Who dehydrates? Excalibur Dehydrator - Stainless or Plastic? Or Countertop Convection? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-23-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been researching and saving for a long time and I can finally purchase an Excalibur Dehydrator. Actually, I just bought it and it arrived 2 days ago but I haven't decided if I want to keep it or exchange it for the stainless steel model. Does anyone here have the stainless model? Anyone care to list pros and cons.

Here are my thoughts and I'd love to know yours!

I dehydrate nuts at least once a week using my gas oven. I think I'd dehydrate more foods and more often if I had an exclusive dehdyrator. However, part of me wonders if the convection ovens like this Breville would work as well, too. During the summer in Texas, dehydrating in a hot kitchen is terrible.

So I bought the 9-tray with timer very excited about being able to dehydrate overnight safely without my oven on. Now that it has just arrived, I wish I had bought the stainless steel. However it is $100 more for the 5-tray model and $200 more for the 9-tray model. I'm trying to decide if the 5-tray would be enough. I'd like to try making yogurt in it and I don't know if the 5-tray is tall enough for yogurt. So does anyone have thoughts about the height for making yogurt?

(eta: Too wordy!) Basically, is the stainless tray/ model worth it?

Please share your thoughts about the Excalibur Dehydrator. Is it even worth it? If I could get away with a small convection oven and make beef jerkey and dehydrate nuts and veggies, I'd do that in a heartbeat. It could sit on the countertop, cost much less money, and probably be used at least once a day if not more in the summer.

In Summary:
Foods I already dehdyrate: Nuts once a week.
Foods I really want to dehydrate once a week as well - yogurt, beef jerkey, kale chips, homemade cold cereal, bell peppers, bananas, etc.

It's just so much money to spend; I can't make up my mind! Last year's big post-holiday purchase was the Vitamix. It cost more than the Dehydrator but we use it almost every single day and it has been worth every penny. For as much money as the dehydrator cost, I'd like it to be worth it, too.

If anyone hates their Excalibur, I'd love to know that, too! Tia!

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm, maybe I really was too wordy! smile.gif

So does anyone use the stainless steel model? Is the significant cost jump worth it?

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:10 PM
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Love my excaliber.  I did not know they made a stainless steel or I would have bought that.   I think 9 tray is the way to go.  I don't care for the noise (or heat in the summer) so I put it in the basement.  For about the same money you can but a Global Sun Oven with dehydrating kit.  However, you can't set the temperature so your food will not be raw.

I just made ground beef jerky for the first time and it came out great.  I have dehydrated fruits, veggies, herbs, nuts and seeds.  I used to have a cheap round model but it ran hot (no thermometer) and did not hold much.

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Old 02-01-2013, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! That's great to know. I actually am trying it out right now. Since they allow a Home Trial, I figured I might as well. The stainless just came out recently which I really think I want. So I still might swap in my 9-tray plastic for the 5-tray stainless. Great to know about the jerky. I'm going to try kale chips tomorrow.

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had no idea that you could dehydrate with a sun oven and we have one in storage. I just finished my first batch of nuts and they taste pretty similar to the ones I dehydrate in my gas oven. The noise was annoying overnight. I'm going to experiment all week and then decide. Thanks for letting me know about the sun oven dehydrator. I may look into buying those racks instead.

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Old 03-07-2013, 08:25 PM
 
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fwiw, i have a cheap plastic dehydrator.  it works great, and does low temps, but the racks are stained.  so factor replacing the plastic racks into your pricing consideration.
 

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