I’m new to the world of Excalibur Dehydrators, but not the the world of dehydrating. See, for the last few years I’ve been finding creative ways to avoid dropping a huge chunk of change on a real dehydrator. I’ve borrowed my neighbor’s stacking no-name brand. Oops, she wanted that back eventually? I used the dashboard and/or the back of my SUV. Shoot, I forgot those dried herbs were in there and now they’re blowing all over the place! I have even used the oven with the door open and a box fan. Yeah, because that’s not dangerous with young kids in the house. I’ve dried food using the power of the sun (aka: putting it on window screens on the porch). Those darn squirrels stole my food!!!
The point is, I’ve found workarounds, but none have been without flaws. When the opportunity presented itself to get an honest-to-goodness real dehydrator, jumped with joy. Once I tried it out, I knew I had wasted a lot of time being frugal when I could have been dehydrating. Now, I haven’t actually sat down and done the math, but I’m pretty sure I’ve saved money because dehydrating is just so easy now. Let me tell you why I’m so glad I’ve got an Excalibur…
#1 The Excalibur has a timer option!
I wouldn’t admit this to just anyone, but you all are my people. I am ridiculously forgetful. Embarrassingly so. Just yesterday I watered my garden for 5 hours because I forgot to set the timer that would remind me I was watering the garden. Yeah, that’s how I roll. With a timer on the dehydrator I can set and forget. I do tend to notice pretty quickly when it’s no longer making noise, so I can check and add more time if neccessary.
#2 The Excalibur dehydrates food you forgot!
Let’s just swing back to the gist of #1. I’m forgetful. I will harvest broccoli and put it in the refrigerator to deal with later, but then I forget for a day or two that it’s in there. Do you know what happens to freshly cut broccoli after a day or two in the fridge? It gets limp. When I tried using my creative methods to dehydrate limp broccoli it would often spoil before it could get dry. Not the case with my Excalibur. By adjusting the temp up a bit higher, it dries quickly and still makes a great final product.
#3 The Excalibur has temperature settings!
I made the best garlic powder ever this year. The secret? Low temps (as well as the garlic variety – Russian Red). Some foods, like garlic, undergo chemical changes when exposed to heat. These changes can affect the flavor. I had tried making garlic powder in a cheap stackable dehydrator with my Russian Red garlic and it was underwhelming. The flavor was weak and it clumped in the container. The amazing smokey flavor of the powder from my Excalibur has me wanting everyone I know to try it… but I’m not willing to share.
#4 The Excalibur has a ridiculous amount of space!
I have the 5-tray model and it fits so much stuff (if you’re worried though, they have them up to a 9-tray in plastic and 10-tray in stainless steel)! You know those broccoli heads I forgot about? Well there’s usually a zucchini or two waiting on me as well. Since I probably forgot said zucchini on the vine as well, it’s about the size of Texas. That eliminates several of the common uses I have for it. Instead of making bread or chip from it, I’ll dehydrate it and grind it into veggie powder for soups and casseroles. Have I mentioned yet that this dehydrator saves me from my personal flaws?
#5 The Excalibur ParaFlexx™ premium non-stick drying sheets rock!
We try really hard not to use disposable items in our home. We have ditched the paper towels and throw away diapers, so using disposable parchment isn’t something I enjoy doing. Plus, have you ever tried moving something on parchment? It’s an accident waiting to happen. Yes, often you won’t need to move things on your tray liner, but you will if you’re making fruit leather. When you are halfway through the dry time the fruit leather needs to be flipped. What I do is pull it out on the ParaFlexx™ and then put the tray on top to flip it.
So are you sold? Are you ready to get your own? I highly recommend shopping at Pantry Paratus to get your Excalibur Dehydrator (and all the accessories). Pantry Paratus is a family owned company with excellent customer service. Plus, they offer free shipping on all orders over $300 and every dehydrator is sold with the Preserve It Naturally book for free. If you just need accessories, use code 104HOMESTEADHARVEST for free shipping on orders of $30+ until 9/11/16.