5 Best Food Dehydrators for
Drying Herbs at Home

Welcome to the 5 best food dehydrators for drying herbs at home!

Drying herbs is a great way to preserve them for later use. But which dehydrator should you get? Here 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!

row of dried herbs on wooden spoons

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 personally avoid dehydrators with bottom-mounted fans. Why? Because the fans may be hard to keep clean.

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 own herbs, consider how many square feet of drying space you'll need.

Nesco Brand Dehydrators

Food + Jerky Dehydrator

Nesco® American Harvest Express
All-In-One Kit with Jerky Gun

FD-60 Snackmaster

Excalibur Brand Dehydrators

Excalibur® 4-Tray Starter

Excalibur® 9-Tray Economy

Excalibur® 9-Tray Deluxe

* As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. The price you pay doesn't increase.

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

Nesco Dehydrator Accessories

Solid Sheets

Mesh Sheets


Excalibur Dehydrator Accessories

Solid Sheets

Mesh Sheets


* As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. The price you pay doesn't increase.

Using solid sheets helps keep your herbs from falling through to the lower drying trays. These solid food trays are usually purchased separately. Just make sure the dimensions of the screens fit your dehydrator model. Double-check before ordering!

Square Feet of Drying Area

Herbs drying on a dehydrator tray

There are large capacity units, and what size you select depends on how often and how much food and herbs you wish to dry. Also, 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; the dehydrators' "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. Remember to allow your dehydrator "room to breathe." Sticking it directly beneath upper cabinets is not a good idea. A kitchen island that has an electrical outlet for running appliances is ideal.

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 hanging

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," at the bottom of this page.

The Best Options for Dehydrators
for Drying 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!) Are you ready to see the 5 best food dehydrators for drying herbs at home? Read on!

5 Best Food Dehydrators for Drying Herbs at Home


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.


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 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.


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.


NutriChef PKFD12 Digital Food Dehydrator Machine: This dehydrator has a temperature range of 95-158 degrees and features 12 trays for larger batches. It also has an adjustable timer and auto-shutoff feature to customize the drying process to your needs.


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 a small commission from qualifying purchases. The price you pay doesn't increase.

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 the upcoming food shortages.

Storage Space

Consider storing your dehydrated herbs inside 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.

Free How to Grow and Dehydrate Herbs Book

free eBook: How to Grow and Dehydrate Herbs

Pick up a free copy of our eBook that showcases the top choices of six herbs for home use. Learn how to make herb-infused oils and vinegars too.

Learn more about growing herbs at Homestead and Chill.

~ ~ ~

Thanks for stopping by to read about the 5 best food dehydrators for drying herbs at home! Questions? Write to me here.

Susan Gast owner, Easy Food Dehydrating plus Finally-Keto.com and SusanGast.com

Susan Gast began Easy Food Dehydrating in December 2010. Read Susan's story of what sparked her interest in all things related to "food dehydrating."

She is featured on Mother Earth News blog, and on Solo Build It (SBI) who host this site. Read her first SBI interview, and her second SBI interview.

Since 1980, Susan's involvement in publishing - in one form or another - led her to create a "review site" of products related to the publishing industry. Visit ePubTechReviews today, also hosted by Solo Build It. Susan also runs her namesake site SusanGast.com on Solo Build It that showcases the books she has written since 2010.

Do you want to send Susan a quick message? Visit her contact page here. She'd love to hear from you!