Deal of the Week

Exclusive offer for readers: Excalibur Dehydrators

Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 12:18 PM

We are pleased to announce that our new content manager (whom we'll introduce on the site shortly) has procured an exclusive offer for our readers on a favorite item of the staff: the Excalibur Dehydrator 3000 Series. 

A dehydrator is a valuable addition to food preparedness and storage strategies. It's a great tool that enables you to preserve food from your garden or the store while minimizing nutrient loss. Extend your food supply, save money, and enjoy tasty, healthy treats -- what's not to like?

Specifically, PrepareDirect is offering us:

  • 5% off the's Excalibur Sale Price
    • Includes free shipping (within the Lower 48 States)
    • free copy of Preserve It Naturally - New 3rd Edition valued at $24.95

This offer runs through December 31, 2011. We thought this a good offer for the holiday season as dehydrators make a very practical gift.

Click here to take advantage of this offer and use coupon code CMTake5, exclusive to readers.

You may have seen the Excalibur Dehydrator mentioned and recommended in the What Should I Do? guide (which we strongly recommend you brush up on if it has been a while since you've last read it).  Chris and the CM Staff use their dehydrators on a regular basis, not only to preserve garden produce but also for making yogurts and other fermented foods where a constant temperature is needed. 

Here's the excerpt from the guide that speaks to its utility and ease of use: 

Preparing & Storing Food

Whether the food is grown by us or by our CSA, our family has developed a practical plan for food storage.  We have fashioned a workable root-storage cellar out of our basement bulkhead for use over the late fall and winter months.  All of our various root crops (potatoes, beets, turnips, carrots, etc.) are stored there until we use them.  Effective storage in a root cellar requires a bit of learning and experimenting, with the variables being the method of storage, varieties being stored, temperature and humidity control, and culling to ensure minimal spoilage.

We keep chickens (link to forum discussion), which handily convert our kitchen waste into eggs and fertilizer.  We also raise a few turkeys for the freezer every year.  Over the years, we have gained increasing experience with butchering and processing our own birds, and now people come to us to learn this skill.  This, too, has become a point of community for us.

After several years of practice, Becca has become a master canner (link to forum discussion) and works throughout the fall to can many different kinds of fruits and vegetables.  As with our informal food-storage and butchering outreach, I often find her sharing the kitchen with friends as they work side by side.  This kind of sharing has the benefit of nurturing relationships within our community.  It also introduces local friends to new skills that may be useful to them on their own path toward personal preparation and increased food independence.

In addition to canning our food (which has a sizable learning curve), we also dehydrate a fair portion of it (which does not).  Dehydrating preserves more of the nutrients in your food, and dried food requires substantially less space to store.  Dried food keeps for an exceptionally long time, as most bacteria die or become completely inactive when dried.

For dehydrating food, we highly recommend the Excalibur 3000 Deluxe Series 9 Food Tray Dehydrator

  • Dries all fruits, vegetables, and meats
  • Handles heavy volumes and around-the-clock use
  • 10-year warranty

Click here to take advantage of this offer, exclusive to readers.

We welcome feedback and stories from members on how they are using their Dehydrators. Tell us of the new methods and ideas on how you are preserving your harvest and how you use dehydrated foods in your everday meals.

We hope these special offers continue to arrive as a welcome boon to those looking to add to their current preps and increase their personal resiliency to what the future may hold. Based on the positive feedback received to date, we'll continue working to obtain more. If there are particular offers you'd like to see in the future, please let us know in the Comments section below.


Full disclosure: Based on our existing relationship with PrepareDirect, will receive a small commission if you purchase through this special offer. This will not impact the price you pay (in fact, as the offer states, you're getting an exclusive price discount not available to the public-at-large). The proceeds we received will be immediately invested to fund new features and functionality for this site.

We’d also love to hear any feedback based on your first-hand experience with the products and vendors that we recommend through these special offers (and elsewhere on this site). Our goal is to ensure that we’re doing our utmost to offer the best guidance for utility, value, and service.

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txgirl69's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 96
I have one of these...

They're great. I have used it so much - and this is just my first year. I have dried jars of peppers and tomatoes, cherries, plums, mushrooms, strawberries - I can't remember them all!

It's so simple and easy, I didn't can anything this year, just dried it all!


Tycer's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 617
txgirl69 wrote: They're
txgirl69 wrote:

They're great. I have used it so much - and this is just my first year. I have dried jars of peppers and tomatoes, cherries, plums, mushrooms, strawberries - I can't remember them all!

It's so simple and easy, I didn't can anything this year, just dried it all!



Get the 9 tray. Love mine. Using it right now.

bhardey's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 19 2010
Posts: 11
Excaliber dehydrators

The Excaliber is the best dehydrator available, IMO.  I have a 5-tray model, have used it extensively, and have had excellent results from everything I've processed in it.  I'm now even making my own crackers in it.   I do wish I had gotten the 9-tray model, so would advise anyone considering one to get the larger model... you'll be glad you did.

Doug's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3227

We have a 9 tray.  We have buckets of dried fruits and vegetables from this years harvest.  A terrific machine.



Woodman's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
Super dehydrator

 I've used the 9 tray model with timer for 3 seasons now and have no regrets about the extra cost.  The top use has been for dried tomatoes from my garden.  Dehydration wonderfully concentrates the flavor.  Convenient alternative preservation method to canning or freezing.  A solar dehyrator wouldn't use as much electricity, but you're at the mercy of the weather.  T

Mark_BC's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2010
Posts: 532
My mom has one and she made

My mom has one and she made some kale chips. Wow those are good, as good as potato chips but they're totally healthy. When you put the right seasonings on, you can make raw kale taste good!

maceves's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2010
Posts: 281
easy to use

 Compared to the other ones I had, this one is much easier to use.  I got the 9 shelf with the timer and I am glad I did.  I have filled it up lots of times---when I bought it I didn't think I would.

InCalgary's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 27 2010
Posts: 11
Love it!

We just bought ours this past summer and are thrilled with it. 9 tray model. It is the best on the market. We are currently enjoying local, pesticide free apple chips, and zucchni and pumpkin chips. Friends of ours is making yogurt in theirs. The possiblities are extensive.


Grover's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 913
I'm a fan of dehydrators

I have 3 American Harvester base units (1000 watts) and a total of 32 stackable interchangeable trays. All three units were purchased at garage sales for $20 or less each. The first one was out in the open. The other 2 were procured as a result of asking the owner if they had a dehydrator to sell. If you keep your eyes open to the opportunities, you can find some real values. The keys to a dehydrator are having reasonable temperature control and adequate (uniform) air flow. If you get a cheaper unit with a set temperature or low wattage, you may be disappointed. I have no experience with the Excalibur, but it likely is a good unit.

I've dried almost every kind of fruit and vegetable I can get my hands on - wild mushrooms to jerky, apples to zucchini, fruit leathers, fruit chips, raisins, even dehydrating soups for back country travelling. A bushel of tomatoes (dried and powdered) will fit into a quart jar. The powder/flakes can be sprinkled on pizza, soup, omelets, etc., It needs no refrigeration, and tastes absolutely wonderful for years. I had a handful of dried apple slices for a snack tonight - crisp and as flavorful as the day it was dried.

Dehydrators are a wonderful food preservation tool and shouldn't be dismissed,


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