Food Dehydrator, advice?

   / Food Dehydrator, advice? #1  

goeduck

Super Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2017
Messages
9,281
Location
Kitsap, WA
Tractor
Kubota, Massey, Iseki
I am looking at getting a food (mostly for apples, pears and bananas) dehydrator. Any advice on the brand? I am seeing excalibur as a locally offered brand but I am not adverse to shipment to save money. Any input?
 
Last edited:
   / Food Dehydrator, advice? #2  

txdon

Super Star Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Messages
15,882
Location
Central Texas
Tractor
JD 3032E
I have an Excalibur. I have the economy one with 5 trays and I wish I would have got the one with more trays. If you get the one with more trays and you have taller stuff to dehydrate you can leave out every other shelf. I also bought the silicon pads that fit exactly on the trays, it makes cleaning a breeze. Amazon.com: Set of 3 - 14 x 14 Inches - Excalibur ParaFlexx Ultra Silicone Re-usable Non-stick Sheets: Kitchen & Dining

One of my favorite cooks recommended the Excalibur, she also has the optional glass front door.
Two Onion-Flax Cracker Recipes from the Dehydrator - YouTube

One of the foods that really works good in the dehydrator is Kale Chips. I buy 2 bunches of kale tear the leaves into about 2" pieces and it fills up 5 trays. I double the recipe below.

Recipe:
1 Bunch of Kale
1 c cashews (soaked for an hour)
1 medium red pepper
Juice of half a lemon (2tbs)
1/3c nutritional yeast
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp apple cider vinegar
(Optional taco/chilli seasoning - for nacho flavored)

Directions:
Wash kale, remove stalks, tear into even sized pieces (approx 2 inches) place in large bowl.

De-seed the red pepper and drain off your soaked cashews.
Put all ingredients (except kale) in to a blender and blend everything together.

Pour mixture over kale and use your hands to toss it all together.

Set dehydrator at 125˚ for 3-5 hours flipping once after a few hours.

(These chips can also be bought at Whole Foods store at $59.00 a pound.)
 
Last edited:
   / Food Dehydrator, advice? #3  

blackdog2086

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Messages
315
Location
SE Michigan
Tractor
JD 5115M, JD 4720, Kubota ZD326
+1 on the Excalibur brand. Not sure the model # I have but it has 9 trays which are plenty for my needs. It helped a lot when our garden was in full swing as we were getting more than we could use and our canning shelves were already full. I also have non-stick sheets on each of the trays but mine are some sort of treated cloth material supposedly to allow better airflow. The plastic grates on each shelf has mesh that allows seeds and things to fall through without the sheets. The only thing I wish it had is a shutoff timer, but I just got a cheap plug in outlet timer and it works fine.
 
   / Food Dehydrator, advice? #4  

dmccarty

Super Star Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2000
Messages
12,382
Location
Triangle Of North Carolina
Tractor
JD 4700
We have the Excalibur with 9 trays. It simply works.

The non stick sheets are really helpful, especially, if you are making fruit leathers. I was able to buy some pretty cheap on Amazon instead of buying from Excalibur.

You might want to do a search on TBN for dehydrators to find previous discussions. I remember one guy had bought a higher end model that he liked alot but I do not remember the make, model, or price.

Later,
Dan
 
   / Food Dehydrator, advice? #5  

MossRoad

Old Timer
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Messages
55,573
Location
South Bend, Indiana (near)
Tractor
Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year
I picked up an American Harvest (one of those round ones) at a garage sale many, many years ago. Works great! So I bought 4 extra trays for it, so now have 8 trays if needed. I'd buy one at full price knowing how well it works.
 
   / Food Dehydrator, advice? #6  

txdon

Super Star Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Messages
15,882
Location
Central Texas
Tractor
JD 3032E
Kale chips from recipe above ready to go into the dehydrator. IMG_1029.JPG
 
   / Food Dehydrator, advice? #8  

txdon

Super Star Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Messages
15,882
Location
Central Texas
Tractor
JD 3032E
Man do those look good!! Up here I get aphids on my kale, should add a little nutrition?

Oh, they are. Just had a few crispy ones. This time I added a tablespoon of chili powder and a tablespoon of smoked paprika to the recipe to make them nacho flavored. It's just the right amount of smokey heat with the sweet cashews and the lemon juice.
 
   / Food Dehydrator, advice? #9  

beowulf

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Messages
1,200
Location
Central California Foothills
Tractor
Kubota L3410 HST, J Deere riding mower
We use and like the American Harvester - one with a fan which circulates the air through a middle "tunnel" and avoids having to move the trays up and down to get even drying. We have recommended this brand to others and they are satisfied with theirs. We have used up to 7 trays at one time. We dry cherry tomatoes mostly, but also apricots, apples, and persimmons. The dried cherry tomatoes (Sweet 100 variety) really concentrate the flavor - use them in omelets, soups, stir fries and more.

This is the only brand I am familiar with so I cannot compare it to other brands, but we really like this one.
 
   / Food Dehydrator, advice?
  • Thread Starter
#10  
OP
goeduck

goeduck

Super Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2017
Messages
9,281
Location
Kitsap, WA
Tractor
Kubota, Massey, Iseki
I will have to look at the American Harvester line.

I see an Excalibur D900SHD model that says it has stainless trays. I assume solid dimpled but I can’t tell for sure from the website. Anyone have comments on a solid sheet? Airflow issues?
 
 
Top