is a cheap food dehydrator worth the price?
Unfortunately, this can be a fatal mistake at the beginning of your food dehydration hobby.
You certainly don\'t need to buy the most expensive dehydrator to meet your needs, and you should never be fooled because a dehydrator is more expensive because it will make you better.
Instead, pay attention to the basic features, read some comments, and then make up your mind.
But if you\'re just starting out, how do you know which things are the most important concerns?
The following tips will help you decide, and then you can know if the food dehydrator is worth it.
Is there any temperature control?
The food dehydrator is essentially a special convection oven.
Its range is usually much lower than the standard oven, and the fan provides convection current to speed up drying.
However, if you can\'t control the temperature, what you can dry becomes very limited.
Most dehydrants without this control are only suitable for making beef jerky.
If you buy one of them, you will miss all the other delicious dehydrated foods you can make.
Where are the heaters and fans?
The problem is actually two different questions.
The first one is about the airflow.
If the fan and heater are located at the back of the device, you will get a horizontal airflow.
It\'s great if you want to make several flavors at the same time, as the air doesn\'t spread the taste from one tray to the next.
If they are at the top or bottom, you will have a vertical airflow.
This is usually better for things that dry more evenly.
The air around each tray is the same, so you don\'t have to rotate everything during the drying process.
The second question is about design.
If the fan and heater are at the bottom of the device, everything from juice to marinade will drip directly into it, which may shorten the life of the dehydrator.
Because a shorter life span means that you have to buy another one faster, it may make the cheaper and more expensive in the long run.
How easy is cleaning?
Is the dishwasher tray safe?
Is it completely separate?
These things make cleaning easier.
If you find yourself having to scrub the dry marinade on the fan blades, or go and clean the deep corners, you may find that cleaning is too laborious for the return of fresh beef jerky.
In this case, your cheap food dehydrator becomes an expensive vacuum cleaner, which is definitely not worth it.
Do you really need an expensive \"extra charge?
The last question is a bit tricky.
One thing that makes a food dehydrator more expensive than another is quality, but there are many others.
For example, you can pay an extra fee with a timer.
While this feature can be handy if you are often not around when running a dehydrator, this is something that many people will never use because the timing of things done is both a science, it is also an art.
You will definitely pay more for the extra power.
The biggest impact is how many dishes you can dry at a time (
How fast will everything go?
Since many food dehydrators have at least enough space to hold about 1 pound of dried meat, you need to ask yourself how much dried meat you will do at any given time.
Speed, however, can be a clear advantage.
While the 1000-watt unit will not double the meat as fast as the 500-watt unit, it may approach this by reducing the 12-hour wait time to about 6 hours.