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Review: Excaliber Food Dehydrator

I have owned several inexpensive food dehydrators during my lifetime. They are great if you don't need to use a dehydrator very much, but if you need a big, heavy duty one, you will definitely be looking for something better. I just recently purchased the Excalibur 3926TW 9 Tray Dehydrator, and I am excited to tell you about it (and no, I haven't been paid to tell you about it).

I have been wanting a larger food dehydrator for a long time. Even with just a small garden it is hard to justify buying a larger one. I used my small one to dry all my herbs last year and although it did the job, I had that thing running almost 24 hours a day for several weeks last summer.

This year I was given three boxes of plums from one of my neighbors. I started to dry them and then I realized that there was no way I would be able to dry very many of them with my small dehydrator before they started spoiling.

excaliber dehyrator

I have been reading reviews on dehydrators since last year, and the Excaliber really caught my eye. At Amazon there are literally hundreds of reviews about this food dehydrator, so it is very easy to find out what people really think about it. I had already decided that was the one I wanted to buy, so it was just a matter of ordering it.

The biggest complaint about this dehydrator was that it is big and noisy. Well, yes, it is big. It has 9 trays! That is totally worth the sacrifice of counter space. I have found this dehydrator is not noisy at all. I have many appliances that are much noisier than this one is. So this isn't a complaint for me.

There are several different models of this food dehydrator to choose from. I chose the Excalibur 3926TW. This is their best model besides the stainless steel model, which is considerably more expensive. This model is plastic but I find it to be very sturdy. It also comes with a 10 year warranty, which you won't find from any other company (it is also made in the USA).

The primary difference between this model and the less expensive models is that this one has a timer. Some of the cheaper models don't have a timer. People have different opinions about if a timer is needed or not, but often I start projects late in the evening, later realizing the dehydrator will be done in the middle of the night. Having the timer solves that problem, it will turn off for you and you don't have to worry about it.

These are some of the many uses of this dehydrator:

  • Drying fruits, vegetables, nuts
  • Making fruit leather
  • Making beef jerky
  • Making yogurt
  • Making cheese
  • Raising bread

There are so many uses for this dehydrator. I have recently been making homemade breads and rolls, and I was really excited to find out I can use the dehydrator to raise my bread. Just remove the upper trays and place your bowl of dough in the dehydrator. It keeps it the perfect temperature, which is why it is also great for making homemade yogurt.

I have a dehydrator full of plums drying right now, with another box of plums to go. I have been playing with my new toy all week and really love it so far. If you have been thinking about getting a large heavy-duty food dehydrator, I really recommend this one.

Next summer when I finally get to plant a large garden, it will definitely go to good use.

Copyright 2014, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.

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Rachel Paxton
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