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lehmans or excalibur

Topics for discussing dehydration, drying, and smoking as methods for food preservation

Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby Hoppes » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:43 am

I love mine. It is a Magic Chef and I found it at a yardsale for a 25 cents.
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby IceFire » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:18 pm

Note to self...check out yard sales (when they start up again after the snow leaves) and thrift shops for dehydrators...Just because I already have 2 does NOT mean I don't need another! (same for canners, etc.)
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby ccthumbs » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:43 am

I have an excaliber that I've used extensively for the past 6 months. No complaints here! It works great! I haven't done any yogurt, just veggies and beef jerky. I would recommend it!
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby maustypsu » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:19 pm

Two thoughts:

For everyone: check out lehmans.com if you are not familiar with this site. great off-grid living books, supplies, tools, etc.

For OP: I have an Excaliber. It wasn't too pricey and is flawless, simple to use, easy to clean, perfect every time. Can't compare it to the Lehman's version but despite my love of their store, I would buy the Excaliber again myself just so I wasn't taking any chances.

Good luck
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby Rick » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:02 am

I find Lehmans to be to expensive for really simple products.
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby tigger2 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:30 pm

25 cents for a dehydrator, somebody wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. You got a steal.
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby GrannyFreedom60 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:03 am

I can't stand or sit for long so when I saw a video from Dehydrate2Store.com about dehydrating frozen veggies, that was my ticket to easy food storage. I have 2 Excaliber's and keep them busy, in part, by buying 5 pound bags of frozen produce from Costco or Cash and Carry, for around $3.50 - $5.50/ bag, pop them in the dehydrator and have none of the excess work involved in food preparation. How simple and easy!! Cleaning out the fridge? Pop those "almost bad" mushrooms, peppers and what-have-you's into the dehydrator and my food bill goes down! I just had a thought--what if I dehydrate my peelings from fruit ( the things I have to do from fresh) and have them through the winter for the birds to feast on? Would that work? Anyway, I'm having a lot of fun figuring out neat stuff to do as well as expanding my food storage-- my DH is even getting involved! Have a great day!
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby Tinga » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:23 pm

Don't tell my husband but... I just bought a 9 tray Excalibur. I've got an old 7 tray working on some apples right now..
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby soiledgem » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:47 pm

You can make a dehydrator using furnace filters, screens and a fan. Courtesy of Alton Brown. It really works!
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby Gordon » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:03 pm

My vote is for the Excalibur. Ours (we have two) are more than 20 years old and still going. A caution about Lehmans: Be very, very careful what you order. We had a bad experience with a wringer washer from Lehmans. It arrived damaged but the quality was so poor I would have sent it back with a letter expressing my dismay Lehmans would put its name on something so shoddy. If their dehydrators are similar in quality to the wringer washers, don't bother.
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby Prepper Mom » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:06 pm

I have an Excalibur, the 9 tray with the timer and I LOVE it. I use it all the time. I have never used a dehydrator before this year but WOW.
I do not have to rotate my trays like my friends with traditional units do.
I use it so much I may ante up and get a 2nd unit.
FYI - You can also buy all of the mylar bags and oxygen absorbers etc that you need through them.
A tip: go ahead and get the s/s trays if you plan to do jerky. So much easier to clean and sanitize afterwards.
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby Ghoti » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:28 pm

watcher wrote:You might want to take a look at the cabelas "commercial" dehydrators. I bought a 80 cubic on sale for 299. It has twice the capacity of the 9 shelf excalabur, It is very solid in construction. I did not like the all plastic excalabur. I have three dehydrators and this one is the best, but for large jobs only, like 25lb of ground chuck jerky all at once.

80 cubic feet are you sure that's correct?
64 cubic foot would be 4'x4'x4' and thus a 80 cubic footer must be gigantic
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby angie_nrs » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:08 pm

It's 80 liters, not cubic foot. I have one too and I LOVE it! I didn't want a plastic one so this was the only other option I could find. Plus, I won a $300 gift card for Cabelas so I took the plunge. It's about the size of a large microwave oven......actually a little bigger. We keep ours on a steel cart with wheels so we can move it around if we need to as it is pretty darn big and bulky. I like to use mine mostly in the winter so that it helps to heat the house while we are drying out the food. There's also a 160 liter one as well.
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby Vina8 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:02 pm

I recommend people read the reviews on Cabela's website for both dehydrators including the negative ones. It will give you a good idea which one will work best for your needs. I have no experience with Cabela's Commercial dehydrator.

Things I like about my Excalibur include that the fan and heating element are in the back instead of the top or bottom. I have never had to rotate or move trays around to get even drying. There have been weeks during harvest time when we have it going 24/7 with no difficulty including in the summer. I bought it about 3 years ago. It fits well on the counter where I have space for it. I can put the trays in the dishwasher. The mesh is small enough that food doesn't fall through. The "plastic" trays have never broken or deteriorated. They also will not rust. It is a good size for us. There have been a couple of weeks when I wished it were bigger or that we had a second one.

We don't use it for making a lot of jerky which many folks on Cabela's website seem to need theirs for. I imagine if I had shot a deer or butchered a steer and needed to make a lot of jerky, I would consider a bigger dehydrator, but not sure it would be Cabela's. Quite a few people seem to have had trouble getting it up to temperature and keeping it there, drips into the bottom mounted elements, uneven drying, and inability to get replacement parts for it. But there were a lot of people who like it, so do your homework and buy what works for your family, even if it happens to be a cheap one you picked up at Goodwill. :thumbsup:
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Re: lehmans or excalibur

Postby angie_nrs » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:01 pm

I agree with Vina8 that you do need to check out each dehydrator and compare the good points with the bad.

Just a couple of comments about the Cabela's dehydrator. I'll tell you about the good points vs. the bad (as we have experienced) and why we decided to go with this one. The reviews are helpful, so I agree, that you should read them. However, keep in mind that there are bad reviews for any dehydrator you will consider.

Good points:
-Made of sturdy components - wire trays and glass door with aluminum on the inside.
-Was about the same price as other dehydrators we were considering.
-Is capable of dehydrating a lot of product!
-The fan unit is in the back so you get even drying
-You do not have to rotate the trays
-The wire racks won't break and I don't worry about BPA's
-Works great with jerky and fruits and veges
-Has a timer feature and keeps constant temperature

Bad points:
-It is big and bulky so you need the room to put it - measure out the dimensions as listed on the site so you KNOW how large it is.
-Sometimes we have had an issue getting the dehydrator to 160, but resolved that issue by using magnets on the back of the unit to partially cover the vents. This has worked great for us....I think the temp. issue has a lot to do with the outside temp and humidity. However, with fruits and veges, you are not supposed to dehydrate at a high temp anyways.
-The racks are very large, so you can't use a dishwasher to wash them, but they really aren't that difficult to clean in a sink.
-The racks that come with the unit are fairly large mesh so you do need to purchase some type of screen to use for smaller items like corn. It only cost me $1 each for grill screens at Tractor Supply and I can fit 2 of these per tray. I also bought some metal screen at a hardware store that I will use for things like fruit roll ups (but haven't tried this yet).

I have not yet run into a dripping problem in the unit, even when drying tomatoes....so cleanup has been easy. I think maybe it is because we pre-heat the unit like it says to, which helps the drying to start as soon as product is introduced. I also have not had a reason to order parts so I can't really comment on that. The $300 gift card that I had for Cabela's was a big reason that we went with this dehydrator. I'm really glad we did. The only other dehydrator I have experience with is an old Ronco that I had which had many broken trays and burned food.....so this is in no way a comparison to other popular units out there.

It is a lot of money to spend so I agree that it might be worth messing around with a cheaper unit first to see how you like it. Also, I think I bought mine around Christmas time and got an online coupon for like $50 off. Maybe wait for the holidays for a better deal? Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions about this unit and I'll do my best to answer. Happy Dehydrating!
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