Lakeland Food Dehydrator summary
Lakeland’s food dehydrator is unlike many of the other models we’ve tested as it’s cylindrical in design. It comes with four trays that stack on top of each other and a handy notch-and-groove system allows the stacking height to go from 2cm to 3.6cm, for thicker foods. It takes up very little space on the kitchen counter, being about the size of a coffee machine, and is simple and convenient to store after use.
The trays aren’t dishwasher-safe, so they’ll need to be hand-washed. Thankfully the trays aren’t large, so clean-up was a doddle.
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How easy is the Lakeland Food Dehydrator to use?
Clear instructions and plainly labelled diagrams meant setting up this dehydrator was easy. It’s pretty intuitive, too, as the trays stack on top of one another, followed by a lid.
There are just two settings to worry about: temperature and time. These buttons are clearly labelled on the front of the dehydrator, along with plus and minus buttons to adjust. There are four temperature settings on this model: 38C, 48C, 58C and 68C and the timer can be set in one-hour increments, up to 12 hours.
The supplied instruction manual is comprehensive. It includes tables for dehydrating fruits, vegetables, and herbs as well as the ideal temperature to set the dehydrator to for each ingredient. Most ingredients are listed, taking the guess-work out of dehydrating. The one thing this manual is missing is instructions on how thickly to cut food; this detail is included for some of the foods on their lists, but not all. For those just getting into dehydrating, this is something that would have been useful to include.
We dehydrated apples and lemons at 48C. Both took just six hours to dehydrate. The apples were pliable, if a little crisp around the outside. They did discolour slightly, but this is natural for apples and helpfully, the manual does include detail about pre-soaking fruit that is prone to browning in a lemon juice and water solution. Nevertheless, the apple flavour had been intensified and we were happy with the results.
Because no information about how thickly to slice lemons was included in the manual, we sliced these quite thinly. After six hours of drying they had remained a bright lemon yellow with a stained-glass-like appearance in the middle. Like the apples, the lemon flavour was intense.
Mushrooms took significantly longer to dehydrate than the two-three hours suggested – in fact, they took just under six hours to fully dehydrate. Again, the manual is lacking a bit of detail about how to prepare the mushrooms, which would have helped. But, they were fully dehydrated in the end and ready to store.
Tomatoes also took a very long time. The manual is vague, stating that dehydration takes between eight-24 hours; our slices were 0.5cm thick and took 18 hours to dehydrate. They became leathery, as expected, and intense in flavour. The colour was also deep and rich.
This model has a timer that runs for up to 12 hours, but when we dehydrated basil this took 24 hours, so it was a little inconvenient to have restart the machine halfway through the process. That said, the results were fantastic. As expected, they’d lost their vibrant green hue, but the leaves were brittle and totally dried out. The larger leaves took longer to dehydrate, so we’d recommend selecting leaves that are similar in size when doing this yourself.
Dehydrators can be quite large, so Lakeland have really hit the nail on the head with this compact machine. With just four trays, it’s ideal for those looking for a space-saving option without compromising on performance.
This model excels when dehydrating fruit; it was quick to do and the results were as expected. You’ll have to be a little more patient when dehydrating vegetables as they can take a long time, but in the end the results were very good.
We recommend reading up on how thickly to slice food before you begin dehydrating as the manual is lacking slightly in this area. However, it brilliantly explains the dehydrating process for first-timers and dab-hands alike.
Number of trays: 4
Temperature range: 38-68C
Time: up to 12 hours
Dishwasher-safe trays: No
Accessories included: N/A
Dimensions (cm): H: 30 x W: 32 x L: 32
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 firstname.lastname@example.org