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Chaco Taco
12-26-2006, 16:30
So I got a dehydrater. I am looking at what other types of foods besides jerky and some recipes I could use for my trip. Does dehydrated food cut down on weight that much? I am really excitted to get started on some Jerky though. Share some thoughts and recipes.

Chaco Taco
12-26-2006, 16:43
So I just saw the forum for food and dehydrating, duh, sorry guys on taking up thread space.

xunitedbychristx
07-19-2007, 10:57
I had a question about dehydrating, I read that several things (ie. salsa & hamburger meat) should be stored in the freezer until you go out on the trail. What is the reason for that? Thanks

budforester
07-19-2007, 11:31
I had a question about dehydrating, I read that several things (ie. salsa & hamburger meat) should be stored in the freezer until you go out on the trail. What is the reason for that? ThanksThatís more of a quality issue than safety. Dehydration, done properly, protects from microbial spoilage. Freezer storage (cold, dry, and dark) retards chemical degradation (stuff like rancidity and breakdown of nutrients). Freezing can also prevent mold growth if drying was not thorough. Excluding oxygen is important, too; check that your packages seal tightly. Vacuum- packing can help quality; I donít have a machine, so I press the air out and seal individual bags in a larger bag for long- term freezer storage.

Grinder
07-19-2007, 12:11
search for posts by "sarbar" you'll find a link to her site on the subject.

Buy her book. It has recipies for everything from soup to desert.

follow the link to her site for even more information.

One goos suggestion. Dry left overs from regular meals. Some claim everything works. No one I know of has gotten sick or died yet.

Miles of Smiles
Tom

Footslogger
07-19-2007, 12:17
I had a question about dehydrating, I read that several things (ie. salsa & hamburger meat) should be stored in the freezer until you go out on the trail. What is the reason for that? Thanks
===================================

Don't know about the salsa ...but with hamburger it has to do with the fat content. The "drier" you make it in the dehydrator the better but I would at least refrigerate (if not freeze) any meat I dehydrate until it's time to pack it up for a hike.

'Slogger

xunitedbychristx
07-19-2007, 13:20
===================================

Don't know about the salsa ...but with hamburger it has to do with the fat content. The "drier" you make it in the dehydrator the better but I would at least refrigerate (if not freeze) any meat I dehydrate until it's time to pack it up for a hike.

'Slogger

Thanks for all the input. I appreciate the help. Here is where I am confused. You put the hamburger in the fridge then you take it out and go camping. Can you eat it a week later after it has thawed out? Does the fridge help get out the extra moisture

xunitedbychristx
07-19-2007, 13:37
search for posts by "sarbar" you'll find a link to her site on the subject.

Buy her book. It has recipes for everything from soup to desert.

follow the link to her site for even more information.

Tom

Is this http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/ ? The site seems informative. Is that where you suggest buying her book? Thanks again for answering my questions.

Footslogger
07-19-2007, 13:39
Thanks for all the input. I appreciate the help. Here is where I am confused. You put the hamburger in the fridge then you take it out and go camping. Can you eat it a week later after it has thawed out? Does the fridge help get out the extra moisture

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Refridgeration/Freezing retarts spoilage. Ground beef that has been fully dehydrated has sort of a granular chunky texture and does not actually freeze in the normal sense of moist beef you would pull out of the freezer in a solid block.

With dehydrated ground beef all you do is load it into a zip lock bag and stick it in your foodbag. When it's time to eat just add it to your noodles. No other preparation is necessary.

By the way, if you haven't done it yet, the "yield" from deydrating ground beef is somewhat disappointing. In other words ...you start with a pound or so of ground beef and what you end up with is a small zip lock bag of dried chunks that resemble cat food. That said, dried hamburger is delicous !!

One suggestion I'll give you is to marinade your gound beef in a sauce (like A1 Steak Sauce) as you are browning it. Once it is all browned you scoop out the meat and let it sit on some paper towels to soak up the excess sauce/moisture and then stick it in your dehydrator.

YUMM ...I'm hungry already !!

'Slogger

Ewker
07-19-2007, 13:43
One suggestion I'll give you is to marinade your gound beef in a sauce (like A1 Steak Sauce) as you are browning it. Once it is all browned you scoop out the meat and let it sit on some paper towels to soak up the excess sauce/moisture and then stick it in your dehydrator.
'Slogger


that sounds good. I will try it the next time I dehydrate ground turkey


I usually will dehydrate spag with a meat sauce after a meal. It holds up quite well and the pasta doesn't get mushy

Footslogger
07-19-2007, 13:47
[quote=Ewker;382690]that sounds good. I will try it the next time I dehydrate ground turkey

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Trying to remember what I used when I did turkey ??? I think I just used a "poultry" style barbq sauce of some sort. Best danged turkey-jerkey I've ever eaten. Used really thin slices of turkey and it literally melted in your mouth (and not on your hands ...Oh yeah, that's M & M's)

'Slogger

Grinder
07-19-2007, 14:08
Is this http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/ ? The site seems informative. Is that where you suggest buying her book? Thanks again for answering my questions.

That's the very one.

About technique. Lots of people dehydrate and then store in freezer until you leave for your trip.

Lots of other people dehydrate, vacuum bag and store on shelf untilo trip

Lots of other people dehydrate, store in an airtight container until trip.

The dehydrate and then freeze guys are kind of like a safety engineer who wears suspenders and a belt. Their pants never fall down. But---?? Is t necessary?

The main point is that no one has died or even gotten sick to the best of my knowledge.

In general, less fat is better for storage.

I cook hamburger and then pour hot water over it to remove more grease before I dry it.

By the way, they call dehydrated hamburger "gravel" . You can make a batch of gravel and store it until you need it.

I make hamburger helper strogonoff often. I cook the noodles al dent and dehydrate them. Then I mix the sauce mix and dry milk powder and gravel in the bag. The recipe needs to simmer a bit for the sauce to thicken.I'm still playing with the exact qmount of water. In the field, I am hungry and have trouble letting it sit in the cosey for a long time (like 30 minutes)

HTH

Tom

Grinder
07-19-2007, 14:13
another good meal was pulled pork and refried beans

I dehydrated a can of refried beans and powdered them in the blender.

I pulled the pork into small pieces and dried it. then I chopped it into itsy bitsy pieces in the blender (much coarser than powder). mixed the two together and added a cup of minute rice. It was real good and filling too.

Tom

Footslogger
07-19-2007, 14:13
[quote=teblum;382705]
By the way, they call dehydrated hamburger "gravel" . You can make a batch of gravel and store it until you need it.

===================================

That's the word I was looking for ...."gravel". Perfect description of the end product when you dehydrate ground beef.

'Slogger

Nest
07-19-2007, 20:45
Another question while this thread is going. What is thr shelf life of dehydrated food? Anything from beef, fruits and veggies, and pre-cooked pasta? I'm doing some dehydrating for my thru next year, and what to know how much I can prepare before. Hatw to spend a lot of time and money on food that will spoil before I hike.

SteveJ
07-19-2007, 23:23
that sounds good. I will try it the next time I dehydrate ground turkey


I usually will dehydrate spag with a meat sauce after a meal. It holds up quite well and the pasta doesn't get mushy

Ewker - what's the secret to your success in re-hydrating turkey? the one time i tried to dehydrate chicken to use in a rice mix, it wouldn't rehydrate - was decent chicken jerky, but texture just didn't work in a rice mix.

budforester
07-19-2007, 23:31
Another question while this thread is going. What is thr shelf life of dehydrated food? Anything from beef, fruits and veggies, and pre-cooked pasta? I'm doing some dehydrating for my thru next year, and what to know how much I can prepare before. Hatw to spend a lot of time and money on food that will spoil before I hike.Commercial producers vary, claiming shelf lives of 4 to 20 years. They put much effort into quality control, process monitoring, and packaging technology to assure this. I try to use mine within a year. I keep single- use packages in a large zip- bag in the freezer or in a large jar in the closet. Start with fresh- cooked or canned stuff, dry it thoroughly at an appropriate temperature, package it tightly. Store it protected from light, heat, oxygen, punctures, and pests

aaroniguana
07-20-2007, 01:14
Anyone use a vacuum packer in concert with a dehydrator? Wondering how well they work.

katagious
07-21-2007, 21:16
I've been dehydrating the boys food for the last three months. I have yet to freeze any of it and I use freezer style ziplock baggies. As Sarbar instruct on her site, I try to make everything so they are able to just add boiling water and wait.
THE

katagious
07-21-2007, 21:19
Oops, I didn't know that accidently hitting the tab button would post my reply!
Any way...
I try to change it up every week just a bit. The last package I sent out had my newest creation...Shephards pie.. It included instant mashed potato, dehydrated corn and erm..gravel with a few ketchup packets on the side.
Just had boiling water, let sit..and mmmm just like mom's! Erm... :)

Grinder
07-22-2007, 08:02
AAroniguana,

I have a Black and Decker vacuum packer. I used it to package my meals for my last hike (1 week). It worked fine.

The machine requires proprietary plastic material to work correctly, so unit cost may be a bit higher.

I don't think it's superior to ziplock bags for normal time periods. Probably better for long term storage.

Miles of Smiles
Tom

The Wisconsinite
07-22-2007, 21:59
I have a FoodSaver vacuum sealer (as seen on TV) and it works pretty darn well. The bags are rather heavy though, but they work well to seal things up. A vacuum sealer is especially good for car camping, though I don't see why it wouldn't be great for backpacking as well.
On a two week trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons I precooked chicken breasts (grilled them, actually) vacuum packed them, and then froze them and packed them in the cooler. We kept them chilled with ice, and they lasted our whole trip until we ate them all. It was great getting back from a long hike and just being able to eat some grilled chicken after warming them without dealing with raw meat. Especially when it snowed in August, and then rained. It sucks to cook in a long cold rain.

If you're looking for an alternative jerky, do a google search for Biltong. Its a South African form of jerky that's especially good. You can buy a spice pack online probably.

Like a previous poster said, it usually boils down to microbes and oxygen. Both will ruin your food. Microbes usually need water, hence why dehydration will make your food last longer. If you seal things away from outside air, it will also help. My philosophy is, if you have the space, why not ziplock things and freeze them? It won't hurt.

sarbar
07-23-2007, 16:50
For the most part the only items I freeze after drying are cooked meals and meat-more becuase I worry about the fat in said items goinng rancid during long storage.
Now storage times? Fruit and vegetables dried, easily a year (though I remember eating 4-5 year old dried items as a kid, and we were just fine).

Meat I try to use up in 6 months to a year. Not hard to do if you hike a lot ;)

Dehydrated pasta? Years!

As always, life of food is dependent on good storage practices: clean containers, away from moisture and light and sealed tightly.

I have pictorials on this page (http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/dehydrating.htm) on dehydrating and how-to info.

:) Sarah

Chaco Taco
07-24-2007, 16:51
So I forgot about this thread. I had started it before my last Smokies trip. My Jerky went well, but I ate so much, the site of it makes me sick.
I have been doing freezer bag cooking but am doing my own kinda style. I work in a kitchen so I have so much fun playing around with food and prep methods that could apply to my hiking.

Alligator
07-24-2007, 17:07
Oops, I didn't know that accidently hitting the tab button would post my reply!
Any way...
I try to change it up every week just a bit. The last package I sent out had my newest creation...Shephards pie.. It included instant mashed potato, dehydrated corn and erm..gravel with a few ketchup packets on the side.
Just had boiling water, let sit..and mmmm just like mom's! Erm... :)I used similar ingredients (+shredded zucchini) and added a brown gravy packet to it.

Alligator
07-24-2007, 17:14
...The dehydrate and then freeze guys are kind of like a safety engineer who wears suspenders and a belt. Their pants never fall down. But---?? Is t necessary?
Occasionally when dehydrating multiple ingredient meals, one of the ingredients may not dry all the way before others reach super crunchy stage. Maybe on two occasions I have had spoilage for an item several days into a trip, even after freezing. This was when I was newer to dehydrating.

Now, I make really, really good checks to make sure everything is completely dry. Also, I have found that using a dehydrator with a variable temperature setting keeps things from getting super crunchy even burnt while allowing all items to reach proper drying. Maintaining uniform size for each ingredient helps too.