Food dehydrators are a great way to enjoy healthy snacks that you can make at home without any of the added preservatives or chemicals that storebought options are full of. They are easy to use and can be set up on your kitchen counter without taking up too much space.
Due to their compact size, they take up far less energy than the oven or stovetop and can dry food quickly and in large quantities.
Many jerky lovers will use these instead of other approaches due to their set and go methods, and they are great for a multitude of different food.
10 Best Food Dehydrators (2021) for Jerky, Herbs, Meat, Beef, Fruit and Vegetables
The following 10 dehydrators are all quality products, and we have gone ahead and listed their features, as well as the pros and cons for you to make an informed decision for your next purchase.
1) Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
This quick and space-saving food dehydrator from Nesco allows you to dehydrate all of your favorite foods quickly and painlessly. You will be able to dehydrate food at a rate of hours instead of days, and an adjustable temperature gauge gives you the control that you are needing for a wide variety of food.
Its circular design is attractive and space-saving, allowing you to store it wherever you need, and is easy to use; it will dehydrate your food quickly and without much effort on your part thanks to the Converga-Flow technology that is used.
- Perfect for dehydrating a variety of food, the adjustable heat thermostat allows you to set the heat anywhere between 95-160 degrees
- 600 watts of power, and has the capabilities to handle 12 drying trays at a time; however 5 are included in the purchase
- The design of the interior block harmful light from penetrating the food as it is being prepared
- Enables the drying of food quickly due to the Converga-Flow technology which forces heat downwards and not through the trays, allowing for proper airflow which heats from the center and radiates outwards
Dehydrates food quickly, and is easy to use without needing to constantly keep an eye on the food and rotate the trays
Can be used on a variety of food such as jerky, fruit, and meat; the adjustable heat setting gives you versatility and control over the dehydrating process
This dehydrator is durable and will last a long time, even with consistent use
- Does not come with a built-in timer, so you will need to set one yourself depending on the type of food that you are dehydrating
- Because the trays are plastic and not metal, they are more prone to warping and are generally not as durable
2) Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
This food dehydrator from Presto makes it easy to dehydrate your favorite foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, meat, and jerky.
The four-tray system with a heating fan near the heating element allows a quick and consistent drying experience, while the dishwasher safe trays make cleanup a breeze. Monitor your food as it is being dehydrated with the window on top to ensure that everything looks as it should.
- The see-through monitor allows you to view the food that is being dehydrated easily, and the four-tray system allows adequate space for medium quantities of food to be dried at once
- The fan found on the bottom of the unit by the heating element allows for a consistent and fast dehydration process
- Dishwasher safe drying trays allow for easy cleanup after the food is done dehydrating
- Easy to store, and the set temperature of 165 degrees allows for a variety of foods to be dried
- Easy to use and allows you to dehydrate a variety of foods quickly
- This is large enough to dehydrate a lot of food at once, with being compact in design for easy storage
- A budget-friendly option that does exactly as it is designed to do
- Does not have an on/off switch, and you will need to be careful not to leave on when not in use
- There is no temperature control, which limits the amount of versatility and control that you would have with other dehydrators
3) Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator
The Hamilton Beach food dehydrator is a great option for drying foods, meats and produce to extend their shelf life and create healthy snacks for yourself and your family.
This appliance makes it easy and affordable to dry foods, and with the 500 watts of power behind it, you won’t be waiting all week for them to be completed.
Compact enough for easy storage, while the trays are dishwasher safe to allow for easy cleanup. The options are limitless, and you can expect to find many uses for this food dehydrator.
- The compact yet powerful design gives you freedom and versatility to dry all of your favorite foods, with the ability to set the auto-shutoff timer
- Adjustable thermostat for easy control over how warm the dehydrator is depending on the type of food
- 500-watt power with 5 stackable dehydrating trays; the continuous airflow allows for even dehydrating without needing to rotate
- In addition to the standard drying trays, comes with a fruit roll tray and a herb drying tray
- Versatile and powerful enough to accommodate for a wide variety of foods
- The heat gauge allows you to set the right temperature for the food you are drying, and the timer shuts off the appliance on its own
- Very easy to use, and due to the size you can store it easily or keep it on the kitchen counter
- In case you have any issues while using this food dehydrator, the customer service department is not the best
- With continued use, it is not the most durable option available
This food dehydrator from COSORI is made of high-quality materials, which is what you can expect from a name brand like this.
It allows you to dry and dehydrate your favorite foods and takes the guessing work out of the equation with the recipe book, timer, and temperature control settings.
Compact in design yet powerful enough with constant regulated temperature, it is easy to store, use, and clean.
There is no need to constantly check or rotate the trays, and you can see the food as it is drying thanks to the window in the front.
- In addition to the high-quality food dehydrator, you will receive 6 stainless steel trays, 1 mesh screen, 1 fruit roll sheet, and a recipe book to dry your favorite foods easily
- Made of high-quality stainless steel and a glass door, there is no plastic to worry about warping or wearing out from heat
- Easy to use with temperature control of anywhere from 95-165 degrees, and a timer that sets in 30-minute increments
- Compact in design and easy to use, quiet enough to not bother anyone even during the middle of the night
- Easy to use, and the temperature control gives you the freedom and versatility to dehydrate a lot of different food
- Unlike some appliances, the timer has a long setting time that enables you to set it for up to 48 hours
- Reasonably priced for a dehydrator of this caliber, as it won’t break the bank and will last a long time even with continuous use
- Sometime the digital display will glitch, and this can affect the overall performance of the machine
- The temperature can be off a few degrees, and you may need to adjust the time of your food accordingly
5) Gourmia GFD1680 Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator
Another great name brand that lives up to its reputation, Gourmia has created a dehydrator that is both easy to use and dehydrates your favorite foods, fruits, and meats quickly and hassle-free.
There are so many options available to you thanks to this food dehydrator; from jerky to crackers, you will be using this often to make healthy snacks for you and your family.
Easy to set up, clean, and use, dehydrating food has never been easier, and it is compact enough to store easily for your next use.
Unlike some conventional food dehydrators, there is no need to check the food and rotate the trays, as the Circu-Smart airflow will circulate the air and heat throughout.
- Save money by using the Gourmia dehydrator on your favorite foods and create delicious snacks at home that are healthy
- 6 trays included that give you the versatility to dry multiple varieties of foods at the same time
- Digital controls allow you to set the temperature and a timer to achieve the best results for your dehydrated foods
- The window on the front allows you to see the food that is being dehydrated without needing to open the unit and rotate
- Ample airflow and circulation maintains the right amount of heat throughout the drying process
- In addition to being a quick and powerful food dehydrator, this particular model is also incredibly quiet while in use
- Large enough to accommodate large quantities of food, while being compact in design allowing for easy storage
- The window on the front allows for easy viewing of your dehydrating foods, allowing you to check how they are drying without needing to open the food dehydrator
- Although a great product that has little to find fault with, it would be nice to see future models come with more accessories
- The plastic trays can tend to warp over time from repeated use, especially if washed in the dishwasher
6) COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine for Beef Jerky
One of the more budget-friendly models made by Cosori, this food dehydrator is a perfect option for any type of food that you are wanting to dehydrate.
Large in design that allows you to dry a lot of food at once, with the versatility of 5 different stacking trays to dry different types of food.
Great for preparing snacks for the whole family ahead of time, there is an adjustable timer and temperature control that gives you the needed versatility and freedom when using this.
- Included in the purchase are 5 plastic drying trays, a fruit roll sheet, and a recipe book. This allows you to do almost everything you could think of, and the recipe book allows you to discover new ideas
- Easy to use with the digital display that allows you to set the temperature and the timer, from 30 minutes up to 48 hours
- Versatile to accommodate a wide range of different foods, from jerky to sun-dried tomatoes and everything in between
- Easy to clean, all the components that will come in contact with food are easily washed with a dishwasher
- In addition to the timer being able to be set for up to 48 hours, the food dehydrator features an auto-shutoff when the timer goes off
- Quick and easy to use, you will barely know that it is on due to how quiet it is
- Is large enough to allow for a wide range of foods, while being easy to store and clean
- The materials used in construction are not of the highest quality, and you may find that it does not last as long as other models
- Although it is large enough to accommodate bulk food drying, this food dehydrator is large and may be harder to store than more compact models
7) Rosewill Countertop Portable Electric Food Fruit Dehydrator Machine
All of the convenience of a traditional stacking food dehydrator with the ability to see the food as it is being prepared, the Rosewill dehydrator is a quality product that is great for drying your favorite foods and making healthy snacks for the whole family.
This easy to use and maintain dehydrator will be a staple in your home, especially if you are looking to live a healthier and chemical-free lifestyle.
- BPA free plastic stacking drying trays that allow you to dry a variety of foods at once, including herb trays and fruit roll trays
- 250 watts of power behind this food dehydrator, and adjustable thermostat within the ranges of 95 to 155 degrees
- Drys food fast and easy thanks to the even heated method that is utilized; by using a fan mounted on the bottom by the heating element
- Easy to set up and use, the design of this food dehydrator gives you the freedom to dry a multitude of different foods at once, and the clear plastic cover allows you to see the food as it is drying
- The temperature is easy to set and adjust at the turn of a dial, with the components being easy to clean after use
- The heating fan at the bottom ensures that even heat is distributed throughout the compartment while in use
- Unfortunately, this model does not include a digital display or a timer which can make timing the food correctly a little more of a challenge
- The heat can run a little low, so you may need to plan accordingly when dehydrating
8) EVERUS Food Dehydrator Machine for Beef Jerky
One of the more elegant and space-saving models on the market today, the EVERUS food dehydrator will be a great addition to your kitchen tools, and you will find yourself using it often due to how well it dehydrates food and how easy it is to use.
There are a lot of options thanks to the control dials and the ability to dehydrate more than one type of food at once.
Thanks to its compact and square design, it is easy to store in your cabinets and does not take a lot of space when in use.
It runs quiet, and you don’t need to be burdened by the sound of the fan that keeps the unit at the correct temperature throughout the drying process.
- Adjustable temperature controls heat and maintains the ideal temperature depending on the type of food that you are drying
- The versatility offered by this food dehydrator allows you to dry a multitude of different food types
- This easy to use food dehydrator can be started with the touch of a button and will be working immediately
- Easy to clean and store; the drying trays can be washed in the dishwasher while the other components simply can be wiped down with a damp cloth
- Features a good quality recipe book that gives details on dehydrating your favorite foods, as well as offers other options you may have yet to think of
- Large enough to accommodate large quantities of food
- There is no timer included in this model, while not necessary it would be convenient
- Because it is large, you will need an adequate room to store; if you are in an apartment or have limited storage, this may be a challenge
9) Magic Mill Commercial Food Dehydrator Machine
At first glance, you can tell this is a higher-end food dehydrator that has the appearance of industrial use. This is a quality product that features a rear-mounted fan for even distribution of heat, and a window in the front to view your food as it is being dehydrated.
Overheat protection and BPA free materials mean that this is a safe appliance that can be used even when you are not around, and there is no need to rotate the trays during use.
- Digital functionality with thermostat control and an auto shut-off timer that turned the appliance off when the food is ready
- Stainless steel trays are included in this purchase, which is resistant to warping and are easy to clean
- A rear-mounted fan that dries food evenly and quickly, without the need to rotate the trays as the food is drying
- Large capacity to allow for a lot of food to be dried at the same time and the trays are stacked to dry different types of food
- Large capacity to accommodate bulk drying of meat, produce, and herbs
- Auto shut off timer with overheat protection allows you to set the machine to the correct temperature and time, and not worry about anything else
- Easy to store, clean, and use; this durable appliance will last you a long time
- Struggles to reach the highest temperate at times, although this will not prevent you from using
- For smaller items, you may need to purchase additional trays as the grid spacing can be too far apart at times
10) Excalibur 2900ECB 9-Tray Food Dehydrator
One of the larger food dehydrators on the market, the Excalibur 2900ECB is a large capacity food dehydrator that can be used for a multitude of different food types at once and is a great option for anyone that is wanting to make healthy snacks at home.
The trays that are included are made of stainless steel, making them durable and easy to clean while the temperature controls give you the freedom to set the temperature to your needs. Perfect for large families or those who are looking to dry vegetables, meats, and herbs in bulk.
- 9 stackable trays that allow for plenty of room to dry your favorite foods in bulk, without needing to be rotated during the drying process
- Adjustable thermostat that allows you to set or change the cooking temperature depending on the type of food that you are drying
- For bulkier items, you have the versatility of removing some of the trays and allowing the food to cook without being cramped
- Easy to store and use, with the trays being dishwasher safe for quick cleanup
- Can be used for a variety of different foods, including making yogurt and raising bread dough
- This food dehydrator dries food evenly and thoroughly without the need to constantly rotate the trays or taking too long
- Even though it is made primarily of plastic, it is durable and will last you a long time, even with continued and frequent use
- There is no timer on this model, which takes away a convenience factor
- This food dehydrator is not the quietest, and you may want to find an area of your living quarters that it won’t be a disruption
How to Choose the Best Food Dehydrators in 2020
Food dehydrators are great investments that allow you to make delicious and healthy dried snacks at home, without the added cost or preservatives.
They sit on your countertop and do all the work while you can go about your daily routine. There are some considerations to keep in mind if you are considering purchasing one, and a few things that you will want to look out for.
Food dehydrators should be generally simple to set up, as they will be able to allow you to add the trays with food on them, plug it in, and let the machine do the rest of the work.
While some more high-end models will have instructions that allow you to change the thermostat and set a timer, it should not be so complicated that it would be hard to configure to use.
Most of the time, there will be a digital or analog readout or dial that will allow you to set the correct temperature, and the same goes for the timer.
Included Fruit Roll Trays
Although not mandatory for sale, most food dehydrators will include fruit roll trays; these are great for making your fruit rolls or “leathers” as they are sometimes called. These are sweet treats that children (and adults) will love, and a great way to take fruit with you on the go.
These trays differ from regular food dehydrator trays, as they have a full bottom; meaning there are no grids or lines in them.
If you are looking to make these specifically, you will want to make sure that the food dehydrator that you are considering purchasing does include them in the purchase, or has an option to buy them from the retailer.
Digital Adjustable Timer and Temperature Control
One of the most important aspects of a food dehydrator, as the temperature control, allows you to control what the internal thermostat for the dehydrator is kept at, as well as gives you more control and versatility on the type of food that you can dry.
Most food dehydrators consider this to be standard, but some older brands or lower-quality models may not have this option.
And the same goes for the timer on the food dehydrator; although it is not necessary to have one to use a unit to dry your food for preserving, it does make it a lot easier and more convenient to have one.
As food dehydrators take longer than ovens to prepare your food, you will want to find a timer that has a long time available to set, as this way you won’t have to be constantly checking it and resetting.
Dryer for Jerky, Herbs, Meat, Beef, Fruit and Vegetables
One of the great aspects about food dehydrators is their versatility, functionality to dry and dehydrate a multitude of various foods.
When you are purchasing one, you will want to make sure that they can handle the main foods that you will be dehydrating, which will primarily be: Jerky, fruit, and herbs.
Although you will also want to make sure that they can handle other products such as tomatoes as well. This will ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck and that you will be able to use it for a wide range of foods. This also goes hand in hand with the temperature control, as some of these foods are more delicate and will need to be dried at lower temperatures for longer periods.
Over Heat Protection
Another important aspect of the food dehydrator you choose, especially from a safety standpoint.
Having an over-heating protector in place will keep the unit from getting too hot to handle, or in some cases burning a hole in your countertop. This is standard on most food dehydrators, but some older models or lower quality brands may not have this in place.
You will want to double-check on this before making the purchase, as it will not only keep the food inside from burning and potentially starting a fire but will also keep the surrounding area safe.
6 Stainless Steel Trays
Generally speaking, most food dehydrators will have 5 or 6 drying trays to start that are included in the purchase (and sometimes will allow you to expand to more trays, but are sold separately).
However, often these trays will be made of plastic, which may work fine but are prone to warping from the heat, and that is especially true if they are cleaned via the dishwasher.
When purchasing a food dehydrator, you may opt-in for spending a little more money but having stainless steel trays, as they will dehydrate the food more evenly, as well as hold up better long term.
Safety Features/ BPA Free
As a lot of food dehydrators have plastic trays and components, and with safety in mind, you will want to make sure that they use BPA free materials in their construction.
As we now know, BPA is a harmful chemical that can be found in some plastic that is both bad for our bodies and the environment. This is especially true for any type of plastic that is around heat, as the chemicals can release at rising temperatures and release noxious gas into the air.
Other safety features that you will want to look out for are: Auto-off timers, Overheat protection and Locking mechanisms
Easy to Use and Clean
You can have the best food dehydrator in the world, but chances are that if it is not easy to use or clean that you won’t use it very often.
When considering buying one of these appliances, you will want to check to make sure that it is easy to set up and use (generally, you will want to keep your eye out for digital readouts that display the time and temperature).
Additionally, you will also want to find one that cleans easily. This generally means having components that are dishwasher safe, as all that you will need to do is place them in the dishwasher and wash them.
For your sake, try to stay away from models that have components that are “hand wash” only.
Dishwasher Safe Trays
Another feature that you will want to look out for is if the food dehydrator that you are considering purchasing has dishwasher safe trays; as this will make cleanup far easier for you.
Due to the nature of food dehydrators, food is bound to get on the trays and they are not the easiest or most convenient to wash and clean.
Having drying trays that are dishwasher safe will make your experience with your food dehydrator that much rewarding, and will make it seem like less of a chore to make healthy snacks that you and your family will love.
We hope the information that you found in this article was helpful, and that you will be able to make an informed decision as relates to purchasing your next (or first) food dehydrator.
These are great products that allow you to take fresh food and preserve them in a way that makes delicious and healthy snacks that the whole family is sure to enjoy.
All of the products listed above are fantastic options, and the decision ultimately comes down to your personal preferences.