Food Dehydrator Reviews: What’s the Best Food Dehydrator?

Food Dehydrator Reviews: What’s the Best Food Dehydrator?

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Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On August 20, 2013
Last modified:August 29, 2013

Summary:

Dehydrators are a great appliance to have in your kitchen. Whether you’re moving towards a raw-foods lifestyle, making beef jerky, or just simply looking to include some new, tasty recipes in your diet, a good dehydrator will be able to help you accomplish your goal.

But what is the best food dehydrator?

With all of the options out there, it’s tough to decide on which dehydrator you really need. Two important things to consider are your budget, and how much you think you will be using your new dehydrator. If it’s something you will only be using once every so often to make the odd recipe here and there, then you probably don’t need to buy one of the more expensive models. However, if you plan on dehydrating regularly, then you will definitely want to consider a higher-end machine.

There are 4 dehydrators that we recommend, and they all have different price points. So whether you’re looking for something inexpensive, in the middle, or something on the higher end, you will be able to find one in our top 4 list below.

Our Food Dehydrator Reviews

#1 – Excalibur Food Dehydrator

Excalibur Food Dehydrator

The Excalibur is by far my favorite dehydrator and the one I personally use myself and recommend to everyone. While it is on the higher end of the budget, it’s definitely worth the money if you plan on using your machine regularly. It’s perfect for making all sorts of raw food recipes as well as jerky.

The best thing about the Excalibur and why it’s so highly recommended, is it’s one of the only dehydrators that dries everything evenly and at the same time. This is due to the fan design that blows heat evenly over all the trays, so you’re never left with some trays that are done and some that aren’t. This design also makes the dehydrating process much quicker than what you will find with other machines, saving you a lot of time.

Features of the Excalibur

  • Comes in several different models: 4 trays, 5 trays, or 9 trays.
  • 220, 440, or 600 watts of power depending on which model you buy.
  • Lots of really cool color choices.
  • Adjustable thermostat that ranges from 95-155 degrees fahrenheit so it’s safe for making jerky.
  • Due to the fan design, the heat is distributed evenly over all of your trays, so they all dehydrate evenly and quicker than other machines.
  • Polyscreen inserts are very easy to clean.
  • Removable trays so you can make room for bigger items if needed.
  • Some models come with a built-in timer to automatically shut off the machine when the cycle is finished.

Click Here to read our full Excalibur Dehydrator review and learn more about this machine.

#2 – L’Equip FilterPro Food Dehydrator

L'Equip Food Dehydrator

The L’Equip FilterPro, which takes our 2nd place spot in these food dehydrator reviews, is a really neat machine. It’s a bit more futuristic and technologically advanced than any of the others – there is a computer-controlled sensor in the unit that automatically checks the temperature of the food 60 times per second. This creates a very stable drying environment and helps ensure even and proper drying of your ingredients.

Going along with that, the L’Equip also has an LED display on the side for you to set the temperature and the timer. The temperature ranges from 95-158 degrees fahrenheit and the timer can be set for up to 24 hours.

There is also something called a “Clean-Air Filtration System” that filters the air that gets pulled into the machine. This feature ensures that the air that’s blowing on your food is clean and not full of dust, allergens, or any other floating debris.

The L’Equip comes standard with 6 stackable trays: 2 deep trays and 4 regular size trays. You also have the option of stacking up to 12 trays if you purchase more separately. Each tray gives you 1.2 sq. ft. of area.

As for power, it features a 530-watt motor.

The whole machine is BPA-free and easy to clean.

You would think the price for a dehydrator like this would be expensive, but it’s actually very reasonably priced. The FilterPro is currently only $149.99 on Amazon, and there’s a downgraded version just called the L’Equip Dehydrator for $119.99. This is a bit cheaper than the Excalibur, but a little more than the next 2 I will be reviewing.

Features of the L’Equip FilterPro

  • Computer-controlled sensor that checks the temperature of your food 60 times per second to ensure even drying.
  • LED-display for the temperature and timer which makes both of them very easy to see and adjust.
  • Timer can be set for up to 24 hours.
  • Temperature ranges from 95-158 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Clean-Air Filtration System helps keep the inside of your unit and your food clean.
  • Comes with 6 trays, but you have the option to add up to 12.
  • 2 tray designs: deep trays and regular sized.
  • 530-watt motor.
  • BPA-free.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Yogurt accessory so you can make homemade yogurt.

#3 – Nesco 600-Watt Food Dehydrator

Nesco Food Dehydrator

This Nesco food dehydrator comes in third place on our list. This one is more economical than the Excalibur and the L’Equip, so it’s perfect if you just want to get your feet wet with dehydrating before you spend $150-$250 on a machine. You actually get a lot of value for your money with the Nesco. There are several Nesco models, but the 600-watt one here that we are reviewing is probably the most popular and recommended.

Just like the Excalibur and L’Equip FilterPro, you can use this machine to dry fruits, veggies, herbs, jerky, and more. You also don’t have to worry about rotating the trays in this one either, because the fan design ensures that everything dries evenly. The design is a little different than the first two, it’s more circular with the fan being on the top.

There are a few downsides to this dehydrator though. For one, there is no on/off switch, so you have to just plug/unplug it whenever you want to turn it on or off. It also doesn’t come with a timer, which is a feature that a lot of people like about the Excalibur and L’Equip. Lastly, it doesn’t hold as many items, so you may find yourself spending more time dehydrating or possibly even buying a second machine if you need to dry lots of items at once.

Features of the Nesco

  • 600 watts of power.
  • Fan design ensures even drying so you don’t have to rotate trays.
  • Comes standard with 5 trays, but you have the option to expand to 12 trays by purchasing them separately.
  • Opaque exterior helps block harmful UV lights which preserves nutrients during the drying process.
  • Adjustable thermostat ranging from 95-160 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Dimensions of 13 x 13 x 10.

#4 – Waring Pro Food Dehydrator

waring pro food dehydrator

Coming in at 4th on our list is the Waring Pro dehydrator. It has a 620-watt motor and comes with 5 stackable, interlocking trays. There is an adjustable thermostat with the options of fan only, low, medium, and high.

While I think the Waring Pro is worth having on this list and worth checking out if you’re in the market for a dehydrator, there are a few downfalls which make it fall way short of the first 3 on this list.

The first thing I don’t like about the Waring is that the thermostat only has 4 options and it doesn’t give you an exact temperature. I like how with the Excalibur, Nesco, and L’Equip you can set a precise temperature depending on what you’re dehydrating.

The next knock I have is that it only comes with 5 trays and there’s no option to expand it to include more trays. So if you plan on doing a lot of dehydrating, you will be stuck either waiting on your first batch to finish before you can start the next, or you will need to buy another machine.

Lastly, it actually costs around $10 more than the Nesco 600-watt unit does, so I feel like you’re getting less for your money with the Waring. While I obviously recommend the Excalibur as my #1, if it’s between the Waring and the Nesco, I’d probably take the Nesco.

Features

  • 620 watts of power.
  • 4 temperature controls: Fan only, Low, Medium, and High.
  • 5 stackable, interlocking trays.
  • Can dehydrate fruits, vegetables, beef jerky, herbs and more.

Final Recommendation

I would highly recommend going with the Excalibur if you plan on doing any serious dehydrating, but if you want to spend a little less and want a similarly designed, more futuristic machine, the L’Equip FilterPro is a great dehydrator as well. If you’re on a budget and just want to get your feet wet with dehydrating before stepping up to one of the big boys, the Nesco 600-watt will be more than capable of doing what you need. Just keep in mind though, you may end up having to upgrade down the road which will of course be an added expense.

Well that does it. I really hope you found these food dehydrator reviews useful and you now have a better idea of what the best food dehydrator is for your needs.

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28 comments

  1. I had no idea there were “fruit dehydrators”. I wonder what kind of recipes list dehydrated fruit as an ingredient? Very interesting, and worth further research. How much exactly does the Excalibur model cost?

    • Charlotte

      Yeah there are TONS of really cool recipes you can make with a dehydrator. I had no idea myself until I bought a few raw food recipe books and saw all the possibilities. You can make everything from crackers, pancakes, breads, veggie burgers, jerky and so much more. Even just dehydrating tomatoes, bananas, berries, and other fruits to preserve them and make them more sweeter.

      The Excalibur runs on average from $200-$250 depending on the model you buy. It sounds a little expensive, but if you plan on dehydrating a lot, it’s the best one you can buy.

  2. Excellent review. It is hard to find reviews on dehydrators that don’t feel like they are being done by people that are paid to say things. Lots of great info about what to look out for when purchasing dehydrators.

  3. Terrific article. I’ve been trying to make a decision on what food dehydrator to purchase and this review has been very helpful.

  4. Well, i learned something new today. I did not even realise that food dehydrators existed, let alone how useful they can be. Thank you for your detailed, well laid out reviews and for explaining the features in such detail! As we have a lot of fruit in the house, this is definitely a useful addition for my small kitchen appliances.

  5. Great article! So few people know how truly amazing these machines really are. I have owned one for several years and could not live without it.

  6. I am looking to buy a food dehydrator and this review is very insightful, thanks.

  7. Great review. I really didn’t know to much about dehydrators and now that I do I want one.:) Very Helpful and Informative.

  8. I’m sorry I’m just commenting to say that I love this blog. I’ve been looking in to getting a dehydrator for awhile and this seals the deal. Very indepth and insightful.. Thank you

  9. I’d never heard of food dehydrators before, but they look like a really fun thing to have in the kitchen! I love the idea of picking some herbs from the garden, then drying them out and chopping them into my own delicious food topping. I also love the idea of making my own beef jerky.

    I could try flavouring the jerky with things like Polish Maggi sauce. Great article!

  10. Great review of food dehydrators. I will definitely keep this in mind when buying one.

  11. I really love this breakdown. As soon as I have the money, I think I’m going to purchase one of these.

  12. I have the Nesco 600-Watt Food Dehydrator and it is one of the best food dehydrators out there. I use it all the time!

  13. Good breakdown of these dehydrators. I think I’m going to go with the Excalibur.

  14. Wow, I didn’t even know dehydrating food could be done from home. This is really interesting! I have a lot of recipes that I wanted to do that required dry fruits that I either could not find at my grocery store or were crazily overprices. This is going to be so useful.

  15. I’ve been looking into getting a food dehydrator, and I never knew there were this many!
    This definitely helped my decision making in what to consider when purchasing one! thanks!

  16. I would definitely have to agree the Excalibur is amazing and makes the best beef jerky.

  17. I have been looking to purchasing one of these as the trees in our garden bear fruit and I hate to waste it. Thanks for writing this article!

  18. I have been thinking about getting a dehydrator for some time now, especially as my husband is crazy about jerky and it is so expensive to buy in the shops. I think the Excalibur would be a great investment for us and I would also like to experiment with drying all kinds of fruits. This is a really helpful article, thanks so much for the info.

    • Charlotte

      Yeah the Excalibur is great for jerky and tons of other recipes. You guys will end up saving a lot of money in the long run if you bought one of these and made your own jerky instead of buying it in shops. Plus, it’s way healthier to make your own.

  19. Great article! Love it!

  20. Looking to make healthy snacks for the family out of fruit, i have #1 – Excalibur Food Dehydrator and it worked great!

  21. Wow! Spending $150 + is crazy! I want to be healthy, but it shouldn’t cost so much to be that way. Thanks very much for showing I can get away with throwing an arm and leg out to do so!

    • Charlotte

      Hey Melissa,

      I agree spending upwards of $150 on a kitchen appliance does seem high, but in my opinion you can’t really put a price on your own health. I’d rather spend a few hundred on a kitchen appliance that will help me follow a healthier diet than spend even more on doctor bills down the road. Not that you NEED a dehydrator by any means, but it’s just another helpful tool to make nutritious recipes that taste great. :)

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