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There are several things that set me out to look for a dehydrator for our home, and having the Excalibur 3926TB dehydrator has benefited our family is several ways. My sons, like many kids, are finicky when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables.
The Excalibur 3926TB features 9 sliding trays, a 26 hour timer, and a 0-160 degree adjustment dial and is available via Amazon.
Making fruit leathers in our Excalibur is easy, and allows me to preserve all types of fruit when it comes in season and can be purchased in bulk for low costs, and my boys eat them up with gusto.
Several years ago, my husband and I were looking for a way to trim down our budget, and the idea of being able to purchase fresh produce in bulk when it was in season and on sale, and preserving it for future cooking was one of the things we hoped to do.
The options were canning, freezing, or drying produce. Canning consumes a good amount of time and pantry space, as well as cooks a lot of the nutrients out of (some) foods.
That being said, I love to can but don’t have a lot of space to devote to it – as of now, I get my fix by mostly living vicariously through my in-laws’ garden and canning equipment.
Freezing also takes a good deal of space and preparation, and you run the risk of losing your food to freezer burn. Dehydrating food usually takes the same type of preparation as freezing, since you have to blanch many foods before you can dry them, but the finished product is fantastic.
Beans, carrots, tomatoes, onions, peppers… there are all kinds of vegetables that can be dried. They’re fantastic for use in pasta, soups, sauces, and other cooked dishes.
I found that the Excalibur 3926 dehydrator came highly recommended, and after a bit of research, we purchased this model. The dehydrator is a large black box with a front cover that slips on and off easily.
When we bought ours, they only had a solid front cover – the newer 3926TCDB model has a clear view of the food.
The Excalibur 3926TCDB is similar to the 3926TB but features a see through front panel and it’s also available through Amazon.
On the top is a temperature dial that allows you to control how hot you would like the air to be, which helps to prevent case hardening: when a fruit or vegetable dries on the outside, but moisture is still trapped inside, causing it to go rancid.
The Excalibur works very differently from many other dehydrators, because the fan and heating element aren’t on top or bottom, but rather in the back of the machine.
When the heating element and fan are on the top or bottom of a stacked dehydrator, air has to push through every level, and items further from the fan dry much slower, requiring the trays to be shuffled.
The Excalibur is much more efficient and faster, since the air moves from the back to the front across all nine trays. Drying is quick and even, and takes less attention while the machine is at work.
Also on top of the 3926T models (but not the 3900 models) is a timer dial that has up to 26 hours of adjustment. You will find that this is a critical control as it allows you to be engaged in other activities, sleeping, or even out of the house and not worry about overcooking your batch.
Each of the nine trays slide easily in to place inside the dehydrator, and are very easy to wash. I’ve even used the trays as a sieve to drain delicate blanched berries, such as blueberries, that may burst if over handled.
This layout has several benefits.
If food falls, or drips through their trays, it falls on the bottom of the dehydrator, and not into the motor as it would in bottom heating dehydrators. Also, since the trays don’t stack, but slide into their own tracks you can remove some of the trays allowing for larger items to be placed into the machine.
The Excalibur 3926TW is the white version the 3926TB and has all of the same features and is available via Amazon.
The only (very small) complaint I have about this dehydrator is that it can be a little loud – not earth quake ear drum shattering loud but you will notice it if it is in the same room.
The motor in the Excalibur can make a little noise, and the trays or lid may vibrate. This is probably due to the extra power and air circulation that this machine has over similar appliances.
With this in mind, choose a place for your dehydrator that will help to muffle the sound, or operate it at times that you won’t be bothered by the sound. If you remove any empty trays, the any vibrating noise is significantly reduced. For our house, the little bit of noise is well worth the benefits that the Excalibur brings.
- Made in USA by a company that has been in business since 1973 and knows what its about.
- Very easy to use – turn the temp dial to the correct setting, adjust the timer dial to your preference, put the food on the mesh trays and that’s it.
- Really quiet for such a power appliance. It’s not completely silent but its not earth shattering loud.
- 10 Year No BS Warranty
- The timer on this model makes life sooo much easier
- Plastic construction as opposed to stainless steel found in the newer (albeit more expensive models). However, the plastic is VERY strong.
- Silicone (or Excalibur’s house brand – Paraflexx™) must be purchased separately if you’re wanting to make fruit leathers or work with other gooey concoctions.
If you are considering purchasing this model (which I high recommend if you are looking for a dehydrator and want one that will last), I would buy it through Amazon.
- Ease of Use
For decades the Excalibur 3926 has been the top of the line choice for home dehydration duties. If Excalibur hadn't come out with stainless steel models, it would still be the best - and at its price point, it arguably still is.
* Value - At Foodal, we don't rate an merely on price. We like to figure out what the value of the product is. Value, in this case, is a function of price compared to all of the other metrics. A low price item, with an ok build quality, may have great value while a really well built item with an astronomical price may have a lower value. It is sometime subjective. Generally we like well built products that will last.
Excalibur’s different options allow you to choose the dehydrator that fits your needs and kitchen space. All of their dehydrators com with 10-year warranty – try finding that on an el cheapo Chinese model.
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!