you aren’t willing to waste money on a premium item, then it is definitely the best option to make the work done. You may even replace it with a more expensive alternative after a few days of use.
Nowadays we are used to purchasing lots of dried food from supermarkets. Things like dried banana chips, prunes and apricots are approved to be healthy snacks. The majority of customers assume that using these will help us get the inevitable minerals and vitamins abundant in vegetables and fruits.
However, people usually forget that just like other processed foods dried items can hold many harmful substances and toxins! To avoid this, the most appropriate solution is to buy a dehydrator and undergo a complete process at home.
Basically, dehydration can be an extremely healthy and easy way to preserve diverse types of food. Moreover, it is exclusively economical! Once you purchase a dehydrator for home use, the only thing you have to do is place the foods on the trays, adjust the temperature and expect them to be dried! This process results in healthy snacks, which are not just free of dangerous chemical preservatives, though are also extremely tasty!
Probably the most essential factor you have to consider before purchasing such a machine is its value. Set a limited budget and strive buy the top food dehydrator without exceeding this limit.
Besides, the budget will depend on your experience. Being a first-time buyer, you are likely to ignore certain features, including an adjustable thermostat or lack of a timer. However, a professional customer who’s striving to make a significant upgrade will look for all the best peculiarities and a top powerful machine in its category. Moreover, they’ll want to have complete control over the whole process! Making jerky at 155 and drying herbs at 85 degrees serve the best examples of this. Thus, taking these issues into consideration, which unit would be appropriate for both types of users?
Conclusion on Choosing The Best Food Dehydrator of 2016
According to the food dehydrator reviews offered above, we can easily investigate the functions and peculiar features of every single machine. All eight models are really impressive, but we have evaluated the items and their performances from various angles.
Customers who are in search of a premium dehydrator should select any of the Excalibur variants. The 3926TB serves a unique item to particularly impress us!
In general, the Excalibur brand has a quite positive image among consumers. Even though their products are rather expensive, they are worth the price. They are equipped with an adjustable thermostat, a fan placed at the rear and an excellent drying space. The fan location is an enormous benefit since the heat may be blown across the trays.
Nesco is another quite famous brand, though their items would be more appropriate for customers with a restricted budget. The FD-61WHC serves an affordable dehydrator, which has performed well during the tests and comes with a full jerky gun and starting kit.