The mechanics of food dehydrators are quite simple. Food dehydrators use heat and airflow to reduce the water content of food. Fruit and vegetables have a high water content – its typically between 80% to 95%. Removing moisture from your fruit and vegetables will slow down bacteria from growing and spoiling your food. Food dehydrators essentially give your fruit and vegetables a long life. You can even use a food dehydrator to dry out meats as well. Generally, food dehydrators are easy to use, pretty cheap to use and by dehydrating your own produce you’ll save a lot of money on shop-bought goods. There are a huge variety of different dehydrators available in the UK – and we’ve taken a look at the best of the UK’s food dehydrators, their features, benefits, downsides and costs. So if you’re ready to take the plunge and start dehydrating your garden produce come on in!
Best Food Dehydrators UK Purchases
|Food Hydrator Name||Highlights||What It Looks Like||Read Reviews & Buy Now!|
|Excalibur Food Dehydrator||• 9-Tray dehydrator, 15 square feet of drying space|
• Built-in on/off switch and adjustable thermostat with 26-hour timer
• Easy to clean Polyscreen tray inserts
• 7-inch fan, 600 watts, voltage: 110-120V
• Unit Dimensions: 12-1/2 H x 17 W x 19 D (inches)
|Check prices and buy now|
|BioChef Arizona||• Digital Display: 19.5 Hour Timer|
• Adjustable Thermostat: 35º to 70ºC
• 9x Stainless Steel Drying Trays + 100% BPA Free inner- and outer casing
• 3x Non-Stick Sheet, 3x Fine Mesh Sheet & 3x Drip Tray
• Superior horizontal airflow for even & consistent drying of foods & no flavour contamination between the trays
• 3 years warranty on motor & parts - UK service & support centre
|Klarstein Fruit Jerky 6||• Temperature and timer setting gives even dehydration as the fan circulates warm air|
• Adjustable display on the upper surface.
• Adjustable temperature from 35-70°C.
• Adjustable timer from 0:30 - 19:30 hrs
|Check Prices here|
|Klarstein Fruitower||• Temperature- and timer setting. easy to clean plastic trays and lid|
• On/off switch on the unit base.
• Settable temperature from 35-70°C.
• Adjustable timer from 0:30-19:30 hrs
|Buy Circular Food Dehydrator here|
|Cooks Professional||• 5 tier design means you can preserve varieties of food simultaneously|
• Instruction manual included with drying time guidelines
• The 240W dehydrator has a timer that can be set between 1 and 72 hours with an adjustable temperature of between 35°C and 70°C
• Measures W33.5cm x D26cm x H27.5cm when all 5 trays are stacked together.
• If only one tray is used, the height is 14.5cm
|Best Budget Buy Food Dehydrator|
Why Do you Need a Food Dehydrator
One of the challenges of growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs is that you often get a glut of produce. Or that the season for growing vegetables in the UK is relatively short – and your harvests all happen in a few short months. Dehydrating your produce will help you to preserve your harvest for longer. This is nothing new in the world of food preservation. The Peruvian Incas have been freeze-drying potatoes for more than EIGHT centuries – Chuño is a Peruvian potato dish that was freeze-dried in the Andes mountains and then reconstituted as and when they were needed. It’s still a popular dish in Peru today!
The type of food dehydrator that you buy will depend on the frequency of use that you’ll have for it as well as the types of fruit and vegetables (and even meat) that you want to dehydrate.
What is a Food Dehydrator?
A food dehydrator is simply a combination of a heat source and an airflow within a machine where the warm air is pumped around and circulated in the enclosed space. And yes, that’s exactly the same type of process that you can undertake in your oven if you so wish. Food dehydrators are more efficient and built specifically for this purpose, they use a lot less energy.
What to look for in a Food Dehydrator
Your requirements for the features of a food dehydrator and what to look for will depend on the use you anticipate. Here are some questions to ask:
- How often will you use your food dehydrator? Go for great quality if you’ll use it a lot – this Excalibur is best in class in the UK
- Will you use your food dehydrator overnight? And will you need a timer?
- How big do you need it to be?
What can you use a food dehydrator for?
If it’s a foodstuff and you can dry it, you can use your food dehydrator. So think about what you might like to dry or make in your food dehydrator. Here are some suggestions
- “Sun” dried tomatoes – read our 10 tomato growing secrets here
- Fruit Leathers
- Dried Mushrooms
- Courgette Crisps – get our tips on growing courgettes here
- Dried Banana Chips
- Dried Apple Slices
- Dried herbs – here’s our top easy herbs to grow
- Here are some other suggestions for food to dehydrate
What’s the best SHAPE of Food Dehydrator
There are in general three different shapes of food dehydrators – however, they combine to either circular or square/rectangular. The benefits and advantages of the square and rectangular-shaped food dehydrators are the same.
Circular Food Dehydrators
The heat source and the fan on circular food dehydrators are located at either the top or bottom of the machine. This has the potential for the food closest to the fan to be dried quicker than food at the opposite end. You’ll need to learn this particular shape of food dehydrator works and might need to move your foods around within the dehydrator to ensure that you get a consistent finish.
Square or Rectangular Food Dehydrators
In the majority of food dehydrators that are square or rectangular in shape the fan and heater is usually located at the back of the unit. This gives the effect of a fan oven – it creates a regular and even flow of warm air throughout the entire machine. You’ll generally get much more consistent dehydrated food from a square or rectangular food dehydrator than a circular one. Because of this consistency, you don’t have to monitor the device as much as you would with a circular dehydrator. Equally, you don’t have to move food around throughout the process to achieve consistency. Usually, with this shape of device, you can also remove specific trays to make spaces bigger if necessary.
What are the benefits of a Food Dehydrator?
Food dehydrators have a host of benefits and if you do have a lot of produce you’ll find them invaluable. Here are the main food dehydrator benefits for edible gardeners.
Food Dehydrators Help you Save Money
You can preserve excess fruit, vegetable and meat to be used when you have the need for it. There’s no need to throw away leftovers, or gluts of harvest from your garden. Simply dehydrate it and use it in the future. You’ll not only lower your shopping bills but also extend the life of your produce.
Food Dehydrators Concentrate the Flavour of Fruit and Vegetables
Many fruit and vegetables have a very high water content, by removing a large percentage of that water you’re concentrating the flavour of it. Homemade “sun” dried tomatoes or chips made from courgettes or potatoes all have an amazing flavour, made even better as you know exactly what you’ve put into them!
Food Dehydrators Extend the life of your Produce
Any fruits and vegetables keep fresh for only a short period of time. And of course, they’re all usually ripe at the same time! Dehydrating your garden produce lets you extend the life of your produce. Sure you can freeze it, but dehydrating vegetables and fruit gives you another option and a different way of storing the results of your vegetable growing.
Food dehydrators let your fruits and vegetables retain MORE vitamins and goodness than other methods of preserving.
Dehydrating fruit and vegetables actually retains much more of the vitamin and mineral content of your harvest than boiling or roasting them. It concentrates flavour and goodness.
Top Food Dehydrator UK Reviews
We’ve looked at the best food dehydrators available in the UK and here are our recommendations for the best dehydrators for you.
Excalibur Dehydrator: 9 Trays, 26 Hour Timer, Excellent Quality and Results.
The Excalibur dehydrator is the most expensive of our reviewed food dehydrators. It’s also the best in terms of quality, expected lifetime and functionality. With the Excalibur Dehydrator, you’ll get 9 trays – which means 15 square feet of drying space, a BPA-free mesh screen to stop sticking, a great adjustable thermostat AND a 26 hour time. Want to read more reviews?
Here are the vital statistics of the dehydrator from Excalibur.
- 9-Tray dehydrator, 15 square feet of drying space
- Built-in on/off switch and adjustable thermostat with 26-hour timer
- Easy to clean Polyscreen tray inserts
- 7-inch fan, 600 watts, voltage: 110-120V
- Unit Dimensions: 12-1/2 H x 17 W x 19 D (inches)
BioChef Arizona Sol 9 Tray Food Dehydrator with Digital Display
This is a great value food dehydrator from Biochef. It includes a 19.5-hour timer, 9 stainless steel drying trays as well as non-stick sheets, meshes and drip trays. Biochef has a UK service and support centre too. Biochef have a variety of different models available, you can see all of them here but we’ve gone for the 9 tray option as their best in class. Read more BioChef Food dehydrator reviews here.
Here are the vital statistics of the dehydrator from Biochef.
- Digital Display: 19.5 Hour Timer
- Adjustable Thermostat: 35º to 70ºC
- 9x Stainless Steel Drying Trays + 100% BPA Free inner- and outer casing
- 3x Non-Stick Sheet, 3x Fine Mesh Sheet & 3x Drip Tray
- Superior horizontal airflow for even & consistent drying of foods & no flavour contamination between the trays
- 3 years warranty on motor & parts – UK service & support centre
- This product is built to British standards and is equipped with a British plug to fit all standard wall sockets
Klarstein Fruit Jerky Plus 6 Food Dehydrator
The German branded Klarstein has a variety of different food dehydrators and we’ve selected two of them for our best buy guide to food dehydrators. This Jerky Plus 6 is a versatile machine with a timer that allows settings from 30 minutes up to 19.5 hours. It’s known for even dehydration. Read more Klarstein Fruit Jerky Plus 6 Food dehydrator reviews here.
Here are the vital statistics of this dehydrator from Klarstein
- Temperature and timer setting gives even dehydration as the fan circulates warm air
- Adjustable display on the upper surface.
- Adjustable temperature from 35-70°C.
- Adjustable timer from 0:30 – 19:30 hrs
Best Circular Food Dehydrator – Klarstein Fruitower D Dehydrator – Food Dehydrator
If you want to opt for a circular food dehydrator, then this Fruitower from Klarstein is a great option and gets fab reviews (read more of them here). Easy temperature settings and time adjustment with temperature settings from 35-70 degrees and a timer from 30 minutes to 19.5 hours.
Here are the vital statistics of this circular food dehydrator from Klarstein
- Temperature- and timer setting. easy to clean plastic trays and lid
- On/off switch on the unit base.
- Settable temperature from 35-70°C.
- Adjustable timer from 0:30-19:30 hrs
Cooks Professional 5 Tiered Food Dehydrator – Budget Pick
If you don’t plan to use your food dehydrator a huge lot, then we recommend this option from cooks Professional. At the budget end of the market, it has some good functionality, with a somewhat smaller area. Read more Cooks Professional Food dehydrator reviews here.
Here are the vital statistics of this dehydrator from Cooks Professional
- 5 tier design means you can preserve varieties of food simultaneously
- Instruction manual included with drying time guidelines
- The 240W dehydrator has a timer that can be set between 1 and 72 hours with an adjustable temperature of between 35°C and 70°C
- Measures W33.5cm x D26cm x H27.5cm when all 5 trays are stacked together.
- If only one tray is used, the height is 14.5cm
FAQs on the Best Food Dehydrators UK
Got a question about food dehydrators? Ask us in the comments, or shoot us an email. We’ll answer and then add your questions to these, our food dehydrator FAQs.
How long do food dehydrators take?
Food dehydrators generally take between 5 and 14 hours to complete the task of dehydrating your produce. The length of time depends on what you are dehydrating and the end effect you are looking for.
How does dehydrating food work?
A heat source or heating element within a food dehydrator raises the temperature inside the machine, a fan then circulates the warm air and removes the moisture from the air and any food you have placed on the trays within the dehydrator.
Do food dehydrators use a lot of electricity?
No. Food dehydrators do not use a lot of electricity. Food dehydrators in 2020 are efficient machines. It costs less than £1 to run a food dehydrator for 24 hours. Many times this is a lot less especially if you are drying food at lower temperatures.
Can you leave a food dehydrator running overnight?
Yes. Food dehydrators are designed to left running for up to 24 hours. Its always best with any electrical machine to ensure that it’s on a hard fixed surface, such as a kitchen worktop. Do not site your food dehydrator on towels or in an area where it can be affected by water.
Final Words on the Best Food Dehydrators in the UK
Food dehydrators are a fabulous way to extend the useable life of your garden produce. Dehydrating fruit and vegetables enables you to enhance flavours, save money and retain vitamins and minerals within the vegetables and fruit for longer. Food dehydrators are efficient and effective ways of helping to ensure your garden produce doesn’t go to waste and we hope you have great fun experimenting with your harvest!LetsGrowCook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates..