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Best Dehydrators

Updated November 2023
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Best of the Best
Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator
Hamilton Beach
32100A Digital Food Dehydrator
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Most Consistent
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The square design helps create evenly spaced rows of food slices and thus earns our cooking expert's praise.


Comes with a fine mesh sheet for drying delicate foods like herbs. Has a 48-hour timer with automatic shutoff for easy monitoring. Built to last with solid construction.


Comes with a learning curve, and it's better for experienced users.

Best Bang for the Buck
COSORI Food Dehydrator
Food Dehydrator
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From beef jerky to dried fruit, this dehydrator is a versatile machine that offers generous space and convenient controls.


Features a five-tray design that can be expanded to seven trays. Made of BPA-free materials. Offers simple temperature controls that are easy to adjust. Great for dehydrating many types of food, including meat, fruit, and chips.


Doesn't always dehydrate evenly. Some reports of longevity concerns.

Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
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Most Compact
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This dehydrator, which is popular for apartment and RV living, is equipped with five trays.


Trays keep food separated to prevent flavor mixing. Comes with five trays, but you can add up to 12. Easy to adjust the temperature, which is displayed in Fahrenheit and Celsius.


Doesn't have a timer, which many consumers say is somewhat inconvenient.

Excalibur 9-Tray Food Dehydrator
9-Tray Food Dehydrator
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Most Comprehensive
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A generous appliance in every sense—it's a fantastic dehydrator that's worth the cost.


Offers a class-leading 15 square feet of drying space. Thoroughly and rapidly dehydrates food. Comes with flexible poly-screen sheet inserts for easy cleaning. Stronger wattage than previous models and at a lower price.


The appliance is heavy. Trays don't fit in many dishwashers. Pricey.

Ivation 6-Tray Commercial Food Dehydrator
6-Tray Commercial Food Dehydrator
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Spacious Design
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The spacious interior and sleek finish make this mid-price model worth a look.


Sports six wide trays for drying ample portions of food. Uncomplicated digital controls. A transparent door makes it easy to monitor progress. Stainless steel finish.


Some units had faulty components that failed to work right out of the box.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best dehydrators

Whenever you store or preserve fresh food, you will lose some nutrients. That is why eating fresh foods is recommended by so many nutritionists. But a dehydrator can be one of the best compromises available. Depending on the process and temperature you use, it is possible to preserve food for impressive periods of time with only a minimal loss of some nutrients.

A box dehydrator offers more consistent heat and flexibility than the lower-priced stacked dehydrator. Typically, a dehydrator with a rear-mounted fan and heater is better than a top or bottom mounting. Be sure the temperature range is appropriate for your needs and look for a model with a timer that also offers variable heating throughout the dehydration process for best results.

Why buy a dehydrator?

If you're still on the fence about whether or not to buy a dehydrator, here are some reasons why we think they're useful kitchen appliances.

  • Dehydrating food is an excellent way to preserve produce that would otherwise spoil before you get around to using it.

  • You can make your own snacks — such as dried fruit — for much less money than they'd cost you at the grocery store.

  • Dehydrating is perfect for people who want to start eating more raw foods.

  • Foods made in a dehydrator tend to be on the healthy side, so these appliances can help improve your diet.

  • They can create lightweight foods perfect for camping or hiking — and you can even rehydrate foods dried in a dehydrator.

Expert tip
Make sure you wipe all trays and the insides of your dehydrator after use. If you’re dehydrating proteins (like beef) or leafy greens (like kale) use soap and water to wash all surfaces. Each of these types of foods has a tendency to carry foodborne threats like salmonella and e. Coli.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Considerations for selecting a dehydrator

Types of dehydrators

You'll find two main types of dehydrator on the market: stacked and box (or "rigid frame") models.

  • Stacked: Stacked dehydrators are composed of a number of stackable trays or racks, with open sides. The fan and heating elements are usually either at the top or the bottom. Due to the fan placement and the open sides, the temperature isn't always consistent and can be harder to control. However, these units are often more affordable than box models and take up less space.

  • Box: Box dehydrators have a rigid frame with a back and sides (and sometimes a door on the front) into which you slide the trays. Since you can choose the tray placement, you can adjust the space between trays, making it more versatile — you're able to dehydrate taller pieces of food.

    Some people even use their box dehydrators to proof dough.

    Box dehydrators tend to have fans and heating elements at the back of the unit, which maintains a more consistent temperature and helps dehydrate food on all trays more evenly.

    Box dehydrators tend to give the most consistent results, but they also take up more counter space.

Size & tray capacity

Dehydrators come in a number of shapes and sizes.

Given the fact that you must find somewhere to put it while in use — and somewhere to store it — these specs may impact your decision.

Stackable (or racked) dehydrators save you the most space, of course, but it's worth examining the size and tray capacities of all contenders.

How to use a dehydrator

Drying method

Household food dehydrators use either convection systems or fans, but no two are the same. (Factors such as where the fan is mounted can have a considerable effect on drying efficiency.)

There's no right or wrong choice of drying method, but some units are faster and more effective than others.

As a rule, those that have rear-mounted fans and heaters dehydrate food more effectively than those with fans and heaters on the top or bottom.

Expert TIp
Try making your own dried tomatoes and store them in olive oil. Not only will you get soft, sweet, and delicious dehydrated tomatoes for salads and pasta, but you’ll also get a delicious tomato-infused oil to use on those salads and pasta.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert


Any dehydrators can be set at a range of temperatures, as all drying jobs have slightly different heat requirements, but the minimum and maximum temperatures vary between models.

Therefore, if you're purchasing a dehydrator with a particular job in mind, make sure its temperature range fits your requirements.

Some higher-end models also have variable temperature cycles to encourage thorough drying. This means you can just "set and forget" rather than having to manually change the temperature at various points throughout the drying process.


Not all dehydrators have timers, but it's an extremely useful feature.

Drying cycles often take eight to twelve hours to complete and are sometimes even longer. Unless you plan extremely carefully, there's no guarantee you'll be at home — or awake — when the cycle is complete.


Improve your dehydrating game with the following tips.

  • Don't dehydrate sweet and savory foods at the same time. Air circulates around the unit while drying, so it's possible for flavors to mix, especially when dehydrating pungent foods.

  • Cut foods into even chunks or slices. This way they'll all be ready at the same time — larger pieces take longer to dry.

  • Don't let food overlap on the trays. If you do, the pieces won't dry evenly.

  • Never dry moldy fruit. Because of the low temperatures involved in drying food, the dehydration process won't kill any of the mold spores.

  • Do you want to make fruit leather? You can buy special trays for making fruit leathers in a dehydrator, though with some models you can simply line a regular tray with wax paper.

  • Visually inspect for mold. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables that are no longer safe to eat will have visible mold on the surface. If there's no mold, it's still good.

  • Do you want to make jerky? If you do, make sure your dehydrator can reach temperatures of at least 160°F.

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Expert tip
Be sure to store your dehydrated food in an air-tight container. Plastic storage bags and screw-top glass jars won’t cut it. Use a tight-lidded container made of thick plastic, like a deli container.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert


Dehydrators can be found at a range of prices to suit all budgets. Ultimately, you tend to get what you pay for, with the most inexpensive models being less effective.

Basic dehydrators

You can find basic stacked dehydrators for as little as $30 to $60. In this price range, it's a mixed bag. You can find a handful of decent models, but they won't rival high-end units.

Mid-range dehydrators

Mid-range dehydrators cost between $70 and $100. At the higher end of this price range, you can start to find box dehydrators, which tend to be more effective.

High-end dehydrators

High-end box dehydrators cost between $100 and $300. You can find excellent models closer to the $100 mark, but if you plan to dehydrate food often and you have the budget, it's worth spending more on one of the very best units.

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You can dehydrate frozen food, as well as fresh, but the process will take slightly longer.


Q. How should I store dehydrated food?

A. If you don't store dehydrated food properly, it can absorb moisture from the air and ultimately rehydrate itself. Keep it in an airtight container, ideally with a food-grade moisture absorber pack in there, too.

Q. How long do dried fruits and vegetables last?

A. If stored properly, fruits and veggies dried in your dehydrator should last for at least a year.

Q. What temperature should I dehydrate food at and for how long?

A. This varies depending on what you're dehydrating and how large the chunks are. While you're getting used to drying food, we recommend closely following recipes to get the right temperature setting and time.

4 snacks to make in your dehydrator

Jerky is a go-to snack for anyone who likes to dehydrate. You can marinate different kinds of meat in all sorts of sauces – no batch will be the same as the last!
Dehydrate thin slices of apple to make a healthy alternative to potato chips.
Or you could dehydrate vegetable chips for something more salty and less sweet.
Throw out the over-processed fruit rolls ups of your childhood and make your own in a dehydrator.
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