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5 Best Food Dehydrators for 2022

A top-rated dehydrator is the secret to making jerky, apple chips and dried mango at home.

Best Food Dehydrators
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This story was updated in January 2022 to ensure all of our picks were in stock and reflected current pricing. We also added in a new best value pick that was more comparable to the size and style of our best overall pick. The Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator, which was our previous best value pick, remains on our list as best compact food dehydrator.


Dehydrating food is a tried and true preservation method. It works by drawing moisture out of food, which inhibits the growth of bacteria. When dried properly, food can last indefinitely, which is one reason to invest in a food dehydrator. It's a great tool for people who buy in bulk or are looking to preserve produce when it's at its peak, like herbs from your garden. Dehydrating concentrates the flavor of food, so dried herbs will taste stronger (perfect for seasoning steak) and fruits will taste sweeter.

Though you can dehydrate food like apples, mangoes, pineapples, tomatoes and beef for jerky the old-fashioned way (hanging it out in the sun) or by using a wide variety of appliances like some air fryers, toaster ovens or ovens, food dehydrators offer a more controlled environment with plenty of surface area to maximize your yield.

In the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Culinary Innovation Lab, we tested nine different dehydrators from leading brands of all different sizes, shapes and styles. We rated performance on evenness and how quickly they dried jerky, apples and more. We found that most dehydrators perform similarly; the biggest difference lies in their ease of use: how easy the trays are to assemble, use and clean as well as the intuitiveness and specificity of the control panels and more. These are the best tested dehydrators you can buy, according to testing and popular reviews:

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    Best Overall Food Dehydrator
    Sedona Express
    Tribest
    Tribest

    • Adjustable temperature in 1-degree increments (77℉ to 167℉)
    • Programmable timer from 1 to 99 hours
    • 11 dishwasher-safe trays

    • Pricey

    The Tribest Sedona Express is a solid digital food dehydrator with 11 stainless steel trays that accommodate a lot of dehydrating while requiring minimal space on your countertop. The unit's door locks shut and has a large glass panel for monitoring and an easy to use control panel. It was also the only dehydrator we tested with a light for improved viewing. The Sedona Express dried jerky and apples very well and evenly, although we experienced some sticking to the metal. (A plastic tray version is available, as well, which we found helps with sticking.) It was quiet in comparison to most of the dehydrators we tested.

    The Sedona Express features several dehydrating modes — including fast, raw and a combination of both — which set it apart from competitors. The fast mode allows the temperature inside the unit to cycle above the set temperature so food can dehydrate faster. The raw mode doesn’t allow the unit to exceed the set temperature, which prevents your food from being overheated. While the fast mode is most commonly used across appliances, the raw mode allows for more precise dehydrating.

    Best Value Food Dehydrator
    Premium Dehydrator
    Cosori
    COSORI

    • Adjustable temperatures in 1-degree increments (95℉ to 165℉)
    • Programmable timer from 1 hour to 48 hours
    • 6 stainless steel trays, mesh tray and drip/fruit roll sheet

    • Some customers complained that it's not completely made of stainless steel and has some plastic components

    While we haven't tested this food dehydrator it stands out for having stainless steel trays, a large see-through window and a straightforward digital control panel — all at a competitive pricepoint. Plus, it has a 4.8-star rating on Amazon and more than 10,000 reviews. Reviewers like that it is easy to program and say that it is quiet.

    It can be programmed in 30-minute increments up to 48 hours, and it has a temperature range between 95ºF and 165ºF, which makes it good for herbs, jerky and everything in between. Its stainless steel housing makes it more durable than its plastic competitors. The built-in handles mean it's easier to move around.

    Most Compact Food Dehydrator
    Digital Food Dehydrator
    Hamilton Beach
    Hamilton Beach

    • Adjustable temperature in 5-degree increments (100℉ to 160℉)
    • Programmable timer from 1 hour to 48 hours
    • 5 dishwasher-safe trays

    • Timer could be more specific

    The Hamilton Beach Digital Dehydrator offers a small footprint with five dehydrating trays that stack neatly. It was very easy to use and made excellent and evenly dried parsley and jerky that didn’t stick to the trays. The top of the dehydrator is clear so you can see inside the unit to monitor the progress. The buttons are also very easy to press and program. It's a great value for someone looking to achieve the basics and easily stow away when not in use.

    Easiest Food Dehydrator to Use
    Snackmaster Pro
    Nesco
    Nesco
    Now 20% off

    • Adjustable temperature dial (95℉ to 160℉)
    • 5 top-rack dishwasher-safe trays

    • No programmable timer

    This food dehydrator is a best-seller on Amazon. It's lightweight, has a small footprint and is easy to use: Simply turn the dial to your desired temperature based on the recommendations printed on the lid and then plug it in to turn it on. Downside is it doesn’t have a timer so you'll have to set a separate timer and check it periodically.

    In addition to five trays (and the ability to stack up to 12), this dehydrator comes with two fruit leather sheets for semi solid foods, two small mesh screens for small ingredients like blueberries and herbs, and three spice packets for jerky. It also comes with a detailed instruction booklet filled with dehydrating tips, charts, recipes, suggestions for storing and craft ideas.

    If you're looking to dehydrate even more food at once, consider the Nesco Gardenmaster Pro that can handle up to 30 (!) trays at once.

    Best Large Capacity Dehydrator
    9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
    Excalibur
    Excalibur

    • Adjustable temperature dial (95℉ to 165℉)
    • Programmable timer from 2 to 26 hours
    • 9 top-rack dishwasher-safe trays

    • Doesn't include additional accessories

    With fifteen square feet of dehydrating space, this is one of the bigger dehydrators in our roundup, perfect for large batches of dehydrating. This model features two dials, one for the temperature and one for the timer, with setting recommendations printed right on the unit. The trays are easy to insert. The door slides on and doesn’t fully seal, but we didn’t find that the opening affected performance. Excalibur dehydrators come with detailed instruction booklets with charts and recipes that we found very helpful and informative.

    What to look for when shopping for a food dehydrator
    double line

    ✔️Temperature range: A larger temperature range allows for more controlled dehydrating. Most of our picks go below 100℉, which is ideal for delicate items like herbs, and up to 160℉ or higher for safely making jerky. We typically like when the intervals are small and very specific, but keep in mind that intervals of one can be hard to program.

    ✔️Programmable timer: The most basic dehydrators turn on when they're plugged in and off when unplugged, but the more common ones (and our favorites) have timers that turn the dehydrator off when done. A timer is handy for dehydrating overnight or when you're not home so y0u don't risk over-drying. Most can be programmed in one-hour intervals.

    ✔️Size: Dehydrators with a small footprint and a rectangular shape create more usable dehydrating area. Some round models have a hole in the center of each tray, which decreases the dehydrating area. Stackable trays increase the usable dehydrating area without adding to the footprint, and because food shrinks as it dries, more vertical space is essential to yield enough.

    ✔️Tray material: Trays are made of stainless steel or plastic, most of which is BPA-free. We tend to like the plastic ones, which we found to be more nonstick and easier to clean.

    ✔️Accessories: Most dehydrators come with a drip tray that doubles as a tray to make fruit leather. They also typically come with mesh screens for small items like blueberries or herbs.

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