I am used to the round Nesco dehydrators; I own several and have used them for decades. However, I have always wanted an Excalibur Dehydrator, I just hesitated at spending the money.
However, I have a very good friend that is an apartment prepper – and he bought one, but die to space issues he never unpacked it. When he asked me if I wanted to try it out and make a video – I had no choice but to jump on it.
In my opinion, and the opinion of several other reviewers, a dehydrator is a dehydrator, is a dehydrator when it comes to the amount of time it takes to work.
Strawberries that take 6 hours to dry in my round Nesco, take the same 6 hours in the larger Excalibur.
The difference comes in the EASE of use.
The rectangular Excalibur trays allow me to more easily fit items in the tray, and when making things like jerky, or spreadables like bean bark
or fruit roll up, it is much easier to fit thinks on a square tray than a round one with a hole in the center.
Something else I really liked was the double tray; you have a plastic tray with a very large grate that holds a removable flexible mesh that your food sits on. This allows you to pick up the whole mesh tray by the corners and use it like a funnel to pour your dehydrated foods into their containers. With the round Nesco It seems like I keep dropping the food off the tray as I try to box the food up.
The Excaliber is much more flexible than the round dehydrators – you can even take the trays out and use it as an incubator for bread dough or yogurt.
Depending on who you are and what your circumstances are, the size may be a positive or a negative. I like how big it is, because I do my food storage in bursts – I do a lot at a time, and I don’t like to wait on one batch to finish so I can start another. However, space is a premium in my home, so I don’t have a dedicated place to keep it out – so I will wait until we get the homestead built and I have a dedicated food prep room before I get my own.
I think this dehydrator is worth the price – even if it does cost a couple hundred dollars.
So that was the review – now let’s talk about ways to keep fruit from browning while dehydrating
You Can Use:
- Steam for 3-4 minutes: You need to rinse with cold water and blot dry before dehydrating.
- Lemon, lime, pineapple juice and water: 1:4 -one quart water to one cup juice
- Citric Acid: Mix 1 teaspoon of citric acid into one of cold water. Let soak for 10 minutes
- Ascorbic acid: Stir 2 1/2 tablespoons of pure ascorbic acid crystals into one quart of cold water. (6 500 milligram vitamin c tablets = 1 teaspoon ascorbic acid) Soak for 10 minutes.
- Honey Dip: Mix ½ cup sugar with 1½ cups boiling water. Cool to lukewarm and add ½ cup honey Place fruit in dip and soak 3 to 5 minutes.
All of these help control oxidation that causes browning. I like the lemon juice the best because it is easy and cheap, but the honey dip tastes better.