Waring Pro Dehydrator
A popular choice in the world of dehydrators is the Waring Pro Dehydrator. This is a dehydrator which is a bit on the cheaper side, and is a starting point for many people who want to get into dehydrating food. But can it keep up with some of the other competing dehydrators? Be sure to read on to find out.
Waring has existed as a company for over 75 years now, and they have a long and reliable history when it comes to kitchen appliances. A few years ago they began to make food dehydrators, and the Waring Pro DHR30 is one of the more popular models they currently offer. This particular dehydrator is a stack-able model giving you the ability to stack up to 9 trays altogether, and additional trays will set you back around $15 a tray if you want more than the five included. This gives you enough drying space to do around 3lbs of jerky or fruit which is a fair amount. The size of the model is around average for this kind of dehydrator, and it is roughly 13″ W x 10″ H. The heating fan is located at the bottom, which were are somewhat skeptical of based on previous poor experiences with these kinds of designs. Unlike most dehydrators who have a temperature dial, this one comes with four presets to choose from. According to the manual the Low temperature setting is roughly 110F, Medium is about 140F and High is around 175F. We would prefer to have a temperature dial to be honest, as this would give a more exact method of controlling the heat. An interesting addition is the ability to only use the fan without the heating element. This is quite handy if you have any kind of item that doesn’t need any heat to dry out.
Only one fruit roll sheet is included unfortunately, meaning you will need to buy some more if you have plans to make a decent quantity of fruit rolls or fruit leather. The gaps on the trays are quite thin, therefore drying smaller items such as herbs will not be an issue, and there is no need for any clean-a-screen trays with this model. The trays and the lid are see though, allowing you to keep an eye on the drying process all the way through. The unit is powered by a competent 620W unit, which should give enough power to dehydrate anything you throw at it. We aren’t 100% what the recommended retail price is, but it seems to be listed at most shops for under $80. This is around average for an entry level dehydrator, so we will have to see how it competes against the other cheaper models. It also comes with a very reasonable 5 year limited warranty on the motor, which is quite generous for a budget model. Now lets have a look at home it actually performs.
Beef jerky is always a firm favorite to try out first, so we got 3lbs and stuff the dehydrator full to see how it would cope. 3 hours in things were looking ok, and we suspected the jerky would take around 7 or 8 hours to dry on the high setting. After around 5 hours we compared the jerky on the top tray with the jerky on the bottom and we could straight away see that the top tray was softer than the bottom one. This is a common issue with the stack-able models, and we suspected that this would happen. After a quick shuffle of the trays, we left the unit for another 2 hours to see if rotating the trays would fix the issue. Sure enough 2 hours later, the difference between the top and bottom trays was much less noticeable, so it seems this model does indeed suffer from the same inherent design flaws of stack-able models. After 8:30 hours in total the jerky was all done, and evenly dried throughout all the trays. This is a reasonable drying time, and the jerky certainly tasted great.
Next we moved onto some fruit, and we chopped up a few apples to see how long it would take to dry them out fully. We used the Medium setting, and 3 hours in it was looking like around 6 hours in total would be a reasonable estimate. However the same issue cropped up again, where the apple slices on the bottom tray were drying out faster than the top ones. So again we rotated the trays, placing the bottom ones on the top and vice versa. 3 hours later we came to check the results and the apple was all fully dehydrated. The Waring pro dehydrator had done a nice job, and a drying time of 6 hours is not too unreasonable.
After this we decided to try something a little messier – some tomatoes. After slicing them up, we filled up 3 trays and left the machine to work it’s magic. We used the medium setting again, and after a few hours we rotated the trays to make sure everything was evenly drying. With only three trays in use, the difference in drying temperature between the top and the bottom trays becomes less apparent. We imagine with all 9 trays in course, you will have your hands full juggling all the trays in an attempt to make sure all the food is dehydrated at the same time. After 5:30 in total our tomatoes were all done, but they had left a bit of a mess in the machine. With a bottom mounted fan, this means cleanup is a bit troublesome, and we did have to use a bit of elbow grease trying to get all the bits of the tomato that had fallen to the bottom. A small portion had gotten into the fan area, and again this is a simple design flaw with these types of models. The fan itself isn’t too noisy when the unit is operational, but we do have to wonder how long it will last when there is debris falling down the trays into the motor area.
So those were a few of the basic tests we performed. The drying times seem around normal for a dehydrator of this kind, and it more or less performed as expected. Being a bottom mounted fan kind, it will of course suffer from the design flaws of these kinds of dehydrators. If you want to avoid this then you will have to look at doubling your budget and look at getting a model with a horizontally mounted fan like the Excalibur Dehydrator or perhaps a superior stack-able model such as the Nesco American Harvest Dehydrator if you are on a tight budget. It isn’t necessarily a bad dehydrator, but you can get something better for a similar price.
- Good price
- See through trays and lid
- Power 620W motor
- 5 Year limited warranty on motor
- Bottom mounted fan
- Uneven drying
- Tricky to clean
Summary: Overall this is a fairly standard dehydrator. The drying times are acceptable, and the price is quite affordable. But you can get better stack-able models for around the same price, so if you are on a tight budget we would recommend you look for stack-able model with a top mounted fan instead for better results and easier cleaning. At the time of writing this unit was on sale on Amazon, and you can go here to check if it is still on sale.