5 Best Food Dehydrators for
Drying Herbs at Home

Welcome to the 5 best food dehydrators for drying herbs at home! Did you know that drying herbs is a great way to preserve them for later use?

But which dehydrator should you get?

Assorted dried herbs on wooden spoons

Coming up are the 5 best food dehydrators for drying herbs at home.

Home chefs love having fresh and dried herbs at their disposal just as much as professional chefs!

#1

Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Pro

Coming in at number one is the Nesco dehydrator brand, famous for its ease of use and one that I've personally used for years!

Its heating element is in the circular lid. An easy way to dry herbs is to use the Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator.

This dehydrator has a temperature range of 90 to 155 degrees and an adjustable thermostat, so you can find the perfect setting for drying different herbs.

It also comes with 8 trays and additional trays can be purchased separately so you can expand up to 12 trays when needed.

But remember, we're not building a tower here, and the taller you go, the more often you'll need to rotate the trays for even drying. To reduce drying time, consider dehydrating fresh herbs in small batches and storing them in an airtight container.

#2

Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray

Coming in at number two is the Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator. This dehydrator has a temperature range of 105 to 165 degrees and comes with 9 trays that can be expanded up to 15.

It also features an adjustable timer and a 26-hour shutoff setting so you can have complete control over the drying process.

Instead of the dehydrator being circular, the Excalibur brand dehydrators are mainly square, with stackable trays that slide in and out, rather like pulling out a drawer!

The fan is at the rear, and Excalibur claims that you don't need to rotate the trays, but I still do. Most people aren't aware that you can use an Excalibur dehydrator not only to dry foods but also for proofing bread!

Simply leave in one tray near the bottom (remove the rest) and add a shallow foil pan with water beneath it. Turn the dehydrator to the lowest setting and place your bread dough on the single tray and now you're ready to proof your bread dough. The taller the unit, the bigger the loaf you can proof.

#3

Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric

In third place is the Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator: This dehydrator comes with a temperature range of 90 to 165 degrees and an adjustable thermostat.

It also comes with 4 trays, which can be expanded up to 8.

#4

NutriChef PKFD06 Food Dehydrator

NutriChef PKFD06 Food Dehydrator Machine: This dehydrator features 5 trays.

Built with easy to use one operational button. Dehydrate with just a click. It has a temperature control system with a maximum of 180°F.

#5

Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital

Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator: This dehydrator comes with five trays, expandable up to twelve, and a temperature range from 100 to 160 degrees.

It also features an adjustable timer and an automatic shutoff setting for added convenience. The unit is equipped with a rear-mounted fan for even drying results.

* As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The price you pay does not increase.


Pick up my Free eBook today!

How to Grow and Dehydrate Herbs free eBook

How to Grow &
Dehydrate Herbs

Treat yourself today with my free eBook. Learn how to dry the top six herbs and make herb-infused oils and vinegars!

Click the book cover and that will take you to my secure download page and full deets.

It's my gift to you as a way of saying "thanks for stopping by!"

Pick up my Free eBook today!

How to Grow &
Dehydrate Herbs

How to Grow and Dehydrate Herbs free eBook

Treat yourself today with my free eBook. Learn how to dry the top six herbs and make herb-infused oils and vinegars!

Click the book cover and that will take you to my secure download page and full deets.

It's my gift to you as a way of saying "thanks for stopping by!"


Dehydrated herbs (and foods) are great to have on hand, and you can make small or large batches depending on which dehydrator you choose. Some have a top-mounted fan or a rear-mounted fan.

I avoid dehydrators with bottom-mounted fans.

Why? Because the fans may be hard to keep clean.

Go for Digital Timers and Thermostats

Most dehydrators have plastic trays that act as a single layer. The best dehydrators have a digital thermostat. Some have a digital timer, which is a programmable timer.

This comes in handy when you have to leave home and need your dehydrator to run unattended. Look for models with a wide temperature range and at a price point that won't wreck your budget.

Fan-wise, the most efficient way to dry herbs is to have the dehydrator's fan located in the lid at the top, or at the rear of the dehydrator. When you are ready to dry your herbs, consider how much drying space you'll need.

If you're drying a lot of herbs, just add more trays! It's that easy, especially with a Nesco dehydrator.

My Dehydrators of Choice are Nesco and Excalibur Brands:


NESCO™ DEHYDRATORS at Amazon

Nesco FD-80A Food + Jerky Dehydrator

This is a square-shaped food dehydrator, perfect for snacks, fruit, and beef jerky. White with a top black tray edge, with a white lid.

  • 700 watts of drying power
  • Expandable to 8 trays
  • 15.25 x 10.25 x 15.63 inches (LxWxH)
  • Temperature range: 95°F - 160°F
  • Comes with: 1 Clean-A-Screen, 1 Recipe Instruction Book, 1 Jerky Seasoning & Cure Sample

Nesco FD-61WHC Snackmaster Encore Food Dehydrator

This round Nesco Snackmaster comes with a jerky gun kit and 5 trays. It has a very light grey body with a darker grey lid.

  • 500 watts of drying power
  • Expandable to 12 trays
  • 13.5 x 13.5 x 9.25 inches (LxWxH)
  • Temperature range: 95°F - 160°F
  • Comes with: 1 Jerky Gun with 3 tip attachments, 2 Fruit Roll Sheets, 2 Clean-A-Screens, 5 Jerky Seasoning & Cure Samples, Recipe & Instruction book

Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator

This is the new version of mine as it has an updated lid. It's a light grey body with a darker grey lid.

  • 500 watts of drying power
  • Expandable to 12 trays
  • 3.5 x 13.5 x 9.25 inches (LxWxH)
  • Temperature range: 95°F - 155°F
  • Comes with: 1 Fruit Roll Sheet, 2 Original-Flavor Jerky Spice & Cure Packets

* As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The price you pay does not increase.

NESCO™ ACCESSORIES at Amazon

Nesco Solid Fruit Roll Sheets

Nesco LSS-2-6 Round clear plastic 13-1/2" diameter Fruit Roll Sheets, white.

  • 2 pk of solid fruit roll sheets
  • 1.6 sq feet drying area
  • Dry capacity up to 3 cups of pureed fruit per sheet
  • Check the red Amazon link to see which Nesco models these Fruit Roll Sheets fit

Nesco Mesh Sheets

Nesco LM-2-6 Round plastic mesh 13-1/2" diameter Clean-A-Screens, white.

  • 2 pk of mesh sheets
  • 1.6 sq feet drying area
  • Check the red Amazon link to see which Nesco models these Clean-A-Screens fit

Nesco Trays

Nesco WT-2SG Round Speckled Plastic 13-1/2" diameter Add-A-Tray.

  • 2 pk of speckled round trays
  • 1.6 sq feet drying area
  • Fits 20 Series and 30 Series Food Dehydrators
  • Check the red Amazon link to see all the Nesco models these Add-A-Trays fit

* As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The price you pay does not increase.



EXCALIBUR™ DEHYDRATORS at Amazon

Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator, 4-Tray Starter

This is a square-shaped food dehydrator, that boasts 4 square feet of drying space. Black textured plastic body. Remove the front panel for access to its four trays.

  • 220 watts of drying power
  • 4 removable trays
  • 16.25 x 13 x 6.5 inches (LxWxH)
  • Temperature range: 95°F - 165°F
  • Comes with: 4 trays, a digital download guide to dehydration

Excalibur 2900ECB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

This is a square-shaped food dehydrator, that boasts 15 square feet of drying space. Black textured plastic body. Remove the front panel for access to its nine trays.

  • 400 watts of drying power
  • 9 removable trays
  • 19 x 17 x 12.5 inches (LxWxH)
  • Temperature range: 105°F - 165°F
  • Comes with: 9 trays, a digital download guide to dehydration

Excalibur 3900B 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

This is a square-shaped food dehydrator, that boasts 15 square feet of drying space. Black textured plastic body. Remove the front panel for access to its 9 trays. Has a built-in on/off switch.

  • 600 watts of drying power
  • 9 removable trays
  • 19 x 17 x 12.5 inches (LxWxH)
  • Temperature range: 105°F - 165°F
  • Comes with: 9 trays, a digital download guide to dehydration

* As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The price you pay does not increase.

EXCALIBUR™ ACCESSORIES at Amazon

Excalibur Solid Sheets

Excalibur 14 x 14 inch Fruit Leather Sheets, beige centers and green outer edges.

  • 5 pk of solid sheets
  • high-grade silicone, excellent non-stick properties
  • Check the red Amazon link to see which Excalibur models these Fruit Leather Sheets fit

Excalibur Mesh Sheets

Lova brand mesh dehydrator sheets for Excalibur Dehydrators, Cosori Dehydrators, Magic Mill Dehydrators, white.

  • 6 pk of mesh sheets, can be cut to fit
  • high-grade silicone, excellent non-stick properties
  • Check the red Amazon link to see which Excalibur models in particular these mesh screens fit

Excalibur Mesh Sheet Inserts

Excalibur 14 x 14 inch Polyscreen Mesh Tray Screen Inserts (black tray NOT included).

  • 9 pk of mesh screen inserts/trays
  • 100% FDA Food Grade Material
  • Check the red Amazon link to see all the Excalibur models these Excalibur-brand mesh tray sheets fit

* As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The price you pay does not increase.

Large Capacity Drying Area

The best food dehydrator is one that has mesh screens and fruit leather sheets, also known as a fruit leather solid sheets. Solid sheets are necessary so tat your puréed fruit doesn't drip through the mesh screens or trays onto the food below.

Using solid sheets also helps keep your herbs from falling through to the lower drying trays. For large-leaf drying, you can skip using the solid sheets though. But for smaller herbs like thyme, use the solid sheets.

These solid food trays are usually purchased separately and are quite affordable. Just make sure the dimensions of the screens fit your dehydrator model. Double-check before ordering!

Herbs drying on a Nesco brand dehydrator tray

There are large capacity dehydrators, and what size you select depends on how often and how much food and herbs you wish to dry. Also, take into account the number of family members you have to feed!

Dehydrator sizes start with as few as four trays and are known as 'starter' models. The neat thing about Nesco brand dehydrators is that you can purchase additional trays as your needs grow.

Don't worry about having a smaller kitchen; dehydrator "footprints" are roughly the same; it's how many trays you stack that may cause an issue if there's not enough counter height space.

Give Your Dehydrator Enough Breathing Room

Remember to allow your dehydrator "room to breathe." Sticking it directly beneath upper cabinets is not a good idea. Just think of all the moist air that hits the underside of the cabinets... A kitchen island that has an electrical outlet for running appliances is ideal. If you must sit it on your countertop, pull it towards the front edge.

I also find that the bottom trays take the longest to dry when using a model with a top-mounted fan. Items on the top trays will dry faster as they are closer to the heating element. That makes sense, right?

Regarding rear-mounted fans: The same logic applies to the foods closest to the fan; they will always dry faster. The best way to combat uneven drying is to rotate the trays often. That means up or down for round models with round trays, and turning the trays 180 degrees (and up and down) for the square models.

All the brands claim you don't need to rotate trays due to their 'superior drying fans and technology' etc., but I still rotate them! I've never used a dehydrator with a bottom-mounted fan, so I cannot comment on the effectiveness of those.

Some dehydrators have a front door panel that lifts out (Excalibur brands), and their fan is located at the rear.

Is Bigger Always Better?

The larger the unit, the larger the watts of power needed; again, choose one with a built-in timer for the best results and a size that suits your family's needs.

Is Dehydrating Faster than Air Drying?

Herbs being hung to dry out

Using a dehydrator is faster than hanging sprigs on a rack to air dry and in my mind, it's "cleaner" too.

How so? There won't be dust accumulating on your drying herbs because yours will be enclosed inside a dehydrator!

Dehydration works through air circulation at low temperatures. Bear in mind, we're not trying to cook the herbs! Keep an eye on the temperature control.

Pick up my free eBook "How to Grow and Dehydrate Herbs" using the form on this page.

5 Best Food Dehydrators for Drying Herbs at Home
For Large or Small Herbs

My top pick is a toss-up between Nesco and Excalibur electric dehydrators. I'm biased. I own one of each and for good reason! But in my defense, I did show you the 5 best food dehydrators for drying herbs at home.

Food Preservation

With constantly rising prices, it's prudent to dehydrate food either from your garden or the grocery store. You can select misshapen fruit and vegetables too and you can save a few dollars by doing that.

Read more here on how to fight inflation and  food shortages.

Storage Space

Consider storing your dehydrated herbs inside half pint glass jars (Mason jars), which are fantastic for home-dried herbs. If you're running out of space to store all your dehydrated goodies, then consider creating your own storage space by reading more here.

Thanks for stopping by to read about the 5 best food dehydrators for drying herbs at home!

RELATED POSTS

RELATED POSTS

Susan Gast, founder of Easy Food Dehydrating

Hi, I'm Susan Gast, founder of Easy Food Dehydrating. My passion for dehydrating food began in 2010 while seeking crafty uses for abundant tomatoes. I've since devoted myself to elevating the art of removing moisture from fruits, vegetables, meats, and so much more!
JOIN ME as we unlock the magic of food preservation through dehydration together!
Read About Me here.

Enjoy the RECENT POSTS below from easy recipes and how to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood - to gadgets to use for food prep and safe storage for long-term!

RECENT POSTS

  1. Oxygen Absorber Sizes: Which Size Should I Use

    100cc Oxygen Absorbers, 100-pk shown
    Oxygen Absorber Sizes: Which Size Should I Use? How to select the right size for your vacuum-sealer bags.

    Read More

  2. How To Dehydrate Grapes In A Dehydrator

    raisins from large red grapes on a white plate
    How To Dehydrate Grapes: Raisins are grapes in disguise ... make plump, juicy raisins for a quick, healthy snack!

    Read More

  3. Food Vacuum Sealer Instructions

    FoodSaver vacuum sealer bag placement
    Food Vacuum Sealer instructions for FoodSaver brand. Photos show CORRECT placement of your food vacuum-sealer bags!

    Read More

  4. Food Vacuum Sealers By Foodsaver

    FoodSaver V2240 food vacuum sealing machine, closed, front
    Food Vacuum Sealers by FoodSaver: Preserve your emergency food supply using these top-rated food vacuum sealers

    Read More

SEE MORE POSTS on our blog HERE


Check out Susan's food dehydrating books available now.