The Best Food Dehydrators

A food dehydrator may not be an appliance you thought you’d need in your kitchen, but having one can come in handy, particularly if you’re looking for new ways of adding some healthy eating to your routine. Food dehydrators can help you create healthy snacks, like dried fruits, at home without all the added sugars that you’ll usually find in store-bought products. Plus, you might even get a longer shelf life out of your foods by removing the moisture that causes them to mold or spoil.

We’ve reviewed dozens of food dehydrators to find the very best options for your kitchen. There is a wide range of food dehydrators available on the market, but we considered features like ease-of-use, timers and auto shut-offs, flow pattern, size, and internal capacity to help us narrow down some of the best food dehydrators. 

Best Food Dehydrator Overall
Magic Mill Food Dehydrator
Meet the Magic Mill Food Dehydrator, a dehydrator with nine adjustable trays and tons of features to streamline the drying process.

We chose the Magic Mill Food Dehydrator as our number one pick for a few reasons. One stand-out benefit is its internal layout that comes complete with stackable trays that you can adjust to meet the size needs of your food. Everything stays in place and is spaced evenly to allow a consistent amount of airflow through the machine. 

The 5 Top-Rated Food Dehydrators

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Food Dehydrator OverallMagic Mill Food Dehydrator 4.6
Best Food Dehydrator with Auto ShutoffChefman Food Dehydrator
4.5
Best Budget Food DehydratorPresto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator4.5
Best Stackable Food DehydratorNutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine4.5
Best Horizontal Flow Food DehydratorNESCO FD-75A4.5

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

Best Food Dehydrator Overall: Magic Mill Food Dehydrator

The Magic Mill Food Dehydrator is basically one that will do it all, making it an excellent option for people who want a convenient all-in-one solution for drying lots of food at a time. With nine adjustable trays that you can remove to accommodate larger portions of food, you can practically customize the whole inside of the dehydrator. An adjustable thermostat ensures that whatever food you place inside will get enough heat and air to dry it evenly and quickly.

This dehydrator is full of features, too, that make it one of the easiest to use. You can use the Fast/Raw function to automatically adjust the settings for fast dehydration of smaller foods or a longer dehydration time for raw meats. A Keep Warm setting keeps your food at an optimal warming temperature for up to 24 hours. You can also adjust the time and temperature settings for anything you place inside to ensure you’re getting just the right dehydration process for different foods. 

Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Key Features:

  • Nine adjustable trays
  • Keep Warm function
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
  • Rear-mounted fan
  • BPA-free

Best Food Dehydrator with Auto Shutoff: Chefman Food Dehydrator

Best Food Dehydrator with Auto Shutoff
Chefman Food Dehydrator
The Chefman Food Dehydrator will automatically shut off when the dehydration cycle is through to prevent overdrying.

An auto-shutoff feature is one of the most convenient features you’ll find on a food dehydrator. This option automatically shuts off the machine after it completes your set timer cycle so your food doesn’t overdry in the machine. The Chefman Food Dehydrator is an excellent option for a dehydrator with an auto-shutoff, which can turn the unit off at any set time up to 19.5 hours. 

In addition to this feature, you’ll get other convenient perks, like a transparent window so that you can watch the progress of your food, an optimal airflow pattern to dry food quickly and efficiently, and 14 temperature preset controls to meet the needs of a wide range of foods. This food dehydrator also comes with six stacking trays that you can move to different spots within the unit to make room for the variety of foods you want to dehydrate.

Chefman Food Dehydrator Key Features:

  • Includes drop pan
  • Digital controls
  • BPA-free plastic trays
  • Temperature range from 95 to 158 degrees
  • One-year warranty

Best Budget Food Dehydrator: Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

Best Budget Food Dehydrator
Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
Save some money with the super-basic Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator.

While many full-featured food dehydrators cost upwards of $100, the Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator is a compact, basic dehydrator that’s priced far below that. If you’re looking for a simple unit that won’t cost a lot of money but still lets you dry some foods for healthy snacking, then this one could be the right choice for you. It has four stackable trays to hold food, and each one of them nests into each other to “fold” up the unit into a super compact size for storage.

You won’t find extras like an auto shut-off or adjustable times and temperatures with this food dehydrator, but you may not need any of that. This one is about as easy to use as it gets, allowing you to operate it by plugging it in and turning it off by unplugging it when your food is ready to enjoy or store.

Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator Key Features:

  • Simple operation
  • Collapsible design
  • Expandable up to eight trays
  • Dishwasher safe trays
  • Bottom-mounted fan

Best Stackable Food Dehydrator: NutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine

Best Stackable Food Dehydrator
NutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine
The NutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine offers expandable stacking without hurting the efficiency of the drying process.

Stackable food dehydrators, like the NutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine, are space-saving in the kitchen and convenient for people who don’t need a huge food dehydrator to dry multiple foods at a time. This unit stacks up to five trays, each of which is removable if needed, to keep all your food sitting separately for efficient drying without taking up a bunch of room on your countertops.

The trays are designed to allow airflow to move through each one, so the food on each tray will dry evenly and thoroughly. With the push of the On button, the dehydrator starts working. Turn it off when your food is done, which you can monitor through the transparent lid. Although this food dehydrator doesn’t come with a drip tray underneath the stacking shelves, some customers note that the bottom base is still easily cleanable with a damp cloth.  

NutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine Key Features:

  • Can expand with more stackable trays
  • One-button operation
  • Quiet
  • BPA-free plastic trays
  • Safe for use with meats

Best Horizontal Flow Food Dehydrator: NESCO FD-75A

Best Horizontal Flow Food Dehydrator
NESCO FD-75A
Benefit from the power of horizontal airflow to reach up to 12 layers of food in the NESCO FD-75A food dehydrator.

Horizontal flow food dehydrators are among the most popular because they push air through each stacked layer of food for efficient dehydration on each level. The NESCO FD-75A is our pick for the best horizontal airflow food dehydrator because of its versatility in dehydrating your foods safely. The unit comes with five trays, but you can purchase more to expand it up to 12 trays without it losing its drying power. The unique airflow design that pushes air down the center and horizontally through each tray ensures an even movement of air to reach each piece of food in the machine.

You can adjust the temperature of this dehydrator between 95 and 160 degrees to target different foods appropriately. The convenient markings on the front display tell you what temperatures to consider using for specific types of foods, like fruit and herbs. With 600 watts of power, you can expect quicker drying times from this unit than other lower-powered food dehydrators on the market, even with fully-stacked trays.

NESCO FD-75A Key Features:

  • Opaque, light-blocking exterior
  • Air flows through layers, not trays
  • Includes food dehydrating recipe book
  • Dishwasher-safe base and trays
  • Small size

Who Should Buy a Food Dehydrator

There are several uses for a food dehydrator in the kitchen, but one of the more common reasons someone might purchase one is to extend the life of food. A food dehydrator is the perfect solution for drying fruits and vegetables, essentially helping them last longer. Many people also buy food dehydrators for the health factor. Dried fruits and veggies you make at home with your dehydrator can be healthier than those you purchase in stores with additives like dyes, flavoring, salt, or sugar.

Some food dehydrator owners also use the appliance to create raw food for their dog or cat! Dog owners create everything from homemade chicken or beef jerky to wholesome meals for dogs and cats with a food dehydrator. You can also create tasty and healthy treats for your furry friend using bananas, sweet potatoes, or even fish.

Best Food Dehydrator Overall
Magic Mill Food Dehydrator
Meet the Magic Mill Food Dehydrator, a dehydrator with nine adjustable trays and tons of features to streamline the drying process.

Important Features to Consider

Food dehydrators should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting an acne medication to keep your skin clear and healthy:

  • Size. You can find food dehydrators that are much more compact than others to save space in the kitchen. This can be helpful if you have a small kitchen, limited counter space, or use a lot of other small appliances, like juicers or immersion blenders, that take up space. However, if you plan to dehydrate large quantities of food at a time, a higher capacity dehydrator might work in your favor.
  • Timer and auto shut-off. A timer and an auto shut-off feature are very important features for food dehydrators. They’ll help you control how long you dehydrate foods depending on what you’re drying and will shut off automatically when finished.
  • Adjustable thermostat. An adjustable thermostat is a must-have if you plan to dry different types of foods. You can boost or lower the thermostat as needed to handle more robust or delicate foods. 
  • Consistent airflow. Food dehydrators usually come in either vertical-flow or horizontal-flow air patterns which refer to the direction air flows through them. Horizontal-flow dehydrators tend to be more efficient as they allow air to pass through and over food that’s stacked on trays inside the machine.
  • Stackability. Dehydrators that allow you to stack food on multiple trays inside the machine usually have the most efficient airflow to dry foods evenly and quickly. How many trays a dehydrator comes with usually depends on its size and internal capacity.
  • Noise. Some appliances in the kitchen, like a pasta maker or microwave, can be noisy when you operate them. Food dehydrators can be as well, but some are surprisingly quiet. It’s a good idea to read through customer reviews to get an idea of the noise level of each machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a food dehydrator and how does it work?

A food dehydrator is a machine that removes moisture from food to dry it out safely and quickly. Using a combination of low heat and air circulation, the food becomes dry without placing it in a dangerous temperature zone that could cause bacteria to grow or multiply. The process leads to a different consistency of food, but usually creates a stronger, more concentrated flavor.

What foods can you not dehydrate?

Some foods don’t work well in a food dehydrator, usually because of their texture, flavor, fat content, or moisture content. Fatty meats, for example, may not be the best choice for a food dehydrator because removing their moisture can take too long, leaving the meat at dangerous temperature levels. Most full-fat dairy products also contain too much fat for the food dehydrator.

Does a food dehydrator use a lot of electricity?

Most food dehydrators use minimal electricity and are efficient to use in the kitchen. Usually, they’re much more efficient than running the oven at low heat to try to dehydrate food. The size of your food dehydrator will make a difference in the power it draws, though, so be sure to stick with a smaller unit if you’re worried about electricity use.

How long does it take to dry food in a dehydrator?

Dehydration times can vary greatly depending on the food you’re drying out. Usually, the more moisture content a food has, the longer it will take to dehydrate. That’s why many fruits, like strawberries, apricots, and plums, take longer than most meats in the dehydrator. You can usually expect your food to take anywhere from 6 to 24 hours to dehydrate, depending on the size of your machine and its settings.

Other Food Dehydrators We Reviewed

Best Food Dehydrator Overall
Magic Mill Food Dehydrator
Meet the Magic Mill Food Dehydrator, a dehydrator with nine adjustable trays and tons of features to streamline the drying process.

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 kitchen. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Stackable Food Dehydrators

COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine

COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine

This food dehydrator has five stackable trays that you can add and remove as needed to fit the needs of your food.

Key Features:

  • Quiet operation
  • Up to 48 hours of runtime
  • BPA-free trays

Cost: $60 

Elechomes 6-Tray Food Dehydrator  

Elechomes 6-Tray Food Dehydrato

With six stackable trays that you can adjust on different shelves, this food dehydrator has a fully customizable interior to dehydrate everything from fruit to meat.

Key Features:

  • Includes fruit roll sheet
  • Two adjustable placements for each stackable tray
  • Dishwasher-safe trays

Cost: $90  

Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator  

Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator

Keep your food dehydration process compact with this unit that features five stackable trays and excellent, efficient airflow to reach all your food.

Key Features:

  • 12.75-inch diameter trays
  • Transparent cover
  • One-button operation

Cost: $40 

Nesco Food & Jerky Dehydrator

Nesco Food & Jerky Dehydrator

This small but mighty dehydrator has a fixed temperature setting, which could help beginners achieve simple, fuss-free dehydrating in their kitchen.

Key Features:

  • BPA-free trays
  • Clear lid for monitoring
  • 400W

Cost: $40  

New House Kitchen Compact Multi-Tier Dehydrator  

New House Kitchen Compact Multi-Tier Dehydrator

This attractive stackable food dehydrator saves space in the kitchen while storing up to five trays of food.

Key Features:

  • Compact size
  • One-button operation
  • Clear lid and sides

Cost: $40  

Horizontal Flow Food Dehydrators

BioChef Arizona Sol Food Dehydrator  

BioChef Arizona Sol Food Dehydrator

This food dehydrator has six adjustable trays and a horizontal airflow pattern that lets air circulate efficiently through each layer of food.

Key Features:

  • Clear door
  • Drip tray for easier cleaning
  • Two-year warranty

Cost: $130 

Loyola Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator  

Loyola Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator

This multifunction food dehydrator has a sleek microwave-like design and an efficient airflow system to minimize drying time and keep your food at safe temperatures.

Key Features:

  • Compact for countertop use
  • Cool wind function for crispier food
  • Steel trays

Cost: $75  

Tribest Sedona Digitally Controlled Food Dehydrator  

Tribest Sedona Digitally Controlled Food Dehydrator

You can fit up to nine trays inside this food dehydrator. Its dual-fan technology blows air back and forth horizontally to ensure even, thorough dehydration.

Key Features:

  • BPA-free trays
  • Digital controls
  • Quiet operation

Cost: $380  

TSM Products Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator  

TSM Products Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator

This dehydrator is best for professional kitchens who want efficient dehydration with a large area for food storage.

Key Features:

  • 800 watts
  • 10 stainless steel trays
  • Individually balanced metal fan

Cost: $560  

VVinRC Food Dehydrator  

VVinRC Food Dehydrator

This horizontal flow food dehydrator is shorter and wider than other models to give you space under cabinets to store it. 

Key Features:

  • Timer up to 24 hours
  • Dishwasher safe racks
  • Clear door panel

Cost: $120  

Food Dehydrators with Timer

Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator

Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator

Take advantage of a 48-hour timer with this Hamilton Beach food dehydrator that will keep drying food as long as you need it to.

Key Features:

  • Transparent lid
  • 500 watts
  • Auto shutoff

Cost: $100 

Hauture Food Dehydrator  

Hauture Food Dehydrator

This food dehydrator features a timer function that reaches up to 12 hours, which is enough for most foods that you slice thinly.

Key Features:

  • Six removable and adjustable trays
  • Nonstick racks
  • Transparent door for monitoring

Cost: $120  

Ivation Electric Food Dehydrator  

Ivation Electric Food Dehydrator

Keep your food drying for up to 19.5 hours with this unit’s convenient timer feature, which you can set in 30-minute increments.

Key Features:

  • 13×13-inch trays
  • Stainless steel racks
  • Includes bottom drip tray

Cost: $130  

Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

You can adjust both the time and temperature with the easy-to-use digital controls on the top panel of this food dehydrator.

Key Features:

  • 1000 watts of power
  • Includes four trays, but expandable up to 20
  • Simple digital controls

Cost: $95  

VIVOHOME Food Dehydrator  

VIVOHOME Food Dehydrator

This large food dehydrator includes all the settings you need to adjust the process to the needs of your food, like adjustable trays, temperature control, and a timer function.

Key Features:

  • Stainless steel base
  • Dishwasher-safe trays
  • Digital LED panel

Cost: $80  

Shelf Food Dehydrators

Brod & Taylor Folding Food Dehydrator  

Brod & Taylor Folding Food Dehydrator

The spacious shelves of this food dehydrator are removable so that you can collapse the outer unit for convenient kitchen storage.

Key Features:

  • Includes an air filter for clean dehydration airflow
  • Easily foldable
  • Dual 700-watt heaters

Cost: $350 

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator  

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator

This COSORI food dehydrator has space for up to six drying shelves to dehydrate multiple foods at once with efficient airflow.

Key Features:

  • BPA-free trays
  • Durable stainless steel and glass construction
  • Includes fruit roll sheet and mesh screen

Cost: $170  

Excalibur 9-Tray Food Dehydrator

Excalibur 9-Tray Food Dehydrator

With space for up to nine trays of food, this food dehydrator is still surprisingly compact, saving you some much-needed room in the kitchen.

Key Features:

  • Air circulates through trays
  • 15 square feet of interior space
  • Adjustable thermostat

Cost: $230  

Samson Silent Dehydrator

Samson Silent Dehydrator

You can stack and move around up to six trays inside this dehydrator, which also features an adjustable timer in 30-minute increments.

Key Features:

  • See-through door
  • Top controls
  • 5-year warranty

Cost: $115  

STX International Commercial Grade Digital Food Dehydrator

STX International Commercial Grade Digital Food Dehydrator

If you want more of a professional food dehydrator with a lot of space, consider this one from STX International, which holds up to 10 trays and uses 1200 watts of power for superior, efficient drying.

Key Features:

  • Stainless steel racks
  • Digital control panel
  • Includes food dehydrating cookbook

Cost: $330  

 

Products You May Be Interested In:

Avatar