If you’ve been shopping for dehydrators, you have probably come across the Excalibur Dehydrator. You have probably also noticed that it is far more expensive than any of the alternatives. Is the expense worth the value you get? Is it really that much better than other dehydrators? Here are five reasons to consider adding this appliance to your kitchen.

1. The inside height can vary.

With most other dehydrators, you can only have relatively flat food, such as sliced bananas or tomatoes, on the trays. But with an Excalibur, you can remove as many trays as you wish to dehydrate higher items, such as kale leaves. Or, you can remove all the trays and put in small casserole dishes or quart jars. Which brings us to the next advantage…

2. It’s not just for dehydrating sliced fruits and vegetables.

If you want to make a raw pasta sauce, blend your tomatoes and spices, pour into a dish, and set in the Excalibur for a few hours to get the excess water out and therefore thicken it. You can also use it for making yogurt: after you pour the milk and culture mixture into jars, set them in the dehydrator at 95 degrees for twelve hours. That reminds me…

3. The Excalibur Dehydrator has a temperature control.

You can set it as low as eighty-five degrees or as high as one-hundred sixty degrees (Fahrenheit). That way, if you want to avoid killing the enzymes or vitamins in a food you can start it at a higher temperature, such as 140 degrees, for an hour or two (four to six hours for nuts) in order to dry out the outside of the food, then turn the temperature down to 100 degrees to dry it thoroughly inside and out, without destroying enzymes or vitamins.

4. It dries with a fan.

The fan at the back on the inside ensures that all the food gets evenly dried out. With some other dehydrators, uneven drying is a problem.

5. Dehydrating is healthier than canning.

If you’re into – or want to get into- food preservation, dehydration is healthier than canning. As I mentioned earlier, you can keep foods in their raw state, which you cannot with canning. As well, the high heat involved in canning destroys heat-sensitive vitamins. Did I mention that with dehydrating you don’t have to spend long hours in front of a hot stove?

The Excalibur Dehydrator has a lot of advantages over its competitors. Whether you want to preserve the bounty of your garden harvest, or prepare raw fruit-and-nut treats like apple “cookies”, this is the best choice out there. I’ve had mine for several years, and love both its functionality and the results I get.