The Best Food Dehydrators

Dehydrating food is an excellent method to change the taste and texture in a way you may find superior. It will allow your food to last longer and preserve it well enough for you to consume well before it spoils. Finding the right food dehydrator may be difficult, though. Below you’ll find all you need to know to pick the right one for you.

We reviewed dozens of food dehydrators to identify the best of the best. We examined a range of factors, including capacity, temperature range, convenience, cost, safety features, and average customer reviews.

Best Food Dehydrator Overall
COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator
Meet the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator, the most practical, effective, and cost-efficient food dehydrator out there.

Having considered a large number of food dehydrators, we chose the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator as our top pick. This food dehydrator ticks all the boxes, using a compact design and BPA-free, stainless steel materials, and boasting a 6-tray, high-capacity cooking chamber, wide temperature range, and user-friendly digital control panel. Scoring high on performance and low on cost, this is not only the top-performing food dehydrator we’ve come across, but also the model offering the best value for money overall.

The 5 Top-Rated Food Dehydrators

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallCOSORI Premium Food Dehydrator4.8
Best Portable Food Dehydrator
Rosewill Portable Electric Food Dehydrator4.2
Best Budget BuyHamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator4.3
Best Stackable Food Dehydrator
Aceshin Food Dehydrator5.0
Best Shelf Food Dehydrator
Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Food Dehydrator Overall: COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator

Having considered a vast array of options, the food dehydrator that wins our vote as the best model currently on the market is the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator. This 5-shelf dehydrator is an excellent choice for newcomers to the game of food dehydration and those who place ease of use high on their list of priorities, offering the utmost in convenience and a wealth of user-friendly features that make dehydrating your food a cinch. It also boasts a relatively high capacity and is made with materials far superior to those used in the majority of competitor products in its price range.

Identifying a single standout feature that places this dehydrator above its peers is a tricky business owing to the fact that its most endearing attribute is its stellar performance in every metric by which a dehydrator’s appeal might be measured. It’s stylish, easy to use, easy to clean, quiet, safe, and big enough to dehydrate enough snacks for all the family for a long weekend on the trails or at the campsite.

That said, what we like most about the COSORI is its compact design and the wealth of features that allow us to customize our “cook” and minimize the effort that goes into preparing our dehydrated foods. The most notable of these features include a digital control panel that allows you to set the timer in 30-minute increments for up to 48 hours, a temperature range of 95º-165ºF,  an auto shut-off feature that kicks in as soon as the timer ends, and an overheat-protection feature that shuts the dehydrator down in case of overheating, thereby giving you more peace of mind when leaving your dehydrator to do its thing when you head out for the day.

All told, this is a highly practical, efficient little machine that takes up very little space in your kitchen but is capable of producing plenty of tasty dehydrated eats without the usual worries thanks to its set-it-and-forget-it safety features.

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Key Features:

  • Comes with 6 stainless steel trays
  • Excellent safety features
  • 95º-165ºF temperature range
  • Compact design
  • 100% BPA-free
  • Very quiet (less than 48 decibels)

Best Portable Food Dehydrator: Rosewill Portable Electric Food Dehydrator

Best Portable Food Dehydrator Overall
Rosewill Portable Electric Food Dehydrator
An efficient, practical little machine that boasts the type of specs you would expect to find only in far pricier models of food dehydrator.

For buyers looking for a food dehydrator that can be shifted around their kitchen or RV with ease, or even brought along for on-the-go dehydrating sessions at the campsite, they don’t get much better than the Rosewill Portable Electric Food Dehydrator.

This tidy little machine uses a very simple design and controls but boasts just enough features to make it a winner for buyers wishing to dial-in their dehydrating program to ensure they get the best final product. The Rosewill uses five stackable, BPA-free trays, an adjustable thermostat (95-155F), a bottom-mounted fan and heating element that provide steady airflow to optimize drying efficiency, and boasts a highly respectable 250 watts of drying power. It also measures a mere 13 x 12 x 9.84 inches and weighs in at just 6 pounds, which makes it one of the most portable models of dehydrator on the market and a shoo-in for multi-day camping trips when you’ll be needing to stock up on your supply of dehydrated edibles.

Already sold? Well, we haven’t even gotten to the best bit…Not only does the Rosewill offer all of the above features, it’s also one of the most affordable food dehydrators out there!

Rosewill Portable Electric Food Dehydrator Key Features:

  • Lightweight and streamlined, low-footprint design (6 lbs.; 13 x 12 x 9.84 in.)
  • 5 BPA-free trays
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Bottom-mounted fan and heating element optimize drying power and heat distribution

Best Budget Food Dehydrator: Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator

Best Budget Food Dehydrator
Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator
A simple but superbly efficient stackable dehydrator that packs plenty of power and scores higher on practicality than many much pricier models of dehydrator.

If outstanding value for money’s your thing, they don’t come much better than the Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator.

This unit comes with five stackable drying trays and two specialty mesh sheets for drying garden herbs, fruits, and making fruit rolls. It also boasts a whopping 500 watts of power, which represents around a 200 to 250-watt upgrade on most competitor models in its price range. A bottom-mounted fan and heating element provide continuous ariflow for steady and uniform drying, meaning there’s no need to rotate your trays or shuffle your foods around while they dry. It also has an adjustable thermometer with a (100-160° F) temperature range that provides plenty of versatility for dehydrating different types of food and an automatic shut-off timer that lets you hit the hay our head out for the day without having to rush back to make sure your goods aren’t turned to toast!

And the downsides?

This isn’t the quietest of machines and is unlikely to win any prizes for is overall capacity, but for users looking to dehydrate smaller quantities of food and who don’t mind a little background noise in return for all those tasty eats, it’s a winner!

Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator Key Features: 

  • Very reasonably priced
  • 5 stackable trays
  • 500 watts of power
  • 48-hour timer with auto shut-off
  • Adjustable digital thermostat (100-160° F)

Best Stackable Food Dehydrator: Aceshin Food Dehydrator

Best Stackable Food Dehydrator
Aceshin Food Dehydrator
A sleek and wonderfully easy-to-use dehydrator that boasts a total of seven stackable trays and plenty of user-friendly features.

The Aceshin Food Dehydrator is a very well-made, high-performing food dehydrator that ticks just about every box we could possibly ask a food dehydrator to tick.

This device comes with a total of seven trays and, as such, offers a little more in the way of capacity compared to many competitor models with a stackable design. It also has 250 watts of power, adjustable digital temperature settings (95ºF-158ºF) that let you dry out different types of food with enhanced precision, transparent materials that allow you to check on the progress of your eats more easily, an auto shut-off mechanism to prevent overheating, and adjustable tray heights that simplify drying out foods of different sizes and thicknesses.

All of the above equates to, quite frankly, absolutely outstanding convenience and practicality. Given that this device is also very reasonably priced and is very quiet, easy to clean, and not at all greedy on countertop space, it’s one that any and every buyer should have on their short-list of potential purchases.

Aceshin Food Dehydrator Key Features:

  • Comes with 7 trays
  • Wide temperature range offers plenty of versatility
  • Small footprint (12.6 x 9.8 x 7.9 inches)
  • Easy to clean
  • Auto shut-off mechanism

Best Shelf Food Dehydrator: Excalibur 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

Best Shelf Food Dehydrator
Excalibur 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
A beast of a machine that’s best suited to buyers looking to maximize output in shorter timeframes without compromising on quality.

The high-capacity Excalibur 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator is a great choice of dehydrator for those with bigger families or, simply, bigger appetites for tasty dehydrated foodstuffs.

This machine’s relatively slender proportions belie its huge capacity, with its 9 trays offering a total of a whopping 15 square feet of drying space. This attribute alone will be enough for some buyers to hit the checkout asap, but for those of you not yet convinced there are plenty of other features that make this dehydrator one of the most attractive options out there.

The most impressive of the Excalibur’s features and attributes include a 26-hour timer, an adjustable digital thermostat (105°F to 165°F), patented Parallex Horizontal Airflow that distributes heat evenly and speeds up processing, 600 watts of power, and “Hyperwave Fluctuation” technology that keeps the temperature of food low enough to retain nutrients and enzymes.

In short, this might not be the cheapest of food dehydrators out there, but it’s a great choice for those who take their dried-out edibles seriously and want a dehydrator capable of processing larger quantities of food to the highest standard possible.

Excalibur 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator Key Features: 

  • Made in the USA
  • 9 trays offer 15 square feet of drying space
  • Adjustable digital thermostat
  • Parallex Horizontal Airflow speeds up drying times and distributes heat evenly
  • 26-hour timer
  • 600 watts of power

Who Should Buy a Food Dehydrator

There are several reasons why buying a food dehydrator is a particularly good idea for the outdoor adventurer. The most important of these is that a good food dehydrator lets you do each of the following:

  • Create tasty treats with a wide range of meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Reduce the weight of your backpack—dried foods weigh far less than normal foods
  • Reduce the storage space required for your trails snacks—dried foods also take up less space than normal foods
  • Reduce waste by dehydrating leftover fruits and vegetables
  • Create snacks with a far longer shelf life (up to 2 years with some foods!)
  • Retain food’s nutritional content (not the case with steaming and cooking)
  • Avoid the additives in store-bought dried foods

Food dehydrators are also very easy to use, low-maintenance, and cost-effective, with a home-made batch of jerky or dried fruit often costing as little as a third of what you can expect to pay in the store.

Best Food Dehydrator Overall
COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator
Meet the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator, the most practical, effective, and cost-efficient food dehydrator out there.

Important Features to Consider

A food dehydrator should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a food dehydrator:

  • Capacity. When choosing your dehydrator, size matters. Dehydrating is a slow process, and if you intend on drying out larger quantities of food, having a smaller model of dehydrator means you’ll have to do your drying in multiple batches, something that can take a matter of several days. The downside to larger-capacity machines is that they can take up more space, but this problem can be mitigated by opting for a model with a smaller footprint (measurements at the base) and a higher number of trays, meaning your device will take up more vertical space but less surface space.
  • Heat distribution and airflow. As with your oven at home, uneven heat distribution in your dehydrator can result in some of your food receiving more heat than the rest of it due to being further from the heat source. This, as you might have guessed, means that some food will dry out quickly, while that furthest from the heat source may require additional drying time. You can get around this problem by shuffling the trays around during the drying process, but it’s far more convenient, practical, and less hassle to simply choose a model of dehydrator with an effective heat distribution system.  Horizontal airflow dehydrators are typically the best performers in this respect, but many vertical flow models use effective fans that improve airflow and help provide even drying times by channeling heat equally throughout the device’s layers or trays.
  • Ease of use. Food dehydrating is far from being a hands-on means of preparing food, but having a few handy features can vastly enhance your device’s convenience and reduce the amount of work required on the part of the user. The most important of these include integrated digital timers that switch the machine off when the drying time is complete and a few safety-enhancing features like an automatic shut-off feature that shuts the device down in case of overheating and at the end of the drying time. Both of these functions or features allow you to leave your device to do its thing while you get on with your day without having to worry about coming home to any nasty surprises or having to check on the progress of your food throughout the drying process. Finally, it’s also well worth taking into consideration how easy your machine will be to clean. As a general rule, dehydrators that use a fan located on the top of the device excel in this regard, as do those that have removable shelves that can be dishwasher cleaned.
  • Noise. While even the noisiest food dehydrators are unlikely to have your neighbors complaining or keep you awake at night, the steady drone produced by the fans in some models could prove to be irksome by the time your on your sixth or seventh batch. Most manufacturers will list the decibel level of the fan used in the product. If you’re particularly fond of your peace and quiet, we’d recommend opting for a model with a decibel level of around 40-50, which is, you’ll be glad to hear, comparable to noise levels found in the average library.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a food dehydrator and how does it work?

Food dehydrators are devices used to preserve meat, fruit, vegetables, and herbs by removing their moisture content. They do so by circulating heated air around stacked trays or tiered shelves over the course of several hours.

What are the benefits of dehydrating food?

Unlike cooking or steaming, when foods are dehydrated they retain all of their flavor and nutrition. Dehydration also extends the shelf life of foods vastly, with some foods remaining safely edible for up to two years (!) after drying. Finally, dehydrating food is an excellent way for backcountry adventurers to cut down on pack size and weight as removing the moisture content from foodstuffs makes them significantly lighter and smaller.

What foods can you not dehydrate?

Some foods that are unsafe to dehydrate or won’t dehydrate properly include avocados, fatty meats, eggs, butter, and nuts. As a general rule, any foodstuff high in fat content will be either particularly difficult to dehydrate or will only remain safely edible for a week or so after drying.

How does dehydration preserve food?

Dehydration works by extracting the moisture from foodstuffs, which inhibits the growth of the microorganisms (i.e. bacteria) that cause normal foods to spoil and decay.

For those not yet persuaded by the simplicity, convenience, and practicality of food dehydrators, there are a few alternative processing methods out there that are well worth checking out. These include smoking, electric smoking, air frying, and vacuum sealing.

Other Food Dehydrators We Reviewed

Best Food Dehydrator Overall
COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator
Meet the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator, the most practical, effective, and cost-efficient food dehydrator out there.

We looked at 20 other food dehydrators. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best food dehydrators list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your culinary adventures in the world of dehydrated foods. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Budget Food Dehydrators

Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator
Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator
This stackable food dehydrator packs plenty of power in a 620-watt motorized fan and uses a top vent that ensures fast, even drying. It also comes with an adjustable thermostat and can stack up to 9 trays at a time.

Key Features:

  • 9-tray capacity
  • 620-watt motorized fan
  • Adjustable temperature control offers four settings: low, medium, high, and fan-only

Cost: $56.99

Sunix Electric Food Dehydrator
Sunix Electric Food Dehydrator 
A simple, frill-free little dehydrator that is ideal for drying smaller batches of food and for those working on a tighter budget or just looking to give food dehydration a try before splashing out on a model with more high-end features. Outstanding value for money!

Key Features:

  • 5 stackable, BPA-free trays
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • 18-month warranty

Cost: $34.99

Elechomes Food Dehydrator
Elechomes Food Dehydrator
A nicely priced, sleek, elegant machine that marries endearing aesthetics and a small footprint with impressive functionality in features that include a digital thermostat and timer, six stackable trays, and an overheat protection feature.

Key Features:

  • Digital thermostat
  • 6 stackable, BPA-free trays
  • Overheat protection feature
  • Adjustable tray height

Cost: $66.99

MVPower Food Dehydrator
MVPower Food Dehydrator
If the appearance of your device is an important consideration, this stylish little dehydrator is among the best budget options out there. It also scores high on efficiency and convenience thanks to 8 temperature settings, an all-round circulation airflow system, and adjustable tray heights.

Key Features:

  • Digital control panel with 8 temperature settings and 72-hour timer
  • All-round circulation fan
  • 5-tray capacity
  • Adjustable tray height

Cost: $35

MasterChef Food Dehydrator
MasterChef Food Dehydrator
Master by name, master by nature! This wonderfully easy-to-use device packs a plethora of user-friendly features that are on a par with many far pricier models of dehydrator, including a digital control panel with a timer and precise temperature adjustment control, overheat protection, a LCD display, and an effective heat-distribution fan.

Key Features:

  • Digital control panel with LCD display
  • 8-liter, 5-tray capacity
  • Overheat protection feature
  • Recipe guide included

Cost: $49.95

Aicok Food Dehydrator
Aicok Food Dehydrator

With 6 square feet of drying space, a fully adjustable thermostat, a bottom-mounted heating element and fan that distribute heat evenly, and a 2-year warranty, this straightforward device is a great choice for buyers processing small to medium-sized batches and seeking a nice balance between performance and value for money.

Key Features:

  • 6-tray design offers 6 square feet capacity
  • Adjustable thermostat offers wide range of drying temperatures
  • 2-year warranty

Cost: $41.99

NutriChef Food Dehydrator

NutriChef Food Dehydrator

This simple little device is operated with a single on/off switch and temperature dial, making it a great choice for those who prioritize ease of use and aren’t overly concerned with having a wealth of precision-enhancing features.

Key Features:

  • 5 stackable, removable trays
  • Effective heat circulation fan
  • Single-button control

Cost: $48.99

Stackable Food Dehydrators

Homdox Food Dehydrator

https://amzn.to/2tZYOpb

A powerful, high-capacity device that’s ideal for drying out larger batches and comes with adjustable shelves to accommodate foods of different thicknesses.

Key Features:

  • 8-tray capacity
  • Digital control panel with LCD display
  • Wide temperature range
  • Effective bottom-mounted fan

Cost: $87.99

SuperHandy Food Dehydrator

SuperHandy Food Dehydrator

This neat, tidy little device is simplicity defined and boasts 3.5 square feet of drying space, a digital control panel, and uses 5 stackable, detachable trays that can be thrown in the washing machine after use.

Key Features:

  • 5-tray design offers 3.5 square feet capacity
  • Digital control panel with timer
  • Wide temperature range
  • Small footprint

Cost: $72.99

Nesco FD-80A Food and Jerky Dehydrator

Nesco FD-80A Food and Jerky Dehydrator

With a patented Converga-Flow drying system that mimics horizontal airflow devices by channeling air down an exterior pressurized column before diverting it across each tray individually, this device provides possibly the best  heat distribution of all the stackable devices on our list.

Key Features:

  • 700 watts of drying power
  • Top-mounted fan makes cleaning easy
  • Patented Converga-Flow drying system ensures foods are dried evenly

Cost: $96.99

Trustech Food Dehydrator

Trustech Food Dehydrator

What this device lacks in capacity, it more than makes up for in practicality, boasting a digital thermostat with LCD display, 5 removable, dishwasher-friendly trays, 48-hour time control, and a continuous airflow system that distributes heat evenly throughout the trays.

Key Features:

  • 5-tray capacity
  • Digital control panel with LCD display
  • Continuous airflow system

Cost: $75.99

SUNGLIFE Food Dehydrator

SUNGLIFE Food Dehydrator

A compact device with a small footprint and all the features required for precision drying and to maximize convenience and minimize fuss.

Key Features:

  • Digital control panel with LCD display
  • 5-tray capacity
  • Extensive temperature range adjustable in 9-degree increments

Cost: $67.99

KUPPET Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator

KUPPET Premium Countertop Food Dehydratorl

This straightforward, easy-to-use device has one of the smallest footprints of all the models featured in our review and, importantly, doesn’t compromise on performance in order to achieve those space savings, packing plenty of power and using a highly effective heat-distribution system that dries all of your eats evenly.

Key Features:

  • 5-tray capacity
  • 360° heat distribution
  • Adjustable thermostat dial

Cost: $60.59

Hauture Food Dehydrator

Hauture Food Dehydrator

A high-capacity and feature-rich device that offers digital temperature adjustment via a simple, turning dial, has an auto shut-off feature for added safety, and has trays with adjustable heights to let you squeeze in larger and thicker foodstuffs.

Key Features:

  • 7-tray capacity
  • Digital temperature adjustment
  • Auto shut-off safety feature
  • Adjustable tray heights

Cost: $75.99

Shelf Food Dehydrators

VVinRC Commercial Food Dehydrator

VVinRC Commercial Food Dehydrator

This commercial-grade dehydrator is a great choice for buyers looking to maximize their output by processing larger batches of food in shorter drying times. It also boasts digital temperature control, a highly effective heat-distribution fan, and is surprisingly quiet for such a large and powerful device.

Key Features:

  • 10-tray capacity
  • Drip tray for easy cleaning
  • Stainless steel materials
  • 1000-watt heating power

Cost: $199.99

Magic Mill MFD-1011 Food Dehydrator

Magic Mill MFD-1011 Food Dehydrator

Another high-capacity, reasonably priced dehydrator that combines an attractive appearance with nigh-on peerless drying power, high processing capacity, and a wealth of user-friendly features.

Key Features:

  • 10-tray capacity
  • Rear-mounted fan provides horizontal airflow
  • Digital control panel with thermostat and timer
  • Auto shut-off function

Cost: $169.99

Gourmia GFD1650 Premium Electric Food Dehydrator

Gourmia GFD1650 Premium Electric Food Dehydrator

A superbly efficient, easy-to-use food dehydrator that has a small footprint, removable trays, a simple digital control panel, and a large enough capacity for processing small to medium-sized batches.

Key Features:

  • 6-tray capacity
  • Digital control panel
  • 360º airflow provides even heat distribution

Cost: $79.99

Magic Mill Commercial Food Dehydrator

Magic Mill Commercial Food Dehydrator

An incredibly well-made, commercial-grade machine that uses stainless steel materials and offers precision drying thanks to a digital thermostat and timer and a rear-mounted fan that distributes heat evenly throughout the trays.

Key Features:

  • 6-tray capacity
  • Rear-mounted fan provides superior horizontal airflow
  • Digital thermostat and timer
  • Auto shut-off feature

Cost: $139.99

Magic Mill Pro Countertop Electric Food Dehydrator

Magic Mill Pro Countertop Electric Food Dehydrator

This isn’t the cheapest food dehydrator out there, granted, but in return for the additional outlay it provides one of the most attractive designs of all the devices in our review and also exceptional drying performance thanks to a rear-mounted motor and fan, wide temperature range, and precise digital controls.

Key Features:

  • 6-tray capacity
  • Each tray measures 15″ by 15″
  • Rear-mounted fan provides horizontal airflow and even heat distribution
  • Digital control panel

Cost: $239.99

LEM Products Mighty-Bite Food Dehydrator

LEM Products Mighty-Bite Food Dehydrator

A very business-like, frill-free machine that combines a high capacity with high-quality materials and a handful of user-friendly features, including a digital control panel, a drip tray for easy cleaning, and an auto shut-off feature for added safety and peace of mind.

Key Features:

  • 10 trays (15″ x 15″)
  • Auto shut-off feature
  • Drip tray for easy cleaning
  • Digital timer and thermostat

Cost: $139

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