The Presto 06301 Dehydro Food Dehydrator comes first whenever I want to recommend an affordable digital dryer from this American manufacturer.
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This model is a brother to the Presto 06300 that lacks several features that a smart homeowner would really want to have on their go-to dehydrators: a digital timer and an adjustable thermostat.
The 06301 Presto Dehydrator ships with a 6-tray system but it can be expanded up to 12 trays. It comes fitted with a powerful fan and a heating element to save you both time and money.
But what makes it really worth going for?
With the increased awareness of plastic poisoning, perhaps the first thing that you’ll want to consider when shopping for a dehydrator is whether the plastics that come into contact with your food do pose any threat to your family.
Similar to its other siblings, Presto says that this dehydrator’s trays are crafted from BPA-free plastics. These trays are rigid enough not to release toxins into your food even when subjected to high temperatures when in use.
National Presto Industries, Inc was founded in November 1905 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It was originally known as Northwestern Steel and Iron Works but was later renamed National Pressure Cooker Company in 1917 before being given its current name.
This company operates in 3 segments: Housewares, Absorbent, and Defense. The Houseware’s segment offers several household and commercial kitchen appliances including electrical food dehydrators, pressure cookers, coffee makers, and deep fryers.
The Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator comes with a 1-year limited warranty. This is quite short compared to manufacturers that offer up to 5 years worth of warranty.
However, Presto guarantees that this dehydrator has been crafted to withstand years of lots of household use. It also promises to either repair or replace the machine in case it develops issues in workmanship or material within the first year. Read more about the limited warranty here.
This dehydrator comes with 6 drying trays out of the box. Each of these trays has a surface of approximately 1 foot. This gives you a total drying area of about 6 square feet.
This is enough size to hold up to 6 pounds of jerky at a go. For larger families that would like to dehydrate more than this in one batch, there is an option to add up to 6 more trays into the system.
5. Color, Size And Storage
The Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Dehydrator is available in only one color. It has white trays and base. It also has a grayish control panel and rim around the base.
This machine measures 15 x 14.5 x 7.25 in and might sit safely in most kitchen tops. In terms of storage, this dehydrator’s trays nest into other when not in use thereby cutting their total height by up to 40% for easy storage.
6.1 Six Stackable Trays
The Presto 06301 comes with 6 stackable trays. These trays are circular in shape and interlock with each other with ease to form one solid stack. Each of them also has 2 handles that make lifting them up and down a breeze.
While the package comes with 6 trays, you could also purchase 6 more if you need a larger drying surface.
There’s also a clear cover that allows you to keep a close eye on the food without necessarily lifting it. Worth noting, this cover is top-vented to allow moist air to escape through rather than hitting the lid and falling back into the food.
In addition to the trays, you’ll also get two fruit roll sheets that you can use to make fruit puree (fruit rolls) and two non-stick mesh screens for small and sticky foods.
6.2 Powering And Fan And Motor Location
The 06301 Dehydro is fitted with a 750-watt motor that is located at the bottom. This large motor makes it notably heavier at around 8.5 pounds although most people don’t have any problem lifting and moving it around.
Top and side-mounted motors and fans tend to have an upper hand compared to their bottom-mounted competitors. This is mainly because the latter tend to develop operation problems when food debris from the trays fall into the motor chamber.
On the upside, base-mounted motor and fan boost the stability of the dehydrator thereby making it safer on your kitchen tops.
6.3 Digital Control (Adjustable Thermostat And Timer)
One thing that is easily noticeable with the Presto 06301 Electric Food Dehydrator is the digital control panel at the base.
This panel holds three features that make all the difference between the Presto 06301 and its elder sibling the 06300: an adjustable thermostat, an ON/OFF switch, and a timer.
The timer brings the aspect of accuracy into the dehydration process. Rather than estimating the time that you’ll need to switch off the machine, this onboard timer allows you to set the exact hours and minutes that the process should take. And you won’t have to wake up at God-forsaken-hours of the night to switch it OFF.
Speaking of accuracy, the adjustable thermostat lets you set the operating degrees anywhere between 90℉ and 165℉.
Mind you, most dehydrators with an adjustable thermostat offer a 100℉-160℉ temperature range. Although this is still a good range for most veggies and meats, a dehydrator that offers a wider range such as the Presto 06301 opens doors to more food options.
The built-in ON/OFF switch, on the other hand, eliminates the hassle of having to switch OFF the machine at the wall socket every time you need to halt the dehydration process. Again, not many low-end models offer this feature.
6.4 Flow Of Air
The Presto 06301 Electric Food Dehydrator uses vertical airflow (from bottom to top).
Thanks to its cylindrical design, the air warm circulates all over the food as it rises up and out of the machine through the vents on the lid.
6.5 Ease Of Washing
The good news here is that virtually everything else except the base is dishwasher-safe.
If you are dealing with juicy food items such as tomatoes, it’s advisable to soak the trays as soon as possible to prevent them from sticking permanently.
This dehydrator comes fully packed to kick you off. If you need additional trays, nonstick mesh screens, and fruit roll sheets, you can purchase them separately either on Presto.com or Amazon.
8. What We Like/What We Don’t Like
- Adjustable thermostat and timer
- Built-in ON/OFF switch
- Nesting trays
- A large drying surface area
- Expandable trays
- Even air flow eliminates the need of rotating the trays
- Uses BPA-free standards
- Available at a great price
- 750-watt motor minimizes the drying time
- Can be a little bit noisy
- The bottom-located motor is prone to damage due to falling debris
- Not the most robust construction – you can’t compare plastic to steel
- Food items tend to stick easily if not cut into the right size
9. Customer Reviews
The Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator leads most of its siblings in terms of positive reviews and rating from previous buyers.
One thing that stocks most users is its perfectly dehydrated jerky and fruits. One buyer notes that this machine has been saving him over twenty bucks from what he has been spending on dehydrated foods.
The timer has also elicited a lot of praise. Several homeowners say that the timer not only minimizes the risk of overcooking the food, but it also saves them from waking up late in the night to switch the dehydrator off.
Several homeowners also appreciate that the trays are quite a breeze to wash in the dishwasher. On the same, others note that albeit its huge drying surface, storing the Presto 06301 isn’t a hassle credit to the trays’ ability to overlap each other.
Of course, there are a few negative reports about this machine as well. One issue that tends to pop up the most is its noise level. Most reviewers claim that it is notably noisy. One buyer, however, reports that it never gets as noisy as a window fan. Yet another one says that its noise level is pretty much equal to other dehydrators.
There are a few complaints about machines that stopped working after several uses. That being said, you might want to go through the user’s guide keenly before operating the machine. It also pays to keep the warranty card safely.
Our guide on how to maintain and clean your dehydrator might also help you to get the most out of your machine.
If you are thinking of buying a dehydrator and you’ve already settled on Presto, the 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator is worth checking out. In my opinion, this machine ticks almost all the boxes regarding safety, convenience, and versatility.
- Read our guide on how to use a food dehydrator
Its sophisticated control panel is one thing that you can’t easily ignore here. The adjustable thermostat plus its wide temperature range mean that you can dehydrate virtually anything from jerky to blueberries.
The timer brings a lot of confidence – whether you are an experienced prepper or a newbie – by eliminating all risks of overly dried foods and fire accidents.
The Presto 06301 isn’t the biggest dehydrator that we’ve seen so far. However, its 6 sq. ft total drying area isn’t the smallest either. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that you can double its working area to an amazing 12 sq. ft. That’s an enormous drying surface for most families today.
What do you think of the Presto 06301 Dehydro Food Dehydrator? Do you have any unanswered questions regarding this food dryer? Please drop them in the contact section.
Should you want to compare this machine with other models from this brand, our other article of the best Presto Dehydrators might be a good place to start.
Eric MitchellEric is the owner, author, content director and founder of dehydratorlab.com. He is the lead architect and the main man in matters concerning dehydrators, their accessories, guides, reviews and all the accompaniments.Whenever he is not figuring out simple solutions (hacks) involving cookery and their eventual storage, you will find him testing out the different types of dehydrators, to bring us the juicy details regarding these devices.He is a foodie enthusiast, pasionate about making jerky has a knack for healthy and tasty food and won't hesitate to share out any ideas that might be of value around this subject.
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