10 Best Food Dehydrators in 2018

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The best food dehydrators have all kinds of benefits: they preserve food without using additives or preservatives, they can make jerky, healthy fruit rolls, and can dry fresh-grown herbs or even flowers for potpourri. And a top rated dehydrator is not as expensive as you might think, with the price often staying far under $100. Whether you’re a novice or a pro at dehydrating food, you should learn as much as you can before buying.

We’ve provided information about trays, temperature ranges, timers, fan positioning, wattage, and more below. Through our wide research into independent and customer reviews, we built a strong list of the top 10 food dehydrators. We organized the information into easy-to-digest categories, with a full buyer’s guide at the end.

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best overall rating
  • Add up to 7 more trays
  • Adjustable thermostat (95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Opaque Vita-Save exterior locks in nutrients
premium choice rating
  • 9 trays (15 square feet of space)
  • Adjustable thermostat (105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Horizontal fan (no need to rotate trays)
great value rating
  • 4 to 8 stacking trays
  • Jerky spices and gun
  • Easy to store away

What follows are 10 food dehydrator reviews with varying prices and sizes. Many of these dehydrators come with adjustable temperatures and countdown timers, while others are more basic. Read on to find the best food dehydrator for you!

View the Best Rated Food Dehydrator, Below.

best overall rating

1. Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro

Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

This is a stackable/vertical fruit, herb, vegetable, and meat dehydrator.

Trays

The Snackmaster is a food dryer with 5 trays, but 7 more trays can be bought and added if you want to dry more food, making it the best dehydrator for beginners who are unsure about how much drying space they need. Each tray is 13.5 inches in diameter.

Controls

The thermostat is adjustable from 95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this machine does not have a timer, so you’ll have to remember to not leave it on for too long.

Fan

The fan is mounted on the top and has 600 watts of power. Though Nesco says the trays don’t need to be rotated, users have said that they rotated the trays with better results.

Extras

Besides the 7 extra trays, you can purchase, another advantage of the Snackmaster is its Opaque Vita-Save exterior that blocks out light (which would otherwise drain the food of nutrients). There are also 2 fruit rolls sheets, making it a great fruit dehydrator. Then there are 2 Clean-A-Screen flexible screens for herbs, 3 jerky seasoning packets, and a recipe/instruction book (52 pages).

See more information on Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro.

Why We Like It
  • Add up to 7 more trays
  • Adjustable thermostat (95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Opaque Vita-Save exterior locks in nutrients
  • 2 fruit roll sheets, 2 flexible sheets
  • 3 jerky seasoning packets
  • 1 recipe/instruction book (52 pages)
Wattage
600W
No. of Trays
5
Dimensions
13.8 x 22.1 x 13.9 Inches
Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. Excalibur 3926TB

Excalibur 3926TB

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

The Excalibur brand always comes through with a top rated food dehydrator—for a somewhat steep price. The 3926TB model can dry veggies, meat, herbs, nuts, and fruit. It can also help to raise bread or even make homemade yogurts.

Trays

With 9 trays, the Excalibur 3926TB is a large food dehydrator with 15 square feet of room for all your dehydratable foods.

Controls

The thermostat is adjustable from 105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a timer that can be set as high as 26 hours.

Fan

The large, 600-watt, 7-inch fan and the heater move air horizontally, causing an even dehydration for all of your food. This means that the trays will never have to be rotated, saving you a lot of time.

Extras

Along with the 9 regular trays, there’s also a flexible poly-screen tray that stops foods (like fruit) from sticking. Users can make fruit rolls, jerky, veggies and fruits, herbs, dog treats, and more.

See more information on Excalibur 3926TB.

Why We Like It
  • 9 trays (15 square feet of space)
  • Adjustable thermostat (105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Horizontal fan (no need to rotate trays)
  • 1 flexible, non-stick poly-screen tray
Wattage
600W
No. of Trays
9
Dimensions
19 x 17 x 12.5 Inches
Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Presto 06300 Dehydro

Presto 06300 Dehydro

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

The stacking, expandable Presto 06300 Dehydro is a small, inexpensive electric food dehydrator with a preset temperature.

Trays

The Presto has only 4 trays (about 12 inches in diameter each), but you can add up to 4 more if you’re willing to spend a bit more. They are dishwasher safe.

Controls

There is no timer. This can be especially irritating when you have to remember to rotate trays every so often. If you purchase this one, make sure you have an outside timer or alarm first. More importantly, the only temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes the Presto 06300 the best cheap dehydrator for jerky which cooks at this temperature. So if you’re serious about dehydrating all kinds of foods, this one is not for you.

Fan

The fan is on the bottom. Trays will have to be rotated while your items dry.

Extras

You can also purchase fruit roll sheets, nonstick mesh screens, jerky spice packages, and a jerky gun, making it the best dehydrator for jerky. The cover is transparent, but you’d only be able to view the uppermost tray. The Presto 06300 is compact and the cord stores in its base.

See more information on Presto 06300 Dehydro.

Why We Like It
  • 4 to 8 stacking trays
  • Jerky spices and gun
  • Easy to store away
  • Cord stores in base
Wattage
600W
No. of Trays
4
Dimensions
14.5 x 15 x 6.2 Inches
Editor Rating

4. MAGIC MILL MFD-6100 Professional

MAGIC MILL MFD-6100 Professional

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

The MAGIC MILL MFD-6100 is a large, horizontal machine that’s great for users who need to dry a lot of food at once.

Trays

This is a good food dehydrator with 6 large (13 by 12-inch), BPA-free, stainless-steel trays that can hold over 6 pounds of food at once.

Controls

The thermostat has 9 increments from 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also a countdown timer that goes up to 19.5 hours.

Fan

The 400-450 watt fan is located in the rear. Because of its horizontal positioning, users don’t ever have to worry over rotating trays.

Extras

The MAGIC MILL Dehydrator has a transparent cover, a safety mechanism against overheating, a drip tray to catch moisture, 2 plastic fine mesh trays for drying herbs, 2 nonstick trays for fruit, and 1 pair of oven mitts.

See more information on MAGIC MILL MFD-6100 Professional.

Why We Like It
  • 6 large trays
  • BPA free
  • 9 temperatures
  • 19.5-hour timer
  • Horizontal fan
  • Lots of accessories
Wattage
400W
No. of Trays
6
Dimensions
15 x 13.5 x 19 Inches
Editor Rating

5. Presto 06301 Dehydro

Presto 06301 Dehydro

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

The Presto 06301 Dehydro looks fairly similar to the 06300 model featured above, but this one has upgraded to its controls.

Trays

There are 6 12-inch trays with this model, and it’s expandable to 12 trays. Therefore, it has a much larger capacity than the previous Presto model. The trays are all dishwasher safe. They are nestable when not in use, saving lots of storage space. Like the other Presto, the cord stores neatly in the base.

Controls

This is the big difference when compared to the 06300. There’s a digital display with drying temperatures ranging from 90 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. And there’s a timer that goes all the way up to 48 hours.

Fan

The fan is mounted on the bottom, so be sure to rotate the trays often.

Extras

The dehydrator has 2 nonstick screens for small foods like herbs and for fruit rolls. It has an automatic shutdown to prevent overdrying that would basically burn and ruin your food.

See more information on Presto 06301 Dehydro.

Why We Like It
  • 6 to 12 dishwasher-safe trays
  • Nestable trays save storage space
  • Temperatures from 90 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Digital timer (up to 48 hours)
  • 2 nonstick screens
Wattage
750W
No. of Trays
6
Dimensions
14.5 x 15 x 7.2 Inches
Editor Rating

6. Cuisinart DHR-20

Cuisinart DHR-20

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

The Cuisinart dehydrator is pretty low budget, making it perfect for people new to the dehydrating game. With such a low price, it’s easy to justify upgrading to a pricier model if you have a good experience with it.

Trays

There are 5 trays each about 12 inches wide, but you can also add 4 more trays.

Controls

There aren’t many settings, and they aren’t especially descriptive: you can set your device to Low, Medium, or High.

Fan

The 620-watt fan is pretty powerful when compared to many dehydrators for sale that only power up to about 400.

Extras

There are no bonuses to this food dehydrating machine. It’s fairly basic and not heavy-duty at all.

See more information on Cuisinart DHR-20.

Why We Like It
  • Great value
  • 5 to 9 trays
  • 3 settings (low, medium, and high)
  • 620 Watts
Wattage
620W
No. of Trays
5
Dimensions
13.4 x 15.6 x 12 Inches
Editor Rating

7. Hamilton Beach 32100A

Hamilton Beach 32100A

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

Hamilton Beach ’s 32100A model is a small food dehydrator with the fan mounted on the bottom.

Trays

The 5 (13-inch wide) trays Hamilton Beach provides are stackable. However, users can not buy more trays to add on later. Expandability would have been a helpful feature, but this product would be well-suited to people who don’t have huge batches of food to prepare.

Controls

The thermostat ranges from 100 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it suitable for dehydrating anything from herbs to fruits to meat.

Fan

The fan, mounted on the bottom of the dehydrator, gives off 500 Watts. The manufacturer—and many customers—claim that there is no need to rotate the trays, despite the fan being on the bottom of the machine.

Extras

There’s 1 fine-mesh sheet to dry herbs on and another solid sheet to make fruit rolls.

See more information on Hamilton Beach 32100A.

Why We Like It
  • Compact dehydrator
  • 5 stacking trays
  • Thermostat range of 100 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • No need to rotate trays
  • 1 fine-mesh sheet
  • 1 fruit roll sheet
Wattage
500W
No. of Trays
5
Dimensions
10.5 x 13 x 11 Inches
Editor Rating

8. Chefman RJ43-SQ-6T

Chefman RJ43-SQ-6T

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

This Chefman dehydrator has precise, high-end digital controls and lots of room for whatever food you need to dehydrate.

Trays

The 6 large 13 by 12-inch trays are all made of BPA-free plastic. It’s a horizontal, non-stackable system, so there’s no expanding on the number of trays. Still, the amount of drying space you’re given is more than enough for many users.

Controls

There is a digital control panel with a temperature range of 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The countdown timer goes up to 19.5 hours.

Fan

The 480-watt fan is mounted in the back of the dehydrator, circulating the air horizontally. This eliminates any need to rotate trays throughout the drying process.

Extras

The door on the front is transparent, allowing you to easily see the progress of the food on all 6 trays.

See more information on Chefman RJ43-SQ-6T.

Why We Like It
  • 6 large (13” by 12”) trays
  • BPA free
  • Temperature range of 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Countdown timer (19.5 hours)
  • Horizontal fan
  • Transparent door
Wattage
480W
No. of Trays
6
Dimensions
13.6 x 17.5 x 12.4 Inches
Editor Rating

9. HOMEMAXS Food Dehydrator

HOMEMAXS Food Dehydrator

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

This home dehydrator has 5 trays, a digital display, and high transparency.

Trays

The HOMEMAXS dehydrator has 5 stackable trays (the size unspecified). You can’t buy extra trays. They are dishwasher safe and free of BPA.

Controls

You can control the digital display, adjusting the temperature from 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s also the timer which allows you to countdown from as high as 72 hours, making the HOMEMAXS the longest running dehydrator on our list.

Fan

This is a dehydrator with a 500-watt fan that circulates air evenly. Many customers say there was no need to rotate trays.

Extras

The trays are all clear plastic all the way around, making this the most easy-to-see-inside dehydrator on our list.

See more information on HOMEMAXS Food Dehydrator.

Why We Like It
  • 5 stacking trays
  • Trays are dishwasher safe, free of BPA
  • Trays are transparent
Wattage
500W
No. of Trays
5
Dimensions
13 x 11 x 11.4 Inches
Editor Rating

10. Chefman RJ43-SQ-9

Chefman RJ43-SQ-9

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

This is a super-sized, 9-tray dehydrator for anyone serious about drying foods in bulk.

Trays

The 9 trays are each 13 by 12 inches in size. They are made from BPA-free plastic. It’s a step up from the Chefman RJ43-SQ-6T that has 6 trays that are the same size.

Controls

This device has a digital temperature setting that ranges from 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The timer can be run for up to 19.5 hours.

Fan

The horizontal fan is 600 Watts (120 Watts more powerful than the Chefman RJ43-SQ-6T).

Extras

The transparent front door offers a simple view of all 9 trays.

See more information on Chefman RJ43-SQ-9.

Why We Like It
  • 9 large (13” by 12”) trays
  • BPA free
  • 600-watt fan
  • 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit
Wattage
600W
No. of Trays
9
Dimensions
14 x 17 x 18 Inches
Editor Rating

Buyer’s Guide

If you’re a first-time buyer, there are some details to get straight when looking at the top dehydrators. First, learn how many trays are available in each dehydrator (or how many more you can add). Then, decide how much control you want in terms of temperature and timers. Next, ask yourself if you want a fan that’s mounted in a way that won’t make you waste time rotating trays by the hour.

Lastly, consider the bonuses each brand offers (jerky spice packets, specialty trays, etc.). Our buyer’s guide has all these details under the following headings: Trays, Controls, Fans, and Extras.

Like convenience? Then you might like these Best-Rated Masticating Juicers.

food-dehydrator-image-3

Trays

The number of trays—and their size—will give you a rough idea of how much food can be dried at any given time. But the manufacturers don’t always make it easy to find out exactly how large the trays are. For example, the Excalibur 3926TB has trays with 15 square feet of drying space total. Unfortunately, the other trays on our list aren’t measured in total square feet.

However, we can tell you that a tray of 13 by 12 inches is the standard for most food dryers. We’ve also noted when the dehydrator trays are expandable. This means that some dehydrators have an option that lets you purchase even more drying trays, up to a certain point. For example, the Presto 06301 Dehydro is a small dehydrator with 6 trays, but you can double your drying space if you order 6 more trays.

Others have no expansion options, like the HOMEMAXS Food Dehydrator where 5 trays are all that you get. Some people only need 5 trays, but if you think you’ll be dehydrating food in large amounts, look for lots of trays, or dehydrators that offer extra to stack on top for a small price. Expandable trays are great for people who are just unsure how much they’ll need or want to dry.

You wouldn’t want to waste money on the 9 trays of the Excalibur when it turns out you only need 3. On the other hand, the 4-tray Presto 06300 Dehydro is a safe, cheap start, and its capacity can be doubled with 4 more trays (sold separately).

Controls

The best dehydrators have digital displays that let you adjust the temperature and set a countdown timer. Typically, the temperatures will run from 90 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a top food dehydrator. Many types of foods dehydrate best at about 130 degrees. However, for safety reasons, the best jerky dehydrator temperature would be about 155 degrees. Herbs will usually be dehydrated at 95 to 115 degrees. That’s why it’s important to know what heats a dehydrator can be set to.

The Presto 06300 Dehydro has only one temperature: 165 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s quite high, and it wouldn’t be helpful with herbs or other small things in need of drying. It would be a perfect food dehydrator for jerky, but that’s about it. Another example is the Cuisinart DHR-20 that only has settings of Low, Medium, and High. Both the Presto and the Cuisinart machines are low-priced and meant for people who don’t need versatility in their dehydrator.

food-dehydrator-image-4

Some dehydrators don’t even have timers to let you know how much time has passed. The two on our list that lack timers are the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro and the Presto 06300 Dehydro. On the flip side, the rest are dehydrators with timers that can go as high as 20, 48, or even 72 hours.
The bottom line is that being able to control temperature and a timer means that your dehydrator will cost more.

Fans

The dehydrator’s fan is the part that gets the food dry, circulating the hot air around until the moisture is sucked out. Many dehydrator fans have a power of around 500 Watts. This includes the Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, the Chefman RJ43-SQ-6T, and the HOMEMAXS. Others have wattage around 400 to 450, like the MAGIC MILL MFD-6100 Professional. The highest-powered dehydrators max out at about 600 Watts.

These dehydrators include the Cuisinart DHR-20, the Excalibur 3926TB, the Chefman RJ43-SQ-9, and the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro. More Watts means that foods will dry more efficiently. Perhaps even more important than the wattage is the fan’s placement. Your best bet is to look for a fan that’s mounted somewhere on the side or in the rear, pushing the air horizontally.

If, however, the fan is mounted at the top or the bottom of the dehydrator, the tray closest to the fan will have drier food than the other trays. This can be fixed by diligently rotating the trays every hour or so. It can be a real pain, so you’ll at least want a timer of some kind. Dehydrators are therefore either “vertical” or “horizontal.”

The vertical ones have a top or bottom fans that distribute the air up and down. Horizontal dehydrators have that side-to-side fan, requiring no annoying tray rotation. As you might expect, vertical dehydrators are a lot cheaper in general.

Extras

Some dehydrators come with goodies like trays for fruit rolls (made from pureed fruit) or fine mesh trays to hold drying herbs and flowers. There are even a handful of dehydrators that come with jerky seasoning packets, like the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro and the Presto 06300 Dehydro.
For each of the 10 products we reviewed above, we have also noted the transparency of the doors.

food-dehydrator-image-2

In the case of the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro, it has an Opaque Vita-Save door that blocks out much of the light that would drain your food’s nutrients.

Conclusion

A top-rated dehydrator can preserve food for weeks or months longer than their usual shelf-life. Nutrient loss is pretty minimal, preservatives are non-existent, and flavors and textures are brought out. In the end, dehydrators can save you a bunch of money over purchasing, say, banana chips from the store. They’re great do-it-yourself kitchen appliances that could get you hooked on healthy eating alternatives. There’s a lot to learn about food dehydrators and hundreds of guides telling you what to do.

When all is said and done, you’ll have to experiment each time you try to dehydrate a food. Bananas, tomatoes, herbs, meats, and more all have different sizes and water content. If you’re new to this, start out with small batches, just to be safe. Reading Amazon reviews, watching Youtube videos, and reading as much as you can about the process will help you out.

Expert Tip

Slicing meats, fruits, and vegetables into the same thickness will help you get more consistent results. As in, an extra thick tomato slice will dry at a different speed when compared to a very thin slice.

Did you Know

Dehydrating foods will typically cause about a 10% loss of nutrients. A lower temperature (and longer dehydration time) will help save nutrients.