View Full Version : Need help deciding on dehydrator!
07-16-2006, 08:03 PM
I need help deciding which dehydrator to buy - basically I am for either the Excalibur or a round model from Hillmark (http://www.hillmark.com.au/products/ezidri_home_food_dehydrators/ezidri_snackmaker_dehydrator) in Australia (Ezidry).
I live in Asia, so the Excalibur has to be shipped here and I might even have to pay customs - I will end up with somewhere above 500US$ for the 9tray without timer and 5 extra teflex sheets.
The Ezidry Model would cost me a total of 300US$ incl. shipping and some extra solid and mesh sheets plus spacer rings.
I have a round cheapy model which I got for free, no temperature setting, too hot, I am not too happy with it. It works, but just soso.
I would love to have the Excalibur, but so much money for a kitchen accessory is just, well, sooo much money. The Ezidry comes with 3 different temperature settings and the company has a good reputation and is well-known in Australia.
What I would love to hear from you:
How are you experiences with round models where the hot air comes from underneath - how happy are you? What about rotating the trays, are things burning? Do you have to watch constantly?
People who might have both: Would you suggest the Excalibur? What are the main advantages besides the air coming from behind?
Thanks for all your support!
07-17-2006, 12:27 AM
I have the harvest one and it holds up to 30 trays. You can set it as low as in the 90's. It works great. I am not sure how much. It is one that has been in my family for a while. It belonged to my great grandmother (when she was nearly 100 years old) then my grandparents, then my mother and now me.
07-17-2006, 04:32 AM
the Harvest ist like the Ezidry right? A round one where you stack the trays on top of each other?
07-17-2006, 06:18 AM
Yes the Harvest Maid and the EziDri are the same kind of design. Round with the fan on the bottom.
If you're really serious about dehydrating I would go Excalibur.... we have many clients that upgrade from the round ones to the Excalibur. I've tried both and have two 9 tray Excaliburs in my kitchen!
07-17-2006, 07:25 AM
thanks for the info!
I know the Excalibur is the best - but the price I pay for the 220V machine incl. shipping and customs is more than double what you pay in the US and it's almost double the Ezidry price. I just wonder whether it's worth it. I am just one person and only dehydrating for me. I am just so insecure about this decision.
I have 2 excaliburs and have worked with clients who have the round ones. I say go for the extra $$ and get the excalibur, it's an investment in your health. There is a huge difference in the texture of food plus since the round one has a middle it you won't be able to spread your food out very well to make crepes,leathers etc. You will never be able to make big pizza crust, cakes, breads or calzone with the round one, everything will have to be mini size.
I will say I like my 5 tray with timer much better the my 9 tray simply because of the timer.
Good luck with whichever you choose!
07-17-2006, 09:47 AM
I have a 5 tray and 9 tray Excalibur and have to say that after using the round styles (I've had several of them through the years) the high quality of the Excalibur just far surpasses the others. The quality of the food and even temperature are so much better.
I can sure understand the high price being a strong factor for you as it sure was for me when I purchased the 9 tray model even here in the USA, I was lucky to buy it off someone on this site for a very good deal after she'd only used it about a dozen times.
Good luck on your decision and enjoy what ever you end up getting! Lots of fun recipes you can try out!
07-17-2006, 02:08 PM
madmel, go to the Excalibur site, and look at the benefits, the ones with the fan etc at the bottom, are difficult to clean, with an excalibur, they are so easy to clean, just take out the trays and wipe out the bottom, I have some ideas for you, you can email me if you wish firstname.lastname@example.org
have you asked Alissa how much shipping is to Australia? have you called customs to find out their duty?
also have you thought of making your own dehydrator? very inexpensive,
and you can make it any size you wish.
I'll look for the link.
07-17-2006, 02:30 PM
I looked at "homemade+dehydrator" on google, as I couldn't find the link on this site, way too many dehydrator threads
so this is a solar homemade one that looks similar to the one that I was thinking of.
if you have the sun, I'm thinking it wouldn't be too hard to add a small lightbulb to this to dry when there is no sun, you can also add a thermometer that you buy from the store, and a small fan, way less expensive than the $500 for the Excalibur, but it is up to you, what you wish to do, the Excalibur is very nice and I love mine, I have 3, use them all the time.
We've got two going right now, drying herbs and such
07-17-2006, 04:18 PM
Have you looked into getting a second hand one where you are, and giving it a try? The round ones seem to pop up quite often! You could try a round one cheap, then bring in the Excalibur if warranted.
07-17-2006, 06:13 PM
Just a tip about the timer. You can buy a timer at the hardware store. People use it for lights or coffee machines, etc. I bought one for a few dollars. You plug the dehydrator plug into it and then the thermometer into your outlet. Mine has 2 start pins and 2 off pins with a 24 clock, so you just stick the little pins in to the times you want it to turn on or turn off, etc. Works great, without paying a big chunk extra for the timer on the actual machine.
07-17-2006, 06:26 PM
thanks to all! Thanks for the information and the help.
I need an 220V, I can only get that from Excalibur directly and the prices for the 220V machines are higher than for the 110V (e.g. what you can buy at Alissa's store or others).
Shipping is high and customs is about 25% of the value - all in all it we are talking 540 US Dollars for a 9tray Ex without timer and 5 extra Teflex sheets including shipping and customs to China (I don't live in Australia).
The homemade one is not an option, but thank you for the suggestion! We don't have that much sun year round, but the links are great anyway!
Ezidry, second best model, extra trays, spacer rings to give me the possibility of dehydrating "higher" food (e.g. calzone, fruits and so on), mesh and solid sheets plus shipping and no customs (it's declared as a gift) comes to less than 300US Dollars.
It's just an awful lot of money and besides that I think the 9tray is too much really, I have to check again for the 5 tray but the difference in price won't be that big, I fear.
Second hand? Unfortunately no. Dehydrators are not common here and I don't doubt that I am the only one in this area (we are talking 2 cities with 25 mio people) who has one. No exaggeration, really.
I am one person only (i.e. I will use the dehydrator for me only, dh is SAD not raw) and I simply hesitate to spend so much money on one appliance - if I lived in the US and could buy it for just a little more than 200 US$ from Excalibur directly, no problem.
In the end it all comes down to this: I just don't know and I will probably need some more time to decide. I'll keep you updated ;)
Thanks again ;)
It's just mean that with all the extra cost it comes to double the amount of money. And I don't have that much money at the moment. If I really want the Ex, I will have to save. Just for your information: My Chinese salary jobs where I work parttime give me about 200 US$ a month ;) Good god, that life here is fairly cheap :D
07-17-2006, 06:33 PM
I hope you have success in finding one in the near future. My goal was eventually to get and exculibur, but I have found that I am not much on alot of dehydrated foods so I will just save my money and use my harvest maid if I wanna (usually use it to make food for family and friends).
07-17-2006, 06:46 PM
madmel, I don't know what the cost is from excalibur directly, but I wanted to let you know that there's a seller on eBay, with 100% positive feedback that's selling 5-tray and 9-tray excaliburs in the 220v. eBay is often cheaper than manufacturer direct so I thought I'd share. They are listed as shipping worldwide, so you'd just have to email the seller to find out shipping to China. Here are the links to the eBay listings:
5 tray $209.95 (http://cgi.ebay.com/EXCALIBUR-NEW-Food-Dehydrator-Model-2500E-220V-240V_W0QQitemZ260004710122QQihZ016QQcategoryZ32883 QQssPageNameZWD1VQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)
9 tray $249.95 (http://cgi.ebay.com/EXCALIBUR-NEW-Food-Dehydrator-Model-2900E-220V-240V_W0QQitemZ260004498862QQihZ016QQcategoryZ32883 QQssPageNameZWD1VQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)
07-17-2006, 07:23 PM
Thank you Debra!
I love my Excalibur! Do you have to pay customs if the customs form is marked "gift"? The Excalibur factory is 1/2 hour from my house, and I was wondering if I shipped it to you if you would have to pay for duty charges. $500 is just outrageous, and I'd be happy to ship it to you if it would make sense.
Let me know...
07-18-2006, 05:32 PM
thank you, thank you for your sweet offer - that is so nice of you!
I have contacted the seller on ebay Debra has given me the links for and he seems to be so much cheaper ;)
I will keep you informed!
07-18-2006, 07:37 PM
I have checked with FlowWOOLF, the eBay guy, and his offers incl. shipping are reasonable and far less than what I was quoted from others.
For a 9 tray with 5 extra Teflex sheets and a banana slicer incl. shipping I will pay 420 US$. For a 5 tray with the same extras I will pay 360$. Still a lot of money, but different than 540US$...
So, I have decided I am going to buy an Excalibur!
Now I just have to think whether to buy a 5 or a 9 tray. Decision, decisions... It's just for me and I am sure the 5 tray is enough, on the other hand the price difference isn't that big anymore.
melanie, still deciding ;)
07-18-2006, 07:52 PM
Oh that's great, I'm so glad it turned out to be cheaper. Do you still have to pay duty?
Once you decide what size, you're going to have so much fun when you get it. ;)
Glad to hear that an eBay seller can get it to you cheaper! That's great! I have the 9-tray, and I love it! Even though I'm the only one eating the dehydrated stuff right now in my family, it made sense to pay the little extra and get the bigger unit.
Please let me know if I can help!
07-22-2006, 12:51 AM
thanks for your support and help!
Mary - people like you make this forum a great place!
Debra - without you I wouldn't have known about the eBay-seller!
I bought the 9-tray today and five Teflex sheets - dehydrator paradise, I am coming!
a very happy mel
08-01-2006, 08:34 PM
I got it, I got it!
It's a beauty, love at first sight and I am using it already. Never want a different one!
I think dh is jealous already :D
Thanks to all of you for your help and suggestions!
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