The purpose of this buying guide is to help you find the best food dehydrator for your lifestyle. If you are in the process of buying a dehydrator will find these buying guides extremely helpful!

Here are links to the complete guide:

In part 1 we discussed the many great benefits of owning your own home food dehydrator. Here we will talk about the different types you can buy:


How To Buy A Food Dehydrator


Economy Stackable Dehydrator

Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator PicIn economy stackable dehydrator, the dehydrating system is mounted at the bottom of the unit. Many models of this type also do not include a fan or thermostat.

There are a few types that will mount the fan on the top which is nice, it is easier to clean.

One of the bestselling examples of this is the Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator (pictured right)

These types of food dehydrators are amongst the most popular, mostly due to budgeting and we would say lack of knowledge of food dehydrators. We definitely recommend the next level up, but as a gift or an entry level into food dehydrators, this would be a good pick. But beware that the waiting hours (and days) for your dehydrating to finish may quickly have you wishing you bought a better one or may even have you putting this away in the closet forever.

Advantages of Economy Stackable Dehydrator:

  • If you are in a tight budget or you would want to start small, this type of food dehydrator may be just enough for you since this is offered at a less expensive cost.

Challenges of Economy Stackable Dehydrator:

  • It is possible to produce an uneven heat and airflow among your food. This is largely because of the location of its heat source (at the bottom), providing larger share of heat and air flow to the trays located on the bottom.
  • In relation to the first statement, periodic rotation of trays may be required to effectively avoid over- or under-drying of your food items. But some quality stackable models with improved air flow are already being produced in the market. These models decrease, if not eliminate, the need for tray rotation.
  • Access to trays may also be challenging since in order to get through a tray that is located in the middle of a stack, you need to lift off all the trays above it. But if you only plan to procure a food dehydrator with a few trays only, this may not be so troublesome for you.
  • If your food item produces drips, it may potentially fall on the electrical controls located beneath the food. But some models feature heat source enclosure, preventing this from happening.

Quality Stackable Dehydrators

Waring DHR30 Professional Food Dehydrator PicThe design of this type is practically the same with economical stackable dehydrators but it is equipped with more advanced drying system, providing better and more even heat and air flow.

The Waring DHR30 Food Dehydrator is a popular version of this type of food dehydrator.

This is the type we would recommend. It is only marginally more expensive, and the drying is much faster and makes food dehydrating much more fun!

Advantages of Quality Stackable Dehydrators:

  • It eliminates the need for tray rotation.
  • The fan and heat source are almost completely sealed off from the trays, preventing the bottom trays from acquiring excessive heat exposure.

Challenges of Quality Stackable Dehydrators:

  • It is less affordable compared to the economical stackable type.

Shelf Tray Dehydrators

Excalibur 3900B Deluxe Food Dehydrator PicIn this type of food dehydrator, the drying system (including the thermostat and fan) is completely located in the rear of the unit. This facilitates flow of warm air horizontally across the trays. It features trays which look and work just like the conventional oven trays.

The Excalibur Food Dehydrators are amongst the most popular line of professional shelf tray dehydrators on the market.

Advantages of Shelf Tray Dehydrators:

  • Its design generally allows even drying of food items.
  • Since each tray can be pulled out individually, it eliminates the need for re-stacking. This also effectively prevents heat loss which usually happens if trays are taken apart in the process.
  • It also provides the option to remove one or all trays to adjust for larger items such as whole fruits.
  • Since the drying system is located at the back of the unit, the juice that may drip from the dehydrated food will not go to the source of the heat.
  • It prevents mixture of different aromas of food.

Challenges of Shelf Tray Dehydrators:

  • It usually more expensive than the other types of food dehydrators.


We hope that Part 2 of “How to Buy a Food Dehydrator” buying guide has provided you with some great information on the different types of dehydrators and which might fit your budget and your lifestyle.

Be on the lookout for:

Part 3: Usage Features To Consider

Where we go over some less common materials used in cookware sets.

Here are links to the complete guide:

Until next time!

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