My friend Anne told me last summer that if I was going to invest in a good food dehydrator, to get an Excalibur Food Dehydrator because they were the best!
Much to my loudly squealing delight, a few weeks ago Cultures for Health sent me a Excalibur Food Dehydrator free of charge, in exchange for telling you all about it here on my blog! Wow, wow, wow. I love every package delivered to my door, but this big ol’ box may have made me jump a just little higher (poor UPS man).
My husband and I are having such a fun time giving our Excalibur Food Dehydrator a work-out! This is the perfect time of year for us to give the dehydrator a whirl as we have all kinds of fresh produce needing to be preserved.
See the pretty peach fruit leather?
Matt cut up a bunch of our red jalapeno peppers and dehydrated them. Here they are before they went into the dehydrator…
And then just a few hours later…
We then ground them up to put on pizza and in chili. SO easy!!
Beyond fruits and vegetables, I’ve used the dehydrator to quickly dry homemade pasta! Note to self: Don’t cut the pasta too short when planning to put it in your dehydrator. Or, for Pete’s sake, make good use of your Paraflex Sheets!
The noodles still turned out great even if they were “bent out of shape”. I’ll be sharing the recipe soon!
Our dehydrator has five drying trays, which makes it possible to preserve a lot of food all at one time. LOVE that! The best part about anExcalibur Food Dehydrator is that all of the food drys evenly so that we don’t have to rotate the trays or be frustrated because one is done and the others aren’t yet. Oh, and if we only need two trays at once, we only put two trays in. There are several different “heat settings” so that you can keep some of your food raw if you want or even make yogurt!
We are LOVING our Excalibur Food Dehydrator and appreciate that Cultures for Health was kind enough to send it to us. We can’t wait to see what we can dehydrate next!!!
I’m sure you’d enjoy looking over the Cultures for Health site. They have wonderful products to make cultured dairy products and cheese and sprouted grain and more…not to mention the awesome Excalibur Food Dehydrator!!
Julie Grinnell says
I’ve been wanting an Excalibur dehydrator for so long! Finally, after a year of saving up, I ordered one and it came last Saturday! I LOVE it!!! In the last 4 days, I’ve made dehydrated eggplant slices and cubes, and super thin eggplant slices that I dipped in salt water to make into a ‘chip’ for snacking. I’ve also dehydrated cantaloupe cubes and apple slices, and tomorrow I plan to dehydrate hot peppers. I can’t wait to try the fruit leathers!
It came just in time for the major garden harvest :).
I’m so glad you are enjoying your dehydrator! I purchased an Excalibur in January and have LOVED it!! Part of me is wondering if I can use it to preserve my 4 boys and keep them little for longer! Just kidding! Can’t wait to see what fun things you come up with to use it for! :)
Okay, that’s really cool. Oh, the potential!
I have been wanting to get in to dehydrating and this machine sounds awesome (your advice is usally so great!) but I am curious if you know how it stands up to other machines that are priced much lower? I found one at Costco that is only about $40 and I am having trouble justifying paying over $100 more for one like this. I know however that not all machines are created equally but I don’t know enough about them. Have you had a chance to compare? Can you tell me the differences?
Jennifer May says
i have a cheap one that i got for free (the round stacking kind). It works- and I am so thankful for it- so I use it. But it definitely has its flaws- the trays are difficult to open up (you have to lift them off rather than slide out one at a time). There are no heat settings- so I can’t adjust anything. The space between the trays is very small and can’t be adjusted, so some larger things can’t be dehydrated. And the most inconvenient of all is that all the lower trays are done before the upper trays- so I have to watch it every 5 hours or so and keep taking some off, and leaving some to still “cook”. Also- it seems to take an awfully long time- doing carrots nand beets took me 3 days of continuous drying. I love that I have a dehydrator, and I will use it for this season, and save up for next year to get a good one!
Julie Grinnell says
That is one of the reasons why I waited to save up for an Excalibur dehydrator. I was told that a big issue with dehydrators is things not drying evenly. Excalibur promotes its design for this very reason – the fan is at the back, rather than the top or the bottom, so the trays don’t block the air flow for each other.
My husband did a video review on our Excaliber and a cheaper one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AUcNGgjEKI I LOVE our dehydrator! I did a 10 lb bag of carrots that now fit in a gallon ziptop bag! Also, I know that you don’t have to rotate the trays, but I still rotate them front to back every 2 hours and have found that it takes even less drying time! Its SO worth the price!
Oh yeah, check ebay. My parents got the 9 tray model for $125.
One of the big differences is temperature. Many dehydrators you can’t lower the temperature enough. This is important if you are interested in dehydrating in order to eat “raw”, not cooked foods. The excalibur has a temp control that will not COOK the food. We make raw cookies, tortillas, etc and they are cooked at a low enough temp to keep them “raw”. We love our excalibur!!!
I had the same question as you…we were looking into dehydrating, having never done it before and had a hard time justifying the expense of the Excaliber. We decided to go with a cheaper version (we paid less than $50 from Amazon) and I love having it. I am sure that at some point we may save for an Excaliber, but for us, this is a dream. It has a temp control so we can keep food raw, and it is not that big of a deal for me if it dries unevenly, I really don’t mind rotating the trays of the food. We are glad we made this choice…for now. In the future though, we may bless someone else with this one as we get an Excaliber. It is a very good start for us though, and expect that it will last us several years as we see how often we use it.
Sarah B says
Have you ever dehydrated yogurt? It is absolutely the best!! It makes it into kind of a fruit roll up. We also dehydrated watermelon one time. That was interesting. They were like candy and very strong. Don’t know whereas I would do it again, but it was an interesting experiment.
I know you commented about this a long time ago – but I’d love to know more about how you dehydrated yogurt. It sounds like such a great treat!
Sarah B says
Sorry it took so long to reply back, I use the plastic dehydrating trays that don’t have holes in them (I’m not exactly sure what they are called right now at this moment) and I just dump a small container of yogurt on it and spread it evenly then just dehydrate it until it is no longer runny. I actually like to take it off when it is almost done because I personally like it kinda soft, but the longer you dehydrated it the more it will end up looking like a fruit roll up- oh & I also spray the tray with pam or something to help it from sticking too much. Wow! I haven’t made these forever- I should do it again!!
[email protected] says
I HAVE THIS! I bought one years ago and it is a work horse for sure! My favorite thing to make in it is beef jerky, it turns out perfect everytime. Lucky you to get one for free!
One of the best things I have bought in the last couple of years. I use mine a lot. My only problem is my kids eat the fruit leather so fast that I have to always make more. I also use it a lot for granola. Love it!
What a neat dehydrator! I love it! I have an old old dehydrator I should really pull out and use. You’ve inspired me! Love the idea of drying the peppers for pizza. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the excess peppers we’ve had.
Mama Sage says
I’ve had one of their superb machines for over 30 years. Still works as great as it did the day I got it. I LOVE IT!! And banana chips are one of my favorites! :-) They taste like wonderful banana candy! Another favorite is to mix Bolner’s Fiesta salt free chicken fajita seasoning with loy sodium soy sauce and and marinate beef skirt in it. Then we slice it thin, thin, thin and mmmmm the best beef jerky!!
Mama Sage says
Low sodium. So excited I typed too fast!
So now what you have to do is convince them to give one away to one of your luck readers… and then what you have to do is pick me to win it! ;)
I just ordered one of these for my soon-to-be 10yo’s birthday. It’s what he asked for, and although it’s a bit more than I’d usually spend, I was too excited to have a reason to buy a dehydrator that would live in my kitchen for the next 8-10 years to tell him, ‘no.’
We love our Excaliber, too, but are in a rut! Can you all please post some of your tried and true “recipes”? Thanks!
Sandy(aka Grannie) says
We love our Excaliber too and have had it for a “ton” of years. Bought it at a garage sale……one of the best buys that we ever made; it is the big one and we later purchased the sheets so that we could do fruit leather–prune, apple, peach, pear, and grape too. We have a rule at our house: nothing canned, dried, etc. can be touched until the first snowflake falls. At the site of the first one, the house came alive with kids getting into the fruit leather. Dried apples became gifts for Christmas………….
I am looking into an excalibur and am debating between the 5 and 9 tray. Now that you’ve had it awhile, do you ever wish you had the 9 tray model? Lastly have you incubated yogurt in it? and do quart size jars fit inside (for yogurt making)? Thanks
Sandy(aka Grannie) says
I would definitely go with the 9 tray and just remove the others if you don’t have enough to fill all the trays..Yes I do believe a quart jar would fit in it………I have never dried yogurt, but it sure sounds fascinating…….
I agree, go with the 9 tray. I actually have had the small 4 tray Excalibur for the past 5 years and absolutely love it. Typically, with my garden, I’m dealing with everything ripening up at the same time, at least it seems that way. Having the big unit is going to make a huge difference, plus it will be great for yogurt, and raising bread.
I did a lot of research before I bought my first dehydrator and chose the Excalibur based on all the good things I read about it. It is a fantastic dehydrator and worth every penny.
I see this was posted a long time ago…but for drying the homemade pasta…I saw a lady that would take two or three noodles and twirl the newly made noodles around her fingers, forming what looked like little nests…she would then set each little nest on the dehydrator screen and when they were finished drying, they all fit nicely into a bag or jar for storage….just thought it was such a neat and easy way to get a really pretty result….
I was trying to find the homemade pasta recipe you mentioned above. Can you give me a link to it? Thanks
Here you go! https://www.heavenlyhomemakers.com/homemade-whole-wheat-pasta