What are Food Dehydrators?

Welcome to "What are food dehydrators?" This post is about two of the best most reliable dehydrator brands out there: Nesco and Excalibur.

"Food Dehydrating Made Easy" on Udemy - 3 hr course

TOP Frequently Asked Questions:

What are food dehydrators?

Usually they are electric and dry food through warm air driven by fans.

Food dehydrator recipes beef jerky?

Check out How to Dehydrate Meat where you'll find our Beef Jerky Recipe!

Food dehydrator best?

It's great how folks search for things, isn't it? And the best dehydrator is a very subjective thing. I love my NESCO and EXCALIBUR brand dehydrators. But there are many more brands on the market.

Do your research: Visit Walmart, Amazon, eBay, et al.

Shown further down this page are various Nesco and Excalibur dehydrators over at Amazon.


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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!"


What are They and How Do They Work?

Half of an empty white Nesco dehydrator tray

Food dehydrators work by simply removing the moisture in foods with an air-circulating fan and a heating element.

They have temperature controls ranging from 90°F to 160°F so you can choose the appropriate setting.

They are not silent-running—but they do run in the background. In fact, they create a good white noise! Beats hearing the neighbor's barking dogs and street noise!

Half of an empty white Nesco dehydrator tray

The dehydrators for home use are lightweight—so they're easily portable. The two dehydrators I own are made from plastic. One is black with molded panels that resemble leather-hide.

The other model is a speckled white/gray sturdy plastic. One dehydrator has its fan in the rear and the other model has its fan at the top in the lid.

Both of my dehydrators are starter models. What's that? They are both 4-tray models. I started out small as there were only the two of us (hubby and I).

If you've got a larger family, consider getting a dehydrator with far more trays. Farther down this page is info. on the two top-selling brands of dehydrators: Nesco and Excalibur.




Food Dehydrator Fad?

Food Dehydrators have been around for a very long time. Read more on how they work farther down the page :-)

When I first saw them back in 2010, I thought they were a fad, and who on earth would want one of those?  (Turns out, I did!)







Foods Can Be Preserved in Other Ways

Foods can be preserved by canning, freeze-drying, smoking, or DEHYDRATING. To me, the easiest method by far is dehydrating! The simplicity of it appealed to me more than anything.

There are two sections below,
covering the Excalibur and Nesco
dehydrators in more detail.
Click the big links to learn more
right here on this site
about the dehydrators we use:

There are two sections below, covering the Excalibur and Nesco dehydrators in more detail.
Click the big links to learn more right here on this site about the dehydrators we use:

Shown Below are Excalibur Dehydrators at Amazon.com

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.


Shown Below are Nesco Dehydrators on Amazon.com

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.

What are Food Dehydrators for? Possible Food Shortages?

But it wasn't through kitchen-gadget ads on TV or online that made me take the plunge—it was due to the very real possibility of a worldwide food shortage in the next 10 years or so.

If you read up on super-power China, about how much US debt they own, and how China must sustain a double-digit growth rate... it becomes obvious that to sustain a country that has four times the number of citizens than the US, there needs to be enough food in the world to feed China... and the rest of the world.

I wrote that last paragraph PRIOR to COVID-19... which has obviously made the situation worse; plus the war in Ukraine—a country that provides fertilizer, world-wide.

But, That's Ten Years Away You Say...

The reason I'm preparing NOW is because of the (continued) threat of inflation—or more likely hyperinflation... or even home quarantine (again!) because of vicious viruses running rampant.

And what about the possible collapse of our economy?

How Inflation is Created

Every time more money is printed by our government, it dilutes the buying power of the dollars that are already in circulation. It takes MORE of your dollars in your wallet to buy things now than it did six months ago. Who knows what the food prices will be six months from now? It all sounds a bit scary?

Yep. But, if the people predicting all this are right... I'll gladly start putting food away NOW, here and there, if/when it goes on sale—before inflation skyrockets—take it home, dehydrate it, and store it! (Again, this page was written pre-Covid pandemic and war in Ukraine).

What's sad is that 'both sides of the political aisle' love to spend taxpayers' money.

Get Some Food PUT AWAY Today!

And if the people predicting all this are wrong? I'd rather look silly later on than be starving later on.

This way, we can help friends and relatives who did not prepare and thought that food shortages in the USA just could not possibly happen! But it DID happen... Covid-19 took everyone by surprise.

Thanks for stopping by "What are food dehydrators." I hope you learned "the why" behind my purchase; that was over a decade ago and we've come full circle.

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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.

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