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Old 07-23-2013, 07:49 AM   #1
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Excalibur 3926T question

I have an old Ron Popeil dehydrator and a lot of food drops through the shelves. I've been thinking of upgrading to an Excalibur, but they are expensive. Here's my question the one with the timer is $50 more, so those of you that have one, if you were to buy one again would you get the one with the timer? TIA.................... Ann
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:23 AM   #2
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Mine does not have a timer but I have a small timer I use. Excalibur is worth it, I have one. Yes I would buy one w/ a timer.

Here's a tip for you Ann, I use silk pats when I'm drying some small foods. Some friends shared this w/ me.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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We have an Excalibur. I have no idea if it has a timer or not, but I don't think a timer is worth $50. The drying times for most foods are long and tend to be flexible. Plus we always check the food before we shut it off. I don't think a timer is necessary.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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I also have one without the built-in timer and I just set a digital kitchen timer to go off when I think the stuff should be dry.

We got some plastic window screening (like you'd replace the screen on your screen door with) at the hardware store and cut it to fit each tray, then washed well - I use that under grains and anything small. I do NOT use it under beef jerky, that would probably stick to it pretty badly!

I'm not such a fan of the silpat sheets only because I think they block airflow. For something like fruit leathers though, they'd be necessary. The two that came with my Excalibur are in the bottom of the unit to catch any drips - much easier to pull those sheets out and wipe them clean than to reach into the unit to wipe it out.

You'll love it - such a great machine!

They just had one on special - it was in camo and had a timer, I think it was $299. Not sure how long the special was running though.

ETA: they are still on special til 7/31. The black and white ones too, so you wouldn't HAVE to get the camo paint job. But why wouldn't you?! Free shipping too!
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Last edited by Charski; 07-23-2013 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:01 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Charski;16527864]I also have one without the built-in timer and I just set a digital kitchen timer to go off when I think the stuff should be dry.

We got some plastic window screening (like you'd replace the screen on your screen door with) at the hardware store and cut it to fit each tray, then washed well - I use that under grains and anything small. I do NOT use it under beef jerky, that would probably stick to it pretty badly!

I'm not such a fan of the silpat sheets only because I think they block airflow.

Ok I'm now a convert . I love the screen idea and I have some.Thanks Char.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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LOL Essy! it works really well - I just leave the regular plastic mesh screens that came with the dehydrator in there, then put the window mesh on top of that. Works like a charm.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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I would not opt for the timer myself. It's better just to check the food as everything gets done at different times. I put a variety of things in at the same time. I LOVE mine. It does everything so evenly and the cleanup is so easy. Well worth the money in my opinion as is my Weston vacuum sealer. I wondered whether to spend that much money but was so glad I did.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:45 PM   #8
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I'm now confused. The reason I wanted the Excalibur is because it looked like it had like a mesh or screen like bottom on the trays. If this isn't the case, I'm not sure if I'd want to spend that much. In mine it has openings that let grapes when drying raisens and pear slices drop through to the heating element. I was all set to order until the talk about having to buy screen to line the trays, but thanks all for answering so quickly..............Ann
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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Ann, grapes and fruit will NOT drop through the included screens. What WILL drop through is my sprouted grains as they dry. You'll be fine with it as-is for that purpose. The mesh is definitely small enough for things like that and no WAY will peach or pear slices drop through there!

They do have a money-back guarantee so I say - go for it! I KNOW you're gonna love it!

The other nice thing is that the heat does not come from the bottom - the fan and motor are in the top back corner - so the bottom inside is flat and easy to clean.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:05 AM   #10
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O.K., thanks Charski and all of you ladies, I'm going to do it. Still not sure if I want to go the extra for the timer, will think about that a little more. The place i found it, also had the $299 and that was with the timer........... Thanks again........... Ann
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:41 AM   #11
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Check the shipping, Ann - the one direct from Excalibur was $299 with free shipping.

Can't wait to hear all about it when you get it!
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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alright you guys...i already bought the vitamix now I can see the enablers are out for Excaliber..another toy I've been wanting for years. I bought a Nesco last year at Costco to see if i would really use one and I actually did soooo of course now I want to upgrade. And I want the 9 tray right? You guys are bad very very bad. I may have to stop dropping in here;o)
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:15 AM   #13
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LOL tstarre! Yes, you NEED an Excalibur. You'll be amazed at the difference between that and the Nesco. I did the same as you - I bought a Nesco Snackmaker (because the motor was in the top) and I did use it quite a bit, to the point where I wanted more room to do more at once - so I bought the Excalibur and I've never looked back. I love it. It is to the Nesco what the Vitamix is to any ol' blender. GO GIRL GO while they're on sale!
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:54 AM   #14
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I'm curious about jerky? What trays do you use, the regular mesh screens or the fruit leather sheets? I've never made it and I'm thinking because you marinate it it's wet and will drip thru the mesh? Wondering if you can use parchment paper instead of buying the sheets. Of course than I'm pretty sure ya"ll will tell me I need a $300 meat slicer LOL
What size do you have Charski?
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:03 AM   #15
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WOW Just went to Excaliber they have copper, blue and raspberry colors BUT they all have timers and are $399 soooo I"ll be passing on that and just going with the black or white and no timer. I can use the extra hundred to start saving for a meat slicer;O)

Wish Costco would do road shows on these. Bet they would have a great price
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:24 AM   #16
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tstarre until the 31st of this month, you can get either the black or the camo (and I think I saw the white one earlier this week when I looked) WITH the time, on special for $299.99 and free shipping.

As for the jerky - I just put it on the white mesh screens that come with the dehydrator. Works fine for either strips of meat or my preference, ground meat.

This is why I keep the two silicone sheets that came with it in the bottom of the dehydrator - much easier to take those out and wash them than to wipe out the inside of the dehydrator itself. Honestly though, it doesn't make much mess - I use a jerky shooter and just shoot the strips right onto the mesh - it really doesn't drip a lot.

If using strips, I always marinate in plastic ziploc baggies, so I pour off the marinade and drain the slices of meat a bit before putting on the mesh.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:31 AM   #17
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why do you prefer ground beef Charski? Is it a texture thing or price? I buy alot of grass fed beef and the breed has almost no fat so I've been putting off cooking the briskets and roast type cuts because they are super lean. I was thinking they would make good jerkey with the marinade and all. I've never made jerky so not even sure what are some of the best cuts. Guess I will have to research. I'm sure you peeps have some jerky threads;O)
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:31 AM   #18
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Two reasons - 1) it's easier than slicing the meat and marinating it 2) DH's dentist told him to quit eating the regular jerky, it was too hard on his teeth - so I started making the ground beef kind, it's not as hard to bite into it and chew it. We actually now prefer it.

You could always grind up some of that meat if you wanted to try making ground beef jerky.

BUT you have to have a jerky shooter, IMHO. I've seen people say they pat it out evenly and cut it into strips but in my experience, it's softer and not easy to pick those strips up and transfer them to the drying trays. I guess if you're making it in the oven (as many of these folks were doing) you could pat it out on your pan and then run a pizza cutter to cut it into strips and then dry it right on that pan.

The jerky shooter is a nice one. I had a cheesy one that came with my Nesco dehydrator and after a very frustrating first try, I pitched the dang thing in the garbage. When DH's dentist said no more regular jerky, I started researching and reading reviews on Amazon for the best shooter, and I ended up getting a nice one from there - brand is LEM products jerky cannon, in case you're interested!
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:50 AM   #19
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I knew I would need some new toy other than the Excaliber. You enabler you;O) Wow interesting about teeth and jerkey. I buy lots of the grass fed ground beef so this sounds right up my alley. Do you keep jerky in the fridge cause its not as dried out as the strips? And you just work the marinade right into the meat kind of like meatloaf?
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #20
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I have a recipe for the ground beef jerky that's somewhat different from my regular marinade for strips. I'll give it to you when you have your new dehydrator!

I keep the stuff in the freezer. Because there are no preservatives, it will go bad, even in the fridge. I lost some one time because of that so now I wait til it's totally cool, keep some out for the next few days, pop the rest into a gallon ziploc freezer bag and in the freezer it goes.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:43 AM   #21
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Well Charski, my Excalibur came today, unpacked it and discovered it doesn't have two silicone sheets with it. I almost ordered some, but I don't intend to make fruit roll-ups, so didn't. Guess I should have, so I too could put them in the bottom to catch drips. Maybe I can get one somewhere in town, will look when I get out. It's pretty, hope I like it as well as you folks that have them do. Thanks again for the help.....Ann
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:15 PM   #22
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No problem, Ann, and you can certainly line the bottom with heavy-duty foil or parchment paper if you have it. Since the silicone sheets came with mine, that's what I used, but I'd have no problem using something else if I didn't get those with my order.

I hope you love it too! I got a bunch of Italian plums from some friends and I think I'm gonna try halving/pitting/dehydrating them!
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:40 AM   #23
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My dehydrator is just sitting looking at me. I'm really in the mood to try it, but the grapes and pears aren't ready yet. Thinking about trying some beef jerky out of ground beef. Charski, would you post your recipe? And the kind of extruder you have. I got one for a friend, not very expensive and he said it didn't work very well. I think I got it at Walmart......................... Ann
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:40 AM   #24
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Hi Ann!

I got the LEM Jerky Cannon on Amazon. It was $50 but money well spent IMHO. They do have a smaller version for about half that price, but I'm lazy and didn't want to have to refill it so much!

As for recipe, I use this for the ground beef version:


5 lbs 90% lean ground beef ( 90-92%)
4 1/2 teaspoons non-iodized salt
2 1/4 teaspoons Accent seasoning
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1 teaspoon)
2 1/4 tablespoons meat tenderizer (I used 1 tsp pink curing salt)
3/4 tablespoon pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar (I omitted this - the ketchup makes it sweet anyway)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup liquid smoke
1/4 cup sugarfree ketchup

Directions

Mix all ingredients together with ground beef.
You need to really get your hands in to mix it well.
Press into strips with a jerky gun.
Place on trays to dry.
Dry according to your dehydrator manufacturers instructions

And I use this one for strips of meat:

Alton Brown's beef jerky marinade (tweaked a bit by me!)

1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey (I used sugarfree honey)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or chipotle if you want it hotter)
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:28 AM   #25
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Thanks Charski, wrote it down, but I have no idea what Accent is, do you just get it at the grocery store?............................... Ann
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:19 AM   #26
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Accent is MSG. You can skip it if you avoid that kind of stuff. Just add a little more salt.

And yes, you should be able to find it at the grocery store in the spices area, usually, where you would find salt, meat tenderizers, etc.

You can also find it at Asian markets - it goes by Aji-No-Moto usually.

Last edited by Charski; 08-05-2013 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:27 PM   #27
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O.K. thanks,if it doesn't make a big difference in the taste, I think I'll just add more salt................... Ann
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