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Can I just say how long I have wanted a dehydrator?
Actually, make that more like YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!
I was just a tad excited. 😉
DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a 9 Tray Excalibur Dehydrator from Pantry Paratus at no charge. I was under no obligation to post a review or giveaway, nor did I receive any monetary compensation for this post. All views and opinions expressed are my own. Read our full terms and conditions here.
Excalibur Dehydrator Review
The kale chips turned out great, though the taste was a little different than when I do them in the oven. When I make the chips using the oven method, they do get a slight “browned” or toasted flavor, whereas the chips I made in the dehydrator did not have that flavor. They were still delicious though! I think it will just depend on what I’m in the mood for when I make these again (which is almost every week!).
I was a little worried that I wouldn’t know how to use the dehydrator, seeing that I had never used one before, but I was pleased to see that a dehydrator is a pretty simple piece of equipment, plus it came with a handy how-to guide and an even bigger book, “Preserve it Naturally” that has a TON of recipes, ideas, tips and tricks, and more.
The other main thing I use my dehydrator for is dehydrating my nuts and seeds after I have soaked and/or sprouted them. I used to have to do this in my oven, but it was impossible to get the temperature low enough to where the nuts didn’t end up roasting. Now I can have thoroughly dehydrated nuts and seeds that have not been heated too high.
The next project I am going to try is making burger jerky. I am always in need of quick snacks and I love jerky. Regular jerky is so expensive, but if I could use ground beef or bison, I could cut the cost down substantially. Anyone tried this before?
The dehydrator has not gotten the use that I know it will come summer. I am excited to have it on hand to help preserve the summer harvest and it gives me another way to prep and store food for the colder months. Sometimes I can get such amazing deals on produce at the farmers market, but I haven’t had a good way to help preserve it until now (there’s only so much room in the freezer). I can’t wait until summer gets here so I can start shopping!
I plan on dehydrating just about every fruit and veggies I can get my hands on, even if it’s just to experiment. I also want to try it for making my homemade coconut milk yogurt. In addition, dehydrators are super helpful for:
- Raising breads
- Making fruit leathers
- Making jerky
- Dehydrating herbs and teas
- Drying floral arrangements
- Making crackers, granola, and other raw sweet treats.
- Making pet snacks
- Making bone broth powder
- And more!
Want some new recipe ideas or tips on how to use your dehydrator? Check out my Dehydrator Recipe Round-Up here. I’ve collected 80+ real food dehydrator recipes to give myself, and you, some new inspiration!
Why Use a Dehydrator?
Unlike the oven, you never run the risk of your food burning or cooking a heat level that could destroy the delicate nutrients in the food. Dehydrators are especially helpful for those who follow a raw style diet, or who are just wanting to incorporate more raw foods into their diet.
While there are many brands of dehydrators on the market, Excalibur is one of the leaders in this niche. Their machines are made in the USA and are built to last. My 9 Tray Dehydrator included:
- 1 year warranty, with optional 10 year limited warranty.
- A Free Copy of The Preserve It Naturally book! (this book was SUPER helpful)
- 15 square feet of drying space
- An adjustable thermostat (85-155 degrees)
- 7″ fan, 600watts, 110V, 60Hz.
The one thing I need to invest in is the Paraflexx sheets. These are useful for doing things like hamburger jerky, fruit leathers, or anything else that starts off as a liquid that could drip down below the trays. When the budget allows, I will be purchasing a set of those. You can find the Paraflexx Drying Sheets here. For the kale chips, since I didn’t have these drying sheets, I simply used parchment paper as tray liners and that worked great. It would not, however, work for wetter items like fruit leathers, jerky, etc.
Want to learn more? Pantry Paratus has a couple of fantastic posts on their site:
- Recycling a Glass Bottle Pantry Paratus Style
- 9 Tray Excalibur Dehydrator vs. Deep Freezer: What does it really cost to store food?