The 14 Best Food Dehydrators

Food-dehydrator-and-fruits-on-a-wooden-table.-Special-equipment-for-drying-various-foods

You may have noticed the food dehydration setting on a multi-purpose appliance and wondered what it was.

Well, food dehydrators suck all the moisture out of a variety of ingredients from fruit, veggies, and herbs to meat, poultry, and fish.

Dehydrating food serves two purposes:

  1. You will help preserve your food for longer
  2. You intensify the flavor of the food

Use your food dehydrator to make homemade beef jerky, fruit leather, or some oil-free potato chips.

Alternatively, try drying out some herbs like thyme and rosemary for use in your soups and stews.

Seasonings also work well with food dehydrators, so make some new popcorn toppings for the next time you break out your popcorn maker.

Where a conventional oven doesn’t usually get below 175F, an electric food dehydrator uses much lower temperatures – from 90F TO 165F – to better dry and preserve your favorite foods. Warm air is circulated around the drying racks so all the ingredients are heated evenly.

With the best food dehydrator, then, you’ll draw all the moisture out of your food without also sucking all the nutrients out.

Before you check out our food dehydrator reviews, a few pointers to consider before brandishing your credit card:

  • Type of dehydrator: A vertical flow dehydrator is stackable with a heat source at either the base or the top of the unit. These units are cheap, but they don’t heat consistently. If you’re getting one of these models, ensure they come equipped with a fan. This type of dehydrator doesn’t work as well for meat jerky without continually rotating the trays. A horizontal flow dehydrator works more like a conventional oven. The heat source on these models is found in the back. Although these dehydrators are more expensive, you’ll get much more precise and even results
  • Ease of use: Food dehydrating should be straightforward, although the model you choose will impact your overall experience. Ensure all the dehydrators on your shortlist will heat food evenly without requiring you to rotate it or to switch around the shelves
  • Ease of cleaning: You also want any food dehydrators on your shortlist to be equally easy to clean. Look for removable trays, and check whether or not these are dishwasher-safe. Fans located on top of the dehydrator make it easier for you to clean up
  • Size vs capacity: The first thing you’ll need to establish is whether you have the space on the kitchen counter for the food dehydrators on your shortlist. We break down the overall dimensions and weight of each model in the features tab of each dehydrator, so you can easily compare them at a glance. Beyond this, you’ll need to ensure that any dehydrators you’re considering offer you enough cooking capacity for your requirements. Smaller vertical flow models take up less space, but they deliver correspondingly less capacity. If you’re planning to pack your dehydrator away between uses, you should also check you have enough space to store it. For anyone especially tight on storage space, we review one folding model today ideal for you needs. Take your time to get this aspect of your buying decision right, or you’ll end up making an expensive mistake
  • Noise: Many food dehydrators come equipped with a fan. This helps to circulate the hot air around inside the appliance, but it can also create a bit of noise. Noise is rated in decibels, and you should explore all of the models on your shortlist to make sure they are not too noisy for your needs
  • Other cooking functions: Most of the dehydrators we review today stick to this one simple job. You’ll be able to cook your foods at low temperatures to dry them out, but that’s all you can do. Some models offer you grills and other cooking functions, too, so make sure you choose in line with your needs

Now, even if you arrived here today with no idea at all about food dehydrators, you now have everything you need to know to choose the best one for you and your family.

Check out our food dehydrator reviews for more inspiration!

Madibarestaurant.com is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

The 14 Best Food Dehydrators

1. Our #1 Pick: COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator

COSORI-Premium-Food-Dehydrator-Machine(50-Free-Recipes)

Features

  • Wattage: 600
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.4 x 17.8 x 12.4 inches

First in line and our favorite overall in today’s search for the best food dehydrator comes from COSORI, a brand famous for producing outstanding kitchen appliances at a reasonable price point. What do you get for your money here, then?

Unlike many cheaper plastic food dehydrators, this model is made from stainless steel throughout, giving you impressive build quality and lifespan. The dehydrator also looks great on the kitchen counter.

The trays are also made of stainless steel, and you will find these easy to remove and clean.

The 600-watt powerhead is more than fit for purpose. You won’t use up too much electricity when you’re running this dehydrator either.

Unlike some of the less effective appliances in this class, you’ll enjoy the quiet operation here. Rated at just 48 decibels, you won’t disturb your family or your neighbors when you’re drying out meat, fruit, and herbs.

Seamless digital controls allow you to dry out your favorite foods in 30-minute increments. Keep cooking for up to 48 hours at temperatures from 95F to 165F. When your food is done and the time is up, the machine automatically powers down.

Although the majority of user reviews of this dehydrator are positive, we found some scattered complaints about the fact the shelves are not standard sizes.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Food-grade stainless steel
  • Great array of shelves
  • Quiet and rated at 48 decibels
  • Trays are not standard size

2. Nesco Snackmaster Food Dehydrator

Nesco-Snackmaster-Pro-Food-Dehyrator-Dehydrator

Features

  • Wattage: 600
  • Weight: 7.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.8 x 22.1 x 13.9 inches

Next up is another rock-solid food dehydrator, this time from the inimitable Nesco, so how does this model stand and fall?

The first thing you’ll appreciate is the powerful and efficient 600-watt powerhead. This not only delivers drying at up to four times the speed of the opposition, but you’ll also heat your food consistently and evenly for best results.

You get a great deal of flexibility with temperature on this model. Tweak the settings from 95F to 160F depending on your recipe and enjoy some great dried snacks to widen your menu.

The dehydrator comes with 5 trays bundled, but the modular nature of this appliance allows you to expand it with up to 12 trays if you have more ambitious food drying needs.

Another key benefit of this model is the way you can dry your food efficiently without needing to keep rotating it as you go. This is a set-and-forget food dehydrating experience.

As well as some screen and sheets thrown in, you’ll also benefit from an inspiring recipe book, perfect if you’re new to dehydrating food and need some simple pointers in nailing the basics.

Overall, this is one of the best food dehydrators you’ll find, giving you a great deal of latitude as well as a book full of ideas to get started. What’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Potent 600-watt powerhead
  • Even heat distribution
  • Adjust temperature from 95F to 160F
  • Some consistency issues reported

3. Cuisinart Food Dehydrator

Cuisinart-DHR-20-Food-Dehydrator,-Steel-Gray

Features

  • Wattage: 620
  • Weight: 7.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.38 x 15.63 x 12 inches

Next up comes a classic food dehydrator from kitchenware specialist Cuisinart, so how does this compact countertop model perform?

Well, despite the space-saving footprint, you get 552 square inches of interior real estate, more than enough room to rustle up a large selection of dehydrated food.

As with all the best food dehydrators, you can preserve your foods for longer, but without relying on any preservatives or additives, and while also intensifying the flavors.

You can build this unit out with more trays if required, up to a maximum of 9.

The 620-watt motorized fan means this unit gets your food dried out quicker than some models in this class, although you’ll always need to set aside a few hours for drying out herbs, meats, and fish.

Using this appliance couldn’t be easier. Choose from low, medium, high, or fan only modes and sit back while the Cuisinart brings out the very best in your dried foods, while also ensuring they stay at their best for longer.

The unit comes equipped with a vent at the top, so the heat is encouraged to circulate more evenly.

Accessories are limited, but you’ll get a fruit-rolling sheet included.

Overall, despite the trays being slightly shallow for some tastes, this is a first-class food dehydrator from a brand you can rely on, and it’s pretty keenly priced, too.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 5 stackable racks
  • 552 square inches inside
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Trays are quite shallow

4. Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator

Hamilton-Beach-32100A-Digital-Food-Dehydrator

Features

  • Wattage: 500
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 13 x 11 inches

Hamilton Beach consistently produce outstanding kitchenware and appliances that are also keenly priced. This multi-tiered food dehydrator continues that winning tradition.

Finished in a subtle gray, this unit won’t look too ugly on the kitchen counter, something we can’t say for all appliances in this class.

You can tweak the temperature on this dehydrator from 100F through 160F, giving you decent scope to dry out a range of foods, preserving them for longer the natural way, and while at the same time drawing out even more flavor.

For totally even drying whatever the ingredients, this machine delivers continuous airflow so all the hot air kisses all sides of the food and brings out its finest qualities.

There are 5 stackable trays included for drying all your favorite foods. You also get a fine mesh sheet bundled, perfect for working with your favorite herbs.

The 48-hour timer comes with an auto shut-off function baked in, so you won’t have any niggling concerns about this unit overheating, even if you’re drying foods when you’re away from home.

Overall, this food dehydrator is slightly limited in application, but it excels at its core competency: drying food evenly, consistently, and reasonably briskly.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 48-hour timer
  • Continuous airflow
  • Multiple stackable trays
  • Makes quite a lot of noise

5. NESCO Gardenmaster Pro Dehydrator

NESCO-Gardenmaster-Pro-Dehydrator

Features

  • Wattage: 1000
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17 x 15.5 x 14 inches

Next up comes a powerful modular food dehydrator that’s cut out for sustained use, so how does the Gardenmaster Pro differentiate itself in a crowded market segment?

The first thing that stands out here is the 1000-watt powerplant, giving you the ability to dry foods in hours rather than waiting days. The best part? You won’t need any additives or preservatives to achieve this. Not only that, but you’ll also intensify the flavors of the ingredients, giving you a taste sensation without the tedious wait times associated with dehydrating food.

The dehydrator comes with 8 stackable drying trays provided. You can add trays to a maximum of 30 for a towering drying environment perfect for busy kitchens or for use in a commercial setting.

This model (the 1018A) is identical to the 1010, with the exception of some extra accessories, so we would recommend this variant over the base model. With this iteration you benefit from 8 screens, 8 fruit roll sheets, some seasoning, and a 52-page recipe book brimming with ideas to help you get the very most out of your new food dehydrator.

This dehydrator makes use of Converga-Flow technology to ensure all your food is cooked right the way through.

Aside from a handful of complaints about the trays not fitting especially tightly, most user reviews are overwhelmingly positive, so you can buy with complete confidence and start drying out and preserving foods without too much time or effort.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Class-leading power
  • Expandable with extra trays
  • Generous batch of accessories
  • Trays don’t fit in snugly

6. NutriChef Food Dehydrator

NutriChef-Food-Dehydrator-Machine

Features

  • Wattage: 250
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.7 x 12.4 inches

NutriChef has a deep bench of kitchenware and appliances, from their world-famous blenders to this top-notch food dehydrator. What makes this unit so good, then?

Perhaps the key selling point is the remarkable ease of use. All you need to do is push one button and you can dry out a variety of foods in a matter of hours.

With multiple tiers at your disposal, you can segregate different ingredients and prevent cross-contamination, while at the same time speeding up your drying process.

The heat circulates inside this thing very evenly, so you’ll end up with all your ingredients consistently dried throughout.

The trays are all removable to streamline cleanup. 5 stackable trays are included, so you can whip up a range of foods at the same time.

Tweak the temperature up to a maximum of 180F, allowing you to slow cook and dry a wide variety of ingredients without relying on artificial additives and preservatives to help them stay fresher for longer.

Aside from a few gripes from consumers about how long it takes to dehydrate food in this unit, most user reviews are pretty positive, focusing on ease of use in particular.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Simple push-button operation
  • Robust heat circulation
  • Removable trays
  • Not the most efficient dehydrator

7. Tribest Sedona Express Digital Food Dehydrator

Tribest-SDE-S6780-B-Sedona-Express

Features

  • Wattage: 600
  • Weight: 20.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 12 x 14 inches

Next up in our search for the best food dehydrator is a powerful digital model from Tribest.

This dehydrator is fairly heavy and occupies a chunk of space on the kitchen counter, so make sure you have room to accommodate this unit before committing to purchase. If you have a more spacious kitchen, what do you get for your money here?

All-digital controls make using this dehydrator a cinch, but you won’t need any tech skills to operate it.

Tweak the temperature inside this unit from 77F through 167F, allowing you to safely dehydrate foods in line with USDA recommendations.

The single fan briskly circulates air inside this dehydrator, so your foods will be slowly dried out, while their flavors are enhanced at the same time.

While almost all user testimony concerning this dehydrator is positive, several consumers point out the low quality of the instruction manual. This is not a deal-breaker, but be prepared for a poor experience when you’re looking for help.

Easy to use, easy to keep clean, and offering highly precise temperature control, this is a strong contender for the best food dehydrator out there.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Heats from 77F to 167F
  • Simple to use and clean
  • Precise temperature control
  • Instruction manual is weak

8. Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator

Excalibur-Electric-Food-Dehydrator-Clear-Door

Features

  • Wattage: 600
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19 x 17 x 14 inches

As we push through with our food dehydrator reviews, we have a sleek and powerful model from Excalibur that will make a striking statement on the kitchen counter.

We understand you’re not buying a dehydrator for the way it looks, though, so what do you get in terms of performance?

To start with, the transparent door combined form and function wonderfully. Not only does this improve overall aesthetics, but it also allows you to monitor the progress of your food drying without opening the door and breaching the cooking environment.

The 48-hour timer is digital, offering ease of use and precision rolled into one. You get 2 time settings and 2 temperature settings, so you can get started using this thing, even if you’re a complete beginner to the art of food dehydrating.

If you cook your foods inside this dehydrator at no more than 118F, you’ll ensure that all the enzymes and nutrients remain intact, giving you health benefits as well as lengthier food storage and even more taste.

Anyone living outside the United States might need a transformer to run this 110/120-volt appliance. For all northern American users, though, this makes one of the best food dehydrators out there.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Transparent door
  • Cook low and slow from 95F to 165F
  • Twin temperature settings
  • Exclusively for use in North America

9. Brod & Taylor Folding Food Dehydrator

Brod-&-Taylor-SAHARA-Folding-Food-Dehydrator

Features

  • Wattage: 750
  • Weight: 22.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 23.9 x 15.8 x 8.8 inches

As we near the end of our hunt for the best food dehydrator, we have something ideal for anyone with deep pockets looking for something slightly different. If you’re shopping for dehydrators on a tighter budget, this model is not for you.

The unique selling point of this model is the way it folds down to just one-third of its normal size, perfect if you live in an apartment or you have limited space in a kitchen overflowing with appliances and gadgets.

Once the dehydrator is set up, though, you have plenty of space inside for all the herbs, meats, and fish you fancy drying out and preserving for the winter.

The drying area inside spans a full 1550 square inches of cooking space.

The seamless controls are automated, so you won’t need to lift a finger once you’ve loaded your food onto the trays. The unit kicks in at a higher temperature for a quick initial period of drying, and then it powers down to a lower temperature for the bulk of the cycle. This way, you won’t sap any of the precious nutrients and goodness out of your ingredients.

The machine is designed to run for up to 198 hours continuously, with each cycle a maximum of 99 hours.

Aside from some scattered niggles about quality control issues, we encountered almost exclusively positive user reviews for this model, so see if it makes the right fit for your kitchen.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Innovative space-saving design
  • Expansive drying area
  • Dual time and temperature controls
  • Quality control issues reported

10. Chefman Food Dehydrator

Chefman-Food-Dehydrator-Machine,-Touch-Screen-Electric-Multi-Tier-Preserver

Features

  • Wattage: 480
  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.58 x 17.52 x 12.4 inches

Chefman’s food dehydrator is a compact and highly efficient digital model that delivers an impeccable food-drying environment, even if it’s not the cheapest food dehydrator out there.

The dehydrator comes with 6 trays bundled. This gives you the freedom to create a spacious environment for multiple foods drying at the same time. The trays are removable, too, so cleanup is straightforward.

The digital timer counts down from 20 hours, while you can adjust the temperature from 95F through 158F for all your favorite dried foods on demand.

Although this dehydrator is rated at just 480 watts, the ingenious design optimizes airflow, allowing you to dry your food without ever overheating it and stripping it of all its key nutrients.

We came across several complaints from users suggesting the door on this model doesn’t close snugly, so we would suggest doing your due diligence here.

The clear door on this dehydrator lets you keep an eye on proceedings throughout, and you’ll benefit from a set-and-forget food dehydrating experience, and the ability to add a new dimension to your food preservation at home.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 20-hour countdown timer
  • 6 removable drying trays
  • Auto shut-off
  • Some snags with door closing

11. Presto Dehydro Food Dehydrator

Presto-06300-Dehydro-Electric-Food-Dehydrator,-Standard

Features

  • Wattage: 600
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 15 x 6.25 inches

As we near the end of our quest for the best food dehydrator, we have another top-notch offering this time from Presto.

If you live in an apartment, or if you have limited space in a smaller kitchen, you’ll appreciate the slender form factor. This dehydrator is also pretty lightweight, weighing just over 7 pounds.

The drawback of this compact footprint and lightweight nature is a dehydrator that’s made entirely of plastic. While this is free of BPA and other toxins, you’ll need to take a hit when it comes to durability and overall robustness.

Despite the small size of this unit, you get 4 removable trays, allowing you to dry out several foods at the same time in a multi-tiered layout. As with all the best food dehydrators, you can add extra trays if required.

The trays nest neatly together, further streamlining storage.

Using the dehydrator couldn’t be easier, although this ease of use limits your flexibility. The appliance runs at just one temperature (165F), so you don’t get the most versatile dehydrator. Sure, you can dry out your food effectively, but with nowhere near the degree of adjustability of most of the models on our shortlist.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Compact footprint
  • 4 drying trays
  • Nesting trays streamline storage
  • No on/off switch

12. Magic Mill Food Dehydrator

Magic-Mill-Food-Dehydrator-Machine

Features

  • Wattage: 600
  • Weight: 16.7 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15 x 13.5 x 19 inches

How does Magic Mill’s food dehydrator stand out in a crowded pack?

Well, the stainless steel build is a pleasant change in a sea of plastic dehydrators. While this is not the cheapest dehydrator out there, you’ll benefit in terms of build quality, durability, and overall value for money.

The unit is rated at 600 watts, and your food will be dried evenly and consistently throughout.

Using this thing couldn’t be much easier thanks to the intuitive digital controls. Adjust the time and temperature to suit then wait for the countdown timer to finish up, along with all your perfectly dried food.

The drying fan in this dehydrator is rear-mounted, and the air is circulated all the way around the inside of this thing.

The drying trays are also made of stainless steel, and these are adjustable. Dry multiple foods at the same time inside this unit for maximum efficiency in the kitchen.

All materials are food-safe, and this unit has overheat protection baked in, so you have no safety concerns at all in the kitchen.

Pretty much every user review of this dehydrator sings its praises, but the same cannot be said for consumer attitudes toward customer service. Setting this minor niggle aside, you’re getting a great food dehydrator that looks the part and is built to last.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Seamless digital control
  • Rear-mounted drying fan
  • Highly efficient circulation
  • Customer service issues reported

13. Ninja Foodi Countertop Food Dehydrator

Ninja-Foodi-AG301-5-in-1-Indoor-Electric-Countertop-Grill-with-4-Quart-Air-Fryer

Features

  • Wattage: 1760
  • Weight: 14.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 14 x 16.75 inches

Next to last comes the Ninja Foodi, an appliance that offers you much more than a food dehydrator. If you only want an inexpensive dehydrator with no extra functions, this is not for you. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to save space in the kitchen with a multi-tasking workhorse, read on.

You get the following functions with the Foodi:

  • Dehydrate
  • Air fry
  • Roast
  • Bake
  • Grill

With these options at your fingertips, you can get started by drying out all your favorite foods at low temperatures using the dehydrate setting.

If you want to ratchet the temperature up, this model maxes out at scorching 500F, perfect for searing your steaks.

You’ll enjoy practically smoke-free grilling with the Foodi, too, ideal for use indoors.

The air fryer function gives you the opportunity to enjoy crisp and golden foods that use little or no oil, giving you a much healthier option than deep frying snacks.

You can quickly and easily defrost foods in this thing, too, further widening your options in the kitchen.

Rated at 1760 watts, this is one of the best indoor grilling solutions you’ll find, as well as one of the most effective food dehydrators.

While the Foodi isn’t cheap, you’re getting a great deal of bang for your buck here, and you also get a huge amount of scope for cooking and dehydrating food.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 5 cooking functions
  • Cook to 500F
  • Highly versatile appliance
  • Quite costly

14. Presto Dehydro

National-Presto-Dehydro-Digital-Electric-Food-Presto-Dehydrator

Features

  • Wattage: 750
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 14.25 x 8.5 inches

To round out our search for the best food dehydrator, we have the Dehydro from Presto.

We should point out right off the bat that this model makes quite a bit of noise at full clip. If this is likely to be problematic for you, explore some of the other food dehydrators above.

Setting the noise aside, you get an efficient dehydrator equipped with a half-dozen drying trays to help you arrange all your favorite dried foods inside with no cross-contamination.

You can also buy additional trays and expand this unit with up to 12 trays in total for an expansive dehydrating environment with a fairly compact footprint.

As well as these drying trays, there are also 2 fruit roll screens and 2 mesh screens bundled, so you have everything you need to get going right out the box.

There is a digital thermostat onboard, and this appliance dehydrates your food from 90F to 165F.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 6 transparent drying trays
  • Non-stick mesh screens
  • Digital thermostat
  • Makes quite a lot of noise

FAQs

1) What are the best foods to dehydrate?

Imagination is your only limitation here, as almost any food can be dehydrated. Fruits work especially well. Try drying out some bananas, apples, and apricots then use these to create some delicious snacks. You’ll need to master a few new skills when you’re working with dehydrated fruits, but it’s well worth the effort. Dried veggies and herbs also go well in stews and soups. Use lean meat, poultry, or fish to make great homemade jerky. If you need some meals for hiking or camping, on the other hand, try dehydrating beans, grains, and pasta. You should avoid dehydrating foods high in fat, and you should also avoid dehydrating dairy products. Steer clear of eggs to avoid the risk of salmonella. This can grow in the temperature band needed for dehydration.

2) What temperature should I dehydrate food at?

That depends on what you want to achieve. Enthusiasts of raw food like to dry foods at super-low temperatures to preserve all the enzymes. With meat and fish, you should always use the highest setting for safety’s sake. Use the following temperatures as a guideline: 95F (herbs and other delicate ingredients), 115F (yogurt), 125F (veggies), 135F (fruits), and 155F (meat and fish).

3) How long does dehydrating food take?

Many variables impact the length of dehydrating time. The temperature, the ambient environment, the size of the ingredients being dried, the desired texture, and the moisture content will all affect drying times. Herbs and veggies might be done in a few hours, while meat products often take 24 hours, sometimes more.

4) Why should I bother dehydrating foods?

The core benefit of dehydrating food at home is taking complete control of the process, while also eliminating artificial preservatives and additives. You will also save money over buying pre-dried foods.

5) How can I store my food once it’s dried?

Use an airtight container that’s been sterilized and you can safely store dehydrated foods for months. Fill the container so you keep the oxygen content to a minimum. Consider using a vacuum sealer to exclude even more air while preserving more nutrients.


Conclusion

We very much hope today’s guide to choosing the best food dehydrator has cleared up any confusion you may have had.

These appliances are all simple in nature and execution. As long as you make sure you have enough dehydrating capacity for your needs, choosing the right dehydrator is a cinch.

Before you leave today, bookmark our blog and be sure to pop back soon. We have a very busy content slate here at Madiba over the coming months and we update our content daily, so come back soon and don’t dip out!

4.9/5 - (7 votes)

Leave a Comment