Dehydrating your own fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, and other products can not only save you money on your food budget, but can provide you with more nutritious and delicious foods and snacks for your family. There is a plethora of options to choose from so finding the best food dehydrators can be a difficult task. However, follow the tips and advice below and you’ll be able to wade through the myriad of options available to find the one that is best suitable for your needs.
One of the first things to consider when shopping for the best food dehydrators is how often you plan on using your dehydrator. If you are going to preserve an entire garden’s worth of produce you may need a different dehydrator than if you are looking to dehydrate an occasional sale at the grocery store. Taking a realistic look at what foods you would like to do and how much will help to point you in the direction of the dehydrator that will accommodate your needs.
Another item to keep in mind when looking for the best food dehydrators is the type of foods you are going to dehydrate. If you are going to dehydrate fruits and vegetables, you’ll want a dehydrator that has a low temperature setting. This will ensure that the enzymes in your produce are preserved to ensure a more nutritious product. If jerky or other meats are your thing, then a high temperature setting is required to get satisfactory results.
Before you actually purchase one of the best food dehydrators, check your home oven to see if you have a drying button. Many new ovens actually provide this feature and it is definitely the cheapest way to go about dehydrating foods. You may also want to consider dehydrating your foods in the sun. If you live in an area that provides several hours of direct sunlight a day, this is also a great option for inexpensive dehydrating.
Consider purchasing one of the best food dehydrators with a motor that provides a minimum of 500 watts. Anything less than 500 watts will simply take too long to complete the drying process. This is not only inconvenient, it is unhealthy as well because it provides time for bacteria to grow. As a general rule of thumb, plan on at least 100 watts of power for each tray that your dehydrator uses.
If you are going to dehydrate different foods at once, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the way that the dehydrator blows. If the air blows upward, the trays on the bottom are going to be hotter and you may need to rotate the trays around to get even dehydrating and heating. The same principle applies to a dehydrator that blows downward. Consider purchasing one of the best food dehydrators that blow air across. These are more efficient for drying and will prevent the mixing of flavors when dehydrating several different types of foods at once.
Lastly, look for a stainless steel dehydrator. This type is much more durable and will last you longer than the plastic options. It is also important to note that square dehydrators will hold more food at once as square trays hold more than round trays. Further, look for a dehydrator that has a timer feature. This will allow you to dehydrate efficiently without running your dehydrator longer than necessary. This is better for your foods and for the life of the dehydrator as well.