A vegan’s guide to the best fruit dehydrators

A vegan’s guide to the best fruit dehydrators

A few years ago a fruit dehydrator wasn’t really a kitchen appliance that many people use every day. Most of the time, if you ever had one, you most probably let it hide in the deepest corner of your closet. But today, this is not true. Actually, fruit dehydration has not only become a popular trend, but has also proven successful by those who tried it. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables are very suitable for people who go on camping trips. They will also save space for large families and will allow you to consume fruits even when they are out of season. Fruit dehydrators can extend the shelf life of fruits for 1 or 2 years where you can safely consume them for a healthy snack so that you can save money and still consume homemade delicious snacks that will have a rich taste and aroma.

What to consider when you are trying to find the best fruit dehydrator?

Since you need to buy a fruit dehydrator that is good value for money, you need to pay attention to some details that you have to consider before buying one.

Effective heat distribution and air flow:

The heat distribution and the air flow will dehydrate the food and will dry out the moisture. When the heat is not evenly distributed the moisture might not be evenly dried out and there will be a problem with the quality of your dried fruit. Before you buy an item, read the manufacturer’s instructions regarding heat distribution and air flow. Horizontal dehydrators will distribute the air more evenly but vertical ones might have fans that might improve the air flow.

Ease of use:

Most fruit dehydrators are very easy to use but some of them are designed so that you don’t have to check on the food while it is being dried. They will evenly cook and dry the food without having to regularly check on it so that you can easily leave your food to be dried and get on with your life. It is also very important to choose a model that is easy to clean and doesn’t involve a lot of hassle especially if you have discovered the wonderful world of dried fruits and the amazing benefits you can gain by drying your different fruits and vegetables.

Size and capacity:

A fruit dehydrator is not necessarily a big kitchen appliance but there will be different models that have different capacities. You will choose the one that is most suitable for your preferences, the amount of fruit you intend to dry out and how frequent you plan on using the dehydrator. While a small fruit dehydrator will be easier to store and will occupy less space on your kitchen counter. It will also limit you with regards to the amount of fruits and vegetables you can dry up in one batch. This means that you will have to repeat the process several times if you need to dry up a large amount of fruits and vegetables.

Other points to consider:

  • You have to expect that there will be some level of noise associated with your fruit dehydrator. This is something that you won’t probably find listed on the manufacturer’s site but you will have to pay attention to the reviews of the other buyers who will probably mention this point.
  • Different fruits and vegetables will dry out under different temperatures so you need to buy a dehydrator that comes with a reliable thermostat so that it can dry out the food in a more convenient way as you adjust it to suit every type of food.
  • Some people prefer to have a food dehydrator that comes with a timer. This timer will help you so that you don’t forget about the food since the process is more likely going to take some time. It will help you check on the food as the timer will alert you when the food is ready.
  • Some dehydrators will have an automatic shut off feature which is really useful. Since food dehydration usually takes several, you might want to switch on your dehydrator and then go to sleep or go to take care of your business. If your dehydrator has an automatic shut off, it will switch off on its own once your food is ready.

The best fruit dehydrators

In this section, we reviewed some of the most amazing fruit dehydrators available on the market to help you with your buying decision:

1. Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator (Link)

excalibur 3926tb food dehydrator

This is a premium fruit dehydrator that will dry all your fruits and vegetables quickly and in the best quality possible.

Product features:

  • It has 9 trays that feature 15 square inch of space that you can use to dehydrate all your fruits and vegetables.
  • It has an automatic on and off switch with a 26 hours timer so that you can leave your fruits and vegetables and get on with your important errands.
  • A flexible poly-screen tray that will keep your food safe from sticking so that you food is easy to remove after it has been dried.
  • It has an adjustable thermostat that will allow you to set the right temperature for drying out different types of food.
  • It has a lovely fan that will help distribute the heat and the air flow for an even dehydration.

Pros:

  • A highly versatile fruit dehydrator with an adjustable thermostat to dry different types of fruits and vegetables. It will keep the nutrients in all your fruits, your vegetables and your herbs.
  • The fan will distribute the air properly and evenly so that all the types of your food are properly dried.
  • Safe for drying all types of food from herbs, fruits, vegetables, meat and even flowers.
  • There is an effective fluctuation of temperature so that the food is perfectly dried while the enzymes and nutrients are still reserved.
  • High temperature that will spoil the environment needed for the growth of bacteria or mold. This means that your food will have a long shelf life.

Cons:

  • It is a bit noisy.
  • It also heats up the room so if your house is hot, this might be a problem.

2. Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator (Link)

excalibur 3900b deluxe dehydrator

Drying your food is a cost effective option to reserve the nutrients in your fruits and vegetables.

Product features:

  • A fast and reliable food dehydrator that will dry all your food in the best quality possible.
  • The capacity is big enough to dry all the food that you have because it comes with 9 drying trays. You can easily remove them to give more space for bulky items.
  • It is suitable for large families, trips and outdoor gatherings.
  • Easy to clean with the polyscreen tray inserts that will protect your food from sticking.
  • It has an adjustable thermostat that will allow you to set the temperature to dry up different types of food and vegetables since different types of food will require different temperatures to dry out completely and this dehydrator will allow you to do that.
  • You will not have to move the food or the trays during the dehydration process.

Pros:

  • Removable trays to accommodate bulkier items.
  • Comes with a fan that will distribute the air evenly when you are dehydrating the food.
  • A thermostat that will allow you to set the temperature to perfectly dry your different types of fruits and vegetables.
  • A special fluctuation technology that will allow the temperature to go up and down so that it doesn’t affect the nutrients and enzymes inside your food and would still dry out the surface.

Cons:

  • This dehydrator doesn’t have a timer which could be a real problem if you need to run some errands while drying out your food.
  • Can be a little noisy but this problem is solved if you close the door or use it in the garage.
  • It is not so easy to clean.

3. MAGIC MILL PRO Food Dehydrator (Link)

magic mill fruit dehydrator

If you want to enjoy healthy snacks that are made at the comfort of your home, then this dehydrator is the one for you.

Product features:

  • A suitable dehydrator that will dry all your food, your flowers even the items you need for crafts.
  • A rear mounted fan that will distribute the heat to dry the food without over drying or overheating.
  • An adjustable thermostat that will help you set the timer according to the right temperature so that you dry different types of food to reach the optimal dryness and crispness level.
  • Highly versatile with stainless steel, mesh and non-stick trays allowing you to prepare different types of dried food for trips, large families, gardeners and people who want to watch what they eat.
  • A cost effective solution that will allow you to prepare healthy snacks at a fraction of the price you pay for readymade ones.
  • It has pre-set 8 digital temperature settings and a timer so that you can easily control the drying process of your food.

Pros:

  • An automatic shut off when the timer is off so that you are always safe and the food will not overheat or over dry.
  • A see through cover so that you can monitor the food as you dry it.
  • Large capacity to dry all the different types of food.
  • A drip tray to collect any residue.
  • A pre-set digital timer and temperature so that you can choose the setting that is most suitable for drying your food and then go to bed or run your errands.

Cons:

  • The rack levels don’t seem to dry at the same rate so you might have to shuffle the shelves.

4. Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator (Link)

nesco fd 1040 gardenmaster

Are you looking for a versatile food dehydrator that is super easy to use? Then you need to read this review.

Product features:

  • This dehydrator comes with a programmable timer.
  • A great air flow technology.
  • Adjustable temperature control that will allow you to dry all the different types of fruits and vegetables.
  • Can be expanded to 20 trays. This means that you can dry different types of food all at the same time which will save time, energy and space.
  • It comes with a fan that will allow for faster drying with more moisture.
  • You don’t need to rotate the trays and there will be no flavour mixing thanks to the special design of this dehydrator.
  • A fast and reliable dehydrator that will dry your food in hours not days.

Pros:

  • An opaque exterior that will retain the different nutrients of the food.
  • Easy to clean trays that are dishwasher safe.
  • The drying pressure will automatically adjust to the number of trays.
  • It comes with a fruit roll tray, a fine mesh and a non-stick tray.

Cons:

  • It only comes with 4 trays and this means that you need to buy extra trays.
  • Doesn’t heat the food evenly.

5. Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator (Link)

nesco fd 60 snackmaster

This is a compact and reliable food dehydrator that will effectively dry all your fruits and vegetables.

Product features:

  • Express power that will work fast to dry all your food properly.
  • It has an adjustable thermostat that will enable you to choose the appropriate temperature for different types of food so that you dehydrate your food without over drying it.
  • The top mounted fan will work to distribute the heat and the air evenly to ensure that all your food is dehydrated to perfection.
  • Air will pass through the exterior chamber and then forced horizontally above each tray for even and nutritious dehydration.
  • Food will dry in hours not days like other dehydrators thanks to the special design.
  • An opaque exterior that will protect the food from harmful light rays to protect the enzymes and nutrients in your food.

Pros:

  • This can accommodate up to 12 trays.
  • The trays are dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
  • The dehydration force will be easily adjusted to the number of trays you use and this means that you don’t have to rotate the food or move the shelves.

Cons:

  • This model doesn’t come with a timer and this means that you will have to check on your food frequently to make sure that it is not over dried.
  • You need to buy the extra trays.

6. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator (Link)

presto electric food dehydrator

There is nothing better than preparing your own healthy snacks at home. It is a cost effective option and you will be able eat food that doesn’t contain any preservatives.

Product features:

  • A bottom mounted fan that will evenly dry all the food with optimum air flow circulation.
  • See through cover to see your food while it is being dehydrated.
  • All the trays and sheets are dishwasher safe.
  • Easy to store design with cord stored at the base and a drying nest for the trays so that you can save space when you are not using the dehydrator.
  • It comes with 4 drying racks and can be extended to 8 trays to dry more fruits and vegetables.
  • A pre-set temperature that will dry all your food quickly.

Pros:

  • This model comes with a recipe book.
  • It is perfect for dehydrating your herbs and the items used in arts and crafts.
  • This is not an expensive model and you will be able to use it to prepare healthy snacks from dry food.

Cons:

  • There is only one temperature setting and this means that you will have to monitor your food while it is being dehydrated.
  • There is no timer which means that you will have to keep on monitoring your food so that it doesn’t over dry.

Frequently asked questions:

1. Who needs to buy a food dehydrator?

A food dehydrator can be used by people who want to have fruits and vegetables when they are out of season. They perfect for large families that want to save money by preparing all their food and snacks at home and they are suitable for health enthusiasts who don’t want to consume additives and preservatives.

2. What are the types of food that you can dry using a dehydrator?

You can dry fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, herbs, flowers and even plastic and other materials used for arts and crafts.

3. Are there any limitations to using a dehydrator?

Fruit and vegetable dehydrators are not totally quite. There will be some acceptable level of noise that you will have to deal with. If this is a problem for you, you can easily place your dehydrator in the garage or close the door of the kitchen. There will be some aroma related to the fruits and vegetables you are drying. Usually this is a delicious pleasant smell. If you dry onions or garlic, however, the pleasant might be disturbing. So it is recommended to dehydrate these foods in the outdoors or to avoid them altogether.

Final verdict:

A fruit dehydrator is a useful kitchen appliance that will save your time and money. You will be able to get any fruits and vegetables even when they are out of season. You can prepare healthy snacks and pet treats that won’t contain any chemicals and preservatives. You can also dry herbs and flowers and your house will always have a delicious aroma. It is a must have if you want healthy and delicious snacks that are easy to prepare.

Further reading

What’s the opposite of dehydrating – how about steaming? If drying fruit is a great way to eat fruits, steaming vegetables is a great way to eat veggies. Check out our guide to vegetable steamers.

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