When you’re evaluating potential dehydrators for your business, there’s a lot of options to consider. Some businesses might look at domestic dehydrators and wonder if those products will meet their needs.
Deciding between a domestic, commercial or industrial dehydrator can be a big choice and there can be consequences to your decision that may not be obvious. For example, if you buy a domestic dehydrator and use it in a commercial setting, your warranty could be voided.
The right dehydrator model will be influenced by several factors, including the quantities you produce, your product range and your business ambitions. We’ve put together a guide to some of the key differences to help you with your choice.
Most domestic dehydrators are made of plastic. This means there can be the potential risk of plastic chemicals leeching into the food, as well as issues with plastic absorbing stains and bacteria. In contrast, our commercial dehydrators are made of full stainless steel.
We think this is a better option for food health and safety as stainless steel can safely be used at higher temperatures and can be cleaned in dishwashers with no risk of melting, cracking or other potential damage. Stainless steel also offers better heat retention for more efficient operation.
Most domestic dehydrators on the market can only reach a maximum temperature of around 60°C (145°F). In contrast, our commercial dehydrators can be set at a temperature of up to 90°C (195°F). (Need higher? Our standard industrial dehydrators can reach 150°C (300°F) and with customisation, industrial units can go even higher – up to 300°C (575°F).)
This means a greater flexibility in adjusting temperatures and drying times, depending on the products you are making and the final texture you want to achieve.
In addition, our commercial dehydrators can be operated at ambient temperature (no additional heating), with just fans. This is a feature that is uncommon in domestic dehydrators. The ability to operate with just fans is good for sensitive foods, like biltong. This function to use the dehydrator without the heating element can also reduce your electricity consumption, resulting in lower operating costs.
Most domestic dehydrators can only be operated with timers ranging from 8 to 24 hours. In addition, domestic dehydrators can’t be operated for more than 24 consecutive hours without voiding your warranty – a big concern for any business. If you’re trying to produce back-to-back batches, this can be a serious limitation.
In comparison, all our dehydrator units, both commercial and industrial, come with flexible and programmable timer options unmatched by any domestic dehydrator available. In our commercial dehydrators, the timer can be set for up to 99 hours. If that’s not enough for your needs, industrial dehydrators offer even more flexibility in the timer programming options, with the ability to set the timer for up to 9999 hours – that’s over 416 days, more than a year!
As well as being programmable on a timer for up to 99 hours, our commercial and industrial dehydrators can safely be operated 24/7, if that’s what your production requires.
Using a timer means you can automatically shut off units, eliminating manual processes for your team. With the ability to program your unit over many days, you can avoid unnecessary run-time and reduce your business’s overheads for electricity and other running costs.
Insulation in dehydrators helps to ensure a more consistent drying temperature and reduced operating costs through heat retention. All our dehydrators offer superior insulation compared to domestic dehydrators. Compared to a plastic domestic dehydrator, our commercial dehydrators offer better heat retention with insulated walls and stainless steel construction. For even better efficiency, our industrial dehydrators are fully insulated, resulting in faster drying times.
Consistent airflow can make a huge difference to drying times and product consistency. Our commercial dehydrators offer superior airflow than domestic units, taking advantage of larger fans. This means there’s no need to rotate trays so that you can achieve consistent drying. The airflow in our industrial units is better again, with even drying throughout all the trays and areas of the machines, as well as options for manual exhaust valves and ductwork to remove hot air and smells from your building.
Commercial dehydrators have a far larger capacity than domestic models. In addition, the larger trays available mean that there is less loading and unloading racks required.
For example, our commercial dehydrators are available in a range of sizes. Our smallest model is a 16 tray unit with 2.56m2 of tray area. Larger units are available with up to two or three zones with a three zone, 60 tray unit offering 9.6m2 of tray area and a two zone, 28 tray unit offering 11.9m2 of tray area.
If you need bigger, our industrial units can be supplied as a single trolley with 30 trays offering 8.8m2 of tray area up to an eight trolley, 240 tray unit providing 70.7m2 tray area. These can be shipped as one piece or in several pieces to fit through doors and then be easily assembled on site.
Choosing between multiple commercial dehydrators or a single industrial dehydrator can come down to a lot of factors, including the range of products you are producing, the size of your business, the space you have available, and your future growth plans. There are pros and cons to both, so if you’re not sure which option is best, we’re happy to talk you through the options to find the best fit for your current and future needs.
When you are producing dehydrated food products for a business, the level of control and flexibility offered by commercial dehydrators really are unmatched by domestic units. The consistency of your products will be better, with more features to increase your productivity and efficiency.
With a range of sizes available, from 16 tray commercial dehydrators through to 240 tray industrial dehydrators, we have models available to suit small businesses, growing businesses and big businesses. Our products offer excellent value for money, backed up by friendly support and a three-year warranty to give your business confidence and certainty for years to come.
If you’re having a hard time choosing the right dehydrator for your business, please don’t hesitate to try out our New Batch Calculator to help or get in touch with us. Our friendly, responsive team can talk you through the options and help you to feel confident that you’re making the right product choice for your business, your product range and your future growth plans.