Hamilton Beach Dehydrator Review: Your Gateway to Homemade Treats

Picture this: late in the fall, you receive a mysterious kitchen companion, the Hamilton Beach dehydrator. It’s like welcoming a new culinary friend into your home. With its intriguing promise of preserving the essence of your favorite foods, from cranberries to jerky, this appliance quickly finds a spot in your kitchen arsenal. 

As you embark on a journey of experimentation, you discover the magic of its BPA-Free Trays, Continuous Airflow system, and Adjustable Digital Thermostat. It’s a machine that not only simplifies food preservation but also adds a dash of creativity to your culinary adventures. 

In this blog, A Hamilton Beach Dehydrator Review unveils the secrets of this dehydrator and share why it has earned a special place in many kitchens.


  • Temperature range: 100 – 160°F
  • Airflow: Vertical
  • Thermostat: Adjustable in 5-degree increments
  • Timer: Yes, up to 48 hours
  • Automatic shut-off: Yes
  • On/off switch: Yes, with start/pause
  • Number of trays: 5
  • Power: 500W
  • Material: Metal (base), plastic (trays)
  • Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Dimensions: 5.86 x 11.25 x 12.75″

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BPA-Free Trays

One standout feature of the Hamilton Beach food dehydrator is its BPA-Free Trays. These five stackable trays are constructed from food-safe plastic, providing peace of mind when dehydrating a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, and meats. 

What’s particularly handy is the inclusion of a fine mesh sheet and a solid sheet, ensuring versatility when handling small foods, and herbs, or crafting delectable fruit rolls without any bits slipping through the cracks. 

The transparent lid is another thoughtful addition, allowing you to easily monitor the progress of the top row without interrupting the dehydration process.

Continuous Airflow

A built-in fan propels hot air upwards through the trays, ensuring that your foods dry uniformly and efficiently. This not only saves time but also guarantees consistent results. 

The dehydrator’s cover is equipped with a ventilation mesh, and there are well-placed openings on the top, allowing excess moisture to escape. 

This ingenious design prevents the buildup of condensation, eliminating the risk of uneven drying or any issues with foods sticking to the trays. 

Adjustable Digital Thermostat

Adjustable thermostat, which gives users more control over the drying process compared to other models in its price range. The digital panel offers precise temperature settings ranging from 100 to 160°F in 5-degree increments, granting the ability to fine-tune the drying conditions for various foods. 

This level of control translates into better results, ensuring that everything from fruits to jerky turns out just the way you want. What’s particularly convenient is the option to pause each batch to switch trays, allowing you to tailor the drying process to the specific needs of your foods.

Digital Timer & Auto Shutoff

With this handy feature, you can load up the dehydrator with your favorite foods, set the desired drying time, and rest easy knowing that you won’t accidentally over-dry your batches or harm the machine. 

The timer allows for a maximum drying time of 48 hours, making it suitable for a wide range of home drying needs. Whether you’re preserving fruits, crafting homemade jerky, or experimenting with unique recipes, this feature ensures that your dehydrator works precisely as long as needed and then automatically shuts off, providing peace of mind and consistently excellent results.

Performance Comparison – Hamilton Beach dehydrator review

Quality and Consistency

The quality of the Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator shines in some aspects but falls short in others. In taste tests, it outperformed most competitors when it came to beef jerky, showcasing its ability to produce top-notch results with meats. 

However, it’s worth noting that the machine’s temperature regulation, especially at lower temperatures, can be relatively inaccurate. This could pose a challenge when precision is crucial for certain recipes. 

Additionally, for those looking to dry herbs regularly, this dehydrator might not be the best option, as the temperature inconsistencies could impact the delicate drying process of herbs. While it excels in certain areas, it’s important to consider these factors when assessing its overall quality and suitability for your specific needs.

Easy of Use

The Hamilton Beach food dehydrator is known for its user-friendly design, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced users. Its intuitive temperature and timer controls simplify the dehydration process, allowing you to easily set the desired settings for your specific needs. 

However, one minor quirk to note is that the timer’s readout rounds up to the nearest hour during the countdown, which can make it a bit unclear how much time remains within each hour. On the plus side, the flexible trays make removing sticky foods a breeze, reducing any potential frustrations during the cleanup process.

Easy Clean-Up

Cleaning up the Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator is a breeze, thanks to its thoughtful design. The stackable trays in this dehydrator can be easily disassembled, allowing you to wipe them clean over a trash can or soak and wash them individually. 

Unlike some other models, there is no box or compartment beneath the trays where drippings accumulate, eliminating the need for additional cleaning in that area. 

As a result, the Hamilton Beach 32100A stands out as one of the easiest dehydrators to clean among those reviewed, making the entire food preservation process not only convenient but also hassle-free from start to finish.

My overall Hamilton Beach food dehydrator review

I received the Hamilton Beach Dehydrator late in the fall, and it has quickly become one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Its five stackable trays allowed me to dehydrate cranberries, blueberries, and apples all at the same time, which was incredibly convenient. What I love most about this dehydrator is its continuous airflow, ensuring even drying across all the trays. It also comes with two special trays – a fine mesh tray for small fruits and herbs, and a solid sheet for making fruit rollups. 

The best part is that the dehydrated fruits come out without any added sugar or oil, making them a healthier snack option. I’ve also ventured into dehydrating vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, and parsnips, which can be used as delightful garnishes for soups and salads. 

To keep the veggies from drying out and becoming chalky, I’ve found that thinly coating them with olive oil before dehydrating works wonders. Overall, I’m thoroughly enjoying experimenting with this machine, and it has earned a permanent place on my “other appliances” table in the basement.

Hamilton Beach dehydrator

Hamilton Beach dehydrator


  • Versatile trays, including fine-mesh and solid sheets for making leather rolls and drying small items
  • Improved controls with digital panel, auto shutoff, countdown timer, temperature adjustment, and pause option.
  • Simple to clean, with trays that are dishwasher safe.


  • Uneven heat distribution due to vertical flow design, requiring periodic checking of batches.
  • Noisy fan, especially during long drying times.
  • Lower actual temperature compared to digital panel setting (about 5°F lower).
  • Some users mention a plastic smell, but proper cleaning can help mitigate this issue.

Related post: Nutrichef Dehydrator Review: Which Model Fits Your Needs and Budget


Yes, the Hamilton Beach dehydrator comes with a recipe book. The recipe book includes a variety of recipes for dehydrating fruits, vegetables, meats, and herbs. It also includes tips for using the dehydrator and suggestions for how to store and use the dehydrated foods.

Yes, the Hamilton Beach dehydrator is a good investment for those who want to preserve food and make healthy snacks at home.

Yes, the Hamilton Beach dehydrator can be used to make jerky. In fact, it is one of the popular uses of this dehydrator.


In conclusion, the Hamilton Beach dehydrator proves to be a versatile and user-friendly appliance, well-suited for various home food preservation needs. 

Its BPA-Free Trays, Continuous Airflow system, and Adjustable Digital Thermostat offer both convenience and precision, ensuring your dehydrated foods turn out just right. While there are some minor drawbacks, such as temperature inconsistencies and a slight plastic smell reported by some users, its overall performance, especially in meat jerky preparation, makes it a reliable choice. 

Moreover, the straightforward controls and easy clean-up process make it accessible to users of all levels of expertise. If you’re looking to explore the world of food dehydration, the Hamilton Beach dehydrator is a worthy contender that can help you create healthy, homemade snacks with ease.

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