Nesco vs Excalibur Dehydrator: An In-Depth Comparison

Among the myriad options available on the market, two brands stand out: Nesco vs Excalibur dehydrator. Dehydrators have become indispensable kitchen appliances for preserving food and creating delicious, shelf-stable snacks.

This comprehensive comparison closely examines the Nesco and Excalibur dehydrators, shedding light on their features, functionalities, and what sets them apart. Whether you’re a seasoned food enthusiast or a health-conscious individual looking to explore homemade dehydrated treats, this guide will help you make an informed decision.

An Overview of Nesco vs Excalibur Dehydrator

Nesco Dehydrator: A Stackable Solution

The Nesco Dehydrator has become popular for many due to its user-friendly design and versatile capabilities. Crafted with convenience in mind, this dehydrator features a stackable tray system that allows users to dehydrate various foods simultaneously. 

Compact Design

The Nesco’s compact footprint makes it an excellent fit for kitchens of all sizes, while its plastic construction ensures lightweight portability.

One notable feature of the Nesco is its top-mounted heating element and fan. This design ensures even heat and air distribution throughout the trays, promoting uniform drying. 

BPA-free plastic trays

The five BPA-free plastic trays with the Nesco dehydrator provide ample space for dehydrating endeavors. And if you find yourself with a growing appetite for dried delights, worry not, as the Nesco’s capacity can be expanded to accommodate up to 12 trays by purchasing additional accessories.

Nesco vs Excalibur Dehydrator

The Nesco Dehydrator

It comes with a few accessories.

In addition to its stackable trays, the Nesco dehydrator typically comes with a few accessories that further enhance its functionality. These additions could include fruit roll sheets and mesh screens, enabling users to create an even wider array of dehydrated foods.

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Excalibur Dehydrator: Precision and Power

On the other side of the dehydrator spectrum stands the Excalibur, an appliance known for its durability, precision, and robust performance.

Metal body with internal plastic components

Sporting a metal body with internal plastic components, the Excalibur exudes sturdiness and longevity. This dehydrator is powered by a 600-watt motor, emphasizing its capability to handle dehydrating tasks of various scales.

Nesco vs Excalibur Dehydrator

Excalibur Dehydrator

Precise thermostat

A standout feature of the Excalibur is its thermostat, which boasts a temperature range of 105 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This precise control over temperature ensures that different foods can be dehydrated optimally, preserving flavors and nutrients. 

Time feature

Furthermore, the Excalibur has a timer feature, allowing users to set the dehydrator to operate for a specific duration, making the process even more hands-off and convenient.


The Excalibur offers silicon pads with raised edges for those experimenting with liquid-based recipes like fruit leathers or sauces. These pads prevent spillage and simplify the dehydrating process for liquid concoctions.

Heating element and fan placement 

While the heating element and fan placement might differ from the Nesco’s, Excalibur’s metal back design and rear-mounted fan and heating element contribute to efficient air circulation and consistent drying results.

Additionally, for those who prioritize cost-effectiveness, there is an option to opt for the Excalibur model without a timer, saving money without compromising on the core functionalities.

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Difference Between Nesco vs Excalibur Dehydrator

As we delve further into the Nesco vs Excalibur dehydrator debate, it becomes evident that these two kitchen appliances offer unique characteristics that cater to different preferences and needs. In this section, we’ll explore three key aspects that set them apart: Drying space, Temperature distribution, and Drying times.

Drying Space: Size Matters

Regarding drying space, the Excalibur dehydrator takes the lead with its expansive surface area. Each Excalibur tray measures 14 inches by 14 inches, offering a substantial 196 square inches per tray. 

With the capability to accommodate up to nine trays, the Excalibur provides a total drying space of 1764 square inches.

In contrast, the Nesco dehydrator’s stackable design offers a slightly more modest drying space. Even with 12 trays, the Nesco dehydrator’s total capacity falls short at 79% of Excalibur’s entire drying space. This discrepancy could be a deciding factor for those with larger dehydrating projects in mind.

Nesco vs Excalibur Dehydrator

The Excalibur dehydrator takes the lead with its expansive surface area

Noise level

Moreover, it’s worth noting that both the Excalibur and Nesco dehydrators share similar noise levels, ranging from 40 to 60 decibels. 

This auditory range aligns with the background noise produced by household appliances like refrigerators or dishwashers, ensuring that neither device becomes disruptive in your kitchen.

Temperature Distribution: Precision and Evenness

The temperature distribution is a critical factor that directly impacts the quality of your dehydrated results. 

Reviewers have employed a unique approach to analyze this aspect, utilizing metal cartridges and laser thermometers. The temperature measurements were taken at 10-minute intervals over 3 hours.

The results indicate that the Nesco vs Excalibur dehydrators exhibit distinct temperature patterns. 

The Nesco dehydrator tends to run cooler at its center, while the Excalibur dehydrator showcases hotter temperatures towards its back. Regardless of the brand, the top portions consistently emerge as the most desirable points, while the bottom remains the coolest. 

This variability in temperature distribution could influence your choice depending on the type of foods you intend to dehydrate.

Drying Times: Efficiency and Consistency

In drying times, the Excalibur dehydrator distinguishes itself with its powerful fan and efficiency. Thanks to its robust 600-watt motor, the Excalibur boasts quicker drying times than the Nesco. The stronger fan draws more power, expediting the dehydration process.

However, the trade-off for this efficiency lies in the temperature variation. The Excalibur dehydrator tends to exhibit more noticeable temperature differences across its trays, which could result in less consistent drying. 

On the other hand, the Nesco dehydrator heats up more gradually, providing a more even temperature distribution. This consideration becomes particularly important if you prioritize uniform results for dehydrated treats.

The Excalibur and Nesco dehydrators require tray rotation to ensure even drying, with the Excalibur’s middle and back trays often drying faster. It’s essential to remember that drying times can vary significantly based on variables such as tray loading, dehydrator fullness, and relative humidity levels in your environment.

Price Points and Availability

Regarding pricing, the Nesco vs Excalibur dehydrators have varying costs across different retail platforms. The price of the Nesco dehydrator can fluctuate based on where you purchase it, while the Excalibur’s pricing can vary based on the model you choose—whether with or without a timer feature. 

Watch video Excalibur vs Nesco dehydrator: 

A Real-World Review: Navigating Nesco vs Excalibur Dehydrators

Having embarked on a culinary exploration journey involving dehydrating various foods, I’ve had the privilege of getting up close and personal with both the Nesco vs Excalibur dehydrators.

Through countless batches of dehydrated delights, I’ve come to appreciate the unique strengths and quirks that each of these machines brings to the table.

Ease of Use: Rotating and Stirring

One aspect that immediately caught my attention was the differing ease of use when rotating and stirring during dehydration. When attempting to dehydrate pasta or rice in the Excalibur, I found the tight spacing between the trays inconvenient. 

Stirring or rotating these foods became challenging, leading to some juggling to ensure even drying. Pulling out alternate trays was a workaround, but it did mean sacrificing some of Excalibur’s generous capacity.

In contrast, the Nesco dehydrator’s trays are more generously spaced, and their loading arrangement minimizes the rotation and stirring hurdles. Dehydrating pasta or rice was a breeze, thanks to the thoughtful design that avoided tight fits. This, undoubtedly, gives Nesco an edge in terms of convenience during the dehydrating process.

Nesco vs Excalibur Dehydrator

The Nesco dehydrator’s trays are more generously spaced

Portability: On-the-Go Dehydration

One standout feature that significantly impacted my overall experience was the ease of portability. The Nesco dehydrator, with its plastic construction and lightweight design, proved to be remarkably easy to carry. 

This portability factor is a significant advantage for those who want to take their dehydrating endeavors beyond the confines of their kitchen. Whether on a camping trip or at a friend’s house, the Nesco’s portability opens up a world of dehydrating possibilities in various locations.

Capacity and Speed: The Ultimate Trade-offs

When it comes to capacity and speed, Excalibur undoubtedly shines. Its larger drying space allows for ample dehydrating power, making it a perfect match for those with larger dehydrating projects in mind. 

The powerful fan and 600-watt motor also translates to faster drying times, which is an enticing feature, especially when time is of the essence.

However, there are some nuances to consider. The Excalibur’s lack of lips on its trays can lead to minor spills or drips when dehydrating liquid-based meals or fluffy foods. 

This is where Nesco’s design advantage comes into play, as its trays sport these helpful tips that prevent potential messes. Additionally, Excalibur’s impressive capacity might require paying attention to the exterior, especially when dealing with liquid meals or foods prone to fluffing up.

Related Posted: Cosori Dehydrator vs Excalibur: Which One is Right for You?

Final Thoughts: A Balanced Choice

In the grand comparison of the Nesco vs Excalibur dehydrators, there is no definitive winner – it all boils down to individual needs and preferences. 

The Excalibur offers a powerful combination of capacity and speed, making it a fantastic choice for those with large dehydrating requirements and needing quicker results.

However, its design quirks should be factored in, like the lack of tray lips and the need for careful monitoring during certain dehydrating processes.

On the other hand, the Nesco dehydrator provides a user-friendly experience with its thoughtful design, easy rotation, and portable nature. While it might not match Excalibur’s capacity and speed, it compensates with its convenient operation and versatility in different settings.

Ultimately, choosing between the Nesco vs Excalibur dehydrators comes down to your dehydrating goals, kitchen habits, and the foods you plan to dry. Whichever you choose, both machines are reliable companions in your culinary journey, offering a delectable array of homemade treats for you and your loved ones to savor.

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