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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Are the square food dehydrators as effective as the round ones? I am designing a tiny home now and kitchen space and storage is limited.Square/cubical things provide more utility per size.
 

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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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All the brands out there, but it really boils down to Excalibur vs Nesco.

It's better to decide on what is important to you.

Excalibur does the best dehydrating job. Nesco is the most flexible.

Product versus utility.

Excalibur is an expensive fixed sized unit. Can't do any bigger jobs that the machine holds and if you don't fill it up then you are wasting power. You have to learn about optimal batch size to get the best out of this expensive unit.

Nesco can do one or a bunch of trays. You can even put fan units top and bottom. Batch size is just a minor concern. I've done one or 10 trays, no problem. My garden doesn't yield uniform harvests. Some years I have barely enough to even bother with dehydration and some years it's like Lucy in the chocolate factory. Nesco gives me the flexibility I need. If it doesn't work as perfectly as the Excalibur, it is still pretty close once you get the hang of it. It's affordable too.

Which one to get? It's almost like the AR vs AK argument. Pick one and half the crowd cheers and the other jeers.

I'd say to choose based on your need of flexibility. If you deal with a wide variety of batches then go Nesco. If you are buying all your raw product and can truly control your batch size every time then go Excalibur.

Other brands come and go. Some are occasionally good too. But then they go tweak the model next year and they suck again.

But you can count on those two brands.
 

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Dismember
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The Excalibur is what I have, but tt's a bit of a monster. Also, I don't know about the Nesco shelves, but I bought the fancy sheets to keep things from falling thru, and it ended up $$. Also, the sheets I got impede circulation, in my book. I'm sure others have a better answer to that point. Does the Nesco have smaller holes?

As for filling it, I buy frozen small fruit and finish the fill with that.

\The most important thing is to follow instructions.
 

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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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The Excalibur is what I have, but tt's a bit of a monster. Also, I don't know about the Nesco shelves, but I bought the fancy sheets to keep things from falling thru, and it ended up $$. Also, the sheets I got impede circulation, in my book. I'm sure others have a better answer to that point. Does the Nesco have smaller holes?

As for filling it, I buy frozen small fruit and finish the fill with that.

\The most important thing is to follow instructions.
They sell a mesh sheet and a solid one for making fruit leather. The mesh does well enough unless it's too juicy. I've never compared the mesh types between the brands.

Common frozen veggie bags should be good affordable filler material to use the entirety of your Excalibur load.
 

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Oh well, might as well.... 5 years ago, I bought 2 Prestos for about $40 each to dry wet tumbled brass. Well over a half million rounds later on 2 machines without malfunction. Roughly, that's 1000+ hours on each. Is it necessary to spend high dollars? (No idea what temperatures are, but I can't handle brass immediately)
 

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I have control issues
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Go for square/rectangular with the heating element/fan unit in the back. It gives more even drying. The problem with the round ones is that the heating element is on the bottom, so you end up needing to rotate the trays, or you'll end up with the stuff on the bottom getting overdone, and the stuff on the top not getting thoroughly dehydrated. Plus, there have been several instances of the round plastic ones MELTING.

I have had both types, and now just use the square ones, but I do NOT have an Excalibur - I don't like them because they are made of plastic, which can melt. The model I have is from Sportsman's Guide, and it is made of METAL (so it WON'T melt). 10 wire trays, approximately 13" by 14", with temperature that can be adjusted anywhere from around 90-95 degrees for dehydrating herbs, clear up to 165, for dehydrating meats, and everything in between. If I need to dehydrate something that is likely to fall through the wire as it dehydrates, or is wet, I either use parchment paper on the trays, or some flexible nylon cutting board that I have.
 

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Wannabe Mountain Hermit
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I've got a square off brand but I don't care for it. Dosent dehydrate that good. I would love to have an Excalibur but can't afford it and i've also got a round Nesco that does better than the square off brand.
 
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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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I've got a square off brand but I don't care for it. Dosent dehydrate that good. I would love to have an Excalibur but can't afford it and i've also got a round Nesco that does better than the square off brand.
There have been a number of dehydrator brands that had an occasional model better than Nesco, but those models tend to change and become worse. Only the Excalibur is perennially rated higher than the Nesco.

For those that have a problem with needing more power or don't like rotating trays on the Nesco you can typically put fan units on both top and bottom with some finagling. That trick gets a lot of trays done fast.

Like I said before, buyers should stick to Nesco or Excalibur. Some may get lucky with an off brand beating Nesco, but when it fails its replacement option will be worse. Those two brands are consistently good regardless of model changes.
 
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