best food dehydrators uk

The Best Food Dehydrator UK [Reviews, Features and How to Use]

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 – 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 longer life.  You can even use a food dehydrator to dry out meats.  Generally, food dehydrators are easy to use, and pretty cheap to use, and by dehydrating your own produce you’ll save a lot of money on shop-bought goods.  There is 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!

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Top PRODUCT PICK

The Best Food Dehydrator

This excellent food dehydrator is perfect for drying all your favourite fruits, vegetables and meats. It’s a great efficient machine.

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!

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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. I’ve written here about the best fruits to dehydrate.

Best Food Dehydrators UK Purchases

Food Hydrator NameHighlightsWhat It Looks LikeRead 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,
• Unit Dimensions: 12-1/2 H x 17 W x 19 D (inches)
Check prices and buy now
BioChef Savana Food Dehydrator• Digital Display: 99 Hour Timer
• Adjustable Thermostat: 35º to 70ºC
• 6, 9 or 12 Stainless Steel Drying Trays + 100% BPA Free inner- and outer casing
• Non-Stick Sheet, Fine Mesh Sheet & 3 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
Buy Now!
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
MisterChef Circular Food DehydratorTemperature- setting. easy to clean plastic trays and lid
On/off switch on the unit base.
Settable temperature from 35-70°C.
Buy the best Circular food dehydrator here

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 than your oven.

What to look for in a Food Dehydrator

Your requirements for a food dehydrator and what features to look for, will depend on the use you anticipate.  Here are some questions to ask:

What accessories do you need to use with your food dehydrator?

As you grow more accustomed to dehydrating your produce then you’ll find what works best for you. Here are the gadgets and accessories that we’ve found are the most helpful when getting started.

Food Dehydrator Accessories

A Cookbook for Dehydrating Food

The best place to start when it comes to dehydrating fruits and vegetables is with an expert guide. So we recommend picking up the Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook – it covers virtually everything you need to know. Buy the Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook here.

Reusable Non-Stick Silicon Steamer Sheets

Wherever possible we make life as easy and as green as possible. So having non-stick mats that are easy to wash and reusable is an absolute must. These non-stick steamer mats are essential. Check out dehydrator steamer mats here. These are rectangular, but they also do round ones if you have a circular dehydrator.

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An adjustable Mandolin Slicer

Successful food dehydration relies on great prep. And getting all your fruits and veggies to the same size so that they dehydrate at the same rate is key. This fabulous mandolin slicer is great for doing that. It comes with a cleaning brush and some fabulous no-cut gloves, which if you’re anything like me around sharp objects is essential! Buy this mandolin slicer here.

A vacuum sealing machine

When you’re drying food to last longer you need to give some attention to how you’re going to store it. Airtight is the way to go. The more airtight the better and you can’t get more airtight than a vacuum-sealed bag. This vacuum sealing machine is your BEST option for getting all the air out and sealing it tight, giving your dried foods the best possible chance of long-term storage. Buy a vacuum storage sealing machine here now.

Vacuum Sealing Bags for Dried Food or Sous Vide Cooking

This stash of vacuum sealing bags will see you through your experiences in dehydrating food. You can also use these high-quality vacuum bags – along with the vacuum sealing machine – for sous vide aka boil in the bag – cooking. Buy these food vacuum bags here.

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

What’s the Best Material for a Food Dehydrator?

Most home food dehydrators are made from a combination of plastic and stainless steel. The budget end of the market is mainly plastic. Food dehydrators that are made from stainless steel tend to be more durable and long-lasting. Stainless steel dehydrators can withstand high temperatures for a longer time than other materials. For a dehydrator to be made from stainless steel you’ll want both the chassis AND the trays to be made from stainless steel.

This stainless steel food dehydrator is the best in class. It’s durable and long-lasting and it looks amazing, without costing a fortune! Check it out now!

What’s the Best SHAPE of Food Dehydrator

There are in general three different shapes of food dehydrators – they are either circular or square or 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 how 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.  Here’s the best circular food dehydrator. 

Square or Rectangular Food Dehydrators

In the majority of food dehydrators that are square or rectangular, the fan and heater are usually located at the back of the unit.  This gives the effect of a fan oven – it creates regular and even flows 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.  Here’s the most popular rectangular food dehydrator amongst our readers 

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 gardeners with excess produce.

Food Dehydrators Help you Save Money

You can preserve excess fruit, vegetables (read the best vegetables to dehydrate here) and meat to be used when you need 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 (read our guide to dehydrating tomatoes here) 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 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 dehydrators UK wide and here are our recommendations for the best dehydrators for you.

Klarstein Fruit Jerky Plus 6 Food Dehydrator – Favourite Food Dehydrator amongst our readers

The German-branded Klarstein Dehydrator manufacturer 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.  This Klarstein food dehydrator is known for giving even dehydration.  Read more Klarstein Fruit Jerky Plus 6 Food dehydrator reviews here. 

Here are the vital statistics of this dehydrator from Klarstein

Read more Klarstein Food Dehydrator Reviews and Buy the Klarstein Fruit Jerky Food Dehydrator NOW! 

BioChef Savana Food Dehydrator

This is a great value food dehydrator from Biochef.  It includes a 19.5-hour timer, it comes with 6, 9, or 12 stainless steel drying trays as well as non-stick sheets, meshes, and drip trays.  Biochef UK has a UK service and support center too.  Biochef food dehydrators come in a variety of different models, You can see all of them here but we’ve gone for the 12-tray option as their best in class.  Read more BioChef Food dehydrator reviews here. 

Here are the vital statistics of the Biochef Arizona Sol 9 food dehydrator from Biochef.

  • Digital Display: 99 Hour Timer
  • Adjustable Thermostat: 35º to 70ºC
  • 6, 9 or 12 Stainless Steel Drying Trays + 100% BPA Free inner- and outer casing
  • Non-Stick Sheet, Fine Mesh Sheet & 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

(note that the slightly smaller but equally good Biochef Savana 6 food dehydrator has 6 trays – you can buy that here)

When it comes to the Biochef vs Excalibur food dehydrators there are several key differences

1.  Biochef is generally about half the price of the Excalibur

2.  The timer on the Biochef is 99 hours versus the Excalibur 26 hour time.

Read More Biochef Dehydrator reviews and Buy the BioChef Food Dehydrator NOW! 

Best Circular Food Dehydrator – MisterChef 5 Tray Dehydrator – Food Dehydrator

If you want to opt for a circular food dehydrator, then this dehydrator from MisterChef is a great option and gets fab reviews (read more of them here).  Easy temperature settings, 5 available trays and temperature settings from 35-70 degrees. This is a budget option and has no timer, it is, however, one of the best budget food dehydrators in the UK.

Here are the vital statistics of this circular food dehydrator from Misterchef

  • Temperature- setting. easy to clean plastic trays and lid
  • On/off switch on the unit base.
  • Set temperature from 35-70°C.

Read More Circular Dehydrator Reviews and Buy the MisterChef Food Dehydrator NOW!

Excalibur Dehydrator UK Market:  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 timer.  Want to read more Excalibur Dehydrator reviews?

There are a variety of Excalibur food dehydrators available – from a stainless steel Excalibur food dehydrator to a 10-tray Excalibur food dehydrator, but when it comes to which Excalibur food dehydrator is best we’ve gone for this 9-tray option.  This is the best Excalibur dehydrator for the price.     

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
  • Unit Dimensions: 12-1/2 H x 17 W x 19 D (inches)

Read More Excalibur Dehydrator Reviews and Buy the Excalibur Food Dehydrator NOW! 

FAQs on the Best Food Dehydrators UK Markets

Got a question about food dehydrators?  Put your dehydrator UK wide queries in the comments, or shoot us an email.  We’ll answer and then add your questions to these, our UK 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, when we looked at the question of does a food dehydrator use a lot of electricity, the answer is no!  Food dehydrators do not use a lot of electricity.  Food dehydrators are efficient machines.  It can cost 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.  Electric food dehydrators are designed to be left running for up to 24 hours.  It’s 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.

Which dehydrator is best? What is the best dehydrator to buy?

The best dehydrator to buy for you depends on your usage and the volume of fruit and vegetables that you want to dehydrate.  Please check out the reviews above for the main features and benefits of each of these best UK food dehydrators.

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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!

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