A lot of people with demanding jobs often find themselves losing countless hours a day working non-stop, only to realize around 6 pm that they haven't eaten anything.
Being always on the move without the appropriate intake of proteins can have severe impacts on your health and body. That is why many experts recommend beef jerky.
It's a high-protein snack that gives you a boost throughout the entire day. It supplements you the right amount of amino acids that your body cannot produce at a given time. Also, it's compact, tasty, and easy to carry around.
To get the best out of this snack, you'll first need the best food dehydrator for jerky, so your food doesn't spoil. But don't worry, because we're here to help.
Take a look at our personal choices for the best dehydrator for jerky, and also our buyer's guide, that'll help you decide which one's the best fit for you!
Table of Contents
- The Best Dehydrators for Jerky Currently on the Market: Top 9 Picks
- #1. NESCO FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator - Patented Drying System
- #2. Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator - Affordable Food Dehydrators
- #3. Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Food Dehydrator - Nine Trays
- #4. Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine - Easy to Use Dehydrator
- #5. VIVOHOME Electric 400W 5 Trays Food Dehydrator Machine - Fantastic Budget-Friendly Jerky Dehydrator
- #6. Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator - 48 Hour Timer
- #7. COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machine - Easy to Store and Clean
- #8. NESCO FD-1040 Gardenmaster Digital Pro Dehydrator - Reliable Brand
- #9. Homdox Food Dehydrator Machine - Diverse
- What Does It Take For a Food Dehydrator to Make Crispy Beef Jerky - Buyer's Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts - Summary
The Best Dehydrators for Jerky Currently on the Market: Top 9 Picks
Is there a more fabulous way to start our reviews than by presenting you with the best food dehydrator out there, the NESCO FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator.
Nesco has been one of the leading manufacturers in the world of kitchen appliances, so you've probably heard about this product before if you've done some research.
Its properties are excellent when it comes to making jerky, but there's so much more. The adjustable thermostat that can be set to 90-160°F is impressive with all types of food.
Once you place the food inside it, the Converga-Flow drying system will force the hot air up and distribute it across your food for even drying. Also, the top-mounted fan will prevent any liquid from dripping.
You'll have plenty of drying space since it comes with five trays, but it can be expanded to twelve. They are made out of premium plastic material, which is a fantastic heating element, and it will last you even with the harshest meals.
The Nesco system will apply 600 W power during the drying process, which will make sure that your jerky is nicely dried, crispy, and delicious.
Since everyone's got their recipe for drying beef jerky, you can decide what temperature settings to use to maintain optimal temperature control.
You probably won't find a better product than this one, especially with today's market and the prices that go around Amazon. For the money, this is an obvious purchase.
If you're looking for a cheap product that'll get the job done, here's our top pick - the Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator.
Before we start talking about it, you should realize that this is probably one of the most affordable food dehydrators on the market, so it does not contain many of the premium features the others have, but it'll still do the job.
The visible cover will enable you to monitor the entire process if you're worried about the possible result. Once you plug it in, it'll start working right away since it does not have an on/off button, and it will operate at the temperature of 165°F.
The fan is mounted on the bottom, and alongside the heating element, it will provide horizontal airflow that'll distribute temperature evenly. Once it's done, just plug it out, and there's your delicious beef jerky.
You'll get four trays, which can be upgraded to eight if there's a need for it. You won't have to bother yourself with hand-washing them since they are fully immiscible and safe to clean in a dishwasher machine.
Since there's no temperature settings or any type of temperature control, it's straightforward and easy to use, and with this price, you won't regret it.
A large household and a lot of kids typically mean a lot of school lunches and snacks. That's why you'll be set for an entire week the drying space the Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Food Dehydrator will get you.
No more multiple rounds of making beef jerky - with its nine trays, you'll feel like you've made enough food for a dinner party. They have 15 square feet of total drying space, which is more than plenty for food, snacks, and even drying fresh flowers for potpourri.
You'll set the temperature with the adjustable thermostat and maintain constant horizontal airflow to perfectly dry your food.
Bear in mind that Parallex Horizontal Airflow is a feature exclusive to Excalibur food dehydrators, which are explicitly designed to maintain healthy nutrients and active enzymes in your favorite food.
You will also get a flexible poly-screen tray that is inserted into the food dehydrator to keep the food from sticking from the other shelves.
Of course, the main deal-breaker for this product is the price. It is a bit expensive, but you'll get the Excalibur guarantee, and you will probably use this device for a long time.
In conclusion, it is a more demanding device, but it'll certainly pay off in the future since it's one of the best dehydrators out there.
Here we have one ultra-popular dehydrator from Magic Mill, honestly well-built and durable with more than satisfying performance. It’s an electric unit with innovative technology that offers even drying and fast results.
What makes this Magic Mill dehydrator so efficient is even heat distribution that eliminates the need for rotation of the shelves.
Namely, it has a rear-mounted drying fan and advanced air-circulation technology, so the food is drying evenly no matter where it is placed.
Additionally, this dehydrator has a tremendous capacity.
It includes seven trays, which means you can dehydrate more than 7lb of food at once. The racks are made of stainless steel; they are removable and dishwasher safe. Also, you get two mesh sheets and two fruit leather trays, and one oven mitts.
One thing I love about this dehydrator is the advanced system.
The technology is wholly automated, so you can preset the temperature and timer beforehand, and the device will immediately shut off when the time comes.
The temperature range goes from 95°F to 165°F, while the timer can be set from 30 min to 24h, depending on the type of food you’re drying.
When it comes to safety, the system includes overheating protection, and the entire device is BPA-free, so it’s not environmentally harmful either.
The price, to my mind, is totally suitable, given the materials, technology, and performance. It’s a mid-range product, so the quality-per-price ratio is fantastic.
The next model is from the budget-friendly shelf, yet it fulfills all the essential requirements for high-quality jerky drying.
The secret behind its efficiency is openwork trays that pass hot air quickly, speeding up the dehydration while preserving food efficiently.
This VIVOHOME 400W dehydrator includes five large-capacity racks for different types of food, made of plastic yet BPA-free. The bottom part is made of stainless steel, and there are small rubber pads for an anti-slip effect.
Like other models, this dehydrator also has an adjustable temperature and a timer. The temperature can be set from 95 to 158°F, while the timer goes from zero to 24 hours.
One important feature that this VIVOHOME dehydrator incorporates is heat emission holes. These holes dissipate the heat and prevent the device from overheating.
At the same time, the food gets dehydrated quickly, but 97% of vitamins, nutrients, and flavors are preserved.
There are also small perforations on the lid to allow ventilation and prevent condensation. All these features combined make this dehydrator perfect for jerky, and other types of food, of course.
Finally, when you take everything into consideration and compare the price of this device with similar models, it’s evident how fantastic this dehydrator is.
This is definitely the reason why it has more than 1700 customer ratings and an average of 4.5 stars.
Up next is another incredible device, the Hamilton Beach 32100A Digital Food Dehydrator.
If you're ready to make some sensational snacks, get ready for this device. Before you start, the digital thermostat will allow you to set the temperature in the range of 100-160°F. Then, its drying system will provide continuous airflow that'll be distributed evenly.
The great feature of this device is the timer.
You can adjust it to dry in 48 hours, and it has a see-through lid, so you can continuously check your food. As you wait for your food, the 600 W power will do the trick and deliver excellent results.
Don't worry about drying space, because you'll have plenty of it. It has five trays and one small tray that's ideal for drying smaller pieces of food, such as fruit, herbs, or pre-sliced pieces of meat.
The only real problem that some of the devices of this series have is a software bug that delivers an error message in some cases.
However, customer service is at your disposal if something like that happens, and they will make sure that you get a new, fully functional device.
Moving on, we give you another premium series of jerky dehydrators, the COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machines.
You know you're getting an excellent product once we start talking about stainless steel. Since it is a premium product, the manufacturers made sure that durability and longevity were no concerns for their users.
That is why reinforced steel is in the picture.
Similar to our previous product, this one also has a 48-hour timer, and the temperature settings vary between 95º-165ºF. Once you start the device, you'll notice right away that it's quiet and unnoticeable since it operates at 48 dB.
Once your jerky or other food is done drying, the dehydrator will automatically shut itself off to preserve power and safety reasons.
It's also important to note that the trays are fully washable in the dishwasher, so there's no more need for you to do it manually.
The entire device is compact and beautifully designed so you won't have to hide it in the corners of your kitchen. Put it up for display and show off!
It is a bit pricier than some of the generic ones, but you'll undoubtedly get the most out of it.
From the market-leading Nesco company, we present another great product from a different series, the NESCO FD-1040 Gardenmaster Digital Pro Dehydrator.
Are you ready to see some power?
The 1000-W dehydrator will surely impress you.
This much power, combined with Nesco's drying system together, makes a lethal combination that results in crispy and delicious beef jerky.
The drying Converga-Flow system allows for hot air to circulate horizontally and to distribute warm temperature evenly across your food.
This dehydrator includes four trays, but that can be expanded to a fantastic number of twenty trays. This much space will be enough to feed an entire household for days on end.
Of course, it has an adjustable thermostat that will ease you into the drying process and help you decide which temperature to use and how to get the best results.
If you want and decide to get this device, you'll also be receiving a fruit roll sheet, which is ideal for soups, sauces, and fruit rolls.
Just bear in mind that the reason this product is not higher on the list is that there have been improvements in other products from different series that put this one below.
Otherwise, it's a product you'll want in your household.
Finally, we've reached the end of our beef jerky dehydrators reviews, and we're finishing it in style. Take a look at the Homdox Food Dehydrator Machine.
This device has all the main components of a dehydrator that you'd want. It's affordable, compact, straightforward, and spacious.
It operates at 400 W power and offers excellent results to its customers. Drying space consists of eight trays that make up for a ton of room.
Once you insert your beef jerky, you can watch the entire process since it's see-through and observe how it's unique drying software inserts hot air to crisp the jerky.
It consists of a bottom-mounted fan and a heating element that consistently provides hot air circulation that dehydrates your food.
This will eventually result in a high-calorie, protein meal that is healthy and makes up for an excellent snack for children.
Tray liners and the trays are completely dishwasher safe. As far as the housing goes, you can easily clean it with a damp cloth or an old rag.
The only complaint that might bother you is that the power cord may be short for you, but other than that, it's an exceptional product that has all the characteristics that the best products should have.
What Does It Take For a Food Dehydrator to Make Crispy Beef Jerky - Buyer's Guide
Beef jerky has become a standard in the US for a healthy snack that everyone loves. It's a traditional meal that every American loves, cherishes, and eats often.
That's why it must be appropriately made with the help of the best dehydrator.
But what characteristics make an excellent dehydrator?
Find out below!
This characteristic does not necessarily imply that the best dehydrators are the largest ones, but it's undoubtedly a good thing to have in mind once you're out purchasing it.
Having a large dehydrator can make all the difference if you have a large family, and you surely don't want to spend countless hours on end making meals.
The point of having a beef jerky dehydrator is to save time and be energy-conservant. If you're already investing in one, why not get a big one?
Once you're making that decision, try to look for products that have more than five trays or at least space for more trays.
That way, you can make all your meals in one drying process, and rest the entire day.
2. Quality Drying Method
It's a matter of the fact that the best dehydrators on the market have quality drying methods and systems in place that combine to make the healthiest food.
To make a quality dehydrator, the manufacturer has to put a top or bottom-mounted fan system that will distribute heat accordingly and also a functional heating element.
A heating element converts electricity into heat using well-established science methods.
So, when you're out there shopping for a new dehydrator, consider these things and try to look for manufacturers that put a lot of time and effort into building these devices.
You'll never go wrong with the premium ones, since the companies that make them have been on the market for an extended period of time and know what they are doing.
However, they will cost you a bit more money, but in the end, it'll be worth it.
3. Adjustable Temperature
If you're a novice kitchen chef and you're just getting into the world of cooking, you won't really need a dehydrator with a programmable thermostat.
However, it does have its perks. Especially if you'll be using it for other snacks and food, besides jerky.
The best dehydrators can operate in the temperature span of 95-165°F, which is more than enough for any type of food.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best approximate temperature to dehydrate jerky?
After heating the dehydrator up to 165°F, maintaining a constant dehydrator temperature during the entire process is essential because it has to be fast enough that the microorganisms won't replicate and so the food does not spoil.
How long does jerky need to dehydrate?
It depends on the temperature that you're using. Mainly, it ranges between 4 and 10 hours at the time.
For example, if you're drying it at the temperature of 120°F, you should probably leave it for about 10 hours.
If it's a 160-degree temperature, however, you can dry it for 4 hours or maybe a bit longer if you want. Either way, it'll be ready to go.
How to make jerky with a dehydrator?
No matter how many websites, cookbooks, and blogs you go through, you won’t find the same recipe for dehydrated beef jerky. Why, of course, you won’t, since it’s a matter of preference.
Seasoning, doneness, and flavor are details you can modify, but there are a few universal tricks for better results. For example, it’s crucial to cut beef in thin layers. It will dehydrate faster, absorb the seasoning better, and look better after all.
Then, after you soak it in your favorite marinade, let it sit in the refrigerator for eight hours.
Now the last step is to put it into the dehydrator, set the temperature at 160 degrees, and dry it for around 4-5 hours.
What is the best dehydrator for beef jerky?
The NESCO FD-75A is definitely the best dehydrator for beef jerky and food in general.
Its flawless design, advanced air circulation system, and wide temperature range ensure the jerky is evenly dried.
There are five trays, but you can expand it to twelve, and due to the top-mounted fan, there won’t be any dripping, so the results are incredible!
For years, this dehydrator has been customers' favorite, so there’s is a good reason for it.
Final Thoughts - Summary
As we're about to conclude our article, let's make a quick summary.
Beef jerky is an excellent snack for people with demanding jobs that don't really have the time to take care of their bodies.
It's also a unique solution for people at home that need a way to make healthy meals for a large number of family members.
That's why jerky dehydrators exist.
As we've seen, the best one your money can buy is undoubtedly the NESCO FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator.
The combination of features, price, and general customer reviews make it a top-notch product that every household should have.
Furthermore, you'll rest assured knowing that it came from a quality manufacturer that put a lot of time into building this device.
They are both exquisite products that anyone would be lucky to have. Beef jerky is just one step away from becoming extra crispy and tasty with these machines.