The Ultimate Raw Vegan Dehydrator

The search for the Ultimate Raw Vegan Dehydrator.

 This was my Search.

 This is what I found.

This is what I ultimately purchased. 

Here I was 15 days into a 21 day fully raw challenge when it hit.  It was bad too.  That kind of craving that crawls up from your belly.  With teeth.  It sinks in and takes hold.  Pizza. Wait more like PIIIIIIIZAAAAAAAAA.  If I recall I was actually sweating.

I had not long before satiated my craving for Vegetarian pizza with the finding of various vegan cheeses, both store bought and homemade.  But THIS was different!  Raw Vegan Pizza?  Impossible!

To the google!  And that was where I found her.  A recipe.  Not the one I would ultimately make but it was a recipe nonetheless.  Halfway through is where I found it.  6-8 hours at 115 degrees in the dehydrator.

Thus began my search.  I had first purchased an old Canadian model that I found on Craigslist.  After a search I found the keyword “Workhorse” applied to it and it was only 70 dollars so I bought it.  It was loud, heated my whole first floor and had hotspots, but it worked.  I made Sun dried tomatoes in it and was hooked!

But as the realization that this lifestyle was for me set in, so did the determination that this dehydrator was to replace my oven and long ago I found that your creations are oftentimes driven by the quality of your tools.

A few days of intense research ensued and after much deliberation I not only found the perfect one, but at an affordable price.  After All this was to be what i had to use for years to come, so it was an important decision to me.

Let me run through the sequence of my research which led to the ultimate decision.

 Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator

 One of the most popular to be found on Amazon and at an affordable price for an “oven”.  Here is the thing though.  Not too long ago this model came with a starting temperature of 85° but thanks to the use of dehydrators to dry the flesh of previously free and living animals they now begin at 105°.  Oh well I thought!  I will be using the dehydrator at 115° most of the time.  Luckily I came across this little video here.

The analog models have a fluctuation of as much as 10-13 degrees at the lower setting.  This would mean that I’m pretty much locked into a potential maximum temperature on the minimum setting so no go on this one.  This brought me to my next choice…

Tribest Sedona Classic

This really got my hopes up.  It had all of the things going for it.  It was designed for the Raw Foodist in mind, it had a dual timer feature and it looked sturdy.  You could imagine my disappointment when I came across two things.

First was the price.  I had intended on investing in one that I would have a long time, it was to replace my oven after all, but I was and still am in the process of building my Tiny House Empire.  Plus if I was going to invest this kind of Cabbage (get it?  Cabbage?  Raw Vegan xD) it would have to have an immaculate track record.  Which brings me to my second point.

It had bad reviews.  Not only on amazon but throughout the web.  It was so low temperature that at times, so said the reviewers, it tooks days to create anything.  The two zone function tended to make it ineffective for either or both zones and for the price I just couldn’t justify it.

So I decided to go back to the video review on the first one which led me to my final choice (and current love of my life, as far as dehydrators go)…

Excalibur 3948CDB 9 Tray Food Dehydrator with Digital Controller and Timer


This did it all.  It had the dual timer function I loved!  This allows you to start your creation at a higher temperature, say 135°, for the first hour and then one 118° for the duration.  This cuts way down on time*.

The temperature range began at 95° which is higher than the old analog but this one is FAR more accurate, with only a fluctuation of 1-3° so in reality it has a starting temperature lower that the analog models of old.

Plus it looked great!  I know, superficial but if you’re obsessing over something you’d like it to look sexy too!

Now the price was not too comforting, if you clicked on the link above, so I headed on over to eBay which I haven’t shopped on for forever.  To my pleasant surprise I found one refurbished at a considerably lower price!  The seller had amazing reviews and I got it in a few days to boot!

 This is the one I purchased. 

If you’ve checkout any of my recipe posts or ran across them on facebook the pictures alone are a testament to how well this amazing appliance works.  It’s quite (IMHO), efficient and has completely revolutionized my lifestyle.  No more will I be without Pizza, Cinnamon Roles, Sun dried Tomatoes, Burgers, Crackers, Corn Chips, the list goes on.  Some of These are not THE healthiest foods to be had on the Raw Vegan path, but they help you stay on track with minimal impact on your journey to optimum health.

I wish you all the best on the path and please leave a comment if I can help in any way.  Please subscribe for updates right to your inbox too!

*Though the heat emited by the dehydrator is 135° the process of evaportation that occurs keep the fruit at a much lower temperature, well below 118°.  Be warned however as the water content of the fruit greatly affects this process.


Making sun dried tomatoes in a dehydrator

Case of Roma Tomatoes

Few ingredients add excitement to a dish, Raw Vegan or otherwise, As sun dried tomatoes.  In small amounts they can be found just about anywhere and for little cost.

However keeping in line with Raw Foodist ideals they are typically laden with chemicals and added sodium and to be quite honest, in the amounts used by those following a Raw Vegan lifestyle, the cost can add up.  Raw Dressings, Sauces (Like Marina’s Mushroom Spaghetti Bolognese) and Burgers, to site a few examples, quickly eat up the small packets picked up at the local supermarket.

Enter the Dehydrator!  The hero (and answer to the oven) of the Raw Foodist Kitchen.  Making your own sun dried tomatoes is cost effective, you get a better quality product and so rewarding!  You can tweak the spices for different dishes or leave them out if you want them to be versatile!  Your way, right away!  Well maybe not right away.

I’ve compiled a guide that will help you take the guess work out of making your own.  Don’t have a dehydrator?  No worries!  I will be posting a comprehensive review Right here of the one I found and my reasons for selecting it, just Subscribe and you can receive updates so you won’t miss it 🙂


One Case of firm ripe roma tomatoes (Check out my page on Finding Wholesale Produce).

 Italian Herb Blend
  • 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon Himalayan Salt (or salt of choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
Other options:
  • Curry Powder
  • Zatar Seasoning
  • Mexican Blend
  • Moroccan Blend


If not using organic tomatoes add to a sink full of water and approximately 1/3 to 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
Soak for 15 min or more and scrub with a Veggie Brush.  I like this one.
I’ve found that simply cutting off the top portion works best for me, this removes the stem quickly.
Cut the tomatoes into thirds or fourths depending upon the size of the tomato so that they are uniform.
Place the tomatoes onto teflex sheets. I like these, they are economical and fit my Excalibur perfectly.
Sprinkle a small amount of your spice blend on each tomato.
Roma Tomatoes Ready for the Dehydrator


Set dehydrator temperature to about 140°F for 1 hour then 118 for 20 hours.

In approximately  slide the teflex sheet onto the counter, press tomatoes flat, flip them over and place directly on the tray (without the teflex sheet)

At this point you decide whether to season the other side, keeping in mind that as they dry the flavors condense.
Continue drying until done periodically turning the tomatoes and flattening them gently.
This is important!
Be aware that not all of the tomatoes will dry at the same rate. They do not all have the same amount of moisture, nor do they experience the same temperature and air circulation while they are drying so remove them individually as they reach perfection.
You will know when they are done as they will be dry to the touch but still flexible.
Store them in mason jars, or your choice of air tight container.  Please check out my page on Creating your own vacuum system for mason jars Right Here.