Excalibur dehydrator

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by melbo, May 12, 2010.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Anyone here dehydrate food? I was given one as a gift and wanted to test it out on some simple vegetables.

    I think I'll still use my $10 Jerky maker for my meat although I may be tempted to play around with a few batches in this monster.

    Any tips for an experimental batch?
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    One whole goat.

    Smoked goat.

    Ready -go.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  3. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Monkey++

    A nice way to "cheat" is to get a bag of frozen mixed veggies from your local Walmart & dehydrate them. Very simple, and great for making soup at some future time. Store dried veggies in vacuum packed mason jars so they stay nice & fresh.

    Some veggies, like potatoes, contain enzymes which will cause slices to turn brown as you dry them. Avoid this by slicing the taters, plunking them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, then rinsing/cooling in an ice water bath. This deactivates the enzymes & gives you a much more "normal" color dried product.

  4. ORMilitia

    ORMilitia Monkey+

    I just received a small dehydrator as a gift. I talked with my mom and she gave me the hint of dipping the fruit/veggies in a bath of light salt water to keep them from changing colors. My mom doesn't use recipes so I'm not sure how much salt, but I'll experiment and let you know my results.
  5. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Monkey++

    Some folks use Fruit Fresh or Vitamin C baths. Some color change (especially in apples/bananas) is due to oxygen. Others (as in potatoes) is due to enzyme activity. I don't think the baths will help as much with enzymes.
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Decided to try the goat today- I'll let you know how it turns out.

  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

  8. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Great tip, may have to try it out. Thanks!
  9. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member


    Here is one for you to look at. Interesting concept in drying.
  10. bozzchem

    bozzchem Monkey+

    I use an Excalibur dehydrator for veggies, fruits, meats, spices, etc. It's the best dehydrator of any I've used. I like the heat control but especially like the square rather than round trays.

    I use a jerky shooter to make jerky from ground beef and prefer the strips straight rather than rounded.

    I will have to say the damn Excalibur is pricey though.
  11. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    The goat was not interested in testing the Excalibur with me.
    Brokor likes this.
  12. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I would be willing to bet, your goat will be happy to eat almost any dried veggie chips you make. .... lol[ROFL]
  13. Bear4570

    Bear4570 Monkey+++

    I have one of the 9 drawer ones with the 26 hour timer. Wife uses it alot.

    One of the most frequent uses is when we see Frozen Vegetables on sale.
    Couple of weeks ago they had the store name brand on sale for 2/$1 16 ounce bags. We bought $30 worth. 3 bags of frozen corn will fill up one quart canning jar after dehyration. Lay them out on the drawer, set the timer go to work and they are done when we come home. Throw in a O2 absorber and you shelf life is indefinite. We canned corn, peas, broccoli, green beans, mixed vegetable, and corn/pea mix. Now have a whole buch on the shelf for soups and stews as needed.

    We also bought a case of oranges from the local school fundraiser. Peeled them to get all the white off, spliced and dehydrated. Figured it would not hurt to have a little citrus stored up. Going to do some lemons and limes also. The side benifit is dehyrdating the peelings, putting them in the coffee grinder and now you have orange zest. My wife uses that stuff all the time for cooking and baking. A 2 ounce Jar runs about $5 in the grocery store, now she has enough to last a long time.

    Love the thing. Don't know what we did without it, but glad we don't have to find out.

    Sure has paid for itself it helping us store preps.
  14. Ladybug

    Ladybug Monkey+

    I have a 4 drawer one and love it. Dehydrated is the way to go for vegetables, I think. Its very space efficient and cheap.

    Try carrots. They get amazingly sweet when dehydrated.
  15. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I am a jerky making machine.... no recipes, though. I just do it it all by taste.

    Dumb question.... with frozen veggies, are you guys throwing them on frozen? I don't think it would matter.... just curious if one or the other gives a better end result.
  16. Bear4570

    Bear4570 Monkey+++

    Yup, just open the bag and spread them out in the drawer. Takes about 13 hours for the whole nine drawers.
  17. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    Choice of dehydrator

    If you were to buy just one dehydrator, would this be the one? Are there other makes/models that should be considered that have similar functionality but perhaps are smaller/less expensive?
  18. Bear4570

    Bear4570 Monkey+++

    Yes, this would be the one, they do make smaller less expensive versions. With the quality, ease of cleaning and success I have had with this one, I would stick with the Excalibur line. I have no doubt that there are comprable dealers with other quality dehydrators out there, after having a couple of mediocore ones, I am really happy with this one and plan on sticking with it.
  19. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus


    I made a dehydrator from my oven for oh...45 bucks.

    1 100w No light ceramic reptile warmer: I bought the Repti Med 100w Ceramic heater
    1 ceramic screw in socket (like a closet fixture) & two prong cord
    1 battery powered tent fan: I bought the Coleman
    1 6 x 6 x 1/2 scrap wood

    Wire the ceramic socket and plug wire together.
    Mount the socket on the wood base.
    Screw in the heater (it is like a standard light bulb).
    Raise the lowest wire rack of your oven to accommodate the height of your heating rig.
    Slide the rig in the bottom center of your oven and load the shelves with your veggies/fruit/meats on aluminum foil sheets.
    Plug in heater, turn on fan and slip in the front center of oven. This circulates the warmed air and helps push moist air out.
    Make a 1 1/2 - 2" ball of foil and place on the "peg switch" that turns the oven light on when you open the door.
    Close the oven door on the ball of foil. This makes sure there is an air gap to allow wet air out and also keeps the pesky oven light off.
    Dehydrate as normal.
    Take the remaining $$ that you would have spent on the Excalibur and buy more preps.

    Just my .02 worth.
  20. ISplatU

    ISplatU Monkey+

    Can you dehydrate any and all vegies?

    We have tons of banana peppers, and dehydrated some, but do not know how well they will be later, or how to use them dehydrated. I want to dehydrate them all, and my wife is not knowing what to do.

    Also anyone know what to do with okra after it is too large?
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