Are you looking for a food dehydrator? Dehydrating fruits, vegetables, and meat is an extremely useful way of saving food’s nutritional value. A food dehydrator machine is an essential appliance for the kitchen. Adjust the temperature with a thermostat, set the timer, and suck the moisture out of your beef to get a delicious beef jerky or various snacks. Read about what kind of trays fits you better – a stainless steel tray or a plastic tray? A dryer is a great buy, so learn about different kinds and choose your model and price.
Do you know that you can increase the food’s storage life using a special device — a dehydrator? It is an essential criterion to select only long-lasting food as a supply for survival. That is why you may be interested in the way you can extend the life of your favorite goodies and take it on a long journey.
There are plenty of food dehydrators on the market nowadays, and you can be confused by the amount of information about them. You can search for the main characteristics and tips about the food dehydrators’ choice, but you will become stunned by the tones of both useful advice and myths. Learn how to make mead at home and store it for long term.
We prepared a practical report on the essential features of the best food dehydrator. Read it carefully and be confident that you will not mistake in the choice of this tool.
TOP Best Dehydrators on the Market
Even though drying food with the sun or the wind is a much affordable way than buying a dehydrator, it’s worth it.
A food dehydrator will significantly reduce the time you spend on the preparation and drying of the food. It is an essential investment to provide the source of food under any circumstances.
It will not only save your time but provide more impressive quality snacks because of the special algorithm of drying.
There are dehydrators for any requests regarding the price, size, power on the market today. We have selected the best ones in our opinion and will describe their pros and cons below.
Excalibur is a brand manufacturing dehydrators since 1973.
It is a tool providing food dehydration for the whole family as its size allows to locate nine trays in it. The drying space is about 15 square feet, with plates set one on top of another.
Excalibur 3900 includes cleaning screens and temperature control, which makes it so easy to use. You can set the temperature and the time of the dehydration process according to the type of food.
Learn the sales price for Excalibur 3900 at this link.
There is an updated Excalibur 3926TB model with a 26-hour timer and an advanced system of temperature control.
The Nesco FD-75A is equipped with a top-mounted fan that provides 600 watts of power for meal dehydration.
The temperature control allows you to select appropriate conditions for different types of products varying from 95 to 160 degrees F.
Snackmaster Pro includes 5 trays, but you can increase the number to 12 trays by buying additional ones. The diameter of the drying trays is equal to 13.5″.
The elimination of external light tries is provided by the nontransparent walls that let you save nutritious characteristics of the food.
The air circulation is supplied through the sides of the hermetic camera. This technology frees you from the regular duty to turn pieces of food. The system heats each tray personally and covers the center, which increases the performance of the dehydrator.
You can put even different types of food in this model and be confident that the tastes will not be mixed.
It is one of the best and affordable dehydrators on the market.
You can check the price for the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro here.
The Nutrichef is a compact device that can be placed even in a crowded kitchen. Its disadvantage is also in its size. You will be limited in the number of foods you want to dehydrate with this tool.
This dehydrator is really easy to use — you need to press one button to start the dehydration process.
There are five trays in the Nutrichef Dehydrator that are located vertically inside the machine.
Get to know the price for this device here.
Gourmia GFD1950 allows you to cook nine trays of snacks during the one procedure. It is a suitable option for big families and companies.
This model has a digital control panel with an adjustable thermostat and hour timer, so you will be able to control drying conditions.
Also, you can track the drying of meals through the glass door of the Gourmia dehydrator.
Check the market price for the Gourmia GFD1950 here.
One more benefit of the L’EQUIP dehydrator is the number of trays it includes. You can put up to 15 pallets in it, specifically 2 deep ones for big foods and yogurt.
The FilterPro Food Dehydrator develops a power of up to 530 watts of power and offers you to set the temperature on the control panel for a high-quality outcome. The light breeze generated by this machine will make your food long-lasting and suitable for survival.
Explore the sales price for this model here.
You may be surprised by the distinctive feature of this dehydrator. The COSORI Dehydrator includes six stainless steel trays that are easy to clean. Even plates with a “non-stick” cover require much more time to brush than stainless steel trays.
Besides, it is as convenient to use as the previous devices — the glass door to observe the process of drying, time controller up to 48 hours, and reduce loudness. The maximum level of noise from this model is equal to 48dB, similar to the library’s noise.
Check the current price for Cosori Premium here.
This food drying net is suitable for sun or wind drying. It is not obligatory to use electricity to dehydrate food, as we know from earlier sections. So, this tool allows you to locate plates with meals and put them under the sun or wind in a very comfortable way.
You will not need to keep the large area for this model’s storage, and it can be pressed and become portable.
There are 4 net shelves in the Hanging Dehydrator to place it outside for natural drying.
The price will really wonder you. It is an affordable dehydrator for food drying.
Click here to know the price for Hanging Drying Net.
Reasons to Dehydrate Food
Even ancient people took to dehydrating foods to save them for several months of nomadism. They gather food through hunting and collecting, and they needed to provide them to their families in unspoiled conditions.
Dehydration of food had existed earlier than people began to build countries and cities. It means that this process was and remains important for successful survival. History contains the data on food dehydration, and it is known that people started to process food in 12,000 BC. Of course, they did not have an opportunity to dehydrate foods with special equipment, and they used the sun as the heat source.
Let us introduce four of the most reasonable argument to dehydrate food.
The first and obvious one is increasing the shelf life of foods. Why do dry fruits and other snacks begin to be edible longer than fresh ones? The thing is that dehydration means the complete elimination of water from food. As you may know, mildew and bacteria survive only in warm, nutritious, saturated with oxygen, and the most important, wet places. Remove moisture from the product and enjoy it for months or even years.
For instance, compare the life period of fresh and dehydrated bananas. The latter one will be suitable to consume many times longer than the first one, but it will save all nutrients to give you energy.
The second reason is the taste of dehydrated food. It may seem strange, but many goods change their taste after the elimination of wet. If you have ever eaten store-bought dry bananas, apples, or mango, you should know that they are not similar to fresh ones. Use mortar and pestle to make small pieces of food instead of consuming big ones. However, it does not mean that they become unappetizing. On the contrary, many people prefer to eat dry ones for their unique taste.
The third argument in favor of buying the dehydrator is preserving all healthy elements of the food.
You may take a bag of chips on the trip, but it will not give you healthy nutrition and energy in survival. It is much better to dry fruits and vegetables and get a boost of vitamins in extreme situations.
The nutritional value of dehydrated and fresh food is the same. Prepare them for emergencies, and you will always have a source of power in your bag.
The most practical reason to dehydrate your food is cost-saving. It is not affordable to buy a bunch of dried fruits, vegetables, and meat every time you go camping. Purchase the electric food dehydrator ones, and it will save a bit of money for further traveling.
Types of Food to Dehydrate
There are no limitations on the food you can dehydrate. It can be anything with water in the content. So, the most popular type of dishes people usually dehydrate are vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat. Ways of drying are different for all of them. Let’s explore each type of food in more detail.
It takes from 8 to 12 hours to dehydrate veggies and 1 hour to chill them.
You can choose any type of vegetable for your future snacks, for example, carrots, potatoes, corn, cauliflower, or broccoli.
You can make them even more delicious than fresh ones by adding condiments. I recommend you to use black pepper, garlic, onion, chili to make them more piquant.
You have probably tried store-bought dry fruits, but usually, they are more expensive than original ones. You can easily make your own healthy snack from pears, grapes, oranges, mangos, apples, and other your favorites.
The process of fruit dehydration lasts for the same period as with vegetables. The cooling time is needed to allow all moisture to disappear.
You can add some spices to the dried fruit too. For instance, cinnamon will give a pleasant aroma to your foods, or sugar will make them as sweet as candies. Preprocess your fruits with these ingredients before the drying process or complement them before the packing to get a tasty snack.
You can also make a fruit roll (or fruit leather) with your own hands with the dehydrator. If you have surplus fruits in the garden, just pick them, prepare cream from them, and put them in the dehydrator. Self-made dried fruit roll will replace very expensive oriental sweet.
The time span for drying this type of food is a bit longer than for fruits and veggies. You need to put them for about 10-15 hours into the dehydrator to get fish chips.
It is convenient to use any type of sea and freshwater inhabitants for this activity — cephalopods, shellfish, or fish.
Fish drying is very known among fishers, but they usually use wind as a dehydrator. It can be explained by the presence of strong winds near rivers and oceans.
The required element for fish drying is salt. It allows meat to be preserved for twice longer than after the simple dehydration and gives it a special taste.
Experiment with the addition of spices to the meat. My favorite snack is a slice of salted, dried pork, but you can use any species of meat and sprinkle them with red chili powder or garlic tincture.
The pemmican is another popular dish made of dried meat. Use the pemmican recipe to make the long-lasting gourmet meat with your own hands.
Do not forget about your pets. They adore meat goodies, and you can easily cook them with a dehydrator for dog training.
Prepare survival crackers and hardtack to take them on a survival trip. It will serve you for years if you use the proper techniques of bread drying with a dehydrator.
Methods of Food Dehydration
The easiest way to dry food is to use the gift of technological progress — a food dehydrator. However, ancient people did not have electricity and modern kitchen gadgets, but they successfully handle this process.
There are two ways of food drying without heat tools and electricity. Let’s get acquainted with them.
1 – Energy of The Wind
Locate food on the plate with gaps allowing the wind to evaporate moisture from the dishes. Make sure you provide constant wind access to the plate to dehydrate food. However, it is not obligatory to catch a hurricane. You can easily place the plate under the blower to achieve the same result.
The chemistry will make everything for itself if you prepare conditions for food dehydration correctly.
2 – Energy of The Sun
Food dehydration with the power of the sun is still popular. We will introduce you to advice on sun drying.
First of all, you need to purchase or pick fresh and high-quality products to get the best dehydrated food. Then you need to do some pre-processing. Slice fruits into thin pieces, but veggies should be cut into cubes. Put the pieces on the wood or paper tray and protect them from the insects with a gauze. Locate the tray under the sun and check them regularly. You will need to turn food to achieve uniform dehydration. Bring the tray inside at night and in rainy weather. To continue the food drying, you can use your oven.
Experienced cookers also use another method for sun drying — hanging food on the rope. This way, the main advantage is that you do not need to turn pieces and control the drying process. Food will be dried under the sun rays equally from each side.
Remember that the sun’s rays influence the taste of fruits and vegetables. That is why people prefer to dry it in the shade. However, it will take more time than with the help of the sun.
Pasteurizing of food at the end of the drying process helps to increase the shelf time of snacks. Just put your pieces into the oven for 10-15 minutes at 175-degrees F after you finish to dry them under the sun. It will evaporate the remaining water from food and will minimize the probability of bacteria existing.
Storage of Dehydrated Food
Make sure you excluded all possibilities of moisture entering the container with food. It will be unexpected chagrin to see spoiled food on a survival trip.
To control the container’s moisture level, use a vacuum sealer instead of common plastic bags and zip-locks. Another way is to store dry food in mylar bags using oxygen absorbers to eliminate oxygen and water from the container after sealing.
Follow these simple rules, and you will always have an opportunity to have a bite in dangerous situations.
Maintenance of the Dehydrator
You will need to pay attention to the cleanliness of the dehydrator if you want to save the level of its performance.
Fortunately, modern devices are easy to use and to care for. The only thing you will need to check regularly is the condition of the trays. Take out the trays after every dehydration and clear them from the remaining food. Most dehydrators allow you to remove trays without effort.
The most convenient way is to purchase dehydrators with dishwasher safe trays because they are easy to clean and will facilitate the maintenance of the tool.
Besides, you should wash the inside walls of the dehydrator after several procedures. The drying of food leaves excesses, which may influence the taste of meals in the future. I think you do not want to get the smell of fish while eating dried fruits, don’t you? Do not let it pile up in your dehydrator.
To escape this situation, we recommend you to wash the inner walls of the device thoroughly after every third procedure.
Best Food Dehydrator Machine For Survival Summary
You can always buy non-perishable snacks in the supermarket and do not waste your budget on dehydrators. However, I purchased dried fruits and veggies that do not have a rich taste, which you can give to your own dry food. Also, they suffer from a lack of nutrients, which is not the case for home-made goodies.
Dehydrators are the best tools to preserve the food you plant and collect every year for emergencies.
Sun and wind drying saved ancient people from starvation and death many times. So, dehydrated meals will save your life in extreme situations.
Invest in modern technologies and buy electronic dehydrators to reduce the time of cooking. The dehydrator gives a high-quality outcome, which will have a long shelf time.
We recommend you to buy a dehydrator and start to stock the snacks every week. You will have a large source of food for many years. No one knows what might happen — take care of your future health with a food dehydrator.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
What is the best food dehydrator for home use?
There are plenty of dehydrators on the market nowadays. We described seven easy to use devices in this report. Choose the one which matches your criteria regarding the size, price, and quality of them.
Is food dehydrator worth it?
A food dehydrator is an essential tool for any survivalist. Experienced preppers know the importance of having non-perishable food in a bag. So, you can easily produce hand-made snacks with a dehydrator. It will significantly save your time and future budget. Buy one of the best food dehydrators we introduced, and you will understand the value of this machine.
What can you do with a food dehydrator?
Food dehydrator allows you to increase the storage life of fruits, meats, vegetables, fish, and other types of products. You will be able to preserve meals and save their healthy properties for a long time. Also, you can cook such dishes as fruit roll (fruit leather), beef jerky, or pemican with a dehydrator.
How long does it take for a food dehydrator?
Duration of food dehydration depends on the type of meal you want to dry. For example, it takes about 8-12 hours to dehydrate veggies and fruits, and more time will be needed for meat and fish.
Where to buy a dehydrator?
Search for dehydrators on the websites with appliances to find the suitable one. Do not forget to check the links in this article because we collected the best food dehydrators here. You will definitely find a relevant device among them.