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The Best Food Dehydrators

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🕚 Updated November 2022

If you're looking for new ways to make delicious snacks, a food dehydrator is an excellent appliance to have in your kitchen. Whether you want to dry fruits, veggies, or meats, here are our picks for the best food dehydrators.

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  Widest Temperature Range Best Budget Best Expandable Most Compact Also Great
Food Dehydrator
Elite Gourmet
Food Dehydrator
Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
Hamilton Beach
Digital Food Dehydrator
Eight-Tray Food Dehydrator
Our SummaryThis six-tray food dehydrator has an adjustable temperature range and a maximum run time of 48 hours.This five-tray, height-adjustable dehydrator is easy to use and an excellent value.This expandable food dehydrator has a handle for easy transport.Don't worry about using up too much counter space with this space-saving 500-watt dehydrator.See your food's progress with this 400-watt food transparent dehydrator.
Pros✓ Sturdy stainless steel
✓ Temperature range of 95-165ºF
✓ 30-minute increments for up to 48 hours
✓ Whisper-quiet
✓ BPA-free
✓ Overheat protection and auto-shutoff
✓ Expandable five-tray design
✓ Horizontal airflow distributes heat evenly
✓ Dishwasher safe
✓ Removable parts
✓ Fast and quiet
✓ 600 watts
✓ Accommodates up to 12 trays
✓ Adjustable temperature (95-160°F)
✓ Two fruit roll sheets
✓ Nice extra accessories
✓ 48-hour timer
✓ Temperatures of 100-160° F
✓ Five stackable trays
✓ Space saver
✓ 500-watt motor
✓ Clear top
✓ Eight stackable trays
✓ Digital thermostat
(95-158°F temperatures)
✓ Rubber grips on bottom
✓ Built-in ventilation
Cons✗ May be a bit large for those with limited counter or storage space✗ 350-watt unit takes longer to dehydrate foods than more powerful options✗ Trays are not transparent✗ Louder than some other options✗ May be challenging to get extra or replacement trays
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How Did We Research?

12 Models Evaluated

9 Hours Researched

34 Reviews Analyzed

The Best Food Dehydrators

Woman putting tray with cut fruits into dehydrator machine at grey marble table in kitchen.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Food dehydrators are not just for making jerky! While one of their most popular uses is making homemade meat or poultry jerky, they can also be used to create dried fruit and vegetable snacks, baby food, and yogurt. They can preserve a lot of food to build up your food storage, too.

Buying Guide for Food Dehydrators

Electric food dehydrator with trays of apples, bananas, peaches, and cherries.
Aleks Images/Shutterstock.com

Why buy food dehydrators?

Food dehydrators are multi-use appliances used to make various healthy, homemade snacks. They are known for making fruit roll-ups, dried fruit and herbs, and homemade beef jerky. If you have a garden or find many in-season deals on fresh produce, a food dehydrator can help you preserve your harvest and save money on groceries. Many people also use their food dehydrators to make yogurt, dried cheeses, and even homemade croutons or breadcrumbs.

What should you look for in food dehydrators?

  • Size: If you’re only going to use it occasionally for smaller amounts of food, you can get away with buying a smaller one. If you’re planning on drying large quantities of food at once, then having a large capacity is important so that your appliance doesn’t get overloaded.
  • Temperature Control: Some dehydrators have a temperature control system that allows you to set the exact temperature you want to use during operation. This feature will be useful if you plan on using your dehydrator for various foods since some foods require different drying temperatures than others. 
  • Timer: Many food dehydrators include built-in timers that will turn the unit off after a certain length of time. This enables you to start a dehydration process that will end without you having to be around to control it, whether it’s overnight or while you’re not at home.
  • Trays: Look for a food dehydrator with ample trays to let you spread out your food. Overcrowding the trays will produce uneven drying. Most trays you’ll come across are constructed with stainless steel or BPA-free plastic.

Is dehydrating raw meat safe?

Though this step isn’t included in the instructions for many dehydrators, the USDA advises heating meats to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit before beginning the drying process. This will ensure that any bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, will be eliminated.

Our Picks for the Best Food Dehydrators

Widest Temperature Range

COSORI Food Dehydrator

This six-tray food dehydrator has an adjustable temperature range and a maximum run time of 48 hours.

Pros: The COSORI Food Dehydrator is designed to make dehydrating simple, safe, and quiet. The stainless steel construction is sturdy and durable enough to handle heavy use. The temperature range of 95 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit makes it possible to dry a wide variety of foods, including jerky, fish, herbs, dog treats, and more. The timer can be set in 30-minute increments for up to 48 hours. This whisper-quiet dehydrator is BPA-free, making it safe for your family’s use. It also features overheat protection and automatic shutoff, so you can relax while your food dries.

Cons: At 17.8 x 13.5 x 12.2 inches, this dehydrator may be a bit large for those with limited counter or storage space.

Bottom Line: Whether you’re looking to save money by preserving food longer or want healthier treats for your family or pets, this dehydrator is perfect for making your favorites right in your own kitchen.


Best Budget

Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator

This five-tray, height-adjustable dehydrator is easy to use and is an excellent value.

Pros: The Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator is a great solution to help you create healthy snack choices. With a viewable and expandable five-tray design, you can extend your family’s food options to include homemade and nutritious dried vegetables, fruits, meats, and more. Foods are dehydrated at their optimal temperature, and the horizontal airflow distributes heat evenly. And with dishwasher-safe removable parts, cleanup is easy. 

Cons: Using 350 watts of power, this unit takes slightly longer to dehydrate foods than some of the more powerful options.

Bottom Line: You may want to consider this wallet-friendly dehydrator if you’re new to this food preparation method and want a more straightforward appliance to start your journey of making homemade dried foods.


Best Expandable

Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

This expandable food dehydrator has a handle for easy transport.

Pros: The Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator is powerful enough to dry four times faster than some other options, yet quiet enough not to disturb you. It offers 600 watts of power and the ability to expand in height to accommodate up to 12 trays (sold separately). The adjustable temperature control (95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit) gives you the flexibility to achieve the best results for various food temperature requirements. The unit includes five 13.5-inch drying trays, two Fruit Roll Sheets, and two Clean-A-Screens. And if you need ideas, it even comes with a sample of Jerky Seasoning & Cure to get you inspired.

Cons: Since the trays are not transparent, you can’t see how your foods are coming along during the dehydrating process.

Bottom Line: This dehydrator might be an excellent option for you if you’re looking for something lightweight and easy to transport. With the Nesco Snackmaster Pro, you can make your own nutritious snacks at home, eliminating the need to purchase commercially made preservative- and sugar-filled dried foods.


Most Compact

Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator

Don't worry about using up too much counter space with this space-saving 500-watt dehydrator.

Pros: With a 48-hour timer and a digital LED thermostat that lets you adjust the drying temperature from 100 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, this food dehydrator gives you all the tools needed to dry almost any fruit, vegetable, or meat. The machine has five stackable trays and includes a fine-mesh tray for drying small foods and a solid one for making fruit leather. This convenient countertop appliance has a 500-watt motor and a clear top, so you can check on your food as you go.

Cons: This dehydrator is louder than some of the options on our list. One user compared the sound to a large fan, so whether it would be problematic depends on your individual noise tolerance.

Bottom Line: This food dehydrator from Hamilton Beach is a space-saver that doesn’t break the bank. The digital controls are straightforward to use, and the continuous airflow ensures uniform drying, so you won’t need to rotate trays during the process.


Also Great

VIVOHOME 8-Tray Food Dehydrator

See your food's progress with this 400-watt food transparent dehydrator.

Pros: This food dehydrator is a great tool to make your own healthy snacks. It features eight stackable trays. This dehydrator comes with a digital thermostat and timer, so you can set the temperature from 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Built-in ventilation holes help prevent condensation.

Cons: The trays aren’t the most durable.

Bottom Line: This food dehydrator from VIVOHOME looks attractive while producing nutritious snacks for you and your family. It’s a great choice if you want simple digital controls and a small footprint on your counter.

Final Thoughts

Dehydrating food is a fantastic way to preserve it and can also be a convenient way to make delicious and nutritious sweet or savory dried foods at home. If you have been unsure which food dehydrator is best for your needs, we hope our picks will inspire you to take the leap and get creative with your next batch of homemade goodies.

Desiree Bradshaw
Desiree Bradshaw is a freelance content writer from Memphis, TN with experience writing about e-commerce, RVing, and mental health. She received her BA in English with a concentration in professional writing from The University of Memphis. When she's not writing, she enjoys adventures as a full-time RVer with her husband Randy and spoiled lab mix Buddy. Read Full Bio »
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