We’ve all heard about BPA, haven’t we? Bisphenol A, or BPA as it is more commonly known, is a chemical found in a wide range of plastics and epoxy resins. While it may appear to be harmless, studies have shown that BPA exposure can have negative health effects (source). What’s more, guess what? These chemicals are also present in many food dehydrators!
But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Let’s take a look at BPA free food dehydrators today. Yes, you read that correctly! There are alternatives available to ensure that your delicious homemade snacks are not only tasty but also free of harmful chemicals.
The Basics of Food Dehydrators
A food dehydrator is an appliance that removes moisture from food in order to extend its shelf life and improve its flavor. Food dehydrators have been around for centuries, but contemporary technology has made the process much more user-friendly and effective.
There is a wide range in both size and capability between food dehydrators. A food dehydrator has three main components: a heating element, an airflow system, and food trays. The food is heated by the element, and then the fan blows hot air over it to dry it off. The dehydrator’s output is highly sensitive to the design choices and placement of its many parts.
Airflow Directions in a Dehydrator: Vertical vs. Horizontal
The airflow design of different food dehydrators is the main distinguishing factor between them. The vertical and horizontal configurations of the fans distinguish the two primary varieties of dehydrators.
Dehydrators with a Vertical Air Flow
The fan can be found either at the bottom or the top of a vertical airflow dehydrator, which gives these machines another name: stackable dehydrators. Even though circular designs predominate, square and rectangular versions are also on the market. The fan distributes heated air in a vertical pattern across the trays. In comparison to their horizontal counterparts, these versions typically cost less and weigh less.
Minimalist in size and weight
Additional trays are available for expansion.
Potential for flavor mixing
Weak ability to regulate temperature
Dehydrators with a Sideways Flow of Air
The back of the machine is where you’ll find the fan in a horizontal airflow dehydrator, also called a shelf or box food dehydrator. The interior can be taken out and cleaned like a regular oven. The fan distributes the heat uniformly by blowing hot air horizontally across the trays.
A uniform spread of heat
Ideal for mass dried food production
Improved temperature regulation
A higher price tag
Bigger and heftier
No room for tray expansion.
Tips for Choosing the Right Food Dehydrator
Extent of Power and Temperature
A food dehydrator’s efficiency in drying out food is proportional to its power output. A more powerful appliance with a higher wattage can provide more heat and dry food in less time. The power of most food dehydrators is around 250 to 1000 watts. The design of the dehydrator, among other things, may also affect its efficiency.
A dehydrator’s temperature range determines how many different foods it can prepare. The ideal temperature for dehydrating various foods varies. Herbs, on the other hand, need temperatures as low as 95 degrees Fahrenheit, while jerky meats need temps as high as 160 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why it’s preferable to have a food dehydrator that can handle a wide range of temperatures.
Expandability and Capacity
How much food can be dehydrated at once depends on the capacity of the dehydrator. Select a larger unit if you intend to dehydrate lots of food at once. Some models of vertical airflow dehydrators are adaptable, so you can buy extra trays if you need more room to dry your food.
A Power-Saving Timer with Automatic Power-Off
A timer is a useful function that allows you to program the dehydrator to switch off when a predetermined amount of time has elapsed. This is an especially helpful function for the long-term dehydration of foods like jerky and fruit leather. To avoid over-dehydrating your food, simply set the timer.
Consists of Certified BPA-Free Material
The dehydrator’s performance, reliability, and safety can all be affected by its construction material. Most food dehydrators are constructed of plastic, so look for assurance that they do not contain bisphenol A (BPA). Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that can seep from plastics and resins into the food and drink you consume.
Level of Noise
Fans used in food dehydrators can be distractingly loud. Choose a silent model if you have a low tolerance for noise. Keep in mind, though, that the concept of “quiet” is subjective; what one person finds quiet, another may find boisterous.
Simple to Clean
Food dehydrators are designed to be simple to clean. Look for devices that have dishwasher-safe, detachable trays or parts. Think about the dehydrator’s structure, too. Dehydrators in box shapes are typically simpler to clean than their round stackable counterparts.
Consider These Top BPA Free Food Dehydrators
The best BPA free food dehydrators on the market include the following:
Magic Mill Food Dehydrator
The Magic Mill Food Dehydrator is a good choice if you’re looking for a mid-sized dehydrator with a wide range of useful functions. It has a digital interface, a metal tray system that is well-designed, a glass door that allows you to see the progress being made, and it runs quietly. There are, however, drawbacks, such as a lack of temperature customization and an extremely audible alert.
Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator
The Excalibur 3926TB is a commercial-grade dehydrator known for its huge capacity and reliability. It has 15 square feet of drying space, removable and dishwasher-safe trays, and accurate temperature control. It’s more expensive than some people can afford, and it may be more than they need.
The trays are BPA free and, the unit is made from Polycarbonate plastic that has been approved by the FDA as food safe.
Elechomes 6-Tray Food Dehydrator
If you’re shopping on a tighter budget, consider the Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer. It has outstanding performance for the money, takes up little space, and is easy on the eyes. However, it does have a few drawbacks, such as a lack of temperature customization and a flimsier build.
Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding Food Dehydrator
Because of its clever folding design, the Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding food dehydrator stands out from the competition. If you need a full-sized dehydrator but don’t have much room, this is your best option. It’s also one of the few types available that doesn’t contain any BPA at all, making it an attractive option for anyone worried about their health.
Where to Find BPA Free Dehydrators
When looking for a food dehydrator without the use of BPA, there are several reliable companies to choose from.
Amazon is a good place to begin your search.
There are a wide variety of food dehydrators available, including the Elite Gourmet EFD319 and the BioChef Arizona Sol.
Both products are highly rated by buyers and offer BPA-free trays.
Both the Best Buy website and physical stores stock dehydrators that avoid the use of bisphenol-A (BPA).
Major retailers like Walmart and Target also sell BPA-free dehydrators at reasonable prices.
The Sedona Express food dehydrator is another product offered by Tribest; its BPA-free plastic trays are an added bonus.
Finally, it’s a good idea to look into food dehydration-oriented online communities and discussion boards.
Reviews and recommendations from experienced home cooks and dehydrating enthusiasts are invaluable.
You shouldn’t base your decision on price alone if you want to buy a dehydrator that doesn’t use bisphenol A.
Consider the manufacturer’s reputation, reviews from other customers, and the product’s features to make a well-informed choice.
The problem with plastic trays in food dehydrators
Bisphenol A, commonly called BPA, is used to make plastics, including dehydrators. BPA acts as an endocrinogenic disrupter and, therefore, can disrupt the synthesis of hormones. This means the body is sensitive to hormones and, therefore, may suffer toxicity from prolonged exposures to BPA. Health complications that can be linked to BPA and other similar endocrine disruptors include kidneys and cardiac and vascular problems.
Stainless steel comes to the rescue.
Despite ongoing scientific research by FDA officials in the US evaluating BPA use, skeptical consumers seek non-plastic alternatives that do not contain any of the toxic chemicals that can be a problem with plastic. This has helped increase the popularity of high-end products based on high-grade Stainless Steel, the safest material on the market. Unlike some others in the kitchenware industry, stainless steel is non-reactive and handles acids easily without problems.
Last But Not Least
A food dehydrator is an effective tool for long-term food storage and enhanced flavor retention.
A food dehydrator that does not use bisphenol A (BPA) could be useful for anyone concerned with their health, who enjoys cooking, or who likes to make their own snacks.
Think about where you’ll be using the dehydrator, how much food it can hold, what it’s made of, how easy it is to clean, and what kinds of foods it’s best for before you buy.
Dehydrator FAQs: Avoiding Bisphenol A
What precisely is a BPA-Free Food Dehydrator?
A BPA-free food dehydrator is your new best kitchen friend!
It’s a device that dries food while protecting you from BPA, a potentially harmful chemical commonly found in plastic.
You can make delicious and healthy snacks with this device without any worries!
Why is it preferable to use a food dehydrator that does not contain bisphenol A (BPA)?
Choosing a BPA-free food dehydrator means prioritizing your health and the health of your loved ones.
It’s also a great way to make tasty treats and store food for later use.
Where do I find a BPA Free Dehydrator?
There are so many places! You can find a variety of models at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and other retailers. Remember to compare prices and reviews to find the best one for you.
What to look for when buying a food dehydrator?
When buying a dehydrator, consider the following factors:
- Size and Capacity: Choose a size that matches the volume of food you plan to dehydrate. If you often dehydrate large batches of food, opt for a bigger model.
- Temperature Control: Look for a dehydrator with adjustable temperature settings. Different foods require different drying temperatures, so this feature provides versatility.
- Noise Level: Some dehydrators can be quite noisy when operating. Check the noise ratings if quiet operation is important to you.
- Extra Features: Health-conscious options like BPA-free models are ideal. Also, features like timers and auto shut-off can enhance convenience and safety.
Remember, the best dehydrator for you depends on your specific needs and preferences.