DEHYDRATION – THE NEW HEALTH FOOD REVOLUTION
Dehydration is one of the oldest food preservation techniques, used long before electricity, refrigerators and freezers were prevalently available to mankind. This primitive technique used to require the Sun and ample space to dry foods. Although you can easily refrigerate foods to extend their shelf life today, dehydration continues to be a crucial technique especially for Raw Food Diets, providing healthier food options and maximising every ingredient you use by reducing food waste.
Today, even with a small living space, you can make use of dehydration to prepare your food by electricity powered Dehydrators. With the countless array of Dehydrators on the market, BestDehydratorTips is here to suss out the BEST DEHYDRATORS to suit your needs.
BEST DEHYDRATORS COMPARISON REVIEW
Battle of the Horizontal Airflow Drying System Dehydrators:Optimum vs BioChef Arizona vs Excalibur vs Sedona

Each designed and built to be high quality dehydrators to see you through years of drying and preserving foods in your kitchen, which dehydrator tops them all in terms of functionality, durability and value?

Best Horizontal Airflow Drying System Dehydrator Comparison

Model Optimum P300 10-Tray Dehydrator BioChef Arizona 10 Tray Dehydrator Model Number BCAZ10 BioChef Arizona 10 Tray Commercial Dehydrator Model Number BCCM Excalibur 9-Tray Clear Door Stainless Steel W/Stainless Steel Trays #D900CDSHD Tribest Sedona Classic, SD-P9000-B Rawfood Dehydrator Tribest Sedona Express, SDE-S6780 Food Dehydrator
Product Dimensions N/A H 40cm x W 36cm x D 47.5cm H 52cm x W 42cm x D 39cm H 31.75cm x W 43.18cm x D 48.26cm H 36.83cm x D 49.784cm x W 43.18cm L 44.45cm x H 30.48 cm x D 35.56cm
Tray Dimensions N/A L 33.5cm x W 29.5cm L 40.5cm x W 36cm L 38cm x W 38cm H 33.02cm x W 38.73cm L 25.4cm x w 33cm
# of Trays 10 metal 10 Stainless Steel Trays 10 Removable Chrome Plated Steel Trays (2 sizes) 9 Stainless Steel Trays 9 BPA-Free Plastic Open Trays 11 Stainless Steel Trays
Removable door Yes, this allow trays to be removed and larger items to be dehydrated. Transparent Magnetic Door Stainless Steel casing and easily removable door with handle Yes No ( Convenient front-mounted pull-down glass door ) No
Position of fan Located at the back fan and heating system are located at the back fan and heating system are located at the back Located at the back Located at the back Located at the back
Air Flow Horizontal Horizontal Drying System Horizontal Drying System Horizontal Drying System Horizontal Drying System Powerful Central Fan
Adjustable Thermostat Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Thermostat Range 35-68 Degrees C Adjustable Thermostat 35º – 70º Temperature Range: 35º – 68º Thermostat: 40º C – 74ºC Thermostat: 30 – 68°C Thermostat: 25º C – 75ºC
Computer Controlled Temp Yes automatically turn itself off after the selected drying cycle A digital timer allows to set the dehydrator to automatically turn itself off after the selected cycle Unit automatically turns off when the set time is complete. computerized all-digital control/display makes programming snap, automatically turn itself off when product is ready Two-Stage Sequential Temperature-Timer (TST)
Built-In Timer Yes, 40 Hour Digital Time 24 Hour Digital Timer 15 Hour Digital Timer 26 Hour Digital Timer Built-in Timer Up To 99 Hours 99 Hour Digital Timer
On/Off Switch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dehydration Guide Included? Yes Yes, 3 x Fine Mesh Sheets, Cleaning Brush, 3 x Non-Stick Sheets Instruction Manual Preserve It Naturally Book N/A Yes
Wattage 1000 Watts 800w 1000w 600W 600W 470W
Commercial Yes No commercial warranty 3 Years Commercial Warranty No No 6 months Commercial
Warranty 12 Years Optional 3 Years Domestic 5 Years Domestic 10 Years Warranty 5 Years Warranty 10 Year Warranty
RRP $349 $499 $499 was $410 now $379 $569.95 / discount price $499.95
Certification CE Certified CE, ROHS, GS, EMC, UL, CUL CE Safety Certified and RoHS ENERGY STAR Certified Non-flammable and BPA-Free Plastic Body – Certified by GS

Buy Optimum Dehydrators here.

PRODUCT REVIEW: OPTIMUM P200 DEHYDRATOR

Making your own dried fruit and raw foods is a delicious and cost-effective way of preserving your own grub – that’s why I’ve fallen in love with my Optimum P200 dehydrator (and thus, fallen in love with dehydrating all over again). A house full of dried nibblies is a very happy hours IMO!


FROOTHIE OPTIMUM P200 DEHYDRATOR REVIEW

A home dehydrator may seem like some kind of extravagant foodie purchase, but they are more affordable these days and you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can use it for, its more than just something to activate nuts in! I have used mine for pancakes, wraps, kale chips, energy bars, soup, scones, all kinds of snacks and more besides. After years of using a very very loud excalibur 9 tray dehydrator, I was looking forward to seeing if Froothie had managed to make a quieter version.


FROOTHIE OPTIMUM P200 DEHYDRATOR REVIEW

Since receiving my dehydrator, I’ve made tofu jerky and mushroom jerky in it, which have both been amazing and only take a few hours. I especially love the tofu jerky, which is simply tofu sliced and marinated in a combination of sriracha, vegan Worcestershire Sauce and liquid smoke, then dehydrated at 60C for about 4 hours (it’ll take less or more time depending on how thick you slice the tofu).


REVIEW: FROOTHIE OPTIMUM P200 DEHYDRATOR

The more I researched the more I got excited about having this machine. There is of course the easy stuff like fruit leather. Just puree the fruit of your choice, spread onto the mat that comes with the machine and dehydrate at 60C for about 6 to 10 hours depending on the thickness of the fruit.


Sweet Potato Chips: Optimum P200 Dehydrator Review

The Optimum P200 Dehydrator is really easy to use, you just load up the trays, leaving space around each piece of food, set the temperature and time and leave it to do it’s stuff. You can open the drawers to check how things are going with no ill effects. It worked first time and, although the booklet that comes with it is a bit limited in information, the internet is full of dehydrator recipes and tips, I’ve collected some on a Dehydrator Recipes Pinterest Board, please feel free to follow. You can use the Optimum Dehydrator to make yogurt and also to prove bread!


FROOTHIE DEHYDRATOR OPTIMUM P200 – MY REVIEW

The Froothie dehydrator was easy to programme and we’re away. The first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. Of course, it makes a noise – it’s fanning your food dry – but it was slightly quieter than I’m used to. I also think the drawers fit more tightly, so more of the warm air stays inside the machine. The bread and almonds certainly dried quicker than in my previous machine, which is good news for energy efficiency. AND it costs about the same price as my previous smaller one. BUT look out for regular promotions on the Froothie website. I am sold. I LOVE it.


Dehydrator Trays

Since the process of dehydration does not take a couple of minutes, it makes sense to dry foods in large batches to save time and effort. For raw food and vegan kitchens, this is all the more pertinent when it comes to choosing the right dehydrator for you.
When it comes to trays, you always want to make sure you have more than enough to suit drying foods of various shapes and size. Especially if you will be using your dehydrator frequently and looking at dehydrating large batches of ingredients at a time, the number and size of trays is an important consideration.
Across the board, all the dehydrators offer between 9-10 trays, with the Optimum P200 offer options of 6 or 10 trays, and the Optimum P300 offering 10 trays. However, the Optimum dehydrators provides 2 non-stick and 2 mesh sheets so you do not have to purchase them separately, unlike the BioChef Arizona, Excalibur and Sedona. All three brands offer none or only type of drying sheets.
The Optimum P200 comes in 6 or 10 darkened trays to ensure maximum preservation of light-sensitive enzymes and nutrients with non-stick and mesh sheets for the convenience of drying wet ingredients

If you are looking for heavy-duty, commercial grade dehydrators, the Optimum P300 Stainless Steel Dehydrator is a great choice. It comes with 10 metal trays to withstand frequent use.

Temperature Range

The Optimum P200 has a temperature range of 29-68°C, while the Optimum P300 ranges from 35-68°C. Most square, horizontal airflow dehydrators fall within this temperature range, of course, the wider the temperature range the more expensive the dehydrators tend to be. Excalibur and Sedona offer dehydrators with a higher temperature range of up to 74-94°C, but you need to consider if such high temperatures are necessary if you aim is to preserve and retain the nutrients of your ingredients. With the more efficient drying system of horizontal airflow dehydrators, you should not need to compensate with a high temperature range to shorten drying time.

Drying Duration

Optimum P200 and P300 comes with a digital timer of up to 40 hours, ample time for drying most foods. BioChefArizona and Excalibur offer between 15-26 hours of drying, which may fall short if you are looking to dry your ingredients overnight. Sedona on the other hand, offers up to 99 hours of drying, which would be most suited for intensive commercial use.

Power

When it comes to power, only Biochef Arizona 10-tray Commercial Dehydrator meets the Optimum dehydrators’ 1000W capacity. Despite being touted as suitable for commercial use, other dehydrators by Sedona, Excalibur and BioChef Arizona fall short at 470W, 600W and 800W respectively. The power of the dehydrator reflects the efficiency in which it takes to dry your food,therefore it always good to invest in a dehydrator with higher power to ensure your dehydrators stand the test of time and frequent use.
Excalibur 9-Tray Stainless Steel Dehydrator.

Warranty

Optimum Dehydrators blow the rest of the dehydrators out of the water with its 12-year optional warranty, while BioChef Arizona, Sedona and Excalibur offer 3, 5 and 10 year warranties respectively. In fact, the Optimum Dehydrators provide 30-day money back guarantees to allow you to try the product for yourself before deciding if you want to make the dehydrator part of the permanent collection in your kitchen.
Try the Optimum Dehydrators for the first 30 days for FREE here.

Price

As far as horizontal airflow dehydrators go, they typically range from $400-$500.
At $299, Optimum P200 is unbeatable for its functionality, durability and performance. With comparable or even superior features to that of BioChef Arizona, Sedona and Excalibur, you can’t go wrong with the Optimum P200.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty dehydrator that won’t break the bank, the Optimum P300 is another great choice, ringing in at only $499.
Optimum P300 Stainless Steel Dehydrator.
For more information on Optimum Dehydrators, see this.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A DEHYDRATOR

Vertical vs Horizontal Airflow Drying System

Vertical airflow dehydrators have fans positioned at the base of the dehydrator. This means the air flows from the bottom trays to the trays above and back down to the bottom during the dehydration process. As such, if you place food in the lower trays, you can dry them in no time.
Vertical airflow dehydrators usually require frequent checks on the progress of dehydration and the need to rotate the trays between the higher and lower levels to ensure even dehydration. This could be a problem if you need a dehydrator which can work its magic once you set the timer and temperature, so you can head off to your busy day without worrying about over-drying or burning your ingredients. Due to the vertical drying system, vertical airflow dehydrators also pose the problem of cross-flavour contamination as well, limiting you to drying only selected types of food at any given time.

Vertical vs Horizontal Airflow Drying System

Warning: Inconsistent drying temperature throughout the dehydrator can cause food to be dried on the outside but still moist inside –this will affect the effectiveness of food preservation and increase the risk of ending up with spoilt food. Always ensure food has been dried thoroughly before storage and check stored dried foods regularly.
Horizontal airflow dehydrators usually have fans located at the back of the dehydrator so air flows forward and backwards across the trays. They may seem to take a longer time to dry smaller amounts of food and limit you from using just the number of trays needed for the intended food quantity, however, it isin fact more economical to use dehydrators at its full capacity every time as the same amount of power is required and the even heat distribution ensures all your ingredients are dried thoroughly at the same time anyway.
Another benefit of the horizontal drying system is you do not have to monitor the progress of dehydration or fuss over rotating the trays to ensure even heat drying. It also does not pose any issue of cross-flavour contamination as the air does not pass through the levels of trays.

Peach & raspberry fruit leather.

Stackable vs Shelved Trays

Stackable trays as usually a feature of vertical airflow dehydrators while shelved trays are commonly used in horizontal airflow dehydrators. Stackable, vertical dehydrators are usually round in shape. Shelved, horizontal dehydrators on the other hand, feature a squareshelving unit.
Shelved trays are generally much easier to slide into the dehydrator and equally a breeze to pull out to check on the progress of your ingredients. On the contrary, stackable trays can be a hassle to remove the top trays to check on the middle trays.
It is also worth mentioning that shelved dehydrators usually offer greater capacity in terms of drying bigger and thicker pieces of foods such as yogurt cups, soup bowls, whole cherries or even bread. You can always slide of the middle trays to create more space of ingredients which tend to rise, such as bread. The nature of stackable trays, however, does not allow for this.

Assorted dried fruits.

Size & Tray Capacity

When choosing your ideal dehydrator, it is important to first get your bearings how often you foresee yourself using the dehydrator and where you intend to use it and store it.
If you are looking to dehydrate large amounts of food regularly,pay attention to the dimensions and tray capacity. Although the number of trays available in shelved dehydrators is fixed, shelved units usually offer greater capacity than stackable dehydrators. Ensure that the dehydrator provides ample space for you to dry foods of different shapes at sizes at any given time so you can make the best out of your dehydrator.
The size of the dehydrator is also an important factor to consider before you make your purchase as you need to plan where to place your dehydrator while it is drying foods – it requires a level, ventilated space, free from other heated surfaces – as well as storage after use.

All natural homemade apple crisps.

Timer & Thermostat

The additional feature of built-in digital timer and thermostat varies from dehydrator to dehydrator and some may see this as not the most important factor to make or break the deal. However, if you prefer to customiseyour drying process and prefer a more fuss-free approach to dehydration, built-in timers and thermostats would be a necessary feature to ensure you can achieve the desired level of dehydration easily without having to worry about over-drying of burning your ingredients. With timer and thermostat features, you can even dry foods while you sleep safely.
Many lower-end vertical airflow dehydrators do not come with built-in thermostat or timer and require more trial and error and frequent checks on your ingredients to ensure the best results is achieved. This is not an additional problem to vertical airflow dehydrators as they require rotation of trays for even heating to begin with, but definitely a point worth noting.

Value

Often considered as entry-level products, vertical airflow dehydrators can go as low as $30 a pop. However tempting as that may be, they are usually limited in capacity, customisability (no temperature or timer controls) and functionality.

When it comes to efficiency and savings in the long run, horizontal airflow dehydrators prove to be more worthy of the kitchen if you are even considering dehydrating foods in the first place. With a more efficient drying system, it will save you more time, money and effort.

Assorted fruit leathers.

SUMMARY

What makes the best dehydrator?

  • Horizontal Airflow Drying System for even heat distribution
  • Prevents cross-flavour contamination
  • Shelved trays with sufficient capacity for drying foods of different shapes and sizes
  • Quick and efficient dehydration
  • Built-in timer & thermostat controls

Buy quality Horizontal Airflow Dehydrators here.

WHY YOU NEED A DEHYDRATOR

Preserve Foods For Longer

With a dehydrator, you will be able to increase the longevity of fresh produce be removing moisture from foods to prevent them from being susceptible to decay. Dehydration is an age old technique to prolong the shelf life of foods, especially in preparation for harsh weather conditions to ensure you will always be able to have food on the table to nourish your body. In today’s context, this method of food preservation is still very much relevant, especially for urban living where you may not always have access to fresh produce all the time or wish to have seasonal foods available anytime the need arises.

Assorted jerkies.

Nutrients & Natural Flavour Retention

By removing the moisture out of foods, you are essentially condensing the food’s nutrients and flavor. This makes them handy snacks to have around in the kitchen for when a sugar craving kicks in or when you have urges to eat between meals. Dried fruits and vegetables provide you with a healthier option to substitute chocolate bars and crisps while ensuring you receive the essential nutrients you need, guilt-free

Safer & Healthier Choice

Dehydration is not only a great way to prolong the shelf life of foods. It is also a great way to enjoy food in its natural form without additional additives or preservatives. Due to the lack of cooking and preparation, you will also cut down on your unhealthy fat intake. This allows you to avoid processed foodsaltogether by putting real food in your body instead.
pulp-cracker(H--260)

Juice pulp muffins, Almond pulp brownie, Almond pulp crackers.

Enjoy Raw Foods Readily

The raw food diet is gaining steady popularity in recent years, along with the health movement towards finding ways to eat better to ensure our health is kept in check. A big part of the raw diet is dehydrated foods. Dried foods open the doors to a myriad of possibilities in raw foodism by allowing foods to have varied textures and taste without having to cook the foods. This make dehydrators and blenders essential appliances in a raw food kitchen, where large portions of food dehydration is carried out regularly to prep for raw meals ahead of time. Even if you are not on the raw food bandwagon, how could delicious yet nutritious fruit leathers and crackers hurt?
fruit-leather-5(H-259)

Assorted fruit leather and roll ups.

Increase Ingredient Versatility & Cooking Repertoire

Fruit leathers, vegetable chips, raw crackers, meat jerkies…the opportunities are endless with dehydrators. In fact, beautifully wrapped homemade fruit rolls and biscuits make perfect gifts and snacks enjoyed by the young and old. Having a dehydrator also means you can dry foods you will not use right away, example mushrooms, fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. to store them away for longer periods of time until you need them. All you need to do is add them to liquids to rehydrate them, or add them straightaway into soup, compotes, desserts, you name it.
Raw Vegan Carrot & Flax Crackers, Kale Chips, Raw Corn Chips.

Raw Vegan Carrot & Flax Crackers, Kale Chips, Raw Corn Chips.