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#129808 - 03/01/10 07:57 PM What am I doing wrong with my food dehydrating?
ncmtns Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 90
Loc: NC
My wife made a killer potato soup with all fresh ingredients. I decided to dehydrate some in my dehydrator. A good 12 hrs later it is totally dried out. So I hydrate it with boiling water. 20 minutes later its all soft and ready to eat. It had the consistency of grainy instant potatoes and a sort of plastic funky taste. I think I could eat it but it isnt near as good as the original. Am I missing something here or should I expect rehydrated soups to taste like this? thanx, bill

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#129812 - 03/01/10 08:44 PM Re: What am I doing wrong with my food dehydrating [Re: ncmtns]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
That's why you try every dish out at home before doing any dehydrating in quantity! Not everything is going to taste good when dried and then rehydrated. Chicken is another thing that doesn't work well; unless it has been pressure-cooked (or chopped really, really fine) before dehydrating, you'll end up with chicken jerky. A number of vegetables don't dehydrate well; I once tried a casserole dish with peas, which even after 20 minutes of cooking were still the consistency of buckshot. Since then I've used freeze-dried veggies for the most part. Chopped spinach dehydrates well, though, and works great in Italian rice dishes.

Don't give up; just keep trying different things. Check out Sarbar's website for lots of ideas if you haven't already.


Edited by OregonMouse (03/01/10 08:46 PM)
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#129832 - 03/01/10 10:31 PM Re: What am I doing wrong with my food dehydrating? [Re: ncmtns]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Not sure what happened, but it could have been your dehydrator was set too high (or has no thermostat? I have one of the really simple ones without a thermostat and it warped the trays) - I have discovered the hard way that not all dehydrators are created equal.

You might try replicating the soup with instant potatoes, milk or sour cream powder (packit gourmet has powdered butter, cheese, milk and other similar hard to find ingredients in their general grocery section) and whatever spices. Nothing you dehydrate will come back exactly the same as the original recipe - that's pretty much a given. Some things you can help along by soaking longer (like hamburger gravel) and others by throwing in a cookpot rather than just trying to rehydrate in a cozy, but not a lot of things are going to be just like home cooked, I'm afraid.

Fortunately if you hike long and hard enough anything tastes good. crazy
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#129862 - 03/02/10 09:20 AM Re: What am I doing wrong with my food dehydrating? [Re: lori]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
You might also try dehydrating the ingredients separately. Instead of making a soup, and then dehydrating, cook each item individually, and then dehydrate. Put it all together, and then rehydrate. I haven't tried it, so don't quote me.
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#129885 - 03/02/10 12:37 PM Re: What am I doing wrong with my food dehydrating? [Re: ncmtns]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
I have never been a fan of drying soups. It just takes SO long to bake out all the water. That is one area where making it on the trail is worth putting it together (and it needn't take long).

On soups though....cream based (milk) can turn taste after drying. Especially with really long dry times.

Also, did you dry on a liner tray or use parchment paper?
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Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
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#129898 - 03/02/10 03:48 PM Re: What am I doing wrong with my food dehydrating? [Re: sarbar]
ncmtns Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 90
Loc: NC
Sarbar.. i used a plastic tray...not good?

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#129899 - 03/02/10 05:43 PM Re: What am I doing wrong with my food dehydrating? [Re: ncmtns]
ncmtns Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 90
Loc: NC
I just rehydrated my wife's white bean and chicken chili. It turned out almost perfect! Im excited at least this recipe will work.

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#129949 - 03/03/10 10:32 AM Re: What am I doing wrong with my food dehydrating? [Re: ncmtns]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
You might find you like using parchment paper better tastewise. Just cut to fit!
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Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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