If you are consideringto lose weight and improve your health, the raw food diet is an excellent option for you. It is nothing fancy but a simple, comprehensive diet that cuts out all the unhealthy processed foods and helps you to be healthier and feel good. If you are in for the raw food diet, then you should invest in a high-quality dehydrator.
Dehydrators, instead of cooking food like most appliances, use a low temperature and a high-speed fan to dry your food slowly. This process preserves most of the healthy nutrients and enzymes in your food while giving it a new texture and even bolder flavors.
What is a Dehydrator?
A dehydrator is an appliance that simply dries the moisture from the food without cooking it. This gives the food an amazing texture, a great taste, and makes their shelf-life longer since there is no moisture in the food that can ruin it. The biggest advantage of a dehydrator is that you can dry a variety of foods, ranging from fruits and veggies to herbs and nuts.
What is the Raw Food Diet?
In simple words, the raw food diet is a diet that consists of only organic, natural foods that haven’t gone through all those extensive processing that kills all their nutrients and goodness. The best thing about the raw food diet is that it is an excellent choice for both meat lovers and vegans. Regardless of whether you like to eat meat or not, large components of the raw food diet include:
- Whole grains
Features to Look For In a Dehydrator
Before you go ahead and invest your hard-earned money into a random raw food dehydrator, you must know some features that make a top-notch raw food dehydrator machine:
This one is the first and most important factor to consider before buying a dehydrator for the raw food diet. It is best to get your hands on the biggest dehydrator within your budget and available space. Getting a big dehydrator will ensure that you can dehydrate more food at one time, which will save your time, effort, and electricity costs.
The ideal-sized dehydrators have nine to ten trays, while compact and less-efficient models have only four to five trays.
Put simply, the more the power, the more quickly the food will dry. So, it is nice to opt for a high power dehydrator than the one that takes in less power. Yes, this might mean more electricity usage, but you will also get your work done in less time and not to mention, in a more efficient manner.
The timer is another most important feature to consider. Top-notch dehydrators have built-in automatic digital timers with up to 100 hours to programmable timing, allowing you to keep track of the dehydration process while you do other chores.
The number of trays to look for in a dehydrator depends on your requirements and budget. As already mentioned above, larger dehydrators have more trays than a compact one. However, this doesn’t mean that the smaller dehydrator model won’t have enough power.
For example, if you don’t want to dehydrate more food at a time, you can easily opt for the one that has four to five trays. Otherwise, the one with nine to ten trays is an ideal choice.
And yes, you will also want to double-check that the trays are BPA-free so that no harmful chemicals attach to your food during the dehydration process. Some plastic-based trays might have this issue, so again don’t forget to ask the seller or read its complete specifications.
The power of the motor is also an important feature to consider, as it implies efficiency. Generally, if a dehydrator’s motor has less wattage, like somewhere around 500 to 700 watts, then it will use less power, hence provide more power efficiency if you are planning to use it to dehydrate your foods all day or overnight. In addition to that, it will be easy on your electricity bill as well.
If you want to dry thick food items, such as meat, then you should be ready to invest in a machine with higher wattage as it will do the job in a shorter amount of time.
Some dehydrators are noisier than others. If you are concerned about maintaining a peaceful environment in your kitchen and home, then you should definitely consider this factor.
Our Top Picks
Nesco is a renowned brand when it comes to food dehydrators. This model of the brand is equipped with a top-mounted fan and comes with five trays that offer ample space for you to dry your raw foods. The FD-75A is a powerful unit that features a 600-watt motor, and you don’t even need to switch trays while the machine is dehydrating your raw foods.
It has an opaque exterior that helps block any harmful lights and keeps the food fresh. The best thing about this machine is that you can extend the trays to 12 – if you need more space to dehydrate your raw foods in an abundant amount. It performs quietly and has an adjustable thermostat for dehydrating raw foods.
However, the only thing that we don’t like about this dehydrator is that it doesn’t have an on/off switch, and the highest temperature can be hot enough to burn the trays.
The package contains five trays as well as two Clean-A-Screens, two fruit roll sheets, three original jerky spice packets, and a 52-page recipe and instruction manual.
If you want a dehydrator that can help you dry all sorts of foods, including fruits, vegetables, and the occasional meat jerky, then it is a great choice to opt for. It has a large area of 15 square feet and comes with nine trays, which means enough space for drying your raw foods in ample quantities.
The good thing about this model from Excalibur is that it is an upgrade from the old series. It has a digital controller for adjusting the temperature. It also has a two-time, two-temperature option. These specific features allow users to indicate two different times and set the temperature of each.
And you don’t have to worry about staying up all night just because your dehydrator’s plugged in. Thanks to its auto-shutoff feature, the machine will turn itself off once it completes its cycle. If you are mostly on the go, then you can set the 48-hour timer and go about your day without worrying about unplugging it.
Nesco FD-80A is a 700-watt powerful dehydrator that works great for drying all kinds of fruits, veggies, herbs, and much more. The machine features the patented Converga-Flow drying system that moves air from all parts of the dehydrator, which means you don’t have to switch the trays while the machine’s working.
You can also adjust the temperature inside the machine using the thermostat to ensure that you dry your raw foods at your preferred temperature. The dehydrator is dishwasher safe, and it comes with an easy-to-read instructions manual that can help you get familiar with its features and working.
The machine itself is amazing and does the job perfectly, but there are a few things that we don’t like about it. Those few things are the absence of a timer and an on/off switch in this machine.
More powerful than all the machines mentioned above, this 1000-watt dehydrator by Magic Mill is a fine piece of equipment that has a stainless steel body for enhanced durability. It uses horizontal airflow technology, which means you don’t have to worry about your raw food not getting dried evenly. It also has a timer and thermostat to control the dehydrating time and adjusting the temperature.
The thermostat ranges from 95°F to 158°F. It comes with ten trays, which means you will have sufficient enough space to dehydrate large quantities of raw food at a time. Moreover, if you are concerned about over-heating your food and machine, then fret not because the machine also has an overheating-safety function.
Excalibur 3900B electric food dehydrator comes with nine trays that offer ample space to dry all kinds of fruits, veggies, herbs, meat, and much more. It is equipped with a 600-watt motor, which makes it an ideal choice for large families and garden owners who have a lot of raw food items that need to be dried. It has an on/off button and a thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature according to your preference.
The machine uses Parallex Horizontal Airflow technology for quickly drying your food without making you wait for a long time. Moreover, its Hyperwave fluctuation technology makes sure that the food is dried well from inside out. However, if you don’t have enough space in your kitchen, then this machine isn’t suitable for you. And it also doesn’t come with a timer – if that’s something you need the most.
Tribest Sedona SD-P9000 has it all when it comes to a perfect raw food dehydrator for everyday use. The best feature in this machine is that its trays are 100% BPA-free for your health and safety. The BPA-free plastic prevents the trays from releasing harmful components under high heat that can stick to your food while drying. Plus, this machine performs very quietly while dehydrating your raw food.
Additionally, this dehydrator offers a total of 600 watts using two individual 300-watt fans, along with two heat sensors, and two heating coils that are controlled digitally. It also features Night Mode that saves energy significantly and reduces the amount of noise generating from the machine.
The Presto 06301 electric food dehydrator comes with six trays that can be used to dry all kinds of raw foods, including fresh fruits, herbs, vegetables, etc. You can also adjust the temperature using the thermostat. The fan, unlike most machines, is mounted at the bottom that offers optimum drying without the need to switch trays.
If you want to expand its capacity, you can add additional trays as well. The package also includes two fruit rollup sheets, starter packs of jerky spice and cure, and two nonstick mesh screens. It has a powerful 750-watt motor that provides great performance.
In short, if you are looking for a dehydrator that can do the job perfectly, you can totally invest in this machine.
This one is another excellent dehydrator by Nesco that is equipped with a powerful 1000-watt motor. You can extend the machine’s capacity up to a whopping 30 trays, which means ample space for drying large batches of raw foods, veggies, fruits, herbs, and more. The thermostat is adjustable, allowing you to dry your foods easily at the required 118°F for raw foods.
It comes with eight trays only, but you can extend the capacity if you want more space. The package also contains fruit roll sheets, Clean-A-Screens, and a book on “How to Dry Foods.” The only downside of this machine is that it doesn’t come with a timer, which might be a disappointment for some people.
Last, but not least on our list is the Hamilton Beach digital food dehydrator. Whether you plan to dehydrate raw fruits and vegetables or dry fruits and herbs, you are looking at the right machine for the job. The unique design of this dehydrator has a clear lid that allows you to monitor your food as it is being dried.
You can also set the preferred temperature using the provided digital thermostat. The dehydrator provides continuous airflow so that the foods get dried evenly, which also means you don’t have to rotate the trays. It is equipped with a 500-watt motor that is both adequately powerful to do the job and power-efficient enough to save your electricity costs.
This dehydrator by Hamilton Beach comes with five trays, one fine-mesh sheet, and one solid sheet. The fine-mesh sheet can be used to dry small foods like herbs while the solid sheet for making fruit rolls. However, due to having a smaller motor, it takes a lot of time to dry foods, which might disappoint people who want a machine that can do the job quickly. In addition to that, it isn’t an ideal choice for drying large batches of raw food.
You can spend a lot of money buying dried fruits, vegetables, and more at the store. Or make a one-time investment in a dehydrator and never ever pay a penny for buying dried fruit and vegetables in single-serve plastic bags. And if you are on a raw food diet, the dehydrator is the best investment you can do for your health. A high-quality dehydrator pays for itself when you can make large batches of dried food in these unique machines without paying any extra.