Food Dehydrator Reviews – Preserving Food With A Food Dehydrator

The very first method of preserving food was dehydration.  In early civilizations, humans learned to use the sun to preserve fruits, vegetables and meats in order to have food for the lean times.  While these early tribes depended on the sun to dry the foods they preserved, it is much easier to dry food today.  A food dehydrator can keep temperatures at a constant setting to consistently produce uniform quality dehydrated foods.

There were several advantages that humans found once discovering how to dry food.  Sugars were concentrated, making many of the foods have a sweeter taste and they also provided a quick energy boost.  The foods were lighter in weight.  In addition, they were reduced in volume, making them easier to carry.  Of course, the primary advantage was that dehydrating foods ensured that they would last much longer than most fresh foods.

Today, dried foods offer those same advantages.  In addition to the preserving the value of  surplus food, many of the nutrients that are found in the fresh fruit are retained.  Since dehydration is done at a much lower temperature than most cooking, the foods retain many of the nutrients, enzymes and vitamins needed for healthy living.  Dried foods do not require preservatives to keep through the winter.  In addition, when dehydrating fruits at home, it is possible to complete the process without the use of sulfur that is used to preserve the color of many light fruits, such as apples.  This is the ideal way to save produce from the organic garden that one has worked so diligently to keep free of pesticides and other chemicals.  With home dried foods, one can be sure that the food placed in front of the family is the most healthy choice available.  There is no need to add salt or sugar for most dried foods.  Dried foods require no freezer space and take up much less room than jars from canning.  In addition, there are no worries about jars that did not seal properly.

While it is possible to dehydrate food at home using no special equipment, many individuals find that the use of a food dehydrator makes the process much easier.  Dehydrators have specially designed shelves that allow for even flow of air around the foods being dried.  These shelves have openings small enough that the food will not fall to the bottom of the machine when being dried.  To help consumers choose a dehydrator, here are reviews of three top models:  The Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator, the Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Series 9 Tray Food Dehydrator and the Waring Pro DHR20 525-Watt 5-Tray Food Dehydrator.

Food Dehydrator Reviews - The Top 3

1. Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator

This 700 watt food dehydrator offers more power than most other machines.  It is shipped with five dehydrator trays.  This machine offers rapid drying of foods with a fan mounted at the top and a thermostat that allows users to adjust temperatures from 95 to 160 degrees F.  The dehydrator is designed so that the fan circulates air from the center and not through the trays.  This eliminates the need for rotating trays and also prevents mixing of flavors.  Without flavor mixing it is possible to dry several different foods at the same time.  The opaque exterior helps to block uv light that can be harmful to dried foods and destroy nutrients in the food.  In addition to the dehydrator, the package included solid sheets for making fruit leather, mesh sheets for smaller foods such as spices and jerky spice packets.  Five trays are included in the package but additional trays can also be purchased.   MSRP for this device is $79.99.

2. Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Series 9 Tray Food Dehydrator

This food dehydrator is square in shape and features a fan and heater located in the back of the device.  It offers 9 trays for a full fifteen square feet of drying space.  Each of the drying trays also comes with a Polyscreen insert.  The heating element in the machine is a 600 watts in size.  Air is circulated using a seven-inch fan.  An adjustable thermostat allows the user to set temperatures from 85  degrees to 145 degrees.   Many users prefer the square design to the more common round one.  Many fans of this particular dryer say that it offers a longer life.  The machine is shipped with a one year warranty that can be extended to a ten years, but one user claims his Excalibur is still going strong fifteen years after purchase.  The larger size of this machine does make it somewhat more difficult to store when not in use.  This is the most expensive of the devices reviewed in this article, with a MSRP of $269.

3. Waring Pro DHR20 525-Watt 5-Tray Food Dehydrator

This machine is able to speed up the drying time for foods.  It is easy to use and offers a 525 watt motor and heater.  This dehydrator offers three heat settings in contrast with the variable heat settings offered by the previous two machines.  The Waring Pro has five trays that stack and lock together for drying food.  Trays that are not in use can be left out of the stack.  The dehydrator features tinted but clear trays and includes a sheet for making fruit rollups.  Waring also guarantees the device for five years.  As with other dehydrators, this device allows preserving foods without the use of preservatives.  In many cases, there is no need to add salt as one would need to do with canning.  While this machine offers fewer features than the similar Nesco 700 watt machine, the MSRP is significantly higher at $135.

Consumers will find that there are several brands and models of food dehydrator are available.  Many do a good job of speeding up the drying process.  Prices vary greatly, and some of the machines that offer larger heating capacity and a more variable heat setting cost less than those with fewer options.  Use of the dehydrator can help consumers to ensure that they are feeding their families the best quality, additive free preserved foods.

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