Manual drying of jerky and other foodstuffs can be a little frustrating considering the time and effort spent on the dehydration process. However, this time wasting and exhaustive practice can be easily waved away using the electric dehydrators. They not only save your time but also provide a safe, fast and efficient way of drying jerky.
With dehydrators you don’t have to sit there and watch over the meat as it dries, you will only set the temperatures and concentrate on other issues as the unit does all the work for you They will carry out the process and switch themselves off after it is complete.
You also have the advantage of drying huge batches of flesh and other foods at the same time and save yourself a headache that comes with shifts.
4 Different Recommended Jerky Dehydrator Reviews
There are many types of dehydrators in the market, and they all come with different shapes, and sizes. We reviewed and tested some of the notable dehydrators, specifically to help you choose the most suitable one for your jerky.
Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator, Black
It is a 9-tray box-style electric food dehydrator with a unique drying system that is designed to provide even heat and air flow. It comes with 15 squares of drying space, adjustable temperature controls, and an automated timer.
- An adjustable thermostat with temperature range of 95-155 degrees Fahrenheit
- 26-hour timer
- Parallax drying system
- Removable door
- 15 square feet of drying space
- Ten years limited warranty.
- Polyscreen tray
The tray screens are made up of plastic called polypropylene five which is BPA-free and resistant to high heat. This feature makes it safe for dishwater. Trays have a small lip that can be used in making fruit leather, especially if you purchase silicon Excalibur’s non-sticky mats which you can also use in your oven. They are approximately 19 inches deep, 17 inches wide and 12.5 inches wide. Unlike other models, the trays do not have a hole in the middle, and their corners are cut off.
The exclusive parallax drying system has a temperature controlled fan-forced horizontal drying system that evenly distributes the heat across all individual trays. The trays can be removed which allows creating more space for large foods or for raising the dough. The unit contains 15 square feet of drying space which are enough to dehydrate huge batches of jerky without having to do it in shifts. You can easily remove the clear door if you want to load and clean the unit.
The dehydrator operates on a motor-driven timer meaning that if the power goes off when the unit is on, the timer keeps track of the actual drying time. The unit has three separate circuits that protect it from electrical malfunctions, which are necessary if you are planning to leave the unit unattended during the night or when you are not home. You can use the adjustable thermostat to set the right temperature for jerky or for any other food you want to dry.
The receptive power switch is located at the back and does obstruct you from using the appliance. It is quite easy to use and is highly receptive and do not cause any damage when used for a long time
- Heat distribution.
The appliance has its system of air flow that provides an even distribution of heat through every single tray. The 7 inches fan located at the back pulls the cool air inside for heating before it distributes it. This procedure accelerates the drying process work and allows you to dry more foodstuffs in a short period.
- Power consumption
The unit has a low consumption of power which comes in handy to save you from hefty electrical bills.
- It is a large model so you may need some extra kitchen space to accommodate it.
Tribest Sedona Express SDE-S6780-B Dehydrator, Black
This is a compact unit 12″ wide, 14 inches high and 17.5 inches deep, meaning that you can easily lift it on your countertop. It was the world’s first fully-featured dehydrator with a kitchen-friendly design. You can use all the little easy-to-use TST features for all your drying needs.
- Digital controls and displays
- Glass hinged door for easy monitoring and inspection and also to extract the trays for cleaning
- Non-flammable plastic body which is also BPA-free
- A maximum temperature of 167 degrees Fahrenheit
- Ten-year warranty
- 11 stainless steel trays and one steel closing tray
- Power rating of 450 to 500 watts
The dehydrator is designed like a microwave and can easily be placed on your kitchen counter. It has 11 trays that serve as 11 shelves and a bottom slot that can be a drip pan or a shelf. The trays are made of steel making it safe for dishwater and can also easily fit in the dishwasher.
The glass door allows you to easily see inside the unit when it is switched on. You can see whether the food is ready without having to open the door because the fans momentarily pause when the door opens and the light goes off. Even if you open and the fans pause, it does not loose heat and gives you the option to switch it off anytime using the digital controller. The digital controller is well labeled and easy to use. They provide shortcuts to increase the temperature and time units by 10. You can set the temperature in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit. There are various modes of setting including raw, fast and combo mode. The combo modes help you to cook the food at a certain temperature so that you can preserve the enzymes as the fast mode allows your food to be cooked fast.
The two-stage sequential temperature timer allows to kick start your drying by setting higher temperature for a few hours then it automatically switches to lower temperatures to finish off the process. This feature especially helps you to preserve the nutrition content of your food. It comes with a washable air filter, meaning that you will not get any dust and dirt on your jerky. All the air passes through the filter where all dust is captured, and you can easily remove and wash it.
- It is a much quiet unit compared to other models.
- It is compact and takes up less space.
- It is easy to clean because it is made of steel.
- You can control your cooking through the digital control panel and preserve the enzymes and nutrients.
- The unit does not come with a detailed explanation manual but that can be overlooked as operating it is very easy.
STX INTERNATIONAL Dehydrator
STX-DEH-1200W-XLS 10-Tray-Stainless Steel body -Food Dehydrator, 1200-watt, Digital Control, is a heavy duty machine with a large body size that may take up much space.
- Power – 1200 Watts , Airflow 95-155 degrees Horizontal
- 16 Square Feet Drying Space with 10 Stainless Steel Trays
- 1200 Watts of Power – 7 Inch dehydrating Fan System- Rear Mounted
- One year – 100% – Repair, Fix or Complete Replacement Guarantee, Parts and Labor Included in the guarantee
- 15-Hour Timer, Drip Tray, 2 Silicone Mats for the Fruit Roll-Up
The 1200 watts of power offer optimal drying time through the variable thermostat and the 16 square feet of drying surface. The large sized trays and the housing unit are made of stainless steel which is durable and together with the rear-mounted heater and fan provides a constant airflow that ensures proper dehydration.
It comes with the owner’s manual which carries instruction and tips on how to use it for best results. The durable steel makes it easier to clean the unit and also provides the safe environment for drying; you don’t have to worry about seeing pieces of plastic near or on your jerky. Its rugged look and the stainless metal make it attractive and professional in the kitchen.
- It has a huge capacity of 16 square meters of drying space, ten trays and three drawers which can be used to raise dough and bulk drying bulky items. The silicon mats included can withstand high temperature up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and thus increases the versatility of the model
- It is also very easy to disassemble and reassemble so you can easily pack it up and put it in the storage if you do not want to use.
- This dehydrator is larger than most of the units so you should be expecting a little more noise especially with the heaters and fans. With maintenance and due care, the noise can be easily kept under control and therefore it does not pose a big problem.
- There are rare reports of inaccurate temperatures but the repair or replace it warranties from the manufacturers have got this covered.
Excalibur 3948CDB 9-Tray Food Dehydrator with Digital Controller and Timer, Black
This is a new model dehydrator that Excalibur has just released in the market. It replaces the analog controller with a new two-time temperature controller to help speed up the drying process. The latest clear door that it has means that you can keep tabs on your drying process without having to open the door at any time.
- Large square trays, 15 sq ft of drying space
- Digital dual controller
- Clear removable door made of Clear, Polycarbonate Material for easier loading
- 48 Hour Timer,
- Adjustable Thermostat with temperature ranges of 95◦ F to 165◦ F
- 7-inch fan, 600 Watts, Voltage: 110-120 V,
- 10 Year Manufacturers Limited Warranty
This nine tray food dehydrator is loaded with all the best traditional features a dehydrator may contain including the clear door and the timer. The digital controller comes with two options that allow you to set two-time period at two different temperature settings. You can set a higher temperature for a specified period and then have the temperature reduced for the second timing cycle. It will automatically adjust the first setting, and then it will switch off after the second period elapses the 48-hour timer allows you to set it and forget and after the 48 hours it will shut off on its own.
The adjustable temperature range allows you to set it low enough to meet the safety standard of meat preservation for jerky. It presents a parallel horizontal air flow and hyper wave fluctuations which are the most efficient combinations of heating and drying at the same time. The trays, BPA-free mesh sheets give you a confidence of dehydrating your jerky without having to worry about the BPA (why you should get BPA products).
The fan ensures that the air flows steadily through the surface. Included is an instructional manual that explains how you can effectively handle and protect the manual from frequent breakdowns that may cost you a lot of money to repair. The only disadvantage that it comes with, just like any other box-style dehydrators is that it is not expandable. However, the square trays give you more drying space than the round ones, and you have the opportunity of drying bulky chunks of food.
Our Jerky Dehydrator Pick
The Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator, Black is the matchless top quality product for jerky preparation. It is one of the healthiest, easiest and most economical ways to use in the process. You only need to load the trays, set the temperature and leave the drying to the dehydrator as you go about your business. To the jerky hobbyists who are looking for a high-quality machine and to produce the tastiest jerky, you may not want to miss out on this. What more would you want beyond a pantry stocked to the ceiling with dried apricots and cherries, chewy fruit leather and varieties of delicious meat jerky without having to worry if you will manage your electrical bills?