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Food dehydrators may not be an essential tool to have in your kitchen but they are totally worth buying and we are about to explain why.
First of all, their primary action, which is to dehydrate your food makes food preservation a breeze. It is a well-known fact that dried food lasts much longer and you won’t need to keep fresh food in the fridge, freezer or any other short-term food preservation methods. You’ll simply dehydrate your food and then you can keep it packed in your cabinet for extra long periods of time e.g up to 2 years and use it on recipes as you go.
You can also dehydrate various types of food using a dehydrator: from fruits and veggies to meats e.g beef jerky. All you need is to slice them up and follow the instructions of your device to dehydrate your food to perfection. Plus, food dehydrators are much more efficient compared to traditional ovens, both energy and time-wise.
Note that not all food dehydrators are created equal. Some are much more efficient and provide greater value for your buck. When seeking a quality food dehydrator, you ideally want it to have the following features and perks:
What to Look For in a Food Dehydrator
● Look for an even temperature distribution and flow of heat. Quality dehydrator devices have a special airflow system that distributes air and heat evenly for evenly dehydrated food. This will also make sure that all stacks and sides are reached and no food is left behind.
● Look for devices with multiple trays. Typically, food dehydrators are split into two categories: vertical flow and electric horizontal flow based on their source of heat. However, a quality device will feature at least three trays for handling small or big batches of food, depending on your needs.
● Go for vertical flow stainless steel trays if you’ll be using your device frequently. If you’ll be using your device on a regular basis, stainless steel devices of horizontal flow are much more timely and efficient at hydrating your food. These types of devices are also trusted by professionals as they offer more even and reliable results.
● Look for a product that has at least 3 temperature controls. Quality food dehydrating devices have multiple temperature options to cover various kinds of foods as each food has its own dehydrating temperature for best results. Most models have a temperature range of 95-155 F which works for most food types. However, top devices are equipped with digital temperature settings so you can input the exact temperature of your choice (and based on the type of food you are drying out).
● Look for an easy to use device. Sure, having good and advanced features is a catch but if the device is too complex to use to the point that you need to read an entire instruction manual every time you use it, it will be a big waste of your time and energy. Choose ideally a modern device that is packed with essential yet easy to use features and no unnecessary additions or too many options.
● Look for models that minimize excess noise. Most models, due to their central fan point will emit a fan noise anyway. However, it doesn’t have to be so loud that you feel tempted to put it away or close the power switch. The level of noise varies from model to model. Look for one that is labeled as “low noise” so you can avoid this issue.
Additional perks to look out for in a device are a timer and an automatic shut off feature, in case you will be away or fall asleep and won’t have the time to switch off the device on your own.
The Best Stainless Steel Food Dehydrators of 2021
We have searched and found the best devices for you that cover most if not all of the above quality features. Here is a list of our top 5 stainless steel food dehydrators:
A professional grade food dehydrator that shouldn't be missing from any kitchen. If you are looking for an easy and time-efficient way to dehydrate your food, this is the device to purchase. I love this because it lets you dehydrate evenly all types of food and you won’t have to worry about cleaning the mess afterwards as cleaning is a breeze and it’s dishwasher safe as well.
Features of Ivation Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator:
- It works with all types of fresh food. You can use it for dehydrating fruits, veggies, fruit leather, herbs, beef jerky and even for making homemade dog treats.
- It comes with 6 adjustable and removable racks. This will allow you to produce multiple batches of food and even adjust the height of each according to your preferences. No need to rotate the racks though as it evenly distributes heat.
- It is packed with a digital temperature and timer. This will allow you to manually enter temperatures from 95 to 167 F, depending on the type of food you are working with. You can also set the time for 30-minute increments to up to 24 hours and it will automatically shut off on its own, once the time is over.
- It utilizes a rear-mounted automatic fan. This allows for a more even distribution of air and heat in all possible angles. No need to worry about rotating your food to achieve even drying results.
- It’s very safe. All parts and components of the device are BPA-free and thus it is safe enough for household and professional use. You can rest assured that no nasty toxins like that will ruin your healthy and nutritious food.
Just like its brand suggests, we are talking about a device that truly respects the environment and the health of its users. It is a solid food dehydrator as well...
Biochef Arizona Sol Food Dehydrator features:
- Comes with a back side fan. Forget about cheap round dehydrators that come with central fan on top. Due to the fan being on the side, the heat and air flows evenly across the trays and this is especially useful for tough items like meats beef jerky, chicken, etc).
- Has an adjustable thermostat. The thermostat has a range of 95 to 158F which is a pretty good range for dehydrating multiple times of food. You can see the ideal temperature for each in the instruction manual.
- Offers 9 drying trays. Unlike other devices who only host up to 6 trays, this handy device offers a whopping 9 trays for working with bigger batches of food at the same time.
- Very easy to use. All the features e.g temperature controls are very easy to use even for starters. You only need a few seconds to switch temperatures and use other modes.
- Non-stick racks that are easy to clean. No one likes to clean up any sticky residue left behind once the dehydrating process is complete. Thanks to its stainless steel and dishwasher-safe non-stick racks, cleaning this is a piece of cake.
I particularly like it because it’s very energy efficient, BPA-free and truly does what it promises. With the right care, this will serve you for many years to come.
A robust professional-level device for those that don’t like any discounts in the quality of their dehydrating food device. If you value quality more than money and your pocket allows you, this a great investment for your buck.
Samson Silent 10-Tray Stainless Steel Dehydrator Key Features:
- Features an all-stainless steel dehydrator and 10 stainless steel trays. If you need to dry out big batches of food, this 10-tray capacity is more than enough for your needs.
- Convenient layout. The machine push button, as well as other controls, appear on prominent and convenience spots for easy adjustment in seconds. The unit may look sophisticated at first glance but it’s really easy to operate.
- Has a wide temperature range. You can set the temperature in 8 levels--from 95F to 167F and choose from 30-minute intervals to 19:30 hours.
- Removable trays. All trays can be removed at any level to accommodate items of a larger size e.g chicken pieces.
- Produces low noise. If you are fed up with the noise that many inferior devices make, this one won’t be so loud. While it doesn’t produce zero noise, it is much more silent compared to other units.
- Comes with a generous 5-year guarantee. Most models come with a 2 year guarantee however this 5-year guarantee offers a really great value in case you encounter a problem. The guarantee also applies to all parts of the unit.
I especially like that it has 10 trays to host big batches of food and that’s really low in noise. When they say this produces minimal noise compared to other units, they are not lying.
A dehydrator that is powerful enough for regular home or commercial use with a customer satisfaction rate that reaches an impressive 99%. This also one of the best-sellers of the company and it’s no wonder why: it’s easy, fast, and it works for all types of food.
STX International STX-DEH-1200W-XLS Stainless Steel Digital Food Dehydrator Features:
- Offers optimal drying time. Because of its powerful and variable thermostat, the drying time becomes much faster and efficient.
- Features a horizontal air flow heating fan. The placement of the air fan horizontally enables a more even distribution of heat across the trays.
- Easy to clean. The back is detachable and the racks can be easily washed manually on using a dishwasher.
- Comes with preset temperatures at 1200 watts of power. The unit covers a temp range of 95 to 165 F which works for all food types --from fruits to beef jerky.
- 100% 5-year guarantee. The manufacturer offers a generous 5 year “fix or replace” guarantee in case you encounter a problem that needs fixing or need to fully replace your device e.g if it suddenly stops working for another unit.
- If you have a small jerky business, I feel you will love this as it dries up large amounts of beef jerky in just a few hours. It does a pretty good job on veggies and fruits too and especially bananas, apricots, apples, prunes, peppers, and mushrooms.
A solid food dehydrator with convenient dimensions for your kitchen (it won’t occupy much space) yet packed with professional-grade power. If that combo sounds great to you, you should definitely buy this.
TSM Products Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator features:
- 5 Stainless steel shelves. A good capacity for home users and the best part is that the trays are designed to be durable and not rust with age. The material can also tolerate the damaging action of acids from fruits, yogurt and meat.
- Central horizontal flow. Thanks to its central horizontal flow, this enables an even distribution of heat for even and reliable drying results every time.
- Balanced 7-inch metal fan with five fins. The balanced fan means that is blocks any excess vibrations and makes the unit more silent.
- Seamless corners. There are no shelf holders, no ridges of support and no bracket holes that can easily collect dirt and residue from foods. This as you guessed it translates to a more easy and fast cleaning process compared to other units.
I find that the greatest thing about this unit is its durability and this is no surprise as the company is USA-based and they test each of their devices to ensure high standards of quality and safety.
There you have it! 5 great choices of stainless food dehydrators for any budget and needs--the common thing about all these is that they are great for both home and commercial use and therefore you’ll gain a great value for your $$$.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below, we do our best to answer every one.
This post was originally published on June 15, 2019.