Making dried fruit and fruit leathers isn’t hard and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. While some food processors and juicers can get really pricey, a dehydrator isn’t going to cost that much and it’s a lifesaver to have fruit leathers, dried fruit or fruit jerky on hand when you can’t get out to the store for fresh food.
When buying a dehydrator, some things to consider are the materials and construction used to manufacture the product, the size, heating elements, fans and guarantees. Make sure you have room for the dehydrator in the space you have planned for it. Choose one that’s multi-purpose, with multiple trays and special trays for fruits and herbs. A side-mounted or horizontal fan is best when choosing a food dehydrator.
Here are some food dehydrators to consider. But do a little research to find just the right one for you!
Nesco American Harvest – A very inexpensive food dehydrator with five trays that don’t have to be rotated. Price is $40-$55.
Excalibur Dehydrator – Has over 12 square feet of drying space. Comes with 9 free sheets and has a horizontal fan for maximum drying efficiency. Fast drying times, no tray rotation needed and fast cleanup. Price approximately $200-$220.
L’Equip Dehydrators – Comes with special mesh for drying sheets, plus special sheets for making fruit leathers and fruit roll-ups. Has a compact design and good, uniform drying. Price is around $150.
TSM Commerical Dehydrator – When you’re really serious about drying foods! Comes with 12 racks, 1600 watts of power, dual 6” fans for strong air flow. Can dry 15-18 pounds of jerky. Priced at $650 and up.
And don’t forget a food slicer for all that fruit drying! The Chef's Choice 645 food slicer has a powerful 130 watt geared condenser motor for smooth, quiet, fast operation. A large 7" nonstick stainless steel slicer blade cuts fruit & vegetables. Micrometer control dial selects slices from deli-thin to 9/16" thick.