The Excalibur Food Dehydrator Reviews - Is This Food Dehydrator Worth the Investment?
Are you in the market for a food dehydrator but not sure where to start your search? Maybe you have heard of a food dehydrator but assumed it was only for people who eat nuts and berries all day.
Maybe you’re on the fence about even really needing a food dehydrator. Or have you finally decided you want to stop spending so much of your hard - earned money on beef jerky and learn how to finally make it yourself?
What is a Food Dehydrator and Why Do I Need One?
Before we help you answer any of those questions, let’s briefly review what exactly a food dehydrator is.
A food dehydrator is a device that actually removes moisture from food. This is a form of food preservation. Believe it or not, drying is the most common and oldest form of food preservation.
You can use the device to preserve fruits, vegetables and meats and several other types of foods. While food dehydration has been around for years, today’s devices use power to facilitate the process of drying. There’s usually a heating element and a fan within the dehydrator.
The air circulates thus causing the food to become dried out and preserved. The temperature used in the food dehydrators is very low, so you’re not actually cooking the food.
And food dehydrators aren’t only for fruits and vegetables. Consumers are using them to make their own granola, yogurt, fruit leather and homemade pet treats.
The dehydrators can even be used to dry out the materials you use for arts and crafts (such as potpourri). Actually, choosing to purchase a food dehydrator is not just about beef jerky or fruit leather. Many consumers purchase these dehydrators for several different reasons.
There are multiple benefits of a dehydrator that have been touted such as:
Now that you know the many ways a food dehydrator can benefit you, you may be wondering what exactly you need to look for when purchasing one?
Here are the basic features to take into consideration as you begin your search:
A few other points for your consideration:
Think about the size of the unit. If you are limited on counterspace, then the dehydrator may be difficult to operate in your kitchen. You can always move the unit to another part of the house like the garage but make sure you have a sufficient amount of space you can dedicate to your unit.
Food dehydrators come with either trays or shelves. The models that only use trays generally have a larger capacity. The trays are stackable which means you don’t have to rotate your food in and out throughout the drying process. The trays can accommodate small or large batches of food by adding or reducing the number of trays.
The shelf style of dehydrators use shelves that slide in and out. Some consumers prefer this method because you can easily check your food for doneness. Like the tray style, you don’t have to worry about rotating your food with this style either.
What Makes the Excalibur Food Dehydrator Unique?
Now that we know the multiple benefits of using a food dehydrator and what to look for in purchase, let’s take a look specifically at the Excalibur food dehydrator.
Excalibur is one of the many brands on the market for food dehydration. What sets this company apart from others is they have been focused on food dehydration since the beginning of their existence. The company has been manufacturing food dehydrators since 1973, almost all of which is made in the United States. Their company tagline is “America’s Best Dehydrator.”
If you are going to use that as your company mantra, then you need to be pretty confident that you are the absolute best in this crowded market.
Because of the vast number of food dehydrators offered in the Excalibur product lineup, it’s easier to review based on the categories of features.
Excalibur has made it easier by lumping each of their features into one of the following categories:
- The number of trays in the unit will determine how much you can dehydrate at one time
- Choose from stackable, 4 tray, 5 tray, 9 tray or 10 tray
- Choose from no timer, 26 hour, 48 hour, or 99 hour
- Choose from Solid or Clear
- Either Plastic or Stainless Steel
- Either Plastic or Stainless Steel
The number of Excalibur food dehydrators available for purchase is quite extensive. Whatever combination of trays, doors, materials, temperature settings or timers you are looking for, chances are you’ll be able to find it within the current offering.
Basic Excalibur Food Dehydrator
- 6 BPA free trays
- 480 square inch capacity
- Simple on/off switch
This is a stackable unit, with 6 plastic trays and a plastic case. If you are a beginner at dehydrating or if you don’t plan on drying several types of food, then this model should be sufficient. Once you start with the basic unit, you can choose what you want from there. Of course, if budget is a factor then that will certainly determine which model you could end up purchasing. With each additional tray or timer option, you’ll be adding the additional price.
If you are interested in purchasing this skillet, you can also get it on bedbathandbeyond.com for $39.95.
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The most expensive – and most highly featured – model within the Excalibur food dehydrator lineup is the EXC10EL and the price tag is around $899. This unit includes 10 stainless steel trays and has a stainless steel case. There is also a feature of Excalibur food dehydrator which allows you to set the digital timer and then select two different temperatures within a 99 – hour timeframe. The door is made of glass so you can view your food as it’s being dehydrated. This particular model is backed by a 10 – year warranty.
If you are interested in purchasing this skillet, you can also get it on excaliburdehydrator.com for $899
- 9-trays and 15 square feet of drying space provides extra-large capacity for your favorite snacks
- Trays do not need to be moved or rotated during dehydration
- Adjustable Thermostat 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature range is low enough to preserve...
If you know you want something more than basic but the $899 is out of the question, then you might want to consider something like the Excalibur 2900ECB 9 – Tray Food Dehydrator. For $233 you can get a model with 9 plastic trays, enough to dry 15 square feet of food. There’s also an adjustable thermostat on this unit so you can choose precisely which temperature you want to dry your food. Whether your budget is $39 or $390, you should be able to find a unit to fall within your budget that has the features you are looking for.
If you are interested in purchasing this skillet, you can get it on amazon.com for $233
The Excalibur Food Dehydrator Reviews - What Do Consumers Think?
Overall, the Excalibur lineup seems highly rated, especially compared to other manufacturers. Because Excalibur has been in business for so long and has produced so many models of the food dehydrators, you don’t have to look too far to gauge an overall opinion. As a matter of fact, it will be very easy to find thousands of 4 and 5 - star reviews for these products.
Of the many reviews, most share the opinion that Excalibur makes an excellent product. The product does what it says it’s going to do - dehydrate the food properly within the set time-frame. Depending on which model you end up purchasing, the size seems to be satisfactory.
The fact that the heating element is on top of the unit gives the Excalibur food dehydrators positive reviews as well. It adds to the perception that the unit dehydrates evenly and it’s easy to move the trays in and out as needed. Most reviews have remarked that overall the unit is easy to clean. Whether you have the plastic trays or the stainless steel trays, consumers love the ease of cleaning the unit. The quality of the units and the end result of the preserved food are by far the most appreciated aspects of the Excalibur food dehydrators.
The one complaint from consumers does seem to the be the noise level of the machine. The noise complaint seems to only correspond to the larger units with multiple trays. There does seem to be relief of the noise level if you lessen the number of trays in the machine. While this may not be the most practical use, it could help overcome this potential negative aspect. Another observation is the plastic material that make up the case and trays.
If you do choose to go with a model that is made of mostly plastic (instead of the stainless steel) then the durability of the plastic could be a potential question. While nothing indicates the quality of the machine is questionable, the amount of plastic does cause some consumers concern.
How does the Excalibur Food Dehydrator compare to Other Brands?
Since this is a potential investment for you, you probably want to know how it compares to other brands out there.
Among the many brands available, you’ll find food dehydrators made by
- Hamilton Beach,
- Nesco, Weston,
- and Elite just to name a few.
Most of the other brands manufacture multiple types of products, whereas Excalibur is focused primarily on food dehydration.
Other manufacturers of dehydrators offer various levels of trays and square footage of drying space, digital timers, temperature control as well. Again, the air flow system of Excalibur appears to set it apart from other brands available for purchase.
The heating element of the Excalibur units is located at the top. Some consumers consider this a benefit because it’s easier to maneuver the trays and food within the hydrator.
Should I Purchase the Excalibur Food Dehydrator?
Overall the Excalibur dehydrators appear to be deemed the “Cadillac” of Food Dehydrators. If this is the sole purpose for the company’s existence, then it stands to reason Excalibur has put a lot of thought into their process and design. Based on the overall positive comments from hundreds and hundreds of consumers, these Excalibur food dehydrators are worth the investment.
Based on the reviews and sheer number of products that Excalibur has produced over the years, purchasing an Excalibur food dehydrator seems to be worth the investment. The hardest part of the process will be deciding which recipe to make first in your new Excalibur.
The Excalibur Food Dehydrator