Picking out the right dehydrator for you isn’t always an easy task. There are a lot of models out there, and in all honesty, many look so identical it’s tough to see what makes them different. So, let’s take a look at the best 3 options for getting started with dehydrating.
Stockli Vertical Dehydrators
When it comes to budget dehydrators, Stockli remains supreme, and they offer a solid variety of products perfect for beginners. Their current range consists of four models, which all come with 3 trays and a temperature control dial as a minimum. However, different models provide access to some other options such as stainless-steel trays and timer controls to improve functionality.
The dehydrating technology in a Stockli model functions the same between all models and features a fan and heater in the base of the device. These components work together to dry ingredients from below. This design does have some drawbacks, but it also has a great advantage of allowing for variable amounts of trays. All Stockli dehydrators are compatible with up to 10 trays at a time and these can be removed and moved about with ease to achieve optimal results.
It's tough to pick one specific model to recommend out of the Stockli collection, as all the models remain similar. However, if you can afford it, we feel that the top range model with stainless-steel trays and a timer is the best value for money. It comes in cheaper than most models offered by other brands yet offers premium tray quality and enough features to make it useful in many different scenarios. When combined with some extra trays this device can be a real powerhouse.
Excalibur 5-Tray Stackable Dehydrator
Stockli models are great in many ways, but as default they only come with 3 trays, and it isn’t always desirable to purchase more. Therefore, the Excalibur 5-Tray stackable dehydrator offers a great way to reach new heights without costing much more money. As an added perk, this vertical model by Excalibur also has a unique tray shape, which provides a substantially larger surface area for drying than those found in the smaller Stockli.
However, while this model is great for its capacity alone, what really makes it stand out is the Excalibur branding. Excalibur is renowned as the best dehydrator manufacturer in the world and they have been producing some of the best models around for 40 years now. As a result, when you buy an Excalibur dehydrator you know you’re getting the best.
Excalibur 4-Tray Horizontal Dehydrator
On paper moving from a 5-Tray model down to a 4-Tray model may not seem logical, but there is method behind the madness. While stackable/vertical models have their perks, they also run into the issue of uneven heating. In all vertical dehydrators, the fan and heater are located at the base of the device, which in turn leads to better dehydration in the lower trays. Therefore, to get an even amount of dehydration between all the trays they must be swapped around frequently.
For most people this isn’t desirable and as a result the horizontal dehydrator has sprung into popularity. This style is less customisable and is limited to the trays that it comes with, but it has the advantage of providing even heating to all trays thanks to Excalibur’s optimised airflow drying system. Even heating allows for better results in a shorter timeframe.
It is quite clear that when it comes to getting started with dehydrators, you don’t have to spend loads of money to get a good device. There are options for everyone and they come at a wide variety of price points. However, as good as these devices are, don’t be put off from the more premium models. Where they do cost more, they are much more capable as a result, making the experience they offer more enjoyable.