Last updated: August 19, 2021

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A food dehydrator makes any food preserved for a long time. A fact that provides convenience to anyone who has large quantities of the same foodstuff. Now, among so many options, which of all the models and brands is the ideal one?

You will find all the information you need. Our aim is to clear up all your doubts in one place. Because you probably don't know the factors that matter when buying, we will explain them to you in this article, as well as the most common questions that are asked about the product.




Summary

  • A food dehydrator is an appliance whose shape is similar to that of an oven. It has an internal fan that spreads a flow of hot air around the trays of the dehydrator. It should be noted that the number of trays varies, but ranges from 5 to 9 trays.
  • Its most important advantage is reduced to the following: the opportunity to naturally preserve any food. So you will have for a long period of time the vegetables, fruits, herbs, poultry and meat you want to preserve.
  • Some of these models have a thermostat and digital timer. These are additions that allow you to monitor the dehydration process of certain foods. This is essential for certain recipes or different types of fruits and vegetables.

The best Food Dehydrator: Our Picks

Buying guide

Who said the kitchen was a boring place? While it is true that you don't need to be a great chef to prepare delicious dishes, appliances like this one will be very useful to surprise your guests. We invite you to read on to find out more about food dehydrators.

A food dehydrator is an appliance whose shape is similar to that of an oven.
(Photo: Iurii Golub/ 123rf.com)

What is a food dehydrator and what are its advantages?

Throughout history, people have always been concerned about preserving their food. For this age, such an interest is no exception. So, thanks to the relevant technological advances, you can dehydrate your food at home.

A food dehydrator is characterised by giving new textures and flavours to any vegetable, fruit or meat. This is possible thanks to the fans and the flow of heat that is spread across the trays. These features allow the food to dehydrate evenly.

Advantages
  • Preserve food naturally for a long time
  • Ability to dehydrate several foods at the same time, thanks to the large number of trays
  • Provides textures and new flavours to food
  • Can be washed in the dishwasher
Disadvantages
  • Food does not retain all its nutrients
  • Not all meat can be dehydrated, as it must meet certain conditions (lean)
  • Not all dehydrators have a thermostat or digital timer

What precautions should I take when using a food dehydrator?

Don't be afraid to add the food you wish to preserve for a period of time to one of its adjustable trays. However, when dehydrating meat, you must make sure that it is lean. If it is not, and due to the oxidation of the fat, it could emit bad odours over time

Keep in mind that the food will not retain all the nutrients. Exposure to heat means that vitamins such as C.A.B1 and B3 do not survive. At the same time, the lack of moisture in the food means that it does not satisfy the appetite. This is something that should be looked at closely, as consuming them in large quantities would worsen your health.

It should be noted that not all dehydrators have a thermostat or timer. However, most dehydrators are able to optimally preserve any vegetable or fruit.

Food dehydrator with or without thermostat - what to look out for?

Food dehydrators come in a variety of models. Some have many or few trays. Others, however, have a timer or thermostat. These devices have small variations that can be observed in these aspects:

Without thermostat With thermostat
No control over the dehydration process Intervention in the dehydration process is possible
No different drying times More than 19.5 drying times

Food dehydrators retain more characteristics than those mentioned above. There are some with stainless steel trays and others with more space in the trays. There are certain models whose trays are adjustable in height.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate the different food dehydrator models

When making a purchase, every single detail must be taken into account. This is impossible, as the average buyer has no idea of what makes a product good. Therefore, it is essential to create your own criteria in order to select the best one.

Power

Do you want your dehydrator to dry your food evenly? Then power is an important point to consider. The following will depend on it: the power consumption and the time it takes to dry the food. It is advisable to select one that does not exceed 240W. This way it will not consume so much electrical energy and it will dry quickly.

Number of trays

To determine the importance of this point, it is important to check your individual needs. First you should identify what type of food you usually dehydrate and how often you dehydrate it. If you do it constantly, it is essential to choose one that has several trays.

At the same time, if you dehydrate meat or poultry, it is crucial that the number of trays is not so large. Since the importance here comes down to their ability to adapt to any height. The opposite is the case if you carry out this activity with fruits or vegetables. In this context, a large number of trays is ideal.

Cleaning

If you have a dishwasher, you will want the dehydrator trays to be washed there. This is why it is important to check that they are BPA-free, as putting them in the dishwasher will be more than easy.

Some of these models have a thermostat and digital timer.
(Photo: Ali Safarov/ 123rf.com)

Recipe book

If you want to get a recipe book, you need to select a reputed brand. These are the ones that offer recipe books along with their products. This could be helpful for you if you will be constantly using the food dehydrator.

(Featured image photo: Jurii Golub/ 123rf.com)

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