Product Comparison: Food Dehydrators
Compare food dehydrators in New Zealand with our handy Food Dehydrator Comparison table. Below we outline the features and benefits of each dehydrator, making it easier for you to make the right choice.
You can shop and compare our range of BioChef Food Dehydrators here.
With the ever increasing popularity of dehydrating foods at home, it's not uncommon to be presented with a wide range of options from both leading New Zealand and international brands - whether you're shopping online or browsing the shelves in department stores across New Zealand you're sure to come across a variety of brands and styles.
We've found customers are less familiar with the newer square/ rectangular design as they are with the circular style dehydrator with stackable trays. Therefore, we believe it's imperative that we outline the difference between the two to better help you decide which food dehydrator is the right one for you.
Circular style dehydrators have the heater and fan positioned at either the bottom or the top, which causes food closest to the fan to dry at a different rate than food positioned at the opposite end. This drying system can have a number negative effects on the quality of the dried food, including:
- Food items often need to be alternated from top to bottom throughout the drying process for a consistent finish - in turn, requiring careful attention throughout the entire drying process
- Having the heater and fan positioned at the top or bottom of the dehydrator doesn't allow for even drying temperature which can cause the food to be dry on the outside and not on the inside - this is quite dangerous when it comes to food preservation as it creates a risk of food spoiling.
The one benefit of a stackable dehydrator is being able to only use the number of trays which you require for the job, however, it is more economical to use it to its full capacity every time as it will use the same amount of power.
Square or Rectangular Style Dehydrator
There is a big difference when drying food in a square/ rectangular dehydrator versus a circular one. A square or rectangular style food dehydrator generally has its fan/motor positioned at the rear of the unit. This works similar to a fan-forced oven, creating an even and consistent flow of heated air throughout the entire unit - resulting in a dependable drying result, both inside and out.
Another benefit of this drying system is that you don't have to monitor the food throughout the drying cycle and can rest assured that the food will be dried evenly between all trays.
One final advantage of a square/ rectangular dehydrator is that you can generally remove in-between trays to create a wider space when required, allowing you to rise bread, make yoghurt and other food items which are higher than the typical designated tray space.
Compare BioChef, Excalibur & Sedona Dehydrators
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 0844 800 0831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online-chat facilities.
Which dehydrator is right for me?
Which is the best food dehydrator to use when making meat jerky?
When making any kind of meat jerky it is essential to use a square or rectangular style of food dehydrator. The reason for this is that a rectangular 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 rectangular style dehydrator, you will get an even distribution of air and heat every time - making it a perfect tool for creating yummy jerky!
Looking for some meat or beef jerky recipes or inspiration? See our blog post on 'Homemade Jerky Recipes'.
I want to make healthy snacks like dried fruits and vegetables or fruit leathers, which food dehydrator should I use for this?
The BioChef Arizona Food Dehydrators are perfect for drying fruits and making vegetable chips or fruit roll-ups. The rectangular shape offers even and consistent drying throughout the trays. You will find that if you use a circular dehydrator here, that fruit and vegetables are dried crisply on the outside but stay moist on the inside - this is unsafe and will not give you the desired result.
BioChef Arizona Food Dehydrators come with fine mesh sheets (between 1 and 3 sheets, depending on which product you purchase) which are ideal for smaller fruits and vegetables like berries, grapes or peas, plus non-stick sheet(s) which are perfect for making fruit leathers.
When deciding between the three BioChef Arizona dehydrators, it essentially comes down to size and whether or not you want your machine to have an inbuilt timer. How many people you are drying for, and how much you want to dry at any given time?
The 6 Tray dehydrator does not come with an in-built timer however the 8 & 10 tray dehydrators do.
Want fruit leather/roll up recipes? Check out our Healthy Snack Series: Natural Fruit Leathers recipe post.
I am a raw foodist and rely on a food dehydrator to create a large portion of my food. Which dehydrator would you recommend for this?
For anyone practicing a raw food lifestyle, we would generally recommend a dehydrator which comes with a digital timer, as you can accurately set the time you wish to dehydrator your foods, at the desired temperature, and the dehydrator will automatically turn itself off when the time is up.
As you can see from the comparison table above, there are significant differences between various models of food dehydrators found in New Zealand.
It is very important to look at the warranty of the dehydrator when making your purchase decision. There is often a big difference when it comes to purchasing a cheap /non-branded imitation food dehydrator from Asia to leading brands like BioChef. When you purchase from a New Zealand company you know that you will get a longer warranty, after-sales support, parts and accessories and readily available servicing of your machine.
Finally, it's important to know what type/ style dehydrator best suits your needs. There the features like timers and adjustable thermostats which make dehydrating super easy, where you can literally set and forget!
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