Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator

Last updated date: March 20, 2019

Review Melt Score
9.6

Why Trust The Review Melt Score?

Review Melt is the #1 product review aggregator. Our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then "melt" them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the Review Melt seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 Dehydrators and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Voice, Top 10 Focus, Dehydrator Diva, Meal Vitality, Dehydrated Foodz, Exchange Bar & Grill and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Dehydrator you should buy.

Overall Take

For the health conscious, the Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator brings something that other dehydrators don't. The design ensures a lower temperature that helps foods retain enzymes while still preserving them. It also has a removable tray, so you can use the dehydrator for other purposes when you aren't dehydrating. In our analysis of 68 expert reviews, the Excalibur Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 22, 2019:
Checkout The Best Dehydrator for a detailed review of all the top dehydrators.

Expert Summarized Score
9.9
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
1,447 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Offers a class-leading 15 square feet of drying space. Thoroughly and rapidly dehydrates food at a level that exceeds competitors.
- BestReviews
February 1, 2019 | Full review
Built like an industrial food dehyrator. Great customizing options lets you go beyong a normal food dehydrator.Easy to use. Simple and efficient for dehydrating.
- The Gear Hunt
The Parallex Horinzontal Airflow technology makes rotating of tray unnecessary. The even dehydration is achieved by even air distribution. So, there is no need to control the process.
- Best Advisor
December 14, 2018 | Full review
Considering usability, it is important to highlight that the thermostat is also adjustable, so you are free to balance temperature levels, according to the product type you need to dehydrate and store. Moreover, you’ll get a chance to utilize timer for 26 hours. Additionally, the automatic shut off feature is rather useful if you are tired or busy and have no desire to supervise the process!
- Voice
It features an adjustable thermostat from 105oF to 165oF, a low temperature range that preserve any active enzymes left in your vegetables and fruits while keeping it high enough to dry food and prevent spoilage. In addition, the heat varies from time to time to avoid case hardening. This is what’s called the Excalibur Hyperwave Fluctuation technology.
- Top 10 Focus
This food dehydrator has a horizontal airflow. It produces excellent results and has even drying. It has a very large capacity with 9 square dehydrator trays. This means it has 15 square feet of drying space. The square dehydrator trays make it easy to fill with food. With the trays out, we have also found this dehydrator to be an excellent place to proof bread.
- Dehydrator Diva
October 3, 2017 | Full review
The vertical design supports Excalibur’s patented Parallex Horizontal Airflow technology, which ensures that foods are dehydrated quickly and evenly. The unit’s heating element, thermostat, and fan are in the back, so it draws cool air in, heats it and then distributes it evenly over the trays. It’s a brilliant design, and we found that foods dehydrate a little quicker in this unit.
- Meal Vitality
It has a built in on/off switch and a thermostat that can easily be adjusted over a wide range of temperatures. To prevent foods from sticking, the manufacturer has also included a flexible poly-screen tray insert. This makes the cleaning process much easier.
- Dehydrated Foodz
April 5, 2016 | Full review
This version comes with an adjustable thermostat and a 26 hour timer, which is a very useful feature that is worth those several dozen extra dollars. The timer takes care of turning off the dehydrator at the right moment, it is not uncommon to forget about it after many hours of drying which makes it a neat little feature.
- Exchange Bar & Grill
January 17, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Appliance weighs 22 lbs. Trays do not fit in many dishwashers.
- BestReviews
February 1, 2019 | Full review
One of the most expensive on the list.
- The Gear Hunt
The fan of the Excalibur meat dehydrator might be slightly noisy during operation.
- Best Advisor
December 14, 2018 | Full review
To be honest, this is a fabulous product and the leading food dehydrator available on the market in 2018. Nevertheless, one of the core downsides of the Excalibur 3926TB is its comparatively high price.
- Voice
It is large for some counter
- Top 10 Focus
Larger unit so requires a place to store when not in use. More expensive than other units
- Dehydrator Diva
October 3, 2017 | Full review
The 3926TB comes with a non-stick, poly-scree tray insert, but no solid mats are included. If you want to make fruit leather or dehydrated yogurt, you’ll need to buy solid mats separately.
- Meal Vitality
The dehydrator is quite heavy on its own
- Dehydrated Foodz
April 5, 2016 | Full review
Price ( but worth )
- Exchange Bar & Grill
January 17, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Dehydration is the healthiest, easiest, and most economical way to preserve foods. Load the trays and set the temperature, the Excalibur dries the contents of all trays evenly so everything's done at once. Dehydration concentrates the natural flavor, sweetness, and aromas of your food. Leaving you with a flavor that's far healthier than high-fat snacks and high-sugar candies that are filled with chemical preservatives. The Excalibur 9-Tray Large Dehydrator provides 15 square feet of drying space making this the biggest and best there is! Ideal for large families, large gardens, craftspeople, and sportsmen. This unit includes flexible polyscreen tray inserts to prevent foods from sticking to trays, 7" fan, built in on/off switch, adjustable thermostat, and a convenient 26 hour timer. Troubleshoot-fan makes a rubbing noise may be due to shipping, the trays may have been forced into the fan’s protective screen. Take out the trays,and blow on the fan blade to locate where it is rubbing against the screen. You may need to turn the fan on and press gently against the screen and listen where the noise increases. With a pair of needle nose pliers pull the screen away from the fan blade at point of contact

Overall Product Rankings

1. Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator
Overall Score: 9.7
Expert Reviews: 4
2. Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 9
3. Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 9
4. Samson Silent Dehydrator
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 5
5. MAGIC MILL Professional Food Dehydrator
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 5
6. Gourmia Food Dehydrator
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 2
7. Ivation Digital Electric Food Dehydrator
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 5
8. Cuisinart Food Dehydrator
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 7
9. Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 9
10. Ronco Electric Food Dehydrator
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Dehydrators

Everyone seems to be trying to eat a little healthier these days. But some of the best foods have a very limited shelf life. It’s frustrating to spend your hard-earned money at the grocery store, only to have it go bad within a few days of purchase. If you have your own garden, you may find that your kitchen is overloaded with produce during the warm months, but find yourself missing those foods when it’s cold outside.

The first thing you’ll likely think about when considering a dehydrator is size. You probably already have limited counter space, so you’ll need a place to store your appliance when it’s not in use. You may also worry that it will end up stuck in the corner of your closet or pantry, gathering dust. There are some food dehydrators that are smaller in size than you may expect, so shop the different models before assuming you’ll have a space waster.

Even some smaller dehydrators pack a surprising amount of space for dehydrating. You’ll find it’s all in the number of shelves since stacking foods is the key to squeezing more in. The larger the capacity, the more food you can dry at once, which saves time. But if you’re dehydrating different types of foods, you’ll also want to make sure that the unit doesn’t allow juices to drip to the trays below, combining flavors. You don’t want that stack of citrus fruit to drip into your shelf of cabbage.

Cleanup is also an important factor in a dehydrator. Some have shelves you can simply slip out and insert into the dishwasher, while others require hand washing. You may also want to check for a non-stick finish on the shelves of the unit you’re considering since that will make a big difference when you’re cleaning.

Controls are also important in a dehydrator. Some have no timer, which means you’ll pretty much have to babysit your food. Others have an automatic shut-off so that when your food reaches the end of its drying, you don’t have to worry about being nearby to cut the power. This is a safety feature that can make a big difference.

Speaking of safety, BPA is a concern for some consumers. Since your food will be directly touching the shelving, you may want to search for a dehydrator that promises BPA-free construction.

Review Melt Fun Fact

Depending on the hydrator you choose, you can expand your unit well beyond drying out meats and fruits. In addition to cooking yogurt and proofing bread, you can make ornaments, potpourri and even paper. If your home seems to be dry, put a bowl of water in the dehydrator and start it up. The moisture will be distributed to the air in your home, cutting some of that dryness. In the wintertime, if you have small items like gloves that need a quick dry-out, pull your dehydrator out of storage and put it to work. You can even use it as a kiln to dry clay quickly for craft projects.

The Dehydrator Buying Guide

  • The biggest differentiator with the Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator and Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator is their design. Unlike other dehydrators, those two models have an expandable, stacked setup that allows them to dry multiple layers of food in a small space. It’s a unique, almost spiral look that makes it easy to insert items.
  • The build of a dehydrator makes a big difference in how it works. The Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator uses 1,000 watts of power and a setup that ensures food dries quickly and evenly. You don’t have to worry about rearranging trays throughout the process. Like the Nesco Gardenmaster, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator features an expandable design that accommodates levels of food without adding bulk. But the Snackmaster Pro only has 600 watts of power.
  • The Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator uses something called Hyperwave Fluctuation technology, which involves maintaining a low temperature to ensure foods retain their enzymes without the spoilage you see when they aren’t dehydrated. Horizontal airflow means that food dries evenly and brings fast results. With the Samson Silent Dehydrator, the top vent, door and fan combine to provide consistent drying throughout.
  • It’s important to consider the types of food you’ll be dehydrating before you buy. If your plans include drying out chunky items like beef, you’ll need a dehydrator with enough space between trays. The design of the Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator and Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator mean you’re limited on the height of each item. You also won’t be able to use it to proof bread. The Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator and Samson Silent Dehydrator, on the other hand, have removable trays that let you proof bread, dry flowers and even make yogurt. This can add an element of versatility to your dehydrator that may have you using it more often.
  • Capacity is also important. The Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator provides 15 square feet of drying space. That beats the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, which features up to 12 square feet of drying space if you purchase extra trays. However, the Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator can expand up to accommodate up to 30 trays, so if you’re interested in drying bulk amounts of food at a time, that might be the best model for you.
  • With a timer, you can set your dehydrator to work and focus on other things. The Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator and Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator don’t come with a timer. The Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator has a timer that you can set for up to 26 hours. Once you reach the end of that timeframe, the unit will shut off. The Samson Silent Dehydrator uses a noise-based alert to let you know when your food is finished.
  • One downside to the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator is that it doesn’t have an on/off button, which means you’ll have to unplug the entire unit when you’re finished.
  • The Samson Silent Dehydrator has a bright LCD screen that helps you follow the process of your food throughout dehydration.
  • Although you can make foods like dehydrated yogurt in the Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator, you’ll need a special solid mat, which you’ll have to purchase separately.
  • One common issue with dehydrators is dripping liquid. The Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator keeps that from happening, which means you can dry a wide variety of foods without worrying about flavors blending.
  • Dehydrators range widely in price. On the low end is the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, which retails well below $100. On the high end, you’ll find the Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator, which sells for closer to $300. Both the Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator and the Samson Silent Dehydrator fall in between that range.
  • If you like to keep an eye on your food while it’s drying, the Samson Silent Dehydrator is worth considering, It has a transparent front window that will let you watch.
  • Once your food is done, you’ll have to worry about cleanup. The Samson Silent Dehydrator comes with dishwasher-safe trays, while the Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator and Nesco’s dehydrators must be hand washed.
  • If you’re going for a hand-washable dehydrator, the Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator’s trays have a nonstick surface that makes them easy to clean. Nesco’s dehydrators have trays made of fine mesh that may require a little extra scrubbing. The good news is, non-stick dehydrator drying sheets are available that will save cleanup time.
  • For those who are limited on storage, the Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator and Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator both have space-saving designs. The Samson Silent Dehydrator is also relatively small. The Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator, on the other hand, is bulky and heavy, weighing in at 22 pounds.
  • Although many kitchen appliances are noisy, a dehydrator runs for hours at a time, so the noise factor can become a nuisance. The Samson Silent Dehydrator is so named for a reason. Its design keeps noise at a minimum during operation. However, the beep that notifies you the time is up is excessively loud, which is especially inconvenient if your dehydration cycle finishes in the middle of the night.
  • For those who are new to dehydrating or just want to get some ideas on different foods to try, a recipe book can come in handy. Both the Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator and Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator come with large recipe books. You’ll also receive some fruit roll sheets and jerky spice packets to get you started.
  • Many consumers are concerned about bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical contained in some plastics. The Samson Silent Dehydrator is labeled BPA-free to give you the peace of mind you need.
  • If warranty matters, you may want to stick with the Excalibur Electric Food Dehydrator, which covers you with a 10-year warranty. The Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator and Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator only provide one year of coverage.
  • If you plan to dry meat to make jerky, allow extra time. Whereas you might find items like fruits complete in 10 hours, meat can take an extra couple of hours to finish. It’s also important to note that some are disappointed that their dried meat doesn’t have the smoky flavor you get when you purchase jerky from a retailer. That flavor comes from drying meat in a smoker, not a dehydrator.