Dehydrating food is on the rise, and there are tons of reasons why it’s a healthy choice. Dehydrating can reduce waste from perishable foods, provide great snacks with little preparation time, and more! As you’ll find, it’s much easier and cost-effective to get a dehydrator and make your own fruit chips, fruit rolls, jerky, and more.
We’ve curated a list of the best food dehydrators in Canada. We’re sure you’ll find the dehydrator that’s best for you!
- Best Overall: COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator
- Best for Beginners: Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator
- Best Stack Dehydrator: NESCO FD-75A Food Dehydrator
1. Corsori Premium Food Dehydrator
The Cosori Premium Food Dehydrator will be your next favourite kitchen appliance. With a variety of settings and options, it opens endless possibilities to prepare food. This dehydrator is effective to use on meat (jerky), fruit, herbs, and more. This model comes with helpful recipes created by Cosori chefs, so you’ll never be at a loss of what to make next.
Unlike some dehydrators, the Cosori is easy to clean and has dishwasher-safe trays and accessories. It also is built with safety features, like an auto-shutoff and overheat protection, so you can be comfortable dehydrating food for a long period of time.
The built-in timer is easy to use and can be set in 30-minute increments for up to 48 hours. Customers love the memory function, so you don’t have to try and recall how long you dehydrated your last successful recipe.
- Brand: COSORI
- Color: Silver
- Type: Horizontal flow/box
- Temperature Range: 95° F – 165° F (35° C – 74° C)
- Number of Trays: 6
- Power: 600 watts
- Material: Stainless Steel
Features of the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator
The COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator provides several different control options that allow you to customize and try new things.
This dehydrator comes with six food-grade stainless steel trays in addition to a mesh screen and a fruit roll sheet. The trays are all machine-washable for easy and quick clean-up.
Since the Cosori Premium Dehydrator is designed to be used on a variety of items from meat to flowers, it is necessary to have variable temperatures. This model has an adjustable thermostat that can be set to accurate temperatures of 95-165°F.
Built-in, Adjustable Timer
The Cosori Premium Dehydrator has an easy-to-use digital touch screen and a built-in timer. You can set the dehydrator to run anywhere from 30 minutes to 48 hours (intervals of 30 minutes). It also has a handy memory function!
Safety should always be a top priority. This dehydrator has an auto-shutoff feature that will kick in once the timer ends, ensuring it does not run longer than necessary. There is also an overheating protection mechanism that activates if the dehydrator overheats.
The Cosori Premium Food Dehydrator comes with a free recipe book, developed by the chefs at Cosori. It has easy-to-use recipes that will help you learn more about your dehydrator and all the awesome things you can do with it.
Easy to Clean
Who doesn’t like a quick clean-up? This dehydrator was built with simplicity in mind. All the trays are stainless steel; both the trays and all other accessories are dishwasher-safe, making clean-up a breeze.
Timer Memory Function
One of the best features of this unit is the memory function. At just a push of a button, you set the memory of a specific recipe so that you don’t have to set it each time. This is useful if you frequently make the same item in your dehydrator.
What Sets the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Apart?
There are a variety of food dehydrators on the market, but the Cosori Premium Food Dehydrator stands out in a few different ways. It uses an auto-shutoff feature with a built-in timer, so it never runs longer than necessary. An overheating protection mechanism is included for increased safety. It’s easy to clean, comes at a great price, and includes extras like recipe cards. The timer also includes a memory function, so you don’t have to set it each time.
- Great safety features
- Recipe cards included
- Easy to clean trays
- Timer memory function
- Affordable price
What Could Be Improved On?
The Cosori Premium Food Dehydrator is a quality product with several excellent features, as described above. However, here are a few items that could be improved on:
- The Cosori is not the cheapest dehydrator on the market and may be too expensive for some customers
- Tray sizes might not be compatible with other brand’s liners
- Some customers may wish for a larger dehydrator than the Cosori
2. Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator
Excalibur’s 2400 model Food Dehydrator is one of the best box-style food dehydrators on the market today. This model has 4 trays set inside a box with a remarkably small footprint. It offers a temperature range that is perfect for vegetable and fruit dehydration, with higher ranges for safe jerky drying as well. It’s a budge dehydrator that comes at a great price, which makes it perfect for beginners or people trying out dehydration for the first time.
The unit itself includes some proprietary heating and drying technologies, including Excalibur’s Parallexx airflow boost and Hyperwave fluctuation technology. These technologies are better at distributing warm air. They help keep your food at a stable temperature while the air inside the unit fluctuates, allowing for perfect dehydration every time.
Overall, this is a great unit for beginners in Canada. It’s also ideal for users who have tried stacked dehydrators before but want something a little more reliable.
- Brand: Excalibur
- Color: Black
- Type: Horizontal flow/box
- Temperature Range: 95° F – 165° F (35° C – 74° C)
- Number of Trays: 4
- Power: 220 watts
- Material: Polycarbonate
Features of the Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator
The Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator includes a lot of useful features for all types of food drying.
Large Drying Capacity
The Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator features four trays that can be moved, rearranged, and configured any way you wish. Each try has one square foot of drying space. That means that you have four square feet of drying capacity within the dehydrator. This is great for making large batches!
Great for Meat, Fruits, and Vegetables
Some dehydrators don’t have high enough temperatures to meet jerky-making standards. That isn’t the case with the Excalibur 2400. This food dehydrator has a large temperature range. With the lowest settings, you can create nutrient-rich fruit chips and jerkies. The highest settings are warm enough to make meat jerkies safe to eat.
Circulation Fan Included
This food dehydrator uses a horizontal flow heating system. This means that it heats evenly, even without a fan. The Excalibur 2400 goes the extra mile, though – it includes a 4-inch fan that increases circulation within the unit, leading to faster, more effective dehydration.
Reusable Tray Inserts
Inside each of the trays is a flexible poly-screen insert. While they aren’t metal (which would be ideal), they are removable and easy to wash when you’re done with the current dehydration batch. Of course, you’ll still need tray liners for certain foods. However, these tray inserts make it easy to keep your unit clean.
Food Temperature Knob
The Excalibur 2400 adjusts temperature via a knob on the top of the unit. This knob has the temperatures written around it, so you can set it to precisely the right temperature for your foods. If you’re unsure, that’s fine! The knob includes a small list of all the foods that should be cooked at each temperature. It’s a quick cheat sheet in case you’re trying something new (or forget your food’s ideal dehydration temperature).
Compared to other box dehydrators on the market, the Excalibur 2400 has a small footprint and a large capacity. The dimensions of the box itself are 9.6” x 13” x 6.5”. In a regular-sized kitchen, this will take up a small portion of your countertop space. Despite the 4-square-foot drying capacity, it doesn’t take up much room at all.
What Sets the Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator Apart?
The Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator stands out from other dehydrators in a few essential ways. It’s relatively small compared to other box dehydrators. If you need more racks, there is a larger version of this model available that includes 9 racks instead of 4. Each tray has a flexible poly-screen insert that’s easy to clean. If you forget what temperature your food should be dehydrated at, the temperature knob includes a list of which foods are perfect under their corresponding temperatures.
- Small footprint, great for countertops
- Larger, 9-tray version available
- Reusable tray inserts
- Food temperature information on the temperature knob
What Could Be Improved On?
While the Excalibur 2400 is one of the best in the Canadian market, it, unfortunately, comes with plastic trays. These may warp and lose their shape over time, making them difficult to use. On the other hand, there is a more expensive option available that comes with metal trays. Aside from this, the heating element seems to go out frequently. It can be replaced, though.
- Plastic trays instead of metal
- Heating element may need frequent replacing
3. NESCO FD-75A Food Dehydrator
Nesco is one of the best dehydration companies in the world, and their Nesco FD-75A model stack food dehydrator is another great product from their line. This round dehydrator boasts a small footprint, expandable tray space, and tons of extras, all at a great price.
Your Nesco FD-75A will come with 5 trays to start with, and you can expand this up to 12 trays for more drying at once. You’ll also get 2 screens for jerky, fruits, and veggies, as well as 2 fruit roll sheets for making fresh fruit roll treats. You’ll get three jerky spice packets and a 52-page recipe book that comes with all the instructions you need.
This small unit comes with a powerful top fan, and the ability to dry food in just a few hours. The adjustable thermostat lets you choose the temperature that is best suited for your foot. The proprietary heating and air circulation system ensures that all your food – even those slices near the interior of the dehydrator – gets the right amount of warm airflow for safe dehydration.
And at this price, it’s a great stack dehydrator for beginners and old pros alike.
- Brand: NESCO
- Color: Gray Speckled
- Type: Vertical flow/stack
- Temperature Range: 95° F – 160° F (35° C to 71° C)
- Number of Trays: 5 (expandable)
- Power: 600 watts
- Materials: Plastic
Features of the NESCO FD-75A Food Dehydrator
Nesco’s FD-75A food dehydrator comes packed with features.
Top Mounted Fan
Nesco has eliminated issues with food dripping down into heating areas by putting the heating element and fan at the top of the unit. This helps with many of the problems that stack dehydrators usually face. Plus, the 600-watt power rating makes this fan powerful enough to dry foods quickly.
Expandable up to 12 Trays
While the base model comes with 5 trays, you can purchase additional trays to snap into the unit. You can keep adding trays until you reach a total of 12. Though this dehydrator is small to start with, you can customize it into the dehydrator you need for your ideal batch size.
Proprietary Converga-Flow System
The Converga-Flow heating system helps give each tray enough heat to dehydrate properly. The unique tray-shape helps the circulation system push air around the sides of the unit. Hot air enters each tray at the sides and pushes towards the middle. The hole in the middle of the tray pushes air up and down to keep the foods on the interior of the tray at the perfect dehydration temperature.
Vita-Save Exterior Coating
Experts believe that exterior light can damage the drying process. It saps nutrients out of your food unnecessarily. Thankfully, Nesco has included what they call a ‘Vita-Save’ coating on the exterior of their dehydrator. This coating is completely opaque so that natural light won’t make its way through the plastic and damage your drying foods.
Unique Tray Shape
Most stack dehydrators feature full trays. You can place food across the entire length of the tray, and the foods in the middle sometimes don’t dehydrate as well. Nesco has used a different shape: their trays are slightly oval and include a hole in the middle to help with their heating system. This assists in getting warm air over the surface of each tray and helps eliminate the need to rotate them.
Due to their proprietary Converga-Flow heating system and complimentary tray shape, it’s faster than ever to dry fruit and vegetables in the Nesco FD-75A food dehydrator. The drying process is still slow but drying out larger batches of fruits or vegetables is faster than with other stack dehydrators.
What Sets the NESCO FD-75A Food Dehydrator Apart?
The following options and features put the Nesco FD-75A in a league of its own. The Vita-Save exterior keeps light from getting through to your food as it dehydrates. The unique tray-shape includes a hole at the middle to assist with their proprietary heating and drying system. Finally, the small footprint makes it great for small kitchens – and if you need more space, you only have to build upwards.
- Vita-Save exterior keeps your food protected from outside light
- Unique tray shape helps food dehydrate faster
- Small footprint for users with limited counter space
What Could Be Improved On?
Nesco’s FD-75A Food Dehydrator has a lot of great features and innovates upon the standard stack style in amazing ways. However, some things could have been handled better. The plastic trays can easily warp, rendering the unit useless. For a dehydrator that operates at high heat, it doesn’t seem to be able to handle the heat for very long. The temperature inside is also quite a bit lower than the settings suggest sometimes.
- Plastic trays don’t last long in high heat
- Internal temperature doesn’t match settings
How to Choose a Food Dehydrator in Canada
Before you decide which food dehydrator is best for you, consider looking a bit closer. Here are some of the things you should look for before buying a food dehydrator.
Type of Dehydrator
Small home dehydrators typically come in two types: vertical flow, or stack dehydrators, and horizontal flow, or box dehydrators. Which one you should choose depends on the end product you want.
- Vertical flow/stack dehydrators usually consist of an array of trays stacked directly on top of each other. Most units made like this are circular, which can help keep air flowing evenly down the stack. However, even heat distribution is a problem for most of these. The more trays you have in the stack, the less effective they are.
Stack dehydrators are not usually used to make jerky, as the temperature does not stay the same throughout. To combat this, make sure that you choose a stack dehydrator with a fan. The fan helps disperse the heat more evenly, but you may have to rotate the stacked trays to get them closer to the heat source. The heat source may be on the top or bottom of the stack and varies by model. The benefit? Most vertical flow heaters are expandable, and you can add additional trays if you need more space.
- Horizontal flow/box dehydrators are typically regarded as more efficient, though they may be more expensive. The perfect box dehydrator is insulated, regulates heat perfectly throughout, and doesn’t require you to move trays. They are perfect for dried fruits and jerky, as well as just about any other dehydrated food.
However, box dehydrators are not ideal for smaller kitchens. They are generally bulkier and take up more counter space. Plus, you have to leave them alone for hours at a time, which may not work if you need to use a smaller kitchen at the same time. They can be loud, but you won’t have to do much once you start the process.
Number of Trays
Dehydrating fruit tends to take a lot of space, and meats and jerky take up even more. You must lay out each piece so that they aren’t touching, and with larger quantities, this quickly becomes a chore. That’s why the number of trays in your dehydrator is important. Depending on how often you use your dehydrator, you may want to choose a larger model that can handle larger quantities of vegetables, fruits, and meats at once.
Small dehydrators can be great for occasional use and smaller batches. Stack dehydrators, while smaller, can also be expanded to include more trays if you need them.
When you’re searching for a food dehydrator, keep the temperature range in mind. It’s especially important to choose a dehydrator that has a lower top temperature. To dehydrate, the food needs to stay at a temperature of between 130° F and 155° F (54° C – 68° C). Any higher than this, and the food will cook rather than dehydrating.
The exception to this rule is with meat. According to the USDA, home jerky should be cooked to 160° F (poultry jerky should be cooked to 165° F) before dehydrating to make sure that it’s safe to eat. After, dehydrators should be at a constant temperature of 130° F to 140° F. These temperatures are the rule for meat products, but not strictly for vegetables and fruits.
Keeping to these temperatures is also important because of the nutrients in dried foods. If your food gets too warm, the nutrients can be removed. This affects flavor as well as health. Keep these temperatures in mind when choosing a food dehydrator and consider which type of foods you’ll be dehydrating.
If you’re serious about jerky and other dried foods, you’ll want to choose a dehydrator that allows you to accurately control the temperature. Some units give you a broad range and may be cooler or warmer than the temperature you set. While this is usually fine, it can affect flavour.
The best dehydrators in Canada use adjustable thermostats with precision. The temperature that is displayed on the thermostat should be the exact temperature of the air inside. You can test this by using your own stick thermometer to check the air and the temperature of the foods inside.
Timers and Auto Shutoff
Most of us live busy lives. Dehydrating any type of food takes several hours, and it may be unreasonable for you to keep an eye on it for that long. Running errands and going to work may impact your ability to check your dehydrator adequately. If that sounds like you, you should consider choosing a food dehydrator with a timer and auto-shutoff features. These features will alert you when you need to check your food and turn the unit off when the dehydration process is finished.
The wattage of a food dehydrator may matter more than you’d think. As with most appliances, a lower wattage can end up being more expensive in the long run. That’s because dehydrators with lower wattage will take longer to reach the desired temperature. Maintaining this temperature requires the appliance to expend more energy, meaning that you’re paying a higher electric bill for the same outcome.
A dehydrator with a higher wattage will use the same amount of power, but it won’t take as long to heat up and won’t struggle to maintain temperatures. The quick heating due to the higher wattage means that you aren’t going to be paying as much for electricity – especially at the beginning.
The best food dehydrators in Canada are made with the best materials. With some appliances and products, you can disregard the material and choose the less expensive option. However, it’s important to keep materials in mind when choosing a food dehydrator.
Plastic food dehydrators may be cheaper, but they also may not last as long. High temperatures may eventually warp the trays in these dehydrators, making it impossible to use unless you purchase new trays. Plastic can be easier to clean but usually isn’t dishwasher safe. They also stain easier than other models. Casual users will find that plastic food dehydrators meet their needs just fine.
Stainless steel dehydrators, on the other hand, will take a little more out of your pocketbook. But it’s for good reason! Stainless steel isn’t going to stain, and the trays will be able to withstand more use before they warp and bend. They look great, and the trays are usually dishwasher safe. The only drawback to this type of dehydrator is the price. Also keep in mind that some stainless-steel dehydrators will still include plastic trays, which still have all the drawbacks of plastic food dehydrators.
Read into what materials are used in the food dehydrator you choose!
Most dehydrators will come with a host of different accessories. These can include liners, mesh sheets for meat drying, jerky spice kids, recipe books, and more. While these extras shouldn’t be the thing that defines which food dehydrator you purchase, they can help you decide. After all, having these things on hand may be useful, especially if you want to branch out and dehydrate more food.
If she’s not catching up with her favourite home décor trends, you can find Mia whipping up endless new recipes in the kitchen. She loves any type of wine that lands in her glass, reading, fibre arts, and catching up on her favourite reality TV shows between hikes. On weekends, you can find her on the local trails with her best canine friend, Gadget.