What’s The Best Dehydrator For Jerky?

One of the best things to make when you own a dehydrator is jerky, but which is the best one for this purpose?

In this guide, we’re going to examine some of the top dehydrators available, all of which should be capable of making fantastic tasting jerky – so let’s begin.

#1 – Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Dehydrator

This all in one food dehydrator kit is capable of drying fruit, vegetables – and most importantly – jerky, is a quick and even fashion. It comes with 5 separate trays, as well as a jerky gun.

The top mounted fan allows the air flow to be forced down through the center of the unit as well as horizontal across the trays, allowing each tray to dry quickly and even (which means you wait hours instead of days).

This dehydrator currently holds 4.7 out of 5.0 on Amazon, with many reviewers agreeing that this is an excellent choice if you’re going to be making jerky – although it’s certainly capable with fruit as well.

# 2 – Nesco FD-80A Square Shaped Dehydrator

Here’s another option from the Nesco brand that offers the same great performance as the previously mentioned model, but with a few additional features that some people will find useful.

It still on a top mounted fan, as well as providing an adjustable thermostat which gives you more control by drying different foods at the most appropriate temperatures.

It’s also an expandable model, coming with 4 trays by default, but allowing an additional 8 trays if needed. This makes it ideal for making large volumes of jerky.

# 3 – Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator

This dehydrator comes with 5 stackable, interlocking trays, which works hand in hand with the fan system which provides excellent air flow throughout the machine.

The 620 watt motor certainly gives this enough power to provide quick and efficient results, and the adjustable temperature settings combined with the top venting system make the heat transfer evenly. You can expect to dehydrate a reasonably full load in just 4 to 5 hours.

# 4 – Ronco Beef Jerky Machine

This beef jerky machine provides you with 5 heat drying trays which allows plenty of space for creating your own beef jerky.

With high quality construction that’s built to last, longevity is one of the main selling points of this machine. In fact, some owners of Ronco products are still happily using the product decades later.

It’s worth knowing that this machine is a little slower to complete than some of the alternatives, so you’re looking at a 2 to 3 hour time line rather than 10 to 18 hours.

# 5 – Open Country Square Dehydrator and Jerky Kit

If you’re looking for a powerful, professional grade jerky maker than this may the choice for you.

While it’s more expensive than most, it provides you with 700 watts of power which allows you to dry beef in just a few hours, rather than days.

It also has huge capacity – allowing over 7 square feet of drying space, thanks to the 6 trays which cater large batches perfectly. Despite the large capacity, the powerful motor uses a top mounted converge-flow fan which allows for very quick drying results.

# 6 – Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator & Jerky Maker Fd-80hw kit

This monster dehydrator and jerky maker is another top of the line model from Nesco, which costly a little more, but gives you some very useful extras. Buying the entire kit gives you room for 8 trays, a large jerky gun, fruit roll sheets, and ‘clean-a-screens’.

The large volume of trays doesn’tt hamper the performance at all, as the converga-flow drying system will adapt based on the amount of trays you’re using and provide even heat transfer, without any requirement to rotate the trays during use.


Overall, there’s several excellent choices if you’re looking for a food dehydrator that specializes in making beef jerky. Interestingly, Nesco tend to make the best jerky makers, and many of their models are among the most popular machines for this purpose.

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