The best food dehydrators will give a low and even heat to dry out food over a number of hours. They will circulate air around the food to assist in faster drying. I’ll help you find the best dehydrator that will be easy to clean and use. I’ll also walk you through some great recipes and creative ways to use your dehydrator. To learn more about food dehydrators, read our food dehydrator buying guide.
Why use a Food Dehydrator
A lot of people find it hard to eat enough fruits and vegetables each day. Even the rule of 5 servings a day is being called into question as too little fruit and vegetables. For many people, it isn’t convenient to each all those fruits and veggies each day. It requires preparation to eat that much each day, but it does have major health benefits.
One of the ways that I have found to eat more fruits and vegetables is to use our food dehydrator. Dehydrated fruits and veggies are much easier to consume and carry with you. Dried foods are even great for cooking.
Features in the best food dehydrators
Some of the features to look for in a food dehydrator include:
Capacity: The larger the size and number of trays, the more drying space you have.
Timer: It is convenient to be able to set the dehydrator and leave it running while you are out or overnight.
Fan: You want a fan to distribute the heat over the food evenly. You will also want the fan to be as quiet as possible.
BPA Free: Just about all food dehydrators have plastic in them. You will want the plastic to be BPA free if possible since heat is used in the drying process.
Vertical vs Horizontal Food Dehydrators
Horizontal airflow is where the fan is on the side of the dehydrator. The air is pushed horizontally across the food. The heat distribution of these dehydrators is even. They also typically have a larger capacity than the vertical ones. However, they can be noisy. As a rule, the horizontal food dehydrators are also more expensive.
Vertical airflow is where the fan and heater are in the bottom of the food dehydrator. The air is pushed up from the bottom to the top. These products tend to be less expensive and take up less room. However, the drippings from food can ruin the heating element or fan over time. They also tend to have a smaller drying capacity.
Our pick for the best food dehydrator
The Excalibur Food Dehydrator 3926TB is our pick for the best home dehydrator. This dehydrator has a horizontal airflow. It has excellent results in even drying. It has 15 square feet of drying space which is an incredibily large capacity. This means you can dry over 5lbs of potatoes in a single drying cycle. The square dehydrator trays make it easy to fill with food. With the trays out, we have also found this best-rated dehydrator to be an excellent place to proof bread.
The temperature range of this Excalibur dehydrator is 105-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it goes to the higher end of the temperature scale, it is a great dehydrator for food like meat, especially beef jerky. The Excalibur is completely BPA free. This food dehydrator comes with a whopping 10-year warranty. There are numerous accessories made for the Excalibur food dehydrator 3926TB as well. You can purchase a clear door, dehydrator sheets, and many other items.
Very large drying capacity
Good Temperature Range
Easy to clean
10 Year Warranty
Multipurpose (Proofing space for bread)
More expensive than other units
Read more about this dehydrator and others in our full buying guide for food dehydrators.