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Food Dehydrator Buying Guide


The following comparison illustrates the principal differences between the Excalibur horizontal drying system and round and/or stackable dehydrators.

Horizontal Drying System Round Stackable Drying System

Complete drying system in rear.
(includes thermostat and fan)


  • The Parallexx design, with a temperature controlled, fan forced, horizontal drying system mounted in the rear is exclusive to the Excalibur 2000 Series. The same features found in Excalibur's USDA approved $3,500.00 commercial model...in an affordable home unit.

  • Heating unit in bottom.
    (many without fan or thermostat)
  • Square design increases drying area "25%" with no holes in center of tray. The square design makes it easy to spread puree for fruit leathers and rollups, using Teflex™ sheets, plastic wrap, or parchment paper tray liners.
  • Round design cuts off corners and has holes in center, reducing usable drying area. Because of the round design, it is often difficult to position large slices of fruits and vegetables without further loss of drying space.
  • Spills fall on seamless bottom. Flexible mesh tray inserts (Polyscreens) hold food above the tray frames.
  • Normal drips can often fall on the electrical controls beneath the food. This can cause electrical problems as well as being very difficult to clean.
  • Horizontal drying provides even drying, eliminating tray re-stacking. You don't lose heat because you don't have to take your Excalibur apart to change the tray sequence.


  • Cool air is drawn in the back, heated, and distributed evenly across each tray. During the dehydration process, warm air removes moisture from foods and is pushed out the front of the machine.


  • Adjustable thermostat allows perfect drying every time.
  • Vertical drying in simple models requires tray rotation as trays closest to heat source dry first. However, there are some quality stackable models with improved air flow eliminating the need to rotate trays.


  • The more trays that are added, the further the food is away from the heat, dramatically increasing the drying time, and requiring frequent tray re-stacking day and night to prevent spoilage. This is compounded when extra (and expensive) trays are added to the basic configuration of the unit. Using fruit leather (rollup) sheets further restricts air flow, as each one blocks more upward movement of the heated air.
  • One or all trays may be removed making space for larger items such as: whole fruits, wedding or prom bouquets, special crafts like apple-head dolls, dough art, clay figures, paper mache, dried flower and fruit wreaths.
  • Non-adjustable stackable design restricts size of drying chamber. Even if the stackable dehydrator includes a yogurt making option, you can not use your own serving size containers nor pint, quart or even ˝ gallon mason jars. However, some quality stackable models offer a spacer tray accessory to create more vertical clearance.
  • Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Series
    Nine-Tray Dehydrator

    Excalibur 3500 Deluxe Series
    Five-Tray Dehydrator

    Excalibur 2900 Economy Series
    Nine-Tray Dehydrator


    Excalibur 2500 Economy Series
    Five-Tray Dehydrator


    Excalibur 2400 Economy Series
    Four-Tray Dehydrator

    Other Horizontal Drying System Brands

    Aroma Professional 6 Tray Dehydrator

    Sausage Maker Brand Five-Tray
    Stainless Steel Dehydrator Model D5


    Sausage Maker Brand Ten-Tray
    Stainless Steel Dehydrator Model D10

    Sausage Maker Twelve-Tray
    Stainless Steel Dehydrator Model D12

    Tribest Sedona Nine-Tray Dehydrator

    Weston Stainless Steel Ten-Tray Dehydrator



    American Harvest / Nesco Snackmaster
    FD-60 Dehydrator


    American Harvest / Nesco Snackmaster
    FD-80 Dehydrator


    American Harvest / Nesco Gardenmaster
    FD-1010 Dehydrator


    American Harvest / Nesco Gardenmaster
    FD-1018 Dehydrator




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