Review: Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator
This is the Excalibur 2400 Food Dehydrator. I was fortunate enough to receive one for review from Everything Kitchens.
The Excalibur is known as the best food dehydrator on the market. After using mine, I now know why. The quality that it outputs is consistent. I first used the Excalibur to make kale chips - something I've done before in my oven. Making kale chips in the oven is finicky; they don't cook evenly and they burn quickly. Because dehydrators don't cook - they dry using a fan at low temperatures to slowly pull out moisture - the food comes out the same and it's very nearly impossible to burn.
Dehydration is method of food preservation that has been around for centuries. Removing the moisture from food prevents the growth of bacteria, molds, and yeasts. If you're not into canning food or, if you're like me, and too quickly run out of room in the freezer, dehydrating is a safe preservation method that anyone can accomplish. Food that has been dehydrated is shelf stable for a long time.
I also like dehydrating because I can run it often for as long as I need. Although dehydrating is possible in the oven, it's not convenient for someone like me who cooks and bakes often and can't have the oven constantly occupied. Dehydrators use much less energy than a big oven, and the Excalibur is extremely quiet. The trays slide right out which makes clean-up a breeze.
One of the best things about dehydration is that it keeps food nutritious and even has the ability to keep food raw. Food is raw at 116 to 118° F. The canning process boils food at high temperatures in order to kill any bacteria, but it also takes away many nutrients at the same time.
Here's how I made my raw kale chips:
Tear the kale into pieces a little larger than bite-size (remember that they will shrink a little during dehydration). Rub generously with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and chili powder. Dehydrate at 115° F for 10 hours.
I really recommend dehydrating as an easy, no-fuss method of food preservation. The Excalibur is a top notch machine. There are models for every budget: 9 trays, 5 trays, and 4 trays. The 4 tray model, which is the one I have, is very affordable and is perfect for small families or if you're just stepping into food dehydration. You can purchase an Excalibur dehydrator from Everything Kitchens for great prices and excellent customer service (they also have lots of other cool kitchen stuff!).
Do you have a dehydrator? What do you like to dehydrate? I'm looking forward to preserving lots of fruit this summer!