Sahara Dehydrator Vs Excalibur: Which Is Best?

If you’ve never dehydrated your food, you’re missing out! It’s one of my favorite ways to preserve fruits, veggies, herbs, and pasta for long-term storage. It can also be used to create tasty and ready-to-eat snacks like beef jerky and dried apple rings.

Something I’m often asked is which dehydrator do you recommend? 

If I had to narrow down the entire dehydrator market to two “best of the best,” it’d be the Sahara dehydrator by Brod & Taylor and the Excalibur dehydrator.

I actually own both. So today, we’re doing a product comparison—the Sahara dehydrator vs. Excalibur. 

We’ll review the pros and cons of each to determine the overall best food dehydrator for you and your needs.

Review of the Sahara Dehydrator by Brod & Taylor

The first thing that you’ll notice about the Sahara is that it’s collapsible. In fact, its full name is the Sahara Folding Dehydrator.

Yes, you read that right …

You can basically squash it into 1/3rd of its original size, so it’s a fantastic space-saving dehydrator—and it’s the primary reason I chose this one over countless others when I needed a 2nd dehydrator.

Here’s what it looks like set up and ready to use:

And here it is folded up and ready for storage:

It’s the only food dehydrator that I know of that can do this.

Another great thing about the Sahara is its utility. As you might already know, dehydrators work by circulating warm air at low, steady temperatures to draw moisture out of food without actually cooking it.

The Sahara uses a radial fan to circulate its air, which guarantees an even distribution of heat. You’ll never have to worry about soggy or lumpy spots in your dehydrated food!

You won’t have to worry about dust-contamination either; it comes with a washable and reusable air filter.

As for functions and features, there’s a lot to love about the Sahara, including dual time/temperature controls and automatic sensors that can switch between different heat settings.

You can also choose between plastic and stainless steel materials for your shelving. Bonus points, the stainless steels shelves come with a handy carrying case!

All in all, the Sahara is a great choice in dehydrating tech. It’s a bit pricey, but you’re going to have to spend some money for any large, professional-quality dehydrator—and this one is TOP of the line.

Review of the Excalibur Dehydrator

The Excalibur is another big and bulky machine, and unlike the Sahara, it doesn’t fold down. You’ll need to make room for it in a somewhat permanent location.

The good news is that the Excalibur dehydrator is worth the space. It has a “five tray model” that maximizes every inch of its eight square feet of drying area, so there’s an almost stackable quality to its design.

This is ideal for dehydrating food since it allows every morsel to be exposed to the heat of the machine evenly, including the stuff on the top and the bottom racks.

An internal fan circulates the hot air to dry out all moisture.

There are cool features to the Excalibur, too. It comes with everything from built-in power settings to removable tray inserts that can keep your food from sticking to the drying racks.

As for its temperature controls, there’s an adjustable thermostat with a wide range.

Some models are equipped with a timer, but my 5-tray Excalibur doesn’t have one at all. That makes leaving the house while dehydrating a little challenging.

At 15 pounds, there’s no getting around the fact that the Excalibur is a big boy. However, its heft can be a worthwhile price to pay for its power, performance, and precision.

Sahara vs Excalibur Feature Comparisons

Drying Capacity

There’s no winner when it comes to the drying capacity of these two appliances. They both excel at what they do, or I wouldn’t be recommending them!

That said, if you’re a techie kind of person, here are the relevant specs:

Sahara: 750 watts

Excalibur: 400 watts

Both brands can safely and thoroughly dehydrate multiple types of food, including fruits, grains, nuts, veggies, and more. You can even use these dehydrators for meat to make jerky—my hubby’s favorite during hunting season.

Temperature Range

The Sahara has the largest temperature range at 86°F – 165°F. By comparison, the Excalibur has a range of 95°F – 165°F.

You might know this already, but temperature matters when dehydrating food because higher temps equal shorter drying times while lower temps equal a more thorough and balanced dehydration.

I have to give the win to Brod & Taylor’s Sahara dehydrator here because it has the added feature of a fan-only setting with no heat whatsoever. That is IDEAL for drying herbs.

Even at 95 degrees in my Excalibur, my herbs still feel “overdone.” With Sahara’s fan-only setting, it’s the same as if you were to air dry the herbs, which is best.

Timer Controls

As previously mentioned, some newer Excalibur models come with a 26-hour timer. Bear in mind that the original 5-tray does not.

The Sahara comes with a 99-hour timer, but this is actually doubled since there’s a timer for each of its dual time/temperature controls.

That said, I don’t know of a scenario where you would need to dry something for that long.


The Sahara comes with 7 shelves and 11 square feet of drying area.

The Excalibur I have comes with 5 shelves and 8 square feet of drying area.

Another notable feature of the Sahara is that it’s collapsible, meaning that you can fold it down to a third of its size when not in use.

This means that the Sahara is actually the smaller, more easily stored appliance of the two even though its drying capacity is larger.


Sahara: 24.75 x 15.6 x 7.2 inches and 25 pounds

Excalibur: 19 x 17 x 8.5 inches and 15 pounds

Fan and Heating Element

This is another area where there’s no clear winner in the Sahara vs Excalibur debate.

They’re both equipped with heaters and sensors backed by high-efficiency fans that encourage airflow within the unit.

The only real standout is the Sahara’s “smart” heating system that can switch between high and low heat, allowing you to blast certain types of food with quick, intense heat before leveling off into something more temperate.


Some amount of noise is inevitable, but it shouldn’t be any worse than a dishwasher. Alas, no dehydrator is perfectly silent!

To my surprise, I actually thought my Excalibur was quiet … until I got the Sahara. The noise comparison was shocking.

Hear for yourself …

Excalibur noise level

Sahara noise level

Consumer Ratings and Reviews

I like to look at Amazon reviews to get a general consensus of how products have been received by the public. Here’s what I found about the Sahara and the Excalibur.

Sahara: 4.7/5 stars from 370 reviews

Excalibur: 4.4/5 stars from 303 reviews

For the Sahara, people raved about its foldable, space-saving design, joking that it was “like a Transformer.” They also praised its design, controls, and performance.

However, they noted that some of its special features could be confusingly complex, and the user manual didn’t seem to be much help.

(I disagree… I was scratching my head over those comments. The product manual & setup instructions are easy to follow.)

According to one reviewer, “the dual temperature/times is a nice feature, but the user manual provides no guidance as to exact settings for different foods.”

Note: I have dehydrated night and day for over 2 years now. There are no universal, one-size-fits all settings for specific foods because drying times are dependent on your local environment & humidity levels at the time of drying.

As for the Excalibur, multiple reviewers talked about how easy it is to use, program, and clean, calling it “simple” and “convenient.”

They were also pleased with how well it was able to handle multiple types of food. I concur … I’ve used my Excalibur successfully for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

One person wrote, “I’m pretty particular about devices after having spent 27 years as a design engineer” but added that “I really can’t see anything to change on this unit given its price point.”

My Side by Side Test of the Excalibur Dehydrator & the Sahara

Any compare and contrast worth reading includes a “control” test.

In this case, I wanted to dry the same food in both dehydrators at the same temperature for the same length of time. to compare the results.

For this experiment, I used pinto beans because I needed to re-stock them.

Side note: I cook dried beans, then dehydrate them for instant “just add water” beans. It allows me to stock dried beans in bulk to save money while still being able to throw together a quick meal.

Here are the beans before and after in the Excalibur:

And the finished product:

Here are the pinto beans going into the Sahara dehydrator:

And here’s what the finished product looked like:

A few takeaways:

  • Both dehydrators did the job well.
  • I could dry a larger amount at once in the Sahara.
  • I had to use parchment paper in the Sahara to keep the beans from falling through the holes. This can be remedied by using silicone mesh liners readily available online. I’ll be purchasing some soon.
  • The bottom of the Excalibur was a huge mess when I was done (from the pinto bean “juice.”)
  • The Sahara was super easy to clean. I just removed the drip tray, rinsed, and done.
  • I also dried sliced carrots in the Sahara at the same time because I wanted to see how it did drying two different foods simultaneously. Worked great!

Here’s what the Sahara’s drip tray looks like. I’ve mentioned it a couple times in this post (because it’s a time-saver), so I figured it might be nice to see a picture of it:

Both Models Are Top of the Line Food Dehydrators

I might be comparing and contrasting the Sahara and the Excalibur, but I want to make it clear that they’re both amazing dehydrators.

You wouldn’t go wrong with putting either one in your kitchen.

They’re top-quality appliances with powerful drying technology backed by special features meant for your comfort and convenience.

If I Had to Choose Only One? Winner for Best Compact Food Dehydrator

The Sahara and the Excalibur are both amazing products, and I’m willing to bet that you’ll be satisfied with either.

If I have to choose one over another, however, I’ll throw in my lot with the Sahara by Brod & Taylor.

Not only does it outdo the Excalibur in terms of temperature range and amount of drying area, but it also has a collapsible model that lets you save space when not in use.

This is completely unique to the Sahara; it’s the only dehydrator in the world that can be folded down. In a small home like mine, that is priceless.

Let me say again, however, that the Excalibur isn’t a bad choice. Especially compared to the cheap and flimsy dehydrators meant for amateurs, it’s a stunning work of craftsmanship.

I have used it for years with no issues whatsoever (except maybe difficulty cleaning because there is no drip tray.)

Dehydrating food is a marvelous way to preserve your fruits, veggies, meats, and even beans. If you aren’t sure how to get started, a good option is buying a dehydrator that’ll do all of the work for you.

In terms of the Sahara dehydrator vs the Excalibur dehydrator, both options will get the job done, but the Sahara has a slight edge in terms of advanced and one-of-a-kind, space-saving features.

Ultimately, however, you can dry your food however you’d like. You’re the master of your own kitchen, and the Sahara and the Excalibur can both serve as tools for culinary success!     

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