Updated: June 8, 2015
Food Dehydrator Reviews:A food dehydrator cooks your food at a very low temperature, which allows it to be kept for several months without any preservatives. Of course, if you don't have a food dehydrator you can always cook your food in the oven at 140F and you will get similar results. Another option is to leave your food in the sun and dehydrate it the old fashioned way. In fact, that is how we dehydrated food when I was a kid, so writing this is making me feel old! However, a food dehydrator is a kitchen appliance that makes the process much simpler and more user friendly. You also won't have to worry about a bird or squirrel taking off with your food! Amazon.com sells a wide variety of dehydrators for food. Browse the best selling food dehydrators online here.
Different Types of Food Dehydrators - There are two main kinds of food dehydrators. One has a vertical air flow and the other has a horizontal air flow. One advantage of the horizontal food dehydrators is that the flavors don't mix between different levels of trays. American Harvest, Nesco, Ronco, Aroma, Back to Basics, L'Equip and Excalibur are all brands of food dehydrators. Most food dehydrators are made either of plastic or stainless steel. Before you get a dehydrator it is important to ask yourself what types of food you will be dehydrating. If you are on a raw foods diet and are dehydrating mostly fruits and vegetables you will likely prefer to have a different model than you would if you were making beef jerky. Also some dehydrators are very large so it is important to consider how much room you have in your kitchen. Lastly, ask yourself how much money you can spend as food dehydrators can range in price between $50-$500. Many raw foodists use food dehydrators to make food that still has vital enzymes, but is in the form of a cracker or bread. Food Dehydrator Reviews - In our search for the top rated food dehydrators, we came across online reviews (posted by actual owners) at Walmart, Target, Epinions, Amazon, and Fooddehydratorreviews.org. Also, several backpacking and hiking websites offer forums with excellent feedback on dehydrators. Our personal favorite are those found on Amazon.com. They cover almost every model and brand imaginable with some in depth pros and cons to each. You can compare each food dehydrator with the competition and read what consumers have to say as well as get pricing and see pictures. RECOMMENDED - We suggest you check out the most popular food dehydrators as listed online here.
Excalibur Food Dehydrator:One very popular food dehydrator is made by Excalibur brand. Excalibur 2900 Economy Series 9 Tray Food Dehydrator sells for about $180. Reviews we read on a blog (Hiking Gear and Equipment Used for Camping) as well as Everything's Kitchen pointed us in the direction of the Excalibur. According to these sources, the Excalibur dries food quickly and easily. It also has an intelligently made design. On the other hand, reviewers point out that you may need to rotate the trays 180 degrees halfway through for even cooking. This is due to the Excalibur's horizontal airflow which often doesn't cook very easily. Everythings Kitchen also said that the Excalibur dehydrators are very well made and quite popular. They offer horizontal airflow, and up to 15 square feet of drying space, depending on the model purchased. Reviewers on Amazon also love this product. They mention that it is easy to use and very durable. Mother EarthNews also said that the Excalibur was their favorite type of food dehydrator after they had tested various models. The Excalibur Large Garden model is the one they recommend because of its larger size. We say consider the Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Series - it's slightly more expensive than the 2900 model, but the 3900 gets near perfect marks from owners. Features include a 600 watts of power, adjustable thermostat from 85 to 145 degrees F, a 7" fan, a built in on/off switch, and an excellent instruction manual with over 50 recipes. Excalibur is the leader in this field and if you are serious about dehydrating food, go with them.
Best Food Dehydrator:Recommended Food Dehydrators from Nesco - The website Love to Know wrote about the Nesco American Harvest Grandmaster food dehydrator, which sells for under $120 on Amazon. This food dehydrator has a very large area for food. It also doesn't take up too much countertop space. On the downside, Love to Know pointed out that this food dehydrator makes a good deal of noise. Reviewers on Amazon agree that the fan is noisy. However, people still overall like this device and feel that it is a great choice for herbs or fruit. This Nesco dehydrator is much faster than other models. There is also the Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator, which sells for $65. Reviewers appreciated the price of this model as well as its ease of use. There are also some nice accessories like a fruit roll up tray. On the negative side, there is no timer or on/off switch. You need to unplug the machine to turn it off. Nesco also makes the American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator All-In-One Kit with Jerky Gun for $65. If you will be making a lot of jerky, this is an option to consider. View the top selling Nesco food dehydrators here.
L'Equip Dehydrator - The L'Equip Dehydrator is another dehydrator for food. This product sells for $120. This dehydrator has 5 trays for 12 feet of drying space. It also has a 12-year warranty. According to the review we saw, L'Equip also has great customer service. L'Equip provides rectangular trays instead of circular ones. Some people feel that these rectangular shaped trays are far more convenient. It also has a computerized dehydration system which is perfect for even drying. See L'Equip dehydrators here. They may not be as popular as the Nesco products, but L'Equip rates right up there with Excalibur in terms of reliability and performance for the price.