The 5 Best Food Dehydrators in Canada in 2024

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Whether you’re on a raw food diet or simply looking to make some lightweight and healthy snacks from home, there are many reasons why a dehydrator is a useful appliance to have around. Similar to canning or pickling, dehydrating is also a great way to preserve food for later consumption. In fact, dehydrating food is one of the oldest food preservation techniques.

Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of food dehydrators and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Why Buy a Food Dehydrator?

Since yeast and bacteria grow in moist environments, stripping food of its water content eliminates that risk. Dehydrating food also preserves the nutritional value of most vitamins and minerals, except for vitamins A and C which are reduced due to air and heat (source). Unlike pickling, dehydrating doesn’t require adding loads of salt. In fact, you can preserve your food with no salt required at all.

Contrary to jarring or pickling, dehydrating is slightly less passive. Some dehydrators will require rotating the trays occasionally to ensure evenly dehydrated food. But since the dehydration process is anywhere between 4 and 200 hours, you won’t have to intervene too many times. If the dehydrator you choose has a built-in fan for optimized airflow, you might not even have to rotate your trays at all. If that’s the case, you can pretty much load up your dehydrator and carry on with your life until your food is ready. 

The 5 Best Food Dehydrators in Canada in 2024

Here is our selection of the best food dehydrators available in Canada this year.

COSORI Food Dehydrator

The COSORI Dehydrator is one of the most popular horizontal flow dehydrators on the market. It’s easy to use and clean, operates quietly, and features accurate temperature controls. Made from modern brushed steel, it also looks great on your countertop.

With a built-in digital timer and automatic shut-off feature, the COSORI dehydrator is one of the best passive food dehydrators out there. Its timer lets you dehydrate food for up to 48 hours with no manual intervention required. 

It comes with 6 stainless steel trays that can easily be washed in the dishwasher. Unfortunately, however, the trays are prone to sticking.

To ensure that your food items are evenly dehydrated, the COSORI has a built-in fan that circulate heat throughout the machine. It’s particularly great at dehydrating fruit and veggies.

Measuring 18″ in width and 13″ in depth, the COSORI is about the size of a standard microwave. This is something to consider if space is limited in your kitchen.

Why we like it

  • Modern stainless steel design
  • Easy to use with simple controls
  • Operates quietly (48 dB)
  • Useful safety features

What can be improved

  • Takes up quite a lot of space on the counter

Presto Vertical Flow Food Dehydrator

Presto’s Vertical Flow dehydrator is a great option if you’re looking for a very basic dehydrator at an affordable price. As a vertical dehydrator, it can be expanded in height from 4 trays to up to 8 trays. Additional trays can easily be purchased. At around 14″ in circumference, it won’t take up too much space on your counter.

Unlike many vertical dehydrators out there, the Presto has a built-in fan to help circulate heat and ensure more even airflow. This is great for evenly dehydrated food!

The main downside is that this dehydrator does not have any temperature settings or built-in timers. Once the machine is plugged in, it will begin heating until it reaches around 165 degrees. If you have precise dehydration requirements for your culinary endeavors, you might be better off spending a little more on a dehydrator with temperature control settings or a timer at the very least.

Despite its lack of adjustable settings, we’d still recommend Presto’s dehydrator for beginners with basic food dehydration needs.

Why we like it

  • Inexpensive
  • Excellent for beginners (very easy to use)
  • Doesn’t take up much counter space

What can be improved

  • Limited with no temperature control or timer
  • Fan is a bit noisy

Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding Food Dehydrator

Brod & Taylor’s Sahara Foldable Dehydrator is a great option if you’re looking for a high-quality horizontal food dehydrator that won’t take up too much storage space in your home. Most horizontal food dehydrators are bulky to put away, but Brod & Taylor have come up with an innovative foldable design that reduces the machine’s height to a third when not in use. 

Aside from its convenient collapsible design, the Sahara dehydrator is extremely easy to use with its digital thermostat and timer. Its digital thermostat will keep you updated on the current temperature and time remaining, so you won’t have to keep track on your own. Its timer can be set for up to 99 hours and can be automated for up to 198 hours. This makes the Sahara very passive to use.

With a stainless steel frame, stainless steel trays, and a see-through glass door, the machine is is durable while also aesthetically appealing.

Overall, if you’re looking to invest in a high-quality horizontal food dehydrator, the Sahara is an excellent choice. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking to passively dehydrate food for several days.

Why we like it

  • Features a double heating system
  • Easy and compact to store with its foldable design
  • Can be automated for up to 198 hours
  • Trays are non-stick

What can be improved

  • Must be re-assembled every time
  • Relatively expensive

Magic Mill Pro Food Dehydrator

The Magic Mill Pro Dehydrator is another excellent-quality and compact food dehydrator with 6 rows of dishwasher-safe dehydrating trays. With its vertical stainless steel design, it won’t take up much space on your countertop. It’s also very easy to use with its digital LED thermostat and timer. 

The dehydrator has 8 preset temperature settings, depending on what type of food you’re dehydrating. It also has a user-friendly digital thermostat and timer. Due to its lower-than-average power wattage, this dehydrator is quieter than similar machines on the market. It also provides even heat distribution thanks to its built-in rear fan. 

To make sure you don’t over-dehydrate your food, the machine will automatically shut off when the timer is up. If needed, it has a useful “Keep Warm” setting that will keep your dehydrated food warm at 95 °F for an extra 24 hours. 

In addition to the 6 metal drying trays included, the machine comes with 2 leather fruit trays. Additional trays can easily be purchased online.

If you’re looking for a similar dehydrator with even more shelving units, consider the Magic Mill 9-Tray Dehydrator.

Why we like it

  • Sleek and modern design
  • User-friendly digital thermostat and timer
  • Consistently great results
  • Comes with durable metal trays

What can be improved

  • Temperature settings are not as precise (10-minute intervals)
  • Not the most accurate on higher heat settings

Excalibur 3900 9-Tray Food Dehydrator

With 15 square feet of drying space, the Excalibur is one of the best high-capacity food dehydrators on the market. Indeed, the dehydrator comes with a total of 9 poly-screen trays that can be used simultaneously. Excalibur stands behind the quality of its machine by offering an impressive 10-year warranty.

The Excalibur also offers excellent airflow while dehydrating. The machine is equipped with Hyperwave technology that circulates heat using a 7″ rear-mounted fan. Because of this, there is no need to rotate your trays throughout the dehydration process.

The temperature is easy to control using a knob. The temperature can be adjusted from 105 °F to 165 °F. A downside is that the thermostat is placed in the back of the machine, so it’s not as easy to access. We also wish the 3600B had a built-in timer and see-through door.

Why we like it

  • Large capacity of 15 sq ft (or up to 9 trays)
  • Excellent airflow (no need to rotate trays)
  • Made in the USA from high-quality components
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty

What can be improved

  • Controls are not as accessible since they’re located in the back
  • No built-in timer
  • Door is not see-through

What Can I Make With a Food Dehydrator?

Between healthy snacks, spices, and complete meals to take on hiking trips, there are lots of delicious recipes you can make with a dehydrator. Here are a few common types of recipes you can make with a dehydrator:

  • Crackers, chips
  • Dried fruit 
  • Granola bars 
  • Breadcrumbs 
  • Raw food recipes 
  • Jerky 
  • Tempeh 
  • Pet food or treats 
  • Dried herbs, spices, and powders 
  • Lightweight snacks for camping or hiking trips

Benefits of Owning a Food Dehydrator

Here are the main benefits of owning a food dehydrator. Here are the main benefits:

Preserve Food For Later

Similar to jarring and canning fresh food, dehydration helps preserve fruits and vegetables, avoiding food waste. Ever wonder why that bag of dried plantain chips can survive years on a grocery store shelf? Now imagine that same bag, with moist bananas. The image is unsightly!

Dehydrated food can be stored for up to a year if the right conditions are met. It’s ideal to store your dehydrated food in an airtight container in a cool, dark, and dry space. A basement food storage room may not be the ideal condition for dry food if humidity levels are high.

Make Affordable & Healthy Snacks

From dried apples to kale chips, dehydrators let you create a variety of healthy sweet, or savory snacks. Unlike the typical jarring food preservation techniques, dehydrating doesn’t require added sugar or salt to preserve the integrity of your food. You can simply chop up fresh produce and dehydrate it as-is. Dried fruits and veggies retain most of their nutritional value, so you can reap the nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and veggies, any time of the year.

Make Your Own Dried herbs, Spices & Powders

Perhaps you have a herb garden and simply can’t keep up with the amount of rosemary invading your lawn. Or perhaps you bought a bunch of fresh herbs, only to use them in a single recipe. Food waste is a real problem, and dehydrating your food is a fantastic way to avoid this. 

If you’re adventurous like me, you can even make your own onion powder and garlic powder with a dehydrator!

How to Choose The Best Food Dehydrator

Whether you choose a horizontal or vertical flow food dehydrator, excellent airflow is key. Try to make sure that the dehydrator you choose has some type of built-in fan or airflow system to help evenly distribute heat.

With good airflow, you won’t have to worry about repositioning your trays to achieve perfectly dehydrated food. This is especially important if you plan on dehydrating meat with your machine.

Here is a comparison of vertical flow dehydrators and horizontal flow dehydrators:

Vertical Flow Food Dehydrators

Vertical flow food dehydrators are generally the most affordable food dehydrators on the market. They’re easy to operate and compact, and they do a pretty good job dehydrating most commonly dehydrated fruits and vegetables with minimal manual work involved. 

The downside and what explains their lower price point is that they typically do not come with a built-in fan. This lack of a fan means that heat doesn’t get distributed as evenly as it would with the increased airflow that a fan provides.

For that reason, if you plan on dehydrating meat or other “tougher” food items, we’d alternatively recommend a horizontal flow dehydrator. It’s not impossible to dehydrate meat with a vertical flow dehydrator, but you’ll definitely have to rotate the items quite a few times in order to ensure even heat distribution.

Given their vertical design, many vertical flow dehydrators can be expanded vertically. This means you can purchase extra shelves from the manufacturer and expand the shelf count of your dehydrator if needed. 

That said, if you’re on a tight budget and opting for a vertical flow dehydrator, try choosing one that boasts optimal airflow, such as one with a built-in fan or another type of airflow system.

Horizontal Flow Food Dehydrators

Horizontal flow dehydrators are the most efficient and effective when it comes to dehydrating food. This is largely due to their horizontal design and built-in fans that create optimal airflow and heat distribution. They are pretty much like mini convection ovens.

Despite being more expensive and efficient, they’re even easier to operate than their vertical flow counterparts. Since they do an excellent job of distributing heat on their own, you can literally load them up in the morning and forget about them for hours. This makes them the best choice for convenience. 

The only downside of horizontal flow dehydrators is their large size. As the name implies, these dehydrators are horizontal in design, which means they tend to be much wider than their vertical counterparts. So if you’re looking to optimize counter space, you might want to consider a vertical dehydrator instead.

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