If you’re tired of your fresh meat, fish, fruit, veg, seed, or herbs going bad too quickly and before you have time to use them, you can look into buying the best food dehydrator to solve all your problems. What if you’ve never heard of a food dehydrator, though? Why should this, of all things, help you?
We get it doesn’t sound like the most appealing process in the world. Dry food conjures up a few too many memories of lackluster meals as a child or more recently, attempting your first and perhaps second meal of your own making at college with your brand new cookbook. It’s not completely dry food, though, and the process is a little more complex than that.
A food dehydrator traps nutrients and vitamins. It increases the longevity of your perishables (those we discussed above) and helps you save space in the freezer. Eating healthy has arguably never been easier, especially with the plethora of food-related gifts, but if you grew up before the health kick boom engulfed society, it can sometimes be challenging to remember to grab your daily health fix. With a food dehydrator, you get to flip it so that the healthy food is on your schedule, not the other way around.
The Best Food Dehydrator
As the first product on our list and also the highest-rated, the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machine is known to be thorough, easy to use, convenient and safe. It comes equipped with sic stainless steel trays (so that you can get more done at once), as well as a mesh screen, and fruit roll sheet. Just so you will not have trouble using the machine, included with every purchase is a manual on how to use and a book with up to fifty special recipes for you to enjoy, so that you never run out of ideas on how to use your food dehydrator. Along with all its other features, this machine includes an easy to read control panel and a timer; all you’ll need to do is place your food inside the dehydrator, set the timer and let it do all the work. And with an automatic shut off function which will kick in once the time is up, you will always be safe using this item. When it starts to overheat, you can also expect the equipped overheat protection to activate.
Once you’re done, you’ll be glad to know that the trays are also fairly easy to clean and are dishwasher friendly. The brand Cosori promises that this machine will bring you an unmatchable flavor, and has made this a possibility with the array of recipes included with the product. It is easy to see why so many customer love and trust this product, as they have declared that it is cost-effective, easy to use and overall, the fact that it delivers well dehydrated, great-tasting results.
Stainless Steel finish with glass door
Includes 6 stainless steel trays
Automatic timer and overheat protection
- Weight23.6 pounds
Our favorite pick of the day is the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, which is an ideal pick for making homemade dog treat (seriously) and on-the-go snacks for hiking at backpacking. For the home, though, it’s still a great choice, with an adjustable thermostat to tackle a variety of food types, and 600W of drying power. Despite this power, it’s also energy efficient.
The trays are expandable to maximize your dehydration options, perfect for when you’ve got a lot of guests coming round and you want to show it off, while the Converga-Flow technology ensures even drying throughout and no need to rotate. If jerky’s your thing, it comes with free spices to get your grub on immediately. Overall, it’s a reliable, easily placed, and powerful dehydrator coming at a great price that may deceive on first glance, but will pull you right back in with consistent results. Be sure to also check out our list of the best air fryers for more great items like this.
Adjustable thermostat between 95º-160º F
Equipped with 5 trays but is expandable to 12
Fast, even, nutritious, drying
- Weight9 pounds
Whether you intend to dehydrate fruits and vegetables, raise bread or even make yoghurt, the Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator may be the way to go as it provides all these options. With a total of 15 square feet of drying space and up to 9 trays, this is a heavy-duty machine that will go above and beyond to dehydrate an array of snacks at the same time. This product includes convenient features such as an adjustable thermostat, that goes up to safe to eat ranges and up to a 26-hour timer. Also with a 7-inch fan and up to 600 watts of power, this machine will deliver, delicious evenly dehydrated products fast. The Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator is both safe and easy to use and has been designed with features such as poly screen trays to keep from sticking, just so that it works even better for users. The manufacturers have also included their own special patented Parallex Horizontal Airflow which is exclusive to them and helps to provide more delicious and nutritious foods to users.
Overall, this product is highly rated. Some of the reasons mentioned for this being such a great pick are its size and capacity, as although it will fit neatly into your kitchen, it is still big enough to hold a fair amount of foods. Users have also recorded results that are even and delicious and best of all after use, the trays used are super easy to clean, so that you can enjoy you dehydrated snack without having to worry about stains on the machine’s trays.
Equipped with 9 trays
Adjustable thermostat of between 105◦F to 165◦F
Includes 26-hour timer
Trays include flexible poly screens
- Weight22 pounds
The Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator is a compact option for smaller kitchens or those who aren’t yet sure dehydration is for them (just wait, though). While it only has 4 trays, these are expandable, increasing drying capacity once your confidence skyrockets and you want to try something a little different. It’s small size also helps you focus better on healthy eating, neither making too much or too little, and knowing there’re no additives or preservatives means you can trust everything you make, and the kids are sure to love it, too. Just don’t quote us on that.
The see-through cover helps you keep check on what’s going on in there, and it heats quicker than you’d expect, reading optimum temperature in just twenty minutes. It doesn’t distribute air as evenly as other models, but you’re to find a way around this, and for the price, you can’t complain. Our handy guide to the best slow cookers features more great products like this.
Equipped with 4 trays
Bottom mounted fans
- Weight7.5 pounds
Boasting a massive 9 pounds of potential, the Magic Mill Professional Food Dehydrator is our premium pick for dehydrating any food you’ve ever wanted. It comes with multiple trays and hanging racks for mastering and satiating your jerky cravings, and the timer ensures it dries everything to absolute perfection.
The rear fan guarantees even heat distribution, with a maximum programmable timer of 19.5 hours. It’s safe to use, so allowing you to set and forget and come home to excellent results. It’s quieter than a microwave for uninterrupted evenings and nights when preparing food, and the overheating protection prevents parts damage. The unit is well built, giving you longevity you expect from kitchen appliances and even with heavy use you can plan the next decade plus of dehydrated foods with this bad boy. Love this product? Check out our review of the best mini fridges for our top picks.
Large 9 tray capacity allows 9 pounds more food to dehydrate simultaneously
Automatic shut off when timer finishes and transparent door to monitor progress
Overheating safety protection ensures quality and helps find optimum temperature
600W rear-mounted drying fan with ideal airflow circulation for consistent dehydration throughout
- BrandMagic Mill
- Weight21.4 pounds
Easy to use and suitable for any kitchen, the Gourmia 9 Shelf Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator streamlines the process like few other options out there at a similar price. From the Control Center Countdown, you can set at 30 minute increments up to 19.5 hours and enjoy all the marvels of your dehydrated treats waking up in the morning or when getting back from the office.
It delivers airflow throughout the whole unit with Circusmart 360-degree distribution, providing quality and consistency regardless of how full you’ve packed it, and the 8 preset temperatures may mean you never have to do anything except slide in the shelves. These shelves are adjustable and operation is so quiet you’ll forget it’s working. The automatic shut off also protects the dehydrator and your kitchen, giving you peace of mind when out of the house. When waiting for it to finish, you can also press your nose up to the door and see the progress which we’re sure you’ve already planned on doing. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best Dutch ovens.
Control center countdown and LCD panel for total dehydration control
Circusmart 360-degree Air Flow Circulation system ensures even distribution
8 preset temperature settings for simplicity and efficiency
6 adjustable micro mesh shelves eliminates need to rotate trays
- Weight13.94 pounds
Quiet and consistent, the Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator boats multiple trays for different food types to ensure you always get the best results possible. It’s quiet but powerful, ensuring you get your healthy food (or jerky) fix faster than ever, and the adjustable thermostat allows you total control over the temperature.
The air distributes evenly around the machine, keeping everything at the same temperature level throughout and meaning everything finishes on time, while the opaque construction prevents sunlight damaging the food inside, maintaining those essential nutrients and minerals, because otherwise what’s the point? You can extend the trays up to 30 layers which is perfect when planning a trip or trying to save space in the refrigerator and freezer. While it’s not large enough for professional use, anyone needing one for the kitchen should consider this right now and see what it can do for them. This is an amazing kitchen gadget you will love.
Quiet 2400 RPM motor for faster and more nutritious drying
Adjustable thermostat between 95℉ to 160℉ for versatile demands
Converga-Flow dehydration system provides consistent airflow around unit
Opaque Vita-Save exterior blocks light and traps nutrients and vitamins during process
- Weight17 pounds
Those seeking the best food dehydrator in terms of value should look no further than the Chefman 5 Tray Round Food Dehydrator which is small, simple, but still effective for most of your dehydration demands. The clear cover means you can keep check on the progress without risking affecting the process.
It’s good for both vegetables and meat, and the shelves are dishwasher safe to prevent contamination between uses. The compact size and lightweight design also make it easy to move around if needed, and if you want to take it over to a friend’s place while staying the night you absolutely can. Despite the size, it’s also roomy, meaning you may get more from it than you expect. With one touch operation, you can trust it works without hassle, and the included manual gives you advice on how long each food type needs inside. You may also like to check our guide to the best smart kitchen gadgets.
Excellent airflow for consistent results throughout each tray level
Shelves are easy to remove and dishwasher safe for an easy clean
One-touch operation ensures is easy to use for hassle-free results
Transparent tray and lid makes it easy to keep check of the progress
- Weight11.2 ounces
A smaller version of our previous Gourmia pick, this Gourmia 6 Shelf Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator is still a useful addition to smaller kitchen spaces and still delivers the same high quality you expect from horizontal type dehydrators. The 6 trays provide plenty of space and are suitable for a variety of foods, while the 360-degree circulation ensures uniform drying at no risk of overheating.
It comes with a useful instruction manual perfect for beginners, and while it’s one of the larger units we’ve found, it’s still simple to use with an easy switch on and temperature adjustment. While simple, it doesn’t ruin the flavor of food and prevents blandness for setting in, and it’s easy to clean to maintain this quality post-dehydration taste. There are other, larger options out there, sure, but if you don’t need them, this is a sound alternative for smaller spaces and beginners. This is a perfect gift for foodies in your life.
6 tray design provides plenty of room for drying any food you need
360-degree circulation with simple and precise controls for uniform drying without overheating
Transparent door for easy viewing and monitoring
30 minute timer increments ensures finding optimum settings for your food
- Weight17.8 pounds
Silent by name and silent by nature, the Samson Silent Dehydrator is our quietest selection yet making it perfect for those sharing rooms and apartments with people who may not be the heaviest sleepers around. The back fan distributes evenly across the 6.5 square feet of interior space, and this also prevents overheating should you overdo it.
It’s both fast and efficient, doing the job in around 12 hours (depending on the food type), without missing out on quality. The buttons are easy to reach, and any settings you desire are straightforward for simple selection and operation. Whether you use it every now and again, or prefer to use it every day, it’s so well built you can trust it perform to a high standard every time, and often that’s all anyone really wants. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best cast iron skillets for more great kitchen products.
Easy to reach controls on top of the machine for simple, straightforward operation
Push button with LCD screen makes information clear and easy to read
6 BPA free trays with 6.5 square feet of overall drying space
Automatic fan ensures consistent drying and prevents overheating
- BrandSamson Brands
- Weight12.05 pounds
Designed for a variety of food types, the NutriChef Food Dehydrator brings multiple shelves for maximum nutrition. This efficiency is vital, and while other units may transfer the taste as they dehydrate, this doesn’t, so if you don’t like you oranges tasting suspiciously like onion, you’ve found the right option for you. Even if you’ve never used a food dehydrator before, you’ll find this so simple you’ll think you’ve done something wrong (you haven’t), and with a maximum temperature of 180℉, you can guarantee high quality results.
You will need to reposition the food every 3 to 4 hours to ensure consistent dehydration, but this is only when the whole thing is packed. Otherwise, it’s effective enough to set while you take a break, enjoy what’s on TV or catch up on some chores. We know you’d rather just have your jerky now, but life isn’t fair.
Multi-tier design maximizes dehydration options for a variety of foods
One button operation is simple to use for everyone
Maximum temperature of 180℉
Consistent heat circulation travels through each tray without losing effectiveness
- Weight7.1 pounds
Our final home dehydrator is the Hamilton Beach Proctor Silex Food Dehydrator. It’s straightforward and provides a large 425 square inches of drying space for superb versatility. It’s BPA-free so you can clean the trays easily in the dishwasher to save you time and trust there’s no risk of toxins seeping into the food.
The trays are also adjustable to accommodate different food shapes and sizes, and you can also lock them in place and expand them to create further space. It’s suitable for a variety of foods and is also so quiet you won’t feel distracted while trying to relax. It’s not a dehydrator that’ll set the world alight, but for simplicity and ease of use, we like it, and we believe you will, too.
Easy operation at the touch of a button for simple use and results
452 square inches of drying space to prepare multiple foods at once
Adjustable height trays to accommodate a variety of food types and sizes
BPA-free dishwasher safe trays ensure food safety and absence of dangerous toxins
- BrandHamilton Beach
- Weight5.85 pounds
Food Dehydrator Buying Guide & FAQ
Before you make your final and serious decision over which dehydrator machine is the right one for you, consider these features to look out for.
Consistent Heat - Without consistent heat, you won’t get consistently perfect results and some areas of the unit won’t be as dehydrated as others. Because you need everything on the shelves to be the same level of dehydrated, consistent heat distribution is essential. Stackable versions only emit heat from the base or the top, meaning food on the upper or lower levels will get the most heat. For the best consistent results, a horizontal type dehydrator is preferred.
Capacity - A large-sized dehydrator is useful for those with vegetable gardens and those who grow their own fruit and herbs at home, and in restaurants or in industrial settings, they also come in handy. Size isn’t everything, though, and most people should be fine with stackable versions. These smaller units are also easier to find a place for in the kitchen.
Temperature Settings - The wider range of temperature settings, the more versatile control you have over your dehydration activities. This is more common with shelf-based dehydrators, but more advanced vertical stacked options may provide it if you look in the right place. If you want to dehydrate meat for jerky, you’ll need higher temperatures than for fruit and vegetables.
Accessories - Timers, expandability, different food-type trays, and anything that helps make your experience better and easier is always appreciated. some options come with cookbooks and spices to ensure you get the most from your new food dehydrator.
Auto Shut Off - Humans are not perfect and we are prone to bouts of forgetfulness. There’s not one among us who hasn’t forgotten we’ve left something in the oven at least once, and for some, this happens more frequently. An automatic shut of feature prevent overheating, over drying, and ensures there’s no lasting damage to the parts.
Noise Level - A noisy appliance is an annoying appliance, especially if you live with roommates or want to dehydrate your foods overnight. To ensure peaceful dehydration practices, consider how loud the unit will be when in use, and if you’ll be able to hear it while trying to get on with your life.
- How to Use a Food Dehydrator - WikiHow
- What Features Should You Look For in a Food Dehydrator? - Dehydrator Blog
- What are the Different Types of Food Dehydrators? - Dehydrator Blog