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Best Food Dehydrators in the UK 2022

Dehydrators are perhaps one of the lesser-known kitchen appliances, but this is changing as more and more people discover their multitude of practical and creative uses.

They’re perfect for anyone who wants to reduce food wastage, preserve foods for consumption all-year-round or create their own healthy snacks. 

Dehydrated food is becoming more popular as it provides a simple and convenient way of adding more raw and healthy food to our diets. 

This article will review the best food dehydrators in the UK and what to consider when buying a food dehydrator.

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Best Overall – Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator with Timer

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The Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator has become a staple favourite of home users and catering professionals like.

This is an efficient and effective dehydrator that can handle large quantities of food ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables to meat.

Excalibur has 35 years of manufacturing experience and this product is backed by a 5-year domestic warranty. By all accounts, it is one of the best and most popular dehydrators available. 

Equipped with a ‘ParaFlexx’ horizontal heating fan, the Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator provides very even dehydration across the entire interior of the unit.

The metal trays are made from high-quality mesh but the Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator also comes with non-stick poly-screen tray inserts. 

This is a medium-sized unit, measuring 12” x 17” x 19”. That’s small enough to fit on most kitchen worktops. Despite its relatively compact size, it has a remarkable 14 ft squared of internal tray space. That’s easily enough for several whole fruits or vegetables sliced into thin slithers. 

With a temperature range of 40°C to 65°C, this dehydrator can go low enough to effectively dry fresh fruit and vegetables without altering their nutrient concentrations and high enough to dry meats.

The max temperature of 65°C is high enough to dry meats to the specifications required by food safety standards in some countries. 

The Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator is very easy to use and features two analog knobs, one for temperature and one for time. It has a handy reference chart for choosing heat and duration for various foodstuffs. 

Features

  • Horizontal heating fan
  • 15ft tray space over 9 layers
  • 12” x 17” x 19” size 
  • 35°C to 65°C temperature range
  • Features both temperature and time controls

Pros

  • State-of-the-art heating fan with excellent circulation for consistent and even dehydration 
  • Can fit on many kitchen worktops
  • Temperature range is suitable for almost any food
  • Metal trays with non-stick inserts
  • Very reputable brand 

Cons

  • 65°C max heat means drying meat takes a while

Bottom Line

With a powerful horizontal drying fan and ample interior space, this dehydrator is cut out for both home and professional use. Superb build quality combines with easy functionality to create a top dehydrator product for a multitude of culinary and catering uses. 

Runner-Up – Sous Vide Tools 6 Tray Food Dehydrator

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A superb mixture of quality, functionality and value, the Sous Vide 6 Tray Dehydrator is perfect for home users. It only has 6 trays, and given that it’s quite a compact unit, interior space is at a premium.

That said, there’s still easily enough space to dry a considerable amount of food suitable for an entire family.

The entire unit measures just 13.5” x 18” x 12.5”, easily small enough to fit comfortably onto kitchen worktops or other smaller spaces. The heating trays are made from metal, not plastic, and are very hard-wearing and safe. Removing them for cleaning is fast and easy.

A horizontal heating system ensures even and consistent dehydration and the in-built heating fan and circulation system is also extremely quiet. The heating range is 35°C to 65°C – the same as the Excalibur Dehydrator. Drying both fresh foods and meat is easily possible. 

Something worth mentioning is that the unit’s front door is transparent, thus making it very easy to peer in and assess the food. However, there is no timer setting, so this is pretty essential as you’ll have to manually time and check your food. 

Features

  • Horizontal heating fan
  • 6 layers and trays
  • 13.5” x 18” x 12.5” size
  • 35°C to 65°C temperature range

Pros

  • Compact unit that will easily fit into most kitchens 
  • Decent amount of tray space 
  • Temperature range suitable for drying the vast majority of food 
  • Transparent door
  • Metal trays

Cons

  • No timer

Bottom Line

Affordable, compact and effective at dehydrating food with its horizontal fan heating system, the Sous Vide Tools 6 Tray Dehydrator represents an excellent blend of value and quality. Though there is no timer, the transparent front door makes checking your food easy. A smaller size makes this dehydrator perfect for home use. 

Best Budget – electriQ Digital Food Dehydrator

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The electricQ Digital Food Hydrator departs analogue knob controls to offer a fully digital LCD screen, allowing you to accurately select both time and temperature.

It even features horizontal heating for consistent and even dehydration. It has an extra-long timer that accommodates drying times up to 48 hours, which is perfect when drying thicker pieces of meat or fruits like grapes that can take 36 hours to fully dehydrate.

A wide temperature range of 35°C to 75°C further enhances this dehydrator’s credentials when drying thicker or more moisture-dense foods.

6 shelves allow for interior drying space for home use or smaller catering outfits. The unit measures 12.5” x 13.5” x 18”, which is pretty compact, similar to the Sous Vide Tools Dehydrator. It should fit on most kitchen worktops or in other small spaces. 

One area where this dehydrator saves cost is the shelving. Instead of being made from metal, they’re made from high-quality BPA-free plastic.

They’re certainly safe to use with food and though they’re a bit trickier to clean than their metal counterparts, they still do the job. 

Features

  • Digital LCD for easy control
  • 35°C to 75°C temperature range
  • 48-hour max timer length
  • 12.5” x 13.5” x 18” size
  • Plastic BPA-free shelves

Pros

  • Excellent LCD control system
  • Flexible timer and temperature settings 
  • Compact enough for most worktops
  • Transparent door

Cons

  • The plastic trays are safe but may not be so longlasting

Bottom Line

A superb digital LCD control panel makes for effortless control. Build quality is excellent and horizontal fan means that dehydration is consistent. The plastic shelves are safe and only pose a slight hindrance when cleaning. 

Great Value – HOMCOM 5 Tier Food Dehydrator

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When it comes to true budget dehydrators, the HOMCOM 5 Tier Food Dehydrator is an excellent option for home use. This dehydrator has a pretty enormous amount of interior space with 5 circular tiers distributed vertically upwards from the base.

This is a vertical heating dehydrator so dehydration consistency is not as solid or consistent, especially at the top of the dehydrator.

It’s probably best to distribute food so the thicker, more moisture-dense items are arranged at the bottom towards the heating fan. The tier system does provide some flexibility, as you can adjust the gaps between tiers by some 0.5” to 1.5”. 

The HOMCOM 5 Tier Food Dehydrator has an operating temperature of between 35°C to 75°C, easily hot enough to dehydrate most foodstuffs including thicker pieces of meat.

Because the shelves are plastic, supervision is required when operating the unit at max temperature. Whilst there is no timer, the unit cuts off automatically after 8 hours, which is great. 

Though it looks quite tall, the HOMCOM 5 Tier Food Dehydrator measures just 10” x 10.5” x 13”. It will easily fit into most kitchens or worktop areas.

Features

  • Vertical heating fan 
  • Circular tiered 5 shelf design
  • 8-hour timer cut off
  • 35°C to 75°C temperature range
  • 10” x 10.5” x 13” size

Pros

  • Compact and affordable
  • Decent capacity with an adjustable tier system
  • Wide temperature range 
  • Transparent design for easy monitoring

Cons

  • Plastic shelves may not be able to withstand higher heats

Bottom Line

Cheap and cheerful, this dehydrator is excellent for casual home use. The circular design is convenient and spacious and adjustable tiers are convenient when filling the dehydrator with different foods. 

Best Commercial – Kwasyo All Stainless Steel 8 Tray Food Dehydrator

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When it comes to commercial dehydration tasks suitable for catering outfits and other food businesses, capacity, performance and flexibility become all the more important.

This larger dehydrator looks more like an oven, it really is an intelligent heavy-duty appliance fit for professional use. 

The Kwasyo All Stainless Steel 8 Tray Food Dehydrator has a very powerful horizontal heating fan that allows all 8 of its well-spaced layers to be heated uniformly and consistently. 

First off, there are 8 large trays that provide a very large interior drying space. Each tray is made from high-quality stainless steel mesh that is easy to clean, safe and hardwearing.

The unit is controlled by an LED panel. Timer and heat settings are very easy to set and can be adjusted on the fly without stopping the unit. 

The temperature range is very wide at 30°C to 90°C, which extends both above and below most typical home-grade dehydrators.

This allows for the rapid dehydration of very thick foods or the slow dehydration of very thinly cut delicate slices of fruit and vegetables. The max timer length is 24 hours.

Features 

  • Powerful horizontal heating fan
  • LED control panel
  • 8 steel mesh trays
  • 30°C to 90°C temperature range
  • 19” x 16” x 17” size 

Pros

  • Powerful commercial-grade dehydration
  • Plenty of interior space 
  • Comes with a great cookbook
  • High-quality stainless steel build
  • Very wide temperature range

Cons

  • Pretty large

Bottom Line

A commercial-grade dehydrator, the Kwasyo All Stainless Steel 8 Tray Food Dehydrator is powerful and adaptable with plenty of interior heating space. It won’t fit in many kitchens, but for small business use, catering outfits or larger commercial uses, it’s had to beat and represents excellent value as well.

Considerations When Choosing a Dehydrator 

Dehydrators all operate via the same principle. They apply gentle heat to food over a fairly long period of time ranging from some 6 hours to 24 hours or more. However, there are some caveats and features to bear in mind. 

Vertical vs Horizontal Heating

Food dehydrators use two main heating methods. Vertical heating dehydrators tend to be budget options.

They have a heater fan installed in the bottom of the unit and this forces air upwards through vented trays. The problem with vertical heating is that it circulates poorly, often resulting in uneven dehydration.

Nevertheless, vertical heating dehydrators tend to represent excellent value for money. 

Horizontal heating dehydrators tend to provide much more even and consistent results. They feature fans installed on the sides of the unit to circulate air over the top and bottom of the unit’s vented shelves.

Some dehydrators may also feature a combination of both vertical and horizontal dehydration but horizontal heating, by and large, is the best option. 

Tray Count and Size

Food dehydrators have varying capacities ranging from smaller dehydrators for home use to multi-layer commercial dehydrators suitable for catering and other professional uses.

Most dehydrators can handle pretty large quantities of food, but it’s worth checking the max capacity and shelf count if you need to use your dehydrator for professional, industrial or catering purposes. 

Heat and Timer Settings

Dehydrators have both variable heat and timer controls. Heat dictates the rate at which your food will dry out.

The maximum heat provided by some dehydrators is 90°C, but this would be seldom used for dehydrating common foodstuffs. The typical temperature range used for dehydration is 35°C to 65°C. 

Lower heats of around 35°C are better for fruit, vegetables and other soft food where preserving nutrients and enzymes is a priority.

Higher heats of 65°C are best for meats like beef. Some dehydrators have presets that you can choose for specific foods. 

The Benefits of Dehydrators

If you haven’t considered buying a dehydrator before, then here are some excellent benefits of doing so. 

Healthy Snacks

Raw food is the healthiest food we can consume as it contains nutrients in their highest concentrations. Dehydrators are an excellent way to make healthy raw food snacks, and you can really get creative with what you choose to create.

Typical options include slices of fresh vegetables and fruit but you can even create your own beef jerky and other dried meats. Homemade tea is also a very popular option. 

Preserve Shelf Life

Dehydrated food can last as long as 2 years! This is particularly useful for those that grow their own food and wish to preserve it throughout the winter, etc. 

Reduce Food Waste

Food waste is a pressing issue and dehydrators can help combat this. By dehydrating and preserving food, we can effectively reduce food wastage whilst creating tasty and healthy snacks.

A dehydrator can also help you commit to a diet that features more raw foods. Fussy eaters that don’t like some raw foods might be convinced by their dehydrated equivalents. 

To Sum Up

Dehydrators do not vary that much in terms of functionality and there are many great options within similar price brackets.

For home use, the electriQ Digital Food Dehydrator is hard to beat but overall, the Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator with Timer is tried, tested and much-loved by its users. It has to rate as the best dehydrator overall. 

The Sous Vide Tools 6 Tray Food Dehydrator is a very worthy runner up, whereas the commercial dehydrators by Kwasyo provide the additional clout needed for catering or commercial operations. For those wishing to try dehydration, the HOMCOM 5 Tier Dehydrator is very good value.