What Is The Best Inexpensive Food Dehydrator To Buy – Reviews And Comparisons (Upd 2018)

By Barbara | July 7, 2018

If you are looking for a way to prepare healthy dried products, please keep reading this article to learn about Best Inexpensive Food Dehydrator models in the market in 2018.

There are now millions who have rediscovered the benefits of food dehydration, wherein healthy, nutritious and tasty products are achieved at tremendous savings, offering you sustainability.

These appliances are considered as “flavor concentrators,” delivering each bite a mouthwatering burst of flavor. It is effortless as you wash, slice and dry the produce, a much easier foodstuff preservation method than canning or freezing.

As dehydrating does not damage the valuable nutrients in products which may be lost during high heat cooking in the pan or the oven, nutrients are retained in the products so as its flavor.

Drying needs no additive or preservatives, and dried products reduce in size making storage easier than storing canned or frozen food.

Top Rated Food Dehydrator Brands

Excalibur

Excalibur 3926TBAppliances from Excalibur evenly and efficiently dry anything. Excalibur 3926TB (3900 Deluxe Series) 9 Tray dehydrator can dry all kinds of products: fruits, vegetables, meats, and more!

Using this appliance, you can make fruit leathers and home-made jerky, all fresh!

Trademarked with the horizontal-airflow drying system, produce is dried perfectly and evenly on all the trays as the warm air removes moisture and pushes moisture out the front of the machine.

Plus, these dry from 2 to 10 times faster than most other dehydrators.

Popular models from Excalibur:

  • 3926TB
  • 3900B
  • 2400
  • 2900ECB
  • 3526TB

Nesco

Nesco Dehydrators like Nesco FD-75PR are easy-to-operate kitchen appliances that allow you to dry slices of fruit and vegetables, herbs, and flowers, granola, or strips of jerky in hours instead of days.

These feature Converga-Flow drying system which works by forcing heated air up the units’ exterior pressurized chambers, exactly not through the trays, then pushes the air horizontally across each tray, converging at the center.

This fast and even drying deliver uniformity, no flavor mixing and there’s no need to rotate the trays around during the drying process.

Several Nesco models can be considered among the best cheap food dehydrator under $100.

Check out also FD-80 and FD-1018P models.

Popular models from Nesco:

  • FD-75A
  • FD-61WHC
  • FD-1040
  • FD-60
  • FD-80A

STX

STX INTERNATIONAL STX DEH-600W BSTX Dehydra Food Dehydrators are excellent quality kitchen tools that feature Horizontal Air Flow System in drying/dehydration.

These were tested many times and now give assurance that these perform as good as any of the heavy duty home use dehydrators on the market today!

The trays accompanied in this appliance are made out of material that was approved as compliant with the US FDA, not containing any “BPA” (Bisphenol A).

Popular models from STX:

  • STX-DEH-1200W-XLS
  • STX-DEH-600W-SST-CB

TSM Harvest

TSM Products TSM Harvest dryerTSM Harvest dehydrators are excellent for raw product cooking, perfect if you are embarking on your own natural foods journey.

TSM Products Dehydrator with 10 Shelves easily makes excellent tasting natural snacks, like jerky, fruit leathers, apple chips or any of your favorite dried fruits or vegetables.

These create horizontal air flow for maintaining even temperatures in the drying operation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best products to dehydrate?

If you’ve got a dehydrator for the first time and aren’t sure where to start, begin with processing products that are the tastiest and most straightforward to dehydrate. With a dehydrator, you can even precook your meat for a whole meal, ahead of time.

Fruits

Fruits are one of the most popular choices, and so a great jumping off point for someone new to the game. Just remember to let your fruit soak in something like a citric acid solution first to limit the growth of bacteria as well as to keep the fruit looking good.

Some of the most common fruits to dehydrate are apples, figs, pineapples, plums, pears, grapes, berries of all kinds, bananas, dates, and cherries. In fact, you’ve probably encountered most of these fruits in dried form in your local supermarket. If you really lack inspiration, the dried products aisle can give you ideas on what will work well.

The list above is hardly comprehensive, and we encourage you to experiment with other fruits you like to see if the results are something you enjoy. Another avenue to explore is fruit leather. This is made by pureeing the fruit first, then dehydrating it spread out on a sheet.

Veggies

Vegetables of course, also work well in dehydrators. Most should be blanched before the process to prevent food poisoning and also to keep the veggies looking good, so this requires some research beforehand.

Meat

To make jerky, you can dehydrate meat, preferably of the leaner variety to again, not risk foodborne illnesses. Currently, I am trying to figure out what is the best food dehydrator for jerky.

Herbs

For the more advanced, dehydrating herbs is a great idea to make use of in cooking.

How much power does a dehydrator use?

Given that every dehydrator is different, we can’t give you an answer ourselves. To find out the costs of your chosen food dryer model, here’s what you need to do.

To calculate the power consumption in Kilowatt-hours (kWh):

  1. Multiply the wattage of your dehydrator with the number of hours you will be using it.
  2. Then divide this number by 1000.
  3. Next, multiply this with the cost of electricity in your locality,

and now you have the cost of operating the dehydrator.

If you are having difficulty finding out the cost of electricity in your area, you can use the average kWh cost in the US which is 12 cents.

One thing we can assure you, however, is that dehydrating food for yourself is much cheaper than getting the store-bought version.

How long can you keep dehydrated fruit?

The thing that makes dehydrators such a significant investment is just how long they extend the shelf life of fruits to. This drastically reduces the amount of food waste in your home, because you will almost certainly finish consuming the fruits before they have had the chance to go bad.

Here’s the astonishing number: fruits dried and stored correctly can last up to five years. This is the best-case scenario, however, and the shelf life of your fruits depends on factors like the moisture content, preparation methods and also how it’s stored.

Can dehydrated food go bad?

Like all other products, dehydrated foods can also become unfit for consumption. However, they will take much longer to get to that point.

If prepared incorrectly, dehydrated products can spoil in a very short time span. The biggest problem is when the product has not been made dry enough. Excessive moisture dramatically affects how long the food will stay good.

It’s also bad if, after dehydration, the food absorbs moisture due to nonairtight packaging.

Conclusion

I am still working on additions for this article.

I am doing the research about best models for different purposes – best food dehydrators for beef and deer jerky, raw food, herbs, fruit, nuts and seeds, backpacking, dog treats, and more.

You are welcome to check in again in couple of weeks to learn more about Best Inexpensive Food Dehydrator options you can find online.