Gift Guide: 5 Best Dehydrators for Fruit Preservation

Anyone who loves eating healthy, grows their own food, or frequently goes camping needs a food dehydrator in their home. This one kitchen equipment opens up a whole new world of meal ideas and possibilities! For instance, fruits don’t have to be drowned in syrups and ton of sugar to be preserved for winter, they don’t even have to frozen, or canned. Dehydrating fruit is a far healthier alternative, as it will ensure that almost all vitamins and nutrients are retained, and it will give you a snack far tastier than you would’ve imagined possible without any additives. Dried fruit can eaten as it, incorporated in homemade granola mixes, chomped on as an energy-boosting snack pre-workout, or packed for camping trips.

There are so many ways to make use of a food dehydrator, that it’s a gift that anyone could appreciate. Check out our selection of 5 Amazon best-sellers that are best for fruit preservation, no matter how you choose to enjoy those dehydrated fruits.

#1 Chefman Food Dehydrator

Easy to use and boasting a powerful performance, this budget-friendly dehydrator will help you make crispy apple chips or dried strawberries for your muesli without breaking a sweat. With 6 BPA-free plastic trays, this top-of-the-line dehydrator can hold plenty of food—enough to cater to the needs of a large family or a long camping trip. The adjustable thermostat makes sure you can set your dehydrator to a temperature that preserves most nutrients and gets you the perfect amount of crunch at the same time. Its innovative design allows for maximum airflow that results in even drying without overheating. Since the door is see-through, the dehydration process is easy to monitor and wouldn’t require you to shut off the machine or open the door. It is also cETL approved with advanced safety technology for long lasting durability and comes with a 1-year warranty from Chefman.

#2 Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

Nesco is a well known brand when it comes to dehydrators, one that offers flexibility and variety to its customers. If you’re unsure about the needed drying capacities, you’ll find that the Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster will make a perfect choice. Offering 8 trays with an option to expand them up to 30 (yes, 30!), there is no limit to what you can dry in this dehydrator. Large batches of cinnamon apple crisps? Check! Pear chips with a variety of different seasonings? Check! Strawberries slices with balsamic drizzle? Check! If you can think it, you can dehydrate it. A powerful 1000-watts motor further supports the dehydration process, making sure everything that comes out of this appliance appeases your palate. It also includes 8 fruit leather trays for making ’em delicious fruit leathers, 8 clean-a-screens, a recipe and instruction book, and an Original Jerky spice pack with cure.  

#3 Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator

The square shape makes Hamilton dehydrator easy to store.

When it comes to dehydrating fruits, you can’t go wrong with the Hamilton Beach 32100A. Equipped with a 48-hour timer, auto shut off to prevent over drying, and an adjustable thermostat that ranges from 100°-160° F, this digital dehydrator ensures that your fruit crisps have the perfect texture. Combining benefits of design with the functionality, the square shape of the dehydrator ensures that its compact enough to fit on every countertop. However, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an impressive capacity—the 5 stackable trays give you plenty of space to dry much more than just fruits. And, if you’re in the mood to make fruit leather snacks, this dehydrator has you covered with a nifty solid clear tray. Just puree the fruit of your choice, pour it in the tray, and wait for the magic to happen!

#4 Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Snackmaster is the top=selling dehydrator on Amazon.

A tried, tested, and true staple in many kitchens around the world, the Snackmaster will be perfect for all your dehydrating needs, including making dried fruit. To boot, this versatile appliance comes with 2 fruit roll sheets (5 trays overall) that will enable you to make DIY fruit roll-ups at home! It’s expandable to a total of 12 trays, in case you want to dry enough fruits for a party or get prepped for a winter in advance with healthy and delicious crisps packed full of vitamins and nutrients. Yes, packed full of nutrients, because this dehydrator has an Opaque Vita-Save exterior that blocks harmful light which may be capable of destroying the nutrients in your foods. Further, it has an adjustable thermostat to accommodate the different temperatures required for dehydrating different foods properly, allowing you to set the temperature anywhere from 95º-160º F. So, go ahead, take the plunge, this dehydrator won’t disappoint.

#5 Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

If you really want to impress someone with your gift, you certainly can’t make a mistake with trusted Excalibur.

When talking about dehydrators, you can never forget Excalibur. Their horizontal, shelf-style dehydrators truly set the bar high in the industry. Although this particular dehydrator might have a bigger price tag than the rest of our choices on this list, it certainly pays off investing a bit more in this gadget. State of the art, this food dehydrator is ideal for drying fruit, but it’s far from only thing it can efficiently dehydrate. The 9 trays offering a total of 15 square feet of drying space ensure that there is more than enough space for users, no matter how big your family may be. The adjustable thermostat with a lower value of 105° F will make your fruit crispy without destroying their enzymes and nutrients, so you know that when we say you’ll be eating healthier with this  new equipment in your kitchen, we actually mean it.

How do you dehydrate fruit?

The process of dehydrating fruit in a food dehydrator is simple. All you need to do is wash and prepare your fruit (berries can be put directly on trays, while larger fruits need to be cut into thin slices) then place the fruit on your dehydrator trays and dehydrate to 45ºC or 113ºF for about 6 hours. The cooking time may vary depending on the water content of the fruit you are using and the thickness of the slices.

Is dehydrated fruit healthy?

Yes. When you dehydrate fruit in a food dehydrator the process will retain the fiber and antioxidant benefits that the fruit has in a form that reduces its bulk and preserves it for a longer shelf life. The nice thing about dehydrating fruit in your own food dehydrator is that you have control of the ingredients. Many commercially processed dried fruits, especially banana chips, have added sugar and oil, that adds both fat and calorie content. When you make your own dried fruit using a dehydrator you do not have to add any sugar or oil to produce a tasty snack. One thing you do need to pay attention to, however, is how much dried fruit you eat at one time. Dehydrated fruit is so tasty it is easy to consume a lot, without much consideration of the calorie content. If you are mindful of the quantity that you are eating, dried fruit is a healthy choice, especially when compared to candies, cookies or other processed treats with added oils and sugar.

What should I look for in a good food dehydrator for fruit?

Most recipes recommend a low temperature for dehydrating fruits, so looking for a dehydrator that accommodates a low temperature setting is important. Some dehydrators include tray liners that are made especially for making fruit leathers or are made with a smaller mesh weave to accommodate smaller pieces, like blueberries.  Many of these types of food dehydrator trays can also be purchased separately, depending on the model.

Will dehydrating fruit save me money?

Yes! Making your own dehydrated food is much less expensive than purchasing commercially dried fruits. You can buy the fruit you use in bulk, and/or when it is on sale.  Or you can harvest and preserve fruit that you forage or pick from your very own fruit trees or bushes. Once you purchase your supplies, the cost savings begin!

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