Monday, January 16th, 2012

Review: Tribest Life’s Sedona Dehydrator

by Kristen Suzanne in review

I’ve always been a big fan of Excalibur dehydrators because I’ve had mine for years. I even feature them in my Easy Raw Vegan Dehydrating book. But, times change and new products are introduced to the market. Imagine my excitement when TriBest Life wanted me to check out their new Sedona dehydrator. I’m always up for trying new kitchen appliances. Excitement aside, I remember being a tad skeptical at first. I thought to myself, “Yeah, um… the Sedona dehydrator might be as good as Excalibur, but surely not better, right?” After all, most people own Excalibur and it’s been a force to be reckoned with for a long time. However, as I read over the Sedona dehydrator’s marketing materials, I was impressed, excited, and eager to try this new beauty! Turns out… rightly so.

Where to begin? Well, for starters, it’s gorgeous with its glass door and digital controls. Frankly, it makes my Excalibur look like something from the 70’s. It’s very quiet. It puts out such a soft a hum that Greg said we should put it in the bedroom. (He was kidding of course, but point taken).

The trays are not quite as big as Excalibur’s trays, but they’re a bit deeper which is useful. The tad smaller size in tray did not affect my dehydrating experience at all. In fact, the trays have lipped sides which is useful in helping prevent dehydrating nuts and seeds from falling off as well as being useful when making thick breads and crackers.

The Sedona dehydrator turns off when you open the hinged glass door and restarts when you close the door. I love that feature.

Although I have an old Excalibur that doesn’t have a timer (I think most of them do now… but it appears that Excalibur’s is not a digital timer and rather a dial that you turn to set), the Sedona dehydrator’s timer is set using buttons that increase or decrease the time to dehydrate, in increments by the hour, and displays digitally on the front, where all of the controls are. This is very useful having the controls on the front versus on top like Excalibur because …. I can see them at all times! And, although this isn’t a direct Sedona vs Excalibur comparison, I wanted to note some differences, including that the Sedona is made in Korea while the Excalibur is made in the USA.

So! What have I made with this Sedona Dehydrator beauty? Lots! I’ve had it for a good few months and I wanted to get a thorough testing of it before I wrote my review.

Starting with soaked raw organic almonds that I dehydrated so I can use them for raw nut butter (in my new stone grinding nut butter machine! – but that’s another post).

I also dehydrated persimmons

Sunflower Dill Crackers – See in the photo with Kamea how the tray has a lip around it? 

Pumpkin seeds and Sunflower seeds for Cinnamon Brownies

Marinating veggies to soften them for a nice “cooked” texture.

*You’ll see that often the photos taken had a temperature higher than the normal 105-115 degrees you hear regarding raw food. The high temp I use is only for the first 1-2 hours in which the food is not warm as it sweats at first so that cools the food even though the dehydrator temp circulating around the food might be higher.

OVERALL —-> I loooooove the Sedona Dehydrator, and more so than the Excalibur because… it’s fancy-schmancy, I love the glass door that’s hinged, the trays are awesome, the sheets are BPA-free and teflon free, and the digital display with buttons makes for a sleek baby. In my opinion, if you’re weighing the two options, then I’d recommend the Sedona. That being said, my trusty Excalibur has withstood LOTS of use and I’ve had it for about seven years. But, I have no doubt that my Sedona will stand the test of time as well. I think that both dehydrators are excellent, but the contemporary features of the Sedona make it much nicer option.

Check out these stats directly from Tribest’s website (with some comments from me in italics)…

What Makes It So Different? Unique Raw & Health Food Friendly Features:
The Sedona 9-tray digital food dehydrator from Tribest is designed with health-conscious individuals in mind. The Sedona Dehydrator introduces ground-breaking features to ensure the highest quality of retained nutrients and taste in dehydrated fruits and vegetables:
  • Overheat Protection Feature keeps Raw Food from being Overheated!
  • Clear, Natural-colored BPA Free Trays & Mesh Screens
  • No Black Coloring Chemicals Used for food-contacting parts
  • Teflon Free, BPA Free drying sheets available (Poly-propylene or Silicone)
  • Upgraded User Friendly Features
  • Enjoy a simple, yet intelligently designed interface. The operation of the Sedona is extremely easy with clearly marked controls and an easy to read digital display. The placement of the controls, hinges, glass panel, and the LED display are carefully designed to maximize efficiency and ease of use.
  • The Sedona is extremely quiet during operation and manages the heated air in the drying compartment evenly and accurately.
  • Built-in Timer Up To 99 Hours (Excalibur goes up to 26 hours only)
  • Digital Display and Setting for Easy Control (Love this as there is no question of the temp I set or the time remaining!)
  • LED Light Display for Dark Environment
  • Front Control Panel for use and placement under kitchen cupboards (Soooo useful. I have my other dehydrator, from Excalibur on the top shelf of a rack and I can’t see the controls(!) so would you believe that I actually use my iPhone to snap a photo by reaching above it so I can make sure I don’t have the temp too high? With the Sedona, I can clearly see the controls and operate them effortlessly.)
  • On/Off switch : No need to pull the plug to turn off unit every time
  • Clear Glass Door to see results without opening unit
  • Automatic pause & resume function when the door opens & closes (This is cute, it shuts off when I open the door to check the contents or to add new foods. Then, it resumes once the door is closed.)
  • Convenient front-mounted pull-down glass door
  • Elegant and aesthetic design (It’s gorgeous!)
  • Temperature mode selection for °F or °C
  • More tray room with 1″ clearance
  • Debris Catching Tray for easy cleaning (Love this aspect)
  • Convenient, detachable power cord
  • Eco Friendly Features
  • The Sedona Dehydrator operates much quieter than its competitors with higher efficiency. Dual Fan Technology allows you to operate each of the Sedona’s two 300 watt computer-controlled fans and heating elements in the two drying compartments together or independently of each other. Discrete control over the two drying compartment allows the Sedona to operate at at 600 watt or 300 watt power, depending on your needs.
  • A separate heat sensor monitors the current temperature of each independent fan-heater set within its own compartment which improves the efficiency and overall quality of the dehydration process.
  • Energy Efficiency with Dual Fan Technology (This means you can operate half of the machine – top or bottom – or the whole machine. It’s up to you.)
  • Closed Tray for Dividing Drying Chamber in Half (see above bullet point)
  • Quiet DC Motors for Lower Noise Pollution (True! It’s very quiet and even has an extra quiet “night time” mode – see below point)
  • Night-mode function for Even Quieter Performance
  • Non-Styrofoam Corrupad Paper Packaging Material Used

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