Review: Presto 06301

Presto 06301 food dehydrator

The compact Presto 06301 food dehydrator is budget-friendly and powerful. With 750 watts of power, this round stackable food dehydrator will easily dry anything you put in it with equal ease, from sliced apples to marinated jerky strips. The fact that it is easy to use makes Presto 06301 a great beginner’s choice, but pros won’t find any fault with this cheap dehydrator, either. Its affordable price is just the cherry on the top—proving you don’t have to break the bank to get superior results. 

With 6 round trays, the Presto 06301 offers plenty of drying space for an average family’s needs. In addition, it can be upgraded with additional trays as your needs evolve. Of course, even though the budget-friendly price tag and impressive characteristics speak volumes about the Presto 06301, it doesn’t necessarily mean this food dehydrator is what you’re looking for. Read on to see if there’s a better alternative for your unique preferences or if the Presto 06301 is a perfect match!

Why Do You Need a Food Dehydrator?

For anyone looking to save money while eating a healthy diet, a food dehydrator is must-have. These inexpensive devices have a variety of uses in a household. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is making beef jerky, drying veggies into tasty chips, and fruits into sweet and healthy desserts. And while those reasons alone would be enough to make you get a food dehydrator, there is much more to these devices. For instance, you could be making your own granola or raw vegan or gluten-free crackers, wraps, cookies, and other yummies. Food dehydrators are also fantastic for making pet treats that cost next to nothing, but are much healthier than store-bought.

Similarly, you can make your own seasonings, or even potpourri, from scratch. Heck, some types of arts and crafts all but demand a dehydrator, like paper mache, polymer clay, and DIY edible cake decoration. 

How to Choose the Right Food Dehydrator for Your Lifestyle

While no one can deny that a food dehydrator brings plenty of benefits to the table, not all of them are made alike. Sure, there are basic differences such as the price and quality, but the very design of food dehydrators can vary to begin with. If you want to make sure you are buying the right dehydrator, you need to determine your drying needs first. Are you a single person or do you have a big family to cater to? Do you see yourself using a food dehydrator on a daily basis or occasionally, e.g. when prepping for a camping trip or preserving garden harvest? Is the size of the unit important to you? Do you want any bells and whistles or a plain and simple operation? All of these factors will play a role in your decision.

Presto 06301 stackable dehydrator

While all food dehydrators rely on heated air to remove moisture content out of food, there are important differences which could make you favor one design over the other. All food dehydrators can be separated into two categories—vertical flow and horizontal flow dehydrators. Presto 06301 is a vertical flow dehydrator. These are known for their affordability, round shape, and stackable trays. The heating unit and the fan are located at the top or bottom of the dehydrator. Usually, they are less powerful than their horizontal counterparts, but Presto 06301 is one of the few that contradicts this rule of thumb. Vertical flow dehydrators are meant for average household use.

Horizontal flow dehydrators are styled like shelves, with trays that pull out of the unit. The fan is mounted at the rear, ensuring an even distribution of heat, but it also means that there will be scent cross-contamination inside the dehydrator. To boot, these units are also the more expensive option, and more suited to professional or heavy-duty use. 

Presto 06301: Who It’s For

This stackable food dehydrator is very versatile. It is compact and affordable, but powerful enough to efficiently dry all types of items. Jerky, fruit leathers, polymer clay trinkets, you name it and the Presto 06301 can dehydrate it! Simple to use, with consistent results and surprisingly strong heating fan, this compact food dehydrator will suit the majority of everyday users. To boot, this unit doesn’t take up much space (the trick is in collapsible trays for better storage).

If you are looking for a heavy-duty device that can be used commercially, or want a larger dehydrator that can accommodate bulkier items, this machine isn’t for you. 

Presto 06301: Best Features

  • 750 watts of power
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Built-in timer 
  • Expandable tray system
  • Cover and trays are dishwasher-safe
  • No need to rotate the trays
  • Trays nest when not in use (43% reduction in storage space)
  • 6 plastic trays
  • 2 non-stick mesh trays 
  • 2 fruit leather sheets
  • Bonus gift: sample packets of jerky seasoning

Intelligently designed to save as much space as possible, the Presto 06301 is an excellent solution for cramped kitchens. When you’re not using it, this food dehydrator downsizes to half its size. With 6 trays, and convenient mesh screens and fruit leather add-ons, you’ll also have the option to dry pureed fruits or freshly picked herbs.

Presto 06300 fruit leather tray

To boot, the timer and the adjustable thermometer make it easy for anyone to customize the drying process and ensure that the results are perfect each time. The temperature can be set anywhere from 90° F for more fragile items and a lighter crunch, to 165° F for thick and juicy foods, such as strips of raw beef. With a 48 hour timer, you can leave your food drying overnight or when you’re at work—without worrying about over-drying or over-heating.

Presto 06301: The Alternatives

Most people think that the Presto 06301 is a well-rounded gadget that offers the best value for money. And they’re right! But what if you could keep everything good about the Presto 06301 but modify its size and price tag slightly, so it better fits your needs? Well, you can. No need to compromise when you can get everything just the way you want it! Check out the cheaper, compact alternative to the Presto 06301—the Presto 06300. It features 600 watts of power and 4 trays for a compact yet tough unit. You’ll get all the benefits of its bigger variant, such as a powerful heating unit and stackable nesting trays, but at half the price. 

Presto 06300 compact alternative

And in the case that you want a more spacious alternative to the Presto 06301, you don’t have to look far. Simply buy additional trays from Presto and stack them to increase the drying capacity. You can upgrade this unit to fit up to 12 trays in total.

Presto 06301: The Verdict

Cheap, easy to use, and delivering impressive results, the Presto 06301 is a surprisingly powerful dehydrator that costs under $100. If you want a reliable unit for everyday use, you can’t go wrong with this one. The powerful fan will dry all types of food with ease, from homemade jerky to fruit leathers. 

  • Performance - 8.4/10
  • Ease of Use - 8.2/10
  • Design - 8/10
  • Features - 7.7/10

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