Save Money! Preserve Your Produce Naturally!
This 5 tray dehydrator allows you to:
Excalibur ED-3500 Specifications
Over 20 years excellence! The first name in food dehydration presents the 3000 series, featuring the exclusive turbo charged Parallexx Drying system. The Parallexx design, with a temperature controlled, fan forced, horizontal drying system mounted in the rear is exclusive to the 3000 series. The same features found in Excalibur's USDA approved commercial model in an afforbale home model.
Why the Excalibur?
Excalibur offers the turbo charged Parallexx Drying System. Millions have discovered the benefits of food dehydration. Healthy, nutritious, and tasty food at a huge savings. Now Excalibur makes drying easy. For centuries food has been dried in the sun or open air - a lengthy, messy and difficult process inviting contamination and spoilage. With the introduction of electric dehydrators the drying process was improved. But most manufacturers offered round stackable models with a heating unit in the bottom. Excalibur pioneered a rear--mounted equipment package allowing horizontal or parallel air flow - The Parallexx System.
The Excalibur Food Dehydrator
Excalibur has been the leader in Dehydration technology for over 35 years. We lead the commercial dehydrator market with our premier-quality, double-walled stainless steel dehydrators so we know the important features that are mandatory for health and safety when it comes to dehydration and working with stainless steel.
When looking at a stainless steel dehydrator here are the questions you MUST ask when it comes to your health and safety:
1) What type of stainless steel is the dehydrator made out of?- Not all stainless steel is the same- to make it stainless cheaper-lower grades are mixed with other metals which can change the color, density and safety when coming into contact with heat and food.
2) What are the Trays made of? - Many low grade stainless steel dehydrators do not come with stainless steel trays- they are sold with trays that are Chrome plated and/or nickel plated. Keep in mind your food is setting on these trays. Over time this plating can chip off in your foods and rust. Chrome plating usually makes use of hexavalent chromium (Cr+6). Many studies in the last decade have shown it to be dangerous citing evidence that hexavalent chromium causes lung cancer and other serious health conditions. Because of these health concerns, the chrome plating process has come under increased regulations in the U.S. based on chrome’s hazardous and environmentally toxic properties. In order to avoid increased regulations many companies have moved their operations overseas. -Most Important---If you purchase a stainless steel dehydrator-- Make sure that the Trays are 100% stainless steel. In our commercial dehydrators we use only 100%stainless steel trays.
3) Where is the dehydrator manufactured?- beware of low-grade stainless steel coming out of China- and chrome plated trays from overseas. Excalibur is proud to be a U.S. made product.
4) Is the Dehydrator a green product? Stainless steel is not green. It is a necessity in commercial applications—but not needed for home use. Support Green Products, Buy Recycled, Buy Green!
5) How long has the manufacturer been in business and what is the warranty?-Beware of companies that purchase low grade dehydrators from China and put their name on it. Parts might not be available when needed and many of them cook foods rather than dehydrate them.
6) Are the edges rounded and seamless for easy cleaning? Low grade units will have sharp 90 degree corners and have cracks/crevices where the metal comes together. This is where food can become lodged creating the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to grow.
Why our FDA Approved Polycarbonate Construction is Better than Stainless Steel for Home Use.
High quality stainless steel is appropriate for businesses but it’s much too expensive for home owners- the key word is high quality stainless. Anyone can make a low grade stainless steel dehydrator and include chrome plated trays, but you do not know what has been mixed with the stainless steel – and chrome plated trays can pose health concerns.
Some customers have asked us to make a stainless steel home dehydrator like our commercial dehydrators. To produce a homeowner-priced stainless steel dehydrator, we would have to seriously downgrade components- going to single-wall construction, for example, which has rough edges and is hot to the touch. We pride ourselves in providing high quality products and support using green products whenever possible. Stainless steel is appropriate for commercial uses but unnecessary for home use. Here are some key reasons why Polycarbonate is better than stainless steel for home use:
In 1963 Dr. Ann Wigmore and Victoras Kulvinskas founded the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, MA. This was followed by the Ann Wigmore Foundation in 1985. Her teachings are followed by thousands of people world wide.
Here's what some of the Raw Food Community's most Recognized Leaders have to say...
Frequently asked Dehydrator Questions:
What is the difference between the Excalibur 2400, 2500 and 2900? They look like they do the same thing?Basically the dehydrators are all the same design. The only aspects that are different are their size, heating element, fan size, and the amount of space in each unit available for drying. The larger the unit, the larger the fan, and heating element.
Why is there a drastic jump in price between the 4 tray and the 5 tray Excalibur model?That is just how the manufacturer sets the pricing. Pricing on the dehydrators, are "mandated" by the manufacturer to us. If you look at the TOTAL drying space, it is actually double the space even though its only 1 more tray, this is due to the larger tray size.. Look at the 9 tray model, its almost 4 times the space of the 4 tray, not just double, as you might think (this is because the size of the trays are larger on the 5 and 9 tray models.
Why do you feature the Excalibur dehydrators?After testing many dehydrators, we found the Excalibur units to provide the most even drying due to the parallel air flow technology used. In addition, the Excalibur units are one of few brands that have an adjustable thermostat. This is a very important feature in our opinion. In a dehydrator we purchased at a discount store, the temperature was non-adjustable, and we measured it at 170 degrees F. We believe this is just too hot. To preserve enzymes in food, we believe a temperature of about 110 degrees should be used when dehydrating fruits/vegetables/herbs and nuts/seeds to maintain enzymes and nutrients. If you want to make jerky, these machines will also do that. Specific information is included in the instruction booklet that is included with the Excalibur dehydrator.
What are teflex™ sheets? Do I need them?Teflex™ sheets are non-stick, solid sheets. They are washable and re-useable. They are used for dehydrating liquids (such as blended fruits- to make fruit roll-ups) or really sticky/gooey items that would normally drip through the mesh sheets that are included with the dehydrator. They are also useful for making sprouted essene breads and crackers. They are available separately.
What size dehydrator do you recommend?We recommend the Excalibur 9 tray model, for an average size family. Since the cost per square foot of drying space is the least expensive. With the Excalibur units, you can't add more space, but when your dehydrating, you can quickly run out of space. You can always run the dehydrator when it is not full. Of course, if your not going to dry much, the smaller 4 or 5 tray model would probably be best.
Will the 600 watt unit (9 tray) dry faster than the 220 watt unit (4 tray?)? Not necessarily. Efficiency of design is most important. Too much heat can cause the outside of the fruit to caseharden, like searing in juices in steak. This greatly lengthens the drying time. All EXCALIBUR models have their heating elements properly sized for highest efficiency, lowest energy consumption and fastest drying time.
How long does it take to dehydrate foods in the Excalibur dehyrator?Dehyration times varies, and depends on several factors. Please see the dehydration times page for guidlines.
What is the space between the trays on the Excalibur?About 3/4" between trays. The trays above the tray you are using the dehydrate may be removed for extra space (if you want to put a dish or dehyrate a thick bread dough).
How much does it cost to run the dehydrator? Your actual cost will depend on your local utility company, and how much they charge per kW/hour. The dehydrators use 600, 400 and 220 watts for the 9,5, and 4 tray models. With our current utility prices here, the 9 tray works out to be about 3 cents and hour to operate.
Why don't the units you offer include a built in timer?Excalibur does not let any retailer sell the dehydrators with built in timer. What we recommend is that people go to a local store (Radio Shack, Home Depot, Wal-mart, Sears or Kmart) and obtain a "appliance timer", these generally cost about $5-$10, depending on the features. These external timers can be used for other uses (ie: turning on and off lights when you are on vacation). (The units with built in timer are about $60 more than the units than we offer)
Do you offer the Excalibur in White?Excalibur does not let any retailer sell the white dehydrators.
Do you sell the Excalibur 3000 series dehydrators? Is the 3000 better then the 2900?Excalibur does not let any retailer sell the 3000 series dehydrator. They choose to sell that model direct to the end user (at higher prices). The only difference in the 3000 model and the 2900 model we sell is that the 3000 model comes in a WHITE color, and comes with an 26 hour timer. (see above). The 3000 and the 2900 uses the exact same thermostat and heating element. I personally feel the 26 hour timer can be a limitation for people in to living and raw foods. This is because the lower the temperature you are dehydrating at, the LONGER it takes to dehydrate, in some instances, with the timer model, the unit will shut off before your item being dehydrated is ready.
One of our main goals as a company is to produce a product that meets the needs of our customers. Therefore we responded to the request and spent hundreds of hours testing at least a dozen different thermostats. Twice we thought we found the right one, and both times they failed to get the approval of the raw food chefs that tested them. They simply said the old one worked better. This created a concern for us because we had based our decision upon inaccurate information, for example that temperatures above 105 F would destroy all enzymes. We then devoted our time and effort into finding the information we had to have before we could proceed with developing a new product. Based upon what we already knew from almost 30 years of experience, and information we found through recent testing and research, we have discovered that Excalibur’s present design and thermostat is superior for living foods.
The Excalibur Dehydrator’s thermostat was never originally designed to hold an accurate air temperature, but was specifically designed for, and very accurate at controlling food temperature. However it is very important to understand what is happening in the dehydration process. Here are some aspects of the process that are most critical to understand: FIRST, understanding the difference between air temperature and food temperature, and how the evaporation process keeps food temp lower than air temp, SECOND, understanding how the thermostat works by causing the air temperature to fluctuate up and down. and THIRD, understanding at which point in the dehydration process that the enzymes are most susceptible to destruction by heat, which is while the food is in its wet state. After the food is dehydrated the enzymes can with stand much higher temperatures.
In understanding the difference between air temp and food temp it is important to know how to read Excalibur’s dial. The temperature reading on the dial refers to FOOD temperature . In general food temperature is about 20 degrees cooler that air temp. Therefore if you set your Excalibur at 105 you are setting it to hold the food temperature at around 105 degrees, the air temperature may get as high as 125 degrees depending upon the moisture content of the food. The reason the food temperature is cooler is because of evaporation. As the moisture on the surface of the food evaporates, it cools the food keeping it about 20 F cooler than the air temperature. We have discovered this through hours of testing by measuring the air temperature and food temperature simultaneously during the dehydration process using a Doric Trendicator with type j thermal couples.
It is also important to know how the thermostat works. We have found through experimentation, that in order preserve the enzymes, and reduce the risk of mold and bacteria, it is necessary to have a wide fluctuation in temperature. Because enzymes and microorganisms both thrive at the same temperature, we must be able to accomplish two things at once, keep the food temperature low enough not to harm the enzymes. and elevate the air temperature high enough to remove the moisture quickly to stop the growth of mold or bacteria. The wide fluctuation in temperature accomplishes just that. As the air temperature rapidly rises to its high point moisture is quickly evaporated off the surface of the food, and as the temperature lowers the dryer surface pulls moisture from the center of the food and becomes saturated again. Because of the continuous up and down fluctuation in air temperature, and constant evaporation the food temperature remains constant at a lower temperature. After all the moisture is evaporated out of the food. the food temperature will rise and then equalize somewhere in the middle of the air temperature fluctuation. Once the food temperature rises one might get worried and think that the enzymes are dead if he or she does not understand the third critical aspect. Which is, that enzymes are only susceptible to damage by high heat when they are in the wet state, therefore once the food is dehydrated the enzymes have become dormant, and can withstand much higher temperatures. According to our discussions with Viktoras Kulvinskas on this matter he said that we were right, and that, quote: “dry enzymes can survive well up to 150 deg F.” He has tested food he has prepared in his Excalibur dehydrators with an experiment he created, and found it to he high in enzymatic activity. We have also done some experiments by soaking various seeds. dehydrating them at different temperatures. and soaking them again afterwards to see if they will sprout. and they did, which proves that the enzymes are alive.
Something that has caused us a lot of concern is we have heard so many conflicting opinions as to the temperature at which enzymes are destroyed. Twenty years ago Ann Wigmore spoke to Roger Orton personally and said that the food temperature had to go above 120 degrees for a period time before the enzymes were destroyed. Again in our discussions with Viktoras he said the same thing. Ann tested different dehydrators and found that Excalibur was the best for living foods. She found that the best technique for saving enzymes was to set Excalibur on a higher food temperature setting in the beginning and then turn it down after a few hours. However because most people may not know when to turn it down. and by leaving it on the higher setting may kill the enzymes she said to set your Excalibur on 105 degree setting throughout the entire cycle. That way the food temp will never go above 120 even after it is dry. We believe this is why many have come to believe that 105 degrees air temperature is the temperature at which the enzymes are destroyed. which is entirely inaccurate. We have also heard many people quote Dr. Edward Howell where he says in his book “Enzyme Nutrition” that prolonged temperatures over 118 F will destroy enzymes. We also read in his book where he says that the enzyme amylase can still convert starch to sugar at air temperatures up to 160 F but will wear out after a half an hour. We have also read where he says that the optimum temperatures for enzymes are 45 F to 140 F. Just recently we spoke with Dr. John Whitaker who is a world recognized enzymologist, and former dean of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at U.C. Davis. He said that every enzyme is different and some are more stable at higher temperatures than others but that most enzymes will not become completely inactive until food temperatures exceed 140 to 158 F in a wet state.
We appreciate you taking the time to read this valuable information, and urge you to help us in spreading it though out the raw food community. Please stop by our vendor booth if you have any questions, or you know of any further information you can share with us. I will mention again that we want to meet the needs of the raw food community, and are still open to making a change if necessary, hut from what we have been told the present Excalibur is perfect. We hope that it has helped in answering your questions regarding your Excalibur Dehydrator. Please share this with any of your friends that have expressed concern about the accuracy of their dehydrator.
I’m into raw foods, and am considering the 4 or 5 tray, which one is better?According to Roger Orton, the owner of Excalibur, he doesn't recommend the 2400 (4 tray) for raw food, low temp drying because it's so small. It works better at higher temperatures and is designed for "treats and jerky." He said the 5 tray and 9 tray work much better. In our opinion, its better to have more space, and run the dehydrator half full, than to run out of space. We feel the 12" x 12" tray size on the 4 tray model is just too small.
What dehydrator do most people in Living and Raw Foods Use?The short answer... They use Excalibur.
Excalibur®, Parallex™ and Teflex™ are registered trademarks of Excalibur/Killer Baits Inc.