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2 Types of Food Dehydrators

Apple slices on food dehydrator tray.

Are there some fruits that you would love to have in off-seasons? How about preserving them for the time when they are not available in the market? Enjoying fruits all year round is not entirely impossible!

A food dehydrator is what you should get!

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What Is A Food Dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is an electronic device that draws moisture from the food to dry it. Dehydration of food is done to preserve foods for longer shelf life. About 80% to 95% of the total weight of some fruits and vegetable is water. Various meals have about 50% to 75% of water. Foods are susceptible to decay by bacteria and other microorganisms in the presence of moisture but when the foods are dehydrated, they are preserved.

Food dehydrators use heat and air flow to remove moisture. After dehydration, the appearance of foods may change. They become irregular in shape as compared to their fresh form, their color changes, and they weigh less. Moreover, their flavors become pronounced and stronger.

Dried foods are a popular snack. They are tasty, healthy, and portable. One can take care of their mid-day hunger with these portable snacks. So, the next time mid-day hunger strikes don’t turn to a bag of chips or packaged dried foods. Make mid-day munching a healthy activity by utilizing homemade dehydrated foods like apple chips, banana chips, or homemade beef jerky!

Types of Food Dehydrators

An empty food dehydrator beside a basket of green apples.

Now that you are convinced about purchasing a food dehydrator, you should know a few things beforehand. Before you visit a store to make your purchase, we recommend that you learn all you can about food dehydrators.

There are two main types of food dehydrators available:

  • Vertical Flow Food Dehydrators
  • Horizontal Flow Food Dehydrators

Vertical Flow Food Dehydrators

Vertical flow food dehydrators are also called stackable food dehydrators. In these types of dehydrators, the heat source is located at the top or at the base of the appliance. They consist of racks that contain trays for storage of food during the preservation process. These food dehydrators are the most reasonable options available.

Although a fan is located at the bottom of the unit that moves the air upwards, the heat is not spread uniformly. They work pretty well for drying vegetables and fruits. However, to make beef jerky, a little extra effort is needed. You will have to rotate the trays during the process to ensure that all of the beef in a tray receives uniform heating.

The racks in a stackable food dehydrator are positioned over one another and are sealed in a way that heat does not escape the appliance. An electrically-powered base spreads hot air to all the shelves where food to be dried is stored.

Benefits of Vertical Flow Food Dehydrators

Vertical flow of food dehydrator comes with a lot of benefits.

  • They are affordable
  • They are usually small and compact which allows easy storage. They do not take up a lot of kitchen space.
  • You can expand them whenever you want. All you have to do is buy more trays and expand the food dehydrator to preserve more food in one go.
  • Many sizes of stackable type food dehydrators are available in the market. you can choose the size that suits your needs.

Horizontal Flow Food Dehydrators

Horizontal flow food dehydrators are more commonly known as shelf food dehydrators. They function somewhat like a conventional oven, having a heating source at the back of the unit. They are pricier than the stackable food dehydrators but the thing about them is, they provide uniform heating. If you love beef jerky, a shelf food dehydrator is the recommended type for you.

Horizontal flow food dehydrators are stress-free. The heat source and the fan are located at the back side of the appliance. The trays are enclosed in an outer case. The fan blows hot air to all the trays uniformly.

Benefits of Horizontal Flow Food Dehydrators

Although they are on the pricier side, they do come with numerous benefits.

  • They provide uniform and efficient dehydration.
  • Tougher foods can be dehydrated using these food dehydrators.
  • They are easy and stress-free to use.
  • They can make preparing more delicious recipes easier.
  • The insulation power is better as compared to stackable food dehydrators.

Why Invest In A Food Dehydrator?

You must be wondering, why should you invest in a food dehydrator? Is it good enough? Is it worth all the money? Well, let’s look at some reasons why investing in a food dehydrator is a good decision.

  • It increases the shelf life of foods grown in gardens
  • It is an easy way to dry meat and make crispy beef jerky
  • You can control your food quality in a better way
  • You overcome the dependency on the local food  distribution system
  • It saves money that goes in snacking
  • Food waste is avoided. You can now preserve extra homegrown vegetables and fruits rather than wasting them and enjoy them later.

5 Good Food Dehydrator Options

Now that you are equipped with enough knowledge about food dehydrators, you can select one for yourself more easily. All types of food dehydrators have different features and fall in different price ranges. We have listed down the best food dehydrators that are available in the market. The ones we have listed are reliable, durable, and promising!

1. Nesco FD-75PR Food Dehydrator

Nesco FD-75PR Food Dehydrator

Nesco Food Dehydrator is a stackable type of food dehydrator. It contains 5 trays which can be extended to 12 if you want to dehydrate a larger quantity. With its Converga-Flow drying system, uniform heating is ensured. The air is forced down the exterior pressurized chamber. It is then directed horizontally to finally converge in the center for an even and fast drying.

It has an opaque Vita-Save exterior that blocks any harmful lights so that vitamins and nutrients of the food are retained. It comes with an adjustable thermostat that provides heating temperatures from 95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Simple to use
  • Flavors do not mix
  • No need to rotate trays
  • Uniform heating
  • A wide range of heating temperature
  • Nutrients are retained during drying


  • A lack of timer may result in food getting over-dried
  • It takes a lot of time to dehydrate the food completely (for example, it takes up to 16 hours to make banana chips)

2. Gourmia GFD1680 Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator

Gourmia GFD1680 Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator 6 Drying Shelves Digital Thermostat Preset Temperature Settings Airflow Circulation Countdown Timer Free Recipe Book Included 110V

Gourmia Countertop Food Dehydrator is a shelf food dehydrator. It comes with six perforated trays that offer plenty of room for drying anything from fruits to beef jerky. The Circu-Smart 360o Air Floor can be activated by precise digital controls. It provides a 360o circulation of hot air that ensures a uniform and efficient dehydration without overheating. You don’t even need to rotate the trays!

It has a transparent door that allows you to keep a visual check on the progress. The temperature can be adjusted. It comes with a timer that makes sure you do not overheat your food. With Gourmia Countertop Food Dehydrator, you can prepare delicious, hygienic, and nutritious snacks at home.

Gourmia Countertop Food Dehydrator is ETL-certified. It is BPA free which means that you are sure to receive a high-quality, safe, and an efficient appliance.


  • Uniform and efficient heating
  • No need to rotate trays
  • Adjustable temperature
  • It has a timer that ensures you don’t overheat your food


  • It does not allow you to expand its capacity. The number of trays is fixed.
  • It is costly

3. Rosewill Countertop Portable Electric Food Fruit Dehydrator

Rosewill Countertop Portable Electric Food Fruit Dehydrator Machine with Adjustable Thermostat, BPA-Free 5-Tray RHFD-15001

Rosewill Countertop Portable Electric Food Fruit Dehydrator is a great appliance to prepare healthy and nutritious snack at home! It dehydrates fruits, vegetables, and beef while retaining the nutrients.

It has a capacity of 5 trays. With five separate trays, you can dehydrate different foods at the same time without worrying about their flavors getting mixed. The temperature is adjustable from 95 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. With adjustable temperature feature, you can dehydrate a variety of foods. You can prepare homemade fruit rolls, herbs, and even yogurt at home! It comes with herb trays that let you prepare herbs at home. You don’t have to rush to stores for dried herbs anymore.

Rosewill Countertop Portable Electric Food Fruit Dehydrator has a bottom-mounted heating element and a fan that ensures optimal drying. The airflow is consistent and rotation of trays is not required.

The trays are BPA free so you don’t even have to worry about safety. It is small in size hence it does not take a lot of counter space in your kitchen.


  • Uniform heating
  • No need to rotate trays
  • Adjustable temperature


  • A lack of timer may result in food getting over-dried
  • It does not allow you to expand its capacity. The number of trays is fixed.

4. Homeleader Electric Food Dehydrator

Food Dehydrator, Electric Digital Food Dehydrator Machine for Jerky, Fruit, Vegetables & Nuts, Vegetable Dryer with Timer and Temperature Control, Homeleader Food Dehydrator with Five Trays, LCD Display Screen, K33-022

Homeleader Electric Food Dehydrator is a vertical flow food dehydrator with a heating source at the bottom and an upper air outlet that ensures better dehydration of foods. It comes with an efficient 360o air drying system. It is suitable for chips, crackers, muffins, vegetable, dried flowers, herbs, nuts, jerky, and what not.

It comes with 5 transparent trays that are made from BPA-free material. These trays are easy to clean, dishwasher-friendly, and super safe to use.

The best feature of Homeleader Electric Food Dehydrator is the digital display. It lets you control the temperature and time in a more efficient manner. The temperature can be adjusted, depending on what food you are dehydrating. The temperature range is 35 to 70-degree Celsius. The temperature and time settings are accurate. The auto shut-off feature makes sure your food is not over-dried.

It is ETL certified. The product is of high-quality, safe to use, and very effective.


  • Uniform and efficient heating with 360o air drying system
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Accurate timer
  • Digital display
  • Auto shut-off mechanism
  • Adjustable interlayer height


  • It does not allow you to expand its capacity. The number of trays is fixed.

5. Magic Mill Professional Dehydrator Machine

Magic Mill MFD-6100 Magic Mill Professional Dehydrator Machine, 6 Stainless Steel Drying Racks, Multi-Tier Food Preserver, Digital Control Bundle Bonus 2 Fruit Leath, Black

Magic Mill Professional Dehydrator Machine is a horizontal flow food dehydrator that dehydrates and preserves your food efficiently, without you having to rotate the trays every now and then.

It has a rear-mounted drying fan and an airflow circulation technology that promotes even drying in all 6 trays. The trays are BPA free which makes the equipment safe to use. You can adjust the temperature from 95-degree Fahrenheit to 150-degree Fahrenheit. You can even set the drying to up to 19.5 hours. When the timer goes off, the auto shut-off mechanism will turn the heater off so that your food is not over-dried.

The appliance does not make any sound. It dehydrates and preserves your food quietly. You can conveniently turn it on at night and enjoy fresh, nutritious, and scrumptious dried fruits in the morning!


  • Uniform and efficient heating
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Accurate timer
  • Digital display
  • Auto shut-off mechanism


  • It does not allow you to expand its capacity. The number of trays is fixed.
  • It is very costly

Food dehydrators are an excellent investment if you want to switch to a healthy-eating and healthy-living lifestyle. The dried, preserved foods that are available in the market are full of preservatives and nitrates which are not good for your health. But food dehydrators allow you to enjoy delicious dried food items which are safe and healthy.

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