Top 5 Best Dehydrator For Jerky Reviews With Buying Guide
You cannot always eat the food right after cooking. Sometimes, food preservation is necessary, whether it is for long travel hours or for making an exotic dish.
Food can be preserved in different ways. You can pickle them, freeze them, or even dehydrate them! Dehydrating fruits has been quite popular for some years. Now you can also dry meat using the best dehydrator for jerky.
Preparing jerky is an easy yet delicious way to preserve food without having to change its flavor as pickling does. Dehydrators can be used for other cooking needs, as well. If you are interested to know more, then grab some popcorn and start reading.
Our Top 5 Picks of The Best Affordable Dehydrator
Drying Space: 15 square feet
Temp Range: 95°F to 165°F
Power: 600 Watts
Drying Space: 13" X 12"
Temp Range: 95°F to 158°F
Power: 600 Watts
Drying Space: 9.9 square feet
Temp Range: 75°F to 167°F
Power: 470 Watts
Temp Range: 90°F to 165°F
Power: 750 Watts
Dimensions: 14.5 x 15 x 7.2 in
Temp Range: 100°F to 160°F
Power: 500 Watts
Dimensions: 10.5 x 13 x 11 in
What Can You Do with a Dehydrator?
A dehydrator simply absorbs the moisture out of a watery food body. Since the body is devoid of moisture, it cannot ferment and become stale. Thus, dehydrating effectively preserves food.
With a dehydrator, you can dry fruits and crush them to make power. You can also make food coloring from the fruit extracts. Nuts and seeds can also be processed using this product. A dehydrator can be used for different baking steps, as well. Puff pastry can be a great example.
Making fermented milk products such as yogurt is possible with a dehydrator. It speeds the process up.
And of course, the best-rated dehydrators are a big help in preserving meat if there is no possibility of freezing. Even if you can freeze, many dishes need jerky.
How Does It Work?
Dehydration is a simple process of using heat elements, proper ventilation, and moisture capture method. All of this happens inside a metal or plastic box, and it needs to be connected to a power source for continuous ventilation.
Usually, food can be drained of moisture at 95 to 140 degrees. This number varies for different food; for example, meat needs a higher temperature. However, if the temperature is too high, the food will dry out unevenly.
The airflow enters the box and draws the moisture out in the presence of heat and then, through a designed ventilation system, leaves the compartment. There are different levels inside the box where trays can be placed, and each tray holds the food. The power for the heat source for the best food dehydrators can be electric, solar, or bio-fuel.
5 Best Food Dehydrator Reviews For The Money
As you have already learned, a dehydrator can be used in various ways, which means there are also different types of dehydrators in the market. A product suitable solely for meat or protein would work the best for that food. We have searched for the best meat dehydrator and came up with a list of 5.
Every food dehydrator reviews will have at least one product from this brand, as they are simply one of the best in this game. The features and benefits that this product brings to the table will make food preservation a piece of cake!
The very first thing that will excite any cook is the number of shelves on this bad boy. 9 shelves like nine lives of a cat but instead of a long life you can finish work much quicker, which is excellent! Each tray is also decent in length and breadth.
So, you can lay a lot of meat slices at once, which is why it is one of the best dehydrators for jerky.
The thermostat is adjustable, which means the temperature can be tweaked according to the need for the food. Hence, it can be used for beef, chicken, deer, and even fruits. However, the temperature can only vary between 95 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is suitable for preserving the active enzymes in food.
Usually, cheap dehydrators have a one-directional flow of air, which does not drain moisture across all the levels. As a result, uneven dry patches are created, and some parts are even spoiled. But the Excalibur has a 7-inch fan, which provides a parallax horizontal airflow that covers the entire surface.
The same problem can happen if the temperature remains constant. However, inside this box, the temperature fluctuates to properly dry the food and resist fungus, molds, and other bacteria. It can run for 48 hours and has digital timer setting options. All these features easily make this one of the best affordable dehydrators.
Wouldn't it be great if one kitchen item could do two jobs at a time? That way, you save money and space. Keeping that in mind, magic mills manufactured a dehydrator that can be used by anyone for almost anything.
This machine can be used for preparing delicious jerky and also for dehydrating herb, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Using the dried up ingredients as a garnish can drastically improve the flavor of a traditional dish. You can do all of that by just placing the food on a tray and popping it in one of the best home dehydrators.
To save space, this model has nine tall shelves. Each shelf has spacious trays for holding the food and has a length of 13 inches. Each tray is made of stainless steel. Hence it is food grade approved. It also helps in even heat dispersion. The entire product is made of BPA free material.
A fan is mounted on the rear end, which evenly passes air and helps in proper ventilation. With this system, the trays do not have to rotate, and the dry air automatically removes moisture from the food. You can monitor the entire process through the transparent window.
The adjustable temperature and timer are located at the top of the machine. It also has a small monitor to display the current readings. The heat can reach up to 158 Fahrenheit. It automatically shuts down after the food is prepared and also has to overheat resistance systems.
If you are a modern technology junky, looking for the best jerky makers, then you need something that has all sorts of digital facilities. No need to be stuck in a pickle, though, as we have found the perfect product for you.
This machine has all-round digital features for a more modern experience. Besides the adjustable temperature option and auto timer option, it also has an LED glass hinged door, which lets you know about the progress.
After the dehydration is complete, the machine will also give an indication. Thus, the food will not get dried out beyond the requirement.
The Tribest has a system called the TST (Two-Stage Sequential Temperature-Timer system). This substantially speeds the drying up process by fluctuating temperatures. The difference in heat flow ensures that the important enzymes stay intact. As a result, an evenly dried batch can be obtained every time.
The temperature can reach up to 167 degrees Fahrenheit. Within this range, fruits and vegetables can also be dried. However, caution must be taken, as this type of food requires less heat. To prevent the box from overheating, it has to overheat protection and continuous operation modes installed.
It also has air filters for healthy ventilation. The filters can be easily removed, washed, and can be reused. Thus, it is one of the best budget dehydrators. Besides all that, it has a large storing space with 11 shelves! With that much capacity, you can throw a jerky feast with ease.
If you want one of the best dehydrators but also want to save up on the money, then you might be interested in the presto innovative dehydrator.
This product does not look like your ordinary dehydrator. It is circular in shape and white. This means it can reflect heat from the outside and prevent the product from overheating. The circular shape also gives this product a unique touch.
It has six shelves and will be convenient for home use. If you want to use it in a professional kitchen and you need more shelf space, then it can also expand into 12 shelves. So, it is extremely compact yet effective. It has fruit roll sheets and nonstick mesh rolls. So, meat, nut, and fruits can be dried using this machine.
The nonstick will help in drying baking items, and the trays will not need any prior greasing. Thus, you can save up on those supplies. The temperature can range from 90 degrees to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can be adjusted according to the food. The auto timer can be used if the machine has to work overnight with no supervision.
Only the top shelf can be seen in progress as it has a transparent cover. The displays and other control panels are at the bottom of the machine. It is easy to maintain as the optimum airflow keeps a constant drying motion, and the trays need no rotation. They are also dishwasher friendly.
Working in any kitchen can be time crunching, and you know how much multitasking goes into cooking. You can easily lose track of time, and on unfortunate scenarios like that, your food can be spoiled. With the Hamilton Beach, you will not have to worry about that.
This model has a 48-hour auto timer setting. So, in the off chances that you forget to shut the device down, it will automatically shut off. However, you also have the freedom to set flexible times whenever you want and leave it overnight, as well.
The Hamilton Beach has five trays in total, and they are of different kinds for different food products. So, even though there are fewer trays, it can still be effective. It has fine mesh sheets and fruit roll sheets. The fine mesh will allow the user to dry herbs and spices too.
The temperature ranges from 100 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and the electric dehydrator produces an output of 500 watts for maintaining that temperature. The airflow is continuous and helps in even drying.
This box only weighs 8 pounds. Hence, you can easily place it on a rack or the kitchen station. Assembly of the machine is also easy; you just have to stack the trays on top of each other. The trays are dishwasher friendly.
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Things to Consider before Buying a Best Jerky Dehydrator
This product might seem like a simple box to you, but even the best food dehydrator reviews will leave you with some confusion and question. To solve them, we have another segment full of details on individual aspects of a dehydrator.
How much food can be kept inside the box at one time matters in the case of dehydrators. As food takes quite some time to dry, it is always a plus point to have more storage options. Most good quality products will have dimensions of 13x8. This, of course, varies from brand to brand.
Having a wider tray means food can be spread out with more ease. Another feature that improves the process is more shelf numbers. So, the height of the box also matters. If the user has more food to process, they should go with nine shelves. For normal household work, 5-6 shelves will do fine.
This system needs to be impeccable. The entire process depends on how the air flows inside the box and in which directions. Normally one-directional ventilation can work, but only for five shelves or less. If the area is bigger, it is better if ventilation occurs in two directions.
There are also air filters that keep the inside of the box free from dust and minute particles. Some brands even have reusable filters.
• Food Safety
Food stays for a long time inside the box with constant heat and airflow. If the materials used to manufacture the product are not food grade, then they will start to rust and contaminate food.
Stainless steel trays are always a better option, and the user should make sure that every other part is BPA free to build a strong resistance against molds, fungus, and bacteria.
The best home food dehydrator will have a good range for preserving food. Usually, the range varies from 60 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit at an average. If you wish only to dehydrate fruits and nuts, then the lower temperatures will do. For meat jerky, you will have to purchase a product that can hold a higher temperature.
Don’t hold back while purchasing the best-rated food dehydrator that can be used for all types of food. There are dehydrators in the market that can be used for fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat. It will not only save space but also save your wallet.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Are plastic dehydrators safe?
If the product is BPA free, then plastic will not be a problem.
Q2. Which range of temperature is safe for jerky?
High temperatures close to 160F is needed for preparing jerky.
Q3. Do dehydrators run overnight?
Yes, the food needs to be dehydrated for a long time.
Q4. Are solar dehydrators useful?
If there is a scarcity of electricity, solar dehydrators work just fine.
Q5. What kind of trays is best?
Food grade metal or stainless steel is the best kind of tray.
Q6. Can you overheat food in dehydrators?
Yes, if left for too long, it can over dry food.
Final Words: Long gone are the days when dehydration of food depended on broad daylight and a large open space for the food to be laid out at. The best dehydrator for jerky can do all of that in a box and at any time of the day.
So, get yourself a dehydrator and start experimenting with all sorts of food!