Best Food Dehydrator (May 2018)

At Delicious our objective is to provide you with a comprehensive resource for everything food dehydrators, enabling you to select the best food dehyrator for your needs, with our vast selection of food dehydrator reviews.

Food Dehydrator Feature Summary Rating Price
Excalibur 3926TB Best food dehydrator, 7-inch fan, 600 Watts, Hyperwave Fluctuation Technology, Parallex Horizontal Airflow, 9 Tray Dehydrator Check Price On Amazon
MAGIC MILL Professional Digital Timer & Thermostat, 480W Power Rating, 6 Trays meaning you can dehydrate 6lbs of food at once, Drip Tray collects extra residue, 110V – 120V Power consumption Check Price On Amazon
Ivation 600w Electric Rear Mounted Fan, Height adjustable racks, Overheating protection, BPA free materials, 1 mesh sheet & 1 solid sheet Check Price On Amazon
Nesco FD-75A 600 Watt Rating, Adjustable Thermostat (95º-160º F), Converge Flow System, 12 Expandable Trays, Opaque Vita-Save Exterior Check Price On Amazon
Rosewill Countertop Portable Lightweight and small, Quiet operation when drying, Thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature when needed, Ample space to dry multiple foods Check Price On Amazon

Best Food Dehydrator

Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

Features:

  • 7-inch fan
  • 600 Watts
  • Hyperwave Fluctuation Technology
  • Parallex Horizontal Airflow
  • 9 Tray Dehydrator

Overview:

The Excalibur 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator is viewed as the “holy grail” of food dehydrators. With an adjustable thermostat, ample drying space, convenient timer, and non-stick tray inserts, there’s too much to love about the 3926TB. Based on its price tag at about $241, you’re getting the best dehydrator in today’s market.

Appearance

Upon first look, you’ll notice that the Excalibur 3926TB doesn’t look like your average dehydrator. Strangely enough, it looks similar to a file organizer instead of a kitchen appliance. And this isn’t a bad thing. With 9 trays, this dehydrator was designed to keep all of your food organized.

Unlike competing products, the Excalibur 3926TB has a square shape. This makes it easier for the food to be heated in a uniform fashion. Its compact size prevents it from taking up too much space on your counter. With two color options (black and white), the Excalibur will easily match with your kitchen decor.

Technology

Besides its design, the Excalibur 3926TB has a unique airflow technology. For instance, it uses a Hyper Fluctuation Technology. This helps keep your food’s enzymes and nutrients intact. It keeps the temperature perfectly balanced, high enough to prevent mold, spoilage, and yeast and low enough to keep the enzymes active.

If you’ve ever used a food dehydrator before, you’re probably familiar with “case hardening.” This occurs when the moisture remains trapped inside the food, but the dehydrator dries out the food’s surface. As a result, bacteria and mold grows out of the dehydrator, making your food inedible. Fortunately, Excalibur 3926TB’s technology prevents this issue from happening.

Additional Features

Excalibur 3926TB food dehydratorConsumers love the Excalibur 3926TB because of the additional features that come with it: an adjustable thermostat and a timer. You can adjust the dehydrator’s temperature to heat the food you’re dehydrating properly. In fact, Excalibur includes a temperature guide placed in front of the machine so you know how high or low you need to set the thermostat.

It has a temperature range of 95°-155°F. This means that you can dehydrate food such as herbs at low temperatures and more robust foods like jerky at higher temperatures.

Also, it has a 26-hour timer! Users like this feature because they can set a specified time and return to some high-quality food.

The only disadvantage is that it doesn’t have solid mats. If you’re trying to make dehydrated yogurt or fruit leather, you’ll have to purchase them separately. However, this small flaw is just a minor inconvenience, and you can buy the mats at an inexpensive price.

Still, we believe that the Excalibur 3926TB is one of the best dehydrators on the market. Not only does it have multiple compartments, but it also helps beginners use the right temperature to keep their food dehydrated. We suggest that you buy the Excalibur 3296 TB in order to meet all of your food dehydrating needs!

Positives
  • Thermostat and timer included
  • Space efficient
  • Quiet operation
  • Versatile – cooks food such as potpourri, dry foods, jerky, herbs, vegetables, and much more
  • Uniform, fast drying

Negatives
  • Doesn’t include solid mats.Excalibur 3926TB food dehydrator review

MAGIC MILL Professional Food Dehydrator Machine

Features:

  • Digital Timer & Thermostat
  • 480W Power Rating
  • 6 Trays meaning you can dehydrate 6lbs of food at once
  • Drip Tray collects extra residue
  • 110V – 120V Power consumption

Overview:

For those who need a food dehydrator that avoids mixing plastic with their food, the Magic Mill Professional Food Dehydrator Machine is the way to go. It contains BPA free food racks that are constructed out of stainless steel for easy cleanup. If you’re looking for this device, it’s on Amazon at a price about $130.

Rear Mounted Fan

The Magic Mill Pro Food Dehydrator has a fan and heater placed in the rear of its dehydration compartment. This prevents food particles from falling in the electrical unit. Unlike other dehydrators who have their food located at the base, this keeps your food safe and saves your kitchen from a fire hazard.

With its 7” fan diameter, the food is evenly heated and ensures that you’ll receive a good result each time you use this device.

Customer Reviews

Most of the customer reviews of the Magic Mill Pro Food Dehydrator has been positive. For instance, one owner reported that they were able to cut off their drying time by 3 hours in comparison to their previous dehydrator.

In addition, with the digital timer, they didn’t have to worry about overdrying their food. Another owner stated that they were able to cut down the time it took to dry their jerky for about 6 hours, compared to waiting 2 days with their old dehydrator.

Consumers also liked the machine’s quiet running fan and how the door can be replaced without having to restart the timer. Also, its easy to use controls with its blue backlight display (although some users preferred having the controls in the front of the dehydrator and not in the back). With the Magic Mill Pro Food Dehydrator, you can make half gallon yogurt jars with ease.

MAGIC MILL Professional Food DehydratorUnfortunately, some systems have different compartments missing. One complained that the dehydrator came without the door handle attached, another didn’t have an instruction manual. Make sure that you check the contents of your dehydrator when using it for the first time.

Thermostat Range

The digital thermostat has over 8 preset temperature settings. The temperature ranges from 95°F-158°F. And, it has a digital timer that you can set up in 30-minute intervals. With a total time of 19.5 hours, you don’t have to worry about your food.

Plus, its automatic shutoff function makes it great during emergencies. If the temperature is too high, the machine will turn off to prevent overheating the machine. This safety procedure has made it easier to operate the machine without it causing a fire in one’s home.

Positives
  • Robust and Lightweight
  • Timer Memory
  • See through door increases efficiency
  • 15 sq.ft capacity
  • Raised control panel for easier access

Negatives
  • Can’t be expanded with extra trays
  • Food trays don’t have a ridge to stop food from falling off
  • Non-stick drying sheets aren’t includedMAGIC MILL Professional Food Dehydrator review

Ivation 480w Electric Food Dehydrator Pro with 6 Drying Racks

Features:

  • Rear Mounted Fan
  • Height adjustable racks
  • Overheating protection
  • BPA free materials
  • 1 mesh sheet & 1 solid sheet

Overview:

The Ivation Electric Food Dehydrator is a compact, yet powerful tool that most enthusiasts will love. It has similar elements and design features as some high-end models that are 3x its price. You’ll be able to grab one on Amazon at a price around $105.

Ivation is a new brand that’s unheard of by some consumers. But this countertop unit acts and performs just as good as the high-end models that are priced 5 times higher than it. On average, you can have a full set of dehydrated food within 2 hours.

Control Panels

This unit is easy to use and has a convenient control panel placed on top of the unit. It also has a digital display that allows you to see the current temperature. You can quickly set the temperature via the “+” and “-” buttons.

And it has a timer that helps users adjust the time with their food. This prevents the food from becoming over-dried and inedible to eat. Just set the time and temperature and wait until the machine notifies you to remove the trays.

Multiple Drying Racks

When it comes to versatility, the Ivation Electric Food Dehydrator is a one of a kind. It has six drying racks that you can digitally adjust the temperature for the best drying results. Every rack is about “13” x “12” on average, giving you enough room to store your foods.

Don’t worry about the food residue that occurs on most low-quality dehydrators. It collects anything that falls off of during the dehydration process. This dehydration machine is easy to clean and can protect your food from spilling.

Thermostat

Ivation 600w Electric Food DehydratorThe thermostat has a temperature range of 95°-158°F. With its auto shut-off feature ensures that keep your food heated safely. And, it has a solid sheet and a mesh sheet included with the device. You can use the solid sheet for fruit leather while using the mesh sheet to delicate herbs and food.

Whether you want to dry fruit, herbs, or jerky the Ivation 480w Electric Food Dehydrator Pro has you covered. You can use its low temperature for herbs while using its high-temperature settings for your chicken, jerky, beef, and other meats.

But, consumers complained about the dehydrator’s lack of counter space. With its “17” x “13” dimensions, its unable to fit on most small countertops. We suggest that you get enough room to use this dehydrator and store it inside a cabinet when you’re not using it.

Overall, the Ivation is a good mid-level dehydrator which heats your food in a uniform and safe manner. With its multiple drying racks, you don’t have to worry about your food being under or overcooked. We recommend this dehydrator for those who want to dehydrate their food faster than competing products.

Positives
  • Rectangular shape utilizes space
  • Temperature range from 95°-158°F
  • 6 drying racks gives you enough space for food drying

Negatives
  • Takes up too much counter spaceIvation 600w Electric Food Dehydrator review

Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Features:

  • 600 Watt Rating
  • Adjustable Thermostat (95º-160º F)
  • Converge Flow System
  • 12 Expandable Trays
  • Opaque Vita-Save Exterior

Overview:

The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator is a simple, yet effective device. It allows users to cook their food in hours and not days like other products. And it has over 12 trays which give you a large range of food to heat in one setting. If you are interested in this product, get it on Amazon at a price about $79.

Modern Design

When it comes to design, the Nesco FD-75A is a great addition to your kitchen. It fits in almost any kitchen due to its compact size. It looks contemporary and doesn’t take up too much space. It has a neutral color, so you don’t have to worry about it not matching with your kitchen colors. It blends easily with your kitchen, making it a great appliance for any household.

Maintenance

The Nesco FD-75A has a dishwasher friendly rack. Maintaining the device is simple; all you have to do is clean the trays after using them, and that’s it. Remember to unplug the device before adjusting the racks fully.

Free Recipes

One thing that makes the Nesco FD-75A unique is its recipe instruction manual. You’ll get a bunch of helpful and useful recipes with well-detailed sheets.

The sheets contain valuable information such as the time needed to dehydrate the food and the required thickness of the fruit your dehydrating. Thus, you’ll be able to make a lot of interesting recipes using this device.

Power

You’ll like this food dehydrator because of its enhanced heating power. It has over 600 watts of power to provide top quality service when heating your food. While it doesn’t have to use the entire 600 Watts, it spreads the heat according to the power requirements of the food thanks to the precise and sensitive thermostat. This allows it to save power and make precise measurements.

Dehydrating Mechanism

Nesco FD-75A food dehyratorThe Nesco FD-74A has a Converge-a-Flow system which uses one simple principle. The air moves quickly through the inner walls while flowing to each interior section of the tray.

Another interesting aspect about this product is the fan’s position. It’s placed on the top of the unit instead of its bottom side. This makes it more effective and dehydrates food faster than using any other units who have their heating mechanisms placed in the bottom of the machine. The thermostat’s preciseness allows you to dry sensitive flowers and herbs with minimal fluctuation.

But, some consumers did not like this dehydrator because of its circular shape. This makes it harder for the food to be heated evenly. And, it doesn’t have a timer, so you have to manually figure out how long you intend for the food to dry in order for it to work correctly.

If you want a cheap dehydrator, the Nesco FD-75A is the greatest option. Not only does it have more trays than other dehydrators in its price range, but its unique drying mechanism keeps your food dehydrated faster. Give this dehydrator a look if you want an inexpensive and efficient appliance in your household.

Positives
  • Large capacity
  • Temperature control gauge
  • Vertical air flow
  • BPA Free

Negatives
  • Circular Shape
  • No Power Button
  • No TimerNesco FD-75A food dehydrator review

Rosewill Countertop Portable Electric Food Fruit Dehydrator Machine

Features:

  • Optimal Drying
  • 5 Transparent Trays
  • Portable
  • Bottom Mounted Heating Fan
  • BPA-Free stackable, herb, and roll trays

Overview:

When it comes to food dehydration, you need a high-quality machine to ensure that your food is thoroughly cooked. But that doesn’t mean you should pay for the most economic option. Doing so will result in machines that dry your food unevenly and longer completion times.

One example of this is the Rosewill Countertop Portable Electric Food Fruit Dehydrator Machine. It has only 5 trays, but each of them tends to hold only a small amount of food; making it difficult to prepare large meals. If you need a quick dehydrator for a weekend, then you can get this on Amazon at a price about $37.

Thermostat

The thermostat is the dehydrator’s most redeeming feature. You can adjust it to 95°-155°F. But, you’ll have to make sure that you keep an eye out on the food because it doesn’t have a timer. You should set a timer with another device to ensure that your food is thoroughly cooked and not overdried.

Consumer Reviews

Most consumers weren’t pleased when using the Rosewill Countertop Portable Electric Food Fruit Dehydrator Machine. One stated that the machine started to fall apart when it was in use. After unboxing it, they noticed one of the parts broken and the second part deteriorating after the second day of using it.

The heating element is also another main focus of concern. Customers stated that the device’s heating system doesn’t work. The fan will turn on, but no heat comes out of the device. If this issue happens, try to get a replacement immediately.

Another issue was the halogen light bulb that comes with the dehydrator. After about 5 days of using it, the lightbulb would stop working. If you plan on getting this product, make sure that you get replacement light bulbs in the event this occurs.

Rosewill Countertop Electric Food dehydratorAnd, you might want to be careful when placing small food inside the dehydrator. The food will fall out of the device, leaving it inedible and unheated. Measure the size of the food and make sure that it’s no smaller than 2 inches for it to be dried correctly.

Power Rating

The Rosewill Countertop Food Dehydrator Machine has over 250 Watts of power. While this can be used to dehydrate food, understand that it’s not powerful enough for heavy-duty cooking. This means that you’ll have to wait longer for your food to be fully dehydrated.

For heating, its bottom mounted fan is less efficient than other devices. This makes it harder for the top sections of the device to receive heat. Place your food on the lowest tray to ensure that it will be dried correctly. Overall, if you don’t have any other option or need a quick throwaway dehydrator, then this dehydrator will be useful.

Positives
  • Lightweight and small
  • Quiet operation when drying
  • Thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature when needed
  • Ample space to dry multiple foods

Negatives
  • Trays have to be rotated for drying
  • Small food items can fall through the tray’s holes
  • Bottom heater can be clogged from the food.Rosewill Countertop Electric Food dehydrator review

What Is A Food Dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is an appliance that extracts water from food to aid in the preservation of that food item. Food dehydration, or food drying, is a great method for preserving a variety of fruits, vegetables and meats. Foods are mostly comprised of water, with most fruits and vegetables containing up to 95% water and most meats being comprised of up to 75% water. The water is what causes food to spoil. Removing a substantial amount of the food’s water content will extend the life of the food by restricting the bacteria from growing.

A food dehydrator works using a heating element, fan and air ventilation. These three elements works simultaneously to remove moisture from the food items placed inside. The heating element warms the food. The warmth causes the moisture to be brought to the food’s surface, where the unit’s fan blows the moist air through the dehydrator’s vents. This process goes on for several hours until the food is dried to a level sufficient for its intended use.

Benefits of Dehydrated Food

There are several wonderful benefits that come from food dehydration. Dehydrated food is economical, healthy and great tasting. The following are some of the most readily apparent benefits that come from using a food dehydrator in your home:

Saving Money

If you habitually purchase dried foods from the grocery store you will immediately realize its costs a heck of a lot less to dry the foods yourself at home. Additionally, you can save money by buying food items in bulk, and then preserving the food for later use. You will also save money by reducing the amount of food lost to spoliation. Finally, you will realize a cost savings by enjoying healthier, cheaper snack foods to replace the expensive snack options found in stores.

Avoid Harmful Preservatives

The only thing contained in your dehydrated food is the food itself. There are no harmful preservatives or chemical additives necessary to extend the foods life, and therefore you eliminate the health risk that comes along with these harmful substances.

Great Tasting Food

Dehydrated food tastes awesome. The flavor of the food item becomes concentrated when you remove the moisture, so if you love the flavor of say, bananas, then your dehydrated banana will provide a concentrated banana flavor explosion.

Space Saving

Dehydrated foods weight much less, and take up less space, than the same food in its pre-dehydrated state. Additionally, items that previously required precious refrigerator space can now be stored away in a pantry, contained neatly in a ziplock sandwhich bag.

Easy Transportation

Dried food are fantastic for bringing along on camping trips, extended hikes, long marathon training runs, and long-distance car rides. Since the dried food is lightweight and compact, it is the perfect fuel source to have when food storage would otherwise be inconvenient or impractical.

Enjoy Seasonal Food Year Round

Preserving food through dehydration will allow you to enjoy your favorite seasonal foods at all times of the year. Simply buy excess during the food’s peak season, and dehydrate what is not used to save for the times of the year you otherwise cannot enjoy your favorite seasonal foods.

Maximize Nutritional Value of Food

Dried food provides a higher nutrient per calorie by volume ratio than non-dried food. For example, 5 raisins will have the same calories as 5 grapes however 1 cup of raisins will contain approximately 400 calories while 1 cup of grapes will have about 60 calories.

Common Uses for a Food Dehydrator

The many uses for a food dehydrator are only limited to your imagination and access to food. The following are just a few of the most popular uses for a home-use food dehydrator, and this certainly is nowhere near an exhaustive list:

  • Making beef, deer, turkey jerky
  • Homemade air fresheners or potpourri
  • Creating fruit leathers (Remember…”fruit roll-ups”)
  • Drying herbs to make your own tea
  • Soup mixes
  • Backpacking meals
  • Granola
  • Dried pepper flakes
  • Seasoning powders
  • Banana chips
  • Trail mix
  • Making raisins
  • Drying nuts

Types of Food Dehydrators

There are two main categories of food dehydrators designed for home-use. First are those dehydrators that contain stackable trays for placing the food to be dried. Second, are those dehydrators designed as a box containing removable shelves for placing the food to be dried.

Additionally, there are three different drying methods common with these home-use dehydrators. First, some dehydrators have base-mounted fans that expel the hot air vertically through the unit. Second, other dehydrators have a rear-mounted fan that will expel the air horizontally out of the unit. Finally, a few models have no fan whatsoever, and rely on convection drying to remove the moist air.

How to Select the Perfect Food Dehydrator

Before you select a food dehydrator for your home, you first must consider what your primary use will be for the machine. If you intend to dry specialty items, or use the food dehydrator mostly for one particular use, research which models are most appropriate for your intended use.

For example, some food dehydrators come with jerky kits and are built ideally for creating jerky from meat. Other units come with stick-proof sheets for creating fruit leathers. Size will be a consideration in determining the perfect food dehydrator.

These dehydrators differ dramatically in size, however most current food dehydrators are less than 12 inches in diameter and easily store away unobtrusively on a kitchen countertop. Finally, price is really not much of a concern for food dehydrators, as most commercial models can be purchased for between $30 and $500.

Recommended Drying Temperatures

  • Fruits, Fruit Rolls 130º to 140º F
  • Vegetables 130º to 140º F
  • Meats & Fish 145º to 155º F (Set at Max. Temp.)
  • Nuts & Seeds 90º to 100º F
  • Herbs & Spices 90º to 100º F
  • Dried Flowers/Potpourri 90º to 100º F

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