A food dehydrator is a small electrical appliance for drying foods indoors. It has an electric element for heat and a fan and vents for air circulation. Dehydrators are efficiently dry foods fast at 140ºF.
Costs vary depending on features. Some models are expandable and additional trays can be purchased later. Twelve square feet of drying space dries about a half-bushel of produce. The major disadvantage of is its limited capacity.
Features to Look For
- Double wall construction of metal or high grade plastic. Wood is not recommended, because it is a fire hazard and is difficult to clean.
- Enclosed heating elements.
- Counter top design.
- An enclosed thermostat from 85ºF to 160ºF.
- Fan or blower.
- Four to 10 open mesh trays made of sturdy, lightweight plastic for easy washing.
- UL seal of approval.
- A one-year guarantee.
- Convenient service.
- A dial for regulating temperature.
- A timer. Often the completed drying time may occur during the night and a timer could turn the dehydrator off and prevent scorching.