Would you mind sharing what model Excalibur Dehydrator you are using? There are so many to choose from… What is a good size model to start with for the investment?
Kerri, I have a larger one (9 trays) only because I do a lot of dehydrating. Not only do I dehydrate fruits and vegetables, but I dried lots of flowers for a while for Tawra. She made homemade dried flower arrangements and wreaths at one point and we both made and sold potpourri.
What size dehydrator you’ll want really depends on several factors:
Do you have a garden? I don’t have a garden but I have several grocery stores where I buy a lot of fruits and veggies on clearance or for very little money.
Do you have a large family? If so, you could use a large dehydrator, but you can do quite a bit with only a four tray one. For example I dehydrated a 5 pound bag of potatoes and a few leftover potatoes the other day and only needed 4 trays.
I, personally, would get a dehydrator with 4 or 5 trays. Then, if I found I needed more, I would buy another 4-5 tray one. The price wouldn’t be much different for 2 small dehydrators than for one large one.
Additionally, I don’t like dehydrating some things together, like onions and apples, so two smaller dehydrators would solve that problem. That’s just a personal choice, not a hard and fast dehydrating rule.
I do recommend when you start dehydrating food to start with apples. Some people recommend spritzing them with lemon juice to prevent browning. I don’t do that because mine don’t brown very badly and I like the taste better without it. I have recently found if the kind of apple I am using browns quickly I simply put a tablespoon of salt a large bowl and fill it with water. After I peel and slice my apples, I put them in the bowl of salt water until I am ready to put them on the tray. This really helps prevent browning.
I don’t peel the apples that I am going to use for eating. I just slice and core them. Even if they aren’t in season, I would just buy a couple to experiment with to get started.
photo by: plindberg