Using a dehydrator is one of the best methods of food preservation
Dehydrating using the sun has been a way to preserve food for many tribal cultures. In our modern day times, you can still build a solar dehydrator, or you can use an electric one indoors.
Although a dehydrator can be expensive to purchase initially, you can also choose more inexpensive ones to start with, then move up to a better one. That’s what we did, we started with a $50 Nesco round dehydrator then moved up to a $250 9 tray Excalibur model a couple years later.
From someone who has used both a cheap and the top of line dehydrator, I wanted to offer readers a review
This post will cover:
- Choosing the best dehydrator for your needs
- My review of using a cheaper model and an expensive dehydrator
Choosing the best dehydrator for your needs
One of the most obvious questions when it comes to choosing a dehydrator is cost. The other is what you plan on dehydrating. Are you a dehydrated jerky lover? Is your goal to grow and dehydrate vegetables? Are you a raw foodist wishing to dehydrate healthy crackers and desserts?
I started looking for a dehydrator because we love dehydrating kale chips. At first a cheaper dehydrator was fine, although there was one flaw which I will talk about soon. Soon we wanted to start dehydrating on a larger-scale to preserve food. We also loved some of the gluten-free raw wraps which need a large tray not small circle ones.
Some questions to ask before choosing your dehydrator
When we heard that Excaliburs were the best food dehydrator, I wanted to know why. I will admit that we bought a second hand round Nesco, not one of the newer ones. However one thing that we noticed is that the top layers of our dehydrated food were hot and crispy, the bottom wasn’t as done. I learned that the heating and fan air flow isn’t well distributed. That’s what make the Excalibur or even commercial dehydrators so great, even heat distribution.
The other feature I love is different settings depending on what you’re dehydrating
Our herbs would ALWAYS burn in the Nesco even on the lowest setting.
In the excalibur I can dehydrate herbs on a very gentle setting and they don’t burn. This is a great benefit if you’re a herbalist or homesteader, although certain herbs I still air dry. You can also use your Excalibur to rise bread dough or start your yogurt fermentation.
The Excalibur 9 tray was our choice because we’re a large family that homesteads & preserves
What is your favorite dehydrator?
Coming up I’ll be sharing a dehydrated food recipes and a book review of Shelle Wells Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook
Grow. More. Food.
Subscribe to 'the Latest Dirt' newsletter to get FREE gardening tips