For the serious food dehydrating enthusiast, a few things are absolutely necessary – adequate power to maintain heat and air circulation, ample capacity to process large batches, and the durability to endure heavy use.
So, if you’re looking to step out of the realm of the novice, and into that of a master jerky maker, then the STX Dehydra may be the ideal choice for your consideration.
Powerful with a large capacity, this model is designed to deliver quantity and quality. Let’s look at what the Dehydra offers.
With 1200 watts of power, this model offers optimal drying time via the variable thermostat, and 16 square feet of usable drying surface.
Both the generously sized trays and housing unit are constructed of durable 304-grade stainless steel, and the rear-mounted heater and fan provide ample airflow to ensure proper dehydration.
This large commercial-grade unit boasts a fully digital control panel for added convenience and it has a 12-hour shutoff timer.
For extra convenience, the entire unit is designed with a breakaway concept, so each component can be removed and cleaned separately from the rest.
Features and Benefits
The STX Dehydra comes with 10 drying racks made of 304-grade stainless steel – there’s no chrome, and no flaking will occur down the line with these sturdy racks.
The drying racks measure 14.5 by 16 inches, and with all 10 racks inserted that equals a very substantial 16 square feet of drying surface.
The variable thermostat allows for temperatures ranging from 95 to 165°F, which is ideal for drying fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, flowers, potpourri, and jerky.
The 1200 watts of power provide are ample to run the back-mounted heater and 7-inch fan, providing consistent drying heat throughout the unit with its horizontal airflow.
The digital control panel provides a clear LED display for simple and easy operation.
A convenient digital timer provides 12 hours of programmable heat, and it will shut off automatically when the time limit is reached.
Conveniently designed as a split-apart unit, the Dehydra can be separated in seconds for easier cleaning after you use it. The back completely separates for cleaning, a unique feature, but is held securely in place with latches for operation.
The Dehydra also comes with a large stainless steel drip pan that makes cleanup a snap. Just like the stainless drying racks, the drip pan is easily removed from the bottom of the unit for quick cleaning.
Two FDA-approved silicone mats for making fruit leather are also included.
STX offers a three0year manufacturer’s warranty, but note that this is only for US residents.
Also included is an Owner’s Manual with complete usage instructions and tips for producing the best dried foods.
The STX Dehydra measures 20.5 by 17 by 16 inches, and it weighs 32 pounds. The ample racks measure 14.5 by 16 inches for a total capacity of 16 square feet of drying area, plenty for processing a big garden haul, taking advantage of a bulk sale, or whatever you hope to use it for.
Simply separate the dehydrator unit from the heating/fan back and wash the trays in warm soapy water. Wipe the interior and exterior of the housing unit with a damp cloth.
Here is a summary of the the most common operational observations from customers who have left reviews on Amazon.
- Most of the positive comments report on the effectiveness of this simple and well-built model. It’s easy to assemble, use, and clean, and produces tasty, evenly dried foods within a reasonable amount of time.
- Many satisfied users report that it delivers better results than they expected.
- Another factor noted over and over again is how easy this unit is to clean. The back, where the heater and fan are located, separate completely from the drier unit so there are no electrical parts in the way that need to be protected and kept dry during cleanup. And the tray guides pop off so the interior surface is completely flat – with nowhere for food particles to hide.
- This model has a very basic design, so assembly is simple. Numerous new users report having it unpackaged, washed, assembled, and in use in under an hour.
- We noted several very favorable comments about customer support. Voicemail queries are returned within 24 hours, calls are answered by real people that are easy to talk to and know their products, and requests for replacement parts and exchanges are hassle-free and dealt with promptly.
- The quality of the stainless steel is another impressive feature, with no plastic parts to be found anywhere near food items being processed.
- Some older comments refer to the fan being on the loud side, while more recent reviews report on the fan being “whisper quiet,” with a handful of reviewers reporting they first thought their unit was defective, it runs so quietly. Volume (and its intrusiveness) may be in the eye (or ear) of the beholder!
- Many customers who wrote reviews report that this model makes superb jerky, with even and complete drying of all pieces even when all 10 trays are fully loaded with meat.
- On the negative side, some have had problems with the heater coil conking out after a limited amount of use, and have either exchange or returned the dryer.
- Others mention that a smaller-sized grid on the drying trays would be a nice feature. Otherwise, screening or parchment paper needs to be added to dry very small items without having them fall through the trays.
When operating, make sure to leave a couple of inches airspace around the appliance to provide proper ventilation for optimal drying times.
The stainless racks are metal and should be washed before using, to remove any tooling oil.
Serious Power and Capacity for the Avid User
The STX Dehydra is designed for the dehydrating purist – all stainless steel with no internal plastic parts, an extra-large capacity, and the power and durability to run almost continuously.
- Included Accessories
- Build Quality
One of the few all-metal offerings available to the average consumer and with plenty of power, the STX Dehydra 1200W-XLS is capable of processing most any foods into scrumptious and nutritious snacks and dried ingredients for eating or food prep. Although it is made in China (designed in the US), don’t let that hold you back. Although we rarely recommend products made overseas as our top choice, the company’s quality control is nearly flawless and the cost would be prohibitive for many folks if it were produced in the USA (roughly at least double).
Priced at the higher end of the scale, it’s for those who are dedicated to processing large batches of food and are willing to pay a bit more to obtain the best equipment that will get the job done.
Sturdy, simple, and dependable, the Dehydra makes drying foods easy and enjoyable – a true performer.
About Lorna Kring
Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.