Best Dehydrators for Jerky

Top 10 Best Dehydrator for Jerky

April 19, 2020anbk09

Jerky is among the best protein diets for anyone who has a hectic routine. Jerky is portable, tasty, and doesn’t require any refrigeration. Hence, you can take it away anywhere you want. There are numerous commercial choices that you can make, but creating your recipe is not that complicated either if you have the right tools.


It is where a food dehydrator comes in to play its role. These dehydrators allow you to make great tasting jerkys in no time. No matter how busy your schedule is, you can re-energize and get back into your routine in a jiffy. To make things easier for you, we have developed a list of 10 best dehydrators for jerky.


So keep reading and get prepared to integrate some protein-rich deliciousness into your busy schedules.

Quick Comparison: Top 10 ​Best Dehydrator for Jerk on the Market

1. NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Highlighted Features

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Top-mounted fan
  • Quick, and even drying

It is one of the best food dehydrators that you can find on the market. It features a high-quality adjustable thermostat that can take care of different foods at various temperatures ranging between 95F and 160F.


The dehydrator also features a very powerful fan that has been mounted on the top, and it has 600W drying power. It means that your jerky recipe will not take very long to get ready. Additionally, the unit also features 5-tray design, but you can increase the number up to 12. The diameter of each try is 13.5-inch.


This unit has the Converga-Flow® drying mechanism that pushes air down the pressurized chamber and not through the trays. The airflow remains horizontal through all the trays, and it converges on the core. It ensures even and quick-drying, and you don’t have to rotate the trays either.

Pros

  • Fully adjustable thermostat from 96F to 160F
  • A drying power of 600W
  • 5-tray construction expandable to 12 trays
  • Vita-Save exterior to prevent light from damaging the dehydrating food
  • Converga-Flow® drying system injects hot air horizontally from the trays to keep the dehydrating process quick and nutritious

Cons

  • The trays are slightly flimsy

2. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

Highlighted Features

  • 4-tray system
  • Transparent cover
  • Bottom-mounted heating element and fan

To begin with, this unit doesn’t come with an on/off button. Right when you plug it in, the dehydration process will begin. The unit has a 4-tray system and can effectively dehydrate food and save a lot of cost for you. The jerkys that you will make with this unit will have the flavors that you love, and there would be no additives either.


The unit doesn’t take much space and is very easy to store. The 4-tray design of this unit is expandable up to eight trays, and the unit starts working at a preset temperature of 165F. The cover, as well as the drying trays, are all dishwashers safe and are very easy to clean when you are done.

Pros

  • Expandable 4-tray design (up to 8 trays)
  • See-through covering lid
  • The trays and the cover are dishwasher safe
  • Very compact design for easy storage
  • Works at a temperature of 165F

Cons

  • There is no on/off button. You plug it in, and the unit will start

3. COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machine

Highlighted Features

  • Premium quality construction
  • Six steel trays
  • ETL and FDA compliance

This dehydrator comes with six different trays that are made of stainless steel. Apart from that, your purchase will also include a mesh tray and a fruit roll sheet as well. The unit is very simple to use, and you can alter the timer with increments of 30 minutes. The timer limit goes up to 48 hours. The temperature limits are available for you to work with a range between 95F and 165F.


You will also get a recipe book to make some delicious jerkys right in the comfort of your home. The unit is very quiet in operation, and it is very safe to use as well.

 

It also features an overheat protection system that will activate if the unit overheats for some reason. The heating power of this unit is 600W, and it is very easy to clean because it is dishwasher safe.

Pros

  • Trays are made of high-quality stainless steel
  • Very easy to and safe to clean with dishwasher fluid
  • Temperatures range from 95F to 165F
  • Very quiet in operation
  • Heating power is up to 600W

Cons

  • It only comes with a single fruit tray

4. Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

Highlighted Features

  • 10-year limited warranty
  • 9-tray construction (15 square feet each)
  • Temperature ranges from 105F to 165F

If you are looking for power and space, then this is the right dehydrator for jerkys. It comes with ten years of the limited warranty and has nine trays. Each of these trays is 15 square feet in size, and you get plenty of space to dry a lot of food.


The machine has a 26-hour timer, and with the adjustable thermostat, you can set the temperature between 105F and 165F. The temperature range is high because you can place more food inside this unit.


The unit would be able to preserve all the nutrients within your food if you keep the temperature range between 115F and 118F. You will get the taste as well as the nutritional value of your food. This unit has Horizontal Parallex Airflow®, and it will dry your food quickly while keeping all nutrients locked in. You won’t need to rotate your trays either. The unit is very simple to use, and you can dehydrate a variety of foods in it.

Pros

  • 9-tray capacity
  • 10-year warranty
  • Temperatures range from 105F to 165 F
  • Horizontal Parallex Airflow® system for quick drying without any loss of nutritional value
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Each tray measures 15 square feet in area

Cons

  • The timer doesn’t work that efficiently

5. Ivation 6 Tray Countertop Digital Food Dehydrator Drying Machine

Highlighted Features

  • 6-tray design (9-tray is also available)
  • Rear-mounted fan
  • Digital thermostat (95F to 158F)

If you are looking for a dehydrator for jerkys and want a see-through lid on it, then this model is right for you. There are 6-trays present in it for you to use, and you can also choose the 9-tray model if you want a large capacity. This unit is excellent to dry meat as well as fruits and vegetables at the same time.


It features a rear-mounted fan that ensures that all the food gets dry evenly. The adjustable thermostat ensures that your machine doesn’t get overheated. Your unit will shut-off automatically if it does get overheated. Each of these trays that the unit has, measure to be 13-inch x 12-inch, so they are pretty spacious. You get to work with a wide temperature range (95F to 158F). Your purchase will also include a fine mesh sheet and a soil fruit roll sheet.

Pros

  • Complies with the safety standards set by ETL
  • Both 6 and 9-tray designs are available
  • Optimal airflow with a rear-mounted fan
  • Each tray measures to be 13x12 inches in size
  • Eight different temperature levels from 95F to 158F

Cons

  • Doesn't get to 165F needed for chicken strips

6. Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator

Highlighted Features

  • Compact construction
  • Temperatures range from 100F to 165F
  • 500W heating power

This dehydrator from Hamilton Beach comes with a timer that allows you to set 48 hours on the clock. And there is an auto shut-off features as well. It means that you don't have to attend your food while it's in the dehydration process. You can set it up and come back to see your food ready. The clear see-through lid enables you to see what is going on inside the unit.


With the 500W heating power and continuous airflow, your food will evenly dry. The five tray construction of this unit houses plenty of food. And you will also get a fine mesh tray to dry small herbs. Your purchase will also include a solid fruit roll sheet as well.

Pros

  • Temperature ranges from 100F to 160F
  • Heating power up to 500W
  • 48-hour time with continuous airflow
  • Low and slow drying to ensure all the nutrients remain locked in
  • A see-through cover lid to keep an eye on the food

Cons

  • It is a loud unit
  • The trays are not that great

7. NutriChef Food Dehydrator Machine

Highlighted Features

  • Max temperature goes up to 180F
  • Easy to clean 5-tray construction
  • Great for food preservation

This good quality electric dehydrator can dehydrate different types of meats, fruits, and vegetables. The design of this unit makes it very easy to clean and maintain. The operation of this unit is equally simple. You can operate it with just one button.


The temperature controls allow you to work with temperatures as high as 180F.the five stable trays. You can use these trays to dry your food without using the dehydrator unit. The unit is also good for preserving foods. The unit can heat food in such a manner to preserve all the nutrients and dry out the moisture.

Pros

  • Great for food preservation
  • Efficient heat distribution
  • The unit is very easy to clean
  • Temperature can go as high as 180F
  • Single-button operation

Cons

  • The trays are very flimsy

8. Ninja AOP104BRN Foodi Dehydrator Stand

Highlighted Features

  • Good quality dehydrator stand
  • Compatible with 8-qt and 6.5-qt units
  • Stainless steel finish

It is a stainless steel dehydrator rack with five trays. The construction of this rack is high quality and is very durable. It can easily help you dehydrate fruit and vegetables. It is equally excellent in dehydrating meats. You can conveniently make crispy kale leaves. Apart from that, you can conveniently fit five different layers of vegetable chips in these trays.


Of course, this is only a stand, and you won’t get the dehydrator, but in most cases, you don’t get any replacement dehydrator trays. And the trays that normally come with the units are pretty flimsy. Therefore, you need a decent quality dehydrator tray rack as a backup.

Pros

  • There are five trays in this rack
  • The rack is suitable to use with the dehydrators of 6.5-qt and 8-qt
  • You can use this rack for dehydrating vegetables, fruits, and meats
  • This rack is very easy to maintain and clean due to stainless steel construction

Cons

  • The rack might not fit within just any dehydrator unit

9. Chefman Food Dehydrator Machine

Highlighted Features

  • Digital controls
  • Consistent results
  • Simple to monitor

One of the best features of this dehydrator for jerky is that it is very simple to use because of all the digital controls. The unit also looks pretty elegant with the all-black finish, and a see-through window is available for you to keep monitoring your food while it dehydrates.


This unit can produce high quality and consistent results with this adjustable thermostat that can manage temperatures ranging from 95F to 158F. The unit is capable of producing 480W heating power and can take care of different foods with consistency.


It comes with a one-year warranty, and it is also certified from ETL. The count timer of this unit can go up to 19.5 hours, and it can house 6 trays with a surface area of 13x12-inch. Therefore, you can quickly dehydrate a good amount of food with ease.

Pros

  • 6 spacious trays
  • All digital controls
  • 19.5-hour countdown timer
  • Temperature ranges between 95F and 158F
  • Looks very classy

Cons

  • Not enough temperature range for chicken strips

10. Rosewill Countertop Portable Electric Food Fruit Dehydrator Machine

Highlighted Features

  • Lightweight countertop design
  • BPA-free trays
  • 95F to 155F temperature range

The unit comes with a capacity of five trays, and they are all made of BPA-free materials. The adjustable thermostat of this unit allows you to work with a temperature range between 95F and 155F. The heating element of this unit has a capacity of 500W.


It can conveniently take care of different types of foods. These include vegetables, fruits, and meats. You can use this machine to dry a variety of foods. You can create banana chips, jerkys, dried meats, fruit roll-ups, and so much more.


The unit boasts a bottom-mounted fan along with the heating element for excellent airflow and a top-notch drying process that doesn’t need any rotation. The unit is simple to operate with just one power button and temperature dial, and it is equally simple to clean as well.

Pros

  • BPA-free plastic trays
  • Heating element with 250W capacity
  • Adjustable thermostats with a temperature range between 95F and 155F
  • Bottom mounted fan as well as the heating element

Cons

  • Not that great for chicken jerkys

Why Should You Need a Best Dehydrator for Jerky?

There are so many good reasons why you need to have a stash of jerkys. Jerkys are a great protein source because they have all nine essential amino acids that our body requires.


The important thing is that our body is not able to produce these amino acids on its own, so it needs an outside food source. If you go for snacks that are rich in protein, you will feel full for longer as compared to those sugar or carbohydrate alternatives. Additionally, protein is far better in terms of the nutritional value as well.


If you are on the go at all times because of your hectic routine, then jerky is a perfect snack for you. If you make it properly, it will weigh almost nothing, and it won’t take much space in your lunch container as well. You won’t find any alternative to it with so many positives. Many experts recommend this snack for athletes who want a quick boost of energy during their workouts.


Now, if you have a good quality food dehydrator, you will be in total control of making jerky that is perfect in every sense. You can change your seasonings and try different flavor combinations. You can also use different meats besides beef.

Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Dehydrator for Jerky

There are various features that you should keep in mind when looking to buy a dehydrator for making jerkys. Here is a brief description of each of those features.

Airflow

There are two types of airflow that you will find in different models of dehydrators. The vertical airflow models will have their fans either mounted at the top or the bottom. They are not expensive. These units are smaller than their horizontal counterparts, and they are not very efficient either.


On the other hand, horizontal airflow models have their fans mounted at the back of the machine. Each shelf in the rack of your dehydrator will get some air circulation, and you will get even drying throughout. This process has a better chance to evaporate moisture from the food.

Size

As mentioned, the vertical motels are smaller than horizontal airflow models in most cases. But you can also go for a smaller sized horizontal unit as well if you don’t have enough space on your counter or you are looking to use one on the go.


However, you will have to deal with less quantity of food if you are considering a machine that is small in size. Therefore, consider what should be the batch size of the dehydrated food that you want to eat and make your decision accordingly.

Temperature range

With a wider temperature range, you can go for dehydrating different types of foods with ease and it once as well. Normally you will find the ranges to be from 95F to 165F. Some of the models can go even higher. But you need to make your choice based on what type of food you will be dehydrating.


If meats are not going to be there, then high temperatures are not necessary. And if you eat a lot of chicken, then you will need to go with a unit that comes with a max temperature of athletes 165F.

Countdown timer

It is another important feature, but only if you can afford to allow your machine to run for a continuous process. Some timers allow you to set 48 hours on the clock while others allow 24 hours. It is up to you which type of food and how much of it you want to consume and how quickly you can do that.

Noise level

Any machine or a unit that features a fan in it has some kind of noise coming out of it. Now you need to be sure that you are okay with the sound that a machine that you are considering produces. The instruction manuals of these units have all the information about how much sound they make as well. The expensive models are not that loud because they have good quality fans in them.

Common Problems Associated with Using Dehydrator for Jerky


Dehydrating Different Meats Besides Beef


When you can go for venison jerky, make sure that you only use non-damaged parts of the meat. Now, freeze it at least for 2 months at 0F before you use it in your dehydrator. It is a precautionary measure that you need to take to prevent any diseases that your game might be carrying. When using any other types of meat besides beef, the best practice is to use processed and pre-cooked meat. Pre-cooked meat won’t take much time to dehydrate.


The Thinness of The Slices


You need to be sure that you don’t slice the pieces thinner than 0.25 inches and no thicker than 0.75 inches. This size will ensure thorough drying, and you will feel comfortable to eat the snack. Also, make sure to cut the pieces that can easily fit into your dehydrator. If you partially freeze your meat, you will be able to cut thin slices much easily. 


Placement


Make sure that you place all the strips in each tray in a single layer. No strips should be overlapping or even touching each other. You should start the dehydration process at 160F for about four to six hours. Check these strips after four hours or so and turn them. If anyone of the strips has dried fully, remove it from the machine.

Conclusion

The winner of this roundup of best dehydrator for jerky is the Snackmaster Pro FD-75A from Nesco. It has a good temperature range to work with (95F to 160F) and has a heating capacity of 600W. It is truly versatile in handling different types of foods. As it has a top-mounted fan, the unit has a small size as well, and you can easily place it wherever you want.


There is a room for 5 trays in it, and you can expand that to 12 as well with each tray having a diameter of 13.5-inch. The machine is quick and efficient with its Converga-Flow® airflow system that keeps the drying process even all the way through.


So which one of these dehydrators are you considering for your kitchen? Let us know by leaving your comments below!

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