Karen Wiggins on August 25, 2016 0 Comments Table of Contents Get to Know the Unit List of Features Customer Reviews What I Liked About It What I Didn’t Like About It Hands-On With Excalibur’s 9-Tray Dehydrator When it comes to dehydrating food, it’s a subject that you either absolutely love or probably don’t know much about. Once you take that first bite of your homemade banana chips or beef jerky, this hobby will have you instantly hooked. This is what happened with me, and it seems to be a common story. And once you start dehydrating different recipes, you’ll quickly start to wonder if the device you are using is really the best one for you. You may start to see some benefits of upgrading to a newer dehydrator, perhaps one with a little more features and capacity. If you’re new to dehydrating food, I would suggest giving the Presto 06300 a try. This is a great introductory unit, as it doesn’t cost much and works well with simple recipes. However, for anyone looking to dive deeper into dehydrating, you may want to consider the Excalibur 3926TB dehydrator. I recently got the chance to play around with one, and with 9-trays and fifteen square feet of space, it was certainly a step-up from the smaller vertical-flow units I’ve become accustomed to. Here’s my review and thoughts after playing around with it. Meet the Excalibur 3926TB As I briefly mentioned above, this dehydrator is not going to be the ideal fit for anyone just looking to dabble with dehydrating. It’s not the best fit for beginners, unless you’re looking to splurge and start with a higher-end device. If so, then keep reading. Designed for the experienced and confident, the Excalibur 3926TB is unlike the smaller countertop dehydrators that may immediately come to mind. Weighing in at over 22lbs, this one comes out of the box as a surprisingly large cube. With a height of about 12 inches, and a noticeably larger depth and width, this dehydrator features a large capacity that allows you a total of 15 square feet of space to dehydrate your food. This larger capacity and its wide range of features make the Excalibur 3926TB an ideal choice for many people. It comes with an automated timer that allows you to set it and walk away. With a total time of 26-hours, you can completely forget about it for an entire day, and still have healthy snacks for your family. The Excalibur 3926TB also features an adjustable thermostat. From as low as 105° all the way up to 165°, this device offers unique versatility to help accommodate a wide variety of recipes. Temperature is, of course, the most important factor in the success of any dehydrator recipe. If you want to make jerky, for instance, the temperature has to be high enough so that the meat is actually processed without being cooked. Other foods, however, need to be dried at a significantly lower temperature, as to not completely destroy the enzymes and nutrients you’re trying to preserve. This allows you to make kale chips one day and beef jerky the next, all with the same unit. With a 7-inch internal fan and 600 watts of power, this dehydrator utilizes a patented horizontal air-flow which allows you to dehydrate various types of food at a quicker pace, all without sacrificing the nutrients or flavor within the foods you cook. You get a box-style, nine-tray, electric food dehydrator. Its drying system is completely unique, making sure both air flow and heat are evenly distributed. No rotating trays or flipping over items throughout the process. Nope, one recipe, one cook time, no extra hoops to jump through. It is important that you learn to understand the ‘motor-driven’ timer. If there were to be a power outage while you’re using the device, the timer will remember how long the dehydrator had been running prior to losing power. This means you no longer have to worry about your food becoming too dry or not quite dry enough. It picks right back up. As always, safety is another important factor to consider. The Excalibur 3926TB comes with three individual circuits, designed to protect it from electrical malfunctions. If you want to leave your appliance on overnight or while you run some errands, for example, then this going to give you a little more assurance that nothing crazy will happen while you’re away from the unit. Excalibur is one of the better manufacturers when it comes to dehydrators. They have a long-known reputation of building durable, high-quality products. That being said, this food dehydrator certainly isn’t going to be the right fit for everybody. Primarily, it isn’t the cheapest model. Even if you want to stick with an Excalibur dehydrator, there are more affordable options available to choose from, with the 2900ECB dehydrator likely being the better option for beginners. Secondly, it is bigger than you may expect. If your kitchen has limited space, or you don’t have a lot of storage space, you will likely want to find a better place for it. That being said, it is an excellent device that, if used correctly, can deliver some pretty fantastic results. List of Features: A built-in 26-hour timer. An adjustable thermostat, allowing you to dehydrate a variety of foods. Nine flexible, mesh sheet, poly-screen tray inserts, giving you 15-sq-ft of space. Removable trays for larger items, raising dough, or using tall jars. The Parallexx Drying System, which is exclusive to this make and provides a horizontal, fan-forced, temperature-controlled drying system at the back of the unit. This distributes heat evenly across each of the trays. Easy cleaning and loading thanks to the removable door. A 10-year limited warranty. Reviews: What Customers Are Saying Those who have purchased the Excalibur 3926TB in the past often refer to it as the ‘biggest and baddest’ of at-home dehydrators. Just a quick glance of reviews shows that they are overwhelmingly positive. When you start to dig a little deeper and truly analyze what people are saying, you will see some common trends. Many customers cite that this device offers all the features they need to successfully make all the recipes they want, from large capacity to adjustable temperatures to the timer itself. Many people expressed concerns over the size of the device, but maintain that while it is larger than other dehydrators, it’s not overwhelming large or unmanageable. Some of these customers did say it eats up more countertop space than they would like. Others praise the timer as being their favorite feature. Others discuss that they were surprised that it was quieter than they expected, even though it has a large fan inside. How to Find the Best Dehydrator For You The main complaints about the Excalibur 3926TB seem to not be about the unit itself, but more the way it was shipped or packed. There were also the typical complaints about faulty units or bad customer service sprinkled in the mix. All in all, I would strongly advocate for you to read all the critical reviews, but there are far more positive reviews for this device. In fact, at the time I write this review, this model has over 1,200 reviews on Amazon, with 92% of those reviews being four stars or higher. That alone speaks volumes about this device. Click here to read all reviews on Amazon. What I Liked It is perfect for someone, like myself, that frequently dehydrates. Because you get nine trays, you have lots of space to work with and more options when it comes to recipes. It comes with adjustable temperature control, which will give you better results per each recipe you try. The timer with auto shut-off is really beneficial and means you can safely leave your unit running while you’re out or in bed. Plus, it goes twenty six hours! The removable trays are great, as you can dehydrate tall and thicker foods. Comes with a 10-year warranty from a company with a solid reputation for this type of appliance. What I Didn’t Like It is not the cheapest dehydrator out there. If budget is a concern, this is not the best one for you. While it is reasonably quiet, it is not completely silent. That may be a tough ask from any appliance nowadays, but it would definitely be nice. You don’t get any solid sheets for dehydrating drippy foods and fruit leathers. The controls are inconveniently placed at the back of the device. As such, they are a little tougher to reach. For me specifically, this was just a mild inconvenience, but I can see this being an issue if you place the dehydrator underneath cabinets or you have mobility issues. The Final Verdict Overall, the Excalibur 3926TB is an excellent dehydrator that is packed with plenty of features. Notably, the automated timer and an adjustable thermostat are going to be more appealing for anyone looking to test out different recipes. It also has a durable design and strong build, giving me confidence that I can use it often without concern of it being damaged or worn down. That being said, it is not the best dehydrator for everyone. It’s good, no doubt. But it’s pricey and may be a little complicated to use for beginners. Nothing that can’t be overcome with a bit of use, mind you. But, it’s definitely not as simple to use as many of the smaller vertical-flow dehydrators. This is a great unit, and if you are committed to this hobby and looking to buy a new dehydrator, then you should definitely consider this one.