Best Food Dehydrator At The Moment
The acquisition of a food dehydrator has not only leveled up my culinary game but also championed healthier eating. It empowers me to preserve the essence of fresh produce, whip up delightful snacks, and explore inventive recipes with utmost ease. This kitchen marvel has undeniably become a prized asset, endorsing sustainability and a more nourishing approach to grub. The food dehydrator, once a hidden gem in the kitchen arsenal, is now stealing the spotlight as its versatile applications come to light.
It’s the perfect fit for those keen on curbing food wastage, ensuring year-round access to preserved goodies, or creating nutritious snacks. The popularity of dehydrated food is skyrocketing, thanks to its quick and convenient contribution to increasing the intake of raw, wholesome nosh. In this piece, we’ll delve into the top food dehydrators in the UK, accompanied by some savvy buying tips.
Perks of Rolling with a Food Dehydrator
Yummy Goodies from Dehydrated Munchies
Embracing a food dehydrator to suck the moisture out of foods like fruits, veggies, and meats results in naturally concentrated, flavorful, and delightful fare. Cooking your own meals puts you in control of ingredient quality and freshness, a privilege seldom available when snagging dehydrated goods from stores.
Zero Food Waste, Infinite Shelf Life
Rolling with a food dehydrator is a smart move to curb future food wastage. Instead of stressing about produce going to waste or dealing with an overflowing garden, why not transform surplus fruits and veggies into veggie chips or dried herbs? The dehydrator is the unsung hero for preserving the likes of kale, beets, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, and even green beans.
Crafting Wholesome and 100% Natural Creations
Dehydrating food couldn’t be simpler – just the food you’re drying, plain and natural. It retains all the fiber and minerals from whole fruits, ensuring you don’t miss out on any nutrients lost during cooking or steaming. Dehydration broadens your culinary horizons. Everyday fruits and veggies can transform into delectable confections and snacks. Making wholesome alternatives to processed meals becomes a reality with a dehydrator, with possibilities that know no bounds. You’ll be amazed by the variety of items you can create and dry, such as sultanas, dried herbs, dates, and beyond.
The expense of commercial, store-bought snacks can quickly add up, and organic dehydrated foods often come with a lofty price tag. By leveraging your food dehydrator, buying fresh produce in bulk during peak seasons or growing your garden, you can pocket substantial savings. Seize the opportunities at your local grocer or farmer’s market, and don’t forget to dehydrate your bounty for future use.
Dehydrated items occupy less than a sixth of the space their original form did, and they demand far less electricity compared to refrigeration or freezing. For the perfect on-the-go snack, simply store them in clean, dry, pest-proof canning jars, tight-sealing plastic freezer containers, plastic freezer bags, or vacuum-sealed pouches (in single-serving sizes).
Top-Notch Excellence – Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator With Timer
Excalibur’s 9-Tray dehydrator stands as the go-to choice for both home aficionados and culinary professionals. This dehydrator is a master of efficiency, capable of handling substantial quantities of food, spanning fresh produce, vegetables, and meat. The product boasts a 5-year domestic warranty and hails from Excalibur, a company with an illustrious 35-year legacy in manufacturing. It enjoys a reputation as one of the most effective and beloved dehydrators on the market. The Excalibur 9 Tray dehydrator features a “ParaFlexx” horizontal heating fan, guaranteeing uniform dehydration throughout the appliance’s interior. In addition to non-stick poly-screen tray inserts, the metal trays showcase top-quality mesh construction.
This mid-sized unit, measuring 12″ x 17″ x 19″, conveniently fits on most kitchen countertops. Despite its modest dimensions, it offers a generous 14 square feet of interior tray space, capable of accommodating multiple whole fruits or thinly sliced vegetables. The dehydrator supports a temperature range of 40°C to 65°C, ensuring the preservation of nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables without compromising food safety regulations’ temperature requirements for meat drying. The Excalibur 9 Tray dehydrator features two analog knobs, one for temperature and one for timing, offering user-friendly operation. It also includes a handy reference chart to aid in selecting the ideal heat and cooking duration for various foods.
Upsides of Dehydrators
Raw food boasts the highest nutrient concentration, making it the healthiest option. Utilizing a dehydrator to prepare nutritious raw food snacks offers endless creativity. While slices of fresh fruits and vegetables are the norm, you can craft your beef jerky and other dried meats. Homemade tea is another favourite.
Extended Shelf Life
Dehydrated food can maintain its integrity for up to two years. This is particularly valuable for individuals growing their food, looking to can their produce for the winter, and beyond.
Fighting Food Waste
Food wastage is a pressing concern, and dehydrators can be part of the solution. By dehydrating and preserving food, we can efficiently reduce food wastage while producing delicious and healthful snacks. A dehydrator can encourage the incorporation of more raw foods into your diet, even for those who aren’t particularly fond of them.
Features of Food Dehydrators
- Temperature Control: Dehydrators often provide adjustable temperature settings to accommodate diverse foods and drying requirements. Lower temperatures suit herbs and delicate fruits, while higher settings cater to meat and jerky.
- Multiple Drying Trays: Dehydrators are equipped with multiple trays or shelves, facilitating the arrangement of foods in a single layer, optimizing both drying efficiency and space utilization.
- Timer: Many food dehydrators feature built-in timers, enabling users to set precise drying times and preventing over-drying.
- Efficient Air Circulation: State-of-the-art food dehydrators employ highly effective air circulation systems, ensuring uniform drying across all trays and reducing the need for tray rotation.
- Transparent Door: Some models feature a transparent door or viewing window, allowing users to monitor the drying process without opening the appliance.
- Mesh and Solid Trays: Food dehydrators typically come with a combination of mesh trays (for fruits and vegetables) and solid trays (for liquids or small items), catering to various drying needs.
- Whisper-Quiet Operation: Modern dehydrators are designed to operate discreetly, making them suitable for use in households without causing disruptive noise.
Benefits of Food Dehydrators
- Prolonged Preservation: Food dehydrators empower users to extend the shelf life of fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, and more by eliminating moisture, thwarting bacterial growth and spoilage.
- Nutrient Preservation: Dehydrating food at lower temperatures ensures the retention of nutritional value, vitamins, and enzymes more effectively than other preservation methods.
- Waste Reduction: Dehydrators help combat food waste by enabling the preservation of excess produce or seasonal items for future consumption.
- Portability: Dehydrated foods are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for hiking, camping, and travel, courtesy of their extended shelf life and reduced bulk.
- Financial Savvy: Dehydrating surplus produce or bulk purchases can translate into long-term savings by reducing your overall food expenditure.
- Thorough Food Preparation: Before placing food in the dehydrator, ensure that it is adequately cleaned and prepared. Remove any damaged or spoiled portions.
- Correct Temperature Usage: Employ the appropriate temperature settings based on the food type you’re dehydrating to ensure safe and effective drying. Consult food safety guidelines for recommended temperature and duration values.
- Meat Handling: When dehydrating meat or poultry, ensure that it reaches a safe internal temperature (e.g., 71°C for poultry) before the drying process to eliminate harmful bacteria.
- Hygiene Matters: Maintain a clean and sanitary environment while handling and preparing food for dehydration to prevent contamination.
- Optimal Storage: Keep dehydrated foods in airtight containers within a cool, dry, and dark storage space. This ensures extended shelf life and guards against spoilage.
- Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions to keep your food dehydrator in top working condition, guaranteeing safety and efficiency.