FAQ's: Excalibur dehydrators
- Where are Excalibur dehydrators made:
Made in the USA. Sacramento, California.
- What can I dehydrate?
In an Excalibur, just about anything. Fruits, most vegetables, meat, fish, make your own fruit roll-ups. Make vegetable powders. Dry herbs and spices. Make your own soup mix, trail mix, and salad dressings. Dehydrate grains and dairy products. Make all types of crackers. Use for arts & crafts, such as drying flowers for potpourri, or dough art, or drying photos. Make home-made pet treats for your dog, cat, horse, birds, etc. Dentists dry plastic molds in our Excalibur!
- Are home dried foods cheaper and better than store-bought?
For the most part, YES! It costs 1-tenth to dry your own instead of buying at a store. For most people eating dehydrated foods, the dehydrator pays for itself within 4 months vs. buying dehydrated foods at a store. Read the list of ingredients in commercially prepared “dried” foods. You may find added chemicals used for preservation, as well as saturated fats indicating the food may have been fried rather than having the moisture removed.
- Explain the dehydration process?
The most critical aspects of the process are (1) the difference between air temperature and food temperature and how the evaporation process keeps food temperature cooler than air temperature (2) the working of the thermostat and how it causes the air temperature to fluctuate up and down (3) understanding at that the enzymes are most susceptible to destruction by heat in the wet state. After food is dehydrated the enzymes can withstand much higher temperatures.
- Food temperature vs air temperature?
In general, food temperature is about 20 degrees cooler than air temperature. This is due to evaporation. As the moisture on the surface of the food evaporates, it cools the food. We have discovered this through hours of testing and measuring the air temperature and food temperature simultaneously during the dehydration process using a Doric Tendricator with type j thermal couples. The temperature reading on the Excalibur dial refers to the food temperature. If you set the Excalibur at 105F, you are setting it to hold the food temperature at 105 but the air temperature may get as high as 124F.
- Why is the temperature on my dial different than my food temperature?
The Excalibur thermostat was never originally designed to hold an accurate air temperature. It was designed to control an accurate food temperature.
- Enzyme destruction temperatures?
Excalibur’s founder, Roger Orton, worked with Ann Wigmore on our Excalibur Dehydrators. Ann said that food temperature had to go above 120F for a period of time before enzymes were destroyed. Viktoras confirmed the same. Ann tested many dehydrators and confirmed Excalibur to be the best for Living Foods. She found the best technique to save enzymes was to set the temperature higher initially, then turn it down after a few hours. However, most people will not know when to turn it down. Ann’s recommendation is to set the temperature at 105F for the entire cycle. That way, the food temp will never go above 120F even after its dry.
- Is the low temperature good for Living Foods and the high temperature safe for meat?
“Living foods” are healthy foods containing living enzymes. Excalibur’s Adjustable Thermostat lets you dry foods at temperatures low enough to keep enzymes viable in fruits and vegetables. It also lets you set temperatures high enough to dry meat for jerky. The temperature on the Excalibur is the average temperature. The air will fluctuate above and below that. In the case of meat, if the temperature is set at 155F, the air temperature will hit the USDA safety recommendation of 160F.
- Why should I use an Excalibur vs my oven to dehydrate?
Most ovens don’t have a low enough temperature setting for Living Foods. Ovens don’t heat evenly, you’ll have to constantly flip and rotate your load of jerky. Heating an electric or gas oven is expensive and you waste energy overheating the kitchen. Excalibur runs at an average 4 cents per hour and won’t heat up the kitchen. An oven has 1 or 2 shelves; Excalibur has up to 9 trays. Excalibur is easy-to-clean with a damp sponge.
- Why is the Excalibur considered the most effective and efficient dehydrator on the market?
It’s the only home dehydrator that has Parllexx® Horizontal-Airflow Drying System. The fan and the adjustable thermostat create excellent airflow, each tray receiving its own “jet stream” of forced air. Most other dehydrator radiate heat; they don’t direct it.
- Will the timer turn off the dehydrator while I’m away or asleep?
Yes. Just set it, and forget it. We use a premium quality, motor driven timer. If the power should go off and on, the timer keeps track of the actual drying time.
- Is dehydrating with the best way to preserve foods?
With an Excalibur dehydrator you can control the time and temperature. Traditional canning methods subject foods to higher temperatures. When raw food is heated to an internal temperature of 120F or higher, much of the nutritional value is lost. In addition, canning leaches out water soluble vitamins and minerals, further depleting the nutrients found in raw food. Canning & freezing also requires investment in a freezer and repeat investments in kettles, jars, lids, boxes.
- Are dried foods safe for diabetics?
YES! The advantage is that the foods taste sweeter but actually contain the same amount of sugar as the original fruit. One dried apple equals one fresh apple. Follow your Doctor’s recommendations.