Electric Food Dehydrators – 4 Purchasing Tips To Ensure Satisfaction

An electric food dehydrator is a good investment for those who want to make their own dried food at home. Rolled fruit, beef jerky and dried vegetables or fruit chips are popular items to make with these devices. There are several things to keep in mind when purchasing an electric food dehydrator to be sure it will last and meet the expectations of the buyer. Since it is not easy to determine what type of dehydrator to buy without experience in purchasing them previously, there are four major things to keep in mind when shopping.

1. Trays & Watts
Every person has different preferences and ideas for the use of their dehydrator; while some may want to make large batches of jerky or fruit, others may want to only make a few. The best thing about dehydrated food of any kind is that it may be refrigerated for many weeks and frozen for months. For this reason, most people prefer to purchase a dehydrator with several trays. More trays will allow for larger amounts of dried food products to be produced at one time. Another aspect related to this to consider is cleaning. Most units have trays that are easy to clean and are usually machine washable. Trays should never be too hard to clean as long as they are oiled before dehydration. When considering the proper wattage for a dehydrator, the amount of trays must be kept in mind. Wattage should not exceed 500 watts and trays should not exceed 12 in a single unit. If more than 12 trays are present, uneven drying will result in some of the trays.

2. Price & Brand
Dehydrators should not cost more than $100 for a simple unit; units with more complex features should not exceed $200. A good-quality dehydrator will always fall in this price range. Some units may cost less if they are placed on a sale or a coupon is used. Spending less than $70 for a food dehydrator will likely result in a poorly-made unit. Most units that are high-quality will reflect that in their ratings online. Before purchasing a food dehydrator, become familiar with the features and decide which ones are desired. Seek out and browse the available models in a store or online and record the favorites. Before making a purchase, read consumer reviews. If people have several bad experiences with a food dehydrator, it will be recorded online. Stay away from “no-name” brands; the well-known manufacturers are the best choices for dehydrators. The best prices are found online from warehouses. Retail stores include a considerably large markup, often as high as 300%, to make up for the costs of store upkeep.

3. Top-Mounted Fan
This is one of the most important tips for those seeking a food dehydrator. Units that have a lower-mounted fan will become ruined quickly – and are likely cheap – because the juices will drip downward into the fan during the process of drying. With a top-mounted fan, the air and juices will both flow downward, ensuring even and quality drying each time. Most lower-mounted fans are present on cheaper models, so this is another reason to avoid the cheaper units. In these devices, not only will drying take 3 or more days, but also after several sessions of drying, the results will be uneven and may not dry some products completely.

4. Opaque Exterior
For the health-conscious food enthusiast, this suggestion is an absolute must. An opaque outer exterior in the trays and top drying unit will ensure that light will not enter the trays during drying. When a transparent or semi-transparent exterior is present, the light from outer sources will enter the food dehydrating trays, which will contribute to loss of vitamins and vital nutrients. The drying process will always remove some of the vitamins and minerals, but with an opaque exterior, the damage will be greatly lessened.