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#163777 - 03/12/12 02:23 PM Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried!
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
I just went tru all my home dehydrated meals for my trip. I was amazed at how light weight. Here is a list of what I have so far. I still have to put togetehr 2 trail pizzas and my bean burritos with blackbeans and rice.
2 Sloppy joe Kits

2 Tree Frog and Rattlesnake soup!

2 Spaggetti Ramen

2 Red Beans and Rice

2 Black Bean Soup

2 Lentil Soup

1Ham and Pea soup

2 Beef Stroganoff

1 Mushroom soup

1 Jumbalia w turkey sausage

1 Beef with mushroom gravy

Breakfast

2 Green Grits with Ham

3 Cream of wheat with fruit bluberrys and strawberrys.

3 oatmeal with fruit and raisin Strawberrys and bluberrys.

Granolla cereal with drid Bluberrys and Strawberrys.

Total weight for 18 lunch and suppers, plus ten Breakfast is.
seven lbs 9 oz! I am amazed! Now this doesnt count condiments like salsa packets But all dry spices were added during prep!
I still have my peanut butter cups, beef jerky and trail mix to add as well. I am even dehydrating the pizza sauce for my tortilla pizza kits. Sauce will have mushrooms and peppers dried added during rehydration of sauce!
I should also mention powdered milk is pre added to all oatmeal, cream of wheat and granolla cereal. I vacume sealed all meals. Dried ground beef was added to many soups stroganoff etc before vac sealing. This even include single serve spam packets for tree frog and Rattlesnake soup! I dried a few meals last two years and took freeze dried. My dried meals were better! They are for sure much lighter. Freeze dried packageing is often bulky and heavyer. I am using Tortillas for my sloppy Joes! I didnt sample all meals but most I have and I like. Oregon Mouse, you said you didnt have luck rehydrating peas? I got nervous and added some boiling water to dried frozen peas. I let hydrate 8 min in my cozy. They rehydrated excellent? They were a bit eldentae in the center but not hard at all. I used allot of split peas as well, they rehydrate very nice. It took a bit of time drying and packaging. But I think it is worth it now. Besides I am off this time of year so it keeps me busy!

It is better to try and fail than never try at all!



Edited by Kent W (03/12/12 02:25 PM)

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#163783 - 03/12/12 03:29 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Kent W]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Looks like you are off to a great start.
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#163792 - 03/12/12 04:55 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: finallyME]
HikerChick Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 18
Loc: CA
Sounds good,light weight, healthy and now I'm hungry too!

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#163799 - 03/12/12 06:46 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: HikerChick]
Dyingjohnnie Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 51
Loc: SLC, Utah
any body suggest a dehydrator? or will any susie homemaker model work? same for vacuum sealer..?
_________________________
You learn that what's important is how you got there, not what you've accomplished. - Yvon Chouinard

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#163806 - 03/12/12 08:46 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Kent W]
palameto Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 37
Loc: East Texas
I got a dehydrator about a month ago, but I haven't dehydrated anything yet. It seems like a big time investment, especially until you have an idea of how long things take. I don't want to start something overnight and find out it's been overdried to a brick the next morning. And I keep finding more fun things to do on the weekends! One of these days...

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#163813 - 03/12/12 09:53 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Dyingjohnnie]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
I use a nesco Pro model. If you do a search you will see the dehydrator issue has been worked a bit?

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#163814 - 03/12/12 09:56 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Kent W]
Dyingjohnnie Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 51
Loc: SLC, Utah
thanks guys
_________________________
You learn that what's important is how you got there, not what you've accomplished. - Yvon Chouinard

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#163816 - 03/12/12 10:23 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Dyingjohnnie]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Vac sealers are contraindicated for bear canisters. You want things to flow together, not stack unevenly with lots of air space between. Plus those bags are expensive to use and throw away.

Dehydrators with adjustable temperature is best. You can get any model with temp knob and do well, tho it is easier to line trays with parchment paper if they're rectangular. You want one that provides good air flow between the trays.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#163825 - 03/13/12 01:41 AM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: lori]
Dyingjohnnie Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 51
Loc: SLC, Utah
Thank you lori! I work at a vegan restaurant, and we have this monster mode dehydrator that we use for making all natural/raw crackers... After endless searching for good deals on premade meals... I'm starting to realize that making my own food stuffs is the way to go. Hell, I've been a cook for almost 10 years now... surely I can come up with something nifty hehe!
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You learn that what's important is how you got there, not what you've accomplished. - Yvon Chouinard

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#163839 - 03/13/12 10:24 AM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Dyingjohnnie]
Hawke Offline
member

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 48
Loc: Denver, CO
In the dehydrating world, the Excalibur line of dehydrators are considered top of the line for home dehydration. If you're going to be doing a lot of dehydrating, I highly recommend them. The problem with a lot of the stackable round ones is that A)they don't have a thermostat, and B)they don't have a fan to circulate the warm air. It takes much longer for things to dry, you have to regularly rotate the trays, and I lost almost half of whatever I was drying to mold growth.
An Excalibur is enclosed (with a door that is separate from the tray fronts, allowing you to use as many or as few trays as you wish), has up to 9 trays, varies in temp from 95 deg (for people who are doing "raw" food drying & want to keep the nutrients in it) all the way to 155, the desired temperature for meat. I can also proof bread & make yogurt in my Excalibur. They are expensive, but they almost always have refurbished ones on their website that are like new, with a 10 yr full replacement warranty.
I have been incredibly happy with mine, and wouldn't trade it for anything, especially now that I plan on making all my backpacking meals with it.

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#163851 - 03/13/12 01:54 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Hawke]
Dyingjohnnie Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 51
Loc: SLC, Utah
nice!
_________________________
You learn that what's important is how you got there, not what you've accomplished. - Yvon Chouinard

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#163867 - 03/13/12 09:06 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Hawke]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.

Originally Posted By Hawke
In the dehydrating world, the Excalibur line of dehydrators are considered top of the line for home dehydration. If you're going to be doing a lot of dehydrating, I highly recommend them. The problem with a lot of the stackable round ones is that A)they don't have a thermostat, and B)they don't have a fan to circulate the warm air. It takes much longer for things to dry, you have to regularly rotate the trays, and I lost almost half of whatever I was drying to mold growth.
An Excalibur is enclosed (with a door that is separate from the tray fronts, allowing you to use as many or as few trays as you wish), has up to 9 trays, varies in temp from 95 deg (for people who are doing "raw" food drying & want to keep the nutrients in it) all the way to 155, the desired temperature for meat. I can also proof bread & make yogurt in my Excalibur. They are expensive, but they almost always have refurbished ones on their website that are like new, with a 10 yr full replacement warranty.
I have been incredibly happy with mine, and wouldn't trade it for anything, especially now that I plan on making all my backpacking meals with it.


You obviously havent looked at round Nesco Dehydrators lately!
They do have a Fan and they do have a thermostat! My Thermostat goes from 95 to 160 degrees! I understand Excalibers are nice , but to dehydrate a few times a year and make Jerky? To Much cash. I have about 75.00 in my Nesco with seven trays, Four fruit roll trays and 4 fine mesh grids! I have also been using it for about 2 years now, No the trays havent warped from heat like some people claim.
No offense but I just had to clarify the false Nesco Statements.

It is better to try and fail than never try at all!

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#163898 - 03/14/12 05:58 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Kent W]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I don't think the make matters as much as long as the dehydrator has a fan, a thermostat and variable temperature controls.

I've found dried foods a little heavier than freeze-dried, but since I absolutely will not eat freeze-dried sawdust, there's no option for me. I do buy some freeze-dried items in bulk and add them to my meals (meat and some vegetables), and for longer trips I use freeze-dried fruit instead of home-dried.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#163916 - 03/15/12 08:01 AM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Kent W]
Hawke Offline
member

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 48
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By Kent W

You obviously havent looked at round Nesco Dehydrators lately!
They do have a Fan and they do have a thermostat! My Thermostat goes from 95 to 160 degrees! I understand Excalibers are nice , but to dehydrate a few times a year and make Jerky? To Much cash. I have about 75.00 in my Nesco with seven trays, Four fruit roll trays and 4 fine mesh grids! I have also been using it for about 2 years now, No the trays havent warped from heat like some people claim.
No offense but I just had to clarify the false Nesco Statements.

It is better to try and fail than never try at all!


I would like to clarify that I did not make any FALSE NESCO STATEMENTS. All I said is "a lot of the stackable ones". I attempted to make clear that having a thermostat & a fan were important items to have in a dehydrator. There are many types of dehydrators out there, and depending on your purchase point, your comfort level, how often you dehydrate, how much you dehydrate at a time, and what specifically you dehydrate, you will have different needs in a dehydrator. I don't mind you adding your personal experiences, Kent, but please don't make me out to be a panderer of Excalibur to the exclusion of all else, and above all, don't accuse me of lying.

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#163921 - 03/15/12 09:23 AM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Hawke]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
I was not making anyone out to be anything. Just wanted to clarify the generalzation that round tray dehydrators are not equiped with thermostats and fan. They dry very fast. I do not own a excaliber so I cant say they are faster and I dont care.
If you read at the bottom I said NO Offense, and none was ment!
If you also read previous the original post was directed at food weight not dehydrators. I beleive I posted earlier the dehydrator issue has been done to death in previous forums.

Have Nice Day


Edited by Kent W (03/15/12 09:25 AM)

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#163938 - 03/15/12 12:23 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: OregonMouse]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Having used nearly all the brands out there I can say as long as they are not over crowded with goodies they all work well.
I line my trays with parchment paper for small items or wet things.
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Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#163943 - 03/15/12 01:14 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Hawke]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
When I get around to replacing the Nesco that died in a year and half (the plastic literally disintegrated - too much use) I will be looking, not at the brand, but at the materials with which the unit is made. And I want a temp adjustment and square trays.

As with any kind of gear, buy what suits your needs.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#164043 - 03/16/12 09:48 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Kent W]
Swimswithtrout Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
My original ~1990 American Harvest "round" dehydrator with 6 stack-able trays is still going strong. Thermostat, fan etc.

The BIGGEST thing I did about the same time to speed up drying and save cost was to cut out my own tray liners from fiberglass window screen material.

The weave prevents the tiny crumbles of burger gravel, finely diced celery,carrot shreds,etc. from falling out of the manufactures "screen" tray, but still allows full airflow, unlike parchment paper liners.



I just throw the screen material into my dishwasher to clean and reuse. Mine are ~ 16 yrs old now and still perfect, vs how many sheets of parchment paper and the increased drying time from no airflow.
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#164152 - 03/19/12 12:23 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Swimswithtrout]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
THAT is a slick trick! I'm going to try that with mine. Thanks!

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#164159 - 03/19/12 05:47 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Swimswithtrout]
PDA Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 75
Brilliant. All the best ideas are (seemingly) so simple - but overlooked by most of us. Thank you.

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#164326 - 03/22/12 03:06 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: Dyingjohnnie]
bclapper3 Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/22/12
Posts: 3
Loc: MA
I bought a round one where the trays all have a whole in the middle for the blower to move the air through. I bought it because it was a little cheaper the the square ones. After using a few times I am finding that I wish I had bought the square one. Not that the one I have doesn't work great, I just think it would be easier to get things like peas and carrots into a ziplock bag if the tray didn't have a whole in the middle.

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#164329 - 03/22/12 03:43 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: bclapper3]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I use the round dehydrator (American Harvester) too, and it works just fine. I solve the getting-food-off-the-trays problem by removing it into a large bowl and then scooping it into freezer bags (which allows me to measure servings at the same time).

Watch out for those peas! When I tried dehydrating frozen peas, they were still the consistency of buckshot after 15 minutes of cooking! I buy freeze-dried peas and corn from Just Tomatoes or Packit Gourmet--they are less expensive bought in bulk. Restorative dentistry for broken teeth is a lot more expensive! Be sure to try rehydrating the dehydrated peas at home before you dehydrate any more.


Edited by OregonMouse (03/22/12 03:49 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#164464 - 03/27/12 05:20 PM Re: Home dehydrated meals lighter than freeze dried! [Re: OregonMouse]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I buy my freeze dried pees in a number 10 can at Walmart/Winco etc. I think all the supermarkets around here sell them, along with other freeze dried foods as well.
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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