– Improved Controls
– Simple to Clean
– Noisy Fan
– Lower Actual Temperature
In a market saturated with kitchen appliances, it’s always hard to find something worthwhile. Most people want as many features as possible in an affordable piece of equipment.
When it comes to food dehydrators, the situation is no different. There are many models to choose from, and not a lot of information out there for the cheaper ones.
Adjustable Digital Thermostat
Digital Timer & Auto Shutoff
Easy to Clean
Things We Liked
We tried out the Hamilton Beach 32100A, and we can say it has a few advantages other over models with a similar price-tag. Here are the things that we liked:
Since this unit is priced to attracts beginners among other people, it’s great that it comes with a variety of trays. Besides the standard ones that are good for most produce, you get a few extras. Namely, the fine-mesh sheet and solid sheet. This way you can use jams or purees to make leather rolls from almost anything. What’s more, you’ll be able to dry nuts, seeds, and herbs without anything falling through.
This is what we want to see from more manufacturers. Adding a digital panel with auto shutoff doesn’t cost much, but makes people so much happier. We were able to set a countdown timer, adjust the temperature and pause the whole process. For the money, you can’t beat this food dehydrator when it comes to these added options.
Simple to Clean
Another thing that is quick and straightforward with this model is clean-up. Except for very hard stains and pre-soaking, you can pop the trays into a dishwasher and be done with them.
Things We Didn’t Like
The Hamilton Beach 32100A has a lot of things going for it, but it also has a few downsides. Here’s what we didn’t find to our liking:
Uneven Heat Distribution
This is in part due to the vertical flow design. Most food dehydrators of this type have some issues when it comes to heating and drying. Because of this we had to check on our batches from time to time and recommend you do the same. Taking a look once an hour or once every two hours should be enough.
We noticed that the integrated fan could get loud from time to time, especially with long drying times. If noise is a concern, you could place this unit in a secluded area, as long as there is enough room for it to operate.
Lower Actual Temperature
Even though the digital panel is a great addition, we wanted to check whether this unit does what it says. We used a separate thermostat and found that this food dehydrator gives a somewhat lower temperature, about 5°F to be precise. To put things in perspective, most models have the same issue.
Some users also mention noticing a plastic smell while working with this unit, which we didn’t experience. But, before we started using this food dehydrator, we made sure to wash all the trays and wipe the inside of the base.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the height of each tray?
2. Does this unit use a lot of power?
3. How much beef jerky can I fit into this food dehydrator?
4. Are the included trays dishwasher safe?
However, if you want to dry large amounts of food often, you ought to increase your budget and buy a better-made model. That way, you will have a more reliable unit and more consistent results from one batch to the next.