Food preserving and dehydration has become a lost art, as commercial companies produce most of the dried fruit, vegetable, and meat products. Dehydrating one’s own food, however, never really completely died out, and it is now seeing a resurgence in popularity. Food dehydrators are easier to use and cheaper than ever before to buy and operate. But which one should you buy?
A food dehydrator should, at the very least, dehydrate food to the desired texture. This may be an obvious point, but many dehydrators do not hold up to the slightest amount of food and ruins the finished product. Round dehydrators do not work very well, and the finished product tends to be soft. (This is not a desired outcome.)
A well built dehydrator should have a clear display of the basic functions. Being able to clearly see what the temperature is at is very crucial to having the finished product turn out well.
The last thing to look for when selecting a food dehydrator should be easily removable trays that are separate from the rest of the machine, without it affecting the rest of the trays. This is helpful when the bottom trays of food finish drying, but the upper trays of food need several more minutes.
The Della Deluxe is a smaller dehydrator, but with the capacity to dry 3-4 pounds, which is great when preserving a large quantity of food. There are several features of this particular brand that makes it more desirable than others.
A very important reason to buy the Della Deluxe is that it is less expensive than other dehydrators of the same class. While others sell for $200 or more, the Della Deluxe is a bargain at $100. Many owners claim that it is the same quality of those that are at least $100 more.
When space is at a premium, this particular dehydrator takes up a foot and a half of counter space. It only stands 14 inches high, making it very easy to fit under cabinets when not in use.
Easy to Remove Trays
The blue plastic trays are easy to remove and put back into place, making it simple to check on the drying food and rotate trays as needed. However, some owners have mentioned that these trays are somewhat fragile, so extra care should be taken to remove food once dried.
Even Heat Distribution
The Della Deluxe offers even heat distribution with a back mounted fan. Other dehydrators mount the fan on the bottom, but this makes the drying process very uneven. The food towards the back of the dehydrator will dry first, so keep this in mind when starting the first batch. Some owners have said that the best way to fix this is to rotate the trays as needed.
No Bulky Door
With the unique design of the Della Deluxe, there is no need for a bulky door getting in the way when removing the trays. The design is meant to retain heat, which is crucial to maintaining even heat distribution.
Some of the disadvantages other owners have reported include having no drip tray, longer drying times compared to some other brands, and lower trays drying faster than upper trays. Another owner mentioned that it was difficult to remove dried fruit from the trays without the trays breaking. There are easy and cheap fixes for each of these concerns.
- A makeshift drip tray can be created using parchment paper on the bottom shelf, making nine available trays instead of ten.
- Rotating the upper and lower trays can help even out the drying times.
- Playing with the temperature settings might help speed up drying times, but then again, it may not. Experiment with this, and if it works, stay with it. If not, it might be good to set up before going to bed or to work, and doing half a batch at a time.
- There are dehydrator mats that can be used so fruits and other sticky foods do not stick to the trays. This can help reduce the amount of pulling on trays, keeping them in better condition for a longer time.
Overall, this seems to be a decent dehydrator for the money, and is worth looking into buying. After using round dehydrators, other owners state that this shape is much better and easier to use, and is at a good price point for an introductory dehydrator.