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Can I just say how long I have wanted a dehydrator?
So, needless to say, when the lovely folks over at Pantry Paratus contacted me and asked if I’d like to review the 9 Tray Excalibur Dehydrator, of course I said yes.
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
I was SO excited for the dehydrator to arrive. The first thing I was going to make was my cheesy kale chips. I already had it planned: kale purchased and cheese sauce made. Yum!
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?
Wow, would I love to win this! With 15 square feet of drying space, there is almost no end to what you can do! I think the first thing I would do is try drying some sprouted grains. When the garden comes into season and herbs are growing again, I will be drying lots of things. I was reading last night about dehydrating dandelion roots. I am so going to do that among many others herbs!
Would love to win this! Used to make fruit leather for my kids all the time
I would love to win a food dehydrator! I want to make some wonderfully fresh fruit leather. Thank you for making this contest possible 🙂
The first thing I would make in this wonderful dehydrator would be fruit chips and fruit roll ups for my grand-babies. I have wanted one of these for so long and I really hope I will be blessed by winning this one.
Every year for the last three years I have asked my family for this and they just can’t seem to bring it together to get it for me. We just fall short and this bill or that bill blah blahblah. I would so love to have this. It would give my poor oven a rest. 🙂
I would make dried fruit leather and dried fruit. I crave it, but can’t afford one right now.
I have wanted this food dehydrator for several years now. I cannot afford to buy it just yet and that’s why I am so excited about this giveaway. My family could really put this to mega use. I have children with food allergies and sensitivities to food additives and nitrates and much more. I could soak my grains and then dehydrate them so they can be digested well, make healthy grass fed jerky, make healthy snacks and much much more! This would be a big blessing here in this house; I hope someone who really needs this gets it. Thanks for the great giveaway.
I would love this!
I would LOVE to have a dehydrator!! There are so many things you can do with them! Thank you for doing this!!
I have dreamed of owning your dehydrator for many years. love to dehydrate foods and have gotten some wonderful ideas for going beyond veges, fruits and herbs. Good luck
Dried fruit strips for my daughter!
I would love to win this size so I could make more fun stuff at the same time.
I dream about owning one of these deydrators! Thank you for the chance to get one at this time. I so would use this nearly daily to save my garden and fruit bounties. Thank you again for this opportunity!
I would love to have another food dehydrator. I had one years ago and loved it and used it for many things. I lost it in divorce but have been looking at different kinds for last few years. This one would be perfect.
Wow, what a fantastic opportunity this is to win something but you can’t afford to buy for yourself! I’m sure there’s many of us in that same boat, so I hope one of us I really do not have the means to be able to buy it will win it. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!!!
I received my raw food chef certification in 2011. I have suffered with chronic inflammation, pain in the soft tissue and joints throughout my entire body, and digestive issues for about 15 years. During my raw food chef training, I began to understand the benefits of a strongly alkaline diet and started to incorporate more raw foods into my diet and eliminate starchy foods, dairy, etc. I took money out of our savings and invested in an awesome juicer first. I started using my husband’s old cheap dehydrator, but was concerned about the odor left on everything, and could tell it was cooking the good, and it could no longer be considered raw. Since that time, I have wanted an Excalibur dehydrator, so I could control the temperature and eat more truly raw foods. One of the first things I would make if I won this awesome contest would be some raw crackers from my juice pulp. Then, I would pull out my raw food cook books and start making all the recipes I’ve wanted to try for years but lacked the proper tools!!
That would be a dream come true to win this little marvel… like you, I am dreaming and drooling over this for sooooo many years. I am vegan raw and try to get my health back… it would be… fantastic…
So, I cross fingers, toes, eyes… everything… hope to win it so badly 🙂
Thank you 🙂
This would be ideal for boondocking!
I would make cinnamon apples & raisins
I’d love to try making fruit leather and sundried tomatoes!
The Excalibur Food Dehydrator is the Cadillac of ALL dehydrators. It has been on my wish/want list for years !!
The first thing I would dehydrate is my yummy fresh heirloom tomatoes, then my sweet blueberries, then I would make some fruit leather for the kids. I’ve always wanted to make jerky! So excited!!
Wow! I am inspired! Would love to have one of these dehydrators. Thanks for all the great tips and advice you share on such an important topic. Keep on learning and sharing!
I have been longing for this dehydration since forever.
The fist thing I would like to make with this dehydrator if I win one is the hamburger jerky.
Would love this dehydrator! My houserabbit would love dehydrated fruits as well as my husband and myself. I also read the blog post about dehydrating mixed frozen veggies on the Pantry Paratus site. Great idea!
I have wanted a dehydrator for about 4 years, since I quit smoking and started a healthy lifestyle. I would make fruit rolls for my grand kids that have only fruit sugar in them and I know where and what they are made from. I would dry all my own herbs and fruit! I could go on and on! I really want one.
Have been wanting one for a couple years. Have alot to dry.
wow i have been wanting one of these for years now i find ou you can raise bread wow this ould be heaven to e to be able to dehydrate and now raise bread ty for the great ideas you come up with and a chance to win this
I have been looking at this dehydrator for several years. I wo0uld love to have one. I would make dried apple slices first, then cut them up and make granola that is not heated too much to destroy the enzymes, etc. in my honey.
I would dry every locally grown vegetable and fruit I could get my hands on to have them available year round.
I have an old ‘ Ronco ‘ dehydrator and would love to have a quality dehydrator with temperature control. I would dry soaked nuts, veggies and fruits.
I would love one of these babies! I hope to try out dried tomatoes and possibly jerky! 🙂
I have been wanting one of these for a long time. Limited storage space and small fridge/freezer cry out for a dehydrator.
Me too! It was at the top of my wish list for a long time! Can’t wait to put it to work this summer!
The Excalibur has been in my wish list for about a year now! <3
Me too! I had wanted one for years and was so excited to finally get one! 🙂
This would be so beneficial to preserve and prepare healthy foods and snacks. I’d use it to make dehydrated fruits and veggies like beets, kale chips mandarin slices, dehydrated sprouted nuts and grains, different types of jerky, and dehydrated herbs. As someone with many food sensitivities, I’m very cautious of what’s in my food and what I feed my young grandchildren. I’d love to have one.
Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by and reading! They are super handy and you could make all sorts of stuff with it. I am always seeing new creative recipes for things you can dehydrate! 🙂