Food dehydrators have been one of the most popular kitchen gadgets for decades, and it’s not to anyone’s surprise. There are plenty of benefits to food dehydrators and while the design may have improved over the years, the process remains the same. Removing excess moisture from food, these devices give foods a long shelf life without destroying their nutrients. Budget-friendly and easy-to-use, these handy devices allow you to stay healthy and fit while saving money—both on buying overpriced Whole Foods alternatives to homemade dried food and on keeping food from going to waste by dehydrating it.
If you want to try your hand at drying foods at home for the first time or if you’re a seasoned dehydrator user looking to upgrade their old unit, you’re at the right place. Our list of best food dehydrators for 2020 has everything you need to find the right dehydrator for your needs—and your budget.
Nesco food dehydrators have been one of the most popular on the market with good reason—they are affordable, easy-to-use, and boast of quality performance. Nesco FD-75A is the company’s pride. Compact and powerful, this unit offers great value for money and there are thousands of happy customers attesting to that. While it may look simple at first glance, this dehydrator is by no means plain or outdated.
Its adjustable thermostat allows you to dry food at temperatures from 95°-160° F. It is also powered by a 2100 RPM fan with 600 watts of drying power. As a result, you can dehydrate pretty much everything in it, from beef jerky to crunchy veggie chips and chewy fruit leathers. The unit comes with 5 trays, which is more than enough for most people’s needs, but if you want a bigger capacity, you can easily add more trays as the NESCO FD-75A goes up to 12.
Sometimes, a cheap and convenient option is not what you need. If you’re willing to shell out a little bit more money than average for professional-grade results at home, Excalibur dehydrators are the ideal choice. Boasting of a design perfected for delivering outstanding results and high-quality materials that are built-to-last, Excalibur dehydrators are more than worthy of the initial investment. The Excalibur 3948CDB is one of the company’s pricier models, but it has features that justify the hefty price tag.
Easy-to-use, this food dehydrator comes with a digital timer and thermostat controller. The temperature can be adjusted from 95°-160° F for a tailored drying experience. As for the time, you can set it for up to 48 hours in advance to get all of the 9 trays of food dried evenly and consistently. Naturally, this combination of power and precision means that anything from the finest herbs to slabs of seasoned meat will be perfectly dried with the same ease.
With 15 square feet of drying space, Excalibur 2900ECB offers more than plenty of room for your DIY homemade teriyaki beef jerky endeavors or kale chips for that after-holidays diet. The spacious 9 tray setup is particularly useful for people who have large families or like to prepare dried food in bulk—for instance, after a bountiful harvest in their garden or ahead of a camping trip.
Not unlike other Excalibur dehydrators, Excalibur 2900ECB also boasts of impressive features that make it versatile and suitable for heavy-duty use. The adjustable thermostat ranges between 105°-165° F, which allows different types of food to be dried with equal success. Similarly, the shelf-type design ensures that the circulation of hot air is uniform throughout the trays. Thereby, the results are always consistent, regardless of the moisture content in the food you’re drying. And if you happen to use your dehydrator for arts and crafts, making homemade yogurt, or simply want to dry a bulkier item, just remove one or more trays to tailor the space to your needs.
When a simple food dehydrator doesn’t cut it for you and you need some serious horsepower to meet your drying needs, Magic Mill has the answer. Offering a line of commercial-grade food dehydrators that are suited for heavy-duty use, Magic Mill is sure to impress. This shelf-style commercial dehydrator is one of the most popular options available, and it’s easy to see why. Sleek design, modern features, and powerful performance meet a budget-friendly price tag in the Magic Mill Commercial Food Dehydrator Machine. Without a doubt, this food dehydrator will give you the best bang for your buck!
The rear-mounted fan with 600 watts of drying power and 6 stainless steel trays arranged in style are ideal for drying big batches of food. In fact, the Magic Mill dehydrator can dry 7 pounds of food in one go! That’s not all. This unit is also precise to ensure perfect results with each use, even will pulling off dehydration of 7 pounds of food. The wide temperature range from 95°-165° F helps customize the process to different food types.
The fact that Excalibur 3900B is the company’s best-selling unit speaks volumes about its qualities. For years, this food dehydrator has been the top choice for experienced users and newbies alike. Well-made and with superior performance, this unit has 9 trays arranged in a shelf style that offer 15 square feet of drying space—more than enough even for big families. At the same time, the heavy-duty 7” fan will evenly spread hot air throughout to make sure that the food dries evenly in all of the trays.
Similar to Excalibur’s other units, this one also has a wide range of temperature adjustments for versatile use, from 105°-165° F. The only potential downside for some users is that this food dehydrator doesn’t have a built-in timer, so you’ll have to manually turn it off once the food is dried. This can be particularly troubling for beginners.