The Metropolis Beef Jerky Company claims that the Excalibur brand dehydrators are the fastest units available. In a test against five other leading brands, 3.5 pounds of jerky was produced by the competitors in four hours, while all three Excalibur models tested produced 8 pounds of jerky in five hours.
Dehydration times depend on the thickness of the cuts and the type of item being dehydrated, and the style of dryer affects overall drying time. There are two basic types of dehydrators: stacking tray models and box styles with removable shelves. The stacking tray models require consistent rotation of the trays, since the bottom trays dry quicker than the top. Other brands that are considered top dehydrators are Nesco's American Harvest, L'Equip and Living Foods.