Kitchen technology can make our food experience much more varied and interesting along with saving us quite a lot of time. We’ve seen how the top 5 blender mixers can make a difference in our cooking routine, so why not check out some other offerings as well?
With a decent food dehydrator, for instance, we start reducing our food wastage and make some lovely snacks for any occasion. This will also help us save money by making sure the food stays edible for a very long time.
What’s even better is that a food dehydrator can make healthy snacks for the whole family. Dried fruit will fulfill your sweet cravings without the need to reach for refined sugary and fatty treats. Plus, making your own beef jerky will help to avoid the preservatives in the store-bought kind. You can even take these along for your road trips, cutting down on the need to buy all sorts of prepackaged, preservative-laden snacks.
What is Food Dehydration?
Before we go about looking at the best food dehydrators on the market, it might be a good idea to see what this process entails. Food dehydration consists of drying out as much of the water content from food items as possible. Mold and bacteria thrive due to the water inside food; so with the moisture gone, there’s less chance of anything going bad quickly. This means that we can store the dried food for a much longer time than its fresh version, even without a refrigerator.
How to Choose the Best Food Dehydrator
There are several makes and models of food dehydrators out there, so let’s take a look at how we can choose the right one for our unique requirements:
Some food dehydrators have many trays and a large capacity, which will help in making a whole lot of snacks. However, this might be more than you need, especially if you have a small family and don’t entertain regularly. For singles and couples in starter homes, a smaller machine might be the best option, mainly considering the energy consumption.
Passage of Heat
Stackable food dehydrators will save on space, but they might not distribute heat too evenly. You might have to compromise here by staying alert and rotating the trays with your ingredients. Look for a model with a fan at the back, especially if you want a large capacity for drying several kinds of food at once.
The material for a food dehydrator should be safe for coming into contact with your food. This is why you need to make sure that the plastic parts are BPA-free and the metal parts are FDA-certified. If you’re planning to use your dehydrator a lot, we don’t recommend going for plastic options at all.
Some people would also like their dehydrators to be portable. A stackable machine will come in handy here, especially the ones that can shrink down to lunchbox-size. If you’re planning to take your dehydrator through an airport, plastic ones will be much easier to handle.
Most food dehydrators do make quite a bit of noise, even if you get the most high-end brands. This isn’t surprising, as their working usually involves fans. If you reside in an area where such noise is an issue, getting the quietest model possible will be a priority.
With all the choices out there, finding the best food dehydrator for your needs can be a bit challenging. Some might not give you the capacity you need, while others might be a bit too complicated. Check out the top food dehydrators on the market; this might help in shortlisting your final decision:
COSORI CO165-FD Food Dehydrator Machine for Beef Jerky, Fruit, Christmas Tree Decorations 5 BPA-Free Trays with Timer and Temperature Control, 50 Recipes for Beginners, ETL Listed/FDA Compliant, White
Gourmia GFD1950 Premium Countertop Digital Food Dehydrator - 9 Drying Shelves - Preset Temperature Settings - Airflow Circulation - Countdown Timer - Free Recipe Book Included - Black
Food Dehydrator Machine Jerky with Timer, Digital Timer and Temperature Control, for Jerky/Meat/Beef/Fruit/Vegetable, BPA Free,5 Trays
STX International STX-DEH-600W-SST-CB Stainless Steel Dehydra 10 Tray Food and Jerky Dehydrator with 40 Hour Timer PLUS a FREE All New"Dehydrating Made Easy" Cookbook on CD with over 270 Recipes!
This dehydrating machine will dry out all kinds of fruits, vegetables, meats, and nuts. You can make your favorite flavors of roll-ups and jerky, all with a minimal amount of effort and a fraction of the store-bought cost.
There’s the standard timer here that goes up to 48 hours, along with features that allow for temperature control. The material is also BPA-free, so the resulting food will be safe to eat. Along with this, the machine is ETL-listed and FDA-complaint. If there are still any issues, the two-year warranty should cover it. With the high Amazon rating in place, we shouldn’t have much to worry about.
This is a premium option for a countertop food dehydrator, with plenty of shelves for placing the food. With the preset temperature settings and the digital thermostat, the operation is surprisingly easy to handle.
The transparent door is another positive feature here, as it allows us to see what’s going on inside. This way, we can monitor the food drying process without having to open the door and let the heat out. The design is also geared towards efficient power consumption, with a heavy ABS housing to keep in all the warmth.
Those who live in apartments or just prefer less noise would also like the fact that this device is relatively much quieter than other options. However, this machine is also quite a bit bigger than most others in this price range. If you must have this one, see if you have enough space to give it a permanent spot on the counter. Since there are so many trays for all your ingredients, you might also want to take a look at the top kitchen digital scales for a more accurate process.
This is another food dehydrator with a digital timer and temperature control. However, this is a more compact option with just five trays. While these are made of plastic, it’s a BPA-free material that won’t leach toxins into your food. Overall, this machine is good enough for drying out meat, vegetables, and fruit. Some people have even made dry soup mixes inside this device.
The timer here is also quite impressive, going all the way up to 72 hours. The temperature range is wide enough to accommodate a variety of items. Perhaps the best part is that this gadget is so user-friendly; it doesn’t require you to rotate the trays manually, as there’s a fan as well as bottom-mounted heating.
If you’re still a beginner at dehydrating food for storage and convenient snacks, this option might be the best one so far. It’s also the perfect choice for those who have small living spaces or want to take their dehydrator with them while traveling.
This offering from STX International is from a relatively new series on the market. The brand is relatively well-received by the public, though, so we have high hopes. There’ a 40-hour timer, ten trays, and even some free recipes in the package to get you started.
The front door of this gadget is heat-retentive, with a construction consisting mostly of stainless steel. This is good for keeping all the heat and warmth inside, ensuring that the drying process works quickly. Moreover, the material is easily cleaned, while the trays are dishwasher-safe.
Unfortunately, some reviews online have reported that there’s a rattling noise while this device is in operation. This might be due to the fan inside, but the results are good enough to take the risk.
This dehydrator gives you a nice balance between a compact and large size. There are six trays here, which should give plenty of space for all the jerky, roll-ups, and spices you want to make. With the digital timer and thermostat, we can be sure of a more accurate drying time. Since the heating element and fan are both mounted at the bottom, there should be much need for rotation.
You can also expand the capacity of the dehydrator and make it carry up to a dozen trays. However, you will have to buy these trays separately. The trays provided consist of two nonstick mesh sheets, two fruit roll sheets, and six drying trays. The cover and trays here are both dishwasher safe, making for an easy cleanup experience.
Getting the best food dehydrator for your kitchen will certainly give you many benefits. You can keep food from going bad and have all kinds of delicious snacks on hand without having to buy the processed kind. Whenever some unexpected guests come over, you can just plug in one of these top 5 electric coffee percolators and bring out your homemade snacks.