If you're looking for an easy, affordable way to make your own dried fruits or create a jerky empire, a food dehydrator is a worthy investment. To help you browse through all the options and find the best food dehydrator for your needs, we rounded up recommendations from home cooks across the US. These recommendations include the most popular food dehydrators, but also some of the more expensive.
Best Food Dehydrator for Jerky
The best meat jerky is one that is perfectly seasoned and has an even texture throughout. To achieve this, you need a quality food dehydrator that will evenly dry out and remove 40-50% moisture from the meat. It would be best if the dehydrator can reach 155˚F or higher. Here are some of the best recommendations:
- Tribest Sedona Express is what you need if you are looking to make huge batches of dehydrated goodies! This one is particularly popular among the jerky enthusiasts. It allows for a high-temperature initial drying and then gradually moving to lower-temperature slow-drying, which makes for fantastic jerky.
- Excalibur 3926TB Electric Food Dehydrator can easily outdo any other high-performing but more expensive dehydrators in the market. It features 9 large trays with 15 square feet of drying space, a 26-hour timer, and an adjustable thermostat that has a range of 105-165˚F.
- Aroma Professional Food Dehydrator is a mid-sized but high-performance food dehydrator that produces an outstanding result. Advanced food dehydrating aficionados like its simple design and the ease of operation, and how it delivers quality dehydrated food for a reasonable price.
Best Dehydrator for Raw Food
Fruits, vegetables, and meat require different dehydrating conditions. This is why it is important to opt for dehydrators with functional settings for optimal results.
- Everus Food Dehydrator Machine features accurate temperature control to beautifully dehydrate raw fruits, vegetables, and meat while preserving its flavor and nutrients. It is easy to use, with simple power and temperature setting controls. It operates on a 240-watts power with a temperature range of 96-158˚F.
- Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator FD-75A blows out air horizontally and vertically for faster and even drying of food. This dehydrator runs on 700-watts of power and is easy to operate, making it perfect for beginners.
- Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator may be plain-looking but it is packed with great technical functions. It has a 48-hour automatic shut-off timer, adjustable thermostat ranging from 100-160˚F, and 2 specialized sheets for herbs and fruit leathers.
Best Food Dehydrator Under $100
We all deserve great dehydrated goodies, but not everyone can afford those expensive machines. We found some affordable dehydrator options that deliver quality dried out foods:
- Presto 0630 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator, with a standard price of $59.99, is a simple dehydrator for casual use. It is compact and durable, featuring a 4-tray system that can be expanded to fit up to 8 trays (other trays sold separately) and a see-through cover. It is easy to operate and dishwasher-friendly.
- Hauture Food Dehydrator Machine is a multifunctional choice for those looking to experiment with various dehydrated food. It features a digital and accurate temperature control setting, letting you dry out treats to perfection. It also has a safety automatic shut-off feature in case it overheats. For $73.99, this one is a great buy.
- NutriChef PKFD12 Electric Food Dehydrator is a professional-grade food dehydrator priced at $75.45. It is easy to operate and comes with 5 stackable trays so you can layer and dry out foods in one go. Its maximum temperature output is 180˚F.
Best Small Food Dehydrator
You want it good, and you want it compact. We got you covered! Check out some of the most popular small-sized food dehydrators for those who have limited space but still want to make dried out delights:
- L’Equip 528 Food Dehydrator is a space-saving, 6-tray dehydrator that can be stacked with additional trays for additional treats. It dries food consistently and evenly with its microprocessor-controlled heating sensor to monitor the heat.
- Presto 3601 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator is a small and compact dehydrator with 6-tray capacity. It has a digital control panel and has a drying temperature range from 90-165˚F. A simple, easy-to-use dehydrator for beginners; it is easy to store and dishwasher-safe.
- Brod and Taylor Sahara Folding Food Dehydrator is perfect for small kitchens and apartment dwellers. As the name says, it is foldable — you can fold it to 1/3 of its size and easily store it in a kitchen drawer. This dehydrator 11 square feet of drying surface, an automated temperature control, and a washable and reusable air filter.
Best Commercial Food Dehydrator
You have become quite good at dehydrating food and want to earn some bucks from it. Why not? Especially in these challenging times, we need to be creative in coming up with extra income! These dehydrator units are excellent for making large batches:
- STX Dehydra 1200W 10-Rack Stainless Steel Model is a sturdy, stainless, commercial-grade food dehydrator. If you take food dehydration art seriously and is considering putting up a dehydrated food business, this one is perfect. It features roomy drying trays and a digital control system to deliver high-quality dehydrated goods in large batches.
- Nesco Gardenmaster FD-1018A can dehydrate food faster than most brands in the market. It features a 4.5-inch fan and a 2,400-RPM motor running on 1000-watt power to quickly (and quietly!) dry your food minus the rotating trays. This winner can accommodate up to 30 trays and has a thermostat range of 95-160˚F. If you’re looking to make a big batch to sell or give away, this is a great partner for you.
- Proctor Silex Commercial 78450 is a durable and high-performance food dehydrator. It runs on 1200-watts of power, with a horizontal airflow system to provide thorough and even drying. It has a total of 16 square feet of drying capacity that allows you to dry big batches at one time.
Best Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator
You know you will be doing this for the long haul, so you want sturdy stainless steel models. Check out the top-rated choices below:
- Cosori Premium Food Dehydrator is made with food-grade stainless steel with a glass door. It is easy to use, perfect for beginners, quiet, and easy to store and clean. It also has a memory function and a timer that can go up to 48 hours.
- Magic Mill Commercial Food Dehydrator is a sturdy, commercial-grade dehydrator and among the top choices in stainless steel options. It comes with a fruit leather sheet and a mesh tray for herbs aside from the regular drying trays. It has a digital control system with an automatic shut off feature.
- Jayetec Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator is an ETL-certified commercial stainless food dehydrator. It features 6 BPA-free removable trays, a rear-mounted fan, and a transparent door so you can see and check the drying action anytime. Its adjustable thermostat control ranges from 95-158˚F. It is quiet, small, and easy to clean and store.
Bottom Line: The Best Food Dehydrator for The Money
With all the brands and models mentioned here, these are the overall winners in functionality and price:
The Excalibur 3926TB Electric Food Dehydrator makes it hard to go wrong with your food dehydrating project with its efficient features.
The Nesco Gardenmaster FD-1018A is among the best-rated in the market, and for a good reason — it delivers what it promises.
The Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator is a no-nonsense food dehydrator packed with excellent features for an affordable price.