The best dehydrator for home use

Drying or dehydration preserves perishable foods for several months, if not years.
Most of the nutrients and vital substances are preserved during the drying process,
and the taste of the dried goods even becomes more intense.

With the compact, attractively priced and easy-to-use automatic dehydrators, today you get the opportunity to prepare healthy and inexpensive snacks at home by dehydrating. The current guide article informs you in detail about the current range of automatic dehydrators, offers a clear classification of all model. Our guide leads you specifically and in a few steps to the desired product.

The Best Dehydrators for fruits & vegetables

The Best Dehydrator for fruits & vegetables

What is a dehydrator and how does this household appliance work?

A dehydrator is an electrical appliance for preserving food by drying it with heated air. This ancient method of preservation is called dehydration, which translated from Latin means "withdrawal of liquid".
  • A modern dehydrator for home use works on the same principle regardless of its design. A heating fan is built into the base or housing of the appliance, which blows air heated to a certain temperature through several levels loaded with dehydrated goods.

  • When dehydrating with a dehydrator there are no programmable sequences, the blower always works with the same preset strength. The levels can either be stacked one on top of the other or pushed in over the bars that are permanently mounted in the body. Each dehydrator has a lid or front door for greater energy efficiency.

  • Dehydrating is a process that takes several hours. Expect drying times starting at four hours and up to 30 hours depending on the nature of the items being dried. Depending on the features of a model, the drying process can be stopped either automatically or manually. If a dehydrator does not have a timer, the term "semi-automatic" would actually be more appropriate.
Excalibur 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

Excalibur 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

  • Electric Food Temperature Settings
  • 26-hour Timer Automatic Shut Off
  • 7-inch fan for increased air circulation
  • 110 Volts, 600 Watts

4,6 Rating

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What foods can you preserve with the help of an automatic dehydrator?

With this smart household appliance, you can prepare several quite different dried goods such as:

  • Any pome and stone fruit.
  • Many types of vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, kohlrabi or carrots.
  • All kinds of herbs, both spicy and medicinal.
  • Any kind of edible mushrooms.
  • All kinds of meat, also poultry and fish
  • Bread, sponge cake, etc.
An important note in advance: A dehydrator is designed exclusively for drying food!

Automatic dehydrators are multifunctional devices, as some models, in addition to dehydrating, can also be used as yogurt makers, as well as warmers during the rising phase of yeast dough. In addition, a dehydrator can be used to prepare muesli bars.
When you do your own drying, you know exactly where the food comes from and you can be sure of the absence of synthetic fertilizers or any harmful substances in it. Moreover, when drying with hot air, unlike some industrial processes, no preservatives are involved. In addition, the loss of nutrients and vital substances during hot air dehydration remains minimal.

ICOSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machine

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machine

  • 6 Stainless Steel Trays
  • With Digital Timer and Temperature Control
  • Set the timer for up to 48 hours in 30-minute increments

4,6 Rating

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What advantages does an automatic dehydrator offer you?

In our comparison of the pluses and minuses of a dehydrator, we take drying without technical aids as a benchmark.

Advantages:

  • Shorter processes, the dried goods are ready after a few hours.
  • Space-saving, the dried goods are on several stacked shelves.
  • Optimal, dry and airy environment.
  • Flexibly adjustable temperatures and duration of the process.
  • No losses due to mold because of improper preparation.

Disadvantages:

  • Acquisition costs are in the two- or low three-digit range.
  • Energy costs, which, however, remain in the very low single-digit range per ten-hour drying process.
Recommendations for the best food dehydrators
NESCO Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

NESCO Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

  • Allows to dry different foods at proper temperatures (95°F - 160°F)
  • 600 Watt Powerhead
  • Expandable Up To 12 Drying Trays

4,4 Rating

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TOP 3 Food Dehydrator Machines

Top pick
Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine

4,6 Rating

Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine

Preset adjustable thermostat and timing helps you select the right temperature from 95°F to 165°F, Set from :30 to 24 hours dry time (30 Minutes increments). With 2 Fruit leather trays can also be used as Drip trays.
Perfect Pick
Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

4,4 Rating

Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

Dehydrates fruits and vegetables. Makes great jerky too. Drying trays nest for compact storage. Four drying trays are included. Expands up to eight trays for added drying capacity.
Editor’s Pick
NutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine

4,3 Rating

NutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine

The 5 included tier trays allow increased air-flow around your food for a more even and rapid dehydration. A multi-tier electric pro food dehydrator that can preserve varieties of food. It also produces nutritious food with very simple preparation.

Tips and suggestions for proper drying

The operation of a dehydrator is conceivably uncomplicated, also the drying process by no means needs your interference. However, there are some rules to be followed when preparing the food to be dried. We will first explain how to prepare fruits, vegetables or mushrooms for drying. In the second part of this section you will find a basic recipe for delicious beef jerky.


For optimal drying results, you should clean the dried goods thoroughly and check for any defects. Any rotten or moldy areas should be cut out. We recommend peeling fruits and vegetables before dehydrating, especially those with a non-edible skin.


Cut slices about half to one centimeter wide so as not to slow down the drying process unnecessarily. However, slices should not be too thin, as the dried goods shrink relatively strongly and very narrow slices can dry out prematurely. In general, the juicier the fruit or vegetable, the wider the slice may be.

It is no problem to dry several types of fruit and vegetables at the same time, as long as they require the same drying temperature. When placing the slices on the layers, please make sure that the individual slices do not touch each other, as this will lead to an uneven drying result. For the same reason, it is not advisable to stack the dried goods on top of each other.

Observe the recommended duration of the drying process and the optimal air temperatures:

  • Apples: between 7 and 10 hours at 50 degrees Celsius.
  • Bananas: between 8 and 12 hours at 50 degrees Celsius.
  • Pineapples: Between 10 and 14 hours at 60 degrees Celsius.
  • Oranges: Between 9 and 11 hours at 70 degrees Celsius.
  • Strawberries: Between 6 and 8 hours at 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Apricots: Between 12 and 16 hours at 60 degrees Celsius. Half fruits can take up to 20 hours to dry.

Towards the end of the process, check if the dried goods are already ready. If no more liquid escapes when pressed, dehydration is largely complete.

How to find your perfect automatic dehydrator in 6 steps?

  1. In the first step, decide on the type of appliance. You can choose between the deck dehydrators and those with shelves.
  2. Ask yourself how much dehydrated food you usually want to process. For frequent users, the market offers generously sized models with ten or more shelves. Tiered dehydrators usually have a maximum of five levels. For infrequent users, the advantage of deck dehydrators is that you can reduce the number of levels as you like and speed up the process that way.
  3. Pay attention to the power consumption. The higher the power, the more powerful the blower and shorter the dehydration process. On the other hand, a 1000-watt dehydrator consumes correspondingly more power than a 250-watt unit. By the way, "turbo-drying" does not necessarily lead to a better result.
  4. Find out about the equipment of the automatic dehydrator. A thermostat is one of the core elements, because the optimal result depends on the right temperature. A temperature range of 35 to 70 degrees is reasonable, temperatures above that are a luxury that can be dispensed with in many cases.
  5. If you want to dehydrate in a particularly relaxed manner, then a timer will also be of great use to you. We recommend a timer with a time span between one and 24 hours as an optimum. The longer the maximum adjustable running time of the device, the more useful. Since the process time is highly dependent on the nature of the dried goods and the width of the slices, we strongly recommend that you regularly check the progress yourself in the last third of the process.
  6. If you regularly prepare beef jerky, rusks or granola bars, a dehydrator with a removable drip tray or tray is the right idea. Fat and marinade droplets as well as crumbs are easiest to remove thanks to this equipment.
About Vanessa Sky
Lead Analyst, Mobile

Vanessa Sky is a 33-year-old Professional Painter that applies paint on the interior and exterior surfaces. Qualified in painting technology knowledge, physical fitness, stamina, teamwork, and attention to safety. Read More.