Best Dehydrators for Herbs in 2021 – Prepare Your Own Herbal Teas, Dried Fruits, and More!

You don’t have to pay top dollar for dried herbs and herbal teas — preserve them at home with a food dehydrator for a fraction of the cost. They will be more flavorful and nutritious than supermarket brands, and the process is effortless.

And these units are not limited to just drying herbs, you can use them to dehydrate anything from fruits and vegetables to salmon and various types of meat.

Now, let’s look at how the best food dehydrators can save you money and support your commitment to wholesome eating.

Our recommendations for Best Food Dehydrators for Herbs:

Types of Food Dehydrators

There are two main types of food dehydrators — stackable and box-type. Each has pros and cons.

Stackable

Stackable dehydrators are often round and feature trays that nestle atop each other. A fan mounted above or below the trays forces hot air through a center channel, distributing it evenly across each, so food dries uniformly.

stackable herb dehydrator

The benefit of this design is flexibility — add or subtract layers to dry herbs in large or small batches. Using only the number of trays you need improves drying efficiency and lowers energy costs.

Disadvantages of stackable dehydrators include the shape — spacing irregularly shaped foods on round surfaces can be challenging — and the materials. The trays are usually made of plastic, so choose only those that are BPA-free. You’ll also have to turn the dehydrator off and unstack trays to check for doneness.

Shelf or Box-Type

Box-type dehydrators resemble toaster ovens. The heating element and fan are rear-mounted, circulating air horizontally for even drying. Metal trays slide in and out.

The single disadvantage of box-type dehydrators is that the whole unit has to be heated whether you want to dry two sprigs of rosemary or ten. In areas with high power rates, that can add up with frequent use.

Choosing the Best Food Dehydrator for Herbs

Drying herbs and other foods is a pleasure with the right dehydrator. Consider how each of these features makes our top picks a good fit for your lifestyle.

Temperature Controls

Better dehydrators have adjustable temperature controls to optimize drying for different foods.

Pros recommend dehydrating jerky at 155 °F (68 °C) but only 95 °F (35 °C) to for herbs. Going over 115 °F (46 °C) will definitely diminish the aroma and precious nutrients of the plants.

Models that heat at a single consistent temperature are adequate but not ideal. If the temperature is too low, the drying process takes longer and may not remove enough moisture to prevent meats from spoiling. If it’s too high, it can burn tender herbs.

Size and Capacity

A dehydrator’s capacity is measured in square feet. The smallest models offer 3-4 square feet of drying area — large units boast ten or more. While 3-4 square feet sounds impressive, you’ll run out of space quickly if you dry significant quantities. Leafy herbs should be spaced at least an inch apart, so air flows around them unobstructed.

A dehydrator’s size is also a factor to consider — the largest can take up to two square feet of counter space, so measure before you buy. If you plan to keep it in a closet when it’s not in use, consider how much it weighs. Forty-pound models aren’t easy to wrestle in and out of storage.

Timers

Over-drying herbs can compromise their flavor and impart a bitter taste. Dehydrators with timers solve that problem by turning off the unit at a preset time.

Use and Maintenance

Dehydrators aren’t rocket science, but some are more intuitive to operate than others. Better models balance function and convenience.

Features worth paying extra for are back-lit digital screens — they’re a plus for viewing in low-light conditions — and an automatic shut off switch that shuts down the unit if it overheats. Safety first.

dishwasher safe dehydrator trays

Maintaining a dehydrator is straightforward — just keep it clean. Herbs are rich in natural aromatic oils, so a soap and water scrub after each use prevents plastic trays from absorbing odors. Models with dishwasher-safe trays are a plus.

Best Herb Dehydrators Reviewed

Below are our top 5 picks of food dehydrators for herbs. We have included different types of units of various sizes, types, and price options so that you can choose the kind of model that best suits your needs.

All of the units reviewed here, except the budget option, have a temperature control function.

If you are planning on growing your own herbs, I recommend that you also check our guide with the best space-saving vertical garden kits and hydroponic growing systems for indoors.

Best Box-Type Herb Dehydrator: COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machine

Dry savory herbs in your kitchen for a fraction of the retail price with the COSORI premium food dehydrator. The compact box-style design boasts a capable 600-watt heater and fan for quick but gentle heating.

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machine

Specifications:

  • Power: 600 watts
  • Temperature Range: 95°F – 165°F (35°C – 74°C)
  • Materials: Stainless steel, glass
  • Dimensions: 13.4″ x 17.8″ x 12.4″ (L x W x H)

This food dehydrator comes with six dishwasher-safe stainless steel shelves that provide drying space for up to three pounds of herbs, five pounds of jerky, or eight pounds of fruit. Packed with features, including a 48-hour digital timer with automatic shut-off, it’s effortless to operate, whisper-quiet, and safe. Overheat protection turns the dehydrator off if it malfunctions.

Integrated handles make it easy to store if you’re short on counter space, but the stunning black and stainless steel cabinet has an air of quality you’ll want the world to see. Ideal for beginners and experienced herb enthusiasts, COSORI’s premium dehydrator will exceed your expectations.

Pros

  • Good drying capacity
  • Has a built-in timer
  • Made with stainless steel and glass
  • Stylish design
  • Dishwasher safe trays
  • Good safety features

Cons

  • Includes only one fruit tray

Best Stackable Herb Dehydrator: COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine

Drying herbs is hassle-free in this top-quality stackable dehydrator. Kits come with five BPA-free trays plus a fruit roll sheet to make nutritious leathers. Strawberry-basil is a kid-approved combination.

COSORI Food Dehydrator Machine Stackable

Specifications:

  • Power: 450 watts
  • Temperature Range: 95°F – 165°F (35°C – 74°C)
  • Materials: Plastic (BPA-free)
  • Dimensions: 13.8″ x 11.3″ x 13.8″ (L x W x H)

Features include 450 watts of drying power, an intuitive control panel, a 48-hour digital timer with memory function and overheat protection. Expandable to seven trays, it assembles and disassembles in seconds for easy cleaning — the trays and lid are dishwasher-safe.

The 13-inch footprint is a space-saver in a studio apartment but could prove small for drying large quantities. For small batches, you won’t find a simpler or more convenient dehydrator on the market.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Has a timer
  • Safe to use

Cons

  • The plastic trays and cover might break over time
  • Only one fruit tray is included

Best Portable Option: Brod & Taylor SAHARA Folding Food Dehydrator

Brod & Taylors’s award-winning folding dehydrator is perfect for nomads and small-space living, collapsing to 1/3 of its original size for easy storage and transport.

Brod & Taylor SAHARA Folding Food Dehydrator

Specifications:

  • Power: 750 watts
  • Temperature Range: 85°F – 165°F (30°C – 74°C)
  • Materials: Stainless steel, glass
  • Dimensions (open): 14″ x 22″ x 11″ (L x W x H)

The stainless steel cabinet holds seven trays for 11 square feet of drying area. Dual 700-watt heaters are quiet and efficient, drying plentiful quantities in record time. Two automated timer controls — one for each heater — offer up to 198 hours of continuous operation at 85 – 165 degrees °F.

Watch the drying process through clear glass doors knowing it’s healthy — Brod & Taylor dehydrators feature a washable air filter to keep airborne contaminants out of your food. This model isn’t cheap, but if you want to dry large volumes in less space, you won’t regret the investment. The SAHARA is a top performer and built to last.

Pros

  • Large drying capacity
  • Excellent overall quality
  • Durable construction
  • Portable
  • Dual timer and temp control
  • Includes an air filter
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Pricey

Best Large Food Dehydrator: STX International Dehydra Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Digital Food Dehydrator

STX’s commercial dehydrator can stock your herb pantry in hours. Ten 304-grade stainless steel trays offer 11 square feet of drying capacity for treats from beef jerky to the seasonings that make it delicious.

STX International Dehydra Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Digital Food Dehydrator

Specifications:

  • Power: 1200 watts
  • Temperature Range: 97°F – 165°F (36°C – 74°C)
  • Materials: Stainless steel, glass
  • Dimensions (open): 20″ x 17.5″ x 15″ (L x W x H)

This dehydrator is enormous, measuring 20 × 17.50 × 15 inches, and the powerful 1200-watt heater makes quick work of preserving large volumes of food safely. Equipped with a digital control panel, the Dehydra has seven programmable temperature settings and a 15-hour hour timer plus an automatic shut-off so food won’t over-dry. Cleanup is a breeze with the removable drip tray.

This model has two minor drawbacks. It has an industrial look, so it’s not an appliance most people would want on their counter every day, and at 38 pounds, it’s a bear to move in and out of storage. But if you find it a permanent spot where its aesthetics won’t detract from your décor, it’s a well-appointed, high-volume dehydrator.

Pros

  • Huge drying capacity
  • Excellent control panel with timer
  • Comes apart for easy cleaning
  • Made with 304 grade stainless steel
  • Good safety features

Cons

  • Not very attractive
  • Heavy

Best Budget Option: Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

The Presto electric food dehydrator is short on bells and whistles but mighty on performance. It is also very affordable and has a decent capacity.

Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator

Specifications:

  • Power: 600 watts
  • Temperature Range: 165°F (74°C)
  • Materials: Plastic (BPA-free)
  • Dimensions: 14.5″ x 15″ x 6.25″ (L x W x H)

Equipped with four BPA-free trays, it’s expandable to eight for drying large volumes. Trays nest for compact storage, and the cord tucks neatly inside.

Despite its bargain price, Presto makes a full range of accessories for the Dehydro, including nonstick mesh screens and silicone liners that keep small herbs like rosemary from falling through the trays.

Our only disappointment is that it features neither a timer nor an adjustable temperature control. Plug it in, and it heats consistently at 165 degrees — a temperature too harsh for herbs.

Still, some users report adequate results with kitchen favorites from parsley to basil. Presto’s Dehydro electric food dehydrator is proof that good things can come in inexpensive packages.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple and compact design
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Only one temperature setting that is too high for herbs
  • No timer

How to Dry Herbs With a Food Dehydrator

When you have the right kind of food dehydrator, drying your herbs is quite easy. Yet, you should follow these steps for the best result:

  1. It is best to harvest the herbs early in the morning before it gets hot. You can also use herbs bought from the grocery.
  2. Prepare the herbs by removing large stems and any damaged parts and then rinsing them carefully under running water. Make sure to remove all dirt and anything else that might be stuck on the surface of leaves and stems. After this, dry the herbs gently between 2 sheets of paper or with a clean towel.
  3. Preheat the food dehydrator to a temperature of 95°F (35°C). If you are living in an area with high air humidity, you can try higher temperatures, but it is not recommended to exceed 115°F (46°C).
  4. Place the herbs on the trays of your food dehydrator in a single layer. Make sure that there is enough room for air to circulate around them for an efficient drying process.
  5. Monitor the herbs frequently while drying them. It usually takes anywhere between 4 to 12 hours to dry them depending on your dehydrator, air humidity, and the type of herbs you are drying.
  6. The herbs are ready when you can easily crumble them with fingers and the stems snap when you bend them.
  7. Let the herbs cool down and remove leaves from any remaining stems. Then store them as whole leaves in airtight jars to best preserve them. Large pieces that are hard to put in jars can be gently rubed between your palms or cut smaller. If you prefer, you can crush the herbs later before using them.

Here is an excellent video that shows you how to get it right:

Drying Herbs On the Dehydrator What You Need To Know

Once you experiment with different herbs and try fine-tuning the temperature, you will learn the exact time and best temperature for each herb. Then you don’t need to monitor them anymore while drying and if the dehydrator has a timer, you can just set it and leave the herbs to dry while going out.

Enjoy Your Herbs!

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