The most exciting thing to enter my kitchen in a long time is this Stainless Steel Five Tray Dehydrator from TSM. Most of my raw cookbooks recommend the Excalibur 9 tray, so I got that first. It was too big and too loud for my small house (I have an open floor plan), and frankly, I found Excalibur's customer service to be lacking.
I looked and looked and couldn't find another option until I happened to notice someone talking about the Sausage Maker on a raw foods message board. Then the fabulous raw foods blogger, Susan, from Rawmazing, told me she used a Sausage Maker too. I did some homework and it turns out that TSM and Sausage Maker are one and the same. Sausage Maker originated as a dehydrator for hunters to preserve their game. But raw foodists caught on and started using their dehydrators because of their high quality. TSM realized they had another market demographic and wisely took the sausage logo off the machine.
The unit itself is very good looking. It's well built and has a sexy industrial appearance for the kitchen. It's quiet-very quiet which I didn't think would matter since I like white noise, but if you are going to have something on for 20 hours in a small space, it can be really annoying if it's too loud.
The trays are high quality stainless steel and it has a timer. A timer! This is so helpful when you have something going for many hours and is surprisingly absent from many dehydrators. Their customer service is friendly and helpful, I had to call about the temperature dial--it corresponds to the chart on the top left of the machine, raw foodists will want their knob to stay within that first space on the dial in case anyone else is wondering. Also, be sure to ask for one with a little hole in the door for a thermometer probe if you want to to monitor the temperature (and you probably will).
I'm still in the experimental stage food-wise but I will be posting more about my adventures in dehydrating (I'm pretty obsessed). For now I give you my utmost recommendation for this model. It's the nicest dehydrator I've ever seen and I've been looking like crazy. If you are embarking on your own raw foods journey or want to upgrade from your current dehydrator, or just need a fabulous gift for the raw foodie in your life, check it out HERE.