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Discussion Starter #1
I am ready to order but overwhelmed with all the choices!

Looking on Amazon.

Timer is wanted...
Adjustable thermostat as well....
9 trays at least...

which model is the best to get ?

This is my Christmas to myself and is needed quickly, have two deer headed my way as soon as they are processed, deer jerky requested for Christmas gifts, lol

TIA
 

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I've got the black 9 tray with the timer. I am really not sure I would spring extra $$ for the clear doors because I would still want to actually feel and bend the food to be sure it was dry.

I love my Excalibur and used it a lot this year, making mostly fruit leathers and apple chips. Next year I'll be drying a lot of veggies. Won't likely use it for jerky, because that's a "blue job" around here and DH already has an awesome smoker he made for making jerky and smoked fish.

9 trays better than 5, imo, just for large harvests.
 

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We have the 9 tray, with timer. LOVE it. You can't go wrong. I would never go by looking thru a window as to if the food was done either, so if it's more, I would skip the window option.
 

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The 3926 is the 9 tray with timer and the one I have is white with a black door (it was originally purchased in 2004 by a family member, I have had it since it was given to me in 2011. Prior to that I had different dehydrators and they don't compare to the excalibur.)
I noticed they now make a 10 tray with digital timer - but for me the timer I have and the 9 tray works fine. I'd recommend either buying direct through Excalibur http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/ (they usually include some freebies) or sometimes the factory site has refurbs for a discount price or even sometimes they'll have them on ebay at a slighlty better price (for new or for refurb).
I bought extra nonstick sheets for making fruit leathers/fruit rollups - and bought those on ebay. I can see if I still have the sellers ebay name if anyone wants it. They fit and work great in the excalibur, but just aren't excalibur brand parallex sheets.
 

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I have the 9 tray, white w/black door also. I got mine through Gardens Alive (only $150 with their $100 coupon) and they didn't offer one with the timer, at least not at the time, so that wasn't an option but I'm not sure I would have wanted to spend the extra $50 anyway.

I love, love, love my Excaliber!
 

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My microwave convection oven has two trays (large) which I really like, and I have an excalibur, no timer, love it. Mine looks exactly like the one in the first link.

You can sometimes find them on craigslist:
http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/for/4768143802.html
listed 2 days ago in Chicago area.
http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/app/4759834277.html
listed a week ago in Chicago area.
http://chicago.craigslist.org/sox/app/4763652292.html
listed 5 days ago, overpriced in my opinion, in Chicago area.
http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/ppd/4759063580.html
listed 8 days ago, in the Chicago area.
 

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I actually bought$89 one from.. Fingerhut.. the price was $89..had the timer I wanted with it. It is plastic..square..with 6 trays/ I saw an Excalibur on craigs list for $100..and should have bought that one too...
 

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I have a 9 tray without a timer. I don't know that I would like a timer anyway. I like to inspect the food and decide if it needs more drying or not. Different foods have different water contents, and even different rates of dehydration due to their physical properties. Also non-uniform sizes can play a role in how quickly they dehydrate.

If I just set a timer and it shuts off, what if the food isn't completely finished?

I love the fact that the fan is at the back of the machine and not the bottom or top, so you don't have to rotate trays.
 

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I have the 5 tray LEM with a timer. and adjustable thermostat. I got it on a Black Friday sale 2 years ago for $75. My husband actually got us 2 of them. I don't use them much but they seem to work just fine. They were originally priced at $150 each. You might check to see if any are going to be offered next week. Buchheits farm store is the place I got mine. Id check the farm store ads in your area to see if there are any good sales. Its that time of year for good sales on things deer hunters need.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
never thought of farm stores having them on black Friday, TSC, Atwoods and maybe Sutherlands would be only choices here, will definitely check them out. Also going to Excalibur site....thanks for input!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How does the Cabelas dehydrator stack up against Excalibur? Anyone have a Cabelas brand dehydrator? They have one for 189.00 verses 241.50 for the Excalibur on amazon....
 

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I have a L'Equip 528 with 10 trays (expandable up to 20). It doesn't have a timer, but I don't think I would use a timer even if it came with one. Even though it is a bottom heat/fan, it dehydrates each tray consistently up to 6 trays ... then I have to start rotating trays.

The advantages of the the Excalibur are it has a rear heat/fan that blows over the items being dehydrated and you can dehydrate larger cut items.

The disadvantage is you are limited by the number of trays.

There are plenty of times my 10 trays are not enough and I have to bring out the old Nesco dehydrator.
 
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