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Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding Review

A folding model that takes up minimal storage space but expands to be a full-sized appliance
Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding
Credit: Brod & Taylor
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $395 List | $395.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Impressive storage size, operates quietly, easy to use
Cons:  Takes time to convert, pricey
Manufacturer:   Brod & Taylor
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 14, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Dehydrating - 25% 8.0
  • Temperature Accuracy - 25% 8.5
  • Ease of Cleaning - 25% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 8.0

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a full-sized food dehydrator but know that you don't want it living on the counter full-time, we highly recommend the Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding. The Sahara is both easy to use and easy to clean, thanks to a few minor details in the design. Its temperature settings are exceptionally accurate, especially at lower levels. Our team concluded that its dehydrating performance is only slightly behind the best of the best, which is very impressive considering that this model folds down to one-third of its operating size for storage.

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Price $395 List
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Pros Impressive storage size, operates quietly, easy to useMetal trays, easy clean-up, digital interfaceConsistent morsels, compact storage dimensionsMassive capacity, quick clean-up trays, uniform food resultsBudget-friendly, minimal counter space, solid performance
Cons Takes time to convert, priceyTemperature settings in 10 minute increments, inaccurate on high heat settingsCounterintuitive controls, trays could be easier to cleanDifficult to clean interior, no viewing window, expensiveSmall temperature range, questionable durability, handle prone to accidental opening
Bottom Line A folding model that takes up minimal storage space but expands to be a full-sized applianceA modern-looking machine with intuitive controls, metal trays, consistent heat, and primo outcomesThis reliable dehydrator offers adjustability and compact storage for those with limited spaceThis is our preferred option if you're after high-volume dehydration and professional resultsGreat performance paired with a great price, it excels in all metrics
Rating Categories Brod & Taylor Sahar... Magic Mill Food Deh... Presto 06301 Dehydro Excalibur 3926TB Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer
Dehydrating (25%)
8.0
8.8
8.5
9.1
7.5
Temperature Accuracy (25%)
8.5
9.3
9.5
8.3
7.8
Ease of Cleaning (25%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Ease of Use (25%)
8.0
8.0
5.6
6.2
6.6
Specs Brod & Taylor Sahar... Magic Mill Food Deh... Presto 06301 Dehydro Excalibur 3926TB Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer
Outside Dimensions 12.5" x 22" x 3.5" 18" x 14" x 13" 14.5" x 15" x 7.25" 19" x 17" x 12.5" 11" x 11" x 11"
Capacity 15 sq ft 7.6 sq ft 3.25 sq ft 15 sq ft 6.5 sq ft
Tray Dimensions 21" x 31" 13" x 12" 15" diameter 15" x 15" 10.2" diameter
Number of Trays 7 7 6 9 6
Tray Material Stainless steel Stainless steel Plastic Plastic Plastic
Power Consumption 750W 480W 750W 440W 400W
Temperature Range 86-165 F 95-165 F 90-165 F 105-165 F 95-158 F

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding food dehydrator - the sahara folding is quiet, easy to use, and stores in a fraction...
The Sahara Folding is quiet, easy to use, and stores in a fraction of its operating size.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Dehydrating


For the first section of our review, we wanted to see how well each model performed its primary task of slow-cooking food. We ran trials using a variety of foods with various textures, water contents, and thicknesses to see which models worked best for which types of food: we dehydrated jerky, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and fruit leather. We then subjectively inspected each model's dehydrated snacks for dryness inconsistencies and texture uniformity. Finally, we had the in-house GearLab team judge the foods produced by each dehydrator for taste and to let the research team know if there was anything else they noticed about the snacks.


The first food we got after was fruit leather. Although it took the Sahara more than eight hours to dehydrate the food to a satisfactory level, the finished snack was stupendous. Comments from our panel of judges included "Really good, even texture," "Not too dry," and "Yummy!"

Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding food dehydrator - the brod & taylor sahara does a phenomenal job of dehydrating fruit...
The Brod & Taylor Sahara does a phenomenal job of dehydrating fruit leather.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Next, we dried some rosemary and sage. Sadly, the Sahara did not show very impressive results for this task. The herbs were still a bit squishy after the same amount of time and temperature that other models were able to completely dry them. However, the Sahara did earn some redemption when we dried some cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes turned out tasty and delicious, with a mostly uniform texture and consistency. Finally, when we made jerky, the judges thought that it turned out a bit dry and sort of hard. Texture aside, we all agreed that the jerky was very flavorful and that the taste of the marinade was very evident.

Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding food dehydrator - the brod & taylor sahara folding showed fantastic results during our...
The Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding showed fantastic results during our tomato dehydrating assessment.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Temperature Accuracy


Over the past five years, we have tested thousands and thousands of products at GearLab. More often than you might think, we find that manufacturers' claims in regard to weight, temperatures, power outputs, and durability are wildly inaccurate. An inaccurate temperature setting with a kitchen appliance could mean that you botch a half-dozen recipes and waste tons of food but have no idea what you're doing wrong. For this reason, we like to use the sensors and instruments needed to keep manufacturers honest. For this portion of our review, we compare the temperatures displayed on the user interface of each food dehydrator with their actual measured temperatures.


Using a thermocouple sensor, we checked the temperature of each dehydrator at four different heat settings after fifteen minutes of preheating. Set to 100 degrees, the Sahara showed an actual temperature of 102 degrees. At 115 degrees, the settings and measured temperature were identical. We recorded a measurement of 126 degrees when the temperature was set to 130 degrees. Finally, the actual temperature was only 151 degrees when the device was set to 160 degrees, showing the most significant deviation of any of the four temperature settings. Nine degrees may seem like a lot, but considering that some models were more than twenty degrees off, we think that this difference is totally manageable.

Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding food dehydrator - we were pleasantly surprised to find that the sahara temperatures...
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Sahara temperatures were relatively accurate even though the entire device can be collapsed into a storage mode.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Ease of Cleaning


If you are an expert in the kitchen, it's likely you're an expert at cleaning the kitchen. We've found a large degree of variability in how easy kitchen appliances are to clean. Some can go straight in the dishwasher, some easily rinse in the sink, and some just seem downright impossible to wash. Nobody wants to have an enjoyable time preparing the perfect treat, only to find out that cleaning up is going to be just as much work as the process of cooking. In this section, we look at how difficult it is to clean each food dehydrator. We consider whether or not the trays are dishwasher safe and how hard it is to get into the deepest corners of the device's inner compartment.


The Sahara is one of the easiest food dehydrators to clean that we've seen to date. The metal trays slide out without complication and can be washed in the sink or dishwasher. Below the cooking trays, there is a removable plastic floor tray that makes cleaning up crumbs and drips a breeze. We found little difficulty wiping out the interior of the dehydrator with a cloth. The only reason why we didn't give the Sahara a higher score for this metric is that it requires a tiny bit more time and attention to get every nook and cranny of the interior because of its folding design.

Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding food dehydrator - the metal trays on the brod & taylor sahara folding model are...
The metal trays on the Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding model are exceptionally easy to clean.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Ease of Use


When it comes to kitchen appliances, how easy they are to operate is all over the board. With some, all you do is plug the device into the wall, and it's on. Others have complicated setup and programming processes, and many are now controlled by smartphone apps and even voice commands. Food dehydrators fall about in the middle of the road as far as complicated appliances go. Some are simple, and some are highly programmable, so ease of use will really depend on which model you choose to purchase.


We would say that the Sahara is about as easy to use as it gets. We love the digital display, and we found the user interface to be exceptionally straightforward and simple. It has a rubber-coated wheel that adjusts both time and temperature. The rest of the various settings can be adjusted with the three buttons just to the left of the wheel. We initially expected the folding and unfolding process to be a bit of a pain, but much to our surprise, it takes a mere matter of seconds to complete the conversion in either direction. If you're looking to run fewer large batches rather than several small batches, the Sahara has an impressive 15 square feet of cooking area divided amongst its seven massive trays.

The temperature and time on the Sahara are adjusted by a large...
The temperature and time on the Sahara are adjusted by a large, grippy wheel.
When folded down, the Brod & Taylor Sahara easily fits in a kitchen...
When folded down, the Brod & Taylor Sahara easily fits in a kitchen drawer.

Value


Although the Sahara is most certainly on the pricey side, it is far from the most expensive dehydrator on the market. With the high price comes impressive performance, and to top it off, it is easily stored out of use until you're ready for your next dehydration marathon.

Conclusion


The Brod & Taylor Sahara Folding is one of our favorite models. It's easy to clean, it's easy to operate, it does a great job, and for the most part, the temperature readings are accurate. On top of its commendable overall performance, it collapses to one-third of its operational size for storage.

Ross Patton

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