Top 5 Best Food Dehydrators 2020:
- L’EQUIP FilterPro Food Dehydrator
- Nesco FD-28JX Jerky Xpress Dehydrator
- Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Food Dehydrator
- MAGIC MILL PRO Food Dehydrator
- Gourmia GFD1550 Food Dehydrator
If you are an avid gardener who wants to be able to preserve the seasonal produce, or you are merely health-conscious and want to eat healthily and preserve your well-being, buying a food dehydrator might be a good idea!
In the aftermath of the pandemic, we all need to wave good-buy to commercial products full of harmful additives and strengthen our immunity by preparing healthy and affordable food and snacks on our own!
A food dehydrator will help you do that! It has many uses and benefits, especially if you get a high-quality unit that will serve you long & well. How can you be sure that you are buying the very best food dehydrator?
You can read our detailed buying guide, or choose a dehydrator from our Top 5 list! So, let’s see what we have found out for you…
5 Best Food Dehydrators In 2020: Detailed Reviews
1. MAGIC MILL PRO Food Dehydrator – Healthy and safe
The MAGIC MILL PRO Food Dehydrator is designed for optimal functioning. It features a rear-mounted fan that secures even temperature throughout the unit and guarantees adequate drying of the food.
The adjustable preset thermostat allows you to adjust the optimal temperature for the food you are drying. It will automatically shut down the machine when the food is done. You can select the right temperature from 95°F to 167 °F and set drying time from 30 minutes to 24 hours. The countdown timer allows you to plan your time.
The MAGIC MILL PRO Food Dehydrator comes equipped with seven stainless steel trays, as well as multiple useful accessories. You’ll receive two fine mesh sheets and two fruit leather trays as well as one set of oven mitts. All the trays and mesh sheets are dishwasher-safe, making cleaning a breeze.
The trays are spacious, and you can dry as much as 8 lbs. of food at the time. There is a minor design flaw, though – the edges of the trays are not raised to keep round items such as blueberries or peas from falling off them.
- It can be used for drying a variety of foods from fruits to meat
- Large capacity
- Safety features
- BPA-free materials
- Stainless steel, dishwasher-safe trays
- Multiple accessories
- Not energy-efficient
- The sides of the trays are not raised
2. Nesco FD-28JX Jerky Xpress Dehydrator – Perfect for beginners
If you are about to use a food dehydrator for the first time, you can try a beginner-friendly Nesco FD-28JX Jerky Xpress Dehydrator Kit. It is quite a basic unit with only one temperature setting, so there is no need for any complicated temperature and timer settings that could go wrong. The temp is set automatically for perfect results every time!
The Nesco FD-28JX Jerky Xpress Dehydrator features Fan-Flow technology that guarantees excellent heat distribution and even drying of all the food you place in the machine. You don’t have to rotate the trays.
The trays are easy to remove, and you can fit up to seven of them into the unit. They are made from BPA-free plastic but are dishwasher safe too, and you do not have to worry about having to wash them by hand.
The Nesco FD-28JX Jerky Xpress Dehydrator comes with multiple accessories required for drying your favorite food. You do not have to make any additional purchases. You will receive four detachable trays, an easy-to-use jerky gun with three different tip sizes, and a few bags of spice and curry packs to add some flavor to your favorite dried snacks. Unfortunately, the jerky gun could be much better.
- Energy-efficient ( requires only 350 watts of power)
- Dishwasher-safe trays
- Includes a jerky gun and different flavors of jerky spices
- Expandable to seven trays
- A single temperature setting is not suitable for dehydrating all food items
- The jerky gun could be significantly improved
3. Gourmia GFD1550 Food Dehydrator – Compact and lightweight
The Gourmia GFD1550 Food Dehydrator With Digital Temperature Settings is a compact and lightweight unit. It comes with an inspiring cookbook that offers a bunch of excellent recipes for nutritious treats with zero additives or preservatives!
The digital controls Gourmia GFD1550 Food Dehydrator features help you set the preferential temperatures. A countdown timer helps you monitor the time and informs you when your food is ready, and the machine stops. The unit can run continuously for up to 48 hours. The internal sensor will prevent overheating, and thus your food will never be burnt or overdried.
The Gourmia GFD1550 Food Dehydrator has a small footprint given its capacity and thus saves a lot of counter space while still being able to dehydrate large amounts of food. It contains five plastic trays that are BPA-free. This unit is ETL certified, too, so you can be 100% sure that it’s a safe, high-quality appliance.
The trays can be easily washed by hand if you let them soak up in soapy water a bit. They are not dishwasher approved, though. The unit is on the higher end of the price range, too, and thus not an ideal option for those of you on a limited budget.
- Comes with a practical cookbook
- Digital controls
- Bottom-loaded fan
- BPA-free and ETL certified
- Compact and lightweight
- It is not recommended to wash the trays in the dishwasher
4. Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Food Dehydrator – High-end, professional-grade unit
The Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Food Dehydrator might cost a small fortune but is well worth it. It features an internal venting system that distributes air throughout the unit to cover each tray adequately. As a result, all your food is evenly dried, and there is no need for you to rotate the trays.
It is all thanks to the new fan system incorporated in the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator. All the interlocking trays are separated, and the horizontal airflow can get distributed well. As a result, no part of the tray gets overheated or stays unreached.
This model comes with five stackable locking trays made of high-grade plastic. The shelves are BPA free, too, making your dried snacks safe to eat. The trays are adjustable, and thus, you can fit in up to nine extra trays and significantly increase the dehydrator’s capacity. You’ll also receive fruit roll-up sheets.
The Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator features an adjustable temperature knob
that offers five preset settings for you to choose from (off, high, low, medium, and only fan). You can always rely on this kind of controls, unlike the digital controls that often malfunction.
- Comes with fruit roll-up sheets
- Extra interlocking trays can be ordered separately
- Excellent heat distribution throughout the unit
- An adjustable thermostat
- Highly efficient top-fan system
- BPA-free plastic trays
- High price
- With 620 watts of power, it can run up your electricity bills
5. L’EQUIP FilterPro Food Dehydrator – High quality at a reasonable price
The L’EQUIP FilterPro Food Dehydrator will enable you to eat healthy, highly-nutritious food, without making you broke! It is set apart from all the other units on our Top 5 list by an air filtration system. This system will make all your dried food dust and allergen-free.
The L’EQUIP FilterPro Food Dehydrator features two digital displays- one shows the temperature, and one is reserved for the timer settings. Two separate knobs allow you to determine the preferred temperature and optimal drying time. As a bonus, you have an automatic 24 hour shut down mechanism. It makes the unit safe and prevents overheating.
The L’EQUIP FilterPro Food Dehydrator is equipped with six trays. The trays are made of high-grade BPA-free plastic. They are rather deep, allowing you to dry big and bulky items or prepare yogurt. You have enough space to accommodate up to nine additional trays and increase the unit’s overall capacity.
The only downfall of this food dehydrator is that the trays are not see-through. Therefore, it is impossible to monitor the drying process or check whether your food is done dehydrating without stopping the machine.
- The air filtration system that filters the air from dust and allergens
- A micro heat sensor secures constant temperature.
- BPA free plastic trays
- Reasonable price
- Expandable capacity
- The trays are not see-through
Why Buy A Food Dehydrator?
What Is A Food Dehydrator?
- Food dehydrators are quite simple machines that feature a low-wattage heating element and a fan. A fan blows the hot air through open racks and dries your food.
Who Should Buy A Food Dehydrator?
- Even though it is highly beneficial, food dehydrator might not be for everyone. For this reason, read a few following paragraphs to make sure you should buy it.
- First of all, we want to warn you that using a food dehydrator requires a lot of effort on your part. You have to prepare all the produce or meat you plan to dehydrate. It will take a lot of peeling, slicing, filleting, and so on, so be ready for that.
- The good news is that the result will be rewarding!
- If you are a serious gardener and you had an excellent growing season, a food dehydrator will help you preserve the riches you have yielded at harvest time. You will be able to dehydrate root vegetables and use them for soups and stews during the winter season. Dehydrated fruit makes healthy and tasty snacks too.
Why Not Just Freeze Your Bounty?
- Well, dehydrated food will take up far less storage space. That means that you can stock up on healthy products.
- If you are a hunting or fishing enthusiast, you are quite aware that freezer space fills up quickly. A dehydrator can help you turn fresh meat, salmon, trout, or tuna into shelf-stable tasty snacks. It is a preservation technique that can save you a lot of money.
- In fact, anyone who prefers making their own snacks from scratch should get a food dehydrator. It allows you to tailor the recipes to your liking and choose only the highest-quality ingredients. If you or your kids have food sensitivities, you should best stay away from commercially processed snacks and take this DIY approach.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
- Nothing is perfect. Dehydrating your own meals has some downfalls too. Such meals don’t have as long of a shelf life as frozen food.
What To Consider When Buying A Food Dehydrator?
There are a few things you need to get informed about before purchasing a food dehydrator for your home. Here is the detailed list:
There are two types of food dehydrators on the market:
- Cylinder-shaped vertical-flow dehydrator
- Box-shaped horizontal-flow models
- Vertical flow dehydrators feature a rather simple design. They are composed of stacked trays that create a chamber. There is a fan located on one end of this cylinder (either top or bottom) that circulates air throughout the unit.
- In comparison to horizontal-flow dehydrators, vertical-flow units are typically cheaper and more compact. Therefore, if you have a limited budget or limited space, opt for such a model.
- Even though they have a smaller footprint, many vertical dehydrators allow you to expand drying capacity by buying extra trays.
- The greatest downfall of vertical-flow design is that it limits you in terms of how thick the food you are drying can be. Namely, all the stacked trays need to fit together perfectly to form a sealed drying chamber, which means that you can dry only food that is not thicker than the depth of the tray. Some vertical-flow dehydrators offer a solution for bulkier items- you can buy special deeper trays at an additional cost.
- Horizontal flow dehydrators look like little ovens. They feature slide-in trays and are made from either plastic or stainless steel. The heating element and fan are situated at the back.
- Horizontal-flow models are generally more expensive and require more space on your kitchen countertop. However, they are much more versatile as they do not limit your food choice. If an item is big or bulky, you can simply remove one tray and make room for it.
2. Heat Distribution
- The best dehydrators distribute the heat evenly. That means you do not need to rearrange the trays or your food much, if at all. The better dehydrator circulates air, the less attention you will have to pay to the drying process.
- We think that vertical-flow dehydrators with the fan at their base have the best drying results. It is all due to basic physics laws – the heat rises naturally while the bottom-mounted motor only helps it circulate better. If the dehydrator is top-mounted, the motor has to push the heated air downwards, and that requires more power.
- For this reason, horizontal-flow dehydrators often fail at drying the food evenly. It probably has to do with the right-angled corners on these box-shaped models that create dead-spots. You can help by rotating the trays during the process.
- You can also opt for a horizontal-flow dehydrator with a bigger fan that moves more air. A bigger fan should mean less rotating the trays for you. Still, you must be aware that even the best horizontal-flow dehydrator will never dry food as evenly as a round vertical-flow unit that has a base-mounted motor.
3. Size And Capacity
- It will take a lot of time and effort to prepare and dry food, and you should thus look for a unit that has a large capacity and enables you to dehydrate a lot at once. If you have limited space, try to balance between the actual size of the unit and its drying volume. Two units of roughly the same diameter can have quite a different capacity.
- A majority of dehydrator trays are made from plastic. Even though it can be quite a fuss to wash them all by hand and get into every corner and nook, sometimes that is your only option. Namely, some plastic trays are not dishwasher-safe as the high water temperatures can warp them.
- If you insist on having dishwasher-safe trays, you should best opt for a horizontal-flow dehydrator with stainless steel racks. Sometimes you can even get stainless steel racks separately; at an additional cost, of course. We still haven’t discovered a vertical-flow dehydrator with stainless steel trays.
5. Automatic Shutoff Function
- An automatic shutoff feature is an excellent addition if you are experienced at dehydrating, and you know the dehydrating time for every different batch. If the machine stops before time, and you are not there, there is a risk that everything will get spoiled, and all your efforts will be in vain.
6. Temperature Settings
Different types of foods require different drying temperatures. In general, dehydrators have six to seven temperature settings. You can thus adjust the temp from 90 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Here is a short guide:
- Fruits and vegetables should be dried at temperatures ranging from 125 to 140 degrees.
- Nuts, delicate herbs, and flowers are best dried at 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Meat and fish are best dehydrated at a temperature of around 160 degrees.
Some dehydrators feature digital control panels and dual-stage capabilities. You thus have an option to start the drying process at a higher temperature. It is not usually worth the extra cost.
7. Quiet Operation
- All dehydrators feature a fan that inevitably makes noise when droning at high speed. Choose a quieter dehydrator or at least place it as far from your bedroom as you can.
- Accessories can increase the usability of any item. A food dehydrator that comes with a fine-mesh mat to keep the small items from falling through or fruit-roll trays can thus be more attractive to buyers. Think about whether you really need the extra items, and do not be seduced by them!
Final Thoughts: What Is The Best Food Dehydrator You Can Buy?
You are now well educated and capable of making your own choice when shopping for a food dehydrator. What do we think?
In our humble opinion, the very best unit is the L’EQUIP FilterPro Food Dehydrator. It balances the quality and price quite well and features a unique filtering system that will make your dried snacks super-healthy.
If you are on a limited budget or have never used a food dehydrator before, you can opt for a beginner-friendly, affordable Nesco FD-28JX Jerky Xpress Dehydrator. You’ll even get some spices to make your snacks tastier!
Due to its large capacity and high-quality making, Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Food Dehydrator is an excellent option for those of you who want to be able to sell the dried seasonal produce on the Farmer’s market.
In any case, hurry up and get a food dehydrator so that you can start enjoying healthy and highly-nutritious dried food!