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The Best Food Dehydrator

Last updated on October 14, 2020

We looked at the top 9 Food Dehydrators and dug through the reviews from 33 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Food Dehydrators.

Best Food Dehydrator

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Our Picks For The Top Food Dehydrators

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best for Beginners

COSORI Food Dehydrator & Dryer Machine

COSORI

Food Dehydrator & Dryer Machine

Overall Take

Starter FeaturesDigital controls and safety features make this food dehydrator a great starter model.

  Best for Small Spaces

Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine

Magic Mill

Food Dehydrator Machine

Overall Take

Dries Food EvenlyThis compact food dehydrator provides consistent results.

  Best for Families

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machine

COSORI

Premium Food Dehydrator Machine

Overall Take

Sturdy, Usable DesignWith steel housing and a host of features, this model was built to last.

  Best Low-Maintenance

Excalibur 2400 Adjustable Electric Food Dehydrator

Excalibur

2400 Adjustable Electric Food Dehydrator

Overall Take

Easy to CleanMaking your own treats and cleaning up afterward are equally easy with this unit.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
16

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the food dehydrators available to purchase.
9

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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33

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

23,108

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

The Best Overall

COSORI Food Dehydrator & Dryer Machine

Our Expert Score

9.8

Our Take

If you've never used a food dehydrator, this unit makes it easy. There's an auto shut-off feature and the digital temperature control is precise. The stackable plastic trays allow you to make several servings of your favorite dried snacks.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine

Our Total Score

9.8

Our Take

Consistency is the hallmark of this dehydrator. Thanks to a rear-mounted fan and great circulation, you can expect any food to dry to the perfect level. The interior capacity is surprisingly large, especially for a relatively compact appliance.

Our Food Dehydrator Buying Guide

This is the age of the hyper-specific kitchen appliance. We’ve all seen those Pinterest and Instagram posts showing us some delicious-looking dish that anyone could make if only they had the right air fryer, Instant Pot or cake mold. Truth be told, most of these gadgets don’t exclusively make any certain kind of food — they just make it easier.

One big exception is the food dehydrator. Dried fruits, beef jerky and homemade yogurt are all tasty, and they’re just a few of the snacks and staples that you can only make effectively with a proper dehydrator.

That’s because of the way most foods dehydrate. You can dehydrate many foods simply by exposing them to a lot of air at low heat over a long period of time, but the key phrase here is “low heat.” Convection ovens might work by circulating air throughout the central chamber, but their lowest temperature is still too high. Temperatures over 150 F will seal moisture into your foods, which is the opposite of dehydration.

Food dehydrators do the job properly in one of two basic ways. Vertical flow dehydrators have a fan that pushes air through a heating element that’s usually at the bottom of the gadget, but sometimes at the top. It circulates through the central chamber, where there are trays of food stacked one on top of the other. This type of dehydrator tends to be a bit more affordable, and thanks to the vertical design, it’s usually more compact. That’s helpful if countertop space is at a premium. On the other hand, the heat will always be higher at the end closest to the heating unit, though a powerful fan can mitigate those hot spots a bit. But if you’re drying foods over a long period of time, you may need to shuffle trays during the process to ensure even dehydration.

Then there are box frame dehydrators, which operate with a horizontal flow. A fan at the back of the unit pushes air out through the chamber, more or less evenly. That’s much more effective for uniform heating, and it can be done with less energy overall. In return, you can expect a higher average price point for this type of dehydrator, and a somewhat bigger profile.

With most cooking devices, you might judge the effectiveness by power output, which you can find by checking the wattage. Just remember that food dehydrators work at low temperatures, so power isn’t as big of an issue as efficiency. That said, your device will still need plenty of power to keep the temperature consistent. Look for something that has at least 300-400 watts, and maybe more if it’s a larger unit.

No matter what type of dehydrator you use, there’s no getting around the fact that dehydration takes time. Exposing your food to hot air for an extended duration ensures that the only thing that leaves your fruits, veggies and meat is water — not flavor or vitamins. That means that your dehydrator will be running for hours, and that means the fan will be running for hours. If you’re spending a lot of time near the kitchen while that happens, make sure you invest in quieter model. Powerful dehydrators aren’t always the loudest, but they can be if the unit isn’t well-designed.

Simplemost Fun Fact

The first mechanized food dehydrator was invented in France during the 1800s, but the process has been around for a long time before that. Historians believe it didn’t take long for ancient Egyptians to notice that fruit left out in the hot sun was still edible for days, and that they were deliberately using the desert heat to preserve their food as early as 12,000 B.C.

The Food Dehydrator Tips and Advice

What can you dry in a food dehydrator? A better question is what can’t you dry. Dehydration simply removes the moisture from foods, making them much easier to preserve and, in some cases, bringing out an extra dose of flavor. Fruits and veggies are the most common. (Yes, you can make sun-dried tomatoes without drying them in the sun.) Beef or turkey jerky is also an option, and you can even dry most types of nuts for easy storage.

Expect the process to take awhile — from 6-10 hours for most vegetables, and a few hours longer for fruits. Once your food is done, be sure to store it in airtight containers like mason jars or sealed bags. You’ll keep the flavor locked in and ensure the longest possible storage time.


About The Author

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Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness is a professional writer and journalist for the past 20 years. Tod's years of experience writing a nightlife column for the Orlando Sentinel have cursed him with an affinity for cocktails he can't afford. He makes up for it with his cheap yet killer slow cooker cuisine. At least, his wife hasn't kicked him out for them yet.