Win a copy of The Prairie Homestead Cookbook this week in the Cooking Forum forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Dave Burton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Steve Thorn
  • Eric Hanson
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

 
Summary
 
This is a place to review the Excalibur Food Dehydrator
 
Where to get it?
 
Amazon Link
 
Related Threads
 
Best Dehydrator?
 
Related Websites

Excalibur
COMMENTS:
 
Posts: 3
Location: Fort Myers, FL
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We purchased ours a month ago.  So far we have only done beef jerky and venison jerky.  Overall we love it.  

Cons:
    It's large.  This is not an item you can leave out on your counter unless you have a very spacious kitchen.  It is large!  Ours has a home on the basement shelf and I send a boy to fetch it when I need it.  
    It has plastic trays.  They sell stainless steel ones that you could purchase separate
    It is expensive!  
    Trays still need to be rotated for even dehydrating

Pros:
    Rectangular trays.  Much easier to load up with jerky than those silly circular trays.  We fit about 15 pounds of wet meat in one batch.  
    Great warranty
    Quiet.  It does have a constant hum but can be lessened by making sure no trays are touching the interior back panel
    Produces a consistent product.  Batch after batch has been the same allowing us to tweak other areas of our recipe without worrying about a dehydrator that works differently each time.  
    Long lasting (not from personal experience but did lots of research and many folks out there with 30 year old excaliburs)

 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
246
forest garden urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give mine 9 out of 10 acorns.

I haven't had a problem with rotating the trays, but I am comfortable pilling a tray as it finishes, and leaving the rest to finish.  

I find the plastic mesh a bit difficult to clean, so will eventually upgrade to something more sturdy. The branded Excalibur trays would be nice, but I suspect I can source some stainless steel mesh.

Despite being made with a raised front edge, the debris that does fall inside the machine is so dry that it's easy to wipe out with a damp cloth.  I have been careful to use fruit leather sheets whenever there is something that might drip.

Now I am going to try making some paleo skittles... https://www.google.com/amp/www.joyfulabode.com/paleo-skittles/amp/
 
pollinator
Posts: 1643
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
587
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give mine 9 out of 10 acorns.

I've had mine for 12 years and it's given no problems. By far it's the best small dehydrator that I've used. My only complaint is that there is no lip on the back and front of the trays, so things tend to fall off the back, especially round macadamia nuts. So I ran a bead of silicone caulk along the back edge to keep the macnuts from rolling off.
 
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Zone 3-4 (usually 4) Western South Dakota, central Black Hills
64
cattle dog hunting books chicken food preservation cooking bike building sheep homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give this dehydrator eight out of ten acorns.

I agree with all the things already said and am glad I bought mine though yes, it’s pricey. First the bad... if you get a mess that runs back behind the fan screen, it’s really tricky to clean up without some disassembly. And the good. I don’t have room for mine inside, so I leave it on a table next to an outdoor outlet on our covered deck. I keep it draped against dust and it doesn’t get wet there at all, but it is exposed to extremes of temperature and seems to take it all with no diminution of its considerable good performance. I love it! ❤️

Oh.. and I forgot. I soak the plastic screens and wash everything in the dishwasher. Sometimes it takes two loads, but my sinks are too small to hold the racks, so the dishwasher is a lifesaver as far as I’m concerned.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1049
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
217
hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give I give this dehydrator 9 out of 10 acorns.

After seeing many many little round dehydrators at garage sales, this was a major investment. The difference is that you will actually use it. The rectangular screens work well for my summer production lines, and often I can set them outside if it is sunny to start the process and finish them overnight, saving electricity.

It works OK for herbs, but sometimes they get into the fan.

My only gripe is that I could really use two or three of them, when produce is really piling in, and they are somewhat expensive. As we upgrade we will definitely do so with the same model for compatibility.

One pro tip- Don't bother buying the one with the automatic timer. You can get a much cheaper timer/plug combo and use it for other stuff.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 277
Location: wanderer
79
fungi tiny house bike
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give this dehydrator 9 out of 10 acorns. I've been using this dehydrator for years & it functions very well for dehydrating.

However, after seeing this thread, I clicked on the Amazon link in the original post & read some of the the reviews & found this one in the "most helpful negative reviews" section:

MJ, amazon reviewer wrote:Beware you are cooking in a toxic stew trying to be healthy! Sure, the shelves are bpa free, but the rest of the inside structure I found out isn't. There's studies of rats living in a bpa cage and they found bpa in them. It off gases. So if you are into health stuff like me, yes it works good, but super toxic. People recommend this one because they established themselves BEFORE the bpa awareness come out. Plastic inside?? Why??? ...



Is this true? Does anyone here have toxin-ectomy thoughts about this?

I think I may only use the plastic Excalibur for aesthetic dehydration (eg. of flowers & such) from now on & invest in an all-metal dehydrator for foods that I intend to ingest. Personally, I'm losing faith in "food-grade" plastics. I especially do not heat plastics that touch food / drinks anymore.
 
Tj Jefferson
pollinator
Posts: 1049
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
217
hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Loxley, I'm pretty against BPA. That being said, it takes heat and exposure to leach any significant amount. There should be no contact with anything but the screens and the temperatures reached are pretty modest.
 
Posts: 7
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Has anyone here used the Excalibur Food Dehydrator to make fruit leather? I'm wondering if that would work, especially with the lack of a lip at the back (I could do the silicone trick back there like someone else mentioned they had). And I would like to know if I'd need to buy a separate tray or liner for the fruit leather? If anyone out there has tried this I'd love to hear how it went!
Thanks so much! (-:
 
Posts: 101
Location: Zone 6a
7
food preservation medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made some before I had the silicone liner and I just lined a regular tray with parchment paper and it worked good.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 260
Location: NW Montana, USA
67
goat purity foraging rabbit chicken food preservation pig bee medical herbs solar ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've had mine for over 10 years and it owrks as well as day 1.  I've made jerky and fruit leathers, I dry leafy greens and eggs.  For a long time I kept it on the kitchen counter and anythign that came out of the garden that I wasn't going to eat immediately just went in the dehydrator.  I had a pantry full of flours and powders from various veggies.  Greens not normally eaten like broccoli greens got powdered, carrots and turnips and beets and cauliflower got dried and powdered (ever made carrot cake with carrot flour?  Good stuff!).  Dried eggs are my fav and I  have yet to find a good way to dry them outside of the dehydrator (I like to dry things over the wood stove; the eggs don't do that too well).  I also dry all my organ meats from butcher jobs, save them as treats for the dogs (they LOVE dried chicken organs).

I don't use it much these days due to power consumption.  I dry what I can over the stove.  But a few times a year I bust my Excalibur out, plug the generator in for a day, and bust out some dried provisions.

The only complaint I could possibly have is that the screens and plastic sheets are a PITA to clean.  But that's pretty minor for the use I gt out of it.  The space factor isn't an issue for me since the thing holds SO MUCH FOOD.  It makes it justifiable to run when you can fill it with 10-20lbs of something!
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!