Do you want to make your jerky and dried fruit at home? If so, you can make them on your own by purchasing a food dehydrator. Keep nutritional snacks free of additives and preservatives with you; this cost-effective appliance is excellent for better food storage plus it avoids food waste.
In this article, we'll help you go through some of the best food dehydrators available in the market. Plus, answer questions about dehydrators, such as:
- How long does dehydrated food last?
- Can you dehydrate food twice?
- How to safely store dehydrated food?
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
You can opt for this food dehydrator if you have a small counter space. The USP of this product is its compact design. It's simple to operate and easy to clean.
It has digital controls for temperature and time settings. You can set the timer for 48 hours, plus the temperature range is within 95F-165F. Additionally, the noise level is low, which is excellent as the dehydrator can run for days, and if it's noisy, it can be pretty annoying.
What we like
Digital timer: The digital timer makes operating and setting time easier without any hassle. It's perfect for first-time users.
Low noise level: This product has a low noise level allowing you to dehydrate food overnight without any disturbance.
Safety features: This product ticks all the boxes if you look at the safety aspect. For instance, the dehydrator shuts off automatically if it overheats. This feature is excellent for overnight use if you keep food dehydrated for long hours.
How long does dehydrated food last?
Dehydrated food can last for a long time, depending on how you store it. Vegetables including celery, carrots, potatoes, and broccoli can last for eight years. Additionally, various factors can either prolong or shorten the shelf life of food. For instance, if you're from a colder region, the shelf life of the foods will be longer. Hence, you'll see that dehydrated foods are kept mostly in a cold place.
If you're from a humid region, you need to do proper packaging and store it in a cold place away from direct sunlight. Furthermore, it's advisable not to store dehydrated meat for more than three months.
Can you dehydrate food twice?
Yes, you can dehydrate food twice! If your beef jerky has lost its dryness, then you can dehydrate it. Although the taste may not be the same as before, this would be a good call if you prefer chewy and tough snacks.
How to safely store dehydrated food?
There are multiple ways to store dehydrated food safely. But before that, it's also vital to know the factors that can affect the shelf life of the food. Common factors include light, temperature, oxygen, and moisture. That said, here is what you can do to store dehydrated food safely:
- Get mason jars to store dried food as they make a perfect storage bottle and are simple to use. Sealed or zip lock bags can be quite a hassle compared to these jars.
- It would be better to get oxygen absorbers to help get rid of unwanted oxygen, which can affect the food.
- Before putting it in a jar or sealed bags, you should cool the food first to avoid condensation.
- Store the dehydrated food in a cool place with a consistent temperature that doesn't fluctuate.
What foods can be dehydrated for long-term storage?
When it comes to fruits, there are plenty that you can dehydrate. However, some of the common fruits that can store for a long time are:
You can also dry vegetables for a longer duration, and if kept properly, they can stay good for years. Some of the vegetables suitable for dehydration are:
Additionally, you can dehydrate herbs too for a longer time. Here are some of the common herbs known to last long:
What are the best foods to put in a dehydrator?
Multiple foods are easy to dehydrate and last for a long time. Here are some of the best foods that you can dehydrate without any hassle:
- Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are great to dehydrate and have a good shelf life.
- Multiple vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes are easy to dehydrate, and if properly stored, they can last for twenty years.
- Herbs, including basil, thyme, rosemary, and more, are easy to dehydrate.
What foods do not dehydrate well?
Multiple foods don't dehydrate well, and if you do, it can be quite a hassle. Some foods are avocados, non-lean meats, olives, butter, milk, and cheese.
How long does it take to dehydrate bananas?
At the dehydrator, you can set the temperature at 140F and if you're using an oven, then dehydrate them at the lowest temperature. Bananas can take twelve hours to dry at a dehydrator. However, factors like the thickness and ripeness of bananas play a crucial role.
It would be better to slice the bananas evenly and check them every four hours for better dehydration. Monitor them for an hour to see if they're drying up well. It will take approximately seven to twelve hours.
Why are my dehydrated bananas not crispy?
Dehydrated bananas are at a crispier state between twelve to fifteen hours. After keeping at the dehydrator for twelve hours, take them out and let them cool down. Now, if you prefer crunchy, then have them within fifteen hours. And if you like chewy, you can have them after ten hours.
What fruits and vegetables are best for dehydrating?
Some multiple fruits and vegetables are good for dehydrating. Additionally, they have a good storage life, and it's hassle-free. Some of the best fruits for dehydrating are apples, figs, oranges, apricots, and berries.
When it comes to vegetables, tomatoes, beetroot, carrots, potatoes, celery are great for dehydration, and they are simple to manage and can last for a long time if stored properly. So, if you have these vegetables in abundance, you can dehydrate them to avoid food waste.
Do dehydrators have timers?
Yes, dehydrators have timers, and that way, you can dry food accordingly. Some foods need to be kept overnight, and you can monitor them through this timer. Today, you will find more dehydrators with digital timers, which are excellent, and it makes your task easier and allow you to estimate time.
Is it safe to leave a dehydrator on overnight?
Yes, it's safe to leave a dehydrator overnight but make sure that the room is adequately ventilated. Plus, make sure that there is no issue with your electrical wiring. Most foods require twenty-four hours to dehydrate, making the dehydrator leave overnight. However, it's safe if you take proper measures on the safety aspects. Additionally, some dehydrators cool down when they overheat. It will help if you invest in a good quality dehydrator that monitors heat and has good functionality.
Can you run a dehydrator too long?
Yes, they can run for long hours, but it would be better to monitor them on time if you don't want your food to dehydrate. Additionally, it's advisable to check the dehydrator for safety measures to avoid electrical mishaps. Plus, make sure that the room has proper ventilation for proper airflow to dissipate the heat caused by overheating.
Can you use a dehydrator in a garage?
There is no issue using a dehydrator in a garage, provided proper air ventilation. Any electrical appliance comes with risk; therefore, diligence is required while handling it. If you're using a dehydrator in a garage, ensure that it's kept in a safe place far away from flammable things. Additionally, the room should be spacious enough to have proper air circulation to have a better cooling effect.
- ADJUSTABLE TEMPERATURE from 95ºF to 158ºF that foods are dehydrated at...
- HEALTHY SNACKS: Prepare 100% all-natural dehydrated foods and snacks with...
- FUN AND CRAFTS: Perfect for hobbyists to dry flowers, potpourri or dough...
- EVEN HEAT DISTRIBUTION: using a base mounted fan promotes even drying and...
Get this five-tier food dehydrator from Elite Gourmet with adjustable temperature settings allowing proper even heat distribution. The compact design makes it suitable to place at any counter space without spacing issues. You can dehydrate any foods, including pet foods and dry flowers too.
What we like
Adjustable temperature: You can set the temperature within 95F-158F to dry foods or flowers. This temperature adjustability allows even heat distribution, allowing foods to dry correctly.
Compact design: This product is well-built and takes less space for storage. It's simple and easy to use, even for a first-timer.
Safety: This dehydrator is ETL listed and can run at 120 V, which is excellent for home use.
- EVEN HEAT DISTRIBUTION: 600 watts of drying power provides even heat...
- ADJUSTABLE TEMPERATURE CONTROL: The adjustable temperature control (95°F...
- EXPANDABLE TO 12 TRAYS: Comes with four (13 1/2″ diameter) trays and...
- VITASAVE EXTERIOR: The opaque exterior blocks harmful light to retain more...
If you have never used a food dehydrator, you can give it a shot with this. It's available at a reasonable price, and the operation process is simple. The design is also great and doesn't take much space for storage. This product would be excellent for a first-time user.
What we like
Expandable tray: It comes with four trays, but you can expand it up to twelve so that you can dry multiple foods in a go.
Additional accessories: It also comes with extra accessories, including a care & use manual, fruit roll sheet, and more.
BPA free: It's made of good quality plastic devoid of toxins. All the trays are free of BPA, making them safe to use.
- 【EASY TO USE】The food dehydrator is designed with simple operation,...
- Adjustable Temperature 96-158℉ control the Food Dryer dehydrates various...
- 【5 Food-Grade Trays】 The dehydrator for food and jerky comes with 5...
- 【EASY TO CLEAN & STORE】 Dishwasher-Safe trays and stainless steel panel...
If you're budget, then you can opt for this food dehydrator. It' simple to use and comes with an adjustable timer. The five-layer trays are made of good quality plastics and spacious enough to dry multiple foods. Additionally, the temperature range is within 96F-158F.
What we like
Heat distribution: The food dehydrator is spacious, allowing proper circulation of air and distributing heat evenly.
Easy to clean: This product is easy to clean and disassemble too. Additionally, you can put the components in the dishwasher as it's safe.
Affordable price: The product is available at a reasonable price and is excellent for first-time users.
- Dries a wide variety of foods including meats, herbs, fruits, vegetables...
- Preserves foods naturally, with no additives or preservatives
- Adjustable temperature control: Fan Only, Low, Medium and High
- Powerful 620-watt motorized fan with top vent for fast, even drying
This dehydrator is basic but powerful as it comes with a wattage power of 620 watts. It's simple to use, and the five-layer trays are easy to clean. Additionally, it's expandable to nine trays. It's super effective and makes beef jerky because of its high power wattage.
What we like
High drying power: This product is efficient and can dry food quickly. The power wattage is 620 watts, pretty powerful, and you can speed up the drying process with this dehydrator.
Easy to use: It comes with a simple temperature setting and is easy to maintain. If you have never used a food dehydrator, this product would be great.
Versatile: You can dry any food on this dehydrator, from meat to herbs. Furthermore, it's great for drying meat because of its high power. Additionally, you can dry flowers too to make potpourri.
A food dehydrator is a good investment if you're into sustainable living. Moreover, you can store dried food for a longer time, preventing food waste. Due to its excellent features, we recommend the COSORI food dehydrator. It has a digital timer and good safety features. Furthermore, the noise level is low compared to other dehydrators.