In the modern kitchen, the dehydrator is a must-have as it helps save a lot of time. In the old days, when drying different types of foods like beef jerkies, fruits, vegetables, and herbs of all kinds, people had to wait around for days. Fortunately, this is not the case anymore as the popular kitchen appliances have made it possible to enjoy dry foods that you store for later consumption or use on the spot for various recipes after only a few hours.

Top 5 Dehydrators Comparison

1. Excalibur 3926TB 2. Magic Mill 9 Trays SS 3. Excalibur 2900ECB 4. Gourmia GFD1950 5. Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster
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General Info

Brand Excalibur Magic Mill Excalibur Gourmia Nesco
Dimensions (H x W x D) 12.5″ x 17″ x 19″ 15.5″ x 18.5″ x 19.5″ 12.5″ x 17″ x 19″ 17.5″ x 13.5″ x 16″ 9.5″ x 15.5″ x 15.5″
Weight 30 Lbs 23.8 Lbs 22 Lbs 14.5 Lbs 8.95 Lbs
Housing Material Polycarbonate BPA-Free Plastic, Metal BPA-Free Plastic ABS Plastic BPA-Free Plastic
Color/ Finish Black Black Black Black White


Type Box Box Box Box Stacked
Drying Levels/ Trays 9 9 9 9 4
Drying Space 15 Sq. Ft. N/A 15 Sq. Ft. 9.5 Sq. Ft. N/A
Temperature Range 105°F – 165°F 95°F – 158°F 95°F – 155°F 95°F – 158°F 90°F – 160°F
Wattage 600W 600W 600W 600W 1000W
Voltage 110-120V 110-120V 120V 120V 120V
Fan Diameter 7″ N/A 7″ N/A 4.5″


Built-In Timer 26 Hours 19.5 Hours 19.5 Hours 48 Hours
Removable/ Adjustable Trays
Automatic Shut-Off
Transparent Door
Cool-Touch Exterior N/A
Dishwasher-Safe Parts
Removable Door
Additional Features
Parallex Horizontal Airflow Overheating Safety Protection Polyscreen Tray Insert Countdown Timer LCD Panel Expandable to 20 Trays
Hyperwave Fluctuation Technology Removable Drip Tray On/Off Switch 8 Preset Temperature Settings Converga-Flow
Polyscreen Tray Insert Non-Stick Trays On Indication Light Circusmart 360˚ Air-Flow Circulation System Opaque Vita-Save Exterior
On Indication Light Digital LCD Display
On/Off Switch

Drying Performance

Beef Jerky 4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours 5-6 Hours 4 Hours
Apples 7-15 Hours 6-8 Hours 7-15 Hours 6-7 Hours 4-6 Hours
Bananas 6-10 Hours 6-8 Hours 6-10 Hours 7-8 Hours 5-8 Hours
Pineapple 10-18 Hours 7-9 Hours 10-18 Hours 8-9 Hours 4-6 Hours
Herbs 4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours 3-6 Hours


Product Warranty 10 Years 1 Year 5 Years 1 Year 1 Year
Customer Support
User Manual

Dehydrating Machines Reviews

1. Excalibur 3926TB

Excalibur is seen as the number 1 manufacturer of dehydrators for a good reason, the company producing the highest rated product of this kind on the market. The 3926TB provides exactly what you are looking for – a large capacity and innovative features. The 15 square feet of drying space that it offers allow you to conveniently dehydrate fruits, veggies, and meat. The 9-tray box style appliance uses a unique drying system that delivers even and consistent heat and airflow, tackling any task thrown its way in a professional manner.

The built-in 26-hour timer that the appliance comes with allows you to set the precise drying time for the type of food that you have placed on the trays. Another convenient feature that makes it a highly desirable product is the fact that it allows you to set the drying temperature as desired as long as it ranges from 105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. In case you want to dehydrate bulky items, you can easily remove the trays that stand in your way.

It features a removable door that allows an easy loading and a hassle-free cleanup. Additionally, the manufacturer backs the product during the first 10 years after you purchase it. Therefore, any issues that appear and are a result of defective parts or improper manufacturing will be handled free of charge.



9 drying trays offer more space to store food
Provides a total 15 square foot drying space
Built-in timer can be set for up to 26 hours
Temperature you can set ranges from 105°F to 165°F
Backed by a 10-year warranty


As expected, the temperature range offered by this dry out machine exceeds industry standard as you can set it from 105°F to 165°F. Furthermore, it delivers a generous 15 square foot drying space, and it allows you to place food items at your own free will due to the 9-tray design it boasts. All of its features and specs, combined with the reasonable asking price make it a bang for your buck.

2. Magic Mill 9 Trays SS

Design, quality of performance, and a multitude of features – these are the three main characteristics of a high-end appliance that dehydrates foods, and the three main characteristics of the 9 Trays SS produced by Magic Mill. After taking a closer look at what it can do and the record time that the product delivers dried foods, you will understand why it is our choice for the second best product on its market.

When it comes to drying common fruits, the appliance does not spend more than 8-9 hours on the operation, regardless of its difficulty. The built-in timer that it features makes it even more exceptional as it allows you to set the operating time that you desire, the appliance automatically shutting off when this period is over. One of the most important features is that it automatically shuts off in case of overheating. Thus, it guarantees that no incidents can occur, so you can safely go away from home when it is turned on without worrying about it.

The removable drip tray that it comes with collects the residue that gets spilled during the dehydration process. Therefore, it allows for a convenient and mess-free manner to dispose of these unwanted drippings. When it comes to warranty, the product is only backed up during the first year after its purchase, which is not so impressive when compared to the Excalibur’s 10-year warranty.



Automatically shuts off in case it overheats Price is a bit high
Can be set to continuously run for 19 hours and a half at tops
Removable drip tray allows an easy cleanup
Non-stick trays ensure food items will be easy to get off of the trays
You can monitor the drying process without opening the door due to its transparent texture


Although it is a bit more expensive than most dehydrating appliances, we still recommend you give this 9-tray model a chance as it delivers a generous drying surface and a great temperature range which allows you to dry out various food items with it in no time.

3. Excalibur 2900ECB

Another entry from the renowned Excalibur manufacturer is the 2900ECB that, just as the number one entry in our top, is capable of drying different types of fruits, vegetables, or meat in record time. The drying temperature that the appliance uses during its operation can be adjusted between 95 degrees Fahrenheit and 155 degrees Fahrenheit. It offers a generous 15 square feet of drying space so that you can fit a generous amount of food in it.

In order to allow you to dry larger items, the trays can be removed, thus their positioning being easily adjustable. One of the best features of this appliance is the On indicator light that shows you the dehydration process is still taking place. Due to the fact that its door is removable, you can easily load the food into it and take the trays out when the process is over.

Unfortunately, there is a major downside to this product, downside that caused it to take the number 3 spot in our top instead of a superior place – the fact that it does not feature a built-in timer. This means that you have to keep an eye on the clock or on the food to be able to turn the appliance off when needed. On the bright side, it is covered by a generous 5-year warranty.



Compact design – fits perfectly in your kitchen as it measures only 12.5” x 17” x 19” Does not automatically shut off in case it overheats
You can adjust the trays to suit the food volume you are dealing with Does not feature a built-in timer function
Can reach a peak drying temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit
Great price to quality ratio
Exterior remains cool to the touch when it operates to enhance safety in use


While the drawbacks of this machine are quite important as it lacks a built-in timer that would have made operating it more convenient, and an automatic shut-off feature for enhanced safety, we cannot overlook its upsides – the generous drying space, for example. When looking at the bigger picture and weighing what it offers performance-wise, we can only conclude that this is definitely an investment worth making.

4. Gourmia GFD1950

There are many good things to be said about the Gourmia GFD1950, a top of the line food dehydrating appliance that is the perfect fit in any modern kitchen. Let’s start with its design – the appliance is spacious enough to deliver a generous drying space, but it does not take up an absurd amount of space on the counter or table that you place it on. Also, the transparent door that it features allows you to easily see how the drying process is taking place whenever you want.

When it comes to the drying temperature range delivered by the appliance and that you can select as you like, depending on the specific type of food that you are dehydrating, know that it can be set from 95 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Another useful feature of this high-end appliance is the fact that it comes with a built-in timer that you can set for a maximum of 19 and a half hours.

When the time passes, it automatically shuts off, so you won’t have to worry about turning it off yourself. By far, the most interesting feature of this product is the Circusmart 360˚ Air Flow Circulation technology that ensures an enhanced performance and an even dehydration of the foods. Another important detail worth mentioning is the fact that it features a convenient LCD panel that makes the operation of the appliance highly intuitive.



Can be set to automatically shut off after up to 19 and a half hours of continuous operation Not the greatest drying space is put at your disposal – only 9.5 square feet
Transparent door allows you to monitor the drying process without opening it
Features dishwasher-safe parts – it is easy to clean up
Features an automatic circulator fan which ensures optimal dehydration times
Compact size – measures only 17.5 inches in height, 13.5 inches in width, and 16 inches in depth


Although it does not put the largest drying space at your disposal, this appliance is still very appealing and we consider it as one of the best choices out there due to the fact that it is very cheap. Thus, it makes for the ideal option for those who were not looking for a big dehydrating machine anyway.

5. Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster

Last we have the amazing FD-1040 that comes from Nesco, a leading manufacturer of food drying appliances. What greatly differentiates it from the others that we previously talked about is the fact that it boasts a stacked design. Thus, its footprint is more compact without the performance being affected by its size. It comes with 4 drying trays, but it is expandable to 20 trays. Therefore, regardless of the amount of food that you want to dry with it, the product will be up for the task. The Converga-Flow technology that it uses ensures a fast and even drying each and every time you use it.

For a convenient and intuitive use, it features a digital LCD panel that you will interact with when changing the settings that operating it. To ensure a professional drying of all types of foods, the temperature that it delivers can be set anywhere from 90 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

By far, the most spectacular feature that it boasts is the amazing 48-hour built-in timer that allows you to select the desired drying time for each food. When the time that you have set passes, the appliance automatically turns off, so you are able to leave it operating even when you are at work or somewhere else, away from home.



Features an industry-leading 48-hour built-in timer Door cannot be removed, and you cannot see how the dry out process is going without opening it
Allows you to expand it to up to 20 trays
Lightweight and compact design – weighs only 8.95 pounds, and it measures a mere 9.5” x 15.5” x 15.5”
Can reach a top drying temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit
Exterior stays cool to the touch throughout the entire duration of the drying process


Last we have this affordable yet astonishing dry out machine which, while not costing much, provides you with a wide temperature range that allows you to dehydrate a variety of food items with it. Furthermore, it boasts a highly compact and lightweight design that makes it appealing in terms of space and maneuvering.

Features that Caught Our Eye and Influenced the Ranking Process

A quality food dehydrator is defined by certain characteristics. We took our time and did the proper research when ranking the best food dehydrating appliances on the market, taking these characteristics into consideration so that only the top performing machines end up on our list. Find out exactly how we rated the products from this section of the article.

  • Drying Space

  • The amount of drying space offered by the appliance shows how much dried food you will enjoy at the end of the process. It is obvious that this space should be as large as possible in order for you to not have to use the appliance too many times when drying fruits or veggies that you have harvested from your garden or bought from the store. The models that we rated with the most points when it came to this aspect are the Excalibur 3926TB and the Excalibur 2900ECB that both offer a generous 15 square feet drying space.

  • Timer Function

  • The timer function is important as it allows you to set the precise amount of time that you desire for the appliance to operate. This way, you will not have to turn it off yourself when the foods that you placed inside have dried. Just set this function for the operational time that you consider is needed for the food inside the appliance to dry, and tend to your chores or leave home without thinking about it anymore as you know that it will automatically turn off when the time that you have set passes.

  • Temperature Range

  • The temperature range delivered by it matters as it shows what types of foods can or cannot be dried with it. For the dehydrating appliance to be able to dry any type of food you want, the temperature range that it delivers should be as generous as possible. From this point of view, the model that we rated highest was the impressive Excalibur 3926TB as it can be set anywhere from 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Removable Trays

  • If the trays are removable, you are able to dry larger foods in the appliance. Thus, it is clear why we had to put an accent on this aspect. All of the box-style dehydrating appliances that appear in our top feature removable trays, so you are able to dry large foods without a problem in any of them.

  • Drying Performance

  • As you can see, in the comparison table we have compared the amount of time needed for each appliance to dry certain foods – beef jerky, apples, bananas, pineapples, and herbs. It is essential to compare the appliances from the point of view of their drying performance as this aspect shows how much time you will have to wait for the operational process to end. By far, the fastest model of them all when it comes to drying time is the Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster.

Dehydrating Appliances and Their Role in Modern Kitchens

Food dehydrating appliances are plastic or metal appliances that are capable of drying foods through the process of passing hot air through them. Needless to say, these appliances have become must-haves in modern households due to the fact that they encourage food preservation and they prevent meat, fruits, and veggies from getting spoiled.

Regardless of the type of food that we are talking about, moisture or water content generally composes somewhere between 50 and 90 percent of the product. This means that you are not able to store the food away for later consumption as the moisture will cause it to spoil and pose serious health risks in case it is ingested. Due to the process of dehydration, this is a problem of the past.

These appliances are most sought after by those who grow their own herbs, fruits, and vegetables as sometimes harvests are a lot more generous than initially predicted. Thus, many food products are not being used on the spot as no one expects that specific high quantity to be produced.

Instead of drying the foods in days, even weeks, like people used to do back in the old days when these high-end appliances did not exist, the food dehydrating machine allow for the process to be over in a matter of hours. Therefore, it is easy to understand why they are so desirable and how they can change your life for the better.

  • How they work: These appliances use a very simple yet effective logic to dehydrate the foods that you place in them. What they do is that they use electricity to run heating elements and fans that have the role of drying the foods placed inside them. The heat source and the fan are positioned either on the top, on the bottom, or in the rear of the appliance.

What Are the Different Food Drying Appliances Types You Will Encounter?

When you will hit the market looking for a quality food dry out appliance, you will discover that there are two main types of dehydrators out there – stacked models and box and shelf models. Read this section of the article to learn what are the differences between stacked and box food dehydrating appliances, and what pros and cons each of them boast.

  • Stacked Models

  • From the point of view of their design, stacked models are usually devoid of an outer shell. They are composed of stacks, each stack comprising a tray onto which you place the foods that you intend to dehydrate. As these stacks are placed on top of each other, they become sealed, not allowing the heat to get out of the appliance. The fan that it features then circulates the air to ensure that all of the food receives the same treatment, drying it evenly.

    Pros: Generally, these types of dehydrating machines have a small, compact footprint that favors those with limited free space. Another advantage presented by them is the fact that they can be easily extended to fit a bigger volume of food.

    Cons: Periodic shuffling of the drying racks is required as the foods that are positioned closer to the heating element will dry faster than the others. But this is a downside that does not affect all stacked models as high-end dehydrating appliances do not present this issue.

  • Box and Shelf Models

  • Box and shelf models work similarly to electric ovens. The fan that is positioned at the back of the appliance blows the hot air over the trays that have been inserted in a predetermined manner. They allow you to place bigger items inside for drying, foods that do not fit inside stacked models as easily. To enjoy this benefit, simply take out as many trays as needed to create sufficient space for the large foods that you want to dry.

    Pros: The insulation of box and shelf models is highly superior to what stacked models offer. Thus, the dehydration process is bound to be of a better quality and more effective. Also, when you place the trays in their predetermined spots, you ensure that an even drying will occur as the fan is designed to focus on them equally.

    Cons: Their main flaw is the fact that they are bulkier than stacked models. But this is not a major issue for those who have sufficient free kitchen space at their disposal. Also, regardless of the volume of food that you insert in them, they preserve their footprint.

Tips to Improve the Drying Process

Although dehydrators do make it a lot easier to dry foods in order to preserve them for later use or consumption, this does not mean that the dehydrating process will go perfectly regardless of your actions. To make sure that food dehydration will go smoothly and as effective as possible each and every time you use the appliance, take into account the tips that we will provide in the following lines.

  • Tip #1: Never dehydrate sweet and savory foods simultaneously. If you do so, the air that is circulated inside the appliance during the dehydration process will cause the flavor of these foods to mix, ruining their taste.
  • Tip #2: In case you want to dehydrate beef and prepare jerky, do so only if the appliance you are using can reach temperatures of 155 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Dehydrating machines that cannot reach these temperatures are not able to properly dry the meat, so you will end up ruining it.
  • Tip #3: When preparing the food to place it in the drying appliance, make sure that the slices or chunks that you cut are similar in size. This way, all the food that you place inside will be ready at the same time. If you are not careful with this step, the larger slices or chunks will take longer to dehydrate properly.
  • Tip #4: Never place fruits or vegetables that are moldy inside the appliance. The temperatures inside the appliance will kill the mold spores, further decomposing the foods.
  • Tip #5: When placing the foods on the trays, make sure that they do not overlap. Otherwise, they will not dry evenly.

Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables

Want to learn how to properly dehydrate different types of foods? Then you came to the right place! Check out this section of the article to learn how to properly dry different types of fruits and vegetables with the high-end dry out appliance you have purchased.

    Drying Guide for Fruits

    The optimal temperature to dry fruits is 135 degrees Fahrenheit or 57 degrees Celsius. Here is the guide to drying the most common fruits that people dehydrate for later use or consumption:

    Food How to Prepare Preparation Time
    Apples Remove core, cut into 1/4” – 3/4” sized slices or rings. 4-15 Hours
    Apricots Cut in half and remove pit. Place with the dry skin facing down. 18-28 Hours
    Bananas Peel and cut into 1/8” – 1/4″ slices. 5-10 Hours
    Berries Leave whole. 9-15 Hours
    Cherries Cut in half, remove stems and pits, and place skin side down. 12-21 Hours
    Figs Leave whole. 22-30 Hours
    Grapes Remove stems, cut in half or leave hole, and place with the skin side down. 20-30 Hours
    Peaches Cut in 1/4″ slices, remove pit, and place skin side down. 7-16 Hours
    Pears Cut in half, remove core, peel, and cut in four equal slices. 7-16 Hours
    Pineapple Peel, remove core, and cut into 1/4″ slices or wedges. 4-18 Hours
    Plums Cut in half, remove pit, and pop the back. 8-16 Hours
    Strawberries Cut off caps and slice into 1/4″ thick slices. 6-15 Hours

    Drying Guide for Vegetables

    The optimal temperature to dry vegetables is 125 degrees Fahrenheit or 52 degrees Celsius. Here is the guide to drying the most common vegetables that people dehydrate for later use or consumption:

    Food How to Prepare Preparation Time
    Asparagus Cut into 1-inch pieces. 4-6 Hours
    Broccoli Dry florets whole and cut stems into 1/4″ pieces. 8-14 Hours
    Cabbage Cut into 1/8” – 1/4″ strips. 6-11 Hours
    Carrots Trim tops, peel, and cut into 1/8” circles or cubes. 5-10 Hours
    Cucumber Slice into 1/8” – 1/4″ thick slices. 4-10 Hours
    Eggplant Peel and slice into 1/4″ thick slices. 4-9 Hours
    Mushrooms Slice into 3/8” slices from the cap through the stem end. 3-7 Hours
    Onions Remove top and skin, and cut into 1/4″ slices. 4-8 Hours
    Peppers Remove seeds and stem, and cut 1/4″ thick strips or rings. 4-8 Hours
    Pumpkin Cut into 1-inch thick pieces. 4-6 Hours

Finding the Right Food Drying Machine for You – What Questions You must Ask

Are you tired of spending your money on appliances that end up in the trash after a few months of use? Then you must make sure that the product you are investing in is durable, dependable, and that it delivers the best quality performance possible. In this section of the article, we will show you what are the guidelines that you must follow when purchasing a dehydrator, guidelines that will help you make a quality investment.

  • How Much Drying Space Is Offered?

  • One of the first characteristics that you must look into when buying the appliance is the amount of drying space that it offers. Obviously, the bigger the space is, the better, as you are able to store more food products for drying. When looking into this spec, make sure that the space offered suits your needs. What we recommend you go for is a generous drying space of at least 9 square feet.

  • Can You Modify the Placement of the Trays?

  • If you go for a box-style model, we recommend that you check if the placement of the trays is modifiable or not. Being able to take out as many trays as needed will allow you to place large food pieces in the appliance in order to dry them. All high-end machines come with this feature, so you should not have trouble finding one that offers removable/modifiable racks.

  • Does the Temperature Range Suit Your Needs?

  • On the spec sheet of the appliance, you will find the temperature range that it provides. It is important to check for this characteristic prior to investing in a machine as it shows if it can be used for the specific drying tasks that you intend on performing. Obviously, you must first take into consideration what foods you plan to dry with it and check what is the ideal temperature to dehydrate them in order to know what is the temperature range that you must aim for.

  • Does It Allow You to Select the Operational Time?

  • Working with an appliance that allows you to set the time when it should automatically shut off is quite important as you will be able to leave home knowing that the dehydrating machine will not ruin the food by over drying it but rather stop the process at the perfect moment. High-end appliances come with this important feature, some of them, like the Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster, even allowing you to set the operational time for up to 48 hours.

  • Is the Appliance Portable?

  • At one point, you might want to take this useful appliance with you when you go to a friend’s or relative’s house, helping that person stock up on food for the harsh winter. To make sure that you will have an easy time transporting it with you wherever you go, you should take its portability into consideration as well. Thus, if you know that there exists the possibility where you will have to carry the appliance with you to another location, make sure that it is not too heavy to carry and that it does not take up too much space in the car.

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