As of the last several years, many people and companies have been on the rave about eating healthier and finding ways of making healthier food. One way that they achieved this is with a food dehydrator that can be used from the comfort of people’s homes.
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Food dehydration is keeping food at a consistently high temperature for a long enough time to dry out a portion of the moisture. When you dehydrate the food, it preserves it for a longer time and retains all of the vitamins and minerals, which is why many people use these products in diets and healthy meals. The lack of moisture also intensifies the food’s flavor, which makes fruits taste sweeter and herbs more flavorful. These snacks also tend to be healthier, and people can customize them however they please.
What to Look for When Buying a Dehydrator
When it comes to buying a food dehydrator, there are many aspects that someone needs to look into. There are many different models out in the market for different prices and it is important to know exactly what someone wants in theirs before they buy one with features they don’t need or want.
There are six main features that customers need to look for in a dehydrator before they purchase one. Most of these features are important and need to be considered in the decision before purchasing a food dehydrator:
Even-Heat Distribution and Air Flow
One important factor is to make sure that the dehydrator has an even heat distribution. If there isn’t an even distribution of the heat or airflow, the food may not cook evenly and too much of the moisture will be retained. When looking at a specific model, research what the manufacturer has to say about the heat distribution and what they have done to ensure the dehydrator will distribute the heat evenly.
Horizontal dehydrators are best known for their even air flows and heat but other models such as a vertical dehydrator have fans to spread the heat as well. Many descriptions of dehydrators will state if they have even heat control in their machine.
Make Sure it is Easy to Use
Everyone enjoys the easy things in life so why choose a difficult dehydrator to work with? It is best to look into models that don’t require constant movement of the shelving or having to constantly check on the food while it cooks. The best model to find is one that someone can place food in and be able to walk away until the food is done.
Another factor of wanting a dehydrator that is easy to use is how easy is it going to be to clean it? No one wants a dehydrator that is difficult to clean or has hard-to-reach spots to clean. Look for a dehydrator that has easy-to-remove shelving or pieces that can be placed in the dishwasher for easy clean-up after every use.
Is it Budget-Friendly?
This is one of the biggest components when it comes to buying a bulky kitchen item such as a dehydrator. Many can range in price from $30 to $300 dollars, depending on how many aspects the dehydrator comes with. Many of the higher-end models come with a larger capacity, impressive heat distribution, and perks such as thermometers and timers. On the other end, the cheaper models won’t have as many perks, can only cook certain foods, and won’t last as long.
Many people find the best model for their needs somewhere in between the price extremes depending on what they want more out of their dehydrator. On average, expect to spend around $50 to $150 on a mid-range dehydrator.
How Big and How Much?
Another important feature that someone needs to look at is the size and capacity. Depending on how much food someone wants to make in one batch and how much kitchen space they have available plays a key role in which model to look for. Vertical models are perfect for someone who has small kitchen space available, but they hold less space for food. If someone owns a small business and expects to make a lot of food in one go, they are better off looking for a bulkier model that cooks more food at once. Many of the machines that are on the market are around medium size and cook medium ranges of food.
Many food dehydrators are equipped with a fan, so it is expected that it will produce some noise when cooking food. However, depending on which model you get, the noise produced can be different for each. If someone wants a quiet model, it is best for them to find one with a fan that doesn’t make much noise.
Many descriptions for dehydrators will not include how much noise it produces, so it is always best to check the customer reviews to see what other people have encountered with that specific model.
Different types of foods are better under different temperatures, so it is also a plus to know what the temperature is at. For example, many dehydrators only have a simple temperature switch which may not be safe for cooking jerky. A machine with temperature control would be best for this type of food. If this is an important aspect for someone when they are looking for a dehydrator, a dehydrator with an adjustable thermostat would be the perfect match for them.
Food dehydration can take hours to complete and it can easily be forgotten about if someone is not constantly in the kitchen area. A dehydrator with a timer would be a perfect fit for someone who prefers to put the food in to cook and be able to complete other tasks and be alarmed when the food is complete.
This is also another important aspect for someone who prefers to leave the food to cook unattended. If someone wants to be able to leave the house while their food is in the dehydrator, it will be best for them to have a model where there is an auto-shutoff feature. This feature will allow them to leave the machine unattended without having to worry about it overcooking the food or catching fire.
There are many great food dehydrators on the market as of today with great reviews from many customers. Amazon offers many different dehydrators for great prices with many different aspects. Here are seven of the top dehydrators on Amazon with all of the features to help people decide which one is best for their needs.
This food dehydrator is equipped with 10 steel trays and a digital touch control panel and even comes with a recipe book and 10 mesh trays. Listed for $369.99, this dehydrator has stainless steel double-walled body and trays. This helps to retain the heat and even helps save on the customer’s electric bill. This machine features low noise when in operation and is made out of BPA-free materials to ensure the utmost safety for customers.
It also features an open-view door that allows the user to check on their food in the process and a smart dry option with an automatic fan that distributes air evenly. This model is easy to use with an adjustable timer and thermostat and comes with 10 mesh trays and a drip tray for easy cleanup. It also comes with a digital control panel that is easy to read and allows precise operating settings.
Customers have reviewed this machine and have given it a 4.5 out of 5-star rating. Many states that the dehydrator was easy to use and clean, the temperature control setting was perfect, and the noise level was quiet and easy to handle. Several of the customers even listed this as their favorite dehydrator they have ever used.
Regarded as Amazon’s Bestseller in food dehydrators, this Hamilton-Beach dehydrator is made out of plastic and has 500 watts of power, and is only 29.8 x 36.8 x 33 centimeters in size. For only $74.98, this is perfect for someone who doesn’t plan to cook much food in it, and also wants to save the most space in their kitchen.
It features five stackable trays, an adjustable digital thermostat, and has a continuous airflow. This specific model is perfect for drying fruits, vegetables, and jerky, and has even dried so there is no need to rotate the trays. This model also comes with a 48-hour timer with auto-shutoff and a clear lid so that the customer can check up on the food as it cooks.
Several of the customer reviews state that this machine does produce a loud noise when it is on, but the other aspects make up for it. Some of the customers stated that this machine was easy to use, the flavor was astonishing, and it was the best value for the price of the machine.
For $139.99, this food dehydrator is made out of stainless steel and plastic, has 400 watts of power, and contains 8 trays for medium food capacity. It comes with a powerful drying capacity, adjustable timer, and thermostat, and is easy to store and clean. This dehydrator retains 97% of vitamins and minerals within the food and is top of the line when it comes to preserving food. The dehydrator is detachable and the trays are dishwasher safe, so it is easy to clean up and store away for simple use.
Customers have rated this machine 4.4 out of 5 stars with the noise level, easy to clean, and easy to use as some of the best features. Several have stated that the unit is worth the price that they paid, the machine is quiet, and that this model is perfect for first-time users.
The Kwasyo dehydrator is regarded as one of the top of the line dehydrators out there today. It features 12 stainless steel trays, dual-fan 360-degree drying, 24-hour adjustable timer, overheats protection, and more. With 12 adjustable shelves, this is perfect for someone who needs this for large families or commercial use. It can also dry many ranges of food, including flowers and dog treats. It also comes with a led smart touch control panel that is easy to operate and allows for optimal temperature and times.
Unlike other machines, this one is equipped with 6-inch dual fans that have 360-degree air drying to provide even cooking and save electricity and time. It also has a full transparent tempered glass door so there is no need to open the machine to check on the food and cause loss of heat. Other than the glass door, it is made out of food-grade stainless steel for durability and high-temperature resistance.
Customers gave this machine a 4.6 out of 5 stars with the top aspects being value for their money, temperature control, and ease to use. Some of the customers state that there is no need to move the trays around to get the best quality out of the food and that the machine lives up to its description of even cooking. Others state that it is the best machine for those who want to use it for commercial purposes and that it is the best for large loads of food.
Regarded as Amazon’s Choice for food dehydrators, the Salton VitaPro is best for fruits, vegetables, and jerky and comes with expandable trays, adjustable temperature control, and bonus fruit roll-up and herb trays. This machine is only $49.47 and is small in size so it is perfect for anyone who wants something small for their kitchen. It comes with 5 trays that expand by 30 percent for thicker items and a vented lid. It has a high-performance faster drying time spanning four to eight hours over units without temperature control.
Customers gave this unit a 4.5 out of 5 stars with temperature control, easy to use, and easy to clean as the top three aspects. Some of the buyers say that this model is extremely quiet than other models and that the trays are non-stick, so it makes it easier to use and clean up afterward. Many people stated that this machine is perfect for anyone who wants something simple and small to dry small amounts of food.
Listed for $299.99 on Amazon, this dehydrator is equipped with temperature control, six stainless steel trays, and 600 watts of power. This machine is easy to use, clean, and store away, which is perfect for any busy person that is looking for something easy to work with. This dehydrator also comes with a digital control panel with a timer and can make average size batches of food. The Cosori is the best match for anyone who wants to set a timer and go to sleep while their food cooks due to the quiet sounds of the fans and 48 hour timer. It also has an auto-shutoff feature that kicks on when the timer goes off to ensure that the food doesn’t overdry.
This model received 4.7 out of 5 stars from customers with flavor, easy to use, and easy to clean as the top three aspects for this specific machine. Many say that the machine is easy to operate by anyone, even those that are new to food dehydration. Others state that it is well worth the price and competes well against higher-end models.
This dehydrator features five trays, a digital timer, and thermostat, and overheat protection for an outstanding price of only $110.99. This specific machine is medium in size and comes with adjustable food trays that can change the height to allow for bigger foods to be placed inside. It also comes with even and powerful dehydration so that no rotation is needed. The Cusimax is also easy to clean and store with detachable parts and dishwasher-safe trays.
Customers ranked this machine 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon and state that the machine takes up less space than other machines and is quiet as well. One aspect that the customers like is that when it is turned off, it stays on for two minutes to allow for cooling before it fully shuts off. Many also state that this model is worth the price that they paid and is perfect for anyone who wants a simple machine.
As it can be seen, there are many different features and aspects when it comes to choosing the right food dehydrator. Heat control, size, and price are key features to look for in a machine before just buying one outright. It is essential for the machine to be able to cook the food evenly and correctly while maintaining all of the nutrients in the food while also keeping in mind how much food will be cooked total and the amount of space it will consume.