The Best Food Dehydrators in Canada in 2022

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. 

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, with the exception of vitamin 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 every now and then 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. 

Best Food Dehydrators You Can Buy in Canada in 2022

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

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator

The COSORI Premium Dehydrator is one of the best stainless steel horizontal flow dehydrators on the market. It’s easy to use, operates quietly and is made from durable stainless steel. Its 6 dishwasher-safe trays are also made from stainless steel, instead of the typical plastic trays.

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. 

To ensure that your food items are evenly dehydrated, it has a built-in fan that will help circulate heat. Due to its optimal heat distribution, it’s a great dehydrator for dehydrating meat. 

At 18 inches wide and 13 inches deep, this dehydrator is about the size of a standard microwave. This is something to consider if space is limited in your kitchen.

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

At around 14 inches in circumference, this dehydrator wont take up too much space on your counter. With its small, dishwasher safe drying trays, cleaning this dehydrator is also a breeze. 

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.

Brod & Taylor SAHARA Folding Food Dehydrator

Brod & Taylor’s SAHARA Foldable Dehydrator is a great option if you’re looking for a horizontal food dehydrator that actually won’t take up too much space in your kitchen. Most horizontal food dehydrators are on the bulky side, 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 unique foldable design, the SAHARA dehydrator is extremely easy to use with its simple digital heat and timer controls. Its timer can be set for up to 99 hours and can be automated for up to 198 hours. 

With a stainless steel frame, stainless steel trays and a solid glass door, Brod & Taylor’s dehydrator is durable while also aesthetically appealing. 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.If you’re looking to invest in a high quality horizontal food dehydrator, Brod & Taylor’s SAHARA is an excellent choice.  This is also a great dehydrator if you’re looking to dehydrate food for several days with minimal intervention needed.

Magic Mill Food Dehydrator

The Magic Mill Dehydrator is a solid quality dehydrator with 7 rows of dishwasher-safe drying trays. With its vertical design, this dehydrator won’t take up much space on your countertop. The machine is compact, made from stainless steel and has a user-friendly LED thermostat and timer. 

The dehydrator has two simple time-based options for dehydrating food: 10 hours or 24 hours. The temperature can be easily adjusted with its intuitive temperature controls. 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 degrees for an extra 24 hours. 

In addition to the 7 drying trays included, the machine comes with 2 leather fruit trays. Additionitional trays can easily be purchased online.

If you’re looking for a similar dehydrator with even more shelving units, consider Magic Mills’ 9-tray dehydrator.

Excalibur Food Dehydrator

The Excalibur dehydrator is probably one of the most popular devices on the market. It is offered in two different options, with 4 trays or with 9 trays. Obviously, the price is related to the number of trays you will get.

The 9 trays allow you to have the equivalent of 15 square feet of space to place your food for dehydrating. This appliance is equipped with the Hyperwave technology which circulates the heat while dehydrating your food evenly thanks to the 7-inch fan.

You can easily control the temperature, which can be adjusted from 105 degrees F to 165 degrees F.

This product is very easy to clean and you will find that your food will not stick to the trays.

What kinds of recipes 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 mai

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 conditions for dry food if humidity levels are high.

Make affordable & healthy snacks

From dried apples, to bananas to plantains or 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, anytime 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 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

Vertical flow food dehydrators

Vertical flow food dehydrators are generally the most affordable food dehydrators on the market. They’re easy to operate, compact in size, 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 are 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 on counter space, you might want to consider a vertical dehydrator instead.

Optimal airflow is key

Whether you choose to purchase a horizontal or vertical flow dehydrator, airflow is key. Try to make sure that the dehydrator you choose has some type of built-in fan or airflow mechanism 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.

Where else can I buy a food dehydrator?

There are several other food dehydrator options available at Walmart and Canadian Tire, including the Hamilton Beach dehydrator. We will review these in another article.

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