We all need a snack every now and then, but most of the snacks available in the market have preservatives added to them. What if you could make your own snacks at home, that too in an easy, healthy, and economical way? Yes! It is possible to prepare snacks of all kinds in the comfort of your kitchen with a dehydrator. A dehydrator uses hot air to dry the moisture from fruits, vegetables, meats, and nuts so that they can be preserved for later consumption.
Excalibur is a popular brand of dehydrators and the firm offers a 5 tray stainless-steel dehydrator that is perfect for drying all kinds of foods. Whether you want to prepare beef jerky or dry out nuts to make your own trail mix, you can do it all with this dehydrator. The dehydrator has a modern design and it will look good in any kitchen. With easy operations and a wide range of temperature, it is a joy to dehydrate any kind of food in this device.
This review will focus on the key features, technical specifications, positive and negative points of the Excalibur 5-Tray Stainless Steel Model.
Quick Specifications of D500SHD
8-1/2″H x 17″W x 19″D
105◦F to 165◦F
Auto Switch Off
Yes, 26 Hours
Country of Origin
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Key Features of Excalibur 5-Tray Stainless Steel D500SHD Dehydrator
- Easy to Use
The Excalibur 5-Tray Dehydrator does not have any complex functions and it is very easy to use. All you need to do it cut up the ingredients as mentioned in the recipe, choose the time and temperature and plug in the dehydrator. The dehydrator will switch itself off once it’s done drying the food.
- Robust Construction
This dehydrator is made from quality materials that will last you for years to come. The grey color of the dehydrator looks really classy and goes well with the décor of any modern kitchen.
- Rear Mounted Fan
Rear mounted fan propels hot air that washes over the ingredients in the trays so that every area of the tray gets equal hot air. This helps in producing a uniform result for all foods kept in the dehydrator.
The timer feature is essential for dehydrating foods that require long periods of exposure to hot air. You can simply set the timer and go about your day while the dehydrator will keep working for the duration of the timer. Once the timer is over, it will automatically stop. This feature is especially useful if you want to keep the dehydrator on overnight, but don’t want to over-dry the foods.
- Sleek Design
The clean lines and the sober design of the dehydrator give it a very modern look. It looks like a chic kitchen appliance that is functional and useful, too. The dehydrator matches the décor of any modern kitchen without standing out too much.
- Built-in On/Off Switch
The on/off switch is inbuilt for this dehydrator. You can simply plug it in and choose a temperature and it will start blowing hot air over the trays. This eliminates an extra step of switching on the dehydrator and keeps the operation of this device as simple as possible.
- Spacious Trays
The five trays of the dehydrator are perfect for drying all kinds of foods. You can line up the trays with the cut pieces of fruits, vegetables or meat and dry it to get delicious and healthy snacks.
- Includes Instruction Booklet
It is often difficult to figure out which food needs to be dried for how long. The included instruction booklet Guide to Dehydration takes the confusion out of dehydration and offers clear instruction on how to dry a wide range of foods. The book also has clear pictures and directions on how to dehydrate different kinds of foods.
Full Technical Specifications Excalibur 5-Tray Stainless Steel D500SHD Food Dehydrator
- Varied Temperature Range
This dehydrator operates in the temperature range of 105◦F to 165◦F. This allows for a great degree of variation in how certain foods need to be dried. You can choose the temperature by twisting the dial on the dehydrator.
- Five-Inch Fan
The five-inch fan on this dehydrator is a powerful unit that sends hot air all over the ingredients in the trays. It dries food in a quick and efficient manner that is perfect for drying small as well as large batches of food.
- 26-Hour Timer
For the times when you need to dehydrate for a longer duration, the 26-hour timer comes in handy. You can just set the timer and you don’t need to check up on the dehydrator every now and then. It will keep drying till the timer is finished and then switch itself off.
- Powerful Device
With 440 watts of power, this is a powerful machine that is perfect for all kinds of dehydration requirements in homes. Whether you want to make delicious jerky or dry herbs for use later in the years, you can do it all with this dehydrator very easily.
- Extensive Warranty
The best thing about the brand Excalibur is that all products come with extensive warranties. This speaks volumes about the company’s commitment to excellence and their customers as well. This dehydrator has a 10-year warranty, so in case something goes wrong with the dehydrator, you can rest assured that it will get repaired.
- Automatic Turn Off Switch
The function of the dehydrator is controlled by the timer. Once the time set in the timer is over, it will switch itself off. The timer feature prevents the over-drying of the ingredients, and it is also useful when you want to dry something overnight.
- Improved Air Flow
This dehydrator comes with Parallex™ Horizontal Air Flow and Hyperwave™ Fluctuation technology that makes drying efficient and quick. The air flow is designed to cover the ingredients from all sides so that every last drop of moisture is gone.
Best Things About Excalibur 5-Tray Stainless Steel D500SHD Dehydrator
- High Powered Device
The Excalibur 5-Tray dehydrator works quickly and efficiently to draw moisture from all kinds of foods in as little time as possible.
- Simple Operation
There are no complex controls or confusing displays in this dehydrator. You can simply adjust the temperature and timer as per the demands of the recipe and you’re good to go.
- Steel Exterior
The dehydrator has a cool grey steel exterior that will look good in any kitchen. The durable and robust construction makes it ideal for usage for years to come. The shape of the dehydrator also makes it ideal for storage in cupboards or shelves.
- Perfect for Making Jerky
Jerky fans can rely on this dehydrator for creating the most delicious jerky that can be easily stored for later use too. The instructions for making beef jerky are given in the included booklet, too.
- Easy to clean
This dehydrator has very few parts that can’t be put in the dishwasher. Simply put the trays and the outer cover in your dishwasher with the next load of dishes. The base of the dehydrator can be cleaned with a wet cloth dipped in soapy water.
- Advanced Airflow Mechanics
The five-inch fan rotates air through the dehydrator so that every ingredient on the trays gets an equal amount of heat and gets dried quickly. Hyperwave™ Fluctuation Technology adds to the efficiency of drying in this dehydrator.
- No Need to Rotate Trays
The equalized airflow of this dehydrator removes the need to rotate the trays like some other dehydrator models. As the fan is mounted at the back and not on top or bottom, the airflow is same for all trays and all areas of the dehydrator.
Negative Aspects of Excalibur 5-Tray Stainless Steel D500SHD Dehydrator
The dehydrator can get a bit noisy if it is not placed properly on an even surface. If the trays are not inserted properly in the dehydrator, it might make a rattling noise when used.
- Drying Sheets not Included
There are no drying sheets included with this dehydrator, and if you want to make fruit leather or rollups, you need to buy drying sheets separately.
- Trays are Close Together
The food needs to be cut in thin slices for placement on the trays otherwise, it might not dry properly. With thicker slices, it can get difficult to insert the trays in properly.
- Not Expandable
This dehydrator is limited to 5 trays and there is no option to add more trays to this model. If you have higher drying requirements, it is better option to buy a dehydrator with expandable tray capacity.
- No Digital Controls
The controls are knob based and you’ve to twist the knobs to set the time and temperature. This might make the dehydrator feel a little dated among other kitchen appliances.
- Plastic Interiors
The exterior of the dehydrator is made from stainless steel, but the inside walls are made from polycarbonate plastic that can be a deal breaker for those that make heavy use of the dehydrator.
- Steel Door
The steel door obstructs the view of the trays while the dehydrator is drying the foods. If you want to check on the food, you need to open the steel door that can lead to heat loss. A transparent door would have been ideal for this kind of dehydrator.
- No Clear On/Off Button
There is no separate on/off button on the dehydrator that can make usage a little confusing for first timer users. The dehydrator switches on once the temperature is selected and it switches off by itself once the timer is done.
Excalibur D500SHD Video Review
- Guide to Dehydration
Dehydrating different types of foods requires preparation in terms of cutting the food, arranging it on the trays, and dehydrating it for a set period of time. The Guide to Dehydration booklet ensures you get the details of all you need to know about dehydrating different types of foods.
- Preserve It Naturally Book
This book contains all the information you need to know about preserving all kinds of foods in a natural way. Whether you’re looking for simple recipes or something special, you can find it in this book along with pictures and detailed instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Often, prospective customers want to learn all they can about a device before they buy it. These questions can be anything from operating instructions to queries about the features. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the Excalibur 5-Tray Stainless Steel Dehydrator.
Q: What is the temperature range of this dehydrator?
The dehydrator has a temperature range of 105°F to 165°F. This is low enough to preserve all the nutrients while drying food and high enough to meet safety standards recommended for drying beef jerky.
Q: Can I make fruit rollups in this dehydrator?
Yes, but you need to buy drying sheets for creating fruit rollup as these are not included with the dehydrator.
Q: Are the insides of the dehydrator stainless steel, too?
No. The insides are made from polycarbonate materials.
Q: How can I clean the trays of this dehydrator?
It is easy to clean the trays of this dehydrator as you can wash them in the dishwasher. If the trays have food stuck on them, you can soak them up in warm soapy water before putting them in the dishwasher.
Q: What is the timer range on this dehydrator?
The timer range on this dehydrator is from 2 hours to 26 hours. Once you’ve added in the ingredients that need to dry, you can set it up for the time mentioned in the recipe.
Q: How do I know the dehydrator is switched on? There is no on/off button
The on/off buttons are inbuilt. When you plug it in, the dehydrator will switch itself on the moment you select the temperature. Once your chosen time on the timer is over, it will switch itself off.
Q: The trays are too close together, how can I close the door in this instance?
If they trays are getting stuck, you need to slice the food a bit thinner so that it doesn’t obstruct entry of more trays in the tray slots. You can also try using 3 or 4 trays if your food slices are a bit thick.
Q: What else can I dry in this dehydrator other than fruits, vegetables, and meats?
You can also dry herbs for grinding spices or as a garnish on dishes. Another use of the dehydrator is to dry flowers that can be used for scrapbooking and decorations.
Q: Do I need to rotate the trays in the middle of a dehydrating session?
There is no need to rotate the trays as all trays are at an equal distance from the fan. Dehydrators with bottom or top mounted fans need tray rotation because heat doesn’t reach the trays that are farthest from the fan, but that’s not the case in this dehydrator.
The Excalibur 5-Tray Stainless Steel Dehydrator is perfect for all your dehydrating requirements. Whether you want to prepare a big batch of dried food and preserve it or you want a small batch as a snack, you can do it all with this dehydrator. The robust construction, easy to use controls, and spacious trays allow users to dry all kinds of foods with ease in a hygienic environment. The muted grey color of the dehydrator goes well with any modern kitchen’s décor and its small size makes it easy to store when it is not in use.
The timer feature of the dehydrator is especially helpful when you want to just set it up and forget it. Once the dehydrating cycle is complete, the dehydrator will switch off on its own. The dehydrator comes with a ten-year manufacturer warranty and if anything goes wrong with the dehydrator you can get it repaired or replaced easily. If you’re looking for a dehydrator that offers great value for money, the Excalibur 5-tray D500SHD is the best choice for you.