This small dehydrator may be perfect for you if you are looking for something affordable that doesn't take up a lot of space in your home.
Excalibur 4-Tray Economy 2400 Dehydrator
Excalibur advertises this no-frills dehydrator as a "starter" model, with the implication that it is suitable for people who are new to food dehydration. If you are only looking to dry small amounts of food, the 2400 dehydrator will get the job done quite well.
The Excalibur 2400 comes with a 4-inch fan, 220 watts and an adjustable thermostat. The adjustable thermostat is a big plus since different foods need to be dried at different temperatures for optimal results.
The dehydrator is relatively small, measuring only 6-1/2"H x 13"W x 16-1/4"D. The shipping weight of the dehydrator is 8 pounds.
The unit comes with a sliding front door that is removable. The 4 (also removable) trays come with inserts that allow air to circulate around the food but prevent smaller pieces from falling through. The inserts are also removable.
What Makes It a "Starter" Model?
This dehydrator does not have an on/off switch. To turn it on you simply plug it in.
Its small size means you won't be drying a ton of food in it. But it's plenty big enough to help you keep up with extras from the garden, or your community supported agriculture (CSA) share. For example, you can dry 4 pounds of apples in it.
Unlike some of Excalibur's other dehydrators, the 2400 model is only available in black.
Pros & Cons
The Excalibur 4-tray 2400 model is easy to use and does its job well for small batches of food.
It can be used to make fruit leathers and meat jerkies in addition to drying fruit, vegetables and mushrooms (you'll need to purchase the inserts for making leathers and jerkies separately, though).
Takes up relatively little space.
The removable tray inserts are easy to clean (you didn't want last week's dehydrated onion flavor to get into this week's dried pears, did you?).
This model is $80 cheaper than Excalibur's next largest model, and performs better than even more cheaply priced models from other brands of dehydrators.
Cutting slices of fruit, etc. no thicker than 1/2-inch is standard in most food dehydration instructions. With the Excalibur 2400 it is a must. Even a hair thicker than that and the trays of food no longer slide in and out easily.
This is definitely a small batch dehydrator. If you want to dehydrate food in quantity, you'll want something larger.
Although the price is the lowest for Excalibur dehydrators, it is still about double that of other brands of dehydrators of about the same size (but having tried both, I have to say the Excalibur is worth it for the quality of the product you end up with).