Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer Review
Pros: Budget-friendly, minimal counter space, solid performance
Cons: Small temperature range, questionable durability, handle prone to accidental opening
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Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer
$69.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Budget-friendly, minimal counter space, solid performance||Metal trays, easy clean-up, digital interface||Consistent morsels, compact storage dimensions||Easy to clean, economic, simplistic controls||Low-cost, minimalistic, quick and easy clean-up|
|Cons||Small temperature range, questionable durability, handle prone to accidental opening||Temperature settings in 10 minute increments, inaccurate on high heat settings||Counterintuitive controls, trays could be easier to clean||Poor temperature regulation, flimsy trays||Single setting controls, no timer|
|Bottom Line||Great performance paired with a great price, it excels in all metrics||A modern-looking machine with intuitive controls, metal trays, consistent heat, and primo outcomes||This reliable dehydrator offers adjustability and compact storage for those with limited space||This affordable stackable dehydrator offers copious square footage that is easy to clean||A minimalistic, fixed temperature machine that requires monitoring, but is easy to clean|
|Rating Categories||Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer||Magic Mill Food Deh...||Presto 06301 Dehydro||Hamilton Beach 32100A||Nutrichef PKFD12|
|Temperature Accuracy (25%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (25%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Specs||Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer||Magic Mill Food Deh...||Presto 06301 Dehydro||Hamilton Beach 32100A||Nutrichef PKFD12|
|Outside Dimensions||11" x 11" x 11"||18" x 14" x 13"||14.5" x 15" x 7.25"||10.5" x 13" x 11"||12" x 7.5" x 13"|
|Capacity||6.5 sq ft||7.6 sq ft||3.25 sq ft||3.75 sq ft||3.25 sq ft|
|Tray Dimensions||10.2" diameter||13" x 12"||15" diameter||10.5" x 13"||12" diameter|
|Number of Trays||6||7||6||5||5|
|Tray Material||Plastic||Stainless steel||Plastic||Plastic||Plastic|
|Temperature Range||95-158 F||95-165 F||90-165 F||100-160 F||Max 180 F|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer showed middle-of-the-road results in every aspect of our evaluations. It's intuitive to use, thanks to its simple controls and straightforward instructions. The temperature accuracy offered by this model is well within what we would consider to be a reasonable error limit. It's really not that hard to clean, and overall, it does a fine job of dehydrating. Where the Elechomes truly shines is its price — it would be hard to find another food dehydrator that performs this well that costs this little.
For the first section of our review, we ran dehydration runs of a variety of foods. We wanted to use foods with a multitude of cooking times and consistencies. We included fruit leather, fresh herbs to test leaves, tomatoes to see how each model could handle food with a high water content, and jerky for the carnivores out there. We then used our panel of in-house tasty treat experts at GearLab headquarters to evaluate texture, evenness, and flavor. Finally, we noted how long each model took to get each type of food to the ideal dryness level.
The Elechomes shows variable results for this part of the overall assessment. When we made fruit leather with this model, the leather was still mostly wet at the end of nearly six hours. A portion of the perimeter of the leather was able to be cut and lifted away from the tray most of the time, but usually, the leather fell apart once it was scooped. When we tried the recipe again, the leather was dry after nearly seven hours, but the snack was a bit too dry after this much time. While dehydrating fresh herbs, we found that things didn't quite dry evenly. Some sections were squishy and soft, while others were dry and crumply as one would expect.
When we used the Elechomes to make some jerky, we found some more consistent results. This model doesn't have a recommended time for jerky other than to check the meat every few hours — we found that ours was done in right around six hours. Our panel of judges agreed that the texture wasn't quite perfect, but the evenness and flavor were excellent. Where this model really impressed the team was with cherry tomatoes. We all agreed that the tomatoes were cooked evenly and received comments from around the lab such as "really tasty" and "super satisfying with a full flavor!"
When a recipe calls for a specific time and temperature, you're going to want your dehydrator to be as accurate as possible so that the finished product turns out as intended. For this section of our review, we looked at how adjustable the temperature is and how wide the temperature range is for each model. In order to gather some hard data, we then used a thermocouple to evaluate how accurate the temperature settings and controls are for the dehydrators.
The Elechomes shows reasonably strong results during this section of our assessment. When we took readings with the dehydrator temperature set to 104, 113, and 131 degrees, the measured temperatures were never more than four degrees off the set temperatures. Only when we set the dehydrator to 164 degrees did the deviation jump to six degrees. The Elechomes ran hot at all four settings. Although a difference between temperature settings and actual temperatures is not ideal, we feel that a discrepancy of 4-6 degrees is not a huge deal and likely won't affect the recipe that much.
Ease of Cleaning
There's no way around it — kitchen cleanup is a pain. From hand blenders to air fryers to juicers, here at GearLab, we've seen it all. With all of our kitchen appliance experience and expertise, we are here to tell you that it is a huge letdown to find out that you just cooked a delicious snack, but now the cleaning process will be more complex and time-consuming than the cooking itself. For this reason, we dedicated the next 25% of our total score to cleaning. We subjectively judged how hard it is to scrub the trays, the lids, and, if needed, the inside of the dehydrator itself. We noted any models whose trays had a tendency to stain or gather gunk.
Scoring in the middle of the pack, this section is one of the stronger metrics for the Elechomes. Food dehydrators with stackable plastic trays are the easiest to clean because the trays compose the entire space where the food will cook, and they can all go in the sink, unlike an oven-style model. The Elechomes trays are dishwasher safe, meaning that for certain foods, you will hardly have a cleanup process at all. That said, we did find that among the stackable plastic tray versions in our review, this model's trays were a bit more challenging to clean than some of the others. The trays have a plastic weave which can often gather gunk that needs to be picked out.
Ease of Use
In the age of plug and play technology and pre-programmed smart appliances, nobody wants to spend extra time and energy learning how to use a complicated, archaic device. For this section of our review, we considered the difficulty of understanding and operating each food dehydrator. We carefully examined the setup process for each model, how complicated they are to program, and how intuitive the controls and user interface are to use.
This is another strong metric for the Elechomes as it scored better than most other models in our review. The user interface on this model is straightforward — it has a power button, a time and temperature button, and a "+" & "-" button. Our team found it elementary to learn and operate. Its round plastic trays can be stacked at two different heights, and it comes with both a fruit leather tray cover and a mesh tray cover so that you can experiment with all types of food and humidities. Despite its small footprint, with six 10-inch diameter trays, the Elechomes has six and a half square feet of cooking area.
The Elechomes shows what we consider to be satisfactory all-around performance in every aspect of our evaluation. While it may fall short of the expensive high-end models in many ways, it more than makes up for the shortcomings with its low price.
From its simple controls to its easy clean-up, the Elechomes 6-Tray Dryer is a commendable product. It has a reasonable temperature accuracy and is one of the best for certain types of food. It has a much smaller footprint than many models for those with smaller counters and cabinets. Above all, it's beyond affordable. While some food dehydrators cost several hundred dollars, the Elechomes will hardly put a dent in your checking account.
— Ross Patton
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