The Best Food Dehydrators of 2023 (Top 10 Compared)

best home dehydrators

Ever since I was little I can remember my parents dehydrating things like apples and strawberries. My parents would lightly sprinkle things like cinnamon and sugar or different flavors of Jell-O on top of the apples and the whole house would smell so good as they dried. All I knew about dehydrating then was there was going to be a yummy treat the next night. I was excited to learn about dehydrators when I decided to dehydrate my own foods. Dehydrators have changed quite a bit since then. They are much more efficient and user-friendly and take up much less space.

I will help you learn what you need to know about food dehydrators so that you will know exactly which one to buy. 

Our Top Picks

best overall food dehydrator for all foods including jerky

Best Overall Food Dehydrator

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator
Most premium features at the best price and works well drying jerky.

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Best food dehydrator for under $100

Best Food dehydrator Under $100

Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer
Most features in Dehydrator under $100.

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best smallest food dehydrator

Best Smallest Food Dehydrator

Commercial Chef Food Dehydrator
Best for those who have minimal space and a tight budget.

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Best food dehydrator for under $100

Top 10 Food Dehydrators Compared

We spent hours comparing and testing these top 10 food dehydrators and have broken down the info by budget, wattage, # of trays, timer type, thermostat type, flow type, and safety.

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What is Dehydrating?

Dehydrating is a form of food preservation that uses a combination of heat, fans, and vents to remove the moisture in foods to an extremely low level. Dehydrating removes 85-95% of the moisture which aids in improving the shelf life by hindering the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast all while maintaining up to 50% of the nutritional value. See USU for more information on dehydrating.

5 Reasons You Need a Food Dehydrator

  1. So you can build a shelf-stable supply of food and snacks that can store for a year or longer.
  2. For emergencies, travel snacks, camping, and backpacking.
  3. To give you more control over your nutrition and what is in your food and snacks.
  4. So that you can preserve your garden or store-bought produce and consume it all year.
  5. To help you be more self-sufficient and prepared in a world of rising food prices and unpredictable markets.

What Are the Different Types of Food Dehydrators?

Best Vertical Home Dehydrator
Vertical Food Dehydrator
Best Horizontal Home Dehydrator
Horizontal Food Dehydrator

There are two different types of home dehydrators. 

  1. Vertical flow
  2. Horizontal flow

Vertical flow

Vertical flow machines are usually stackable machines with the heat source in the bottom. These machines are a more affordable option and take up less counter/storage space.

Vertical flow machines tend to dry slower than horizontal flow machines and may require you to rotate trays as you go. This is just because of the construction of the machine with the heat source at the bottom. The top trays won’t get as much heat as the bottom trays so rotating trays partway through can help with drying time. 

These machines are most commonly used for fruits and vegetables but don’t work as well for meats.

Horizontal flow

Horizontal flow machines have a more even flow of air through the trays with the heat source in the back of the machine. 

While these machines are more expensive and can take up more counter space, horizontal flow machines’ drying time is generally faster than vertical flow machines. 

Horizontal machines do however cost more and take up more counter/storage space but are more commonly used for meat as well as heartier vegetables and bigger batches.

7 Beginner Tips for Dehydrating Food

How much does a food dehydrator cost?

The cost of home food dehydrators ranges anywhere from $40 for small vertical flow units up to $600 for commercial-sized units. The price depends on the type and size of the dehydrator you want to get. Vertical flow dehydrators are generally cheaper. For most home food dehydrators you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $200.

What Does a Food Dehydrator Do and What Features Can It Have?

Dehydrating uses low heat (between 130*- 167* F) combined with a steady flow of air through vents and fans to circulate the air for an extended period of time to remove moisture from food by evaporation.

The warm air flowing over the food speeds up surface evaporation while the warm temperature of the food causes it to release moisture from the inside. Because of the low heat temperature, it does not cook the food, it just releases moisture to aid in the evaporation process.

Dehydrators Come With Different Features

Dehydrators can come with different features that can be helpful when dehydrating the different foods that you like. As you would expect, the more features a dehydrator has the more likely the price will be higher.

Dehydrator Features can include:

  • Adjustable Timer
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Tray Capacity 
  • Mesh sheets 
  • Fruit roll sheets
  • Dishwasher safe trays
  • Clear plastic/glass to easily see food while drying

What to Look for When Buying the Best Food Dehydrator for You

The 4 things you should look for when picking a dehydrator are

  1. How many shelves and what size do you want
  2. How often you are going to use it
  3. The amount of counter space you have available
  4. Vertical or horizontal flow

1. How many shelves and what size do you want – The amount of food you want to dehydrate will help you decide what size dehydrator you will want to get. If you want to do bigger batches to build food storage you’ll want to get a bigger dehydrator. 

2. How often you are going to use it – If you just want to use it for snacks here and there a smaller dehydrator will work great. Purchasing pre-packaged dehydrated foods can be expensive so even if you plan on just using a dehydrator a handful of times a year it can still be cheaper than buying pre-packaged dehydrated foods.

3. The amount of counter space you have available – If you live in a smaller house or apartment and don’t have a ton of space a smaller dehydrator would probably be better. If you have space in your garage you could potentially fit a commercial-size dehydrator that can help produce a large amount of dehydrated food at a time. 

4. Vertical flow or horizontal flow?

Vertical flow is usually less expensive and has lower wattage. It has a heating element and fans at the bottom of the unit. This usually causes the bottom shelves to dry faster than the top shelves so it will require you to rotate the shelves to get all shelves evenly dehydrated.

Horizontal flow is usually more expensive and has a higher wattage. It has a heating element and fans in the back of the unit which creates a more even airflow and is more efficient.

Best Food Dehydrators for Any Circumstance

Our top food dehydrator picks include the best overall dehydrator, the best dehydrator for under $100, and the best smallest dehydrator. Additionally, we put together a table of the 10 best dehydrators and compared them by features (see below).

Best Overall Dehydrator for Most People

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator

The overall best food dehydrator that will meet the needs of most people for the cost is the  COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator (Check the price on Amazon).

Features we like most:

  • Touch-control LED Display  
  • Horizontal flow
  • 600 Watt Machine 
  • 6 Stainless steel trays 
  • Made with food-grade stainless steel 
  • Adjustable timer for up to 48 hours
  • Adjustable temperature gauge 95°–165°F
  • Automatic shut off
  • Overheat protection
  • Dimensions 17.72 x 13.15 x 12.05 inches
  • Will dry jerky without any problems
  • Quiet, less than 48dB

Best for: The COSORI Premium food dehydrator gives you most of the premium features at a much lower price. The only reason it would be worth buying a more expensive dehydrator is to get a higher volume capacity dehydrator.

Click here to check the price of the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator on Amazon

Best Food dehydrator Under $100

Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer

Click here to check the price of the Elechomes 6-tray Food Dehydrator on Amazon

Why is the Elechomes 6- Tray Dryer the best dehydrator under $100?

The best Features include:

  • 400 Watt machine (on the higher end for smaller machines)
  • 6 transparent plastic trays- easy to see through to keep an eye on things
  • Tray heights are adjustable to accommodate different foods
  • Adjustable thermostat- you can set the temperature exactly where you want it
  • Adjustable timer- anywhere from 30 minutes to 72 hours
  • Trays are dishwasher safe
  • Fits on the counter nicely 11.6 X 11.4 X 10.9 (LWH) 
  • Lightweight- 5lbs. 
  • Comes ready to use

Best for: Elechomes 6-tray dehydrator is best for those who are wanting the best overall features on a smaller machine and to get the most out of a dehydrator for under $100.

Click here to check the price of the Elechomes 6-tray Food Dehydrator on Amazon

Best Smallest Food Dehydrator

Commercial Chef Food Dehydrator

The Commercial Chef dehydrator is a great small dehydrator for those with limited space and it has a small price tag.

The best features include:

  • Small with dimensions of only 9.92 x 9.43 x 7.01 inches
  • Only weights 3.3 pounds
  • 280 Watt Machine
  • 5 layers of circular trays
  • Adjustable temperature ranging from 104° – 158° F
  • Dishwasher-safe trays and easy to clean

Best for: The Commercial Chef food dehydrator is best for those who have limited counter space, looking for a budget machine, and aren’t looking to dehydrate big batches of food at one time.

Click here to check the price of the Commercial Chef Food Dehydrator on Amazon

10 Best Food Dehydrators (Compared by Top Features)

Check the price of each dehydrator on Amazon by clicking on the link that is under the name of each dryer in the table below.

NameWattageNumber of TraysTray MaterialBPA freeDishwasher Safe TraysAdjustable timerAdjustable ThermostatFlow Type
Budget (Under $100)- Small Capacity 4-6 Trays, For Basic Use 
Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator600 W4PlasticYesYesNo, preset @ 165* FNoVertical
Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer400 W6PlasticYesYesYesYesVertical
Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer240 W5PlasticYes YesYesYesVertical
COSORI Food Dehydrator350 W5PlasticYesYesYesYesVertical
Mid Range- Medium capacity, 6-9 trays, higher wattage (can be used for meat/jerky) 
Homdox 8 Trays Food Dehydrator Machine with Fruit Roll Sheet400 WPlasticYesYesYesYesVertical
Gourmia Premium Electric Food Dehydrator Machine600 W6-9PlasticYesNoYesYesHorizontal 
COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator600 W6Stainless Steel Yes YesYesYesHorizontal 
Elechomes Food Dehydrator Machine400 W8Stainless SteelYesYesYesYesHorizontal
Commercial Grade- Large to XL capacity 
STX International Dehydra Commercial Grade1200 W10 Stainless SteelYesYesYes7 Preset Temps.Horizontal
Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine 1000 W11Stainless SteelYes YesYes YesHorizontal

The above table compares a variety of features from 10 of the best Food Dehydrators

Is buying a food dehydrator worth it?

Buying a home dehydrator is worth the cost for anyone who wants to provide a wide variety of shelf-stable foods as snacks or for long-term storage. While maintaining at least 50% of the nutrients these foods can be stored in airtight mylar bags, jars, or air-tight containers. Dehydrated foods make great healthy snacks as well as great long-term food storage when stored properly.

Worth it:

  • Interested in making healthy dehydrated foods for snacks
  • Interested in storing food long term 
  • You want to have complete control over what foods you are dehydrating and storing
  • You want to store foods that can last on your shelf for 5+ years when stored properly. 30+ years if stored vacuum sealed
  • You have the space to store dehydrated foods in your pantry, storage room, closet, or other areas.
  • You like to be prepared with food storage on hand

Not worth it:

  • You don’t plan to use it regularly
  • You don’t have access to fresh produce 
  • You don’t have extra room to store food long term

How long does dehydrating take?

Dehydrating food can take anywhere from 5-38 hours. There are a few different factors that come into play when deciding how long dehydrating will take. 

  1. Thickness/Moisture level 
  2. Humidity
  3. Machine Wattage
  4. Temperature 
  5. Type of Dehydrator

1. Thickness/Moisture level – Depending on the thickness and amount of moisture the food item you are dehydrating contains, your time can be longer or shorter than the recommended times. Refer to the manual that comes with your specific dehydrator for recommended times based on specific foods.  

2. Humidity – The humidity level of your home can be a big factor in dehydrating times. The higher the level of humidity the longer it will take. The less humidity the less time it will take. Things that can affect the humidity are rainy or stormy weather, using a swamp cooler instead of air conditioning, and the climate where you live in general. 

3. Machine Wattage – The wattage of your machine can determine the amount of time it takes. The lower wattage the longer it will take. The higher the wattage the faster it will be. This does not mean you need a bigger higher wattage machine. You may just need to do smaller batches or it might take a little longer to dry.

4. Temperature – Some dehydrating machines let you have control of the temperature. This may be desirable for some. All foods dehydrate at different temperatures. If you plan on doing a wide variety of food you’ll want an adjustable thermostat. If your machine doesn’t let you adjust the temperature, and it doesn’t say in the manual you can use an oven thermometer to test the temperature so you know where your machine sets the temperature.

5. Type of Dehydrator – There are two types of home dehydrators. Vertical flow with the heating element in the bottom of the machine and horizontal flow with the heating element in the back of the machine.

Dehydrated Apples

The Cost to Run a Food Dehydrator Compared by Wattage

Power in WattsEnergy in Kilowatt-hoursElectricity Cost
100 W0.1 kWh$0.012 per hr
200 W0.2 kWh$0.024 per hr
300 W0.3 kWh$0.036 per hr
400 W0.4 kWh$0.048 per hr
500 W0.5 kWh$0.060 per hr
600 W0.6 kWh$0.072 per hr
700 W0.7 kWh$0.084 per hr
800 W0.8 kWh$0.096 per hr
900 W0.9 kWh$0.108 per hr
1000 W1 kWh$0.112 per hr
Watts to Kilowatt-Hours (kWh) Electrical Conversion Calculator

The Best Temperatures to Dehydrate Different Foods

The below table outlines temperature settings for each type of food that you can dry.

Temperature SettingsUses
95*FHerbs, Flowers, Dough
113*FSoft Vegetables
122*FHard Vegetables
131*F Citrus Peel
158-167*FMeat Jerky, Fruit Rolls
The above table shows the best temperatures to dehydrate different foods. See your dehydrators manual for specific details for your dryer

What are the Best Foods to Dehydrate?

To see a comprehensive list of what can and cannot be dehydrated see my article What Foods Can and Cannot be Dehydrated: Complete Guide.

The below table lists what foods can be dehydrated, preparation, dryness test, and dehydration time. 

Name Preparation Dryness TestTime, Hours (approx.)
ApplesPeel, core and cut into slices or ringsPliable 5-6
Apricots Cut in half or in slices, remove the pitPliable 12-38
BananasPeel and cut into 3-4mm slicesCrisp 8-38
Cherries Pitting is optional, or pit when 50% dryLeathery8-34
CranberriesChop or leave wholePliable6-26
Red DatesPit and sliceLeathery 6-26
GrapesLeave wholePliable8-38
NectarinesCut in half, dry with skin side down. Pit when 50% dryPliable8-26
Orange RindPeel in long stripsBrittle8-16
PeachesCut in half, dry with skin side down. Pit when 50% dry Pliable10-34
PearsPeel and slicePliable 8-30
Strawberries Cut into ⅜” slices, other berries whole No moisture8-26
MangoRemove skin, slice ⅜” thickLeathery6-16
ArtichokesCut into ⅓” strips. Boil about 10 minutesBrittle6-14
AsparagusCut into 1” piecesBrittle6-14
Green Beans Cut and steam/blanch until translucentBrittle8-26
BeatsBlanch, cool, remove tops and roots, sliceBrittle8-26
Brussel SproutsCut sprouts from stalk, cut in half lengthwiseCrisp8-30
BroccoliTrim and cut. Steam/blanch 3-5 minutesBrittle6-20
CabbageTrim and cut into ⅛” strips. Cut core into ¼” stripsLeathery6-14
CarrotsSteam until tender. Shred or cut into slicesLeathery6-12
CauliflowerTrim and cut. Steam/blanch 3-5 minutes.Leathery6-16
CeleryCut stalks into ¼” slicesBrittle6-14
CucumberPeel and cut into ½” slices Leathery6-18
Eggplant/SquashTrim and slice ¼” to ½” thickBrittle6-18
GarlicRemove skin from clove and sliceBrittle6-16
Hot PeppersDry wholeLeathery8-14
MushroomsSlice, chop or dry wholeLeathery6-14
OnionsSlice thinly or chopBrittle8-14
PeasBlanch for 3-5 minutesBrittle8-14
PeppersCut into ¼” strips or rings. Remove seedsBrittle4-14
PotatoesSlice, dice, or cut. Steam/blanch 8-10 minutesBrittle6-8
RhubarbRemove outer skin and cut into ⅛” slicesNo Moisture8-38
SpinachSteam/blanch until wiltedBrittle6-16
TomatoesRemove skin. Cut in half or slicesLeathery8-24
Zucchini Slice into ¼” slicesBrittle6-18
The above table lists what foods can be dehydrated, preparation methods, dryness test, and dehydration time.

Kaycee Blair

I'm Kaycee Blair, co-owner of EZ-Prepping with my husband Colton. My family is the most important thing to me in this world. I couldn't bear watching my two little boys go hungry so finding easy and practical ways to be prepared for the future by building food storage and gathering other emergency preparedness items has become a passion to me.

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