If you love preserved foods then you should consider buying a food dehydrator. A food dehydrator removes food’s natural moisture and dries it completely. When you dry food, you can store it for months without worrying about rotting and molds. With a food dehydrator, you will be able to enjoy your favorite fruits all year round.
IF this is your first time to buy a food dehydrator then consider these simple tips. You need to find the most suitable dehydrator that will give you years of durable use. Here are buying techniques you need to keep in mind:
- The heat source – a dehydrator’s main function is to dry food with the use of dry heat. The heating element or the heat source of the dehydrator must be sufficiently enclosed to prevent food drippings to come in contact and damage the system. A dehydrator with adequate enclosure is also very easy to clean and maintain.
- The fan – usually there are fans that are located on either side or on top of the dehydrator. This position is perfect when you don’t want food flavors to mix. When fans are positioned on the sides, food drippings and juices will never come in contact with the heating element at all.
- The size – if you plan to use the dehydrator often and you have a family that also loves dehydrated food then you must get a large industrial sized dehydrator. However, if you have a small kitchen and you can’t afford an appliance that takes too much space then you may purchase a smaller food dehydrator for your needs.
- The temperature settings – it would be very convenient if you have temperature controls that will adjust the settings of the machine. Different foods have different times and temperatures to totally remove their moisture. With variable temperature settings you can easily dehydrate any kind of food you want.
- Multi trays- some dehydrators can accommodate more than one or two trays at a time. This is very handy especially when you want to save time in dehydrating more kinds of a food at a time. The trays must be very easy to stack and must have a hole, preferably in the center, to dry foods consistently.
- The size of the trays – if you wish to dry large amounts of foods than you need a large tray as well as a large dehydrator but if you think that you won’t use the machine that much then consider a smaller capacity tray so you can dry small amounts of food more efficiently.
- Energy efficiency – a dehydrator typically uses more energy in cooking food compared to using an electric stove for cooking or a rice cooker. A standard dehydrator uses 500 watts of electricity however, larger dehydrators with more trays usually consumes more power. You can shop for a dehydrator with the features that you need plus the energy rating that tells you how efficient it is to use.
- The timer – an ideal dehydrator has a built in timer that will automatically turns off when the food has been dried completely. A timer is perfect when you are dehydrating different types of food since different foods have different drying times and temperatures.
- The price – needless to say that the larger the dehydrator is, the more expensive it will be and a smaller capacity unit will cost just a fraction of industrial type dehydrators. It’s very important to choose the best quality appliance with the best price so shop for the best value online so you can have a headstart on the price of different dehydrator brands.
- The product warranty- if you are fond of dehydrating foods then you should consider a brand with the best warranty. Most dehydrators have two to three years warranty however; you can still avail of extended warranties for your product anytime. Having warranty for any problems will reduce the need to buy new parts and accessories.
There may be more techniques in purchasing your first dehydrator and you can get more tips when you read product reviews online. Reviews will help you find the pros and cons of a product like food dehydrators before you purchase them.