Skip intro? See Top 10 Rated Food Dehydrator ⇓
Want to enjoy enthralling delicacy every day? You are welcome. If you take a moment and think of different chemicals added to packaged foods such as fillers, preservatives, and food colours, you will run for an alternative. However, enjoying healthiest meals every day is within your reach. Pick the best food dehydrator that will help you dehydrate and store dried fruits and vegetables full of nutrients for family use. What a thrill knowing that kids can now enjoy highly nutritious clips of fruits as opposed to the common junk available in fast food. There is no better way to get more health benefits to all than using personally sourced fruits, herbs, and vegetables.
When you get a food dehydrator, the benefits it will bring cut across all areas of family life. A check on top food dehydrator reviews indicates that on top of helping to preserve food, they are also crucial in cutting costs for families. Get fruits when they are in season and dehydrate them to get a continuous supply in low season and winter. Besides, the cost of dehydrated foods such as beef jerky and fruits is low because they do not have extra packaging, and the process is done right at home. Because of involvement in the process to source foods, dehydrating them, and storage, the entire family enjoys more from the kitchen to dining. Here is an account of some things a food dehydrator owner can do.
What Is a Food Dehydrator?
Food drying is a process adopted since time immemorial to preserve food. Traditionally, this was done through open sun drying. However, unlike in the ancient times, when drying used the natural source of energy, the most effective method today is the use of electric food dehydrators. A food dehydrator is an electronic dryer that utilize heat and air flow to lower water content of food to about 20% that is ideal for safe storage. The dehydrator comprises of five main parts that help with drying the food content: the heating element, air fan, vent, food trays, and outer cover.
Food dehydrators have 2 varying operational designs.
- The vertical air-flow: These are dehydrators that have their heat source and fan located at the bottom or top. The hot air is consequently pushed by the fan through the trays either upward or downward in a vertical motion. With vertical air-flow, food located near the heat source tends to dry faster compared to others. You will, therefore, be required to rotate the trays during the drying session for even dehydration.
- Horizontal air-flow: The horizontal dehydrators have their heat source and the fan positioned at the back. When drying food, the hot air is blown horizontally for even distribution of heating and drying. Therefore, you will not need to keep rotating the trays like in the case of vertical air-flow dehydrators. Because of this, these horizontal dehydrators are more expensive compared to the vertical types.
The electric dehydrator is preferred to the old traditional type because it is predictable, faster, and highly reliable. Besides, it can be used at any time of the day or night to dry food during the high season to use when there is none in the market. Most electric dehydrators can heat food up to about 80°C though this can be varied depending on what is being heated. Meat usually requires a lot of heat while herbs and vegetables can be dried at lower temperatures.
Though food dehydrators were initially thought to be devices for commercial establishments, their use in family kitchens has become almost a necessity. To a modern family, this is a critical device that affects all areas of their lives. They help to create constant food supply, keep cost down, and contribute to home décor. Check out on the next section on why every home requires a dehydrator and to experience how they have changed homes, families, and the entire society.
Why You Need A Food Dehydrator ?
The device is one of the most versatile additions to any kitchen. As a family, this is the machine that gives you ultimate control of what you eat and how you want it. It is the device that will help you take greater control of personal or family for a more productive lifestyle. Here are additional reasons why you need to check out the best model and have it in your kitchen right away.
1. Creating a constant supply of food even during off-seasons
Think of your favorite foods, some fruits, nuts, vegetables, and even herbs that are only available on the market once in a year. For example, the lovely sage, mint, kales, grapes, and bananas will only be available in plentiful during summer and autumn and disappear completely in winter. With this machine, you can buy these fresh products, dry them, and store enough quantities to use in winter or low season. You will not have to wait for supplies to be shipped from abroad when season is low because you will be in full control.
2. Cutting down cost of food and promoting saving
When you select a best food dehydrator, it provides a clear platform for extended cost cutting efforts. With the machine at home, you can buy food at low cost during the high season and avoid rushing to the grocery when the cost hits the roof in low supply season. Besides, you can avoid packaged herbs, fruits, meat, and vegetables that are very costly. The main reason for raised cost of packaged food is the lengthy supply chain and cost of packaging. When these cost reductions are added to the lowered cost of fuel because you do not need to use gasoline driving to the grocery, a family can save over 60%. Well, compound this for about 10-20 years and you will realize that the savings can help clear mortgage faster or grow the emergency family fund.
3. Avoiding excessive chemicals in packaged Foods
Ever thought of the contents of a packet of commercially preserved meat, herbs, or fruits? The revelation could be shocking. To make these packaged foods last longer, processors add a lot of preservatives and food colors for greater appeal. Besides, they also include flavorings, saturated sugars, fillers, and other toxic chemicals that are highly poisonous to the body. These makes packaged foods less nutritious and very dangerous to human health. However, a food dehydrator will make you the processor and you can enjoy chemical free foods all the time. This is the surest way to avoid cardiac, spinal and respiratory relate complications that are associated with packaged foods.
4. Cutting junk at home
Many vegetables and fruits turn into junk because they cannot be consumed fast enough. In fact, many vegetables can only last for a day before going bad. Even in the refrigerator, the shelf life is still limited to about a week. By drying the food in a dehydrator, water content is rescued to about 20% which discourages bacteria, fungal, and other microorganisms that make food go bad fast. You can therefore store these foods for many months without getting bad because no bacterial activity will be possible. This will make your home smarter and lower associated cost of removing such a junk.
5. Making seeds and nuts tastier
It helps to give nuts and seeds a great taste. Soak them for 24 hours to activate the germination enzymes and then dry them at low temperatures to avoid killing the enzymes. This gives the nuts a great and enthralling taste that cannot be achieved using other means. Remember that you will enjoy the great taste for longer even when the nuts or seeds are out of season because you will have enough stock.
Best Food Dehydrators Reviews: Top 10 & Comparison Chart
* Some images product from Amazon.com
1. Excalibur 3926TB (Editor's Choice Of 2016)
Want a food dehydrator that can dry huge quantities for either home or commercial uses? It is time to think of a heavy duty dehydrator with top rating such as Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator. Excalibur adopted special technology and design for this machine that has made it an effective model for the modern kitchen or restaurant.
First, the machine has a large drying capacity. It is sold with 9 trays with and a drying space of 15 sq feet. This is enough to dry all that you require in just one round. Pack tomatoes, vegetables, herbs, fruits, milk, meat, and other foods in one round. Remember not to put different types of foods in one tray when drying.
The fan and heating element are located at the rear. This gives the dehydrator an enthralling horizontal air flow that guarantees even heating throughout all trays. Unlike other machines, Excalibur uses its unique technology, Parallex Horizontal Airflow that makes heating faster, and highly effective. Besides, the technology helps the food to retain all the nutrients and tastes.
Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator, Black is designed to provide extra ease of use. The machine has a thermostat and a timer that enables you to set time and period of drying. Once, you have loaded, inserted all trays, and closed the doors, select the heating period and relax because the machine will stop once the target is reached. You can even leave the machine to dry your food the entire night as you soundly sleep.
The machine is sturdily built to guarantee the user extra strength and durability. To make it easy for you to clean the machine, the trays are fitted with poly-screen material that helps to prevent sticking. You can, therefore, clean them easily so that all the foods dried there do not lose their aroma.
This is not all about the machine. It is uniquely designed so that you can remove some trays and used the enlarged space for raising the dough, use in making crafts and artwork, and preparing yogurt. Therefore, there is no need to buy different machines for these tasks.
The only disadvantage associated with the Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator, is its dull color. Many people ho love brightly colored homes, appliances, and décor might not get refuge in this machine. However, this is a minor consideration because of the machine’s high efficiency. Well, you want quality, energy economy, and optimal efficiency? This is one machine you will live to praise for many years.
While any dehydrator will ultimately dry food, Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator is no doubt the best of all because of the designers’ focus on detail and commitment to quality. The machine features a large drying space if 15 sq feet from the total nine trays. This makes the machine the ideal device for large families and people with a lot of food to dry. It is also the perfect machine for those who hold a lot of parties because one can prepare all that they want within a short time.
The machine features easy to use controls and adjustable thermostat. With these two, many people find this machine to be the ultimate addition for their kitchen. The thermostat has a temperature range of 105-165 degree F, which is ideal for drying most foods from herbs to grains. The control system allows the user to set the timer and machine to keep running at a specific temperature until all the food is dried. Set the machine to continue running and concentrate on other tasks.
Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator, Black uses a horizontal airflow model that facilitates even and faster heating on all the trays. Because of this, all the foods placed on trays from the lowest one to the top one get equal amount of heated air. With Hyperwave fluctuation technology that allows constant temperatures within the selected time, the user can be sure of faster drying.
From the outer casing to inner parts, this machine is built to last. The metallic outer part is strong and resistant to external forces of tear and wear. This coupled with hardened trays to withstand the hot dehydrating air allows the user to enjoy the machine for longer. In addition to this, the trays are dish washer friendly and coated with a nonstick material to prevent extra dirt. These features are meant to make this machine more enjoyable and fun to use.
To maintain all the nutrients and enzymes that give food the lovely taste, the Excalibur Hyperwave Fluctuation technology allows shifting of moisture and keeping enzymes alive. This is unique because all molds, yeast, and bacteria are killed to make the dehydrated food safe. Besides, if you want to prepare food that needs extra space such as raising the dough, remove some trays. Despite its black color that might be displeasing to some, this machine is no doubt in a class of its own.
3. Nesco FD-75A
Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator FD-75A is one of the cheapest in the market for people who do not have heavy duty drying requirements. The dehydrator is particularly recommended for those purchasing their first model for their homes.
On heat distribution, the appliance is fitted with a top-mount fan and, therefore, generates a vertical air flow. With this design, food on the top layers dry faster compared to those on the lower ones. This is a special trait that busy users appreciate especially when drying foods that dehydrate at varying rates. You can put meat at the top, and fruits in the middle and herbs at the lowest tray.
This dehydrator is preferred by many because it has an expandable capacity. With a 5 tray capacity, you can dry a lot of food at a go. However, this capacity can be expanded to reach seven trays when you need to dry more food. Whether you are drying fruits when they are in season or preparing dried supplies for an upcoming event, nothing beats this machine.
When making this model, the designer included a few additions to ease use and value for the machine. 2 mesh sheets, 2 solid sheets, and a couple of spice packets are included in the package. Also, the user gets several fruit roll sheets and a user manual that demonstrates other types of tasks that the machine can be used to do like drying milk and pasta powder.
On the flipside, this machine has a couple of disadvantages. Since the heater is mounted at the top, the dehydrator may cause uneven heating of foods in the trays. Therefore, you may be required to keep rotating the trays for even heat distribution. The dehydrator does not feature a timer. This is a major undoing because you will need to time manually the machine to avoid damaging your food. It can be a challenge especially when you have a lot of things to do simultaneously. However, if you invest in a kitchen timer, the machine is a perfect piece for your kitchen.
While the machine does not provide the complexity that other commercial designs exhibit, it is a perfect addition to your kitchen. It is sturdily built, comes with a long 1 year warrant, and is sold inexpensively so that every person can afford it. With time, when you need to dry more quantities of food or require greater flexibility, a heavier duty model might be more ideal.
Since Excalibur 2900ECB 9-Tray Economy Dehydrator was released into the market, it has won great praise from clients and experts. As an economy model, the machine’s efficiency in comparison with others in the same class stands out. The machine is made with 9 trays of 15 sq feet of drying space each. This makes it easy to dry a lot of time in one drying cycle. It is therefore perfectly suited for people with large families or hold sizeable parties.
The Excalibur 2900ECB runs on 440 watts heating power, a lower rate compared to others that require over 500 watts. Though this has an effect of making the machine take extra time, the difference is not much and is, therefore, acceptable. The heating system and fans are located at the back to generate horizontal sir flow that enhances faster and even drying. The user is, therefore, not required to keep rotating the trays.
Excalibur has stood out in coming out with unique designs for dehydrators. In the case of Excalibur 2900ECB 9-Tray Economy Dehydrator, the internal space comprises of nine trays with capacity of 15 sq feet each, translates to 135 sq feet. This makes the machine an ideal model for people with a lot of food to dry. Apart from the large drying capacity, the machine is also large 17x19x12.5 inches and weighs 100 lbs. This makes it less ideal for people with very small kitchens or others who want to move regularly. The inner parts are designed with special polycarbonate plastic that blocks damaging radiation that can affect the food nutrients and aroma.
To make maintenance easy and effective, the fan is located at the back so that sap and juices do not drip on it and compromise functionality. Besides, all the parts are dish washable to make cleaning easy and fast. All the trays are made with polyscreen that prevents sticking to ease cleaning. The inner parts of the machine are also easy to clean by mopping with water and clean piece of cloth immediately after a dehydration cycle.
This machine is not without some drawbacks. Many people claim the machine is very ugly and makes a lot of noise. Even if the user wants to leave the machine running while taking a nap in the afternoon or at night, your comfort will be greatly curtailed. Despite this, one disadvantage, this machine’s design, energy efficiency, and large capacity are unrivalled. No one has ever added this machine and regretted; you might want to join the long list of highly satisfied clients.
Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC machine has won the hearts of many as a mid-range device that is affordable and dries all foods rapidly. Because of diverse drying features, customers can dry virtually anything using this machine: from fruits, herbs, veggies, and beef jerky. Because of its ability to dry your foods, people on diet and others are sure of replacing chocolate and fattening snacks with home dried veggies and fruits.
Its heat distribution is unique, even, and reliable. Its heating element and fan are positioned articulately at the back to deliver strong horizontal air flow for rapid dehydration. The fan also provides extra air action that ensures heated air reaches even corners of the machine for faster dehydration. Because of this, the user will not need to keep rotating the trays for even heating.
The capacity of Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC is 5 trays which are considered ideal for mid-range drying requirements. However, this capacity is expandable to about 12 trays for higher dehydrating capacity. The expanded capacity makes the machine an ideal appliance for people who hold parties regularly. Because 5 trays can hold about 20 apricots, the expanded capacity means that you can dry up to 100 apricots in one cycle. In addition, the machine is also ideal for raiding dough or drying bulkier products that require larger drying space.
Nesco, when designing this machine ensured that all the parts are machine washable for easier cleaning and maintenance. Except the power head, you can place all the others in a machine washer to complete the cleaning process faster. The machine is additionally sturdily built to withstand high drying temperatures as your food gets dehydrated.
One unique feature that is noticeably absent in many other dehydrators is the opaque Vita-Save covering material. This cover helps to keep off light that easily damages nutrients and taste of food during drying. The user is, therefore, sure of enjoying all the dried fruits or meat with the same nutrient and taste like when they were fresh.
When a client buys this machine, he/she is added a jerky gun, 5 cures, 5 seasoning packets, and 3 tips. Also, clean-a-screen, and fruit roll sheets are included to make dehydration, easier, faster, and fun. A user manual and recipe book are also included to guide you how to prepare the food before drying, storage, and using them thereafter.
Because of its unique and well-researched design, the machine is very quest. You are sure of running it the entire night without getting disturbed by funny noises. From this review, this machine is a perfect choice to buy and include in the kitchen.
Users looking for affordable, simple and easy to use dehydrators, one of the best options is the Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator. It is designed to help the user dry different types of foods ranging from jerky, fruits, milk, and herbs. Even if the buyer has never used a dehydrator before, well, this machine is very simple to work with and get perfect results. With the machine, you are sure of drying pears in 1 hr, banana in 4 hrs, and just 3 hrs for tomatoes. This effectiveness has made it win hearts of many.
The machine is designed with a bottom positioned heater and fan that gives it a lovely vertical airflow. With this model, food in the trays dries rapidly. The machine’s operational model has been cited by experts as a crucial advantage because flavors do not mix. Therefore, you can dry different types of foods without compromising their tastes; a fact that is not easily achievable using other models. However, vertical air flow is also a disadvantage because it does not achieve even heat distribution. The user might have to keep rotating the trays for even distribution.
Though the machine has a capacity of just 4 trays, you can expand it to 8 by purchasing extra trays. This allows the user to dehydrate large quantities of food at a go. Whether the customer wants to dry a lot of vegetables, the machine will accommodate large quantities so that adequate amounts will be ready by the close of the season. Even for those who need a large assortment of food dried together, the Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator is very effective.
The design has a transparent cover that enables the user to peep through the drying process. Being able to peep through is very crucial especially when drying foods that dehydrate vest fast such as herbs or vegetables. The design also makes the machine more appealing and attractive to fit in the kitchen.
One outstanding pro of this dehydrator is that it is very quiet. You can run it and not hear a sound until the drying process is over. Therefore, if you want to catch some sleep during the dehydration process or want to run the machine at night, there will be no disturbance at all.
The main disadvantage with this machine is that it does not come with a timer. The user is required to buy a separate timer which can raise the overall costs. However, this machine is an affordable, top quality, and long lasting with a lifespan of over 10 years. This makes it a perfect addition for any kitchen, especially for novices.
Many times, thoughts let alone mention of chemicals that are added to food during processing can be very disturbing. From preservatives to coloring and fillers, the results are great dangers to human health. Hamilton Beach 32100A is one of the best dehydrating machines to address the problem. From it design to selection of materials, the machine is fast, efficient, and perfect for your kitchen.
The machine is designed with a wide range thermostat and a timer. These are critical features because you can adjust the temperatures to dry a wide range of foods. From about 5 degrees F to 160 degrees F, the machine makes it possible to dry herbs, veggies, meat and even tougher jerky. Simply slice the food to dry and start the machine to clear off moisture to about 20%.
It heating element and air fan are positioned at the top to provide a unique vertical air flow for complete drying. Because the trays are designed in a meshed style, the air flows rapidly for even heat distribution. This makes heat distribution better than other types of vertical airflow designs that have non-meshed trays. However, food materials located near the top still dry a little faster compared to those at the bottom. To address this, it is advisable to rotate the trays during the drying process.
The Hamilton Beach 32100A is sold with 5 stackable drying trays that are enough to dry all the food that a small family requires. This drying space gives the machine a small compact outlook and light weight of just 8 pounds. This makes the machine ideal to move around especially if you are having a party outdoors. As a party, events, or simply kitchen addition, the design and shape make this machine very appealing.
Buying this machine is more preferable because the machine is strongly built. All the parts are extra hardened to withstand high temperatures and regular washing if you need to use it regularly. Besides, all the parts except the powered sections are dishwasher friendly. This makes cleaning the machine after use or before very easy. Customers who buy this machine are also given one fine mesh sheet and another for drying herbs and preparing meat rolls respectively. One needs not incur extra costs buying these additions.
This machine has proven to be a great addition that people who want extra value for money should consider installing in their kitchen. Its ease of use and energy efficiency guarantees the user of extra reasons to have this machine in a kitchen. Take care of it and it can last for a very long time giving you top quality dehydrating services.
People with very large quantities of food need dehydrators that can dry them fast and efficiently. This is where the Aroma Professional 6 Tray Food Dehydrator, Black outdo others. The dehydrator is strongly built to provide extra strength and durability. From the hardened external metallic body to shelves, the machine can last for a very long time without signs of getting damaged even if used on a daily basis. It is, therefore, a perfect addition for your kitchen.
It features a large drying capacity. With 6 large trays that can hold up to 6 lbs of food in total per dehydration cycle, the machine will easily dry all the vegetables, fruits or herbs that you have during the high season. If you need to dehydrate all the foods at once, you only need to place them carefully in each type per tray and switch on the machine.
With its fan and heater located behind the machine, it generates and distributes heated air evenly through all trays for faster heating. The machine is able to heat all your food fast even the toughest jerky. By developing 400 watts of drying power, your meat, tomatoes, fish, or even bananas will be dried within no time. Remember that you do not need to keep rotating the trays as is required by other dehydrators, the drying process is even and fun.
The dehydrator is famously referred a professional model because it allows the user to concentrate on other tasks while it does its thing. The adjustable thermostat with temperatures range of 95-155 degree F gives the user great versatility. You can dry fragile herbs and even tougher foods. More importantly, the thermostat and timer are perfectly paired and timed so that the user can select the heating time at a particular temperature go on with other businesses. You can read a book, prepare projects, cook other foods, or even sleep because the drying process with stop at the point you commanded the machine.
Nesco, included a drip tray in Aroma Professional 6 Tray Food Dehydrator, Black that has made it easy to clean and extend the lifespan. One fast that you cannot run from when preparing dehydrated foods is dripping fruits sap, meat serum, and stubbornly milk. A drip tray helps to collect all of these to avoid unnecessary staining and damage to your machine. If you are thinking of getting a professional machine, this is no doubt one of the best models you can think of.
When you have a large amount of food to dry regularly, a dehydrator with larger capacity is the ideal design. The Nesco FD-1040 1000-watt Gardenmaster is no doubt the machine to beat because of its expandable capacity and lovely design. It generates greater drying power, and its efficiency is far above others in the same category. The machine has a very large drying capacity. Though it is sold with 6 trays, it has a large expandable capacity of up to 20 trays. This builds the machine into a giant dehydrator capable of drying all the fruits, jerky, fruits herbs that you have in store in just one cycle.
Nesco, when working on this machine’s power system ensured that it got ample drying energy. Once you switch it on, the machine generates 1000 watts of drying power that makes it highly effective to dry even tough meat and grains. The extra power was meant to guarantee the users that even the expanded outlook gets equal heating capability for faster dehydration.
The design of this dehydrator is different because it surpasses the common operations of the vertical dehydration process. Nesco went a step further in enhancing the heating system by creating unique pressurized chambers that make heating in both vertical and horizontal outlook. Therefore, the foods placed on each tray will tend to dry faster and more evenly without having to rotate any tray. This is very convenient for the user because rotating all the 20 trays would be a monumental task.
The dehydrator controls are well designed to give the user extra flexibility to dry different types of foods. Depending on the food being dried, the user can select between 90 degrees F to 160 degrees F for tough jerky that requires more heat and time. Besides, it has a thermostat and timer that run concurrently so that the dehydration process can be timed as the user goes on with other tasks. If dehydrating food at night, you can sleep well because the machine will stop at the timed target to avoid damaging the machine and food. The programmable timer can be set for the machine to keep running for 48 hours.
The exterior part is designed with Vital Safe Exterior, which helps to block light that destroys nutrients especially vitamins during the drying process. This machine comes with no-spill roll sheets, clean-A-clean, cure and jerky spice packet. This machine is no doubt an amazing piece that you will no doubt love to add to your kitchen.
10. Waring Pro DHR30
While Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator is a standard machine, its features elevate it even higher. It comes with a thermostat and lovely controls that make using it easy and fun. You install it at home and you can say goodbye to all the chemicals that are added to ready-made foods during processing. The machine uses a horizontal air flow model that makes heating even and efficient. The user does not need to keep opening the heating chamber which wastes time, causes cooling, and raises energy requirement. With this machine, you set it well and wait for all the food to be fully dried.
The Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator is designed with 5 trays that fit in an interlocking manner. This allows the user save on space and create space for additional trays to increase the amount o food you can dry. If you purchase the trays separately, the dehydrator can be expanded to about nine trays. This gives extra space to dehydrate a lot of food in any one cycle. Though this capacity is still low compared to other models that have greater capacities, it is considered ideal for people with low to medium dehydrating needs like small families.
Though the designer did not include a timer in the machine, it features a unique thermostat with 3 adjustable levels (low, medium, high). This makes the machine easy to use with a common timer at home. Even with the thermostat adjustments, you can still set the machine between 110-175 degrees F. For food that require mild temperatures such as herbs, make sure to select low temperature. However, dehydrating meat and hard grains will require high temperatures.
This dehydrator is a powerful drying machine. It is made with 620-watt capacity which makes it easy to dry large types of foods ranging from pasta, soup, fruit leather, herbs, different types of meat, and even milk powder. To dry tomatoes, the machine requires about 2-3 hrs while bananas might take longer, about 7 hours. Because of its extra drying power, the machine has also become a favorite for people who want to dry non-food items such as flower petals, potpourri, and clay.
Every material used to make this machine is extra hardened to make it stronger and long lasting. The trays are machine washable and the machine is stable to sit on the countertop firmly to prevent falls. When all of these are combined with the manufacturer’s guarantee, the buyer is sure of having a unique piece and great value for money. Remember that all narrows down to the care you give the machine.
Benefit Of Food Dehydrator
How To Select The Best Dehydrator For Your Home ?
After you read food dehydrator reviews above, whatever your choice, it is advisable to select the best based on family needs. To get the best food dehydrator, here are some of the most useful tips to apply.
- Identify the right sized: Take a general assessment to establish the quantities of food that require being dried on a regular basis. Some dehydrators have large drying space that can accommodate many shelves allowing you to dry different foods at the same time. A smaller drier might be ideal for a single family unit that only needs to dry small amounts for weekend use. Make sure to factor future requirements and resale value in case you want to upgrade to another.
- Dehydrator’s strength and durability: The best machine is the type that guarantees you longer service and high value for money. Read through reviews and manufacturer’s specifications to get the type that is sturdily built. It should be able to withstand very high temperatures, vibrations, and resist corrosive saps from fruits. For example, the trays should have a non-sticking layer for additional protection. A strong device should also come with a very long warranty.
- Select the right thermostat: To enjoy the drying process, it should not stop you from carrying on with other duties. Check out for the device with adjustable thermostats that allow you to set the temperatures and leave the machine to proceed on its own. Once drying is complete, the machine automatically stops to avoid damaging the food.
- Ability to view the drying process: A good drier should be easy to check out the drying process without stopping the machine. Therefore, consider the machine with a transparent cover so that you can view the progress easily. This is important because some food types like herbs can dry faster than anticipated.
- The number of trays that the dehydrator can hold: Because the drying process can be lengthy, many people find it inconveniencing if they have to dry one food type at a time. Instead, you should be able to dry vegetables, tomatoes, mangoes, and other fruits together. Therefore, check for the device that comes with a number of trays to accommodate all the foods to be dried at a go.
- Consider buying the best brand: Though many manufacturers have entered the market today, it is advisable to look for the brands that have made a name for top performance over time. Carry thorough research to know some of the top models and give their devices top priority during reviews.
- Cost: While the price of the machine should be the last item, it is advisable to look for what falls within one’s budgetary limits. Check out with different stores to identify the best machines and compare their price tags. To enjoy lower rates, check out for stores with offers and special discounts. Some stores even provide free shipping when clients hit a specific quantity of purchase.
When it comes to selecting the best dehydrator, do not leave anything out. Make sure to factor even color preference because the product will be part of the kitchen for a long time. It should therefore be inspirational, enthralling and deliver the highest possible value for money.
Tips On Caring For Your Dehydrator
While food dehydrators are strongly built and able to withstand high temperatures and vibrations, you can only be sure of longer lifespan and high value for money by caring the machine properly. Here are some useful tips for caring the dehydrator.
- Never place a food dehydrator at the countertop edge: Many food dehydrators have significant weight and can get damaged completely from falls. Because of the rotating fan, the machine can vibrate and fall from the edge of the countertop or table. Make sure the surface is flat, gently sloping towards the wall, and keep checking the machine regularly during the drying session.
- The electrical parts of the machine should never be immersed in water: While most parts of the machine can be washed using water and common detergents, the electrical sections should never be wetted. Therefore, as the trays are immersed in a dishwasher or washing basin, the main frame should only be wiped carefully to avoid water getting into the fan or heater. Water risks causing electrocution, corrosion of electrical parts, and malfunctioning of the entire system.
- Only heat foodstuffs at the recommended temperatures: All foods that are dried in a dehydrator have recommended temperatures. Besides, they should only be placed in the dryer for a specific time frame to avoid overheating and damaging the food. Excess heating only causes unnecessary stress on the machine and accelerates the wearing and tearing process.
- For foods that need many drying hours, make sure to check the process regularly: While modern dehydrators are automated and can be left for many hours on, it is advisable to keep checking the process regularly. Jut like other machines, any part can malfunction and cause a lot of damage. For example, if the thermostat malfunctions, temperatures can exceed and damage your food. Therefore, if you have to leave food to dry the entire night, check the process about two times or more to ensure everything is okay.
- Carry regular maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer: Many heating devices like the dehydrators are sturdily built to last for many years without getting damaged. However, the process of tearing and wearing off starts immediately you commence using the device. The thermostats, fan, and heater might be slowly wearing out down and at the brink of breaking down. Even if the machine does not depict any sign of damage, follow regular maintenance routines recommended by the manufacturer.
Five Most Critical Things Perhaps You Didn't Know About Food Dehydrators
- Using a dehydrator can help to improve the taste of food: Though the objective of many people when shopping for a food dehydrator is simply drying and preserving food, the machine can be used to enhance the taste of grains, vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds.
- It can cause significant heating inside the house: Because of the hot air being pushed through the heating trays and out via the vent, the immediate environment of the machine can be hotter compared to other areas. Therefore, it is advisable to place the machine in a room or section with adequate ventilation.
- The humidity of the air is critical in determining the drying pace: If you place it in a very humid section, the air it draws will be humid and lower the drying process. Therefore, consider positioning it in a dry place preferably outside the storage unit.
- It can be used to make yogurt drops: To make milk more nutritious and tasty, prepare yogurt and add fresh juice of pineapples, mangoes, grapes, and apples. Then, dry in the dehydrator until it becomes thick but not hard.
- Sealed trays help to dehydrate food without mixing their flavors: Though many people recommend drying foods separately, latest models with sealed trays allow heating without mixing the flavors. Simply put different foods on different trays and heat.
How To Dehydrate Raw Food ?
Preserving herbs, kale chips, or vegetables is the surest way of ensuring you have constant and highly nutritious supply. Here is a step-by-step guide of drying them on the dehydrator.
STEP ONE: Pre-drying procedure
This step involves collection of the food items from the market or garden. If you are sourcing from the market, check out for those that are healthier and look more nutritious. Then, carefully clean the raw food to clear every dirt, mollusks, and insects that might have attached to the back of the leaves. Cleaning also removes chemical residues from the farm that can affect the taste or even cause poisoning.
Dry the raw food between two pieces of clean towels to remove all water that might have been left in the crevices. If the weather is warm or sunny, place the food outside in a shallow tray for more drying before placing inside the dehydrator. For kales, cut them into small preferred chips and dry them a little in the open before placing in the dehydrator.
STEP TWO: Drying at the right temperatures
Place the raw food on different trays and position well on the dehydrator. If the herbs being dried are basils or Sage, pluck the leaves and place them in one layer on the racks. Remember that every leaf, kale chip, or herb should not be placed touching each other. Instead, they should leave small spaces to allow for air circulation and even drying.
Close the dehydrator and set the thermostat at temperatures between 95-115 °F. All the moisture will be cleared leaving the raw food looking curly and with deep colors. Remember that unlike meat that requires a lot of heating and time, vegetables and herbs dry rather fast and require regular checking. While the recommended time is 2-3 hours, you need to start checking for about one hour. Once dry completely, stop the dehydrator and allow cooling.
STEP THREE: Removal from the dehydrator and storage
Select the right preservation method to use. A good option that will protect the vegetables, kales, and herbs for a long time is using the glass jars. Pick each type of dried food and place in separate glass jars with tight fitting lids. Besides, you might also consider crushing them before placing on preservation jars. Remember that when food is dehydrated, enzymes and flavors are so much concentrated and only small quantities should be used when mixing with other foods.
What You Can Make With A Food Dehydrator ?
A food dehydrator at home is among the most important assets that not only add value to the premise, but anchors revolution on how things are done. It is the surest way of enjoying yummier foods, bringing the family together, and enjoying success in life. Here are several things you can do with a food dehydrator.
You can see 36 Fool-Proof Food Dehydrator Recipes
1. Dehydrating fruits:
Many fruits you buy from the market are only available seasonally. To maintain a constant supply of fruits in the market, sellers often import them from other countries, at times thousands of miles away. However, you can dehydrate fruits to enjoy a constant supply in all seasons. Buy the fruits in large quantities when they are in season and dehydrate to reach a moisture content of about 15-20%. You can dehydrate fruits to use the entire year, winter, or to simply take the family to the next season.
2. Dehydrating vegetables:
Though vegetable supply is more consistent compared to fruits, the process of collecting them on a daily basis can be herculean. Besides, preparing fresh vegetables can be a tall order when time is limited. However, with a food dehydrator, you can dehydrate all the vegetables the family needs to make access and preparation faster. To dehydrate vegetables, clean and rinse them well before arranging in different layers and set at temperatures between 90-115 degrees F. Once leaves start getting wrinkled, you can ground them into fine powder for ease of storage in jars or store as full leaves in special vacuum papers. Make sure to store the dried vegetables in areas free of moisture.
3. Dehydrating herbs:
You love mint, sage, and other herbs? Don’t stick to the packets sold in the hyper. Because the herbs grow fast, you can plant them in the kitchen garden or pots. You can also source them from the market and dehydrate at home to enjoy a regular supply of high-quality flavours. Remember to dehydrate each herb alone because mixing them can damage flavours.
4. Dehydrating meats:
Storing fresh meat can be a challenge. It goes bad fast and loses the original taste easily. To prepare beef jerky, chicken, turkey or bacon, cut into small slices are place them well on the food dehydrator to dry. Unlike other foods such as herbs and vegetables, dehydrating meat requires a lot of time and high temperatures. Set the dehydrator to dry the meat at temperatures ranging from 115-170 degrees F. Your jerky will be a thrill for regular barbecue over the weekend and daily use.
5. Dehydrating nuts:
Health experts recommend people to take a lot of nuts because they are low in saturated fats, supply essential minerals, and release energy slowly so that you fill full the entire day. However, nuts can be very costly especially when out of season. To dry nuts and get more nutritional benefits, collect and clean them to clear all the dirt. Then, soak them in a jar full of water for 7 hours or the entire night. Soaking activates germination enzymes that help to release special proteins and minerals.
Drain the water in the morning and dry the nuts using a clean dry towel. Spread the nuts in a single layer on every dehydrator tray. Though nuts are hard, do not use very high temperatures because it can denature the enzymes. Set the dehydrator to a temperature range of 90-95 Degrees F and continue drying until they are crispy.
6. Dehydrating Yogurt
While enjoying other dried foods can be a real thrill, it is dehydrated yogurt that kids will love taking during school breaks or in afternoon parties. To dehydrate yogurt, mix well in a jar and add your fruits and flavours of choice. These give it a lovely colour which will make the yogurt rolls irresistible. On the food dehydrator trays, place a cover of unbleached parchment foil that can withstand high temperatures during drying.
Carefully apply thin layers of yogurt running from one side to the next. It is important to note the width of the yogurt rolls especially if you want kids to take a piece at a time. You can spread the yogurt layers using a spoon for evenness. For people who love crisp shaped dried yogurt, use spoon to drop yogurt at separate intervals and spread into circles. Then place the trays into the food dehydrator and set it at 125-130 degrees F and dry until dry. Finally, store in water tight jars and enjoy with breakfast, carry together with other food for packed lunch, or use for camping.
A dehydrator at home has many advantages; some direct while others indirect. The dehydrator provides a new way of looking at food supplies, making additional savings, maintaining a constant supply of nutritious foods, and keeping the family healthy. As an addition to your kitchen, it will make the kitchen look stylish, and every meal will be a thrill. Remember that once you get the best dehydrator of choice; ensure to take good care of it to enjoy its service and value for money. Understand the drying procedure of every food type by following the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully.