I purchased a 6-tray Cosori dehydrator in 2023 when the heating element of my 5-tray Excalibur dehydrator malfunctioned after 12 years of heavy use.
The Cosori Premium Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator was getting good reviews, and it had similar “ease of use” features to my Excalibur, like sliding, rather than stacking trays, and trays without holes in the center.
After using the Cosori food dehydrator for several months, I can share with confidence how well it works for drying different foods including rice, potatoes, fruits, fruit leathers, fish stew, lentil stew, chili, and tomato sauce.
I wasn’t impressed with the 1 mesh dehydrator sheet and 1 fruit roll tray that came with the unit, so I used alternative nonstick sheets that worked better. I’ll cover those easy fixes in my Cosori dehydrator review that follows.
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Dries food evenly from top to bottom with no need to rotate trays.
Dries food fast. Drying times are comparable to an Excalibur dehydrator.
Maintains consistent temperature to the setting with less than 3° variance.
Good midrange capacity—6 trays totaling 936 sq. in.
Stainless steel wire trays fit flat inside a kitchen sink for soaking and cleaning. They can also go in a dishwasher.
Quiet operation. Run it next to the dining table while having a normal conversation.
Stainless steel exterior looks good on the kitchen counter.
Simple digital time and temperature controls with automatic shut-off. Display shows time remaining.
Great value. Costs $210 less than a 5-tray Excalibur dehydrator.
The spaces between the wires of the trays are ½-inch wide; you have to use mesh dehydrator sheets on top of the wire trays when drying small foods like corn and peas, but the wire trays are fine for drying beef jerky.
Unit comes with only 1 mesh dehydrator sheet, and it is too small and rigid.
Unit comes with only 1 plastic fruit roll tray. It is not nonstick, so the tray works poorly for making fruit leather.
The exterior of the dehydrator is hot-to-the-touch when dehydrating food above 145°F (63°C), especially the top, sides, and bottom near the back, as well as the entire back panel. I run mine on top of a glass cutting board.
If you hit the stop button while the dehydrator is running, the timer resets to zero. It would have been nice if it picked up where it left off with the remaining time. Therefore, don’t hit the stop button when you pull out trays to check the dryness of food.
Dimensions: 17.8” deep, 13.4” wide, and 12.4” high. Will fit on typical kitchen countertops with about 5 inches to spare under the cabinets, assuming 18” of available space.
Side Panels: The 2 side panels are identical with indented grips to make it easier to carry the dehydrator if you need to store it while not in use. The slits near the front are for air-intake.
Front: Hinged door with magnetic closure. Large glass window. Hot, moist air exits the unit from the small amount of space along the sides and bottom of the door.
Back: Fan and heating element attach at the back. The 6-tray Cosori dehydrator is 600 watts, 120V, 60Hz. The fan is approx. 6.5 inches in diameter.
Inside: 100% stainless steel. Easy to clean. Trays slide in and out with approx. 1.5 inches of space between each tray. This results in excellent air circulation around the drying food.
Display: The time/temperature display is large enough to see from across the room. Once you set the temperature and time, it toggles between the two every few seconds, with the time counting down to show the remaining time.
Controls: 4 buttons that light up while you are using them. The left button toggles between time and temperature. The 2 middle buttons decrease or increase the time/temp. The right button starts or stops the dehydrator.
Press the Temp/Time button on the left. The last temperature setting you used will display. Use the middle two buttons (– or +) to decrease or increase the temperature in 1° increments.
The Cosori temperature range is 95°F to 165°F. (35°C to 74°C)
After you set the temperature, press the Temp/Time button on the left again. The last time setting you used will display. Use the middle two buttons (– or +) to decrease or increase the time in 30-minute increments.
The Cosori time range is 30 minutes up to 48 hours.
Once you set the temperature and time, press the start/stop button on the right to begin dehydration.
The dehydrator will automatically shut off at the set time.
The 6-tray Cosori dehydrator comes with 6 stainless steel wire trays, 1 mesh dehydrator sheet, and 1 plastic dehydrator tray with a raised edge.
The mesh sheet is smaller than the wire trays, which is a waste of capacity. It’s also stiff, so you can’t flex it to pop off dried foods that are sticky, like bananas and pineapples.
The plastic tray is not nonstick, so it performs poorly for dehydrating fruit leather. It’s fine for drying chowders, stews, and sauces where you don’t need the dried food to come off in an intact sheet.
I recommend buying alternative mesh and nonstick dehydrator sheets to use with the Cosori dehydrator that are inexpensive and work well, which I link to further down below.
Photo: Cosori mesh dehydrator sheet (too small) on top of a Cosori wire tray, which is on top of an Excalibur tray.
An Excalibur tray has 196 sq. in. of drying surface, and a Cosori tray has 156 sq. in. of drying surface. When you compare the total drying capacity of a 6-tray Cosori to a 5-tray Excalibur, the difference is only 44 sq. in. in favor of the Excalibur. This difference in capacity is small compared to the significant difference in price, which favors the Cosori.
I went bananas for the first test to demonstrate the dehydrator’s capacity, as well as the deficiencies of the 1 mesh dehydrator sheet that came with the dehydrator.
Photo: 72 banana slices on original Cosori mesh dehydrator sheet.
Problem: The Cosori plastic mesh dehydrator sheet is smaller than the wire tray, which is a waste of capacity. It’s stiff, so you can’t flex it to more easily pop off bananas after they are dry.
Solution: Instead of ordering more undersized Cosori mesh dehydrator sheets, order flexible mesh dehydrator sheets that will cover the entire wire rack, thus maximizing capacity and ease-of-use.
Photo: 90 banana slices on full-size replacement mesh dehydrator sheet. (25% more bananas)
Buy on Amazon: 12-Pack Dostk Mesh Dehydrator Sheets.
Photos: Banana slices are large enough to dry directly on the Cosori wire mesh trays (left), but the dried bananas are harder to remove due to stickiness, and the wire trays are more time-consuming to clean with the banana residue left behind. Dried bananas pop right off of flexible mesh dehydrator sheets.
The 6-tray Cosori food dehydrator comes with 1 plastic tray they call a “fruit roll sheet.” Fruit roll tray is a better description because it is rigid and has a ¼” lip on all 4 sides to contain runny foods. The size matches the size of the Cosori wire tray that it sits on top of during dehydration.
Photo: Pineapple-Banana fruit leather (before drying) on plastic Cosori fruit roll sheet.
Problem: The plastic tray is not sufficiently nonstick.
Photo: It was not possible to peel off the dried pineapple-banana fruit leather in one sheet.
Solution: Order nonstick sheets that allow you to easily peel off dried fruit leather.
Photo: Fruit leather peels off easily using a nonstick sheet.
Excalibur Paraflexx nonstick sheets work great, but they are expensive. I’m still using the same ones that I have had for over a decade. Cut nonstick sheets with scissors to fit the Cosori.
Buy on Amazon:
Do you need to use a nonstick dehydrator sheet with a a raised edge? I have gotten by for over 15 years using flat, nonstick sheets without raised edges. I make my fruit leathers, soups, and sauces thick, so they don’t run off the nonstick sheet.
Photos: Carrot-cantaloupe fruit leather dried on a nonstick sheet in Cosori food dehydrator. Nonstick sheet was peeled off in the right photo to allow the leather to finish drying directly on mesh sheet. I also dried Cantaloupe-Pear Fruit Leather with Mint in the Cosori. See Dehydrating Cantaloupe.
While the plastic tray with edge is not suitable for drying fruit leather, it can still be used for drying other foods that either don’t stick to it, or foods that can be scraped off with a spatula when dry.
Does the Cosori Food Dehydrator dry foods evenly?
To test if my Cosori dehydrator dried foods evenly without rotating the trays, I dehydrated 2 big batches of vegetable-tomato sauce. One batch featured eggplant, squash, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. The other featured mushrooms, celery, carrots, bell peppers, onions, and garlic.
I diced all the vegetables into small pieces to ensure that they all dried evenly.
Each tray contained 1 cup of cooked sauce weighing 250 grams.
I set the Cosori temperature to 135°F (57°C) and the time to 10:30. After the dehydrator shut off, I pulled the sauce apart into smaller pieces and dried it for another hour. Total time: 11.5 hours.
The dried weight of sauce (39 grams) was the same for every tray.
Conclusion: The 6-tray Cosori dehydrator dries food evenly top-to-bottom, side-to-side, and front-to-back. No need for tray rotation.
Temp: 145°F (63°C), Time: 6 hrs. Spread 2 cups of fish stew on nonstick tray. After 3 hours of drying, pull the stew apart into smaller pieces, redistribute on the tray, and continue drying.
See: Dehydrating Fish.
Temp: 145°F (63°C), Time: 6 hrs. Spread 2 cups of chili on nonstick tray. After 3 hours of drying, pull the chili apart into smaller pieces, redistribute on the tray, and continue drying.
See: Dehydrating Chili.
After using my 6-tray Cosori food dehydrator for several months, drying fruits and fruit leathers, rice and potatoes, stews and chili, and chunky tomato sauces…
I conclude that the Cosori dehydrator is not just good, but great for its size.
It fits into the midrange capacity category, with just 5% less capacity than an Excalibur 5-tray dehydrator, and a whopping 65% more capacity than a 4-tray Nesco Gardenmaster dehydrator.
At $159 on Amazon, it costs $210 less than a 5-tray Excalibur and $57 more than a 4-tray Gardenmaster.
As demonstrated, you can dehydrate a big pot full of sauce, stew, or chili in one load.
The Cosori dehydrator dries food fast with no need to rotate trays.
It looks good on the counter and is quiet—you won’t have to turn up the volume of the t.v. when the dehydrator is running.
The only minor drawback is the 1 mesh dehydrator sheet (too small and stiff) and 1 dehydrator tray (not nonstick) that come with the unit. Get the most out of your Cosori by ordering replacement mesh and nonstick dehydrator sheets that work better. The suggestions below are 14” x 14”, but can be cut to fit the Cosori with scissors.
Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator (Amazon)
Cosori 10-tray dehydrator (Amazon)
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