Is a Cheap Food Dehydrator Worth the Price?

If you are in the market for a food dehydrator, you may be tempted to buy the least expensive one first just to give it a try and see if you like it. Unfortunately, this may be a fatal mistake at the start of your food dehydrating hobby cheap food sweden.

You certainly don’t have to buy the most expensive dehydrator to get one that will meet your needs, and you should never be fooled into thinking that just because one is more expensive that makes it better. Instead, pay attention to the fundamental features, read a few reviews, then make up your mind.

But if you’re just starting out, how can you know which things are the most important to pay attention to? The tips below will help you decide, and then you’ll be able to know if that food dehydrator is worth the price.

Does it have temperature control?

A food dehydrator is essentially a specialized convection oven. Its range is typically much lower than that of a standard oven, and a fan provides the convection currents to speed up drying. However, if you can’t control the temperature, you become very limited in what you can dry. Most dehydrators that don’t have this control are good only for making beef jerky. If you buy one of these, you’ll miss out on all the other wonderful dehydrated foods you can make.

Where are the heater and fan located?

This question is really two different questions. The first is about airflow. If the fan and heater are located in the back of the unit, you’ll get horizontal airflow. This is great if you want to do several flavors at once because the air won’t spread the flavors from one tray to the next.

If they are in the top or bottom, you’ll have vertical airflow. This is generally better for drying things more evenly. Every tray gets the air equally on all sides, so you don’t have to rotate everything during the drying.

The second question is about design. If the fan and heater are in the base of the unit, everything from fruit juices to marinades are going to drip right into them, potentially shortening the life of your dehydrator. Since a shorter life means you have to buy another one sooner, this could make the cheap one more expensive over the long term.

How easy is it to clean?

Are the trays dishwasher safe? Does it come completely apart? These are the kinds of things that will make it easier to clean. If you find yourself having to scrub dried marinade off of the fan blades, or reaching to clean deep corners, you may find that cleanup is too much effort for the reward of fresh jerky. In that case, your cheap food dehydrator becomes an expensive dust collector, making it definitely not worth the price.

Do you really need the expensive “extras”?

This final question is kind of a catch all. One thing that tends to make one food dehydrator more expensive than another is quality, but there are many others.

For example, you may pay extra for a unit with a timer. While this feature may be handy if you generally aren’t around when you’re running the dehydrator, it is also something many people will never use because timing when things are done is as much an art as it is a science.

You will definitely pay more for additional power. The biggest thing this affects is how many trays of food you can dry at a time (for expandable units) and how quickly everything will dry. Since many food dehydrators have at least enough room for about 1 lb of meat for jerky, you need to ask yourself how much jerky you’ll be making at any given time.

Speed, however, can be a definite plus. While a 1000 Watt unit won’t dry meat twice as fast as a 500 Watt unit, it will probably be close to that, bringing a 12 hour wait down to about 6 hours.

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