Homemade beef jerky dehydrator: Review of the Excalibur 3900

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This article will review the features of the Excalibur 3900 model of homemade beef jerky dehydrators. The Excalibur 3900 is the most popular model of homemade beef jerky dehydrators and has been given very positive reviews. This review is based on over 40 customer comments on the Excalibur 3900.

The good

The Excalibur 3900 has a heavy duty fan, unlike many other models of dehydrators. The Excalibur also has a temperature control heating element.

- Beef dries faster

The fan allows the beef to dry faster, and not cook the beef. The fan circulates the hot air to speed up dehydration process. The speed by which the beef is dried results in the flavor of the beef becoming concentrated. This means that the beef retains more flavor compared with other models of hoemade beef jerky dehydrators. The jerky has been stated to have been dried perfectly.

You can dry 10-15 pounds of beef in 8-10 hours. The beef can be touching and it will still dry well due to the strong airflow supplied by the heavy duty fan. If less beef is placed on the trays, less time will be required before your jerky is ready to be eaten.

- 9 trays

The Excalibur 3900 has 9 trays of food which is about 15 square feet of drying racks. This homemade beef jerky dehydrator provides more drying space compared with other models.

- No need to rotate trays

The powerful fan, combined with the temperature control heating element, dries the beef evenly. There is no need to rotate the trays. This is considered to be particularly advantageous because you can lay the beef on the trays and forget it, until it is ready. It is considered to be the closest to a 'set and forget' dehydration process.

- fan and heating element at the rear of the dehydrators

The fan and heating element are located at the rear of the dehydrator. This feature has been considered to be a big plus compared to other models for the following reason. Many other models have the heating element at the base of the dehydrator.

What this means is that when beef is being dried, meat drippings fall onto the heating element. The heating element starts to burn the meat drippings and smoke comes from the heating element, causing damage to the dehydrator and making the jerky taste unpleasant.

With the Excalibur 3900, these problems have been overcome. The heating element and the fan are at the rear of the dehydrator which means meat drippings don't go anywhere the fan and heating element.

These features are the main reasons why the Excalibur 3900 is considered better than fanless dehydrators, better than convection alone, and better than other homemade beef jerky dehydrators.

The bad

There are few negative comments about the Excalibur 3900.

- The fan is too noisy

Some customers have commented that the fan is too noisy and can get anoying. Other customers have commented that the fan is not loud or quiet and that it sounds like a large fan running because that is what is happening. The sound of the fan has been described as a low humming sound, similar to a microwave, dishwasher or a ceiling fan in the bathroom.

However, it is the fan that provides faster drying and better tasting beef jerky. Therefore, it would be up to you whether you are prepared to tolerate the sound of a fan for better quality beef jerky.

- Non-stick sheets don't come with the dehydrator

Non-stick sheets are not supplied with the dehydrator, which means that you would be required to buy your own non-stick sheets. It has been stated that the trays can get sticky when you dry fruit on them.

- a drip-pan is needed for drying beef

A drip-pan is not provided the dehydrator. While no meat drippings get into the fan or heating element, the lack of a drip pan was considered by some customers to be a disdavantage of the Excalibur 3900. This means that you would be required to clean the base of dehydrator after using it to dry beef, or get a drip pan for the dehydrator.

Other customers have commented that this is not a disdavantage as this homemade beef jerky dehydrator is easy to clean. The trays are dishwashable and getting a cloth to wash the base of the dehydrator was no big deal.

In conclusion, the advantages of the Excalibur 3900 were considered to far outweigh any disdadvantages from those who bought this homemade beef jerky dehydrator.

There are further features of the Excalibur 3900 which is beyond of the scope of this article to discuss.
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