After slicing a small harvest of apples, puréeing several pints of strawberries and experimentingwith other dried treats, our pick for the best food dehydrator is the LEM.
This food dehydrator offers versatility, capacity and an easy user-experience all in an affordablepackage.
Here is our list of the six best food dehydrators:#1LEM - 1152 #2Hamilton Beach - 32100A #3Excalibur - 3500W #4Presto - Dehydro 06301 #5Nesco - FD-77DT #6L'Equip - Filter ProNow, on to testing.
The biggest difference in dehydrator designs is the way air flows through the trays: horizontallyor vertically.
Each design will successfully dry food, though consistency and ease of use varies from onemachine to another.
A horizontal airflow design means that there is fresh air coming off the fan hitting eachtray directly.
Vertical flow means there is a fan at the bottom -- capitalizing on the way hot airnaturally rises.
This results in the trays closest to the fan drying faster than the others.
How much you can dry in one go is the biggest variable.
You can technically get more capacity for less money with a vertical stack, since youhave the option to add additional trays.
We like the convenience of a few features like a thermostat and a timer for the controlit gives you.
Extra accessories, like a mesh liner, is helpful for berries and seeds, “easy-clean” linersand drip trays are helpful for fruit leather and jerky.
Check what the product you are thinking about purchasing comes with for additional functionality.
When drying apple slices, fruit and jerky, we tested the consistency of how it driedon the trays.
We also took note of the noise level for those concerned about how much noise these machinesmake and compared it to other kitchen appliances like refrigerators and microwaves.
Before going over our top picks, you can check out links in the description below for moredetail on each food dehydrator.
There’s also a link there to the full review on our blog post.
The LEM uses a horizontal airflow that helps ensure fresh air flow and even results.
It also comes with five roomy trays, spaced evenly apart for ease of use.
We especially love the removable drip tray and the fine mesh tray option, which is perfectfor holding seeds or berries.
The LEM also scored highest overall on drying performance, creating fruit leather and applechips with ease.
While not the quietest machine, it’s also not loud enough to be annoying.
Its performance definitely outweighs the slight whirring sound.
This small, but mighty dehydrator packs efficiency into a small footprint.
If you want a cheap dehydrator you can store in a small cupboard and bring out occasionallyto make snacks, this is it.
The Hamilton Beach dries food quickly, though not as quickly or evenly as the LEM.
Its compact size, front-panel controls and a see-through lid are very convenient forcountertop use.
It’s also worth noting that this was the loudest of the machines we tested.
The Excalibur was the most widely talked about unit we tested as this brand basically inventedthe horizontal flow design.
While it did perform well and even beat our top-pick in speed and consistency with dryingfruit leather, we couldn’t justify the price difference and found the LEM more user-friendly.
We also didn’t love the tray spacing, which made drying bulkier items difficult.
We really liked the Presto for it’s efficiency, consistency and its see-through lid, but itis fairly small and loud.
Its stacking tray design is the unique feature here, but if all you need is a compact unit,we recommend the Hamilton Beach.
Nesco American Harvest is, like Excalibur, a well-established player in this market.
Nesco has done well making the vertical-stack design work efficiently, but not quite aswell as Presto has.
If you are looking for a circular design, the Presto is a better pick.
The bottom line is that any of these food dehydrators will get food dry eventually witha bit of care, but the LEM - 1152 does it quicker and more efficiently, and you canload it up without worrying about shuffling trays.
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Check out the description for product links and we’ll see you next time on Your BestDigs.