Sleek, compact, and with a price that’s hard to beat, the Gourmia GFD1680 is among the most popular food dehydrator choices with good reason. Designed not to take up too much space, it still boasts over 6 square feet of drying space, which is more than enough for an average person’s needs. The quiet operation of this food dehydrator makes it suitable to use at night, so you can wake up to the smell of freshly made granola or delicious beef jerky.
You can even use it for arts and crafts! Despite all of its qualities, though, Gourmia GFD1680 might not be a perfect match for you. To make sure that this food dehydrator ticks all of your boxes, read on and find out all about its advantages and downsides.
Why Do You Need a Food Dehydrator?
The first thing to consider is your purpose behind this purchase. Food dehydrators have many uses in a household, for singles and big families alike. To put it simply, if you want to eat healthy, are on a budget, and want to prepare food that doesn’t require too much effort, you need a food dehydrator. To boot, all of the food you prepare in this nifty gadget will be as natural as possible, with no additives or harmful ingredients—just what you decide to put in it.
Preparing dried food at home is also much less expensive than buying at the store, not to mention the savings you’ll have if you have your own garden or tend to buy produce in bulk. The long shelf life makes it ideal for backpacking and camping as well. Pet owners too cut costs with a food dehydrator by preparing healthy homemade pet treats at home.
How to Choose the Right Food Dehydrator for Your Lifestyle
A food dehydrator is a device that relies on the circulation of hot air to remove moisture from food, effectively preserving it from fungi and bacteria, while giving it a distinct chewy or crunchy texture. The principle on which food dehydrators operate is always the same, but food dehydrators have differences—not just in quality but also in design.
The two main types of food dehydrator designs are vertical flow dehydrators and horizontal flow dehydrators. Vertical flow dehydrators are usually cheaper and made of plastic, with round stackable trays. The trays can be expanded, and the stackable design allows you to dry various types of food at once without cross-contamination of scents. The fan is usually located at the top or bottom of the unit and typically less powerful than that of horizontal flow dehydrators. They are a solid choice for novices.
Horizontal flow dehydrators, such as the Gourmia GFD1680 are shelf-styled, with trays that are inserted into the unit. This might not be good for the scent situation, but it does give you unparalleled versatility. You can remove trays to accommodate for bulkier items or pull them out completely to make homemade yogurt or raise bread. The food will always be dried evenly as the rear-mounted fan is powerful enough to circulate the air all around the trays. Shelf-style food dehydrators are a perfect match for people who want a versatile, powerful unit with an affordable price.
Gourmia GFD1680: Who It’s For
As a horizontal flow food dehydrator, Gourmia GFD1680 features a powerful rear-mounted fan that makes sure that this compact unit can handle everything you need it to. From drying pureed foods to chewy cuts of meat, you’ll get consistent results each time. Its 480 watts of power might not be suitable for commercial grade use, but for a regular household that’s plenty of drying strength. The Gourmia GFD1680 is compact, so it’s perfect for tiny kitchens too, and offers plenty of versatility.
If you want an affordable food dehydrator with a price tag under $100 that performs like it costs twice as much, Gourmia GFD1680 won’t disappoint you.
Gourmia GFD1680 Best Features
- 480 watts of power
- 360º airflow circulation
- Adjustable thermometer (8 different modes, 95°-158° F)
- Built-in timer
- Transparent door for monitoring
- No need to rotate the trays
- Energy saving magnetic lock
- 6 BPA-free plastic trays
- Bonus fruit leather sheet and drip tray
- ETL certified
At first glance, the compact Gourmia GFD1680 doesn’t reveal its impressive qualities. The compact size and minimalistic design will have you believe that this is an entry-level dehydrator when it can effortlessly dry all kinds of foods. The 360º airflow circulation system relies on the rear-mounted heating element and tray to disperse the hot air evenly throughout the unit and trays. This results in evenly dried food without any rotation of trays.
The adjustable timer and thermometer ensure that you get perfect results every time, as you can tailor the temperatures and time of drying to different items. After all, you can’t expect kale chips and beef jerky to be made with the same presets!
The 6 plastic trays will give you more than 6 square feet of drying space, so you can prepare large batches of food in one go. This is particularly great when doing meal prep—you can make a week’s worth of snacks in one afternoon!
Gourmia GFD1680: The Alternatives
For most people, Gourmia GFD1680 will do the job perfectly. It’s affordable, simple to use, and packs a solid amount of drying power. However, there are alternatives for those of you who feel that this particular food dehydrator is not what you need.
The Cheap Alternative: Gourmia GFD1550 Food Dehydrator
So, you want to try a food dehydrator but don’t want to break the bank? You’ll be hard-pressed to find a unit with better value for money than Gourmia GFD1550. Quiet, reliable, and surprisingly powerful, this vertical flow food dehydrator is a great choice for a beginner. It won’t be as versatile as the Gourmia GFD1680, but for an undemanding user, it really doesn’t have to be.
The XL Alternative: Gourmia GFD1850
The Gourmia GFD1850 boasts an impressive 10 trays (double to what’s available in GFD1680!) with bonus features like a hanging rack for sausages and jerky. Simple to use, but with plenty of features to choose from, this is the ideal alternative for people who want a bit more from their countertop food dehydrator.
Gourmia GFD1680: The Verdict
The combination of a unique air circulation system and a powerful heating unit makes sure that Gourmia GFD1680 delivers consistent results, whether you plan on making your own jerky, dried fruits, or anything else in between. Its versatility makes it a good choice for big and small families alike, as its features and performance will satisfy any average user.
- Performance - 8.3/108.3/10
- Design - 8.1/108.1/10
- Design - 8.4/108.4/10
- Features - 8/108/10