Dehydrating meat is serious business. Obviously, aside from good quality meat, you also need a lean and mean machine to accomplish this task. We are going to determine the best meat dehydrator in this article, so you will never have such a stubborn and chewy beef jerky.
Preserving or drying out meat can really be a tough process because you are dealing with a thick piece of individual grains. More often than not, the whole process can take up to two days. So once you get into dehydrating meat, there is really no turning back.
We are going to go through the top three brands and choose the best meat dehydrator based on each product’s features. Further, we will list down the pros and cons of each, for easier comparison. Read on for more information.
STX International Food and Jerky Dehydrator
This mean-looking dehydrator has a total of 600 watts power, contributing to its tough exterior is its construction that is of stainless steel. At the same time, it has a front door that can absolve heat, so no burnt fingers for you.
It has 10 trays that have meshes and are 1/4″ x 1/4″ in size from their openings. Additionally, they are safe to be washed in the dishwasher.
The flow system that it uses is that of a horizontal one, wherein the motor is mounted at the rear, while the fan is sitting close by, to provide that uniform dehydration. This process also helps with airflow within the machine. It also has a digital temperature control that is 85°F-155°F. Lastly, it has a timer where the maximum time is 40 hours.
You do not have to consistently check on your meat because it has a timer that will shut the machine off automatically. Also, this feature is a good safeguard against fire hazards.
This is best used when you want to make beef jerky. It still retains the right amount of moisture to the beef, that once you bite into it, it will still have the impression of freshness, even though it has been dehydrating for 40 hours.
You can also dehydrate big batches in this because you have a lot of space to put in your meat. You can process a lot of meat without taking too much space in your kitchen, as the machine is not bulky.
The door rattles whenever you use it. It will rattle so much, that eventually, it will no longer close properly. So there are issues with its durability.
Further, the air is still not properly circulated all throughout the 10 trays. The bottom trays will be done way earlier than the top ones. More often than not, the meat at the bottom tray will be overly dehydrated.
Nesco Food Dehydrator
You might take this dehydrator for granted with its humble looks, but this thing will dehydrate meat like nobody’s business. It has an impressive 400 watts for drying, for such a small machine. Moreover, its trays can be expanded up to seven layers.
The cover is transparent for you to be able to see how your meat is doing throughout the drying process. As for its dehydration process, it has an air flow that is forced by the fan and is radial. This means that the air will be properly circulated for consistent heat, all throughout the trays.
It is also easy to clean as all components and attachments are safe to be put in the dishwasher, except for the power head.
The heat and airflow systems of this product are really great; it can balance out the heat, so all your meat, whether they are at the bottom or at the top, dry out evenly.
It is very easy to clean because all you need to do is to detach the parts, then put it in the dishwasher. You need not care for it too much as the parts are very durable and will last you a long time.
At the same time, it can make the natural flavor of your meat become more robust, which is perfect for beef jerky and drying out steaks.
This machine makes a very loud sound during the drying process. The bottom tray will start to warp over time, which is actually normal for plastic trays, but still, it would have been better if the trays were made of sturdier plastic. At the same time, this issue can become drastic, as you might be unconsciously eating burnt plastic.
NutriChef Food Dehydrator
This food dehydrator has five stackable food trays that are removable. At the same time, this makes it easier to clean. It is also versatile, as it can dehydrate not only meat but fruit as well.
The dehydration process uses temperature control that is user-friendly. You can adjust the temperature with just a push of one button. Additionally, the maximum temperature is 185°F.
The heat circulation system of the dehydrator ensures you that it will only dry out, shrink, and preserve your meat faster than regular dehydrators, this is also strengthened by its 250 watts of power. By having this much power, your meat will dehydrate more efficiently, and will still have 97% of its original vitamins and minerals.
It is a durable dehydrator that will be perfect for making jerky. This can even dehydrate deer meat, which is quite thicker than other meats. Moreover, it does its job well, and it goes about it with the right amount of speed.
It is easy to use since you only need to push one button. At the same time, it is also easy to clean, because you can just put the components in a dishwasher.
You have to consistently check your dehydrating meat, which is a huge hassle on your part, especially when you have a lot to do. This is because it does not have a timer. You have to manually shut the machine off, for it to stop the dehydration process.
The Best Meat Dehydrator: The Best of the Best
The STX International Food and Jerky Dehydrator is the winner. This is the one we chose because it encompassed its competitors with its brilliant features. You get to dehydrate a lot of meat at once. You can also just leave the machine due to its auto-shutoff feature.
Yes, its airflow is still not good, but this can be easily solved by rotating the trays every once in a while. Lastly, in a world of plastics, you cannot go wrong with steel. Having this type of material in your kitchen will prove to be a good buy in the long run.