The Sedona SD-9000 food dehydrator is a relatively new dehydrator model competing at the upper end of the consumer market. It’s made by a company called Tribest, which also makes a line of juicers and other appliances for a healthy diet.
With 9 shelves measuring about 15 x 13 inches, the Sedona SD-9000 is a large capacity dehydrator. Each tray provides about 1.4 sq ft of drying area, for a just over 12 sq ft when all 9 trays are in use.
The SD-9000 is sized and styled like a counter-top microwave. It has a hinged glass front door, and a set of digital controls that run across the front top of the unit. The glass allows you to monitor progress of food being dehydrated without actually opening the door. In addition, the fan and heater unit on the machine actually shut off temporarily when the door is opened.
The SD-9000 is computer-controlled and the unit continually displays and monitors temperature, adjusting heat when needed. The controls include an on/off switch, a countdown timer, and a mode switch that allows you to set the fan at a slower speed to reduce noise temporarily – at night, for example.
A key benefit of the computer-controlled temperature in the Sedona is protection from over-heating. Unlike most other dehydrators, the Sedona will not allow the temperature to rise above the current setting. When the interior reaches the set temperature, the Sedona SD-9000 will "cycle" and let the temperature decrease a bit before the heating element is again engaged. For raw foods enthusiasts, this is especially important because it means that when you set the Sedona dehydrator at the recommended temperature of 118 F, you can be sure the temperature will not exceed this setting, thus protecting the activity of enzymes that are harmed at higher temperatures.
One of the most interesting aspects of the SD-9000 Sedona dehydrator is the dual-fan design. The back of the unit has both an upper and lower fan. By inserting a solid tray in the center, you can effectively reduce the capacity of the dehydrator, and its energy consumption, by half. This is useful in cases where you are drying smaller quantities of food. Setting up the unit for a smaller batch works like this:
- Insert the solid tray in the middle slot to divide the Sedona into two 4 tray dehydrators.
- Press the TRAY button to select which fan with heating coil will be active.
- Load the trays into the upper half of Sedona according to which fan with heating coil
- Dehydrate normally
With a list price of just over $400, the Sedona SD-9000 is more than $100 more than the Excalibur 3900, which is another higher-end consumer dehydrator with similar capacity. It has some compelling design features, but doesn’t yet have the proven track record of Excalibur machines.