Where is the Excalibur made?
Made in the USA. Sacramento, California.
What can I dehydrate?
In an Excalibur, just about anything. Fruits, most vegetables, meat, fish, make your own fruit roll-ups. Make vegetable powders. Dry herbs and spices. Make your own soup mix, trail mix, and salad dressings. Dehydrate grains and dairy products. Make all types of crackers. Use for arts & crafts, such as drying flowers for potpourri, or dough art, or drying photos. Make home-made pet treats for your dog, cat, horse, birds, etc. Dentists dry plastic molds in our Excalibur!
Why is the Temperature on the dial different than my food temperature?
The Excalibur thermostat was never originally designed to hold an accurate air temperature. It was designed to control an accurate food temperature.
Food Temperature vs. Air Temperature?
In general, food temperature is about 20 degrees cooler than air temperature. This is due to evaporation. As the moisture on the surface of the food evaporates, it cools the food. We have discovered this through hours of testing and measuring the air temperature and food temperature simultaneously during the dehydration process using a Doric Tendricator with type j thermal couples. The temperature reading on the Excalibur dial refers to the food temperature. If you set the Excalibur at 105F, you are setting it to hold the food temperature at 105 but the air temperature may get as high as 124F.
How does Excalibur’s Thermostat Work?
Through our research, we have found that in order to preserve the enzymes and reduce risk of mould and bacteria, there must be a fluctuation in temperature. Enzymes and microorganisms thrive at the same temperature, so during dehydration we have to accomplish two things: (1) keep the food temperature low enough not to harm the enzymes (2) elevate the air temperature high enough to remove moisture quickly to stop the growth of mold or bacteria. The air temp rapidly rises to the high point, so moisture is quickly evaporated off the food’s surface. As the temperature lowers, the dryer surface pulls moisture from the centre of the food and becomes saturated again. Because of the up and down fluctuation of air temp and constant evaporation, the food temp remains at a lower temperature. After all the food moisture is evaporated, the food temperature will rise and equalize somewhere in the middle of the air temperature fluctuation. This will not kill the enzymes. Remember, the enzymes are only susceptible to damage in the wet state. Once food is dehydrated, the enzymes become dormant and can withstand much higher temperatures. We spoke with Viktoras Kulvinskas about this and he confirmed we are right “dry enzymes can survive well up to to 150F.” Viktoras tested our Excalibur and found it high in enzymatic activity. We have done our own tests with various seeds, dehydrating them at different temperatures, soaking them again, to see if they sprout and they did. Proving the enzymes are alive.
Is the low temperature good for Living Foods and the high temperature safe for Meat?
“Living foods” are healthy foods containing living enzymes. Excalibur’s Adjustable Thermostat lets you dry foods at temperatures low enough to keep enzymes viable in fruits and vegetables. It also lets you set temperatures high enough to dry meat for jerky. The temperature on the Excalibur is the average temperature. The air will fluctuate above and below that. In the case of meat, if the temperature is set at 155F, the air temperature will hit the USDA safety recommendation of 160F.
Enzyme Destruction Temperatures?
Excalibur’s founder, Roger Orton, worked with Ann Wigmore on our Excalibur Dehydrators. Ann said that food temperature had to go above 120F for a period of time before enzymes were destroyed. Viktoras confirmed the same. Ann tested many dehydrators and confirmed Excalibur to be the best for Living Foods. She found the best technique to save enzymes was to set the temperature higher initially, then turn it down after a few hours. However, most people will not know when to turn it down. Ann’s recommendation is to set the temperature at 105F for the entire cycle. That way, the food temp will never go above 120F even after its dry.
Is it safe to dehydrate Meat in an Excalibur?
YES! The temperature setting on the Excalibur is the average temperature. The air will fluctuate above and below that. In the case of meat, if the temperature is set at 155F, the air temperature will hit the USDA safety recommendation of 160F. Most dehydrators do not reach the minimum safe temperature for meat.
Why should I use an Excalibur vs. my oven to dehydrate?
Most ovens don’t have a low enough temperature setting for Living Foods. Ovens don’t heat evenly, you’ll have to constantly flip and rotate your load of jerky. Heating an electric or gas oven is expensive and you waste energy overheating the kitchen. Excalibur runs at an average 4 cents per hour and won’t heat up the kitchen. An oven has 1 or 2 shelves; Excalibur has up to 9 trays. Excalibur is easy-to-clean with a damp sponge.
Is the Excalibur Tray Screen Material BPA free?
Yes. We use polypropylene #5. It’s the safest plastic for food contact. For the case material, we use polycarbonate because it’s virtually indestructible. Food does not come into contact with the case material. Food will only come into contact with the polypropylene #5.
Is the case material FDA approved polycarbonate?
Yes. The case material is safe and doesn’t give off harmful fumes when used under 160F. Other manufacturers use a lower-quality plastic that does give off harmful fumes. The polycarbonate we use is recognized as safe by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food, United Kingdom Food Standards Agency, Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and other regulatory agencies Worldwide. *Always be sure you have FDA approved food contact polycarbonate. There are many different types of polycarbonates.
Are the trays dishwasher safe?
Yes. In the top tray of your dishwasher. Or clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent. The tray inserts are also easy to clean by soaking in the sink, then rinsing with a quick spray from the sink sprayer.
What’s the difference between a round and square/rectangle dehydrator?
With a round dehydrator, the heating element is at the bottom. This collects drips and spills. The trays stack-up in sections, causing obstruction to air flow circulation. They usually have no fan or thermostat regulating the unit. Temperatures can vary 50F from top to bottom. This means tray rotation is necessary. Most round dehydrators have limited headroom because of the stacking, so you can’t dry tall items. It can take up to 10x longer to dehydrate in a round dehydrator versus an Excalibur.
Why is the Excalibur considered the most efficient dehydrator on the market?
It’s the only home dehydrator that has Parllexx® Horizontal-Airflow Drying System. The fan and the adjustable thermostat create excellent airflow, each tray receiving its own “jet stream” of forced air. Most other dehydrators radiate heat; they don’t direct it.
Will the timer turn off the dehydrator while I’m away or asleep?
Yes. Just set it, and forget it. We use a premium quality, motor driven timer. If the power should go off and on, the timer keeps track of the actual drying time.
Can the Excalibur stay on unattended?
Yes. The Excalibur has three separate circuits to protect them from electrical malfunctions.
Is Dehydrating the Best Way to Preserve Foods?
With an Excalibur dehydrator you can control the time and temperature. Traditional canning methods subject foods to higher temperatures. When raw food is heated to an internal temperature of 120F or higher, much of the nutritional value is lost. In addition, canning leaches out water soluble vitamins and minerals, further depleting the nutrients found in raw food. Canning & freezing also requires investment in a freezer and repeat investments in kettles, jars, lids, boxes.
Are dried foods safe for diabetics?
YES! The advantage is that the foods taste sweeter but actually contain the same amount of sugar as the original fruit. One dried apple equals one fresh apple. Follow your Doctor’s recommendations.
Does my 30-year old Excalibur need routine maintenance?
As a general rule, no. As long as the electric cord is not frayed or the unit is not damaged. With some of our older models a drop or two of lightweight machine oil may be needed on the fan shaft. If your Excalibur is over 20 years old, give us a call, we’ll confirm that a little oil will benefit your unit, as well as provide “how-to” instruction.
What’s the Warranty on an Excalibur?
All units come with a 1 year warranty.
How do I test dehydrated foods for enzymatic activity?
Prior to the Raw Foods Festival in 2002, Excalibur conducted two experiments to determine at what temperatures enzymes become deactivated.
TEST 1: Three samples of rye crackers were prepared in an Excalibur Dehydrator and dried at different
temperature settings. After drying, all three samples were identical in appearance.
Sample 1: dried at 105F dial setting.
Sample 2: dried at 125F dial setting.
Sample 3: dried at 145F dial setting.
When mixed with the rice batter, the results of all three samples were equal. However, even though Sample 1
was high in enzyme activity, it went sour during the drying process because it took longer to dry than Sample
2 and Sample 3.
TEST 2: Three samples of raw veggie burgers. We used veggie burgers because of their high concentration of
Sample 1: dried at 105F dial setting.
Sample 2: dried at 125F dial setting.
Sample 3: dried at 145F dial setting.
Again, all three samples provided identical results after rehydrating in the hydrogen peroxide solution.
Test 1: Measure Enzymatic Activity (Created by Viktoras Kulvinskas) uses the digestive enzyme amylase to
convert a starch mixture to maltose.
Sprout rye for about 60 hours. Blend 2 cups of sprouted rye with 1 cup water, to pancake batter
consistency. Spread on Excalibur Paraflexx sheet. Dehydrate to a cracker.
Blend 2 cups of cooked rice, with warm water. Temperature should be less than 105Â°F. Blend to pancake
Taste both the rye crackers and the rice batter. Neither of them should taste sweet.
Take 1/2 cup of ground rye cracker, and blend into the 105Â°F rice batter.
Sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Taste the batter. If the batter tastes sweet then the
enzymes are active. The amylase enzymes within the sprouted rye crackers will have converted the rice starch
into sweet maltose. Therefore, the enzymes were not destroyed in the dehydration process.
Test 2: Peroxidase Enzyme (Recommended by Dr. John Whitaker, world known enzymologist and former Dean of
Nutrition and Food Science Department at UC Davis). This test uses the enzyme peroxidase (found in plant
foods) to catalyze the transfer of electrons from hydrogen peroxide to a colorimetric indicator. Peroxidase is
an indicator enzyme frequently used by laboratories to measure enzymatic activity when freezing, blanching,
and heat-treating vegetables.
Dehydrate a batch of veggie burgers. Veggie burgers are made with various plant foods and contain a high
level of peroxidase.
Place a fully dehydrated veggie burger in 8 oz. of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Rehydrate for several
After at least 2 hours, filter out the soluble using a fine strainer. A nylon or paper towel will work
well if you don't have a strainer.
Check the color of the hydrogen peroxide solution. If the peroxidase enzymes are active they will catalyze
a chemical reaction with the hydrogen peroxide and turn it to a brown color. This will show that the enzymes
were not destroyed in the dehydration process.