Food dehydrators are becoming more and more popular in our life with large number of benefits for our health. However, you maybe feel afraid of the quality of food dehydrators sold at food stored. Purchasing food dehydrator to place at your own kitchen is the best solution. This is why I want to recommend some best food dehydrator, which you can refer to choose.
Firstly, I’m sure that you want to know more about food dehydrator and benefits that you can receive.
Modern food dehydrators are described as metal or plastic boxes which can make foods dried. Food dehydrators use circulating hot air to reduce the excess moisture in foods which is often measured about 50-90% of the food’s weight and mostly consists of fungi or bacteria. When you store such moist foods, they often get spoilt and create significant health risks.
- This invention has hailed by food experts because of its healthiest ways to preserve food and it also adds some extra variety to your daily diet. It brings a multitude of benefits to your health and can help you avoid the toxins and chemicals that are often contained in dried fruits and vegetables on the market. More dangerously, some studies have shown that those chemicals can cause some medical conditions like elevated blood pressure or various forms of cancer.
- This handy kitchen appliance is easy to use and can encourage children to increase their greens consumption.
- You can dehydrate your favorite summer fruits for all the winter. For example, fruits like strawberries, peaches, mangoes and prunes are very easily dehydrated and these can provide you with fulfilling snacks during winter when these fruits are out of season or very expensive. This appliance can also be used to dry meats and jerkies to bring organic treats to humans or pets.
- The next benefit is lasting stored time of foods. According to some research grains, corn, rice, fruits, vegetables, pastas or wheat can be stored for 30 years after being dehydrated. So amazed! Or for milk powder and milk substitutes after being dehydrated, they can last for 20 years.
- Especially, this appliance is recommended to people who want to lose weight. Instead of turning to candy, chocolate, crisps or any such fattening snack for your diet, you can dehydrate your favorite fruit and use it with some sugar substitute for all day long in order to still provide your body with most of the important minerals and vitamins including Beta Carotene, potassium, Vitamin C, magnesium and selenium.
- Beside edible treats, users can also use dehydrators to decorate their homes and gardens by using these appliances to dry out pine cones, flower petals, leaves, spices, kitchen herbs or potpourris.
How to choose the right dehydrator?
Because of the rising demand of this, more companies are producing dehydrators of their own brands which are also increasing the risk of making the wrong choice in case you have never shopped for this appliance before. This is why it’s important to refer some research and read as many reviews as you can before purchasing a food dehydrator, because this will not only save you a lot of money and time, but also help you choose the best appliance as your personal budget, needs and expectations.
There are two main types of food dehydrators
Stacked food dehydrators.
Stacking dehydrators have trays placed atop each other. The fan is placed at their bottom or in a power unit which is at atop the stacked trays. The air circulates in a vertical direction. Heated air moves along the outside walls then across over each tray to the core channel where it exits out of the machine. This model allows air to move across all trays, and it is unnecessary to swivel trays while drying.
Box and Shelf Dehydrators
This type of dehydrators works like an electric oven. You can remove some trays if you need dry bulky foods, and when you want to access a particular tray, you don’t have to un-stack other trays. Unlike stacking dehydrator, a fan is placed at the back of box and blows hot air through the foods on each tray that makes sure all trays receive the same amounts of heat. Besides, shelf dehydrators also don’t have a hole in the center of each tray that makes it easier to use the entire tray.
Each type has own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, you should base on your own purpose to choose the suitable one. And when looking for the best dehydrator, you need to consider.
How to Choose the Right Food Dehydrator
Size and space
If you have small kitchen and limit space to place a dehydrator, you should choose stackable models because these have minimal footprints and have 12-30 racks placed atop one another that scale up vertically. Additionally, stackable dehydrators with small size can be an ideal companion if you want to move it to other places far from your home. In case you have enough space, it is better to consider box and shelf dehydrator model. This will be a better investment in case you often have lots of food to be dehydrated.
Heat and passage of air
Stackable model has fan at its top or bottom that often causes uneven heating if you choose the model with a lot of racks. Therefore this is only suitable to dry a small amount of foods and if you’re in a hurry, this can be an advantage. If you have a lot of foods to dehydrate, it is better to invest in a larger box and shelf model because these have fans at the back so they dry all racks equally but the food does take longer time to dry out.
Food dehydrators are made of metal or plastic. If you choose plastic products, you must to see their FDA certified food grade plastic with no BFA to make sure that your foods will be dried without plastic fumes at high temperatures. For metal products, their materials must be in the list of food grade materials accepted by the FDA. However, if you intent to use dehydrators for a long time, metals are much better than plastics.
According to general review, stacked food dehydrators are often retailed at cheaper prices than box and shelf food dehydrators. However, you have to notice to the size and advantages of each type to choose the best one for your condition. Sometimes, you can buy cheaper product but it can meet all your demands. Normally, cheaper models might not have more advanced features such as timer or adjustable thermostats.
- When you intend to dry ginger or garlic, don’t place food dehydrator in your house if you don’t want your house to be filled with pungent smell.
- Do not dry the food with high fats because your dehydrator only evaporated the moisture in it.
- Make sure food Dehydrator has proper ventilation to work well.
- Don’t overlap food
- Flavors can be transferred so don’t fry the sour and sweet material at the same time.
- Don’t dry the fruit or vegetable which has any visible mold
- Rotate the trays to improve the drying if necessary.
10 Best food dehydrators
According to reviews on the market, I would like to give the list of 10 best food dehydrators in different price
Best food dehydrators – Price Range: Under $50
Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric
This is a stacking food dehydrator coming with a four tray system (expandable to 8 trays). Its weight is just 7.2 pounds that make the Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator easy to carry even when you travel by air. The great portability is also thanks to storage of the power cord in the base. The top tray has a transparent lid which allows the person to see the foods inside without opening the lid. How convenient it is!
Nesco FD-37A American Harvest Food Dehydrator
You will be impressed by compact design of FD-37A but still accommodate 7 racks. More conveniently, all product parts (excepting the power head) might be washed in dishwashers without any damage to product durability. This product is designed with Nesco’s Converga Flow system that helps the heat concentrate on the surface of the racks, therefore promoting the drying effectiveness.
Best food dehydrators – Price Range: $50-100
Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express
This FD-61WHC product comes with 5 trays for compact design and a fan mounted at its top. This fan uses the Converga Flow technology, which allows the air to travel down along the outer shell and move radially over each rack of dehydrator for efficient drying. This technology can dry foods in just some minutes or hours (depend on each type of food) instead of days. The product also includes a jerky gun, fruit roll sheet, clean-a-screen for drying sticky fruit or herbs and recipe guide that allows users to use this product for all their drying needs without having any additional investment. This is why it has higher price than some others.
Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator
Waring Pro makes drying foods easily with a big 5-tiered as well as 620-watt Professional Dehydrator. It is also designed with an adjustable thermostat includes more option settings (Fan Only, Low, Medium and High), and a top-venting system which draws moisture up and out for great results. With Waring Pro DHR30, you can make snacks or preserve naturally nutritious foods to use in many years.
Nesco Snackmaster Pro FD-75A
Nesco Snackmaster Pro FD-75A is one of the bestselling products among a lot of food dehydrator brands on the market. It is stacked dehydrator with 12 racks. It has heating element and 700W powerful fan mounted at its top that helps to avoid uneven heating issues. Its price is also reasonable for a good product.
Best food dehydrators – Price Range: $100-200
Excalibur 2400 4-Tray Economy Dehydrator
Excalibur always offers high quality Dehydrator. 2400 4-Tray Economy is no exception. As its name, this product comes with 4 trays and provides 4 square feet of drying space. Therefore, it is suitable for small kitchen. The Excalibur dries foods on all trays evenly so everything is done at the same time. This dehydrator offers the easiest, healthiest, and most economical way to preserve foods while still keeping the natural sweetness, flavor, and aromas of your food.
Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator
The fan and heating element are put in the back of the unit. Then hot air is distributed evenly across each tray without manual tray rotation. An Excalibur Dehydrator dries foods safer and faster than other brands thanks to Excalibur’s Hyperwave Fluctuation technology which makes the temperature fluctuate up and down to prevent growth of yeast, mold and bacteria.
Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator
This Gardenmaster Dehydrator product features strong drying power (1,000- watts) that provides maximum speed and quality for dehydrating foods. It dries food within hours, not days as other ordinary food dehydrators without flavor mixing and also no need to rotate trays.
L’Equipe 528 6 Tray Food Dehydrator
The L’Equip Dehydrator provides many features which is only found in more expensive models. It has a micro-processor controlled heat sensor that makes sure a stable drying environment. Its unique design with over 24 square feet of drying space and 12 trays is easy to clean and use that why it has been welcomed to many kitchens.
Price Range: Over $200
The Excalibur 3926TB is rated as a highly professional dehydrator among various brands on the market. This allows you to enjoy healthy and low-fat snacks anytime even for large gatherings. You can control over the dehydrating process thanks to an adjustable thermostat. It is also designed with some advanced features such as a built-in on and off switch, a 26-hour timer and so on. I am sure that you will never feel regret after purchase this expensive product. Coming with warranty of 10 years, you don’t have to worry about its quality.
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4 Easy steps to use Food Dehydrator
- The first step in food drying is to put or arrange the materials which you need to dry on the trays. Don’t overlap them.
- Set the temperature to 104°F in order that your food dries completely. To check whether the foods are completely dry or not, you need to cut them into slices. If there is not any moisture drop appear that means the foods are completely dehydrated.
- Some Dehydrators (especially stacking type) don’t distribute air evenly. Therefore, you need to rotate the trays and don’t forget to check foods regularly after different periods of time. Most fruits and vegetables often take 2-19 hours to be dried.
- After finishing drying foods, cools them and store in an air-tight container. And preserve the container in dry and dark place. If you still find some moisture in the foods, let dry them again in the dehydrator about 1-2 hours.
Now you know why you should have a food dehydrator and some tips to use as well as how to choose the best one for your kitchen. I hope that a right food dehydrator will make your life easier, better and happier.