Dehydrating food is a fantastic way to preserve it, making it perfect for, meal planning, food storage, camping meals, hiking snacks, or just to fill the pantry with snacks.
If you know someone who's just starting out on their dehydrating journey and would like to pack their pantry with food dehydrator recipes, here's a comprehensive list of tools and products that would make perfect gifts any time of the year.
Do you have a home preserver or back packer in your life? Whether they’re an avid canner, prepper, gardener – or all of the above – searching for gifts that are both meaningful and useful can be tricky.
But look no further! We’ve put together this ultimate dehydrating gift guide just for them, filled with great ideas to help keep their gardens vibrant and pantry shelves full.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
A Top-Quality Food Dehydrator
The first thing any beginner needs is a good dehydrator. Dehydrators can be purchased from as low as $40 to the high hundreds. For beginners I recommend starting out with a inexpensive model and working your way up.
But if cost is not an issue and you want to start or gift someone special a top of the line model I recommend Excalibur dehydrators.
The Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator is a top choice. I have been using mine for a couple of years now and am very happy with it.
- The price runs from $279-$369 depending on current sales that can be found all year long and especially during the holiday season. Grab it quick when you find it at a great price because they sell out fast.
- It has nine large square trays providing ample space, adjustable temperatures, and a timer for optimum drying.
- It's also easy to clean and has a 26-hour timer, making it perfect for long or overnight dehydrating.
COSORI Food Dehydrator is a round dehydrator with 48H Timer and 165°F Temperature Control comes with five stackable trays and can be expanded with the purchase of two extra trays.
- Price is $49.99 but is often on sale.
- The one-touch digital control panel lets you set temperatures from 95°–165°F and a timer for up to 48 hours.
- The trays are dishwasher safe and the motor is quiet.
COSORI Box Food Dehydrator is a large box dehydrator and comes with 6 trays, 1 fruit roll sheet, and 1 mesh screen.
- Is an Amazon Best Seller and retails for $159.99.
- Has a digital touch-control panel to easily set a cook-time for up to 48 hours. Choose temperatures from 95–165°F / 35–73°C.
- Comes with 6 metal trays. You can not increase the number of tray but a 10 tray model is available for $299.
- Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator
Pictured above. I have had this model for four years and still use it.
- List price is $110 and is often on sale for $76.
- Is a six-tray round dehydrator that can be expanded to a whopping 12 stackable trays.
- Digital thermostat and timer for precise drying time and dehydrating temperature can be set from 90 to 165 degree f.
- Comes with two fruit roll sheets, two nonstick mesh screens trays and cover are dishwasher safe. I suggest buying enough mesh screens to cover all of the trays.
Dehydrator Tray Liners
Non-stick dehydrator tray liners are flexible reusable non stick sheets that are essential when dehydrating sticky or small items like fruit puree, cubed fruits, vegetables and herbs.
These small items shrink to half their original size as they dry and will fall through the dehydrator trays that come with the appliance.
Some dehydrators will come with a few. I recommend buying extras so you have one for each tray.
Silicone rimmed trays are available also. If you plan on dehydrating liquids or mashed fruits and vegetables these trays are a must.
They fit right over the appliance trays and allows you to dehydrate liquids thin foods like yogurt, honey, and apple sauce and stop them from dripping through the holes in the trays.
- 12 Pack Square 14 x 14 Silicone Dehydrator Sheets
- 6 Pack 14 x 14 Silicone Dehydrator Sheets with Edge
A vacuum sealer such as the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer Machine is perfect for vacuum sealing and storing dehydrated foods, preserving its flavor, color and nutrition for longer.
It also comes with a built-in retractable handheld sealer for vacuum sealing jars and containers.
Dehydrated foods that are then vacuum sealed and then stored in a cool dark cabinet can last years longer than other storage methods.
- FoodSaver Compact Vacuum Sealer is an entry level vacuum sealer.
- FoodSaver FM5200 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealer Machine with Express Bag Maker with Handheld Vacuum Sealer. I have been using this model for years.
- FoodSaver Plastic Jar Sealer for Vacuum Sealer Food Storage with Accessory Hose.
- FoodSaver FS2160 Multi-Use Handheld Vacuum Sealer And Marinator
Mason jars are a classic for food preservation. Ball Glass Mason Jars with metal lids and bands are a sturdy choice and comes in various sizes. You can also use plastic reusable lids for wide or regular mouth mason jars.
- 64 oz Wide Mouth Mason Jars and Lids
- Ball Wide Mouth Pint 16-Ounce Glass Mason Jar
- Wide Mouth Mason Jars 32 oz - (4 Pack) my favorite size jar for storage.
- a Wide Mouth Funnel comes in handy and makes filling jars with dried foods very easy.
- Mcupper 30 Pack 4oz Glass Spice Jars
Heat sealable Mylar bags are another option for storing dehydrated or freeze dried foods.
Mylar Bags are available in many sizes. Add an oxygen absorber and you can safely store all your properly dried foods for years.
- Multi-Size Bundle (120 Bags) Mylar Bags For Food Storage with Oxygen Absorbers, Sticker Labels, & Storage Box.
- Mylar Bags for Food Storage with Clear Window comes in handy and makes it easy to see what you have filled the bags with.
- Food Grade Oxygen Absorbers
Quality Knife Set
A good sharp knife is crucial for preparing food for dehydration. Most dried foods are sliced to a thin ¼ inch thickness. A sharp knife will get the job done quickly.
- Set of 3 Sharp Ceramic Kitchen Knives With Anti-slip handle & sheath
- Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board made from natural organic bamboo which is environmentally friendly and food safe
- Cutting Board Mats Flexible Plastic: I have a couple of sets of plastic cutting mats that I use regularly.
Vegetable Slicers & Choppers
- Safe Mandolin Food Slicer: For consistent slicing, a mandolin slicer is a game-changer.
- QuickPush Food Chopper: I have and use this model every time I am cubing vegetables to dehydrate. I bought this particular vegetable chopper because it has a large ¾ inch cube blade. You can see how well it works dehydrating cubed carrots.
A cookbook like The Dehydrator Bible: Includes over 400 Recipes by Jennifer MacKenzie can provide inspiration and guidance.
- Dehydrator Cookbook for Preppers: 1200 Days of Easy and Affordable Homemade Recipes to Dehydrate Fruit, Meat, Vegetables, Bread, Herbs.
- Complete Dehydrator Cookbook: How to Dehydrate Fruit, Vegetables, Meat & More
- Dehydrator Cookbook for Beginners: A Guide to Dehydrating Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, and More
- The Dehydrator Cookbook for Outdoor Adventurers: Healthy, Delicious Recipes for Backpacking and Beyond
Digital Kitchen Scale
A digital scale is an optional tool needed but comes in handy if you are tracking the amount of food you are preserving.
- Nicewell Food Scale, 22lb Digital Kitchen Scale
Airtight Storage Containers
I wouldn't depend on this type of food storage for dehydrated foods that will be stored for months.
With these tools, anyone can start their food dehydrating journey with confidence. Happy gifting!