I first discovered dehydrators when I was on the Paleo diet and looking to replicate foods like dried game meats and venison that were eaten by our paleolithic ancestors. Dehydrators are used to dehydrate or dry out the moisture from organic and inorganic matter. They are largely used in food preparation to preserve fruits, vegetables, meats and other prepared foods.
For this post I’ll review the Excalibur Dehydrator which is well-known in the world of domestic dehydrators and which I used extensively while I was following the Paleo diet. I still use it from time to time when I want to enjoy some jerky or oil-free veggie chips.
What Is a Dehydrator?
Simply speaking, a dehydrator is a machine that removes water from food and other objects by using a continuous circulation of thermostatiscally-controlled warm air. Dehydrators can be used to remove the moisture from fruits and vegetables, animal-based proteins like beef, fish and venison as well as from prepared foods like yogurt and cheese.
Dehydrators are exquisitely elementary machines comprised of mesh-covered shelves set into a circular or square case. A small motor delivers and circulates warm air over food for a set period until all moisture is dried out. The food is then preserved and can be stored and enjoyed long after they were first bought. Dehydrators come with instructions and they are very easy to use so there should be no fear in obtaining one.
Why You Need A Dehydrator
As I mentioned, I never gave having a dehydrator a thought before my stint on the Paleo diet. However, I discovered how valuable they are once I got a dehydrator of my own. Dehydrators can help you save money on your grocery bill by preserving foods and increasing the shelf-life of evaporated liquids. Here is a brief list of what you can do with a dehydrator:
- Dehydrate fruits (you can make raisins, other dried fruit and fruit leather)
- Dehydrate vegetables to make oil-free veggie chips (kale chips, zucchini chips, any vegetable will work!)
- Dehydrate game meats to make exotic jerkys
If you need to evenly and slowly remove moisture from any food or even inorganic items, a dehydrator will definitely make your life easier.
About The Excalibur Dehydrator
The Excalibur dehydrator is one of the better known dehydrators available for personal use at home, this is because it’s been tried and tested as one of the more reliable ones available in the market. The Excalibur dehydrator comes in several sizes including with 4 or 9 trays that provide ample surface areas for drying large amounts of foodstuffs.
The Excalibur comes with a built-in 26-hour timer and temperature thermostat so you can enter the correct temperature and time needed depending on the item being dehydrated. It also comes with a sliding door and mesh trays that are easy to remove and clean.
The Excalibur dehydrator comes with a Dehydration Guide that gives you information on all you need to know about dehydration along with several recipes and uses that you can try out from the comfort of your home.
Benefits of Using The Excalibur Dehydrator
I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all you can do with an Excalibur Dehydrator. I already commented on the top three home uses of making dried fruits, fruit leather and jerky, but you can also use an Excalibur Dehydrator to:
- Preserve Living Foods (sprouted grains/beans, vegetables, fermented preparations, etc.)
- Create your own homemade teas, herbs and spices by dehydrating fresh herbs and plants
- Make protein-rich dried and seasoned nuts instead of using a lot of oil to roast them in the oven
- Proof/raise bread dough in a perfectly controlled environment
- Dry fresh pasta
- Re-crispen and freshen stale foods like crackers, chips, cookies or cereals – saves you money!
- Make homemade yogurt and cottage cheese
You can dehydrate an entire meal with the Excalibur dehydrator all while preserving beneficial enzymes, vitamins and other nutrients.
What Others Are Saying About The Excalibur Dehydrator
Don’t just take my word for it though because as always, I like to include what others are saying about any item I review. Take a look at some recent reviews and what others are saying about the Excalibur Dehydrator.
Angela E. 5.0 out of 5 stars This Dehydrator is Fantastic! May 8, 2019 Size: 9-Tray Verified Purchase
I have been using this dehydrator every few days to make large batches of dried fruit (apples, bananas, plums, peaches, grapes, strawberries…) and it has worked perfectly. The fruit dries evenly throughout even when I dry thick slices. The fan noise is not terrible – you can definitely hear it, but the sound is similar to a “white noise machine” and it does not bother me. It is easy to clean and we have had NO problems with it at all.
Joanne 5.0 out of 5 stars Love the dehydrator. May 7, 2019 Size: 9-Tray Verified Purchase
Love my dehydrator. I use it all the time. Lots of shelves. Works great.
Devon Silvey 3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive for what you get. May 4, 2019 Size: 9-Tray Verified Purchase
Wish it came with the book that used to be included. The “dehydration guide” is just the small product manual. It really shouldn’t even be included in the advertising…. “your product now includes instructions at no additional cost!”
Dave D 5.0 out of 5 stars Best Dehydrator for Jerky. April 18, 2019 Size: 9-Tray Verified Purchase
What a great machine, I have 10 of these lined in my basement, run them weekly and make quite a few cases of Jerky. Everyone that tries it thinks it’s better than all the store-bought crap.
Richard Meeks 5.0 out of 5 stars Love this dehydrator April 15, 2019 Size: 9-Tray Verified Purchase
Went from one of the round types to this one, major difference. For me it’s the difference between going from that light oven you get for Christmas as a kid to the double convection oven as an adult. I like making jerky and this machine makes it enjoyable to do.
These reviews align with my own thoughts about the Excalibur dehydrator. It may be slightly pricier than other brands, but as with everything in life, you get what you pay for.
Final Thoughts On The Excalibur Dehydrator
An Excalibur Dehydrator is one of the most effective tools in our kitchen that enhances our lives in several ways:
- It helps us to save money by increasing the shelf-life of perishable foods
- It helps to preserve the natural enzymes and vitamins in living foods; and,
- It helps us to create foods like cheese, pasta and yogurt from scratch.
When you know what’s in your food and when you can make meals without preservatives, you enhance your health and quality of life – This is the greatest benefit that an Excalibur Dehydrator can add to your life.
What do you think? Do you have a dehydrator? Can you use one in your kitchen? Let me know in the comments. In the meanwhile if you’re in the market for a home dehydrator you can pick up an Excalibur dehydrator here.