Food dehydrators are an important addition to any kitchen, especially if you want to save money on food costs over time. With dehydrators, you can make lots of healthy snacks, from all-natural fruit roll-ups to crunchy kale chips. You can make your own jerky or powdered milk as well. Food dehydrators are an economical way to store food while keeping 90% of its nutritional value. This saves you time by making a large amount of food at once, and money in creating homemade recipes for half the cost of store-bought items.

There are a range of dehydrators to choose from at prices to fit any budget. Here are my top six favorite food dehydrators.

Ronco Food 125-Watt Dehydrator – $40

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This is the least expensive option. It’s a great purchase for those who are hesitant to buy a pricier model.

Pros:
Limited 10-year warranty
Quiet
Small and light, fits anywhere
Heats food up to 133 degrees Fahrenheit

Cons:
Longer drying time.
Only five food trays = not a lot of surface area to dry food
Trays not dishwasher safe

It is true that you get what you pay for. If you want to get a lot of use out of your dehydrator, I would suggest paying for some of the heavy hitters at the end of this article. That said, some people aren’t sure how much they will use their dehydrators. If you need a place to dip your baby toe in, the Ronco Dehydrator is a low-cost exploration in the market.

Nesco FD-75PR 600-Watt Food Dehydrator – $60-$90

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The Nesco FD-75PR is a great buy for the price. You get a powerful fan and the ability to dry food quickly.

Pros:
Easy to clean
Adjustable temp from 95 – 160 degrees Fahrenheit
Compact
Food flavors don’t mix
No need to rotate trays
Blocks UV lights to keep food nutrient quality higher

Cons:
No on / off switch
Loud
Takes up a lot of counter space
No warranty advertised

The Nesco FD-75PR is still affordable and gives you a lot of power for a relatively low cost.

Waring Pro DHR20 525-Watt Food Dehydrator – $60 – $130

Waring Pro DHR20 525-Watt Food Dehydrator

If looks and kitchen style are important to you, this is your best option. Most dehydrators are more functional than fancy, but this dehydrator manages both well.

Pros:
Attractive exterior, which is rare
Top mounted fan
Sealed trays so flavors don’t mix
Dishwasher safe trays for easy clean up
5-year warranty

Cons:
Can’t set exact temperature (just low, medium, and high)
No timer to set it and forget it.
Loud
Takes up a lot of counter space

The biggest drawback is the inability to set the air temperature. But, the Waring Pro DHR20 will definitely still do a great job preserving your food.

L’ Equip Filter Pro 530-Watt Food Dehydrator – $120

LEquip FilterPro Food Dehydrator

For the germophobic customer, the thought of filtering the air used for drying food just makes sense. This is a great buy for anyone wanting clean food at a great price.

Pros:
7.2 Square Feet of space
Can accommodate up to 20 trays
Filters air before heating it to ensure clean air for clean food
Set temperature between 95 – 155 degrees Fahrenheit
Energy efficient
24-month warranty

Cons:
Loud
Takes up a lot of counter space

With plenty of tray space and filtered air, you will enjoy making fresh recipes from L’ Equip Filter Pro for many years to come.

Weston VegiKiln 600-Watt Food Dehydrator – $220

Weston VegiKiln Tray Food Dehydrator

This dehydrator gives you a lot of space, is energy efficient, and quiet. Since it takes several hours to dry food, silence is golden.

Pros:
8 Square Feet of drying space
No need to rotate trays
Lots of power for the money
Rear-mounted fan dries food evenly
Very quiet
Energy Efficient
Can set thermostat from 84 – 155 degrees Fahrenheit
Very light and compact for the amount of drying space available

Cons:
No timer
No warranty advertised

The Weston VegiKlin is a quality product that works so quietly that you won’t notice anything but the amazing aroma in your kitchen.

Excalibur 2900 600-Watt Dehydrator – $250

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Excalibur is the most trusted name in dehydrators, as it has been the market leader for 30 years. They must be doing something right. This is the dehydrator I own. I use it oI love it!

Pros:
Produced by a solid company making dehydrators for over 30 years
9 trays = 15 square feet of drying space
Rear mounted fan dries food evenly
Easy to clean
Can set thermostat and timer from 85 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit
10-year warranty

Cons:
Size – takes up a lot of counter space
Loud

You can’t go wrong with Excalibur! They know dehydrators!

No matter what dehydrator you choose, using this convenient method to store and create healthy foods will be an investment in your health.

So it comes as no surprise that Once a Month Cooking (OAMC) has become an increasingly popular way to save time and money.: Once a Month Cooking: Productivity Hack or Overrated Time Suck?

Featured photo credit: Food dryer and a green apples via Shutterstock

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