When it comes to my kitchen, I’m totally into the appliances, gadgets, and gear. And I like the good stuff. So when I was looking for a dehydrator two years ago, I read countless reviews from the people most heavily using the appliance: raw foodists, health food fanatics, gardeners… I kept coming across enthusiastic and glowing reviews of the Excalibur brand.
At the time, only the 9-tray model was available with a timer. The ability to set a timer and let my dehydrator work overnight was an important enough feature to make my decision for me. Now, both the 5-tray and 9-tray models are available with a timer, but I’m not sure if that would change my decision. I like that I’m able to do huge batches at once or keep it small, depending on what I need. When a single recipe takes 16 hours, you don’t want to have to do it twice when you’re preparing for something large like a party or school snack!
After owning the Excalibur dehydrator for over 2 years now, I can honestly say it’s a great piece of equipment. It’s well-built, attractive, quiet, and of course, dehydrates well. The temperature can be set to accommodate the food you’re dehydrating, anywhere between 95 degrees and 155 degrees. If you choose a model with a timer, and I highly recommend it, it can be set for up to 26 hours! The sound is like a quieter microwave. Sometimes when it’s running I think the microwave is on until I realize it has been going much too long. It’s a nice white noise though, and quieter than our sons white noise sleep machine.
The only thing to keep in mind is the huge footprint (12-1/2″H x 17″W x 19″D). If you’re planning on keeping this on your counter top, it’s a space eater! Back when I purchased it we didn’t have a microwave, so this took up a microwaved-size space in its place. In our current home there is a microwave bolted above the stove, but if I could switch them out I probably would. That being said, this isn’t something most of us use every single day so it can be stored in a pantry or basement. If you’re dehydrating fruit, though, bring this baby upstairs because it makes your kitchen smell fantastic!
If you’re looking for a dehydrator and plan to use it often, I recommend investing in an Excalibur. Once you have it you’ll find a lot more uses for it than you originally imagined: homemade raw granolas, fruit snacks, extra garden produce… One thing I want to recommend if you’re making the purchase is the ParaFlexx non-stick drying sheets. The dehydrator comes with the mesh sheets for your trays, but if you plan on doing anything that isn’t sliced fruits and vegetables, you’re going to need the solid sheets.