Choosing the right food dehydrator for you and your family all comes down to two main things: assessing your needs, and reading reviews.
You should start off by asking yourself what kind of food you’re looking to dehydrate. Do you grow a lot of your own fruit and vegetables? If so, drying them before they go moldy is a great idea, and one that saves you money on buying dried food in store too. If this is you then a standard food dehydrator will suit you, but you will need to decide based on the volume of fruit you want to dry. For instance, a five tray dehydrator will usually make around 1 lb of dried food, and this takes anywhere up to two days. You should be able to work out whether you’ll need a larger dehydrator from this, but be aware that you can always purchase additional trays for your appliance to suit your needs as well.
Secondly, when you choose food dehydrator models you should consider how likely you are to be around it when it’s being used. If you’re likely to need to leave it running while you go to work, or travel then you will need a dehydrator with a timer. These may cost a little more, but it’s useful to be able to set the timer to the desired time (usually anywhere up to 26 hours) and leave it doing its job.
Most people find that the best dehydrators have fans in them, as these help air convection to flow evenly through each tray. This prevents some trays from drying quicker than others, and the possibility of some pieces of food starting to cook. When you’re choosing food dehydrator appliances, it’s important to keep each of these factors in mind, as well as issues like ‘will it fit my kitchen decor?’ and ‘can I make fruit roll ups in it?’
Hopefully this guide has gone some way to helping you learn how to choose the right food dehydrator. If you can’t decide where to start, then we recommend you check out our By Brand and By Type pages for more information.