Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Food Dehydrator Review

For a basic, easy to use vertical airflow electrically driven top food dehydrator at an affordable price, the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional food dehydrator is a good starting point. It can be used to dry a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, and to make jerky from any of a number of meats.

It has a built-in thermostat that allows you to dehydrate food at one of three temperature settings, or to run it in ‘Fan Only’ mode, making it a lot more versatile than single-temperature models.

The ability to switch the appliance on and off without having to unplug it from the wall socket also makes it easier and more convenient to operate.

1. Safety

According to the product insert for the Waring Pro DHR30 Dehydrator, all surfaces that come into contact with food are BPA-free.

2. History

Waring Corporation, the company named after its founder, Fred Waring, introduced the first electric food mixer – the ‘Waring Blendor’ - to the world in 1937. Waring Corporation now markets in two product segments; Waring Commercial which consists mainly of large-volume food processors and other heavy-duty appliances, and Waring that produces professional-quality consumer products, such as the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator.

3. Warranty

The product has a one-year warranty, with the option to purchase a 5-year limited warranty applicable to the motor only.

4. Capacity

The capacity of the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator is not stated in any of the literature, but a rough estimate based on the dimensions given produces a surface area of approximately 1 sq. ft. per tray. The capacity is thus approximately 5 sq. ft. when all five trays are in use.

5. Features:

5.1. Five-Tray Stackable Interlocking Top-Vented Dehydrator Chamber

The Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator is shipped with five vertically stackable trays and a top-vented cover. The shape of each tray is oval with flat ends. There are guides protruding downward from each of the flat ends to make a sturdy interlocking stack. The unit is expandable to a maximum of nine trays (the extra 4 trays are not included; they need to be purchased separately).

5.2. Three-Setting Thermostat

The unit has three thermostat settings, Low, Medium and High, for dehydration of different foods. According to the manufacturer, these settings represent temperatures of approximately 110°F, 140°F and 175°F. In addition, there is a setting that allows the fan to run without the heater being used.

5.3. Fruit Roll-Up Sheet

The unit is shipped with one Fruit Roll-up Sheet, used for drying of liquid and semi-liquid foods, such as fruit puree, to make roll-ups. The Fruit Roll-up Sheet should only be placed on the top tray of the dehydrator.

5.4. See-Through Trays

The food drying trays, as well as the cover, are made of see through plastic, allowing for easy monitoring of the state of the food in the dehydrator.

6. Thermostat Range

The three thermostat setting range from 110°F to 175°F, as well as a ‘Fan Only’ setting.

7. Power Consumption

The combined power rating of the fan and heater of the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator is 620W.

The unit runs on a 120V AC power supply with a polarized wall plug, for use in North America only.

8. Dimensions and Color

  • Height: 13.5”
  • Width: 15.5”
  • Depth:11.5”

The only color in which the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator is available is a steel gray base with clear oval-shaped trays.

9. Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Has a built-in three step thermostat
  • Has a built-in on – off switch
  • Dish-washer safe drying trays
  • Packaged with a fruit roll-up sheet for making ‘fruit leather’ and similar products
  • The instruction manual includes (some) recipes and food preparation guidelines

CONS

  • No timer
  • Bottom-mounted fan and heater difficult to clean
  • Large holes in trays make it difficult to dehydrate small food items
  • Height between trays is small
  • Trays need to be rotated during dehydration process
  • A bit noisy
  • Relatively high rate of failure reported

10. Customer Reviews

Most customer reviews are positive about the resulting produce of the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator, especially the jerky that it produces. Customers also appreciated the fact that this model has a built-in on-off switch in its controls, allowing for easier use. The three temperature settings and ‘Fan Only’ mode were also considered in a positive light.

However, a number of drawbacks to this model were also reported.

The main drawback has to do with the fan and heater unit being located underneath the dehydrator. Firstly this creates a vertical airflow, causing the food on the bottom tray to dry at a faster rate than that on the other trays. This applies to some foodstuffs more than others, and can be resolved by rotating the trays, replacing the bottom two trays with the top two during the dehydration process.

The other drawback of the placing of the fan and heater unit is that it is difficult to keep clean, and is vulnerable to damage from liquids splashing into the unit. A significant percentage of customer reviews reported that the appliance stopped working after only a few uses. This would appear to be either a symptom of the design or else it is a serious quality control issue, whichever it is it needs to be addressed, as it appears that some dealers have even discontinued sales of this model.

Another possible design flaw that raised concerns is the fact that the holes in the trays are quite large in comparison to other dehydrators, and small foods can easily fall through as they dry out and shrink, possibly ending up bouncing into the fan unit at the bottom of the dehydrator. An insert with a finer grid would be a useful addition, and this can be made by cutting a silicon ‘plastic canvas’ into the shape of the dehydrator tray. Linked to this is the small amount of space between trays, with only the top layer allowing for more bulky food items to be dehydrated.

A number of buyers complained that their trays or the cover had become distorted and didn’t fit properly onto the tray below, so it is advisable to avoid overheating the plastic components of the unit while cleaning them.

Another concern expressed relates to the amount of noise the unit produces, but this is a common issue with dehydrators and it is difficult to gauge the level of problem involved.

The other concern raised is the fact that the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator, as is to be expected with a dehydrator in this affordability range, does not have a built-in timer or automatic shut-off. For some this is a concern, but there are a number of people who feel that an automatic shut-off removes the option of letting the dehydrator run longer without having to be reset, if the food appears not to have fully dried out.

Conclusion

In terms of affordability and production, the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator is a good option, with its three step temperature control, fan only option and on – off switch. The see-through trays make monitoring of the dehydration process easier, especially since this vertical flow dehydrator requires rotation of top and bottom trays for even drying of food. Those who have bought it are really satisfied with the dried food they have managed to produce with the Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator.

But Waring really needs to get its quality control up to a higher standard. The high level of reported failure rates, as indicated by the customer reviews, is really not acceptable.