If you are a fan of jerky and always wondered how the meat got to its lean state, then this article is for you. If you are tired of buying jerky and want to make it yourself, then you ought to consider getting a food dehydrator. Several dehydrators have been labeled as the best food dehydrator for jerky. There are so many dehydrators on the market for you to choose from. The onus is on you to do your research to choose one that best fits your budget.
Jerky is made when meat is dried through a process of dehydration. Dehydration, in essence, removed the moisture from meat through a heated process. This process prevents the meat from spoiling and prevents bacteria from developing. Below are some of the options for the best food dehydrator for jerky.
Nesco FD-28JX Jerky Xpress Dehydrator Kit with Jerky Gun
Nesco’s Jerky Xpress is both a dehydrator and jerky maker and comes with four drying trays. It has a fixed temperature that is driven by a fan powerhead. It dries your food items within hours and comes with one year warranty. The best thing about the entire situation is that you get enough seasonings for four pounds of meat.
- It comes with tips for making beef jerky. If you are an amateur and have never made beef jerky before, this dehydrator comes with tips on how to make the jerky and along with attachments and spice packs.
- You do not have to rotate the trays to dry evenly- if you want to dehydrate without worrying about rotating trays, then this is a good option. It comes with a fan so you can expect faster and a more even drying technology.
- One-Touch Operation—its one-touch operation makes it very easy to use. You do not have to worry about setting it up right. You just flip the switch, and the dehydrator sets the temperature for you.
- The dehydration process can take really long- if you have something that you want to dehydrate, it may be best if you leave the machine on overnight rather than waiting all day for the process to get done.
- Not for repeated use—if you use this one day for several hours, and then you attempt to use it again the following day, it may not work because the motor is probably burnt. If you buy this product, be careful of your usage frequency.
Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator
Unlike the Nesco, the Presto Dehydro does not have the word jerky in it. But, it is a dehydrator that is both digital and electric. It comes with six trays and has the ability to make jerky from several meat varieties. It is white, but you can pay an additional purchasing fee and get fruit roll sheets or mesh screens with them.
- The timer is precise – the dehydrator is equipped with a thermostat and timer that are both digital, so time and temperature are properly regulated.
- No rotation is needed – the heating elements and fan are mounted at the bottom of the dehydrator, so airflow and distribution are easy but consistent.
- Trays – it comes with six trays, but you can buy additional trays as it has a twelve tray capacity. The trays are most of the other removable elements are dishwasher safe. There is no need for you to spend a lot of time trying to get grease off of the trays.
- Repeated and frequent use of the dehydrator can significantly shorten its life
- It takes long to dehydrate- like all dehydrators, the process takes incredibly long, and this dehydrator is no exception to the rule.
Gourmia GFD1550 Food Dehydrator with Digital Temperature Settings
Gourmia advertises its dehydrator as one that could make everything. If you thought a dehydrator would only make your dried fruits and jerky, then think again. According to Gourmia, their dehydrator is capable of making muffins and other scrumptious desserts.
- Compact Dehydrator – the dehydrator is so compact that it allows you to save on storage space. No need to worry about where you should store it because it does not take up much space. Despite being compact, it has five trays so you can make as much jerky as can fit.
- It comes with a cookbook – if you have no idea how to make jerky before purchasing this product, the cookbook it comes with will assist you in making jerky. It will also advise on other dehydrated fruits that you can try.
- No spare parts – if you had ideas of making anything besides jerky in this dehydrator, then you may need to reconsider. It does not come with solid or mesh trays, so this may dampen your efforts to make snacks like fruit leather. The trays are also not sold separately.
- It is made by products known to cause cancer – if you don’t read instruction manuals, then you will want to read the one that comes with this dehydrator because on one of the last pages of the book there is a disclaimer that the product is made with cancer-causing materials.
So, after reading about three brands of dehydrators, which is the best food dehydrator for jerky? It really comes down to preference and what you are willing to overlook. All dehydrators take long with the dehydration process so you cannot choose the best food dehydrator for jerky based on that. However, the Gourmia initially seemed like the best of the lot, but then it was revealed that it was made from materials that were known to be cancer causing.
It is now a battle between the Nesco and Presto dehydrators. They both have the same cons, and their functionality is pretty similar. The Presto has the advantage of being digital, but the Nesco has a little edge because it comes with tips and seasonings. If you prefer digital, you can buy your own seasonings and research your own recipes. But despite Nesco’s non-digital functionality, it still operates by one touch. The choice is yours.