Meat Dehydrator Buying Guide

Excalibur 9-Tray Clear Door Stainless Steel Meat Dehydrator

Are you looking for a meat dehydrator for your home use? Our meat dehydrator buying guide can be of real help to you in making the most appropriate choice.

Meat dehydrator is a necessity for most homes. Do take your time to read this guide to find out why this is true. Food dehydrators are becoming increasingly popular with each passing day. If you are considering buying one, find out the important things to look out for.

In this guide, we will endeavor to cover the following areas:

 What is a meat dehydrator?

Why are they important?

Types of meat dehydrators

Qualities of good meat dehydrator

Choosing the right meat dehydrator

My list of good meat dehydrators

Caring for your meat dehydrator

Brands of Meat dehydrators


Do you feel  that you don’t have the time to go through the entire guide? Feel free to jump to any section that appeals or is more important to you. You may also wish to view these popular ..

What is a meat dehydrator?

A meat dehydrator is a kitchen device used to reduce the water content of meat or food. The water is reduced to a level they can be preserved for a longer period.

It operates on the principle that a controlled heat source in combination with air convection or flow will produce a desired drying effect.

When the heat source produces heat, it warms the meat. As a result of the warming, the moisture content of the meat is gradually released. The fan produces air which is circulated within the dehydrator.  The moist air is then blown out of the dehydrator through the vent. The cycle continues until the desired level of drying is achieved.

Meat dehydrator is quite different from oven. The dehydrators operate at relatively low temperatures so that the meat is not cooked while drying.

For beef, the optimum dehydrating temperature is about 155 – 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 68 – 70 degrees centigrade. For chicken, it is about 165 degrees Fahrenheit or about 73 degrees Celsius.

The principle can be likened to spreading a material under the sun to dry. It does not take a long while for some materials to dry. This is true if the luminous intensity of the sun is high. Good air convection also quicken the process of drying. This technique of drying is still in vogue in many developing countries.

This method has been refined to give the solar dehydrator.

Quality and popular varieties of . suitable for meat dehydration are available at the amazon.


Why are meat dehydrators important?

Meat dehydrators are considerably important for a number of reasons. Some of the most important reasons include the following:


Health Benefits

A number of studies have shown that meat, particularly red meats are not very healthy for human consumption. This is because of the high level of trans fat that they contain. .  Red meat intake leads to increased cholesterol due to the high saturated fat content

These trans fats are responsible for the so – called “bad” cholesterol or LDL. (Low-density lipoproteins). High levels of LDL or bad cholesterol can build up as plague in the arteries. This in turn is responsible for heart diseases.

Dr. Fuhrman has this to say on the matter “Scientific studies provide evidence that many animal proteins effect on blood cholesterol may be significant.”

By the action of meat dehydrator, a reasonable quantity of the trans fats are removed. This makes the meat safer to eat.

Another important health benefit of the meat dehydrator is the fact that dehydrated meat is by far healthier than fried meat. This is because by frying the meat, it accumulates more unhealthy fats. Fried oils or fat are not too heart-friendly. This makes the meat dehydrator a must have for every home.

Dehydrating meat by means of meat dehydrators makes the meat safer as it is essentially free from smokes. Smoke is generally unhealthy for the lungs and most other organs of our bodies. So by smoking meat it acquires some smoke in addition to the saturated fat. This makes it even unhealthier. Everyone that cares for the well being of his heart must take some action against the consumption of saturated fat.

Economic Benefit

Meat dehydrator provides a lot of economic benefits which include the following:


Dehydrated meat tends to last longer. When water is removed as a result of the action of the dehydrator, bacterial actions on the meat is highly stalled. Dehydrating the meat therefore improves the life span of the meat. This is a great economic benefit.

One can take advantage of bulk and promotional sales to save some extra money. This can only be cost effective if there is a means of preserving it as long as the individual wants. This challenge is bypassed by means of a  dehydrator.



Types of meat dehydrators

There are quite a number of types. These include:

Domestic meat dehydrator

There are different models and so many brands of the domestic or home use meat dehydrator. All work on the same principle. The components usually include:

A heat source to produce heat

A convection source to circulate the heat round the meat

A vent that aids 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 meat dehydrator can further be classified into two types. These are:

Stacked food dehydrators

Ronco Stacked Meat Dehydrator

Ronco Stacked Meat Dehydrator

These are small dehydrators suitable for a small family or small quantity dehydration. They are usually made of round glass or plastic.

The heat source and the fan are usually located at the bottom of the dehydrator. They most often have stack able trays that are arranged one on top of the other. Their operating power ranges between 250 watts and 600 watts.

They have the advantages of being portable. Therefore they can easily be moved from one point to another.

The position of the heat source make uniform drying difficult. This is also true of the fan. It also make uniform drying difficult. This makes it necessary that attention must be paid to the dehydrating meat. This is in terms of re-positioning the ones already over dehydrating.


Shelf Dehydrators 

Shelf Meat Dehydrator

Shelf Meat Dehydrator

As the name implies they are in the form of shelves. It is made up of outer box and the shelves. There is  a better positioning of the heat source and fan.

They are usually larger with better availability of space. This enables the heat source to be uniformly distributed instead of being concentrated at point.

These types of dehydrators have better uniform dehydration effect on the meat or food inside it. The sizes of shelf dehydrators are usually bulky. Though they have very small sizes too.They are not easily adjustable no matter the quantity of the food inside it.

Industrial meat dehydrators

This works on the same principle as the domestic meat dryers.

The major difference is in their sizes. For example, the size of the heat source is larger. The fan will also be larger. The vent and frame may be in multiples of that of the domestic meat dehydrators.

The nature of the heat source may also vary. It may be electricity, bio fuel or solar.

They are in various shapes, sizes and design.


Solar food dehydrators

Solar meat dehydrator

Solar dehydrator

The sun’s abundant and renewal energy is put to use in a number of domestic and industrial applications.

Such applications include meat drying. It is also used in fish drying. Vegetable and fruit drying are not left out.

The principle remains the same.


In solar meat drying, the heat source is the sun.

There are several variable options for collecting the sun’s energy. These may be solar flat plate collectors, convex plate collectors. There are also convex and flat mirrors collectors.

These collectors convert the sun’s energy to heat energy. The heat, in conjunction with the air convection take over the drying of the meat or whatever else.

All these varieties of . are readily available.


Qualities of a top grade meat dehydrator


In choosing a top grade meat dehydrator, the following factors must be considered. This is so because meat dehydrators come in various sizes, functions, options and quality.

It is therefore necessary to have these variations in mind before choosing a meat dehydrator.


Quality Thermostat

A thermostat serves the function of regulating the temperature in a given apparatus.

In dehydrating meat, there is an optimum temperature at which best result is achieved. This also true of vegetables and fruits.

Best result is considered to have been achieved if there is uniform drying. Also, there should be minimum compromise in terms of time and quality of the dehydrated product.

Dehydrating meat usually require a far much higher temperature than vegetables and fruits. Typically, the starting temperature for the dehydration of chicken is in the range of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 71  degrees centigrade. As the dehydration progresses the temperature may be adjusted downwards. This is usually determined by the state of the meat.

A quality . should be versatile. It should be able to dehydrate any food stuff with relative ease. It should be able to dehydrate fruits. It should be able to dehydrate vegetables as well.

This is where the thermostat becomes very important. It regulates the temperature so as to suit the differing requirements of different food stuff. Also varying temperatures may be required at the different stages of the dehydration.



Warranty for the product is an important consideration when buying a dehydrator. The warranty is considered the mark or seal of quality of a product. A dehydrator with a warranty of 10 years will not be of the same quality as the one of 1 year.

The longer the warranty, the better.


Power of the heat source is a big factor in considering which meat dehydrator to choose. It 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.

The power consumption

Power cost is becoming a big challenge. The power consumption rating of the dehydrator is also an important consideration when choosing a dehydrator.

If a meat dehydrator of capacity of 400 watts can serve a home adequately, why go for one of 1200 watts?


The ability to adapt or modify the food dehydrator is an important consideration when choosing one. This is a measure of the extent to which a dehydrator can be adapted to suit varying domestic needs. As an example: can the dehydrator size be adjusted?



Meat dehydrators have wide variations in price. Price depends more in terms of size, model and quality. Although low price does not necessarily mean low quality, it is often a mark of it.

So how much you are willing to invest in the dehydrator is an important consideration. There are some dehydrators that their cost can buy half a dozen of another type. So it depends on your pocket and choice.


This is another important consideration when choosing a food dehydrator.

A family of five, for example, will likely need a larger size of dehydrator than a family of three. So the size of the family is an important consideration. So also the size or quantity of the meat to be dehydrated. All these are important considerations in deciding the size to buy.



Availability of space where the dehydrator will be is important in considering the dehydrator to go for. It will not be a wise decision to buy a big dehydrator that there will not be space for.

Where space poses a challenge, there are many potable versions of the meat dehydrator. A portable dehydrator has several advantages. Such advantages include economy of space at home. And also 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. Otherwise there will be a situation where some meat or vegetable or fruit 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.

Bigger dehydrators are characterized by the presence of shelves. Often, they do have their heat and air convection sources located where better uniformity is enhanced.

Dehydrators that often require frequent attention in attending to the food in it are not among the best.


Quality of materials

It is considered normal that almost all products have varying qualities. The meat 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 material. This is true if 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 dehydrator is better, then it is more likely to be durable. Therefore, it is much better to buy one of high quality if the individual can afford it.

Temperature Range

The temperature range of the dehydrator is important. 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.

It is therefore very crucial that the operating temperature of the dehydrator be checked before finally choosing one.



Choosing the right meat dehydrator

Choosing the right meat dehydrator involves considering all the check lists above.  A final choice is then reached based on informed decision and personal preferences.

It should be noted that most food dehydrators may not have all the good qualities listed 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: Showing Dehydrators Well Suited as Meat Dehydrators

Meat Dehydrator

Meat Dehydrator

with Jerky
Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Meat Dehydrator

Nesco American Express Food Dehydrator

1000-watt Gardenmaster Food
Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

to 20
.meat dehydratorPlastic4.7
N utriChef Meat Dehydrator

Food Dehydrator

Ivation Meat Dehydrator

Ivation Meat Dehydrator

STX Meat Dehydrator

STX Meat Dehydrator

STX Meat Dehydrator

STX Meat Dehydrator

Weston Meat Dehydrator

Weston Food Dehydrator

Ronco Meat Dehydrator

Ronco Beef Jerky Machine

Plastic3.51 - 531.996

Caring for your meat dehydrator

 Every appliance when adequately cared for will serve the purpose for which they are bought. Here are a few important ways to care for your meat dehydrator.


Read the manual.

The importance of a manual in getting the best out of any product cannot be over emphasized. Ignoring reading the manual of any product will make you operate the equipment by guess work. This is not good enough.

Follow the instructions

It is wonderful to read the manual for the product. But it is better to follow the instructions closely. Such instructions include:

  • Do not touch the plastic bowl when in use.
  • Never immerse the portion housing the heat source in water or any liquid whatsoever. This is necessary to protect against electrical hazards. Care should also be taken not to immerse any part of the dehydrator, cord, or plug in water or other liquid.
  • Do not touch hot surfaces. Keep the appliance and cord away from children
  • Unplug from outlet when not in use and before cleaning.
  • Allow dehydrator to cool before putting on or taking off parts.
  • Do not use the dehydrator outdoor as moisture can cause electrical hazard
  • Always plug cord into the wall outlet before turning meat dehydrator on.
  • To disconnect the dehydrator, turn switch off before removing plug from wall outlet.
  • Do not attempt to wash bowl or lid when hot.
  • Do not use the meat dehydrator for other purposes than intended use
  • Clean only sides and bottom, don’t wipe any electrical component.



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.


Nesco Meat Dehydrator

Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

The . dehydrators are very popular. They have a wide range of popular dehydrators. These include:

. Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator (Best Seller)

. American Harvest Food Dehydrator

. American Harvest Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator

. Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

Apart from dehydrators, they are also popular in many other kitchen equipment such as slicers, food grinders, ovens and a number of other products.



Presto Brand

Presto meat dehydrator

Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

The . 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.

. Digital Electric Food Drhydrator with AdjustableThermostat


Excalibur Brand

Excalibur 3926 Meat Dehydrator

Excalibur 3926 Meat Dehydrato

The . brand is among the popular and reliable brands. Their brands are pocket friendly and exude 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

 The . is very much suitable for meat dehydration.


There are many other models of the food dehydrators. These include:

. brand which is highly recommended for meat dehydration.

. brand

. brand. It is well suited for meat dehydration.

. brand. This is highly recommended as good meat dehydrator.

. model is specifically designed for jerky.

The . brand has 2 models. One is specifically designed as meat dehydrator. The other is specifically designed as a fruit dehydrator.


This meat dehydrator buyer guide has shown in some reasonable details all that a buyer needs to know about dehydrators. This will enable him to choose the best according to his personal preferences.

A number of very popular brands have been listed. Their popularity plus their high rating implies that they are really good performers.

It is time to take action. It is time to make a decision. It is time to buy a dehydrator! You get a lot varieties at the best price at amazon! Check out for . now.