Home food dehydrators have become more popular than ever in the last year. In 2019, United States dealers sold nearly 680,000 dehydrator machines.
Dehydrating food is a great way to store fruits, vegetables, and meat in bulk. They’re a small farmer’s best friend because they allow you to use your crop to its fullest without needing to can or freeze the produce.
A food dehydrator also works great for people going on extended backpacking trips. You can dehydrate soups and other full meals.
Keep reading to see a complete breakdown of two popular brands: the Sedona food dehydrator vs Excalibur. As a bonus, we also include the things you should consider when buying a food dehydrator for first-timers so you can figure out exactly what you need.
Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Food Dehydrator
Before we compare the Sedona and Excalibur food dehydrators, you must understand how to choose one. Some food dehydrators fit certain purposes better than others. You should ask yourself the following questions if you want to purchase the best dehydrator for your needs.
1. What Do You Want to Dehydrate?
You’ve thought about buying a dehydrator for a while now and probably have imagined the things you could make with one. If not, do a little research. Look up some easy dehydrator recipes to see what you might want to make.
Are you planning to make crunchy banana or apple chips? Maybe you’d prefer soft mango or pineapple strips.
Are you on the Keto diet and looking to make all kinds of jerky for a quick snack? Perhaps you want to mix up some unique soup mixes to give as gifts this year.
Once you know what you want to dehydrate, it’s much easier to pick the appropriate dehydrator. What you need to to make fruit or vegetable chips is different from that of fruit leather or pre-made soup mixes.
So take the time to decide your priorities. Make a list and keep it on hand when you compare dehydrators.
2. To Stack or Not to Stack?
Home food dehydrators come in two versions: stackable trays and removable trays in solid boxes. Again, knowing what you plan to dehydrate helps to make the choice easier.
Stackable food dehydrators are made up of single trays made of plastic that securely stack on each other. Most brands feature round trays. However, you can find some square-shaped stackable dehydrators, which take up less space.
Stacked dehydrators generally have a base unit where the individual trays sit. Rarely you’ll find it on top in the cover. The base (or top) has a heating element and a fan.
The ease of clean up when using top units vs bottom units gives the top ones the advantage. If food bits or liquid falls from the trays in a top unit, they simply fall onto an easy-to-clean baseplate. Whereas the bits fall into the ventilation opening in bottom units, making them hard to clean.
Stackable units allow you to easily expand the number of individual trays in your dehydrator. Base models usually come with 4-6 trays, but you can purchase more and add them to the stack.
Keep in mind the more trays you add, the further the air must travel from either the top or the bottom to reach the other side. High-quality stackable dehydrators deal with this issue by including extra vents to move the air over each tray.
You may need to move the individual trays during the dehydrating process to ensure each tray gets enough exposure to the heat and air.
Stackable dehydrators are generally less expensive than box-style dehydrators, but they do not work as efficiently.
Box-Style Dehydrators with Removable Trays
Box-style food dehydrators cost significantly more than stackable ones and only fit a specific number of removable trays. They have the heating and fan elements along the entire back wall of the machine, rather than only on the top or bottom.
This makes them highly efficient compared to stackable units. It also means you do not need to move trays during the dehydrating process to ensure even drying. They’re a better choice if you want to run the dehydrator while you’re out of the house or sleeping.
Box-style dehydrators are generally larger than stackable units and take up more counter space. They can also come with flimsy trays that warp and do not fit correctly after a few uses. So if you do want a box-style dehydrator, it’s important to invest in one with solid trays spaced at least 1” apart from each other.
3. What Material Is Best?
Only choose food dehydrators made of plastic or stainless steel. Avoid buying other metals including galvanized metal or aluminum, especially for the trays.
The acids in some foods can corrode the metal. They can also leach dangerous chemicals into the food while it dehydrates. That would make your healthy dehydrated snack not so healthy anymore.
4. Does It Have Even Airflow?
The airflow in a dehydrator is vital to getting perfectly dry and crispy food. You want to make sure the dehydrator has a powerful fan that thoroughly circulates the air around the machine.
Most dehydrators come with fans that are 4” to 7”. Some even come with two fans for extra air moving capabilities. That also means you can switch one fan off and only run one fan if you don’t need to use the entire machine. Keep in mind the bigger and stronger the fans, the louder the machine will be when running.
5. Can You Adjust the Temperature?
Different foods require different temperatures to dehydrate correctly. You want to ensure that your dehydrator has an easy to adjust temperature control.
Keep an eye out for models that allow you to set two distinct temperatures if you want to dehydrate two kinds of food requiring different heat at the same time.
The Excalibur Dehydrator
The Excalibur dehydrator is a box-style unit with removable trays made it in the United States. They come in a variety of models and all have either plastic or stainless steel trays. Depending on the model, the Excalibur dehydrator may fit between 5 and 10 individual trays.
Excalibur units have a temperature range between 105°F and 165°F. That means they can dehydrate most living foods, liquids, and jerkies. You would not be able to dehydrate herbs, however, because they dehydrate best at 95°F.
Excalibur dehydrators have between 400W/110V and 600W/110V depending on the model. The higher the power wattage, the stronger the machine.
This brand of dehydrator has a timer that allows you to set and forget about the unit for two days. It’s literally two days because the maximum timer range is 48 hours.
Excalibur dehydrators come with one single fan and one temperature option. They’re very easy to clean like most box-style dehydrators. However, also like other box units, you cannot expand the dehydrator with additional trays. Whatever number of trays it comes with is what you have forever.
- 5-YEAR Limited
- COMPACT The 2400 dehydrator is a 4-Tray dehydrator with four square feet of drying space
- THE PERFECT STARTER The Economy dehydrator performs like larger models and is a great starter to try out dehydrating
- TEMPERATURE The adjustable thermostat ranges from 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 165 degrees Fahrenheit The temperature range is low enough to preserve active enzymes in fruits and vegetables and also high enough to meet safety standards for dehydrating meat for jerky
- ACCESSORIES Includes flexible easy to clean poly-screen tray Inserts to prevent foods from sticking and trays
- HEALTHY SNACKS Dehydrate fruits vegetables nuts meat for jerky fruit puree for fruit roll-ups raise bread or make homemade yogurt
- AIRFLOW The 4-inch fan with horizontal airflow pulls water from the food and allows all trays to dry evenly so everything's done at once
- 110/120 Volts - 220 Watts
- Made in USA
Last update on 2020-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Sedona Dehydrator
The Sedona food dehydrator is a box-style unit made by Tribest from South Korea. They also come in a variety of models that feature only stainless steel or plastic, removable trays. The various Sedona models fit between 9 and 11 individual trays.
Sedona dehydrators have a wider temperature range than Excalibur units. Some range from 77°F to 167°F while other rather from 85°F to 155°F. Thus, you can dehydrate herbs and other items you couldn’t do in an Excalibur.
Sedona dehydrators come with natural higher power wattage. They range from 470W/110V to 600W/110V.
Sedona dehydrators also have a timer so you can set and forget your machine. The timer range for the Sedona has a maximum range of 99 hours or just over 4 days.
Tribest Sedona units feature two individual fans with two distinct settings. This allows you to turn off the fans on a few trays if you need to.
They also come with the ability to set two particular temperatures within the same machine. That means you can dehydrate or dry two different kinds of food each at their ideal temperature.
Sedona food dehydrators are typical box-style machines, so they’re super easy to clean. Be aware that you cannot increase the number of trays like you could with a stackable dehydrator.
- TST Precision Controls- All-Digital Controls & Displays for precision drying without the guesswork, runs multiple programs and includes a Raw and Fast setting for greater drying accuracy
- FUNCTIONAL DESIGN: Glass Hinged Door for Easy Monitoring and Insertion/Extraction of Trays, enables easy clean-up
- QUIET OPERATION: Non-flammable and BPA-Free Plastic Body. Quiet when in operation.
- OPTIMIZED DRYING TEMPERATURE: Max Temperature of 167 DegreeF/75 DegreeC, Drying Capacity: 9.9 sq. ft. or 1430 sq. in.
- 11 STAINLESS STEEL Mesh Trays
Last update on 2020-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Advantages and Disadvantages of Excalibur Dehydrators
Excalibur dehydrators have some significant advantages over other models. Their many model types work perfectly for families and small farms. They have straightforward controls that are easy to understand.
Excalibur units use low watts meaning they consume less energy while making your food super crispy. The included manual is easy to follow with lots of good information. They’re also very easy to clean since the trays easily slide in and out of various models.
The Excalibur brand is known for its reliability and ease of use. They have great customer service to help you after your purchase. Every machine even comes with an average 10-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers many issues.
Excalibur dehydrators are sleek and stylish, so they’ll look nice in any kitchen. However, they tend to be very noisy while running. So keep that in mind.
They also have a shorter range for the timer and only one fan compared to two fans with the Sedona brands. You should also be aware that the temperature and humidity of the room the dehydrator is in will affect its performance.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sedona Dehydrators
Sedona dehydrators are a little more expensive and better quality than the Excalibur dehydrators. They have a convenient glass door and internal light to view your food while drying as well.
Their digital displays are easy to read and use. There are no hard rules for any of the Sedona machines, giving you more options.
The removable trays in every model are spaced well so you can fit even larger slices of foods in it without a struggle. That also gives you more options for what you can dehydrate.
One thing Sedona dehydrators do not do as well as Excalibur models is crisp up food with high water content. They also prove more difficult to clean because you cannot always reach the very back of the unit.
It’s vital that you cut every piece of food to the same width because it can greatly affect the machine’s heat distribution. You could end up with less dried pieces if they’re bigger than other ones.
Tribest Sedona dehydrators use more watts than other brands. This is nice because it allows them to reach high temperatures, but it also consumes more electricity.
Finally, Sedona dehydrators do not have the same reputation as the Excalibur brand. They also only come with an average 5-year warranty, so be sure you double-check the model.
Sedona Food Dehydrator vs Excalibur: The Final Say
Both the Excalibur and Sedona dehydrator brands are of high quality with top ratings. The models produced by each all vary in quality based on their price.
Do you only want to try your hand at dehydrating? Consider buying the Excalibur dehydrator. It comes with all the traditional features that you need to get started while costing less.
Are you more serious about dehydrating and want to try your hand at a large range of foods and herbs right away? The Sedona dehydrator by Tribest might be the better option. The many models come in a greater variety of sizes with a greater temperature range.
Try Out Some Fun Dehydrator Recipes
Now that you know what dehydrator you should choose between the Sedona food dehydrator vs Excalibur you can order one and start dehydrating!
Your new unit should come with a recipe book filled with yummy recipes. If you’re too excited and can’t wait, you can always look up some dehydrator recipes online.
Head over to Dehydrated Foodz recipe blog for some fun and easy dehydrator recipes for beginners. You can learn how to make healthy beet chips, dry peppers, and unique recipes like dehydrated chicken roll-ups that you won’t find anywhere else.
You’ll also find more dehydrator comparisons and great tips to make the most out of your new toy. Check out the Dehydrated Foodz blog today!