One of the best ways to increase the shelf life of fruits, vegetables, and meats is to dehydrate them. This age-old method of preservation has been used for thousands of years, and thanks to modern technology, dehydrating food is easier than ever. Modern food dehydrators use electric fans and heaters to speed the drying process. These appliances are usually available in round or square shapes. Choosing the right shape of food dehydrator may help you better preserve your food for storage.
Square dehydrators fit snugly inside cabinets, and these models make the use of every in of space on the trays. They are ideal for drying strips of meat for jerky or other long strips of food. Arranging food on each square tray is easier and you will likely not have to cut food more to fit around the edges, as you may with a round dehydrator. This shape is convenient and fits neatly into your kitchen with the most efficient use of space. Dehydrators with square trays may be difficult to find in low-cost food dehydrators, but if you want a large dehydrator for drying lots of food at once, opt for one of the larger dehydrators available, which usually have square drying trays.
Round food dehydrators are readily available in home stores and are sized to fit on a kitchen counter. These typically include stacking round trays that fit above the heater and fan in the base. The sleek design is aesthetically pleasing to some, especially for those who keep their dehydrator out on the counter all the time. Such compact food dehydrators are often budget-friendly and a great way to get started in drying your own food.
When it comes to round trays, they are not perfect. The round trays may pose a problem if you are drying long pieces of food. You may have to cut them into smaller segments to fit around the edges of the trays. Round trays also have less surface area for you to place food compared to a square tray with the same width. During the drying process, if your round-tray dehydrator has the heater and fan at the bottom, you will likely need to rotate the trays at least once to ensure even drying of all the food.
When it comes to the best food dehydrator the question of round or square is up to you. You need to find a dehydrator that fits into your budget and kitchen, and that will be the best option for you.