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#170491 - 10/13/12 11:20 AM DIY dehydrated foods!
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Tired of crappy pre packaged dehydrated foods? I was taught this from a lady I did some work for. Being into gardening and preserving the summer spoils I started making my own spaghetti sauce. Using a fruit roll sheet I pour the sauce onto the sheets, turn on the dehydrator to 135* and let her rip for 4-8 hours depending on humidity. Fresh vegetables sliced to 1/4" also works well, sweet onions taste great. Really your imagination is the only limit.

One I want to try is potatoes and squash,does anyone have any experience? Or for that matter any favorite dish that lends it self to dehydration well?

Please post your experience and recipes.
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The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170495 - 10/13/12 11:59 AM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: rockchucker22]
Hawke Offline
member

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 48
Loc: Denver, CO
I dehydrate cooked spaghetti squash all the time. 6-8 hrs at 135. Rehydrates like a dream.

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#170498 - 10/13/12 12:35 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: Hawke]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Great idea! Would go great with some spaghetti sauce.

What about eggs, anyone try this?
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#170499 - 10/13/12 12:42 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: rockchucker22]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Would this work with ground beef or sausage? I'm not a vegan, and like my protien, in spaghettie sauce. I've pondered getting a food dehydrater for a long time, but I really don't cook, and I also wouldn't know whay type of dehydrator to get.

I can do stuff like spaghetti sauce, chili, and things that are easy to do in the Crock Pot, like beef stew, etc..

Is it feasible to dehydrate stuff like that Rockchucker?

Or should I stay with mountain house. Truth is, when I get hungry, I can eat just about anything, so I don't really mind the "commercially prepared stuff", but would't mind my own homemade stew, and whatever else I can do in a crockpot or skillet.

J.

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#170501 - 10/13/12 12:48 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: jbylake]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I'm not 100% sure, I would guess it would, especially of you vacume seal it. I use the dehydrator to make jerky, same principle really. Don't buy one, there are great plans for building them. When I get home later I'll look up the link of my next build.
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The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170508 - 10/13/12 03:25 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: rockchucker22]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Lots of info on dehydration for backpacking on my favorite website, trailcooking.com

From my own experience: some veggies don't reconstitute well; dehydrated peas in particular (after long cooking which reduced the chicken and rice dish they were a part of to mush, the peas were still the consistency of buckshot). Chopped spinach, on the other hand, works great! Chicken needs to be pressure cooked first (use canned chicken). All meat needs to be in really tiny pieces or it will remain rather crunchy. If you are dehydrating large amounts of meat, you're just as well off to order the large packages of freeze-dried meats from Packit Gourmet--assuming you use high-quality meat to dehydrate, as you should, the price will be about the same. This isn't true for smaller amounts, though.

Above all, be sure to dehydrate just a small amount of a new dish the first time and try it out at home (see my above experience with the peas!).
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#170509 - 10/13/12 05:52 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: OregonMouse]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
What a great site! I bookmarked it!
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The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170511 - 10/13/12 07:06 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: OregonMouse]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
OM-

Yeah, I had the same experience with dehydrated peas. Now I either leave them out or whirl dehydrated peas in my blender just to break them up a little, then add to the dish.

CamperMom

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#170515 - 10/13/12 09:17 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: OregonMouse]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
That and green beans. Little pleather rocks I swear! Although I did blanch and dry fresh local grown ones this summer and they dried well, so my lesson was dry home grown! smile
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Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#170519 - 10/13/12 10:11 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: sarbar]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I never was fond enough of green beans to want to try.... laugh

For those who don't know, Sarbar is the owner of the trailcooking.com website and my heroine!
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#170521 - 10/13/12 10:48 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: sarbar]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By sarbar
That and green beans. Little pleather rocks I swear! Although I did blanch and dry fresh local grown ones this summer and they dried well, so my lesson was dry home grown! smile
Any advice??? thanks
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170525 - 10/14/12 09:50 AM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: rockchucker22]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
I'm more likely to buy bags frozen veggies when they are "on special," cook to doneness in the microwave, cool slightly, and dehydrate. Most foods will never be the same as before dehydrating, but acceptable for a cooked food, especially on the trail, and especially in someting like a stew or sauce.

Cooked and dehydrated mashed potatoes and squashes, any variety, and greens such as cabbage, and bok choy, protein sources, such as canned (= pressure cooked)fish or meat, and thawed surimi come back very close to freshly cooked, in my experience. Ground cooked meats usually work pretty well, as might shredded meat preparations like BBQ pork. (Hubby actually liked some that I brought along for a long trip. He is my "acid test.")

You can use a hairdryer pointed into a vented box of some sort to try your hand at dehydrating foods, and sometimes a microwave on very low power, but if you can acquire a dehydrator with variable heat and very good airflow, you may have better results. The quality of all of my efforts improved greatly once I invested in an Excalibur dehydrator. There are a few others that are recommended. Check the archives here or at or food-preserving@yahoogroups.com.

Good Luck,

CamperMom


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#170534 - 10/14/12 12:54 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: CamperMom]
Hawke Offline
member

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 48
Loc: Denver, CO
When I make my paleo FBC dinners, I used dehydrated spaghetti squash & dehydrated spaghetti sauce, then I add Freeze Dried meats that I get from Honeyville. Usually a combo of pork sausage and ground beef. It's delish!

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#170541 - 10/14/12 04:24 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: rockchucker22]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
http://blog.trailcooking.com/2012/09/18/dehydrating-green-beans/
This summer I added a number of quick "how-to's" to my blog smile
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Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#170552 - 10/14/12 08:31 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: sarbar]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By sarbar
http://blog.trailcooking.com/2012/09/18/dehydrating-green-beans/
This summer I added a number of quick "how-to's" to my blog smile
With certain fruit balancing opens up the cell structure allowing for better drying.

By the way love love love your site!
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The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170573 - 10/15/12 10:24 AM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: OregonMouse]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I make chili and dehydrate. Make it a bit less spicier than you like, and make sure you rinse and drain fat from the beef as well as you can. The dehydrating process intensifies spice.

Any meat should be cut small or thin and trimmed of as much fat as possible prior to going in the dehydrator. Any dish can be dehydrated - Fork in the Trail is full of meals you'll never see on Mountain House bags, and each recipe has dehydrating instructions.
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#170574 - 10/15/12 10:37 AM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: lori]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By lori
I make chili and dehydrate. Make it a bit less spicier than you like, and make sure you rinse and drain fat from the beef as well as you can. The dehydrating process intensifies spice.

Any meat should be cut small or thin and trimmed of as much fat as possible prior to going in the dehydrator. Any dish can be dehydrated - Fork in the Trail is full of meals you'll never see on Mountain House bags, and each recipe has dehydrating instructions.
do you use the trey for fruit leathers?
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170586 - 10/15/12 12:48 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: lori]
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
I wonder if it would work to use extra lean beef, form thin patties, and then grill them (like hamburgers). Grilling meat lets the fat drain away better than browning it in a skillet, and if you use charcoal or wood, you get a nice smoke flavor. You could season the meat before grilling it, too.

Once grilled you can chop it up small for dehydration -- maybe a food processor?

Would that work, or am I way off?
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"Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls."

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#170587 - 10/15/12 12:52 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: rockchucker22]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Not that you asked me, but I'll pipe up - I don't use the liner trays with my dehydrators. I prefer parchment paper, I buy the massive roll at Costco. I find for me it works better, but that is my personal feelings ;-)
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#170591 - 10/15/12 01:50 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: sarbar]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Parchment paper has advantage of paper allowing moisture release while plastic/tefln liners trap water. Food on the latter trays can only dry from one side at a time.

+1 for Sarbar!

CM

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#170597 - 10/15/12 02:17 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: CamperMom]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Another parchment paper fan here. I use the plastic tray (only have one) only if what I want to dehydrate is really liquid (like soup).

If you do any baking at home, parchment paper is great for lining baking pans, too.


Edited by OregonMouse (10/15/12 02:18 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#170601 - 10/15/12 04:05 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: OregonMouse]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Parchment paper it is! Thanks great advice.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170605 - 10/15/12 05:27 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: rockchucker22]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
I should add that I did a trial of drying my almond meal on 3 types of liners and the parchment paper worked the best and was the fastest! Slowest? Plastic wrap. Yech, never again!!!!!

I use a lot of parchment paper - I have the fancy sil pat baking sheet liners but honestly I prefer the paper. I bake a lot smile
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#170611 - 10/15/12 07:42 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: sarbar]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Parchment paper can be expensive. I've found that if I'm REALLY careful and gentle, I can wash and reuse a sheet at least once.

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#170618 - 10/15/12 08:50 PM Re: DIY dehydrated foods! [Re: CamperMom]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I found parchment paper that is siliconized - it is more durable and lasts through a few cycles of dehydrating. I use the same sheet for the same thing - don't recycle the chili parchment paper for pineapple bits, etc.
_________________________
"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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