11 min. read

The Best Food Dehydrators for 2023

We’ve chosen the best food dehydrators for your dietary and preservation needs.

Although many of us have eaten dried fruits or vegetables before, few have thought about the drying process. Enter, food dehydrators! Dehydrators are not only great long-term money-saving appliances, but they are also ideal for diet changes. Although fruits and vegetables are healthy, our tastebuds lend themselves to snack-like textures due to the prevalence of processed candies and chips.

Having homemade dried fruit or vegetable snacks handy not only makes you healthier by default, but you can also enjoy foods you generally don’t like. In this article review, you will see some of the best dehydrators on the market, and we will help you choose the best food preservation investment besides your trusty refrigerator.

How We Picked

  • Even Drying

    Even drying is vital to ensure that foods are well-dried while retaining flavor, color, and nutrients.

  • Size & Capacity

    The physical size of the dehydrator determines how much space it’ll take, while the carrying capacity determines the amount of food dried in one drying session.

  • Temperature settings

    Temperature settings are crucial for a dehydrator. The higher the drying temperature, the more food types the dehydrator can dehydrate

  • Price

    The drying fan, sturdiness, noise output, and the amount of food dehydratable produced all impact the price of a dehydrator. The features of a dehydrator will determine the ultimate price

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Excalibur

Efficient Airflow technology.

Sturdy and reliable, the Excalibur is easy to use, and its patented airflow technology retains nutrients and taste.

Buy Now for $329.99

Airflow technology helps dry food efficiently.

Runner Up

Septree

Large enough for small businesses.

The largest dehydrator on the list, the stainless steel Septree fits ten steel drying trays, and the quiet nature of the dehydrator makes drying throughout the night ideal.

Buy Now for $269.99

Suited for small businesses, large in size, and made from stainless steel.

Most cost-effective

Ultrean

Ideal for the domestic user.

The Ultrean is well-built, easy to use, has a wide temperature range, and is ideal for apartment kitchens.

Buy Now for $159.99

It is ideal for domestic users in small kitchens and is great for apartment appliances.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Excalibur

Efficient Airflow technology.

$329.99

Buy Now

Runner Up

Septree

Large enough for small businesses.

$269.99

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Ultrean

Ideal for the domestic user.

$159.99

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This list of dehydrators is for people aiming to improve their diet and save money on surpluses of fruits and vegetables. The great thing about dehydrators is that they preserve foods for longer while locking in vitamins and nutrients for dietary benefits. It reduces unhealthy snacks for you, your children, and your customers if you aim to sell dried foods.

Food dehydrator vs freeze dryer
Although food dehydrators and freeze dryers do similar jobs and preserve food for longer, they differ in their use and the purpose of preservation. The main difference between freeze-dryers and dehydrators is the amount of water the machines extract from food. Although water is vital in most fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products, water is also the main reason foods mold over time. The moisture water creates causes mold to ferment, and the bacteria produced eats out most of the nutritional value, rendering the food useless after a short period. Freeze drying solves this issue by removing a staggering 98% of the water from foods. The freeze-dryer does this by covering food in ice crystals. After that, the food is vacuum-sealed over an extended period, sucking out most of the water and only keeping enough to preserve freshness.

Dehydrating also extracts water, around 80%, not through ice crystals but through cyclical dry air, moving around the machine at high temperatures. While dehydrators preserve foods for a few months on average and around a year or two at best, freeze-dryers generally keep foods vacuum fresh food many years and seal nutrients for much longer.

Although dehydrators don’t preserve foods as long as refrigerators, the great thing about them is the relative speed of the dehydrating process. While the average freeze dryer takes between 20-40 hours to freeze-dry food, a dehydrator takes between eight-10 hours, and dehydrators generally retail at lower prices, making them economical options for most people.

Why You Should Trust Us

Investing in a dehydrator does not happen on a whim. Many dehydrator customers are conscious of efficiency, noise, variety, and longevity. Getting the correct dehydrator could be the difference between a healthier diet and spending more on retail-priced processed snacks.
In our dehydrator assessment, we’ve gone through many prerequisites to ensure that you have the best pick of viable long-term options.

How We Picked

Unfortunately, not all dehydrators are created equal, so we at National Today have gone through the painstaking process of assessing all the vital features that make a dehydrator an asset in your home or business rather than a liability.

We’ve looked at fan positioning and the airflow technology of each option. An even airflow throughout the dehydrator is crucial because it prevents many food flavors from disrupting one another, helps dry food faster, and retains nutrients during dehydration.

For your personal needs, having a dehydrator with an extensive temperature range allows for a wider variety of foods to be dehydrated. And because of the size and capacity of each option, we’ve chosen dehydrators that are compact, large, and everything in between. We’ve ensured that our picks cater to you, regardless of domestic or entrepreneurial use.

Assessing the trays and slot points, we ensured ease of use and maintenance before and after dehydrating, placing your durability issues at ease with the extended warranty options included Assessing the trays and slot points, we ensured ease of use and maintenance before and after dehydrating, placing your durability issues at ease with the extended warranty options included with each purchase. The pricing of all our options is slightly above average prices. However, you will get high-quality products with every option on our list.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Excalibur

Best Pick

Excalibur

Efficient Airflow technology.

Sturdy and reliable, the Excalibur is easy to use, and its patented airflow technology retains nutrients and taste.

Buy Now for $329.99

Who It Is For

The Excalibur is our best food dehydrator option for a reason. Complete with a thermostat gauge ranging from 105°F to 165°F, it gives the user a range of foods and herbs to dehydrate. From water-dense fruits like oranges and apple slices to delicate vegetables like broccoli, Excalibur’s patented horizontal airflow technology not only dries out foods but also keeps vital nutrients and enzymes intact, preserving natural color and taste.

Potential Flaws

Many clients who purchased this specific Excalibur have experienced some noise when using it. Because it is not quiet, this dehydrator will make a noise similar to that of a ceiling fan at regular intervals. It could cause some annoyance during the dehydrating process, which could last six to 26 hours depending on what foodstuffs are in the dehydrator.

Other Options

The Excalibur is easy to use and has incredible versatility. You can make yogurt, dog food, and even certain types of bread. Due to its space, you can use or take out the nine mesh trays to dry meats, fruits, or vegetables without any trouble.

Product Specifications

Product weight - 22lbs
Wattage - 440 watts
Tray number - Nine trays
Color options - Black
Thermostat range - 105°F - 165°F
Warranty - Five-year limited warranty

Runner Up - Septree

Runner Up

Septree

Large enough for small businesses.

The largest dehydrator on the list, the stainless steel Septree fits ten steel drying trays, and the quiet nature of the dehydrator makes drying throughout the night ideal.

Buy Now for $269.99

Who It Is For

The Septree Commercial Dehydrator is for anyone who wants to dehydrate different foods, herbs, and plants. This dehydrator is great for drying meats and fish due to the temperature options.

Why It Is Great

The Septree is stainless steel, equipped with double-row vents that quicken the drying process, and the rear drying fan provides thorough dehydration. The door window gives you ample room to assess the condition of your food while it dries. Another reason for Septree's effectiveness is its low noise level. You won't have to worry or be disturbed overnight because this dehydrator has automatic shutoff technology, preventing your food from getting scorched or burnt.

Potential Flaws

Because the dehydrator is stainless steel, it gets hot during operation, and although Septree supplies you with silicone gloves, you might get hurt if you, your children, or pets are caught unaware.

Other Options

Despite its meat-purpose design, the Septree is suitable for different foods. The nine stainless steel trays and the bottom drip tray are all mobile and easy to clean after use. They fit into standard dishwashers, making maintenance effortless.

Product Specifications

Weight - 33.1lbs
Wattage - 1000 watts
Tray number - 10 trays
Color options - Silver
Thermostat range - 68°F - 194°F
Warranty - Three-year warranty

Most Cost-Effective - Ultrean

Most Cost-Effective

Ultrean

Ideal for the domestic user.

The Ultrean is well-built, easy to use, has a wide temperature range, and is ideal for apartment kitchens.

Buy Now for $159.99

Who It Is For

The Ultrean Food Dehydrator is small business-approved and ideal for fruit stores and domestic use. The compact size of the dehydrator makes it a sharp kitchen appliance.

Why It Is Great

The Ultrean is excellent for a variety of foods. It efficiently dries meat, fruit, animal foods, cooking herbs, and scented flowers. The large transparent window allows you to see your food becoming dry in real time. The LCD digital control panel makes temperature adjustments easy with a 24-hour dehydrating system. All the trays, the mesh screen, and the fruit roll sheet are easy to pull out, clean, and rearrange.

Potential Flaws

Unfortunately, the Ultrean is not particularly quiet, and although there is no loud rattling sound, the humming noise can interrupt you in the dead of night.

Other Options

Due to the Ultrean’s compact size, you can carry it along on vacations, hikes, or camps (with portable power connections). This is ideal for restaurants and a money saver, specifically for longer-term food storage.

Product Specifications

Weight - 21.2lbs
Wattage - 600 watts
Tray number - Eight trays
Color options - Stainless steel
Thermostat range - 95°F - 167°F
Warranty - 12-month warranty

Almost Made The Cut - Tribest Sedona SD-S6780-B Express Electric Food Dehydrator

Who It Is For

If you are an avid meat lover, the Tribest is for you. Although it costs more, you will get more bang for your buck. The Tribest is small-business and USDA-approved.

Why It Is Great

Firstly, the Tribest allows you to prepare and dry meat without pre-cooking, saving you time and power. The central fan provides even airflow throughout the dehydrator and dries fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Fitted with 11 stainless steel trays and an easy-to-use LED control panel, operating and cleaning the dehydrator shouldn't be a problem.

Potential Flaws

Look out for the loose glass door hinges on the dehydrator. If you are unaware of this, the dehydrator may not work, and the glass door could break into pieces if the hinge is left unattended. To ensure this doesn't happen, use a small screwdriver to secure the door. Another problem to contend with is the user manual. The relatively poor translation from Korean to English makes the tasks hard to understand.

Other Options

The interior LED light inside the dehydrator gives incredible illumination, allowing you to assess your food during dehydration. The Tribest also contains a TST (Two-Stage Sequential Temperature-Timer), speeds up dehydration, and preserves nutrients. In addition, your food will not overheat due to its overheat protection mode, which allows for a running dehydration time of around 99 hours. It places you in a great position to dry all sorts of foods at your convenience.

Product Specifications

Weight -20.4lbs
Wattage - 470 watts
Tray number - 11 trays
Color options - Black
Thermostat range - 75°F - 167°F
Warranty - 10-year warranty

Care and maintenance

Caring for an appliance like a dehydrator takes a fair share of elbow grease to keep clean, but it does not take a rocket scientist to keep things tidy. Most parts of the machine are dishwasher friendly, but using the dishwasher alone won’t be sufficient for a thorough clean.

One of the most important things you should prevent is using dirty trays. Because of extra moisture during the dehydration process, the residue sits on the meshed tray surface. Although mesh is ideal for catching residue, it can harden and cause flavor problems if they stay unwashed and reduce dehydration efficiency in the long run. To make sure this doesn’t happen, wash the trays right after use. The best way to do that is to rinse each tray with warm water, then either place it in the dishwasher or wash it by hand with dishwashing liquid and a soft cloth or rag.

If you’ve put the dehydrator to work with many foods and find lots of residues, it is advisable to soak the trays in warm water for several hours with detergent.

For efficiency, don’t run your dehydrator over the allotted time. It is less likely, due to automated shut-off systems in modern dehydrators. To avoid sticky trays, you can place parchment paper over them and remove them after the first hour of dehydration. Parchment paper acts as a good residue catchment. You can also use a no-stick spray to prevent stickiness. And for your safety, only pull out the trays after you’ve unplugged the appliance and it has cooled down. The best place to store a dehydrator is in a dry and warm room, away from air conditioners and wide-open windows.