If you want to be able to save some money and reduce a lot of the waste that you and your family produce, it might be worth purchasing a dehydrator. This is especially true if you love jerky and you want to learn how to make jerky on your own. It’s not rocket science and you’ll be able to make the perfect jerky in no time. In this article, we’ve compiled some information on what a dehydrator is and some of the best food dehydrators for beef jerky according to customer reviews.
You may also be interested in Meat Slicers for Jerky.
What Is a Dehydrator?
If you like dried food, such as dried fruits or dried vegetables, then the way that they are made is by using a dehydrator. Food dehydrators will use the flow of air and a source of heat to reduce the water content that is in food. This will prevent bacteria from growing in the food and causing it to spoil. This means that you will be able to hold onto your favorite foods for a longer period of time. Some people enjoy doing this with fruits and vegetables while they’re in season so that they can eat them when they’re no longer in season.
There are a few factors that you may want to consider if you’ve decided to purchase a food dehydrator.
- What kinds of foods it works with: Obviously, since this article is about jerky, you will want to make sure that your dehydrator can work with beef. But if you want to make a variety of different foods, you’ll also want to keep an eye on that.
- If it has an even airflow system: Nothing’s worse than having your food dry unevenly and having to constantly rotate the trays. Many modern dehydrators have solved this problem by having some sort of even airflow system.
- How many shelves it has: If the device has several shelves, that means you’ll be able to dry different kinds of foods at once, which will help to save you a lot of time. This also is going to be very convenient for you. The more shelves the dehydrator has, the more food you will be able to dry at once. Some dehydrators will let you expand them for more room.
- Temperature capacity: You’ll want to see whether the device has an adjustable thermostat or a preset temperature. Many people prefer adjustable ones, but preset dehydrators work well too. Check to see the range of the temperature because every food has a different required temperature for drying.
Best Food Dehydrator for Beef Jerky
This is the first product on our list of the best food dehydrators for jerky. It comes from a popular kitchen appliance brand, NESCO. The jerky dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat that will allow you to dry foods at different temperatures ranging from 95 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. It has 600 watts of drying power and has a top-mounted fan. The dehydrator for jerky comes with five trays that are 13.5 inches in diameter, but you will be able to expand the dehydrator to fit 12 trays. It also has an opaque Vita-Save exterior that works by blocking out harmful lights that will cause the nutritional elements of the food you’re drying to be destroyed. The Converga-Flow technology offered by this device causes the air to move down the exterior of the chamber as opposed to through the trays. This then forces the hot air to move horizontally across each tray to help the food dry faster. This means that you won’t have to worry about the flavors of the different foods mixing and you won’t have to rotate the trays. In addition to jerky, you will be able to use this product to dry fruit and vegetables with no issues.
Here is another good dehydrator for jerky that many people rated positively. Off the bat, it is important to mention that this dehydrator does not come with an on-off switch. Instead, you will turn it on and off simply by plugging it in. It has a four-tray system that will allow you to dry several different foods at once, meaning you won’t just be limited to jerky. It also has a see-through cover so you will be able to monitor the progress of your food much easier. The bottom-mounted fan and the heating element will provide a flow of air consistently throughout the device so you won’t have to worry about any of the food drying unevenly. You will be able to wash the trays and cover in the dishwasher. It also comes with fruit roll sheets, a jerky gun, jerky spice kits, and nonstick mesh screens. If you have a smaller kitchen, another bonus of this product is that it’s easy to store because you will be able to nest the trays and store the cord in the base. It comes with four drying trays, but you will be able to expand it to suit eight. It operates at a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since NESCO is frequently considered to be one of the top brands on the market for a wide range of different kitchen appliances, perhaps it should come to no surprise that we have included another one of its products on our list of the best beef jerky dehydrators. This product has 400 watts of drying power and it has a top-mounted power-head. This will help to ensure that all of your food will be dried evenly and much faster. You can detach the top and clean it in the dishwasher, which makes cleanup a lot easier for you. The Fan-Flow technology in this product also helps to make sure that your food will be dried at an even pace without having the need for tray rotation. You will be able to make a variety of different foods with this, including beef jerky, venison jerky, turkey jerky, fish jerky, trail mix, banana chips, dried tomatoes, and many dried fruits. The clear top cover will allow you to see and monitor the food clearly. You will be able to expand the dehydrator to accommodate 7 trays, although the product comes with four. In addition, it has a preset temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, so all you need to do is prep your food for drying!
According to the dehydrator for jerky reviews, this Hamilton Beach product also deserves a spot on our list. Hamilton Beach is another brand known for its high-quality kitchen appliances. This food dehydrator comes with a 48-hour timer that will cause the device to shut off automatically. It also has a clear lid that will allow you to keep a close eye on your food at all times. The adjustable digital thermostat will let you choose a temperature between 100 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The product provides a continuous flow of air to ensure that any of the food you’re drying will be completely dried evenly. It provides 500 powerful watts of energy to ensure that your food will dry much faster. Aside from jerky, you will be able to dry many different foods with the dehydrator, some of which include fruits and vegetables. When you purchase this dehydrator, you will get two specialty sheets, including a fine mesh sheet that will allow you to dry smaller foods such as herbs and a solid sheet for making fruit rolls.
And we end our list of the best food dehydrators for jerky with another NESCO product. Unlike the other dehydrators included on this list, this one in particular was made especially for jerky. You will be able to make any kind of jerky that you prefer. However, despite that, you will still be able to use this product to make your favorite dried fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even flowers. It provides 350 watts of drying power that will make sure that everything is dried thoroughly and evenly. The detachable top also includes a mounted power-head that offers a fixed temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You will get 4 trays along with the dehydrator, but you will be able to expand the device to fit 7 trays. When you purchase this jerky dehydrator, you will get a jerky gun with three tip attachments, jerky seasoning, cure samples, and a recipe and instruction book. You will be able to clean the components in the dishwasher, too. This product was designed for people who are both beginners and experts, so if you want to learn how to dry your own food, then there’s nothing stopping you now!
Whether you were on the hunt for a new dehydrator or you simply want to learn how to dry food, we hope that this article helped you in making a more informed decision. A food dehydrator is a great tool to add to your kitchen if you want to be able to add something unique to your family’s snacks.