Plastic Tray vs Metal Tray: How Does the Choice Impact Your Food Dehydrator’s Health Benefits?

When it comes to food dehydration, the choice of tray material can significantly impact the quality of the end product and potentially the health benefits. The two most common types of trays used in food dehydrators are plastic and metal. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two can influence factors such as heat distribution, ease of cleaning, and potential chemical leaching. This article will delve into the differences between plastic and metal trays and how they can affect your food dehydrator’s health benefits.

Heat Distribution

One of the key factors in food dehydration is heat distribution. The material of the tray can influence how evenly the heat is distributed across the food. Metal trays, being good conductors of heat, tend to distribute heat more evenly than plastic trays. This can result in more uniformly dehydrated food, which is crucial for maintaining the nutritional content of the food.

Chemical Leaching

Another important consideration is the potential for chemical leaching. Some plastics can leach harmful chemicals when heated, which could potentially contaminate the food. However, most food dehydrators use food-grade plastics that are BPA-free and safe for use. Metal trays, on the other hand, do not have this issue. However, certain metals can react with acidic foods, so it’s important to choose a non-reactive metal like stainless steel.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance is another area where the choice of tray material can make a difference. Plastic trays are generally easier to clean than metal trays, as they can be simply put in the dishwasher. Metal trays, especially those made of stainless steel, can be more difficult to clean, especially if food gets stuck on them. However, they tend to be more durable than plastic trays.


Finally, cost can be a deciding factor. Plastic trays are generally cheaper than metal trays, making them a more affordable option for those on a budget. However, metal trays, due to their durability and superior heat distribution, can be a worthwhile investment in the long run.

In conclusion, both plastic and metal trays have their own set of pros and cons when it comes to food dehydration. The choice between the two largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. Regardless of the material, it’s important to ensure that the trays are made of food-grade material and are safe for use. By making an informed decision, you can maximize the health benefits of your food dehydrator.