Fruit dehydrator is an essential need of most homes. Whether rich or poor, big or small, most homes need it. As you take your time to read this guide you will find out why we believe so. And also why you should believe so.
Fruit dehydrators are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, many brands and models are springing up. And this is on regular basis. If you are considering buying one, it is essential that you find out what to look out for. After that you can settle for one of your choice.
In this guide, we will try to answer the following questions:
What is a fruit dehydrator?
Why are they important?
What fruits can be dehydrated?
What are the different types of fruit dehydrators?
What are the qualities of a good fruit dehydrator?
How do I Choose the right fruit dehydrator?
Is there a list of top fruit dehydrators I can choose from?
How do I care for my fruit dehydrator?
Are there popular brands of fruit dehydrators?
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Feel free to go straight to any section of interest to you.You may also wish to view some popular food dehydrator that are really suitable as . .
What is a fruit dehydrator?
A home use fruit dehydrator is an appliance used to reduce the water content of fruits. This is done to a level they can be preserved or stored for a longer period. By removing the excess water content of the fruits, the actions of bacteria that tend to quickly spoil the fruit is reduced.
Its working principle is simple. It is based on the fact that a controlled heat source in combination with air convection or flow will produce a drying effect. When the heat source produces heat, it warms the fruit. As a result of the warming, the moisture content of the fruit will be evaporated over time.
A fan produces air. The air is circulated within the fruit dehydrator. The moist air is then blown out of the dehydrator through a vent. This cycle continues. When the desired level of drying of the fruit is achieved, it is turned off.
Fruit dehydrator is quite different from oven. Dehydrators operate at a relatively low temperature. This is necessary so that the fruit is not cooked while drying. The optimum operating temperature in dehydrating fruit is in the neighborhood of 135 degrees Fahrenheit. This is equivalent of 52 degrees Celsius.
Fruit dehydrating using a dehydrator is comparable to drying under the sun. It is similar to spreading a material under the sun to dry.
If the sun luminous intensity is high enough and you have air flow, it will be a matter of a short while and the material will be dried. This technique of drying is still in use in many countries. This old fashioned way of drying has been transformed. The transformation yielded the modern day solar dehydrators.
Why is a Fruit dehydrator important?
Fruit dehydrator is important for a number of reasons. Some of these important reasons include the following:
Fruits are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamins C and A, and many other nutrients.
Adequate intake of fruits in the overall diet of an individual is important. It reduces the vulnerability of such individual to disease conditions.
Uchechukwu I Egbuna, in his book: Eating Right, Your #1 Key to Healing and Health alluded to this truth. He noted that eating right is one of the most important keys in living healthy. In the book, great emphasis is laid on the importance of vegetables and fruits in the overall health of an individual.
The risks of heart diseases are greatly reduced. Heart attack and stroke are greatly reduced also. All these as a result of increased intake of fruit as part of overall diet. This may partly be because they have zero cholesterol which is largely responsible for heart diseases.
Fruits rich in potassium as part of an individual’s overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure. It also help to decrease bone loss.
Adequate intake of diet rich in fruit may protect against certain types of cancers.
But, fresh fruits are seasonal. As a result, most of them may not be available in their fresh form all year round. This is where dehydrators become important. They make the equivalent fresh fruit available in a form they can be preserved much longer.
Dehydrating fruits will ensure that there is an adequate provision of the fruits in times of scarcity. This in turn is a great insurance for healthy living. Some popular . can be viewed here.
These health benefits make having a good dehydrator important.
Fruit dehydrator provides a lot of economic benefits which include the following:
Dehydrated fruits tend to preserve longer. Why is so? It is because when water is removed as a result of the action of the dehydrator, bacterial actions on the fruit is highly stalled.
Dehydrating the fruit therefore improves the life span of the fruit. This is a great economic benefit.
Exploiting the seasons
Most fruits have season of abundance. The implication of this is that there is also a season of scarcity for such fruits.
During the season of abundance, one can take advantage of the abundance.
More of the fruits can be acquired at this time as they are usually cheaper.
With proper dehydration and packaging, the fruits will be preserved for use during the period of scarcity.
What fruits can be dehydrated?
All fruits can be dehydrated.
This is also one of the reasons we believe that . is very important.
While some fruits are easier to dehydrate, some others may be a little more difficult. The difficulty is in terms of preparing the fruit for dehydration. It may also be in terms of the length of time it will take to dehydrate the fruit.
Types of fruit dehydrator
There are quite a number of types. These include:
Domestic type fruit dehydrator
The commercially produced home use fruit dehydrator has a number of different models. It also has so many brands. With its growing popularity, many models and brands are still springing up.
All of them work on the same principle. They are composed of the following:
A heater or heat source that produces heat.
A fan which produces air that circulate the heat round the fruits.
A vent which enables the inflow and outflow of air.
And a frame work on which these components are mounted. The frame work also determines the size and pattern of the trays of the dehydrators.
The domestic or home use fruit dehydrator can further be classified into two types. These are:
Stacked type of fruit dehydrator
These are small dehydrators. They are suitable for a small family use. Or for small quantity dehydration. They are usually made of round plastic.
The heat source and the fan are often times located at the bottom of the dehydrator.
They predominantly have-stack able trays. These are arranged one on top of the other. Their operating power ranges between 125 watts and 600 watts.
They have the advantages of being portable. This makes it easy to move them from one point to another.
The position of the heat source and the fan make uniform drying difficult. There is always the tendency for the trays nearer the heat source to dry faster. This makes it necessary that attention must be paid to the dehydrating fruits. Re positioning the fruits already over dehydrating is therefore necessary.
Some stacked types of dehydrator have rotating trays. This tends to compensate for the point source of heat. It also reduces the frequent attention that the trays nearer the heat source call for.
Shelf Type of Dehydrators
Such fruit dehydrators are in the form of shelves, as implied in the name. It is made up of outer box, the shelf, and a better positioned heat source.
It also has a fan. The distribute heat uniformly over the trays. They are usually larger with better availability of space. This enables the heat source to be uniformly distributed, instead of emanating from a point source.
The power of the heat source is usually bigger than that of the stacked food dehydrator. It ranges between 400 watts and 1200 watts.
These types of dehydrators have better uniform dehydrating effect. This implies the fruit or food inside the dehydrator gets uniformly dried. The sizes of shelf dehydrators are usually bulkier than the stacked fruit dehydrators. They are also not easily adjustable no matter the quantity of the food inside it.
Industrial type of fruit dehydrators
The industrial type of fruit dehydrators are mainly used for big commercial purposes or ventures.
This works on the same principle as the domestic fruit dryers. The only difference is in their sizes. For example, the size of the heat source, the fan, the vent and frame may be in multiples of that of the domestic fruit dehydrators.
The nature of the heat source used may also vary. It may be electricity, bio fuel or solar.
They are in various shapes, sizes and design.
Solar type of fruit dehydrators
The sun’s abundant and renewal energy is put to use in a number of domestic and industrial applications. Such applications include fruit drying. It is also used in fish drying . It is as well popular in vegetable and meat drying.
The principle remains the same.
In solar type of fruit drying, the heat source is the sun’s energy.
There are several variable options for collecting the sun’s solar energy. These may be solar flat plate collectors, convex plate collectors, convex mirror or flat mirror collectors.
These collectors convert the sun’s energy to heat energy. The heat, in conjunction with the air convection takes over the drying of the fruit.
What are the Qualities to look out for in a top grade fruit dehydrator?
There are some important qualities of a dehydrator that should not be compromised. This is vital if one must pick a dehydrator that will serve well and satisfactorily.
Choosing a top grade fruit dehydrator is very important. This is so because fruit dehydrators come in various sizes. They also have varying qualities. Many have various functions and options. It is therefore necessary to have these variations in mind before finally choosing a fruit or food dehydrator.
A good choice usually will give satisfaction. It will also serve as desired. On the other hand, a poor quality choice will result in a waste of money and time. It will also lead to lack of satisfaction.
The following factors must be considered before choosing a fruit dehydrator.
Power rating of the fruit dehydrator
The power rating of the dehydrator is a big factor. In considering which fruit dehydrator to choose, the power consumption of the dehydrator must be considered.
Poor quality dehydrators have a lower power rating. If the heat source is very low, the fruit may go bad before dehydration is completed.
The power source is the heart of the appliance. Be sure to check the power rating of the dehydrator. Two dehydrators of the same size but with different power rating will definitely not perform equally.
Presence of adjustable quality thermostat
Regulating and maintaining the temperature in a given apparatus is achieved by means of a thermostat.
In dehydrating fruit, vegetable, meat or any food whatsoever, there is an optimum temperature at which best result is achieved. Best result is considered to have been achieved if there is uniform drying without much compromise to quality or time.
Dehydrating fruit and vegetable usually require a lesser temperature than meat. Typically, the starting temperature for the dehydration of chicken is in the range of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. For fruits it is in the neighborhood of 130 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This is approximately 55 – 60 degrees Celsius. As the dehydration progresses the temperature may be adjusted according to the needs of the fruit.
A quality fruit dehydrator should be versatile. It should be able to dehydrate any food stuff with relative ease. This is where the thermostat becomes very important. It provides the ability to control or regulate the temperature. This is so to suit the differing requirements of different food stuff. Also varying temperatures may be required at the different stages of the dehydration.
The implication of this is that fruit dehydrators that operate on one preset temperature are not among the best choice. They are not versatile. If the preset temperature is suitable for fruits, then it will be suitable only for fruits. It will not be suitable for vegetables or meat and vice versa.
The dehydrator’s power consumption
In these days power is becoming a major challenge. The power consumption rating of the dehydrator is an important consideration when choosing a dehydrator. If a fruit dehydrator of capacity of 400 watts can serve a home adequately, why go for one of 1200 watts?
Adaptability of the dehydrator
The ability to adapt or modify the fruit dehydrator is important. This factor must be taken into consideration when choosing one. The extent to which a dehydrator can be adapted to suit varying domestic needs is a big advantage for any food dehydrator. As an example, fruit dehydrator may be considered as adaptable if the number of trays or racks can be adjusted. Adaptability can also in terms of being able to adjust the height between racks. Some stacked fruit dehydrators have expandable number of trays.
The dehydrator’s price
Fruit dehydrators have wide variations in price. Price depends more in terms of size, model and quality. Low price does not necessarily mean low quality. However, it is often a mark of it. Some models are very popular. As a result, they may be costlier. A number of cheaper models do serve as effectively as the costlier models.
So how much you are willing to invest in the dehydrator is an important consideration. There are some dehydrators that their cost can buy a dozen of another type. There are fruit dehydrators below the price of $30 while there are fruit dehydrators above the price of $400. So it depends on your pocket and choice.
However, it is not a wise decision to compromise quality because of price. It is always better to strike a balance between the two.
The size of the dehydrator
The size of the dehydrator needed is another important consideration. When choosing a fruit dehydrator, family size and size of fruits to be dehydrated come into play. A family of five, for example, will likely need a larger size of dehydrator than a family of three. A small family dehydrating large quantity of fruit will need bigger dehydrator than one dehydrating smaller quantity.
Frequency of use
The frequency of use is an important consideration when choosing a dehydrator. Some dehydrators not only look feeble but actually are. On the other hand, some not only look rugged but actually are.
The goal in choosing a dehydrator should be service. If you believe that a feeble looking dehydrator will adequately serve your purpose, by all means go for it. If otherwise, then refrain from choosing it.
A feeble looking fruit dehydrator will not likely last long if it is regularly used.
The temperature range of the dehydrator is important.
Most dehydrators will have their operating temperatures up to that necessary to dehydrate vegetables. But one must not limit one’s dehydrator to drying only vegetables or fruits. Therefore it is necessary that when choosing a dehydrator that one pick the one with temperature up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is equivalent to 71 degrees Celsius. It is the temperature suitable for meat dehydration.
Good meat dehydrator must have temperature range up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is necessary because dehydration of meat requires temperature up to that range to dehydrate properly.
Some dehydrators have temperature range up to only 133 degrees Fahrenheit. It implies that such dehydrators are only suitable for fruit or vegetable dehydration.
Unless you are super rich or has some other reasons, it is not the best to have separate dehydrators for meat and vegetables.
It is therefore very crucial that the operating temperature of the dehydrator be checked before finally choosing one.
Availability of space
Availability of space where the dehydrator will be is crucial in considering the dehydrator to go for. All other things being equal, it will not be a wise decision to buy a big fruit dehydrator that there will not be space for.
Where space poses a challenge, there are many potable versions of fruit dehydrator. A portable dehydrator has several advantages. Such advantages include economy of space at home or when there is need to move it about or travel with it.
Uniformity of air convection
Uniformity of air convection is important in choosing a dehydrator. This ensures that there is uniformity of dehydration. Where this is not so there will be situation where some fruit or vegetable or meat will be over dried while some others are under dried.
For most small dehydrators, the source of heat and air are often located at the top or bottom of the appliance.
This does not enhance uniformity of dehydration. If the heat source and fan are at the top, then the meat at the top will dehydrate more than those at the bottom. The same truth applies if the heat source and fan is at the bottom.
Some stacked dehydrators have their heat source located at both the top and bottom. This enhances better and uniform dehydration.
Bigger dehydrators, which are characterized by the presence of shelves often do have their heat source and air convection source located where better uniformity is enhanced.
Quality of dehydrator materials
It is normal for most products to have varying qualities. The fruit dehydrator is not an exception.
The most important mark of quality of any dehydrator is its heater and fan quality. However, this is not to say that other things are not important. For example, dehydrator made of plastic will not cost as much as the one made of stainless steel. This assumption on the fact that other factors remain the same. Also one made of stainless steel will most likely cost more than one made of glass.
Generally, if the quality of the materials of the dehydrator is better, then it is likely to be more durable. Therefore it is much better to buy one of high quality if the individual can afford it.
The number of years of warranty is an important consideration when buying a be fruit dehydrator. This is roughly a measure of the confidence the manufacturer has on the product. It may also be taken as a measure of the quality of materials used in making the product.
A product with 10 years warranty is likely to be of better quality than one with a warranty of 1 year. Also, a product with 1 year warranty will likely be better than one without any warranty at all.
How do I choose a fruit dehydrator?
Seeing that a number of considerations must be balanced in order to get the best fruit dehydrator, sometimes it is not always easy to choose a dehydrator.
To get the best, start by trying to answer the question: why do I need a fruit dehydrator?
Choosing a quality fruit dehydrator involves:
Considering all the check lists above of a quality food dehydrator
Comparing two or three products and
Making the final choice is then reached based on informed decision and personal preferences.
It is important to note that most food dehydrators may not have all the listed qualities above. Therefore compromises must be made. For example, money may be a restraining factor when considering between a stainless steel dehydrator and a plastic one, even when other factors remain the same.
Table 1. List of Food Dehydrators Well Suited for Fruit Dehydration.
1000-watt Gardenmaster Food
Caring for your fruit dehydrator
Most appliances when adequately cared for will serve well. They will normally serve the purpose for which they are bought. Here are a few important ways to care for your fruit dehydrator.
Read the instruction manual.
Getting the best out of any product cannot be over emphasized. This is maximized by reading the instruction manual carefully. Ignoring the reading of the manual of any product will make you operate the equipment by guess work. This is not good enough.
Follow the instructions
It is great to read the manual for the product. But it is better to follow the instructions closely. Such instructions for the dehydrator will include:
Never immerse the portion housing the heat source and fan in water or any liquid whatsoever. This is important to protect against electrical hazards.
Touching of hot surfaces should be avoided. The dehydrator should be allowed to cool before putting on or taking off parts such as the trays.
Remove the plug of the dehydrator from outlet when not in use and before cleaning.
The dehydrator should not be used outdoor
Be sure to plug cord into the wall outlet before turning dehydrator on. To disconnect, the mains should be switched off. After switching off, you may then remove plug from wall outlet.
Do not attempt to wash bowl or lid when hot.
Do not use appliance for other than intended use
Only the sides and bottom of the dehydrator should be cleaned. Wiping of any electrical component should be avoided completely.
Brands of dehydrators
There are several brands of the food dehydrator. Some brands are quite popular. While some others are not. Here is a list of some of the brands.
The Nesco dehydrators are very popular. They have a wide range of popular food dehydrators. These include:
. Pro Food Dehydrator (best seller)
Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator
Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator
Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator
Apart from dehydrators, they are also popular in much .. These include slicers, food grinders, ovens and a number of other products. Check out the ..
The Presto brand of food dehydrators is also very popular. It is one of the reliable brands in the dehydrator sector. Some of the popular brands include:
. Electric Food Drhydrator
. Digital Electric Food Drhydrator
. Digital Electric Food Drhydrator Nonstick Mesh Screens.
Presto Dehydro Digital Electric Food Drhydrator with AdjustableThermostat
The Excalibur brand of food dehydrators are among the popular and reliable brands. Their brand is pocket friendly and exudes quality. Some of their popular dehydrators are:
Excalibur 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator
Excalibur Economy Dehydrator
Excalibur 9 Tray Clear Door Stainless Steel Dehydrator
Aroma Housewares Professional Food Dehydrator Brand
This is one of the brands very much suitable for versatile dehydration.
There are many other models of the food dehydrators. These include:
. is among the popular brands.
. is highly suitable for fruits and vegetables.
The . brand. It has 2 models. One of the models is best suited for vegetable and fruit dehydration. The second model is well suited for meat dehydration.
. has digital temperature controls and timer.
. Brand. This has two models. One model is specifically designed for vegetables and fruits dehydration. The second model is designed for meat dehydration.