View Full Version : Help dehydrating chicken!!!!

03-04-2003, 21:41

Sooooo, we're leaving this monday for Atlanta and we're rushing to get everything done. One of the things I swore I'd do was dehydrate chicken for rehydration use with chicken helper and also some of my own dehydrated sauces. Now I have 6 pounds of boneless chicken breasts, but I can't find ANYTHING on dehydrating chicken on the internet. Plenty of chicken jerky, but that's not what I want.

So, right now I'm planning on slicing the chicken up really teeny tiny (have it in freezer now for this purpose) and pretty much following Weasel's dried burger method. (Cooking and mixing with soy sauce (for the salt's preservative effect) and spices and then dehydrating.) Still, I'm worried because I have no idea if this will work well or produce chicken I will want to eat. Anyone have any experience with this? Again, let me emphasize that I am preparing this chicken to be eaten REHYDRATED as a part of a meal, NOT as jerky.

Can someone please just say, "Yeah, I did that and it worked great?" I would feel much better that way. I would probably also get lots more done if I didn't weren't stopping 3 times per sentence to watch that damn dancing banana.

thank you thank you!

03-04-2003, 22:38
Chicken must be thoroughly cooked before dehydrating. Your are correct to cut it as small as possible. Large chunks are really hard to rehydrate. I think your method should work fine. I've had the most success with either cooked ground chicken or turkey or canned chicken or turkey flaked into small pieces. When I tried fresh cooked chicken, I had trouble getting the pieces small enough to dry evenly and rehydrate well. But you should be able to do it if you're careful.

03-04-2003, 23:06
Thank you thank you thank you, DebW!

Of course! I am now kicking myself! Ground chicken or turkey would obviously suit my purposes much better. DOH!

And now...any helpful tips for pan bread? I just tried using a fannie farmer pancake recipe (using buttermilk powder and my own dehydrated eggs) and i'm not liking the result.

cramming cramming cramming...

Blue Jay
03-05-2003, 08:52
I also have used your method and it worked great.

03-05-2003, 09:05
I love the fibrous texture of a piece of chicken. Grinding it doesnt suit me well. Some big walmarts sell foil-packed chicken. We don't have the super-walmarts near where I live, but I've been planning on ordering a case of 3oz pouches to try. Nothing like tomato sauce, chicken, fresh sauteed peppers & onions, hot chili flakes, and some linguini. Damn it, now I'm hungry!

03-05-2003, 09:35
Our local Food lion has chicken in a pouch in the same section where the tuna in a pouch is. It's not bad at all.

03-05-2003, 11:19
Give your chicken plenty of water/electrolytes and
keep it out of the sun.

03-05-2003, 22:26
DebW Is correct..according to my book..chicken must be cooked. Cut into 1/2" cubes and dry @ 160 to 175 deg for 5+ hrs till crisp. Ground chicken would be easier/quicker and quicker to REhydrate.
Think of us poor soles still doing the same-oh-same-oh while your having a blast!! :D

04-04-2006, 17:41
I've recently dried some chicken, and I think it came out pretty well. My local store had skinless, boneless chicken breasts for sale. I sliced them *against* the grain, in slices between quarter and half inch thick. These, I put into a pressure cooker with some olive oil (not much), some onion, some salt, a little thyme, etc., and 2-3 cups of water. Then I pressured the stuff for twenty minutes--read the directions on your pressure cooker to determine how much water, how long, and how much pressure. After cooking, I let it cool, then I pulled out the "strips" of chicken and "flaked" them, by squishing them a little with a fork. It wasn't hard, and the end result looked like canned chicken. (It's pretty good for making bar-b-que sandwiches that way.) Anyway, I put that on the drier shelves and went off to do things. It was probably 8-10 hours later when I came back and everything was dry. I let them cool, and put them in a baggie. I tested the chicken by making one of Sarbar's rice and chicken freezerbag meals. I thought the chicken tasted great. There were a couple of pieces that didn't rehydrate too well, but I think I just didn't mix everything thoroughly, the rest seemed like canned, or pressure cooked, chicken. It's LOTS cheaper than buying canned or bagged chicken and drying that, and if you have a pressure cooker, it's quite easy. I'm planning on dropping a handful into soup mixes and anything else that seems to need a bit of protien, though I was surprised at how much I liked just nibbling it from out of the bag. I intend to test a Thanksgiving dinner kind of recipe soon--a little stuffing, a little chicken, and mashed potatoes. Mmmm. I imagine pressure cooking beef would work pretty well, too.

04-04-2006, 18:27
Beth, you rock for trying it out...I am SO asking for a pressure cooker for my wedding :D

04-04-2006, 19:04
And now...any helpful tips for pan bread? I just tried using a fannie farmer pancake recipe (using buttermilk powder and my own dehydrated eggs) and i'm not liking the result.

I know you are on the trail already, sorry for the delay.

My recipe for pan bread is (Indian) Chapattis: this can be done on the trail easily; 1 cup flour (any wheat, I use Golden Temple brand) 1 Tablespoon salt (or to taste, go easy & taste as you add) I add pepper to taste. also needed; Olive oil, water.

On trail: mix water & flour, add enough to make a stiff dough & kneed well. Optional step: set aside for up to 1 hr, kneed again. Flatten to 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick patties. Heat olive oil (1 tsp?) in pan, add patties & heat till small brown spots (apx dime size) apear, flip & heat other side. Caution: try to not over cook, which is easy to do. I usually flip them 2 or 3 times till brown spots apear. Time till done usually about 15 - 20 seconds on my alcohol stove. Yes, that quick.

Hint: letting dough "rest" makes it somewhat easier to handle. putting some olive oil on your hands keeps the dough from sticking. Options: 1/2 rice flour or rye is nice. Rice flour do make them a little gritty, but I like it. Whole works too.

Hope this isn't too late. Hope it helps!!


02-26-2012, 20:58
Hey Chicken Feet, I know this is an old post, but how did the dehydrated chicken work out. How was it. I am dehydrating some now for a short jaunt up the Approach Trail in a few weeks.

Papa D
02-26-2012, 21:02
I think that chickens get sick if they get dehydrated - I love my chickens and give them plenty of water

02-27-2012, 15:02
I've had good luck grinding it up, cooking it like loose hamburger in a good non-stick pan, then dehydrating to make "gravel" just like some do with beef. I store in the freezer and have always used it up within a week on the trail, so don't know how long it last beyond that.

02-27-2012, 21:10
I have recently tried with good success both ground beef and chunked chicken.

Ground beef, start with the leanest you can buy, cook fully, broken apart. Pat dry with paper towels, dehydrate at 165 until hard gravel (8 to 12 hours).

Chicken, start with pre-cooked. White meat ONLY (dark has much more fat, possibly will turn rancid much faster). Canned water packed white meat works well; also I have tried a store cooked rotisory chicken using just the breast, cut against the grain 1/2 inch pieces. Dehydrate at 165 8 to 10 hours.

1/2 cup brown instant rice, 1/4 cup dehydrated chicken, 1/4 cup dehydrated mixed veges, 1 tsp Mrs. dasy, 1/4 tsp butter salt. 1 cup boiling water in the boiling bag and about 5 to 7 minute wait time - excellent.

These meats work well in many things - ramen - great.

For the veges I start with frozen mixed veges put straight in the dehydrator, 135 for 8 to 12 hours.

02-27-2012, 22:07
I gave up on trying to get chicken dehydrated, and just bought a big 'ol jug of chicken flavored TVP. It's all calories.

02-27-2012, 22:08
nothing more pathetic than a dehydrated chicken farm.:)
well, maybe a boneless chicken farm.

02-27-2012, 22:09
Canned chicken dried on a dehydrator works fine to add flavor and protein to meals. You let it soak some while you set up camp, then cook.

02-27-2012, 22:10
Tried dehydrating chicken a couple of times. The weight savings in my opinion did not seem worth the work, risk or loss of flavor. I use pouch chicken or spam singles instead.

02-27-2012, 22:21
"backpacking food for the soul" that dude has some great ideas and tips on dehydrating and some pretty tastey recipes. I always pressure cook any meat I plan to dehydrate cuz it helps to tenderize it when you rehydrate. My newest favorite desert is apple pie filling (homemade) omit the butter fat doen't dry well then rehydrate ontop of crushed vanilla wafers.YUMMY!!!or the ever popular chocalate pudding cith crushed oreos...and who said backpacking was'nt worth it?? hike well eat well

02-28-2012, 10:18
To dehydrate your chicken, stop giving her water.

Wise Old Owl
02-28-2012, 10:28

Chicken Feet - take a look at this page... small pressure cookers are available inexspensive at Walmart - & FYI, KFC, Chick Fill A and many other companies are pressure cooking Chicken and other stews and dinners.

02-29-2012, 09:02
I found any form of slicing and dehydrating resulted in rubbery rehydrating.

Best way so far:
Fry Cook well done and shred the chicken in a food processor.(the tool that makes slaw)
I may have also food processed it for a while to get even smaller pieces.
Place in the rehydrate water during the heating stage for a longer rehydrate time.

Next idea , which will be "more better":
Pressure cook suspended over the boiling water, shred and dehydrate. Actual results coming soon.