A dehydrator is an electrical appliance that is used to dry out foods to preserve them. A dehydrator is able to accomplish this by using air that circulates constantly at a low temperature. The big question is, :how much do dehydrators cost?” and related to that is whether or not they’re worth it. If you want to know how much a dehydrator costs, make sure to keep reading!
Food dehydrators range in price from $50 to $550. Smaller and stackable food dehydrators typically cost less. The cabinet-style food dehydrators are bigger in size, and most cost above $100. Larger dehydrators (such as commercial models) vary greatly in price.
Read more to find the best kinds of food dehydrators and how much they cost below.
Why is a Food Dehydrator Important?
Food dehydrators provide users with healthy long-lasting food that can be used for a variety of purposes. Many dehydrated foods, especially fruit and jerky make excellent snacks. They are also good for camping, and food storage, since they don’t require refrigeration and are lightweight and compact.
Cost of Popular Food Dehydrators
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The chart below contains helpful information about some of the most popular food dehydrators on the market today. Some companies specialize in either stackable or cabinet-style dehydrators, whereas some may produce a range of each type.
Read on past the chart for more information about the types, brands, and benefits of different dehydrators.
|Name||Model #||Retail Price|
(Click on links to see current prices)
Clear Cover Food & Jerky Dehydrator
|400-watt||Non-adjustable temperature setting|
9-Tray Food Dehydrator
|600 watts||105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Nesco Snackmaster Pro||FD – 75||$99.99|
Pleasant Hill Grain
|699 watts||95 – 160 degrees Fahrenheit|
Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
|600 watts||165 Degrees Fahrenheit|
Sedona Express Electric Food Dehydrator
|470 watts||77 to167 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Cosori Premium Stainless Steel Dehydrator||CP267-FD||$160.00|
|600 watts||95 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit|
Here are some of the top benefits of using a home food dehydrator.
Depending on the type and brand of food dehydrator, the cost of a food dehydrator can be anywhere from 50 to 500 dollars. However, the average cost of a dehydrator is about 100 dollars.
Eliminates Food Waste
Using a food dehydrator can eliminate any food waste that is caused when cooking different vegetables and herbs. You can place the leftover Thein a food dehydrator, and use them at a later date. You can also dehydrate fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables to preserve them for later use.
If you’re interested in food security, a food dehydrator is one of the best purchases you can make since they are affordable and easy to use.
When food is dehydrated it retains its original nutritional content. It also increases the fiber content which makes dehydrated foods great for digestion. Also, because moisture is removed from the food this means that mostly all potentially harmful bacteria, yeast, or fungi are removed from the food as well.
However, even though most vitamins remain, Vitamin A and C can sometimes decrease so it’s important to still eat other food with these vitamins. It’s also recommended to drink lots of water since the body typically receives about 20-30% of the water it needs from food.
Types of Dehydrators
There are two primary types of food dehydrators: stackable and cabinet style.
Stackable Food Dehydrators
Stackable food dehydrators are typically less expensive than cabinet style dehydrators. The first dehydrator I bought was the Nesco Snackmastor Pro (Amazon). I actually have two of these dehydrators, which I still use and love.
In addition to being less expensive than cabinet-style dehydrators, another advantage of stackable dehydrators is that they are expandable. As an example, the Nesco that I have comes with five trays, but can expand up to 12 trays. I love this because you can, if desired, invest more money down the road to expand how much you can dehydrate at a time.
The biggest problem with stackable dehydrators is that the fan and heat source is typically either at the top or bottom. That means the trays closest to the heat source dry faster, and the trays further away from the heat source dehydrate slower. This problem can be remedied by rotating the trays every few hours.
Cabinet-style dehydrators are typically more expensive than stackable dehydrators. I have and recommend the Cosori Premium Stainless Steel Dehydrator (Amazon). Another very popular cabinet-style dehydrator is the Excalibur (Amazon). I’ve never personally used an Excalibur, but people swear by them. However, they are about double the price of the Cosori that I have.
A big advantage to cabinet-style dehydrators is that the fan is in the back of the dehydrator (rather than on the top or bottom). This generally results in more even and faster drying. Another advantage is that you can remove some of the trays if you need more space for a particular item. As an example, if you want to use your dehydrator to proof bread dough or make yogurt, then a cabinet style dehydrator is better.
In addition to price, the biggest disadvantage to cabinet-style dehydrators is that you can’t expand them. For instance, if the dehydrator comes with six trays, then six trays is the limit. I also find that cabinet-style dehydrators take up more storage space. They can be kind of bulky.
I actually store my stackable Nesco dehydrator under my couch, because I can slide the individual trays under the couch. I store my cabinet-style dehydrator in my shed because there is no good place for me to store it indoors. So, if you have space limitations, a stackable dehydrator is a better option.
The Most Important Dehydrator Features
There are various bells and whistles on different dehydrators. Generally speaking, you pay more for those bells and whistles. Some of them are worth it, and others not so much.
As an example, my Cosori dehydrator (Amazon) has a digital display, and a timer. Those features are missing on my Nesco (Amazon). While those features seem like a good idea, they aren’t really necessary.
The one feature that I believe is most important is temperature control. If you see a dehydrator that is really cheap, be sure to check to see if you can adjust the temperature. If you can’t adjust the temperature, it’s most likely 160 – 165 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a great temperature for dehydrating jerky, but is way too high for dehydrating fruit and vegetables.
So unless you plan to use your dehydrator only for dehydrating jerky, I recommend skipping any dehydrator without a temperature gauge, regardless of how cheap it is compared to other dehydrators.
The most popular brands of dehydrators are Nesco, Excalibur, Presto, and Cosori. Continue reading below to find more information about each of these popular brands and why they are each a favorite among their customers.
Nesco dehydrators are one of the most popular dehydrator brands out there. In fact, if you read or watch dehydrating-related content online, you’ll often see people using Nesco dehydrators.
When it comes to cost, Nesco dehydrators range in price from around $50 up to $150. Nesco dehydrators have been around for decades. In fact, I know some people who have had their Nesco dehydrator for more than 20 years.
Pro Tip: To learn more about my experience with Nesco dehydrators, check out my Nesco dehydrator review.
Nesco dehydrators are made in the USA, so that’s another plus if you prefer to support US companies.
Excalibur dehydrators are often considered to be the best dehydrators for home use. In times past, if you were really into dehydrating and didn’t have an Excalibur, you may have envied those who did. (I know, because I was one of those people!)
Excalibur dehydrators are known for quality, and are also American made.
Excalibur dehydrators range in price from around $150 all the way up to nearly $1400 for large stainless steel models.
Presto brand dehydrators are well known for having more dehydration trays than most other brands have. Their dehydrators are also typically stackable dehydrators.
Generally speaking, Presto dehydrators are one of the most affordable dehydrator brands.
Presto dehydrators range in price from around $60 – $100.
Cosori is one of the rare brands of dehydrators that makes both stackable and cabinet style dehydrators. The rising popularity of their stainless steel premium cabinet-style dehydrator have given Excalibur dehydrators a run for their money.
Pro tip: Check out my Cosori Dehydrator review to learn more about my experience with Cosori.
One thing to be aware of is if you prefer to buy products made in the U.S.A., as far as I know, all Cosori dehydrators are made in China.
Cosori dehydrators range in price from around $70 to $300.
Cost of Buying a Dehydrator
As you can see by now, food dehydrators come in many different sizes and style ranges. Most of the time food dehydrators range in price from $50 to $550 dollars. If looking to buy a cheaper dehydrator, consider choosing one that is stackable and smaller in size for best results. The cabinet-style food dehydrators are bigger in size, and most will cost above $100 dollars.
Cost of Operating a Dehydrator
The average cost of electricity in the United States is 13 cents per kWh. This means that running a 1,000-watt food dehydrator will end up costing the average resident about 13 cents per hour. 750-watt dehydrators cost 9.7 cents per hour and for example, a 500-watt food air-dryer could cost around 6.5 cents per hour. Using a 600-watt dehydrator would cost its user around 8 cents per hour.
One thing to consider when it comes to the cost of running a dehydrator is that it often takes a very long time to dehydrate something. If you run a 600-watt dehydrator for 12 hours, that would cost, on average, 96 cents in electricity cost.
Please note that these are averages, and some states charge quite a bit more for electricity than others. You should be able to see the KWh charge for your location on your electric bill. If you can’t find it, call your electric company and ask.
Dehydrators are easy to maintain and generally stay in good working condition for a long time. So the initial cost of the dehydrator is certainly worth considering, you likely won’t have to replace the dehydrator any time soon.
Are Dehydrators Worth the Cost?
Dehydrators make healthy, tasty, long-lasting food with many other health benefits. The long shelf life of dehydrated food also makes it more cost-effective. If you’re interested in long-term food storage, or want a way to bring shelf stable food with you when camping, dehydrators are affordable and one of the best investments you can make.
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