Sedona Dehydrator Review by Alison Parsons
Having had the Excalibur dehydrators for a while, I wanted to get a second 9-tray dehydrator and the Sedona was mentioned to me by Nick at UK Juicers. Although it was considerably more expensive than the Excalibur I was very keen on the fact that it was more robustly made (having checked out the comparison video on UK Juicers web site) and more flexible to use than the Excalibur, having the twin sets of heating elements and fans, enabling a “half load” capacity to be used, making it cheaper to run for smaller loads.
When it arrived I was certainly not disappointed with the quality of manufacture; It is much more robust than the Excalibur and SO much quieter during operation. I have never even had to use the “night time” mode (where the fans run at a slower speed thereby making it even more quiet) as it is already beautifully quiet.
The glass fronted door is a real boon, as you can check the progress of your dehydrated food without the need to open up the front which means the temperature you set it to run at is kept constant. I have used the ‘half load’ option of many occasions already either when drying smaller loads or when the full load I am drying has shrunk down sufficiently for it all to fit on just 4 shelves, thereby finishing off the drying time using only half the electricity.
If you do need to open the door during operation, the fan(s) automatically switch off, which means your food is not blown out of the front and you are not wasting electricity. The temperature and timer settings are really easy to use and it has a huge range of times to select (from one hour up to a massive 150!). It is very helpful being able to choose whether you want the temperature shown in Fahrenheit or Celsius , so you can select whichever you are used to.
The ‘solid’ tray is useful for lots of things – not only for effectively shutting off half of the dehydrator so you can dry a half load, but also to put underneath the trays at the bottom of the Sedona or when taking the dried foods out, so you don’t lose all of the small pieces of food through the holes in the ordinary trays. As with the Excalibur, the Sedona can run with any combination of trays in use so you can dehydrate larger items with ease.
The main plus points for the Tribest Sedona over the Excalibur are:
- Much quieter operation
- Half load capability meaning once a full load has reduced in size sufficiently you can amalgamate it onto fewer trays to take advantage of the half load capacity, cutting electricity consumption by half for the remainder of the load
- The half load capacity also means you don’t have to wait until you’ve grown enough of something to dehydrate it
- The glass front door making checking on the progress of your food easy
- The trays and mesh inserts are easier to clean
- The entire unit is more robustly made than the Excalibur
Three things where the Sedona falls short of the Excalibur:
- Although the quality and manufacture of the trays and mesh screen are, I believe, better and easier to clean for some reason in the Sedona, because they are oblong rather than square you can only rotate the trays 180 degrees during drying (if necessary) rather than by 90 degree increments in the Excalibur
- The trays are slightly smaller in the Sedona and therefore the square feet of drying space available is less in the Sedona than in the Excalibur
- The drying temperature guide on top of the Excalibur unit is helpful, particularly to people new to dehydrating, as a quick reference to the temperature their food should be dried at (a minor point)
Nevertheless, if I only have one dehydrator-load of food to process I now always find myself using the Sedona and I only use the Excalibur when I have too much to fit into the Sedona. The quiet operation, half load facility and the glass fronted door all make using it a pleasure and I am extremely glad I paid out the money to buy it. With the amount of food from my garden I can now process and store for use over the years it will pay for itself quickly. I have already processed dozens (and dozens!) of courgettes, carrots, kidney beans, herbs, sweet potatoes and have only had it a few weeks. I would certainly recommend the Sedona dehydrator to anyone who is serious about dehydrating food.
Just one small point – Tribest do make a point of saying they have made the Sedona the same size as a microwave oven so it should fit in the space allocated for a microwave in a standard built-in kitchen. I’ve had 4 or 5 microwaves over the years and none of them have been as big as the Sedona – they’re going by the sizes in the American market. Therefore check out the measurements provided by UK Juicers on their web site to check the Sedona will fit where you plan to put it!