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  1. #1
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    Default Which Dehydrator to Purchase??

    I've done a bit of research on dehydrators, and heard that Excaliburs are the way to go. I'm torn between these two:

    http://www.amazon.com/Excalibur-2900...ustomerReviews

    http://www.amazon.com/Excalibur-2400...alibur%7CNesco

    Any thoughts or advice on maybe a different one? I plan on cooking/dehydrating many large meals over the next 2 months.

  2. #2
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    Since you're going to be dehydrating quite a bit, I'd go for the larger one. You can pile much more in it. Good choice on looking at units without timers. When I was pricing mine, I found that a timer cost an additional $100 or so. Checked the box of electrical "stuff" and found some old but serviceable timers meant to turn lamps off and off while on vacation. Works like a charm, and cheap.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! Yeah I just purchased it! Can't wait to do some cooking/dehydrating (2 more days!)

  4. #4
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    You're gonna love it! Have fun, and if you run into any questions, we're here to help.

  5. #5
    Registered User HeartFire's Avatar
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    Excalibur - hands down. I've had one for 10 yrs now, still going strong. well worth every penny.

  6. #6

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    I have a 9 tray and love it!

  7. #7
    Registered User Diamondlil's Avatar
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    The first one, 9 tray "economy" does not come with the front cover. The second, four shelve does have the cover. You can get the 9 tray deluxe, which is basically the same as the first, the exception is it comes with the cover. I love mine, it runs at least twice weekly.



  8. #8

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    I believe mine is about 6-7 trays, takes ALOT to fill one up but I make about 1/4 of the years backpacking meals at a time (whole Saturday), and boom they are done and CHEAP. Since I got my dehydrator and vacuum sealer for xmas, the payoff was immediate.

    Remember to presoak 30 min before cooking!!!
    Last edited by Gambit McCrae; 01-07-2016 at 09:24.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
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    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  9. #9
    Coach Lou coach lou's Avatar
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    I have a 4 tray Excalibur.......love it and the stuff it makes!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondlil View Post
    The first one, 9 tray "economy" does not come with the front cover. .
    How does it work without a cover?

    I love my 9 tray.

  11. #11
    Registered User Diamondlil's Avatar
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    wannahike

    I wondered the same thing when I was looking to order mine. It is a separate purchase for this particular deal. By the time you add it on you are paying about the same as the "Deluxe".



  12. #12
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    I bought the 9 tray economy and it definitely came with the cover. Alot bigger than I expected. I dehydrated assorted fruits- don't even try to dehydrate blackberries. After 18 hours they were still full of H20... I'm trying to figure out which vacuum sealer to purchase now. I'm running pretty low on funds thus far and would like to get a cheap one that can seal large portions at once... Any ideas, lemme know!

  13. #13

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    I have a 5-tray Excalibur and love it. There's no timer, but in my experience, dehydrating time is more of a variable (it's done when it's done) than a constant. A lot depends on the ingredients and how thickly/thinly you spread them on the trays. I'd suggest buying the plastic sheet liners for fruit roll-ups, sauces, and the like; the plain trays are fine for apple, banana, pineapple, jerky, mushrooms and the like.

    A dehydrator is not just for hiking foods, either. If your family gardens, it comes in handy for drying herbs, small tomatoes and many other items. You can consider it an investment for the future, not just a hiking expense.

  14. #14

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    I just ordered a dehydrator a couple minutes ago - will be here Wednesday.

    What have you made so far and what are your favorites?? I like dehydrated Okra to snack on, think that will be the first thing I try. And maybe apples.

  15. #15

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    I bought a Presto DeHydro a month ago for $33. It has no temperature control, and it's fairly small in comparison to a "real" one. The temperature is set permanently slightly above a jerkey safe temperature. I can't find the literature, but it's around 165/170 degrees.

    I've had it running nearly non stop for the last month. It's easy to clean. For a single person, with the time to babysit it, I'd highly recommend it. I didn't find the set temperature to be a big drawback, everything I tested was edible.

    If you're preparing food for larger groups, or need to prepare large amounts in a short time, then go for something else. Nutritionally, I'm sure there was some greater percentage of enzymes destroyed, if you're worried about that. I wasn't, as I'm not eating dehydrated food most of the time.

  16. #16

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    Dehydrator came in yesterday - Nesco FD-1040 1000-watt Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator - It's the size of a tuck tire!

    Gonna crank her up today. I can eat my weight in dehydrated okra.

  17. #17

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    I prepare all my backpacking meals in a 5 tray TSM dehydrator and it is excellent.


    Here is the 5 tray model in action.



    The TSM comes with stainless steel wire trays and I bought 5 silicone Excalibur sheets as I do most of my drying on these sheets---soups, veggie chilis, wet stuff, tomatoes Etc.

    If I had it to do over again I'd get the 10 tray model and punch out a trip's food load in just a couple days (as one tray usually equals one Day on the trail with one cooked dinner meal).

  18. #18

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    And Btw, almost anything is "dryable" and I've done it all except meat as I'm a veggie.


    You can dry anything almost if you want. These frozen burritos dry well if sliced and then eaten on the trail as a sort of jerky.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    I bought a Presto DeHydro a month ago for $33. It has no temperature control, and it's fairly small in comparison to a "real" one. The temperature is set permanently slightly above a jerkey safe temperature. I can't find the literature, but it's around 165/170 degrees.

    I've had it running nearly non stop for the last month. It's easy to clean. For a single person, with the time to babysit it, I'd highly recommend it. I didn't find the set temperature to be a big drawback, everything I tested was edible.

    If you're preparing food for larger groups, or need to prepare large amounts in a short time, then go for something else. Nutritionally, I'm sure there was some greater percentage of enzymes destroyed, if you're worried about that. I wasn't, as I'm not eating dehydrated food most of the time.
    Anything with meat should be done at or above 160 degrees.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosh View Post
    Anything with meat should be done at or above 160 degrees.
    Right, which is why I mentioned that it was set at slightly above a jerkey safe temperature.

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