Best Food Dehydrator Consumer Reports

Best Food Dehydrator Consumer Reports, Tips, Reviews, Ratings, and Guides in 2022

The best food dehydrator can really come in handy, especially if you like to make your own snacks and preserves. With all the different models on the market, it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top food dehydrators based on consumer reports. So whether you’re looking for an affordable option or something with more features, you’ll find the perfect dehydrator here.​

What is a food dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is an appliance used for dehydration of various foods, primarily fruits and vegetables. They are more commonly known as “jerky” machines to people on the go. However, there are quite a few different uses for this handy little machine. You can make your own dried pasta, craft homemade beef jerky, and even use it in place of an oven when baking! The possibilities really are endless with the best food dehydrator.

Most Common Types of food dehydrator:

Electric food dehydrator

The first type is an electric food dehydrator. They range in size from small tabletop models to massive commercial devices that can handle large quantities of foods at once. Most operate with a heating unit and fan inside the machine which warms the air, causing water to evaporate off certain foods. The appliance uses special racks where you place your items, so they are exposed evenly to the warm air circulating throughout the device. Once you’ve dried them out, it’s time to store or eat!

Solar food dehydrator

Solar food dehydrators work through natural evaporation. The “oven” of the machine is an insulated container which you fill with your fruits and veggies, layering them evenly throughout. Once closed, this appliance works by trapping the rising water vapor inside of it. As the sun heats up the device, it lets off a warm glow that dries out all your foods in about 8-12 hours.​

Oven Dehydrator:

A dehydrator that works by using the heat from your oven can be beneficial because it requires little to no special temperature controls. There are some risks involved though, so proceed with caution!

Ovens will usually reach temperatures between 150-350 degrees while running. This is more than enough to completely dry out foods, but there’s also a risk of starting a fire if you don’t pay careful attention to what you’re doing. If you plan on using your oven dehydrator often, make sure there are no flammable items nearby that could catch fire easily.​

Factors to Consider before buying food dehydrator:

Size: When it comes to food dehydrators, size does matter! There are smaller models that can only fit about four small trays inside. These types of appliances are ideal for making your own jerky or for drying out small batches of fruits and veggies. If you plan on using your machine for larger items like beef jerky strips or thick cut vegetables, you’ll want something bigger with more space between the racks.

Timer: This is an important factor to investigate if you enjoy cooking many different things throughout the day. Most food dehydrators come equipped with a timer, so you don’t have to worry about constantly checking up on them. The main point here is to make sure you’ve got good coverage in case anything goes wrong; you don’t want to leave the machine on for hours without it being monitored.

Price Range: Of course, price is always a factor when looking into buying any type of product. Luckily, there are different food dehydrators available at all sorts of budgets! You can get one that fits within your budget, or you might be willing to pay extra for more capabilities. Just make sure you’re getting something that will suit your needs and last for a while!

Number of Trays: The more trays you can fit inside of your appliance, the more food that will be able to dry out at once! This means you’ll be able to complete more batches faster. When it comes to getting a dehydrator with multiple trays, just make sure they are easily accessible so you can change them out rather quickly​.

Water Tray: If you want a simple solution to catching the water that drips from your foods, look for a food dehydrator with a built-in tray. This is going to be a small container located directly underneath the trays where all the excess moisture will go as it evaporates off. It’s usually easy to clean and can hold quite a bit at once!

Footprint: The size of your kitchen appliances really does matter! You don’t want something that is large and bulky taking up tons of space on your counter; it leaves little room for other things and makes an eye sore in general. Be sure and measure your countertops before making any purchases so you don’t end up with something too big or too small​.

Features: Some appliances might come with special features that you’re going to want to consider before buying. Some may have a remote-control, high-tech timers, different temperature controls, and more! These are just a few things that can separate one appliance from another in this category​.

Price:  The price of a food dehydrator is going to vary depending on the brand, size, and capabilities. It’s important to shop around so you can get the best deal for your money. You shouldn’t have to pay too much if you’re trying to find something that’s affordable yet still gets the job done well!

Brands:  If you’re familiar with a certain brand and you trust its quality, then it’s always best to stick with something that has worked for you in the past. However, if you’re looking into getting your first food dehydrator and want something reputable, there are plenty of well-known brands to choose from! You can go with Nesco or Presto for some affordable appliances or opt for another name like Excalibur if you’d like something higher tech and efficient.

Design: This is something that really sets certain food dehydrators apart from others. There are tons of different designs and modern features; you can choose anything from a small countertop appliance with basic controls to a larger cabinet style with timers and removable trays. It’s important to pick something that will fit with your kitchen theme and be functional for everything you need​.

Power Consumption: Getting a dehydrator with lower power consumption is something to keep in mind if you’re concerned about using too much electricity. You don’t want your bills going up significantly just because of one appliance! Look for a model that will suit your needs and doesn’t pull too many amps​.

Specifications: There   are a few specifications to look for when purchasing your appliance. Depending on the size you get, you may want to consider how many watts it uses so you can figure out if it will properly fit into your power source at home​. Also, pay close attention to the amps and voltage so you don’t buy an appliance that’s going to cause problems in your kitchen​.

Warranty: A warranty is something every product should have these days! This way, if anything happens while using your dehydrator, there’s always a solution for fixing or replacing it. Warranties usually last around one year; make sure this is long enough before committing to buying an expensive piece of equipment. If you want something with a longer warranty period (for a higher price of course) you can choose from an Excalibur dehydrator with 5 years warranty!

Temperature/fan settings: The amount of temperature and fan settings your dehydrator has will play a big role in how well it works. This is one way to figure out which appliance you want when shopping around; if you have specific needs, it’s important to get something with plenty of customizable options so you can control everything from the outside!

Ease of use: This is one of the biggest factors to consider while shopping around. You want something that’s easy to use and straightforward so you’re not looking up a companion guide every time you use it. Make sure there are some simple controls on your appliance without any confusing or unnecessary buttons​.

Cleanup: Dehydrating food is going to create a mess, no matter how well designed the machine is! It’s important for an appliance in this category to have removable trays so cleanup is easier and not such a hassle. Also, look for something with dishwasher safe materials if you don’t feel like cleaning by hand every night​.

Material:  Now, this really depends on the type of food you’re dehydrating​. If you’re looking to make jerky, then stainless steel is probably your best option for durability and longevity. However, if you’re only using it to dry fruit or vegetables instead of meat, plastic trays would be easier to clean and prevent any weird tastes from transferring over during the drying process​.

Durability:  Since food dehydrators are typically stronger than your typical countertop appliances, it’s important to get something that will last for several years. This is certainly the case if you chose an expensive product with more bells and whistles; not only would you be wasting your money on something new every few months, but it would also be inconvenient! Look for a durable appliance that won’t break under pressure​.

Comfort: Of course, you should always consider how comfortable an appliance is! If it’s hard to use or uncomfortable in any way, then there are certainly better options out there. Always look for something with ergonomic designs to make your experience easier and not so much of a hassle​.

The Pros and Cons of food dehydrator:


More nutritional value.

You can get a great deal on meats at the grocery store when they’re on sale, buy them and dehydrate them to save them for later.

It’s more convenient that canning or freezing your own food.

Foods last longer because dehydration is a natural way to keep food from spoiling.


A dehydrator uses a lot of electricity so it may be hard on your bills each month if you use one a lot.

The dryer sheets have chemicals in them, so this isn’t exactly healthy for you either.

Depending on the type of food drying, some foods take up much more space than others; make sure you have enough room before buying an appliance with large trays.


What’s the difference between a food dehydrator and an oven?

Now, this is a very common question that we get asked all the time! The main differences are going to be in how you’re using it. If you’re just trying to dry fruit or vegetables, then using an oven would work just fine. It takes a lot longer than a dehydrator though​. You can also use both at the same time if you want dry foods; try doing this with beef jerky for example. Just remember that no matter how long you leave food in an oven, it will never taste as good as something dried in a dehydrator because of the low temperatures used to cook it​.

How many watts does your appliance need?

The wattage of an appliance is typically on the back or bottom somewhere, usually around the electrical plug. If you have enough watts to handle the size of your trays, it really shouldn’t be a problem. A bigger dehydrator will have more wattage overall even though most only use about 400W per hour​. This means that if you have a larger dehydrator with nine trays for instance, it’ll take less time than something smaller with five trays because there are fewer watts being used per tray​.

What are some common uses for food dehydrators?

There are tons of different foods that can be dried with one of these appliances! Some popular ones include fruit leathers, herbs, beef jerky, banana chips, and even yogurt. It’s also great for making healthy snacks like granola bars which are usually full of sugar​. The possibilities really are endless as long as you try to experiment with new things! Just remember that some foods can take up more space than others; make sure you have enough room before buying an appliance with large trays.

How does a food dehydrator work?

The way a simple dehydrator can function depends on its type and model. We’ll focus more on electric devices since they’re usually the most popular. The way these appliances work is that they use electricity to heat up your food until it’s dry enough to preserve it. If you’re using specific foods like jerky or leather, then there will need to be a lot of moisture removed before being put into the dehydrator which can also be done through this method​.

Can you make yogurt in a dehydrator?

If you have an appliance with trays big enough for whatever container you plan on using, then yes! ​Being able to make your own healthy yogurt is great if you want something fresh without all of the chemicals that are used to keep them from spoiling quickly at stores​. It’s also much healthier since there won’t be any added sugars or high fructose corn syrup when you make it from scratch​.

What are the different kinds of dehydrators?

The most popular kinds include box, stackable, and round models; there are also commercial grade appliances for larger amounts of food. Some people even like to make their own DIY ones using Styrofoam boxes like this one here! The possibilities really are endless if you try to experiment with new things! It’s worth mentioning that not all dehydrators work well with certain foods; some need lower degrees than others while others may need specific features like an adjustable thermostat without any additional features. That’s why it’s always best to read reviews before buying something like this so you know what you’re getting yourself into​. How often should you clean a dehydrator? You shouldn’t need to clean it very often, just make sure that nothing is stuck on the trays if possible. Since dehydrators are usually quite simple machines, they don’t need to be cleaned too frequently unless something gets spilled inside of it which shouldn’t happen if you’re using them properly!

How To Use a Food Dehydrator?

To make the most out of this appliance, it’s important to know how to properly use one, from beginning to end! We’ll give you a few simple steps that will ensure your fruits and veggies turn out perfectly every time:

To get started, you’ll need a large countertop space with adequate ventilation where you can set up the machine. Make sure it is set at least three feet away from anything that could cause it to overheat or catch fire.

Next, clean your unit well before using it for the first time. Depending on the model, it may have certain pieces that can be removed to clean more efficiently. If so, make sure these are done before you begin so nothing falls apart along the way. Any areas which are inaccessible should be cleaned with a damp cloth or towel, so no debris gets collected over time​.

Next, prepare your fruits and veggies by rinsing them off well then slicing them into thin pieces; this will allow air to circulate around each piece properly while it dries to ensure they’re dried evenly! 4) After cutting your foods up, arrange them onto each tray in even amounts without overcrowding. This will ensure that air flows easily between every piece of food which is what causes them to dry out in the first place. If they’re touching, there won’t be enough room for this to occur​.

Next, simply switch on your unit and let it do its thing! Since every appliance is different, you’ll need to make sure that the temperature is set around 110 degrees Fahrenheit or 45 Celsius if possible; this will prevent any burning or excessive heating which may ruin your foods. 6) After everything has finished up, remove each tray, and place them into labeled and airtight containers (if available). This will ensure that your food stays fresh until you want to eat it without worrying about anything going bad or stale.

Repeat this process until all your products have been dehydrated then store them somewhere where they can stay cool and dry. An ideal location may be somewhere like your pantry or cupboard that isn’t too hot or humid but can still fit in with the rest of your kitchen decor.

That’s it! It really is simple once you get everything ready​, now all you need to do is wait for them to finish up! Something worth mentioning here is that some fruits (like bananas) turn brown after being dehydrated; this doesn’t make them inedible by any means, but it might not be what you were expecting when they’re done. The reason this happens has to do with the enzymes inside which tend to react badly to heat; since they’re no longer fresh at this point, you’re left with golden bananas instead of yellow ones.

How long do you have to run a food dehydrator?

This will be a bit different from one model to another depending on how powerful it is which means you should carefully read the manual that comes with your unit or have a quick chat with customer service if possible. In general, though, most food dehydrators can run for about 10-12 hours at a time before needing to be stopped and allowed to cool off for a few minutes​. The reason this happens has mainly to do with heat so make sure not to run it for too long or that might burn up all of your hard-earned fruits and vegetables!

How can I make beef jerky with a food dehydrator?

It’s incredibly easy to make your own beef jerky using a food dehydrator! Simply follow the same steps as you would normally use but instead of buying fruit or vegetables from the store, go out and buy some lean meat instead – preferably organic if you can afford it. After getting home, slice it up into extremely thin pieces then arrange them on each tray just like before.

Next, switch on your machine and keep a close eye on everything as it finishes​. It shouldn’t take more than a few hours for this process to complete so now all you must do is check back in now and again​! Remove the finished product from the trays once they’re done​ and place them into an airtight container or ziplock bag for storage. You can also buy a jerky gun online which will quickly and easily slice your meat into thin, even pieces after you place them inside!

What foods can I make using a food dehydrator?

The sky is the limit when it comes to experimenting with different kinds of foods that you can make right at home in your own kitchen! While there are vegetables like tomatoes or onions that work well, you’ll probably want to stick with fruits if possible since they turn out much better than other kinds of veggies do – especially when it comes to getting the texture right​. Some good examples may include apples, bananas, grapes, pineapples & more! The same goes for meats; while some meats like fish or chicken may turn out okay, you’ll want to stick with something like beef if possible. That’s it! As long as all of the food has been cleaned off beforehand and cut into thin pieces then there are no limits to what can be made which means you can feel free to experiment with things until you find the perfect recipe for yourself

Do you have to use all the trays in a dehydrator?

The simple answer is yes, you should use all the trays that come with your dehydrator to get everything done faster. Now, this doesn’t mean that it will take less time if you use just a few instead – in fact it often takes even longer when you only fill a few at a time since they’ll need to be checked more frequently! Depending on which food dehydrator you have though, there may not be enough room for every tray so try to plan and have an idea of what’s going in beforehand​.

If everything has been cut into thin pieces then there won’t be any issues no matter how much space each piece takes up; otherwise however, things might start getting stuck or fall through the gaps which can result in incomplete dehydration!


Food dehydrators have really taken off in popularity in recent years and it’s clear to see why! They’re convenient to use and allow people of all ages to save money by buying things in bulk then making their own healthy snacks or meals. It saves time cooking, gets rid of excess humidity from your home, and allows anyone who enjoys fresh foods or dried fruit a great way to get what they love!

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Best Food Dehydrator Consumer Reports