View Full Version : Freeze dried bulk meat (versus dehydrated)

05-03-2005, 16:52
We are trying to lighten up our packs more and more--we are converts to the freezer bag cooking (wonderful sight, Sarbar!)...but wonder about using freeze dried meat instead of taking foil pouches of chicken or tuna. It seems as though this is a good solution, in theory, but I have read lots about people using dehydrated meats and being disappointed in the chewiness of how it turns out once you cook with it.

I have purchased the freeze-dried mountain house dinner and, although costly, the meats seem decent in these. I found a site that sells bulk freeze dried meat, and wondered if anyone had made their own dinners with freeze drieds before?

05-03-2005, 18:25
How much bulk, and how much? Please share.

05-03-2005, 20:02
The problem is that freeze dried foods tend to grab humidity and go bad pretty fast. Hence the heavy packaging for Mountain House and similar stuff. You might do okay with vaccuum sealed packaging at home. I find that dehydrating fruit and jerky, keeping it frozen for storage and sealed in baggies is okay for about 3 months after thawing - while keeping in Ziplocks.

05-04-2005, 02:24
My husband has tried the homemade jerky. He doesn't do it anymore. Likes the bagged tuna, although pricy, and the, bulk purchased from samsclub, individually wrapped jerky . He likes taking frozen steaks and cooking them that night, or if cold weather they will be naturally refrigerated and keep longer. Meats are kinda tough on the trail, best to get in towns and cook pretty quickly. hikerwife

05-04-2005, 16:56
How much bulk, and how much? Please share.
Here's the site, Plodder:


Looks like 1 oz of freeze dried meat, depending on the type, for $4.75 to $5-something. They claim that, although the packaging says one serving, it is really a two-serving deal.

I think I will do some experimentation. Might beat carry the old tuna pouch for a little protein.

05-04-2005, 21:39
I haven't tried their meat, but adventurefoods.com has a large selection of dried and freeze dried foods in bulk. Check it out.


06-04-2005, 08:06
you may want to check out flavored tvp. tvp is texturized vegetable protein. its really great stuff and once you get the knck of it you can use it anywhere! (except for cleaning your stank pits!)

at www.watonfeed.com (http://www.watonfeed.com)

they have chicken,beef, bacon flavored tvp. much cheaper than the tvp at whole foods. you can use it to add to soups, make veggie burgers, throw it in pasta/mac cheese. it cooks faster than meat too. throw it on a stir fry etc etc.. super versatile protein and full of nutrition. you may also want to check out braggs soy sauce (every amino acid, i believe), quinoa, and yerba mate.
you can get those minute rices, but they suck at a nutrional level and for backpacking light and nutritional and fast is best. youd be better of getting some whole wheat elbows vs the uncle bens minute rice...

take care,

06-04-2005, 08:27
you may want to check out flavored tvp. tvp is texturized vegetable protein. its really great stuff and once you get the knck of it you can use it anywhere! (except for cleaning your stank pits!)

at www.watonfeed.com (http://www.watonfeed.com)

That should be www.waltonfeed.com (http://www.waltonfeed.com)
However, I can't figure out how to get to the TVP and other canned stuff from their homepage (maybe I'm just missing something), so try waltonfeed.com/self/labels/index.html to go directly there.

squirrel bait
06-04-2005, 09:19
Gumball, are you talking about the site www.freewebs.com/frezzerbagcooking/index.htm ? Excellent site. Looks like some great ideas.

06-04-2005, 20:22
I use to buy the bulk turkey and chicken every summer back in the early 90's, bulk Freeze dried from either BP or Mountain House (I cannot remember) via pro-deals. 2 bulk packs would last me a season. I tried the beef one year, but didn;t like as much as the chicken and turkey. I would just add a handful to my lipton noddles or ramen soup and be good to go.
I kept them stored in a ziplock with the air squeezed out and always kept a couple of those moisture absorption packs in with them and never had any issues.

The stuff is pricey, but it is super light, tasty and rehydrates well

06-05-2005, 20:23
Well that was a good link to watonfoods, I will read more later and consider it for next hike. But as far as storage goes for dehydrated meats, well there a few simple rules, make sure it is dried properly a friend bought some from a guy last year, it was not dried all the way, he vacuum sealed it, opened it three months later, ate it and got sick.

On the other hand I have dehydrated or dried meats, vacuum sealed them and ate them 2 years later and they were just fine. I Havea rubber maid container that I keep my vacuum sealed foods in, I ate the other day that had been in there a few years, and it tasted just fine and I did not get sick. My point is, if properly they will last a long time.

With that said I like anyone else prefer fresh meats, although I take a lot my own dried meats on the trail, I mark my maps (with a waterproof pen) where all of the fresh deli's, fruit and vegetable stands are within .5 to .75 miles from the trail. And i will walk there get have lunch, get something to go and have more fresh food for dinner. I have also carried hot dogs, bologna and such out of town, kept it in the center of my pack and ate it the next day(be careful here, if it does not smell right in the slightest way or if there is any doubt (listen to the angel whispering in your ear) do not eat it).

06-05-2005, 21:08
yup squirrelbait, that's the site--it is great! i haven't taken a pot backpacking in two years--freezer bag cooking is so much easier, no clean up.

06-06-2005, 09:17
That should be www.waltonfeed.com (http://www.waltonfeed.com/)
However, I can't figure out how to get to the TVP and other canned stuff from their homepage (maybe I'm just missing something), so try waltonfeed.com/self/labels/index.html to go directly there.
teehee, thanks for the typo correction! YOINK!

yea the ordering took me about 20 minutes to figure out. basically once you goto the order page you click the blue link in the middle of the boxes. (it says something about 32 ram and a download or some nonsense) once you click the link you get a list, alphabetized, everything they sell is there. i just purchased 48 pounds of dehydrated food for $130 you can get so much stuff there its insane. they have mix sets so you can order somethin like 14 #2.5 cans for a certain price etc. they have such better deals the the "just _____" company and it seems to beat out www.suttonsbaytrading.com (http://www.suttonsbaytrading.com) and www.beprepared.com (http://www.beprepared.com)

once you submit your order you will reciece a confirmation email, they ask you to accept the shipping charges and then will fulfill your oder. 50lbs of food ships for about $30.

i read about being able to create groups that can create purchasing power to give a further discount to the buyers. seems like a way some thru hikers could save some cash.

Happy Feet
06-07-2005, 19:20
I just put my dehydrator away yesterday. Did a bunch of veggies and spagetti sauce. There is a trick to dehydrating meat. Ground beef is easy -- just cook, drain if necessary, and dehydrate. It rehydrates great.

Chicken and pork are a different story, although you can do it with good results with just a little more work. If you don't take this extra step you might break a tooth while trying to eat it! My husband is an engineer and understands why this needs to be done, but I just know it works. Cook your chicken or pork with some cream of mushroom soup or some sauce that has fat in it. After it's fully cooked, shred the meat and then dehydrated. It will rehydrate really well.

Another good way to dehydrate is to prepare your favorite casserole (fully cooked) and dehydrate it. Since most casseroles have some fat in them, the meat will absorb the fat and rehydrate well.

Personally, I don't do meat anymore. It's too scary with all the hormones and antibiotics that are given to the animals. It's TVP for me! I can buy several flavors in bulk cheap at the local Seventh Day Adventist store 20 minutes away. It's not quite as yummy as meat, but it's a compromise that I can live with.

06-09-2005, 21:32
Get yourself a vac sealer ;) I have one, and use it all the time to seal food I dry, or buy in bulk. I have these tiny bags to put the stuff in.
You can buy large tins of freezedried meat from some companys - Alpine Aire is one. Look around, look at the major companies that sell it and price compare. But if you can't find a friend with a vac sealer, stay away from large amounts of the meat-the moisture in the air will wreck it fast.

Blue Sky II
06-10-2005, 06:17
Just go to www.adventurefoods.com (http://www.adventurefoods.com/) and select "bulk foods". Beef is about $35.00/lb and chicken is about $43/lb. On a couple of long-distance hikes I've keep their freeze-dried, diced beef in my drop-box. Its the only food I don't buy on the trail. I put three or four spoonfuls in my nightly meal of ramen, rice, or pasta and I never get tired of it. Adventure Foods is a great, supportive company and they'll mail to any trail town.