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December 14, 2012
October 15, 2011
February 10, 2009
I think that the Excalibur is the overwhelming favorite because of it's versatility, temperature control, convenience and long life and excellent warantee if you are going to use it a lot and can justify spending the $$ on it. It has a great guarantee and being able to use it with some of the trays removed means you can raise and proof bread dough in it, make yogurt in it, and I've also heard of people using them to dry 'things' like hats and gloves and such. (not sure I'd want to use one for that then dry food, but hey! To each their own.)
I have a Nesco 'American Harvest' and am happy extremely happy with it, but it's one with a good fan and a temp control, but all the racks are needed to run it, so it isn't quite as versatile but it is definitely awesome for drying any kind of fruit, veg, and theoretically jerky too, which I really want to try soon! I'm very happy with it and couldn't justify spending the bucks on an Excalibur even though that would be my first choice if I were wealthy and had all the room in the world to store another dehydrator.
My priorities would be good circulation which includes a good fan and a reasonable range for temp control no matter which one I was to buy. Hope that helps!
January 2, 2011
We have an Excalibur & love it. Ours is a 5 tray & has the timer. I don't know if the timer was worth the extra, but my husband really wanted a timer. I really like being able to use some or all of the trays. This has allowed me to use the dehydrator for other things besides drying food. I haven't used any other dehydrator, so I don't have anything to compare ours too. I would, however, not hesitate to purchase another Excalibur. Check ebay & Craigslist too...many people have found amazing deals on dehydrators that people are simply trying to get rid of.
June 2, 2010
I have 3 Excalibur 9 tray dehydrators. Those are the models we used at the retreat in our dehydrating classes. They are the best models I've ever used, BUT I have used other brands. My first was just a simple convection model. It had a heating element on the bottom and little holes to open on the lid and on the bottom piece. Warm air rose naturally and dried the goodies. I live in very humid PA so I couldn't dry tomatoes or very wet produce because it would mold before it dried. It served me well for apples, peppers and onions. I passed it to my son-in-law who is still using it.
Here's a blog post I wrote on dehydrating:
I have dried many crazy things in my dehydrator. I like the Excal because it has a separate door that allows you to remove trays for items that have various heights. Many of the models don't allow you to do that. I also make a lot of yogurt and it turns out beautifully every time in the Excal.
If you think you'll get into dehydrating big time, I'd recommend the Excal. You don't need a timer, that just adds to the cost. It will pay for itself many times over in jars of goodies on your shelves.
May 15, 2011
I have had several different dehydrators. I had an american harvest, problem was, the top trays would be wet and the bottom overly dry.
Had a Ron Popeil thing.. piece of junk. Stuff molded and never dried!
My MIL has one that came as a kit, but it is basically like an excalibur. Hers has 10 trays, glass front door, temp control (low, med, hi) and fan. Heat element and fan on back wall, like excalibur.
I bought a 5-tray used excalibur on eBay. LOVE IT! In fact I am looking for a 9-tray. I use this constantly in summer. I have it on my front porch running to dry peppers, onions, garlic and more (because they are so aromatic). I also dry pear slices, peach slices, plums, apricots, fruit leather, chamomile (for tea), red raspberry leaves (for tea), chives, sage, lovage, basil, oregano.
I make fruit leather year around. Usually with in a few days of hubby putting my dehydrator away, I pull it out again. I wish my house was big enough that I could have it set up and ready daily.
Again, I love my excalibur, and I want a second one.
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