Dehydrating is one of the best ways to preserve food. And while you can use an oven or even an air fryer to dehydrate food, by far, the best way to dehydrate food is using a food dehydrator. While there are many dehydrators on the market, very few of them are made in the USA. In this article, I’ll give you my top picks for dehydrators made in the USA.
Stackable Dehydrators Made in the USA
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First, let’s get into stackable dehydrators made in the USA.
I personally am a big fan of Nesco dehydrators (Amazon). When I bought my first Nesco dehydrator more than six years ago, I bought it not because it was made in the USA, but because it had a good reputation, and was reasonably priced. It was later that I learned that the dehydrator was made in America, which only made me appreciate the dehydrator, and the Nesco company even more.
I like the dehydrator enough that when I wanted to expand my dehydrator selection, I bought the same dehydrator again, both times from Amazon. Since then, I’ve had my eye on a few of the different Nesco dehydrators and will likely buy another one in the future.
Here are what I consider to be the top 3 Nesco stackable dehydrators made in the USA.
Pro tip: Before I get into the details about the various dehydrators, I just wanted to make a note that while I love shopping on Amazon, I like to support smaller businesses when possible. I’ve had a good experience buying from Pleasant Hill Grain, and since they have a good selection of dehydrators, I’m sharing links to their products. Go here, to see all of their dehydrators.
#1: FD-75PR 5 Tray Food & Jerky Dehydrator
The Nesco FD-75PR dehydrator (Amazon) was my first, and most highly recommended dehydrator. It comes with 5 trays, plus 2 fruit leather trays and 2 “Clean a Screen” mesh liners. The thing that I like the most about it is that it expands up to 12 trays. And I have certainly used 12 trays at a time. I love that you can start off with five trays, and a little at a time add more trays if desired. This makes it a very affordable option for anyone who wants a dehydrator with a large capacity, and yet doesn’t have a huge budget.
Each dehydrator tray has .8 square feet of drying area, so the base model (without any extra trays) has 4 feet of drying area. If you expand to 12 trays, you end up with 9.6 feet of drying area. Not too shabby!
The motor and fan of this dehydrator is on the top. I personally think this is a better option compared to stackable dehydrators that have the motor and fan on the bottom, because if the fan and motor are on the bottom there’s always a chance that food will fall from the trays onto the motor.
If I was only going to buy one dehydrator, and I wanted it to be made in the USA, the 600 watt Nesco FD-75PR is the one I’d choose.
Check out the current price on Amazon | on Pleasant Hill Grain.
#2: FD-1040 Gardenmaster Digital Pro Dehydrator
If 12 dehydrator trays aren’t enough for you, then a big step up from the Nesco FD-75PR is the Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster Digital Pro Dehydrator, which is also made in the USA, and also available on Amazon. While the dehydrator itself only comes with 4 trays, it’s expandable up to 20 trays.
The trays on the FD-1040 are slightly larger than the Nesco, with each tray having 1 foot of drying area. This means that even though the FD-1040 Gardenmaster only comes with 4 trays, compared to the 5 trays found on the FD-75PR, both options start off with 4 square feet of drying area. And if you expand to the entire 20 tray maximum, you end up with a whopping 20 feet of drying space. If you’re a serious dehydrator and like to dehydrate a lot of food at a time, this is a great option.
This model comes with one fruit roll sheet, and 1 “Clean-A-Screen” mesh liner.
Another upgrade on this dehydrator compared to the Nesco FD-1040 is that it is digital, with a timer that can be set up to 48 hours.
Check out the Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster Pro dehydrator on Amazon or here, on Pleasant Hill Grain.
#3: FD-1018 Gardenmaster Pro Dehydrator
Note: Before I get into the specifics of this dehydrator, the FD-1018 and FD-1010 appear to be the same dehydrator, with just slightly different model numbers. All pertinent aspects of the dehydrators are the same.
If 20 feet of drying area isn’t enough, then the best option that I’m aware of when it comes to dehydrators made in the USA is the FD-1018 Gardenmaster Pro Dehydrator (Amazon). While, like the FD-1040 Garden Master dehydrator, the FD-1018 comes with just 4 trays, each with 1 foot of drying space, it’s expandable to up to 30 trays, with a potential of a whopping 30 feet of drying area.
I have to admit that I’ve because of the amount of drying space, I’ve had my eye on this dehydrator for a very long time. In addition to the unbelievable amount of drying area, another plus is that it has a 1,000-watt motor, so it may dry faster than the other two models I’ve listed, which have 600-watt motors. The 1,000 watts is necessary to be able to dry 30 trays of food at a time.
The biggest drawback to this dehydrator is that the motor and fan are on the bottom. Now obviously, if you’re careful, you don’t have to worry too much about food spilling into the motor, but it is possible. You’d need to use caution when dehydrating any types of liquid items since at least for me, when I’ve dehydrated saucy items like salsa, spills happen.
The FD-1018 is also lower tech than the FD-1040. While it has an on and off switch, it’s not programmable.
Check out the FD-1018 Gardenmaster Pro dehydrator on Amazon | Pleasant Hill Grain.
Cabinet Style Dehydrators Made in the USA
While Nesco seems to have the corner when it comes to stackable dehydrators made in the USA, Excalibur is the brand to buy when it comes to cabinet style dehydrators made in the USA.
I’ll cover stainless steel dehydrators made in the USA in the next section, because they’re in a class all their own.
When it comes to cabinet style dehydrators made in the USA that are constructed out of plastic, you have a choice of dehydrators with 4 trays, 5 trays, or 9 trays. Let’s look at these in order, from smallest to largest.
Excalibur 4-Tray Dehydrator
Excalibur dehydrators have long been known as the Cadillac of home dehydrators. In fact, while I’ve been happy with my Nesco stackable dehydrator, I’ve known many people who have Nesco dehydrators, that pine over Excalibur dehydrators.
If that describes you, but you don’t have a huge budget, then the Excalibur 4-tray dehydrator (Amazon) is the way to go. Each of the 4 trays has 1 foot of drying area, for a total of 4 feet. As is true with all cabinet style dehydrators, this dehydrator isn’t expandable.
If you have limited space, don’t want to spend a fortune, and yet want a cabinet-style dehydrator that’s made in the USA, the Excalibur 4-tray dehydrator is a great option.
This is truly a dehydrator without a lot of bells and whistles. For instance, it’s not digital, and there’s no timer. But it’s a solidly made dehydrator, that should last for many years.
Check out the Excalibur 4-tray dehydrator on Amazon.
Excalibur 5-Tray Dehydrator
As the name implies, the Excalibur 5-Tray Dehydrator (Amazon) has 5 trays. Each tray has 1 foot of drying area, for a total of 5 feet drying area.
The Excalibur 5-tray dehydrator is a step up from the 4-tray dehydrator in the amount of drying space. It also has more bells and whistles. For instance, it has a digital display and a 48-hour timer.
Also, you may think that the 5-tray dehydrator has just 1 foot more drying area than the 4-tray Excalibur. But that’s not the case! Even though the dehydrator has just 5 trays, it has 8 feet of drying space, which isn’t bad!
However, it should be noted that the extra drying space is due in large part to larger dehydrator trays. This is great if you have the countertop or storage space for a larger unit. However, with it having just 5 trays, it has a substantially lower height than the 9 tray Excalibur dehydrators.
Check out the Excalibur 5-Tray Dehydrator on Amazon | Pleasant Hill Grain.
Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrators (all made in the USA!)
If you want more drying space, the Excalibur 9-tray dehydrators are the way to go. Thankfully, all of them are made in the USA.
A challenge with the 9-tray dehydrators is since there are different models, with different features, it may be a bit harder to know which one to choose.
I’ll do my best to lay out the features of each of the options in the handy dandy table below. Note that I’ll include the current retail price, though the prices on sites such as Amazon may vary.
|Model||Drying Space||Timer?||Digital or Analog||Retail Price|
|Excalibur 3900B||15 square feet||No||Analog||$319 Check current price on Amazon | Pleasant Hill Grain|
|Excalibur 3926TB||15 square feet||Yes, up to 26 hours||Analog||$369 Check current price on Amazon | Pleasant Hill Grain|
|Excalibur 3926TCBD||15 square feet||Yes, up to 26 hours||Analog||$389.99 Check current price on Amazon | Pleasant Hill Grain|
|Excalibur 3948CBD||15 square feet||Yes, up to 48 hours||Digital||$419 Check current price on Amazon | Pleasant Hill Grain|
The Difference Between the Excalibur 3926TB and the Excalibur 3926TCBD
Note that the difference between the Excalibur 3926TB and the Excalibur 3926TCBD is that the Excalibur 3926TCBD has a clear door, so you can see the food as it dehydrates, without removing the door. Otherwise, the dehydrators appear to be the same.
The bottom line is that each of the 9-tray Excalibur dehydrators have the same amount of drying space. The price differences all relate to the specific bells and whistles of each dehydrator, with the Excalibur 3900B being the most basic. For me personally, the timer isn’t too important, also in some ways, I prefer analog to digital because there is less than can go wrong. For these reasons I’d personally recommend just buying the Excalibur 3900B (Amazon) unless the bells and whistles are important to you.
Stainless Steel Dehydrators Made in the USA
When it comes to stainless steel dehydrators made in the USA, things get challenging. I personally own the Cosori Premium Stainless Steel Dehydrator (Amazon) and love it. But it’s made in China.
Nesco recently came out with a stainless steel dehydrator (Amazon), that is basically the same price point as the Cosori. At first, I was super excited, because I love Nesco products, and especially love that my Nesco dehydrators are made in the USA. Unfortunately, the Nesco stainless steel dehydrator is not made in the USA. Like the Cosori, the Nesco Stainless Steel Dehydrator is made in China.
Another popular stainless-steel dehydrator is the Magic Mill Food Dehydrator (Amazon). When I researched this article, I came across blog posts stating Magic Mill dehydrators are made in the USA. But when I looked at this listing on Amazon, it doesn’t say where the dehydrator is made. Since I want to give you accurate information, I reached out to the company and asked where their stainless-steel dehydrators are made. The response I received contained only one-word “China.”
I Only Found 1 Stainless Steel Dehydrator Made in the USA
I looked into several other stainless-steel dehydrators, and found that all but one, is made in China. The only stainless-steel dehydrator made in the USA that I was able to find is the Excalibur EXC10EL Food Dehydrator, which you can purchase here on Amazon, or from Pleasant Hill Grain. Unfortunately, buying this stainless steel food dehydrator will set you back about $1399.
Granted, Excalibur is known for quality craftsmanship, and this dehydrator has 16 square feet of drying space. Compare this to the maximum of 15 square feet of drying space in the other larger Excalibur dehydrators. It also has a digital display and a 99-hour (about 4 days) timer.
It’s also billed as a commercial dehydrator, so it can stand up to heavy use. It’s clearly head and shoulders above any other dehydrator suitable for home use. So, if you have the budget for it, and plan to do a lot of dehydrating, it may well worth it. Only you can decide if it’s worth paying a premium price for a stainless-steel dehydrator made in the USA.
So, there you have it! When it comes to buying dehydrators made in the USA, two brands stand out: Nesco, and Excalibur. Excalibur wins the prize for manufacturing all of their dehydrators in the USA. If you desperately want a stainless-steel dehydrator but can’t quite swing the high price tag of the Excalibur, I’d personally buy the Nesco stainless steel dehydrator, which you can get here on Amazon. It’s true, that it’s not made in the USA., But if I had to choose between a company that makes a good chunk of their products in the USA and a company that makes all of their products in China, I’d go for former, and Nesco fits that description.
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll likely enjoy these related articles:
- Cosori Premium Stainless Steel Dehydrator Review
- Nesco Dehydrator Review
- How Much Do Dehydrators Cost?
- The 9 Best Dehydrator Cookbooks
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