Are you searching for best food dehydrator or deer jerky? Do you ever have it in mind that you want to prepare beef jerky at home, but you don’t know which food dehydrator to purchase? Are you planning to prepare homemade snacks or chips and you need electric food dehydrator? If your answer is yes, then you are at the right place for your need, so pay full attention and read this article to the end.
Food dehydrators are designed to remove moisture and dry a vast range of food items which include fruits, veggies, meat, seafood etc by regulating and maintaining constant temperature of for even dryness. Food dehydrators are simple and easy to use and operate. It is a fool proof and very straight forward. Get your food items sliced in pieces; arrange them on the chamber’s trays, set the timer and run the machine. Having a food dehydrator of your own makes it easy for you to make healthy snacks, jerky and preserve fresh food items at home.
Benefits of Electric Food Dehydrator
- Great Taste: food dehydrators are used get rid of food moisture, helps to retain the taste of the food and its nutrients. Finding time to dehydrate food Items at home helps to retain the freshness of the food which cannot be comparing with the one bought at from the grocery or deli store.
- Reduction of Food waste: Next destination for food waste in most home is waste bin at the yard. But with food dehydrator, you can simply increase the shelf life of those left over foods by dehydrating them and get them sealed. This will help to preserve the left over till the next time they are needed.
- Access to healthy foods: most of the food dehydrators are designed to retain the nutritional values of the food items by 95% or more. You are going to be certain that your dehydrated foods still possess most of their important nutrients whenever you want to consume them. This is not the case with most of other methods of preserving foods like steaming, smoking, salting etc.
- Saving you cost: it is obvious that most processed and organic dehydrated foods are bit expensive at the store. Having a food dehydrator at home will helps to save you cost of purchasing expensive food regularly. To save the cost, just get those fresh foods in bulk, more economically and for health reason, buy them in their season. Dehydrate all the food items at home; keep them in a cool dry place until you need them. This would be lots cheaper compare to buying them from the store regularly.
- Easy and effective Storage: dehydrated food items are easy to store as they occupy lesser space than their original sizes after drying. Once you get your food hydrated, you don’t need to make use of a refrigerator or freezer to keep them safe anymore. Get the dried food items, keep them in the food storage containers. The reduction in the food size gives chance to store lots of them in very small space.
- Preservation: most of the food items dehydrated have low risk of having bacteria on them with minimal chances of spoilage. Food dehydration methods are commonly used by hikers, camper, game hunters etc due to it safe nature of preserving food and retain their nutrients.
Factors To Consider Before Buying A food Dehydrator.
There are some important features to watch out for whenever you want to buy food dehydrator for home use and these include:
1 Heat distribution and Air Flow: You need to do research and know the information about the heat distribution and air flow of the dehydrator you want to buy. After placing the sliced food items on the trays, some food items will be far away from the heat source on the dehydrator, so it is vital to go for model that has efficient and effective air flow system for even dryness of the food items. In this case, it would be advisable to stay away from the stackable models that have more than 10 rack levels. These stackable models usually have fans at the bottom of the units and often yield uneven distribution of the heat. This may cause you to rotate the trays regularly in order to achieve perfect dehydration of the foods. To avoid this, it would better to go for shelf types or large box models
2 Budget and Price: price, together with the budget, is one of the important factors that will determine the type of food dehydrator you are going to purchase. The price of the food dehydrators that available in the market range from $30 to over $500, and the price are even higher for the commercial types. Food dehydrators on the higher end price tags are usually of the large capacity which enhances dehydration of large food items in a short period of time. They are designed with effective heat distribution mechanism for even dryness of the food. Some also come with feature like thermometer and timer to make the process easy with a great outcome. Food dehydrators on lower end of the price range are equipped with basic dehydrating units and they are suitable for occasional uses and they require lots of maintenance. If you are on a shoe string budget, you can go for the stackable food dehydrator; they are usually lees than hundred bucks.
3 Size: if you have enough space on the counter top of your kitchen, it would be a good move to go for shelf model types of food dehydrator. A stackable model might be a good choice for countertop with small space. But both box and shelf model would be a great investment for your kitchen in the long haul
4 Capacity: The amount and quantity of the food items you want to dehydrate and how often you will be dehydrating play part on the type of food dehydrator you are going to buy. If you have a lot of foods you want to preserve or you have a bounty of harvest from your garden, large dehydrator might be the one that will suit your needs. Small vertical might be a better choice if you are planning to make snacks for you immediate family. Also, small vertical dehydrators are good for small size family who want to have their food dehydrated at home on time basis.
5 Convenient features: other features that make the process of dehydrating an easy one are thermometer, timer and auto shut-off. It would be better to choose a dehydrator that comes with adjustable temperature gauge if you are going to dry different types of food items, as they temperature requires to dry different food items varies. A timer on the food dehydrator will alert you when the foods in the chamber are ready. Auto shut off comes in handy, provided you want to dry food items over night, when food is ready, the timer will gives alerts and the auto shut-off would shut down the whole unit to prevent over dryness.
In the following section of the article, we are going to review some of the best food dehydrators for deer jerky, with their pros, cons, and the customer reviews on each of the electric food dehydrator. Here we go:
1 Nutrichef Food Dehydrator Machine Pro Multi- Tier Food Preserver
Nutrichef Food Dehydrator Machine Pro Multi- Tier Food Preserver is one of the best and highly rated food dehydrators available in the market. The machine is designed to get rid of moisture, drying of food and minimize spoilage that may occur to the food effectively. The trays on the food dehydrator are made to allow enhanced air flow on the foods so as to preserve them and prolong their self-life. It helps to retain up 96% of the nutrients and retains the foods taste. Nutrichef Food Dehydrator Machine Pro Multi- Tier Food Preserver is made of quality with high heat resistance of about 180 F. This food dehydrator attracts a power of 120 volts. It comes with five trays with a single tray measure at 11 by 11 by 1.2 inches. Nutrichef Food Dehydrator Machine works with varieties of food like meat, fish, poultry, fruits, veggie etc This food dehydrator is suitable for making oil-less veggie chips for the children and perfect for deer jerky. The food dehydrator features simple one button operation which makes it a user’s friendly machine. It features high heat circulation mechanism which travels through each tray for effective dryness. This food dehydrator makes use of in-built temperature control for food preservation. It has a dimension of 11 by 11 by 10 inches and weighs 3.1 pounds.
- It is suitable for studio apartment as it is very quiet in its operation.
- It is portable and compact in size; it doesn’t take much space on the counter top.
- It has a great circulation and dried food much quicker.
- It can retain up to 95% of the food nutrients after use.
- It is user friendly, easy to use and easy to clean.
- The trays are sturdy and can be stacked tall or short.
- It is suitable for deer jerky and comes with a year limited warranty.
- It does not come with temperature adjustment.
- You need to rotate the try for even dryness.
- Aligning the tray can be a bit difficult.
There are over 260 people who bought Nutrichef Food Dehydrator Machine Pro Multi- Tier Food Preserver on Amazon.com and they left some reviews. This food dehydrator enjoys lots of 5-stars ratings from about 76% of the entire customers. About 15% of the customers gave it ratings of 4-stars rating owning to some slight issues. About 5% are neutral with the function of the dehydrator and they gave it ratings of 3-stars. About 2% of the people who bought this machine gave it 2-stars ratings. Another 2% of the customers are less satisfied with the machine and gave it ratings of 1 –stars. Nutrichef Food Dehydrator Machine Pro Multi- Tier Food Preserver has overall ratings of 4.6 out of 5.0 on Amazon overall rating scale.
2 Excalibur 3926TW 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
Excalibur 3926TW 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator is one of the best and top rated electric food dehydrator you can found in the market. It is designed to carter for the large family and gardens with convenience. It is suitable for drying meat to jerky and saves for drying foods like raising bread, veggie, herbs, fruits, yogurt, and craft etc. This electric food dehydrator comes with nine trays and he drying space is of 15 square inches. It features 26 hours timer which makes it suitable for overnight usage. It comes with in-built fan of seven inches with power of 600 watts and it attracts about 120 voltage. This electric food dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat temperature control which has a range of 105 F to 165F for preserving food nutrients and save for meat dehydration. Excalibur 3926TW 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator features patented parallex horizontal airflow mechanism for fast and even dehydrating of food items. The hyperwave fluctuation technology on this food dehydrator helps to keep the food enzymes active to prevent case hardening. This food dehydrator is built in USA ans it is made of high quality materials. It comes with flexible ployscreen tray inserts to prevent sticking of the food items. It has a dimension of 19 by 17 by 12.5 inches and weighs about 22 pounds
- It is suitable for large family and bounty garden harvest.
- It distributes the heat evenly, no need to rotate the trays.
- It comes with adjustable temperature control which can be use to set desirable heat between 105F to 165F
- It is perfect choice for making deer and beef jerky.
- It is user’s friendly and easy to operate.
- It is made of high quality materials.
- The food dehydrator vibrates at times.
- The timer got switch off sometimes.
- It is a bit louder and heats up the room.
There are over 240 people who bought Excalibur 3926TW 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator on Amazon and they all left some reviews about the product. About 77% of the customers gave it ratings of 5-stars as they really like its performance. Alos, about 12% of the entire customers gave it ratings of 4-stars. Some are mild satisfied with it functions and they gave it ratings of 3-stars. About 3% of the customers gave it ratings of 2-stars. The rest at 5% are less satisfied with the performance of the hydrator and they gave it ratings of 1-star. Excalibur 3926TW 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator has overall ratings of 4.5 out of 5.0 on Amazon rating scale.
3 Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator is one of the best and top rated food dehydrator available in the market. It is the number one seller on food hydrator categories on Amazon.com. The food dehydrator features an adjustable thermostat which has a range of 95F to 105F for suitable heating and flexibility. Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator also features a unique convernga-flow drying system which provides quick, even and nutritious food drying. It comes with top mounted fan on the unit which prevents liquid dripping into the food chamber. It also has an opaque vita-save on the exterior surface which prevents harmful light that may want to get into the chamber. It has two different accessories with aid drying of the different food items. It has two fruit rolling sheets which are suitable for drying semi-liquid foods like sauce, soup etc. it also has two clean-A-screen flexible screen which are good for drying small food items like spices, herbs etc. it comes with three jerky spice jackets for making a nice jerky. The fan on the food dehydrator has 2100 RMP with up to 600 watts dryng power. It comes with five trays which can be expand into twelve. It has a dimension of 13 by 22 by 13 inches and weighs about 7.75 pounds.
- It is pretty much quiet in its operation and consumes less electricity.
- It is perfect for a well prepared and delicious jerky.
- It dries foods in hours faster than most food dehydrators.
- It is very sturdy, easy to clean and easy to store.
- It is easy to load and the trays are spacious.
- It comes with accessories for all kinds of food items
- It comes with multiple temperature settings for perfect dehydration.
- It is perfect for semi-liquid food items like sauce, soup etc.
- It does not come with on and off switch.
- It does not have an inbuilt timer.
- Some food takes longer time to dehydrate on this machine.
There are over 3,770 people who bought Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator on Amazon.com and they all left reviews on it. This food dehydrator enjoys lots of 5-stars ratings from about 72% of the customers. About 16% of the customers experience some slight issues with the machine and they gave it ratings of 4-stars. Also, 3-stars ratings were given by 4% of the customers. Likewise, 2-stars ratings were given by 3% of the entire customer. The rest at 5% are less satisfied with the functioning of the food dehydrator. Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator has overall ratings of 4.4 out of 5.0 on Amazon.com ratings scale.
4 Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric food Dehydrator
Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric food Dehydrator is one of the best and top rated electric food dehydrator for deer jerky available in the market. It is one of the Amazon’s choice for dehydrator categories. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric food Dehydrator features expandable four-tray system which aid perfect homemade jerky from the meats, poultry and seafood. The four trays can be expanded to eight trays for more drying capability. It comes with bottom mounted fan and heating element which enhances consistence flow of air for perfect drying of the food items. This electric food dehydrator comes with transparent cover which gives the user the chance to monitor the progress of the dehydration process from the top. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric food Dehydrator operates at the preset temperature of 165F approximately. This electric food dehydrator features a power light indicator which shows when the machine is switch on. The unit has a power of 600 watts and attracts about 120 voltage. It comes with cord storage on the unit and the cord winds underneath of the unit. The base of the food dehydrator are easily reach and be cleaned. It has a dimension of 14 by 15 by 6 inches and weighs about 7.5 pounds.
- It is perfect for drying out pepper for grinding, zucchini, tomatoes, beans etc.
- It is pretty easy to set-up, and comes with lots of space or drying of food items
- It works great and perfect for the beginners.
- It can dehydrate various foods like veggie, rice, beans, pasta and works on all types of meat for jerky.
- The food dehydrator is relatively quiet and easy to operate.
- The racks enhance even drying of the food items.
- There is no temperature guage on the unit.
- It does not have on/off switch and light indicator.
- It does not come with timer.
There are over 1,680 people who bought Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric food Dehydrator on Amazon and they left some reviews on the product. About 67% of the customers gave it ratings of 5-stars. About 205 of the customers gave it ratings of 4-stars. About 6% are neutral to this product and they all left ratings of 3-stars. Also, 2-stars ratings were given by 2% of the customers. The rest at 5% are less satisfied with the performance of the food dehydrator and they left ratings of 1-stars. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric food Dehydrator has overall ratings of 4.4 out of 5.0 on Amazon ratings scale.
5 Magic Mill MFD 6100 Magic Mill Professional Dehydrator Machine
Magic Mill MFD 6100 Magic Mill Professional Dehydrator Machine is one of the top rated and best food dehydrator that are available in the market. Magic Mill MFD 6100 is designed to make food healthy and to give unique taste. The electric food dehydrator features rear mounted drying fan of 400 watts and air flow circulation mechanism which helps to give even drying of the food items without overheating. It comes with adjustable thermostat which helps the user to choose the preferable temperature setting for the food, which range from 95F to 158F. it also comes with a digital timer for fabulous dehydration at appropriate time. This electric food dehydrator comes with automatic shut-off features which shut the unit down when the timer indicates that the food is ready. It has see through cover which you can use monitor the progress of the dehydration. Magic Mill MFD 6100 Magic Mill Professional Dehydrator Machine also features six non-expandable stainless steel and removable racks with large capacity. It comes with three pack leather sheets and three plastic meshes. It also comes with removable drip pans which are very easy to clean. It has a dimension of 15 by 13.5 by 19 inches, weighs about 15.4 pounds and comes with a year limited warranty.
- The racks are made of stainless steel, no smell of plastic on the dehydrated foods.
- It works quietly and performs great in making of deer jerky.
- It comes with transparent door for easy monitoring of the dehydration and to prevent heat lost
- It has temperature control which enhances drying of food without burning.
- It offers plenty of room on the tray for drying lots of food items.
- It works great on carrots, zucchini, banana, pork jerky etc.
- It is easy to operate the food dehydrator and easy to clean it.
- It is a bit larger for a small-sized kitchen.
- It is not expandable, more trays cannot be added.
- The transparent door is liable to crack.
There are over 540 people who bought Magic Mill MFD 6100 Magic Mill Professional Dehydrator Machine on Amazon and they left some reviews on it. About 78% of the customers gave it ratings of 5-stars. About 11% of the entire customers gave it ratings of 4-stars. About 3% of the customers are neutral to the reviewing of this food dehydrator and they left 3-stars ratings. About 2% of the customers are slightly satisfied with the performance of the machine. The rest at 5% are less satisfied with functioning of the dehydrator and less 1-stars ratings. Magic Mill MFD 6100 Magic Mill Professional Dehydrator Machine has overall ratings of 4.5 out of 5.0 on Amazon rating scale.