What Is A Food Dehydrator?
The answer to the question is simple. In brief, it is a food preserver. Compared to other methods or the natural method of drying, it is user-friendly and often easy to use It is great with making certain snacks such as beef jerky, potato chips or even apple chips.
It has a simple process of drying food at a low temperature over for a long time. This helps in making healthy homemade snacks with more flavor (due to the extended number of an hour used to dry within the food dehydrator). It works by circulating at low temperature, the air around the food to dry it.
However, it does so within a section that allows the food to be stacked and arranged to allow drying to happen at the same rate for all. As a result, you can avoid food wastage by turning leftover food produce to snacks, and save money by creating homemade snacks.
For different foods, there are different temperatures expected to have a healthy meal, and that’s why certain food dehydrators might work for you due to their temperature range.
What Makes A Good Dehydrator?
You probably know already a feature that makes great dehydrator, temperature range. It is probably the most important feature in a food dehydrator. Other features are to be considered before one can classify it a good dehydrator such as heat distribution and airflow, arrangement shelves, noise, size and capacity, extra features – time, auto shutoff, thermostat.
Temperature, heat distribution and airflow sort of work together, and are very important in making crisp snacks or an adequate dried food coming out of the shelves. In terms of Noise, it is a very important factor many because you don’t want to be disturbed all day because you want some crisp beef jerky.
Arrangement shelves, size and capacity help with making things easy to deal with. For instance, a good arrangement shelf would help in having all the food get dried at the same time.
Extra features are the push for many people or the clear selling point for a food dehydrator. If I’m a forgetful person, and auto-shutoff wouldn’t be bad at all. Before we move on, there are two types of food dehydrator; horizontal and vertical flow.
Horizontal flow is designed to have the flow, you guessed it, vertical. So, you are more likely to find the heat source at the base or top. With the vertical, you get the heat source from the back, it takes more like the whole design shape of a typical oven.
What We Considered And Didn’t Consider?
In selecting our top choice, we decided to create a scale of preference where temperature range and airflow was first, and extra features and the budget was last. The budget wasn’t a priority. The focus is the best food dehydrator.
As much as the price wasn’t a factor in determining the best one out there, the price tag needed to be reasonable. You wouldn’t an iPhone for $1500 if you know full well that the worth is $999. It is the same for a food dehydrator. With everything said, we present to you the our choice.
Based on different reviews on different platforms (Amazon, Feudal, etc.), and more importantly our experience with a different food dehydrator, we select the Nesco Gardenmaster.
This $129.99 dehydrator or less, stands out among the variety of dehydrator in the market. With its temperature range of 95oF to 160oF, you get to dehydrate every water-dense ingredient (recommended – 135oF), vegetables (recommended – 125oF), delicate foods (recommended – 95oF), and meat (recommended – 140oF).
Not to be confused with Nesco Snackmaster Pro which is relatively cheaper, it comes with 1,000 and 4 trays (maximum tray number of 30).
Yes, 30. Throughout the different times, we dehydrated different meals, the noise level was unparalleled by any other dehydrator because it does the drying without rotating the trays.
You wouldn’t have to watch the trays at all because Gardenmaster does a great job at making the heating distribution and airflow very equivalent across all shelves.
Thus, no need for in-between shuffling. It has an opaque exterior that blocks lights and helps retain nutrient, you don’t want to have the snack result as the snack from down the street. With the adjustable thermostat, you get to select the temperature and make your Gardenmaster good enough for meat today and vegetables tomorrow.
It comes with a recipe book that gives you the option to be versatile with your Gardenmaster and get every dollar worth from it. Aside from during operation, Gardenmaster makes it easy to clean after use by simply using the pop button.
What you are going to have to let go is the auto-timer function which often comes with food dehydrators of the similar price range. And yeah, it is a vertical flow food dehydrator that does the job well and removes the heat from the base. If you want an all-rounder, your best bet is the Nesco Gardenmaster.
Nothing is perfect, and so it our Grandmaster. It has a few cons. First, opaque exterior; even though it helps with shedding light; you don’t get to have a clear view of what you’re dehydrating which is usually what some people want. It is quite spacious but could be an issue when looking for a place to put it after use
On Amazon, it comes with a 4.7 rating in terms of easy to use and flavor, and 4.6 in terms of heat distribution and temperature control.
Comparison To Others
Different food dehydrators were tested and checked such as Stockily dehydrator, which we termed a good mid-range dehydrator. Also, Excalibur is a great one in terms of budget, and if you are looking for a small dehydrator, Brod and Taylor Sahara Folding isn’t too far either.
In whatever situation, the Nesco Gardenmaster comes through for you. Even though you might find more expensive ones, the Nesco Grandmaster beats them in placing the meal first rather than just blatant specifications. At the end of the day, whether it is worth it or not is the question on many people’s mind.
I would say if you love to snack and you want to create homemade and healthy snacks, go for it but if you’re one in a rush, you might want to stick to your usual. However, they are a great piece of hardware to have at home!
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