Best Food Dehydrator Reviews for food, fruit, jerky, and more
Dehydrating food for preservation isn’t new. This practice has been around for centuries. Essentially you just need a heat source and air flow.
Working together the heat and air work to remove the moisture from the food. This prevents bacteria from growing and spoiling the food.
A side benefit is that dehydrating the food greatly reduces the weight making it lightweight to carry. This is especially useful for traveling, hiking, and storing food in smaller spaces.
More than just preserving the food and making it easier to store, dehydrating food keeps the vitamins and minerals in tact in your food source.
This leads to healthy, organic food. These make great snack alternatives. Think about it. Would you rather you child eat a sugary fruit rollup, or dehydrated fruit you made yourself?
How Food Dehydrators Work
Most dehydrators work in essentially the same way. Food is placed on a tray that allows for air flow. You have a heat source. It could be gas, electric, solar, etc. Finally, there is an air source that circulates the heat over the food. Over time the heat and air will pull the moisture out of the food.
Some dehydrators stack trays vertically and the heat and air will flow up. This vertical configuration allows food to be dried more quickly. Albeit, the bottom trays will dry faster. If utilizing all the trays you will want to rotate the position to ensure even results across all food. The vertical configuration takes up less space and is often less expensive.
Other dehydrators utilize a horizontal configuration. This method doesn’t work quite as quickly, but the results are uniform regardless of which tray the food is on. The horizontal dehydrators are often a little more expensive and have a larger footprint.
What can you dry?
For the most part you are only limited by your imagination. Most foods can be preserved in a dehydrator. You can even dehydrate milk and some other liquids. Most people will stick to meat, fruits, and vegetables. You can also dehydrate herbs, pine cones, and other plants. Dehydrate some flower petals to preserve them for decorations, or you could make your own potpourri.
What is the Best Brand?
There isn’t one clear cut brand that stands above the rest. There is however three brands that have been around the longest and make the most popular dehydrators. You will want to focus on size, configuration, heat and power, and price to help you make your decision.
The three most popular brands are Presto, Nesco, and Excalibur.
Presto: makes a wide variety of products including food dehydrators. They are known to have cost effective, reliable products.
Nesco: First opened in 1930. They make low cost products that are pretty reliable. Their dehydrator line is very popular right now.
Excalibur: Has been selling dehydrators and other kitchen products since the 70’s. The have become one of the top selling brands on the market. They specialize in food dehydrators. If you want a high quality, durable machine and you aren’t as concerned about cost this is your brand.