Dehydrating food encompasses removing water and moisture from fruits, vegetables, meat, and herbs. This method helps prevent spoilage and preserve food for future use while keeping all of the nutrients and fibre intact. Even thousands of years ago, there is archeological proof of civilizations from around the world drying their local produce to use throughout the leaner months. Although it is possible to use a sun-dry method or an oven, a food dehydrator is arguably the most economical and simplest way to go about dehydrating food. Using a food dehydrator has many advantages, from cost savings to making healthy snacks and can even be used for craft projects. Once you get in the groove of using the best food dehydrator in Canada, we know you’ll get addicted to creating healthy and nutritious snacks.
The Hamilton Beach 32100C gets our award for the best food dehydrator in Canada. This handy little machine has all of the functions of similar products on the market that charge more than triple the price. We love the automatic shut off function so you can put your fruit in before going to bed and have school snacks ready by morning. You will get five stackable trays for drying larger fruits and vegetables and an additional two sheets for herbs or purees. Let the kids take part in concocting their own fruit roll-up recipes and laying out stacks of banana chips. Healthy snacks are so much easier to come by when you know exactly what you’ve put into them without any preservatives or artificial colourants. This dehydrator is so simple to use that you’ll be inventing new recipes in no time.
Best Food Dehydrators In Canada 2020 –
- Best Overall – Hamilton Beach 32100C
- Best Value – Ivation IV-FD60RSS
- Best Large Capacity – Excalibur 3926TB
- Best Beginner – Nesco FD-1018A
- Best Mid-Range – COSORI Premium
|1. Hamilton Beach 32100C||5||500|
|2. Excalibur 3926TB||9||600|
|3. COSORI Premium||6||600|
|4. Ivation IV-FD60RSS||6||600|
|5. Nesco FD-1018A||8||1000|
|6. VVinRC Food Dehydrator||6||400|
|7. Cuisinart DHR-20||5||620|
|8. Nesco FD-80A||4||700|
|9. Salton VitaPro||5||245|
Benefits Of Food Dehydrators
Unlike many small appliances, it’s pretty obvious just by the name as to what a food dehydrator does. However, the benefits might not be so blatant, so we are here to give you a run-down of why you should consider buying a food dehydrator. You will even find some extra ammunition for convincing your other half why you have decided to splurge on getting one.
Dehydrated fruits are much easier to keep in your purse, in your desk drawer, in your glove box… you get the picture. Every busy parent knows that kids get hungry, a lot, and generally only when you’ve forgotten to pack snacks, so having a stash of dried fruit in sealed containers will solve the peckish problem. And you won’t feel guilty succumbing to junk food since dried fruit is super nutritious.
There’s little doubt that dehydrating food extends the shelf life, but did you know that you can generally keep your produce for up to a year in a sealed container? You can also freeze the dried products in zippered freezer bags for extra shelf-life.
How many times have you seen a fantastic sale on fruit, veggies, herbs or meat and wished that the price remained that low all year? With a food dehydrator, you can take advantage of flash sales and buy enough to keep your family going by drying the food to use later. Moreover, if you have a bumper summer harvest or are given produce from friends and neighbours, you can cut costs by taking advantage of the free produce to use later.
A food dehydrator can do more than just dehydrating food. Many people are amazed to find that it can dry flowers and even incubate your homemade yogurt. Check out further into our article, where we explain the surprising uses for a food dehydrator.
Best Food Dehydrators Canada 2020 Reviewed
If you are new to food dehydrators, then the last thing you want to do is purchase an expensive, top-end appliance before you know how often you’ll be using it. The Hamilton Beach 32100C is an ideal dehydrator, giving you excellent value for money and providing all of the functionality and drying power of models that are three or even four times the price. This machine is super simple to use, so you can be making your first batch of apple slices within minutes of opening the box. The continuous airflow eliminates any requirement for rotating trays, so you can plug it in and wait till the machine automatically turns off.
The possibilities and recipe ideas are near endless for what you’ll be able to make. It’s so simple to use that even toddlers can help out! This is one of the few appliances where kids can be a tremendous help with preparation. Let the little ones practice cutting up bananas and laying them out on the trays. They will love having banana chips in their lunch box the following day and explaining to all of their friends how they did it. This nifty machine is perfect for making healthy snacks for the whole family. This dehydrator comes with two different types of sheets to dry herbs with the mesh sheets or create your fruit roll-ups with the solid sheets.
If there were a Rolls Royce of the food dehydrator world, then Excalibur would be it. This Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator is top of its class with a whopping fifteen square feet of available drying space, so you will have no problem tackling big batches all in one go.
Your bumper crop of tomatoes will be finding their way into a year-long supply of dried tomato deliciousness. Imagine packing your tomatoes with your mix of dried herbs and olive oil for custom made Christmas presents that everyone will be happy to have.
The adjustable temperature control varies from 105-165 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can make jerky to last your family for ages and save a pretty penny in the process! Drying racks are almost always squeezed tightly together in all makes and models of food dehydrators, but the Excalibur 3926TB solves the issue of larger items by simply being able to remove trays for extra height. This also means your dehydrator can double as a proofing oven or even for making homemade yogurt. Yes, this food dehydrator is pricier than others on the market, but if you are serious about using your dehydrator a lot, then it’s worth the splurge, and we dare you to find fault with this Excalibur machine.
We doubt anyone would be able to find fault in the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator. This unit is solidly constructed and will look the part of a high-end appliance while sitting in your kitchen. Many food dehydrators are made of plastic and look cheap in general but not this COSORI machine.
It has all of the features you could ask for – the automatic time can be programmed to run for up to 48 hours, and the adjustable thermostat goes from 95-165 degrees Fahrenheit. The six trays are super easy to clean and can be removed to accommodate larger food products, or making your own homemade yogurt. This model is incredibly useful and built to a quality rarely seen in dehydrators. The price might put a few people off, but it’s worth it if you take advantage of a dehydrator for all its uses.
This Ivation IV-FD60RSS Food Dehydrator is a reliable machine. Unlike many dehydrators made of plastic, with plastic drying racks, this Ivation model has stainless steel construction and stainless-steel trays that are dishwasher safe. No more cleaning off dried-on bits of sticky fruit by hand! Being a more robust unit than most, it has a slightly higher price tag, but quality counts and those that have dehydrated for a while know that plastic tends to warp over time, and trays are fiddly to clean, and the Ivation machine solves these issues. You have a six tray or ten tray model option but will need to decide at the time of purchase since the machine itself cannot be extended.
Bakers and crafters will love the fact that you can take out racks to make extra space for taller items from proofing bread to drying out papier mache projects. We found the Ivation machine to be the best value food dehydrator on the market. It might not be the cheapest, but it is built to last and incredibly versatile.
Featuring a whopping 1000 watts, the Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster has more drying power than any other food dehydrator on our list. It claims to dry veggies, fruits, jerky or herbs in less time than a conventional dehydrator and the specially designed fan aids in the process by forcing air up the middle and through the trays.
This model comes with an adjustable thermostat but doesn’t have an auto shut off function, so you’ll need to set a timer and be home around the time that your food is about done. We love this model because it already comes with eight trays, which is more than most, but it can be extended to accommodate an amazing thirty trays! We can’t imagine how high that tower would be, but would certainly be enough space for any sportsman to make jerky or to get through your bumper crop of summer squash. Big families will love always having enough fruit roll-ups for lunch boxes, and parents will love getting it all done in one huge batch.
You can tell by looking at the VVinRc Food Dehydrator that it will be solidly constructed. Most entry-level food dehydrators are plastic, but it’s worth the splurge to up your budget to a metal machine, particularly if you plan to use your dehydrator a lot.
Healthy snacks for the whole family will be a cinch as you try your hand at banana chips, beef jerky and soup mixes of dried mushrooms, zucchini, carrots and onions. Take advantage of the sales and friends’ offers of free garden produce to save on your family’s food budget. The trays can be removed to allow for more space, which will enable your dehydrator to double up as a bread proofing oven or a yogurt maker. The variety of things that you can use your food dehydrator for really are amazing once you get the knack of it. Even better is that you can stick the timer on and wait until you catch the kids stealing snacks right out of the machine!
We all know that Cuisinart is an industry leader when it comes to useful and well-constructed kitchen appliances, and the DHR-20 food dehydrator is no exception. This machine is super easy to use, so you’ll be making your first batch of treats within minutes of getting the dehydrator out of the box.
There is abundant space for large batches, and the machine can be extended from the standard five trays to accommodate up to nine at a time. Unlike many food dehydrators, this unit vents from the top, allowing for a more even air distribution and associated drying power. This is an elementary machine and near dummy-proof for those starting on their venture into dehydrating. However, it is pricey for what you get simply due to the Cuisinart brand name.
For those wanting a solid, reliable food dehydrator that has thousands of Canadians busy in their kitchens, the Nesco FD-80A Food Dehydrator is a good choice. This is one of the most popular food dehydrators on the market and will have you wowing your family and friends in no time with healthy snacks and filling your pantry with staples.
The unit comes with four stackable trays. If you find yourself needing additional trays later on, then this machine can be extended to accommodate a monumental eight trays all at once. The included recipe and instruction book will have you dreaming of your next masterpiece. Imagine drying all of your soup bases with fresh garden herbs, carrots and mushrooms. The plethora of summer squash and oodles of zucchini now won’t go to waste since you can dry it out and use the veggies all year round to toss into stews, soups and casseroles, which can really stretch your food budget. The temperature gauge is adjustable from 95-160 degrees Fahrenheit, so whether it is apples or beef jerky, this machine can handle all of your drying needs. Unlike many dehydrators, the fan is top-mounted for maximum drying speed. The unit has an opaque top and exterior to block light, which can destroy your food’s nutritional content.
If you are looking for an entry model food dehydrator that won’t break the bank, then the Salton VitaPro should undoubtedly be on your shortlist. This is a surprisingly economical model that will have you testing the waters of whether you enjoy the benefits of food dehydration and plan to continue. It is effortless to use, a plug-and-play model that will have you slicing and drying in no time.
Food dehydrators tend to take up a fair bit of space, but this Salton model breaks down quickly, and the trays can be turned in to make the unit much smaller for storage. We love that the trays are all dishwasher safe as picking off dried fruit from mesh trays can be an annoying task. This food dehydrator is unlikely to last you a decade of constant use. Still, it is perfect for small families or those that just plan to use it occasionally rather than have it running continuously.
Other alternative uses for your food dehydrator
Some people are shocked to find out that food dehydrator can be used for so many more things than merely drying food. In fact, some people don’t even use theirs in the traditional sense at all! Check out below for some of the surprising and unique uses for a food dehydrator.
Remove the stems from daisies, roses and your favourite flowers and dry them in your food dehydrator along with some citrus peels. After they are dry and brittle, mix them with your personal preference of star anise, cinnamon sticks or cloves for home-made potpourri.
Yogurt is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and once you try it, you’ll wonder why you’ve ever bought it. All you need are some small pots, milk and a teaspoon or so of your last batch of yogurt to add to each jar. You’ll need to look for a food dehydrator that has enough height between the shelves to keep your containers.
Making Fruit Leather
Some food dehydrators come with specialized solid mesh sheets so that you can pour on a mixture of your favourite fruits. Unlike the commercial varieties, you can be sure to know exactly what is going into the fruit leather that your kids eat, and better yet, they can help make up their favourite recipes.
Sundried tomatoes, herbed olive oils, signature herb mixes, or dried fruit all make excellent and personal gift ideas. Use your creative flair for packaging them up nicely, and you have Christmas sorted this year!
Food dehydrators are a handy kitchen appliance and can be used for so many more things than just making banana chips! Kids will love helping out, and you’ll love treating them to all of the healthy snacks that are a great grab and go option. Our choices for the best food dehydrators in Canada have the potential to save you a lot of money and ensure that you’ll be eating the bounty of your garden without having to fill up all of the space in your deep freezer.