Food dehydration technology has been around for hundreds of years albeit in varying forms. Nowadays, the technology comes in the form of modern food dehydrators, which are kitchen appliances designed to remove the excess moisture from fruits, vegetables, and meats, among others.
These are typically equipped with a combination of airflow and temperature control features – the former for maintaining an even temperature and removing moisture, the latter for achieving the desired temperature.
The Excalibur 2900ECB is one such modern food dehydrator that uses the combination of airflow and temperature control. While its name may have the term “economy” on it, buyers have attested that it doesn’t scrimp on the practical features and durable materials.
Food waste in the United States is a cause for concern, whether it happens in homes or in restaurants, hotels and the like. Even perfectly edible fruits, vegetables, and nuts that don’t meet the stringent standards in appearance, such as misshapen fruits and vegetables, are thrown away!
Fortunately, an increasing number of people are realizing the benefits of food dehydration by using the Excalibur 2900ECB, as evidenced by dozens of online consumer reviews.
This isn’t surprising as food dehydration is arguably the fastest, easiest and most efficient method of food preservation, as well as the healthiest of its kind. Keep in mind that dehydration preserves the nutrients and concentrates the flavors of the food, which can be done without the use of additives, preservative, and other chemicals.
This is true for the Excalibur 2900ECB where the steps in food dehydration as so easy there’s no need for a “manual for dummies”. Just slice the food according to the desired thickness, load the sliced food into the trays, and set the temperature and timer. The food dehydrator will do the work of evaporating the moisture from the food until the desired crispiness, among other attributes, is achieved.
Of course, there are numerous tips and tricks to get the desired results, especially when drying several types of fruits at once, such as banana chips, sweet potato sticks, and apple slices.
Keep in mind that each type will require different heat, air flow and time spent in the dehydrator, which can be a hit-or-miss thing when you’re not careful. For example, fruits and vegetables will have higher temperature requirement than nuts and herbs, but lower temperature needs in comparison with meat jerky.
The Excalibur 2900ECB is a relatively larger food dehydrator with 15 square feet of space provided in its nine large trays. This isn’t suitable for people whose food dehydration needs are limited to a one or two persons – the human effort and electrical power required may not be worth it. Instead, it’s more suitable for large families as well as small restaurants, caterers, and food producers who want a mid-range food dehydrator.
The trays are easy to clean, too, since these can be cleaned in the dishwasher. You don’t even have to worry about the dried food sticking to the tray, thanks to the flexible poly-screen tray inserts or liners. Your job is to ensure that the sliced food can be evenly dried by placing them in a more organized manner on the trays.
We suggest following the recommended temperature and time for drying various food for best results. Herbs, for example, shouldn’t be washed prior to drying since added moisture will affect the results, usually by making the herbs wetter than necessary.
Like all modern food dehydrators, the Excalibur 2900ECB uses heat and air flow in dehydrating moisture from the food placed on its trays. The unit, in particular, has a large 7-inch rear-mounted fan for maintaining even air flow and a heating element for achieving and maintaining the desired temperature.
These two aspects are must since a good air flow is essential in maintaining an even temperature for the entire duration of the dehydration process.
By appearance alone, the unit has a basic design but therein lies its appeal, too. You don’t have to deal with complicated parts and features since virtually everything needed to start food dehydration is on display. You have to read the instructions manual, nonetheless, for best results.
The Excalibur 2900ECB has the following advantages that make it a standout according to many customers:
- The combination of fine white mesh sheets and plastic trays provide sufficient space for drying both smaller slices of fruits, vegetables, and herbs as well as larger chunks of meat and fish.
- The dial for setting the drying temperature is easily accessible with the dial ranging between 95°F and 155°F suitable for drying a wide range of food.
- The unit has a tray dedicated to making fruit rolls, also known as leathers.
- The dehydrator has a large capacity for drying a few kilos of food simultaneously.
- The large fan means there’s no need to rotate the trays while drying.
- 5-year extended warranty available.
- The trays and external case from made of durable polycarbonate ABS plastic for long-lasting use.
But there are disadvantages, too, including:
- Large size and heavy weight so countertop space requirement is bigger, too.
- Flimsy lid according to many customers.
- Controls are located at the back, which can be an inconvenient
- Relatively louder sound when unit is in use
The Excalibur 2900 has a basic design but there are other things that make it among the best in its category. The large capacity from its nine trays means several types of food can be dried simultaneously instead of waiting in batches.
The temperature range makes it suitable for a wide range of food, too, from fruits, vegetables, and nuts to meats, fishes and nuts, a must-have feature in a food dehydrator.
But the controls located at the back of the unit make it less than ideal for many uses. The trick here is to position the food dehydrator in a place where the controls can be easily accessed. Even the louder noise when it’s in operation is tolerable.
The bottom line: The Excalibur 2900 is a basic food dehydrator but its durable construction, practical features, and large capacity make it a good choice for a mid-range product.