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For those serious about dehydrating, look no further than the nine-tray BioChef Savana dehydrator. It's fast and produces fantastic results. Read our full review.
This large and stately dehydrator is a professional-looking piece of kit. It comes with nine metal trays as well as non-stick and fine-mesh sheets for a variety of different dehydrating tasks.
It has an oven-style clear fronted door which allows you to clearly see inside the dehydrator without having to pause anything. The Savana is unlike other models as it has two fans. This, along with the options for Fast or Regular mode, makes it the fastest model we’ve tested.
All parts of this dehydrator fit together well. There are 18 sets of notches either side of the interior allowing you to fit the trays close together or space them up to 1.5cm apart. The shelves fit together well, sliding into place with ease.
We needed to consult the manual to understand all the different buttons as there are more than on a standard dehydrator. But once we’d familiarised ourselves with them, setting the dehydrator to go was a breeze.
It’s easy to tailor the dehydrator to your specific needs. Choose from Fast or Regular dehydrating – Fast mode uses both fans and is better suited to foods with a higher water content. Regular mode uses just one fan and less energy.
The temperatures range from 35C-70C in one-degree increments for absolute precision. And the timer runs for up to 99 hours.
The manual is informative, it has food drying charts with suggested drying temperatures. However, the charts aren’t extensive as only a few foods are included. There is also no information on drying herbs or fruit leather.
The manual recommended dehydrating apples at 65C on Fast mode. There is no recommended cutting thickness, so we cut ours 0.6cm thick. Our apples took five hours to dehydrate and were just as we hoped: flexible and leathery. The apple flavour was intense and naturally sweet.
There was no information on dehydrating lemons in the manual, but as all of the other dehydrators we’ve tested recommend drying fruits at the same temperature, we also dried these at 65C. Lemons took eight hours to dry out. They were pliable in the middle with a rind that snapped slightly. We did notice that the lemons that were placed closer to the fans were slightly darker in colour, but the flavour was the same for all of them.
Vegetables dried very quickly. Mushrooms and tomatoes took six and seven hours respectively. The mushrooms were spongey and slightly wrinkled and the tomatoes were malleable and bright red. We’d recommend using the fine mesh sheet if drying tomatoes as some of ours got stuck to the metal trays.
We had to go in blind when drying basil as there is no information in the manual. We used the Regular setting at 35C and checked on the leaves after 20 hours. At this stage, some of the larger leaves hadn’t dried out completely so we allowed them to go for another four hours. After a full day of drying, the leaves had lost their vibrant hue and were perfectly brittle.
We used the non-stick sheet for our fruit leather test. We were able to spread the purée out thinly and evenly. As there is no information in the manual, we set the dehydrator to 60C. It was quick to dry, taking just four hours. The fruit leather was pliable with an intense blackberry flavour.
Classical and professional are two words we’d use to describe this dehydrator. It’s unashamedly large, but with capacity for a whopping nine trays, this comes as no surprise. You’ll need to check the dimensions of your kitchen as it’s 34.5cm tall so if you’ve got low hanging cupboards, it may be a squeeze on the kitchen counter.
It produces professional results, and fast. Its speed was one element that set it apart from its competitors, but we also loved the inclusion of the Regular setting as an option. The manual leaves a little more to be desired and could be more detailed, especially for first-time users.
Whether you’re looking to do some serious dehydrating for the first time or are after an upgrade, the Savana is a sturdy machine that’s built to last, so it’s definitely worth considering.
Number of trays: nine
Temperature range: 35-70C
Time: up to 99h
Dishwasher safe trays: yes
Accessories included: three non-stick sheets, three fine mesh sheets
Wattage: 1000 watts
Dimensions (cm): H: 34.5 x W: 40 x L: 51
This review was last updated in April 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com