You can jump ahead to the following sections of this article:
Vertical or Horizontal Drying - What’s the Difference?
Circular Style Dehydrator
Angular Style Dehydrator
Compare BioChef, Excalibur & Sedona
Choosing a Dehydrator - Your Questions Answered
Points to Remember
With the ever increasing popularity of dehydrating food at home, the selection of food dehydrators available both online and on the high street is becoming wider and more versatile. This in turn, makes understanding the differences between each model and type even more difficult if you are not well-equipped in the decision-making process. That’s where we come in.
Here at Vitality 4 Life, we have more than 20 years of experience and knowledge in supplying high-quality kitchen appliances and health products to customers all over the world. Over the years, we have found that when it comes to food dehydrators a common interest amongst our customers is whether vertical or horizontal drying is the most effective way of dehydrating our food.
As many people are more familiar with the circular style of dehydrator with stackable trays, rather than the newer angular design, we felt it was necessary to outline the key differences between the two standard shapes to better help you decide with food dehydrator is the right one for you!
When choosing a food dehydrator, one of the most influencing factors for our customers is whether they want a dehydrator which includes stacking trays or horizontal shelves. Below we have outlined the key differences between these two styles, particularly whether they vertically or horizontally dehydrate your food and how these drying methods differ.
The heater and fan inside a circular dehydrator are located at either the bottom or the top of the dehydrator, which consequently causes the food closest to the fan to be dried quicker than at the opposite end. This vertical drying process is fairly time-consuming and requires a careful eye and patience when dehydrating, this is because foods may need to be alternated from top to bottom throughout for a consistent finish.
An uneven drying rate can have a number of negative effects on the quality of the dehydrated food. For example, the temperature inside the dehydrator is irregular which can cause the food to be dried on the outside and not on the inside; as you can imagine, this is quite dangerous when it comes to food preservation and creates a risk of food spoiling.
One benefit of a stackable dehydrator is the option of using the number of trays required for the amount of food being dehydrated; however, we have found it far more economical to use the dehydrator to it's full capacity with each use, as doing so will use the same amount of power as the former option.
There differences between drying food in an angular dehydrator compared to a circular dehydrator is vast. Within a square or rectangular style food dehydrator the heater and fan is typically located at the rear of the unit (we recommend checking this, regardless of the exterior shape) therefore drying the food horizontally.
Benefits of this structure are extensive. The angular shaped dehydrator functions similar to a fan-forced oven, creating an even and regular flow of heated air throughout the whole unit. Consequently, the end result is a far more consistently dried food, both inside and out. Another benefit of this horizontal drying system is that you don't have to continually monitor the food during the drying cycle. Instead, you can be rest assured that the food will be dried evenly between the trays.
One final advantage of this dehydrator style is that you have the capability to remove specific trays to create a wider space if and when required; this allows you dry foods that wouldn’t usually fit in the designated tray space, such as rising bread, or making yoghurt in fermentation jars.
You can shop and compare our range of BioChef Food Dehydrators here.
Still not sure which dehydrator is right for you? Take a look at the Q&A section below to help make your buying decision a little easier, and if you’ve still got questions, you can always give us a call on 1800 802 924 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online-chat facilities.
The BioChef Arizona 6, 8 & 10 Tray Food Dehydrators are perfect for drying fruits and making fruit roll-ups. The rectangular shape gives even and consistent drying throughout the trays. If attempting to make these with a circular-style dehydrator, you will find that fruits are dried crisply on the outside, by stay moist on the inside. This is unsafe, and not the desired result.
The BioChef Arizona Food Dehydrators come with both the fine mesh and non-stick sheets as included accessories, you can also buy additional dehydrator accessories if needed. The mesh sheets are ideal for smaller fruits and vegetables like berries, grapes or peas, while the non-stick sheets act as a great accompaniment to making fruit leathers.
When deciding which out of the three dehydrators is best for fruits and vegetables, it essentially comes down to size and the option of having the extra feature of a timer included. Unlike the 6 Tray model, both the 8 & 10 Tray design have a built-in, adjustable timer. In our experience, it comes down to how many people you are drying for, and how much you want to dry at any given time.
We would recommend a dehydrator which has a digital timer to anyone practicing a raw food lifestyle as you can accurately set a specific time to dehydrate, then the machine will automatically shut off when the time is up. This enables raw foodists to achieve the most accurate result when drying a wide variety of foods. The BioChef Arizona 8 or 10 Tray Food Dehydrators will be ideal for this job.
The BioChef Arizona 6 Tray Food Dehydrator or the Sedona 9 Tray Food Dehydrator will be the best dehydrator for you to use here, the removable trays on the BioChef Arizona will allow you to have as many or as little trays as you want at any given time, meaning that you can successfully rise bread and use the taller glass jars required for setting yoghurt.
When making any kind of meat jerky it is essential to use a square style of food dehydrator. The reason for this is that a square style food dehydrator is going to circulate the air evenly to create a consistent drying temperature. If the meat doesn't reach the optimal temperature for dehydration or if there is too much humidity inside the machine, bacteria and microbes will begin to grow, making the jerky unsafe to eat. Because the fans and heating elements are located at the back of the square style dehydrator, you will get an even distribution of air and heat every time - making it a perfect tool for creating yummy jerky!
We recommend the BioChef Arizona 6, 8 or 10 Tray Food Dehydrator, depending on the amount of meat you want to dry, at any given time.
Looking for some meat or beef jerky recipes or inspiration? See our blog post on 'Meat & Beef Jerky Recipes' here.
As you can see from the tables above, there are significant differences between various models of food dehydrators in Australia.
It is important to know what type/ style dehydrator best suits both your needs and the requirements of the food you are dehydrating. There the features like timers and adjustable thermostats which make dehydrating super easy, where you can literally set and forget!
Finally, it is so important to look at the warranty of the dehydrator. We want our customers to feel supported with their purchase every step of the way. Not only that, here at Vitality 4 Life you can be assured that you will receive expert advice, a lengthy product warranty, parts and accessories, after-sales support, and readily available servicing of your machine for years to come!
Our best deals in our food dehydrator category...
✓ NEW UPDATED MODEL! Digital Display + non-stick sheets included ✓ 6x Stainless Steel Drying Trays + 100% BPA Free Outer Casing ✓ Digital Display: 19.5 Hour Timer + Adjustable Thermostat: 35º to 70ºC ✓ Horizontal Drying System = Guaranteed Consistent Drying ✓ Transparent Door & Removable Trays ✓ Includes: 1x Non-Stick Sheet, 1x Fine Mesh Sheet & 1x Drip Tray ✓ 3 Year Warranty
✓ Stainless Steel Trays / BPA Free Casing ✓ 8 Tray Capacity = 0.79m2 ✓ EPT™ Horizontal Drying System ✓ 24 Hour Digital Timer ✓ Transparent Magnetic Door ✓ Adjustable Thermostat 35º - 70º ✓ Includes: 2 x Non-Stick Sheets, 2 x Mesh Sheets ✓ 3 Year Warranty
✓ Stainless Steel Trays / BPA Free Casing ✓ 10 Tray Capacity = 0.99m2 ✓ EPT™ Horizontal Drying System ✓ 24 Hour Digital Timer ✓ Transparent Magnetic Door ✓ Adjustable Thermostat 35º - 70º ✓ Includes: 3 x Non-Stick Sheets, 3 x Mesh Sheets ✓ 3 Year Warranty
✓ Durable Stainless Steel Construction ✓ Commercial Grade Dehydrator 1000w ✓ 10 Tray Drying Capacity = 1.57m2 ✓ 15 Hour Digital Timer ✓ Adjustable Thermostat 40ºC - 90ºC ✓ EPT™ Horizontal Drying System ✓ Transparent Door Panel for Easy Food Monitoring ✓ 10 x Removable Stainless Steel Trays, 3 x mesh sheets, 3 x non-stick sheets ✓ 5 Years Domestic / 3 Years Commercial Warranty