Best Home Preserving – Dehydrators

Our Best Food Dehydrator Reviews for 2020

Dehydrating is a popular food preserving method.  Actually, there are now so many units on the market it is hard to find the one that is right for you. 

At Best Home Preserving, we look to deliver the best home food dehydrators for quality, price and your unique needs.

To store excess produce or make healthy treats at home, food dehydration is easy with the right machine.

Early techniques of dehydrating included air drying, drying in the sun and using ovens.  As technology advances we now have these amazing food dehydrators to carry out the process.

A food dehydrator almost completely automates drying so preserving food has never been easier.  All you need is the right dehydrator.  So, with many models on the market to choose from, we are here to help.

To make your selection of the right machine simple, we have reviewed the 9 Best Food Dehydrators on the market today.

How Does Dehydrating Food Work?

Food dehydrators preserve your produce by drawing out the moisture contained within.  Low moisture levels inhibit the growth of microbes and prevent food from spoiling.

Modern dehydrators are ususally quite compact and all will have the following features.

  • Trays
  • Heating elements
  • Vent
  • Fan

The 9 Best Food Dehydrators For Home

Let’s see how our Best Food Dehydrators compare to each other:

 

All dehydrators have the same basic function – to force heated air over whatever is being dried.  Their uniqueness lies in each products mechanisms, features and performance.

Read on for a more in-depth review of each of the 9 best food dehydrators for your home.

#1  Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

 

If you are looking for a superior quality and fast unit choose the Nesco Gardenmaster. At 1000 Watts this model has power to spare.

With 4 BPA-free plastic trays included and capacity for up to 20 trays, you can easily dry large quantities of fruits, herbs and vegetables.  The amazing unit will self-adjust its drying pressure according to the number of trays used.

Its top mounted fan and patented Converga-Flow system increases drying speed.  The system also prevents flavors from mixing and eliminates the need for tray rotation.  Air flows down the chambers and across trays before converging in the center for faster, more even drying.

Furthermore, the unit’s opaque Vita-Save exterior protects from light to retain flavor and the nutritional value of food.

It comes with a detailed recipe-instruction guide, adjustable thermostat and programmable digital timer (up to 48 hours).  This means you can easily operate the unit.

In addition, cleaning the Nesco Gardenmaster is a breeze.  With removable trays for washing and a top mounted fan to prevent drips it will be cleaned and stored in no time.

 Pros:

  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Evenly distributes heat, and faster drying time.
  • Large drying area and capacity.
  • Preserves quality of food.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires large storage space.

Our Verdict

With its faster drying time, and easy operating system, the Nesco Gardenmaster ranks high on our list for dehydrators.

#2  Tribest Sedona Express Digital Food Dehydrator

Tribest Sedona Express Digital Food Dehydrator

Pros:

  • Large drying area.
  • Faster dehydration process.
  • User-friendly digital settings.
  • Efficient operating system.
  • Compact and easily stored.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • 10-year warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive.

The Tribest Sedona Express food dehydrator is a sleek, compact and aesthetic unit.  With all this, we believe it is a perfect addition for every kitchen.

Equipped with state-of-the-art features, it is ideal for those wanting to take dehydrating to the next level.

In fact, one such feature is its adjustable thermostat (77-167 degrees Fahrenheit).  At its maximum setting you can safely prepare beef jerky without having to precook in the oven.

In addition to this, the second feature is its Two-Stage Sequential Temperature-Timer (TST).  It speeds up the dehydration process while retaining essential nutrients and enzymes.

Using this feature the unit automatically transitions from high temperatures to lower ones to finish off the drying process.

The Tribest Express has an overheat protection and continuous operation mode.   This allows you to programme maximum instead of average temperatures to prevent degradation of enzymes.  Additionally, this will allow you continuous use for up to 99 hours.

It has a central fan for even airflow and rapid dehydration and a washable air filter.

Although the design is compact, this 470 Watt unit has a drying area of around 1430 square inches.  What is more, it comes with 11 stainless steel dehydrating trays and a closed debris tray.

With user-friendly features, operating the Tribest Sedona Express is quite simple. Digital controls, frontal display system, transparent glass doors for monitoring the process, internal LED lights, and a side hinge configuration to enable you easy tray movement.

Our Verdict

Although the Tribest Sedona Express is not easy on one’s pockets it has a 10-year warranty so fantastic peace of mind.

It is quiet, efficient and can be considered as the best overall unit to have.

 

#3  Tribest Sedona Combo Food Dehydrator

Tribest Sedona Combo Food Dehydrator

Pros:

  • Easy operating system.
  • Whisper-quiet operation.
  • Dual fan technology which increases efficiency.
  • Easy clean up.
  • Multiple programmable options.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Comparatively slower dehydrating time.

Care for some tasty and nutritious jerky? If yes then get the Tribest Sedona Combo food dehydrator.

Like its sister the Tribest Express, this unit also packs quite a punch. Actually, its high-end features also include the Two-State Sequential Temperature Timer (TST).

The TST function starts the unit at a “fast” mode and then automatically switches to a “raw” mode for the remaining dehydration time.

Operating the Tribest Sedona Combo is easy thanks to a computerized digital display, internal LED lights, and a glass door.

Moreover, with 9 BPA-free plastic trays the unit has a large drying capacity. 

Unlike other models,  it has a plastic chamber divider tray to separate the unit into upper and lower sections.  As a matter of fact, the Tribest Combo has a unique programmable option to select a section (top/bottom) for best results.

The increased efficiency of the unit is due to its dual fans and digital thermostat (85- 156 degrees).  Dual fan technology circulates air evenly for even drying.  In addition this outstanding unit has a night mode setting to reduce speed for quieter operation.

Multiple vents facilitate air flow.

The unit comes with a removable debris tray and dishwasher safe trays for easy cleaning.  In addition, with the door opening out towards you, cleaning inside the unit is fast and easy too.

Our Verdict

While the whisper-quiet, efficient Tribest Sedona Combo is the best jerky maker.  It is also ideal for dehydrating items with high moisture content.

#4  Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator

Use the Hamilton Beach Digital food dehydrator to get creative in your kitchen.

Experiment with its stackable trays and specialty sheets (mesh and solid) to dry herbs or to make fruit rolls.

As a matter of fact, with 500 Watts of power, the Hamilton model has a continuous air flow system.  This speeds up drying and eliminates the need for tray rotation.

In addition, the unit has an adjustable thermometer (100-160 degrees) and a 48 hour timer.  What is more, it’s automatic shut off feature adds extra value to its performance.

Monitor the dehydrating process through its clear top.

As the trays are dishwasher safe, you can save on cleaning time.

 

Pros:

  • Better heat distribution.
  • Better temperature control.
  • Automatic shut off feature.
  • Easy to use
  • Budget friendly.

Our Verdict

The lack of cons is the first clue to the value of this product. Rated high in efficiency and performance, the Hamilton Beach Digital food dehydrator has the best value for money.

#5 Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

The Nesco Snackmaster Pro is ideal for newbies.  In fact, this simple and inexpensive unit is the best starter dehydrator one can have.

However, don’t be fooled by its pricing for the Nesco Snackmaster is of superior quality.

With 600 Watts of drying power and a temperature range of 95-160 degrees the Nesco Snackmaster can be used to dehydrate herbs and meat alike.

Use its detailed instruction guide to set temperatures specific to any item.

What is more, the unit includes 5 BPA-free plastic trays and can be expanded to accommodate 12.

Additionally, this compact machine includes an array of useful accessories.  Clean-a-screens, fruit roll sheets and mesh screens allow you to preserve many different types of items.

The Nesco Snackmaster is also equipped with a Patented Converga-Flow system and a top mounted fan to dry uniformly and faster.

In addition, this prevents food from dripping and does not require tray rotation.

Pros:

  • Large drying capacity
  • Better temperature control
  • User-friendly features
  • Faster drying time
  • Easy maintenance
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Lacks a timer.
  • Lacks an on/ off switch. The unit has to be plugged in or unplugged to start and stop.

Our Verdict

A detailed instruction guide and easy to use operating system makes Nesco Snackmaster Pro the best affordable unit everyone can start with.

#6   Cosori Premium Food Dehydrator

The Cosori Premium is everyone’s favorite, whether you are new or a pro at dehydrating food.  This modern affordable unit has something to offer everyone.

At 600 Watts the unit is ideal for the dehydrating needs of both small and large families.

Indeed, it comes with 6 stainless steel trays which are durable and dishwasher safe.

The insides of the unit can be cleaned using a damp cloth after cooling.  Moreover, add aluminum foil to the bottom of the machine to catch drips.

The unit has a digital panel, auto shut off feature and a timer that can be customised up to 48 hours.

Running between 95-165 degrees with a horizontal air flow system you can monitor progress through the glass door.

While more effective for uniformly drying food, you may find some cross-contamination of scents.

In addition, at only 48 decibels when operating the Cosori Premium is very quiet.

Pros:

  • Budget friendly.
  • Easy to use.
  • Medium to large capacity.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Auto shut off, and overheating protection feature.

Cons:

  • Food dripping.
  • Cross-contamination of scents.

Our Verdict

The Cosori Premium food dehydrator is the best-selling model on Amazon

Known for its easy customization the Cosori model enables you to set accurate drying temperatures. With quiet operation, auto shut-off function and overheating protection system it is perfect for overnight use.

#7  Chefman 6-Tray Food Dehydrator

For a hassle free dehydrating experience, choose the Chefman 6-Tray food dehydrator.

This 480 Watt unit has 6 spacious BPA-free trays for all your dehydrating needs.

It has digital touch settings for both temperature (95-158 degrees) and time (up to 19.5 hours).

Moreover, performance is high and always consistent.

Monitoring and cleaning the Chefman 6-tray is a breeze with its transparent cover, and dishwasher safe trays.

 Pros:

  • Easy to operate and clean.
  • Digital touch screen for settings.
  • Consistent performance.
  • Preserves the flavor of food.

Our Verdict

Although simple in appearance and function, the Chefman 6 Tray food dehydrator is highly effective and the quietest among all the models.

#8  Excalibur 9-Tray Food Dehydrator

The Excalibur 9-tray is ideal for large families or preserving large quantities of food. 

This unit has many features that are user-friendly and save time.

With 9 trays the model provides almost 15 square feet of drying space and huge capacity.  Furthermore, the included drying guide allows you to set temperatures for perfectly dried food.

It’s adjustable thermostat (105-165 degrees), in-built on-off switch and 26 hour timer ensures safety.  In fact, use of the dehydrator is easy and safe, even unsupervised.

The Excalibur is equipped with a 7 inch fan for horizontal air circulation.  Using Hyperwave technology it keeps the environment moisture free for faster, accurate and more even drying.

Additionally, the unit is extremely versatile. By removing a few trays you can create an area to dry tall foods or even to cultivate yoghurt.

In addition, the trays are dishwasher safer and have a flexible polyscreen insert that prevents food from sticking.

Pros:

  • Large drying space and capacity.
  • Easy to use and maintain.
  • Faster drying, hyperwave technology for accurate even drying
  • Features that allow usage around our schedule.

Cons:

  • Large storage space

Our Verdict

Experiment with this large capacity dehydrator to cook up a storm.  You can even use the Excalibur 9-tray to preserve your arts and crafts.

#9  Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

Are you new to dehydrating food?  If so look to start your journey using the Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator.

A 600 Watt unit it is perfect for first timers and ideal for preserving food in small batches.

With 4 drying trays and a capacity to accommodate 4 more the Presto unit has plenty of drying capacity.

It has bottom mounted fans and heating elements to uniformly dry food.  In fact there in never a need to rotate your trays.

The unit is easy to operate with very few settings.  Furthermore, a power light indicates when the unit is plugged in.

Having a pre-set temperature of 165 degrees means you don’t have to worry about getting the temperature right.

Storage and clean up is simple with cords stored in the base of the unit.  All trays can be nested and are dishwasher safe.

Pros:

  • Increased drying capacity.
  • Easy to operate and maintain.
  • Uniform heating.

Cons:

  • Noisy
  • Lacks a timer or alert system to indicate when food is done.
  • Lacks temperature regulator.

Our Verdict

The Presto dehydro unit is the simplest, best budget-friendly dehydrator to invest in.

Why Do I Need A Food Dehydrator?

There are two main benefits to preserving food at home using the best food dehydrator for your family’s needs.

1.  You get to prepare healthy, nutritious, chemical free treats for our family.

2.  It is saves you money by using your excess produce and not having to buy processed food. 

These are two excellent reasons why you should invest in a top quality food dehydrator and start preparing delicious snacks and treats.

Food Dehydrator Mechanism

Dehydrators work by forcing dry air at low temperatures over a long period of time.  A long, slow drying time retains the flavor and nutritional value of most foods.

The food to be dried is arranged on trays and placed inside the unit.  Once turned on the heating elements raise internal temperature and heated air is evenly circulated by a fan. 

Moisture-laden air is forced out through vents to prevent any re-absorption by the products being dried.

Fans can circulate air in two directions:

  • Horizontal air circulation:  Located at the back of the unit, the fan spreads air evenly over the trays. This type of air flow system uniformly dries the food and does away with the need for tray rotation.

  • Vertical air circulation: Fans are located either at the top or bottom of the unit. 

                                              Bottom fans can dry food evenly but may cause food to leak.  A drip proof tray may be required with these machines.

                                              Fans at the top of the machine may dry food unevenly.  This is because the heat has to rise which may cause food on the bottom trays to dry more quickly.