Best Time to Buy a Food Dehydrator (25-60%+ Off)

A food dehydrator is a useful kitchen appliance for preserving foods by removing moisture. It allows you to make tasty dried fruits, vegetables, herbs, jerky and fruit leathers. With proper use and care, a dehydrator can last for many years. So when’s the best time to invest in one? This comprehensive buying guide covers tips on timing your purchase to get optimal deals.

Why Buy a Food Dehydrator?

Food dehydrators provide various benefits that make them worth buying:

Preserves Foods for Long-Term Storage

By removing moisture, dehydration prevents growth of spoilage microorganisms. Dried foods can be stored for months without refrigeration. Some can even last for years.

Retains Nutrients

Unlike air drying, using low consistent heat preserves more vitamins and minerals. Enzymes are also maintained compared to cooking.

Intensifies Flavors

The drying process concentrates flavors and sugars, enhancing taste. Fruits like mangoes become sweeter and tangier. Herbs and vegetables have a more intense flavor.

Adds Variety to Meals and Snacks

Dehydrated ingredients can provide unique textures and flavors to recipes. Things like fruit rolls, fruit leathers, dried veggie chips make great healthy snacks too.

Saves Money

You can take advantage of seasonal or bulk savings by buying and drying produce when prices are lower. As an added bonus, dehydrated foods are lighter in weight, saving money when storing or traveling with them.

Improves Food Safety

The low heat used in dehydrators helps destroy potentially harmful bacteria in meats when making jerky. Proper drying also inhibits mold growth.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Dehydrator

Keep the following factors in mind when shopping for a dehydrator:

Type of Dehydrator

Stackable dehydrators have trays that slide into a tower unit. Box styled ones have a rear-mounted fan and vented door. Choose based on counter space available and batch size needs.

Temperature Range

Look for units with a thermostat that maintains temperatures between 95°F to 155°F. This preserves nutrients best and prevents case hardening in fruits.

Airflow and Fan Size

Effective drying requires ample airflow. Check that the fan is powerful enough for the unit size and if air vents are well-positioned.

Number of Trays

More trays allow you to dry larger batches at once. Take into account your typical usage and produce amounts. Trays should also be easy to load and unload.

Additional Features

Timers allow you to preset drying times. Expandability lets you add more trays later. Mesh screens prevent foods from sticking while solid sheets work better for fruit leathers.


Consider what price range makes the most sense for your purposes. Costs typically range from $40 to $400.

When Are Dehydrators Cheapest to Buy?

Timing your dehydrator purchase right can help score you significant savings. Here is an overview of the best times to buy:

End of Summer

Late August through September is when prices on dehydrators dip the lowest. This corresponds with the peak season for fruits and vegetables – prime drying candidates. Retailers apply the steepest discounts to clear out inventory before the holiday season. Expect to save 25-50% or more buying at this time.

Post-Holiday Sales

Deep discounts also await shoppers after the winter holiday season. With retailers overloaded on inventory not sold during holiday promotions, January is the ideal month to bargain hunt. Markdowns range from 40-60% off or more on food dehydrators.

Back-to-School Sales

July and August bring a slew of back-to-school sales, and appliances are no exception. Retailers try to attract shoppers with lowered prices during this mid-summer period. Discounts may not be as steep as post-holiday or end-of-summer deals, but you can still expect to save about 25% or more.

Manufacturer Sales

Keep an eye out for periodic sales directly from leading dehydrator brands like Excalibur, Nesco, and Presto. Signing up for their newsletters can alert you of any upcoming deals. Savings may be in the 15-25% range.


During non-peak drying seasons like late autumn and winter months, prices on dehydrators are also gently lowered. Bargain hunters may be able to snag an extra 5-15% off prices already reduced compared to summer highs. Just don’t expect fire sale prices as seen with end-of-summer inventory clearing events.

7 Tips to Save More Money When Buying Your Dehydrator

Follow these handy tips to keep more cash in your wallet when investing in a food dehydrator:

1. Set Up Price Alerts

Online shopping tools like CamelCamelCamel allow you to set custom price watches on Amazon items. You specify a target price threshold, and they alert you when the price drops to your goal. This ensures you never miss a great discount.

2. Check Discount Retailers

Check stores like Overstock, Sierra Trading Post, and Costco for discounted appliances not always advertised elsewhere. But confirm warranty details when buying from third-party retailers.

3. Buy Refurbished

Consider purchasing manufacturer certified refurbished units. These pre-owned dehydrators are rigorously inspected and restored to like-new working order. All parts are genuine replacement components. Buying refurbished easily shaves 35% or more off typical costs.

4. Use Coupons

Search for any valid coupons from retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, and Target before purchasing. Browser extensions like Honey also automatically apply eligible codes at checkout to maximize your savings.

5. Don’t Overbuy Features

Avoid overspending on extra features you likely won’t use. Stick to mid-range models with just essential functions like a thermostat and timer unless you specifically need added capabilities.

6. Buy Previous Year Models

If a newer model was recently released, see if retailers still carry the previous year’s option at a steep discount. The differences may just be minor cosmetic updates that don’t impact functionality.

7. Wait for Sales Combinations

Be patient for those rare sale combinations where discounted prices stack for extra savings. For example, an already on-sale refurbished unit that also has coupons applied during an annual clearance event. The savings really add up!

FAQ About Buying Food Dehydrators

Still have some lingering questions? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Are cheaper dehydrators worth it?

Basic models under $50 may seem appealing, but quality and durability is inferior. Spend at least $100 for better construction, efficient drying performance, and longer lifespan.

What brand of dehydrator is best?

Excalibur, Nesco, and Presto are among the top brands recommended by experts and consumers alike. They strike the best balance of features, reliability, and value across different price points.

Can I find good deals buying used dehydrators?

Inspect used units closely before purchasing. Check for damaged parts and that the thermostat, fan, trays still work properly. Clean thoroughly since you don’t know its history. Buying used warrants risk but also potential savings if you find one in great shape.

Should I buy an extended warranty?

For pricier models, a 1-3 year extended warranty for $20-50 can provide peace of mind by covering repairs. But less expensive units may not warrant paying extra. Assess the expected reliability and your risk tolerance.

Are dehydrators worth getting on sale out of season?

It can be smart to buy discounted units during off-season as they still provide long-term value. Just be sure to thoroughly clean the appliance and test to ensure parts work before storing for later use once prime drying season returns.

Can I find inexpensive dehydrators that still perform well?

Yes, some under $100 models like the Nesco FD-37A or Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator offer excellent bang for your buck. Check reviews to identify reliable budget-friendly options that best fit your drying needs.


Timing your food dehydrator purchase strategically can help you score significant savings – whether buying late summer during peak harvest season, post-holiday clearance sales, or off-season discounts. Following savvy shopping tips like buying refurbished units or using coupons leads to even more wallet-friendly deals. With this buying guide’s money-saving pointers, you can now find the best dehydrator option for your budget and needs.

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