Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Food Dehydrator Review

Excalibur, one of the leading US producers of food dehydrators, has improved on their hugely popular 3900 Food Dehydrator by adding a built-in 26-hour automatic cut-off timer that will please many users. With the Excalibur 3926TB/W, gone is the frustration of having to throw out over-dried produce because you were busy with something else and forgot to switch the dehydrator off.

Excalibur 3926TB Review

You also don’t have to be tied down to one place while the dehydrating process is on the go. Simply set the thermostat and the timer according to the foodstuff you want to dehydrate, and let the machine do all the work.

1. Safety

The food trays in Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator are made of BPA-free polypropylene #5, the safest plastic for use in contact with food. They are safe for cleaning in the top tray of a dishwasher.

The casing material is FDA-approved polycarbonate, which will not give off harmful fumes at the temperatures at which the dehydrator operates.

The clear polycarbonate sheet in the door is lightweight and shatterproof, so it is less likely to be dropped and broken.

The dehydrator has a fan and a heating element which are electrically driven. The fan is necessary to move warmed air over the foodstuffs, ensuring an even drying process. The electrical components are housed in an enclosure at the rear of the unit, and the unit has three separate safety mechanisms to protect against electrical malfunction.

2. History

Excalibur has been manufacturing food dehydrators in Sacramento, California, since 1973, making it one of the most trusted names in food dehydrators.

3. Warranty

There is a one-year warranty on all units. An extended 10-year warranty can be purchased, but sometimes will be offered free on a special. The 10-year warranty is included if the unit is purchased directly from Excalibur or from one of its authorized dealers. Be sure to go online to www.drying123.com to register your warranty after purchasing the unit.

4. Capacity

The Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Food Dehydrator can dry up to 9 trays of foodstuff at a time. Each tray is 15” x 15”, giving a total capacity of 15 sq. ft.

Shelves can be removed to make room for foodstuffs that need more height than the space between each rack.

5. Features

5. 1. Detachable Door

The unit’s detachable door is easy to remove and clean when required.

5.2. A 26-Hour Built-in Timer

To increase the ease of use and efficiency of its popular 3900 series Food Dehydrator, Excalibur has added a built-in 26-hour timer with automatic shut-off function in its 3926T series.

5.3. Excalibur’s Parallexx Horizontal Air-Flow Drying System

Excalibur has developed its own trademark Parallexx Horizontal Air-Flow Drying system that distributes pre-warmed air evenly over the foodstuffs on all the trays within the Dehydrator. The combined heater and large 7” fan unit is located at the rear of the unit and pushes air horizontally over all the trays, rather than up or down through them. This does away with the necessity to periodically rotate or shuffle trays in the dehydrator, as is the case with many other systems.

5.4. Ships with

‘Guide to Dehydration’ booklet.

6. Thermostat Range

The thermostat temperature setting ranges from a low of 105°F up to a high of 165°F.

Most foodstuffs should not exceed 118°F to avoid destruction of enzymes. To make meat jerky, a minimum temperature of 160°F is required.

7. Power Consumption

The heater element has a rating of 600W, but will use less power in standard usage.

The 7” fan is rated at 0.6A (72W).

The unit runs on 110V-120V 50-60Hz AC mains power, for use in the USA and Canada.

8. Dimensions and Color

The Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Digital Dehydrator unit’s dimensions are:

  • Height: 12.5”
  • Width: 17”
  • Depth: 19”

The unit is available in black or white (the color is denoted by the ‘B’ or ‘W’ at the end of the product model number).

9. Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Lightweight and Robust
  • Large capacity at 15 sq. ft.
  • Rear-mounted fan avoids drips and allows even airflow
  • 26-hour timer with automatic shut-off
  • Shelves can be left out to allow larger foodstuffs to be processed
  • Door and shelves can be removed for ease of cleaning
  • Spare parts are available via the manufacturer

CONS

  • Controls in flat panel at rear may be difficult to access and view
  • Food trays don’t have a ridge around the rim to prevent food rolling off
  • Non-stick drying sheets sold separately
  • Packaging quality – shelves jammed into body, scratches and chips

10. Customer Reviews

The customer reviews for the Excalibur 3926TB (black) and 3926TW (white) Food Hydrators has been very positive, especially for those users who do a large amount of food drying.

The built-in timer is definitely a hit, and many customers have said it is worth the extra price to have the assurance that the unit will switch off automatically when done, making it a premium food dehydrator.

The controls are set in a horizontal panel in the right rear corner of the top of the dehydrator; if the unit is placed under a shelf or cabinet, the controls will be difficult to access and view.

A user who tested the power consumption of a dehydrator of the Excalibur 3900 series against a similar model from another manufacturer found that the Excalibur unit used 15% less power than the competitor’s unit during its dehydration cycle.

Having said that, some customers said they found the fan to be quite noisy. One solution suggested was to remove any empty, unused trays to reduce any vibration noise in the unit.

The 7” fan is quite a powerful beast, and some users found that small herbs tended to be blown around in the dehydrator once they had dried out. The recommended solution to this problem is to leave the herbs on their stalks during the dehydration cycle, and only remove them once completed.

Another issue that was raised was that some users found they needed to rotate the trays horizontally at intervals in order to get even drying on a shelf. This was not a very common problem, however, and may have to do with the thickness of the slices of food placed on the tray. The thinner the slices, the quicker dehydration will take place, and the more even the dehydration process will be.

Complaints of very poor to non-existent customer service in 2013/4, have, fortunately, been attended to, and one of the features of customers’ reviews in 2016 is the speed and quality of assistance and support that Excalibur now provides.

Packaging quality still is raised a number of times as a problem – customers have received units with cracks, chips, and scratches, apparently because of a lack of care during packing of the product into its box. Many customers complain that the shelves are simply jammed into the body at various angles; one found that the door had not been secured during shipping. Excalibur needs to review its quality control in this department.​

Conclusion

The Excalibur 3900 series food dehydrator is a reliable, robust and popular range, and fitting it with a timer has pushed its ratings even higher.

It seems that Excalibur has overcome its customer relations challenges, it just needs to address the quality control complaints relating to packaging the unit for shipping, for its reputation to soar. In addition, relocating the controls to a more accessible and easily visible position on the casing would make it easier to use for a lot of people.

With these few issues sorted out, the Excalibur 3926TB/W would be hard to beat.

Summary
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Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Food Dehydrator
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