My old cheap, round white dehydrator from Canadian Tire served me well for a few years, but the plastic trays finally crumbled and fell apart and it needed to go. I do a fair bit of dehydrating and decided it was time to invest in a better quality model, so I went with the 3900B 9-Tray Deluxe Excalibur.
I’m not sure why a plastic box with a heat element, thermostat and fan is so expensive, but all dehydrators of this size and quality seem to be comparable in price. At least this one has lots of great reviews. It’s definitely got a lot more capacity than my tiny round one did, and it’s a bit easier to clean. So far here’s what I think of it:
-Large drying capacity
-Square, easy to store and easier to arrange items
-Seems fairly durable
-Relatively easy to clean*
-Tray are a bit flimsy
-Door does not latch shut
-*Still annoying to clean
The door just hangs on the front which would be fine if I didn’t have cats and often dry meats. This means if I’m not supervising I have to put something heavy in front of the door to deter cat theft.
They say you can wash the trays in the top shelf of your dishwasher IF you take them out before the drying cycle. I don’t know about you, but me and my dishwasher don’t really know each other all that well and I’d rather not take the risk of melting my trays. This means I have to scrub the 14″ square trays in my sink and well, they just don’t fit. It’s awkward, water gets everywhere, and I hate it. At least I can dry the trays when I’m done right in the unit!
If I had wanted to spend another $40 to $50, I could have purchased a model with a timer. However, I can just buy a timer for $10 and plug into that if I need one. I think I would rarely use one anyway, and the built-in timer only goes to a maximum of two hours, which generally isn’t enough time for what I’m drying. It’s also just one more thing that can break on the unit, so I decided to go without. Looking forward to drying lots of garden herbs and vegetables this year!