Dehydrating food

Food topics, including recipes.

Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby corvus » Thu 13 Aug, 2009 8:33 pm

I use a Fowlers Vacola drier and would also love your protein bar recipe.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby climberman » Mon 31 Aug, 2009 7:06 pm

sunbernd wrote:Our longest trek without food drops has been 13 days. All with our own dried meals. I also make protein bars, kangaroo jerky, and dried fruits and fruit leathers.


Just a nudge for this one...... I'd love a protien bar recipe !
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Packing dehydrated food into Tasmania

Postby grizz » Tue 01 Sep, 2009 9:21 pm

Hi,
I'm doing the OT this summer and I might have a crack at prepping some dehydrated meals for the trip. I'll be flying down from Victoria; does anyone know if I should expect to have any trouble at the airport with some food packed for the trip? If I can't bring any un-processed foods down with me I don't see much point in investing the time in prepping meals.
Thanks.
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Re: Packing dehydrated food into Tasmania

Postby corvus » Tue 01 Sep, 2009 9:39 pm

grizz wrote:Hi,
I'm doing the OT this summer and I might have a crack at prepping some dehydrated meals for the trip. I'll be flying down from Victoria; does anyone know if I should expect to have any trouble at the airport with some food packed for the trip? If I can't bring any un-processed foods down with me I don't see much point in investing the time in prepping meals.
Thanks.


The short answer is NO only fresh fruit /veg will cause you grief.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby corvus » Tue 01 Sep, 2009 9:46 pm

climberman wrote:
sunbernd wrote:Our longest trek without food drops has been 13 days. All with our own dried meals. I also make protein bars, kangaroo jerky, and dried fruits and fruit leathers.


Just a nudge for this one...... I'd love a protien bar recipe !


And me please :)
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Keziah » Mon 11 Jan, 2010 11:18 am

We had our first go at dehydrating food 7 weeks ago.
We made spag bog, worked well. Took a lot less time than I expected and rehydrated really well.

We put some in the pantry to try in a couple of weeks, which we did and it was fine. Then I found another packet
this weekend and decided to give it a go, looked alright, smelled alright, tasted alright and I'm not dead yet
so I think it was alright. Lasting 7 weeks is pretty good I reckon. Going to try chicken next though, not
sure I'd risk that after 7 weeks.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Michael_Kingston » Mon 11 Jan, 2010 12:01 pm

Hi Keziah - if you put your meals into sealed ziplock type bags and then put them in the freezer they will keep for ages. I often make up a number of meals and then do this so I don't have to get the dryer out each time i walk.

Chicken also dries fine I have found as long as you use chicken mince. When i have tried chopping it into little cubes in the past it always turns out a bit tough and stringy.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby dancier » Sat 16 Jan, 2010 7:44 am

In the process of buying a dryer so have no experience in drying food but there are Some good vids on this site. This guys business is Ultralight backpacking/bushwalking equipment but he's got some great vids on food preparation.

Dehydrating part one!! with Sue and Tinny
http://www.youtube.com/user/minibulldes ... 04w9BqF2iw

Dehydrating part two!! with Sue and Tinny
http://www.youtube.com/user/minibulldes ... bGw6VriuEo
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Frosty2086 » Wed 24 Mar, 2010 12:02 pm

I dont know if it has been mentioned yet, but i will mention my own rehydration technique...

I carry a 1 litre wide mouth nalgene, with home de-hydrated food just boil a bit of extra water in the morning and chuck in your dinner and the water into the nalgene. This bobs around all day, then at night tip it into the pot, and boil. Good to go. I tend to do soups mainly. But have used this with dhall, chile con-carne, and bolagnase.

Good luck with the dehydrating. I have also just used the oven before, very sucessfully. Just spread sauce etc. out thinly on oven trays, and place in oven on very low heat. Pretty simple. For the energy concious you can just chuck your trays in after cooking something in the oven each night and use the residual heat, if your real keen!
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Re:

Postby enduro » Thu 15 Apr, 2010 9:25 pm

Joe wrote:What sort of dehydrater do you use? Might have to look into getting one.


I use my home/kitchen oven.

It's electric and fan assisted. I put the food on a cake rack on pans, set it at 100'c, prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon (allows humidity to escape) and 5-7 hours later I have dried food.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby enduro » Thu 15 Apr, 2010 9:32 pm

Frosty2086 wrote:I dont know if it has been mentioned yet, but i will mention my own rehydration technique...

I carry a 1 litre wide mouth nalgene, with home de-hydrated food just boil a bit of extra water in the morning and chuck in your dinner and the water into the nalgene. This bobs around all day, then at night tip it into the pot, and boil. Good to go. I tend to do soups mainly. But have used this with dhall, chile con-carne, and bolagnase.


I have used the same rehydrating technique for years. You just have to watch out for bogies [bacteria infections] keeping food warm for too long and your in big trouble. Using no oil to cook your lean meals is the best choice. Nasty bacteria types will stay and multiply in dried, but oily foods.

I heat the water up at lunchtime or afternoon tea, pour hot water (80'C plus) into a clean and dry container. A couple of hours later you have food ready to reheat or just eat.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby tas-man » Mon 26 Apr, 2010 1:54 pm

enduro wrote:. . . <snip> You just have to watch out for bogies [bacteria infections] keeping food warm for too long and your in big trouble. <snip> . . .


Had a reminder of this with a recent LWC walk where the leader came down with bad food poisoning :oops: from a batch of dehydrated food that was not as "dehydrated" as it should have been, resulting in a day in the bush in his tent recovering sufficiently to walk out. :mrgreen:
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby flatfoot » Mon 26 Apr, 2010 2:03 pm

tas-man wrote:
enduro wrote:. . . <snip> You just have to watch out for bogies [bacteria infections] keeping food warm for too long and your in big trouble. <snip> . . .


Had a reminder of this with a recent LWC walk where the leader came down with bad food poisoning :oops: from a batch of dehydrated food that was not as "dehydrated" as it should have been, resulting in a day in the bush in his tent recovering sufficiently to walk out. :mrgreen:


Bummer!?
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby enduro » Mon 26 Apr, 2010 5:27 pm

tas-man wrote:
enduro wrote:. . . <snip> You just have to watch out for bogies [bacteria infections] keeping food warm for too long and your in big trouble. <snip> . . .


Had a reminder of this with a recent LWC walk where the leader came down with bad food poisoning :oops: from a batch of dehydrated food that was not as "dehydrated" as it should have been, resulting in a day in the bush in his tent recovering sufficiently to walk out. :mrgreen:


It pays to smell everything before you eat it. Animals (that are capable of smelling) do it and so do I.

Smelling my food has prevented me (and others) from getting food poisoning many times.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Rocket » Tue 29 Jun, 2010 10:53 pm

Thanks all...been thinking about getting my own dehydrator..i'll be back to read some more.
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Re:

Postby Le-Loup » Thu 01 Jul, 2010 8:11 pm

Joe wrote:What sort of dehydrater do you use? Might have to look into getting one.


The sun or the wood stove oven with the door open.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby WarrenH » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 6:11 pm

For beef and lamb curries that are dehydrated, how long do you think that they could be stored on the trail and how would they be stored?

Six weeks is the time I'll be away from next month, and I'd like to have a good amount of (at least) jerky. I've read that zip-lock bags are not recommended for more than a few days out of a cool dry cupboard because of sweating then the food spoiling, so how could 6 weeks of dehydrated meat be stored? I have no real access to top-up my food resources while I'm away.

I don't have a food dehydrator but after pricing the New Zealand dehydrated trail food (and eating some for the first time in years) and being grossly disappointed with the paltry amounts of food for the rip-off prices, the dinner meals especially are disappointing and a wafer thin packet of jerky as a snack took only a minute to eat (@ $3.50 a minute for a few grams of meat) ... I now remember why I stopped buying New Zealand bush walking meals from camping stores.

I think that I'll buy a dryer, if I could be sure that I wouldn't poison myself.

For longer term storage up to 6 weeks? Your best advice is much appreciated. I've done lots reading on food prep but I can find nothing detailed about food storage when on the trail.

When I told the store guy that the Kiwi meals he sells were paltry, he suggested that a double meal is what he take walking. 42 days @ $19+ per day for a large serve evening meal ... is totally ridiculous.

Warren.

PS, The New Zealand dehydrated bush walking meals really do make your average poverty pack (2 minute noodles with an instant cup of soup thrown in, poured over the top of some Surprise Peas) look totally high-brow gourmet if not 'haute cuisine'. The US, dehydrated Sierra Mountains meals were extremely good. Sierra's hot caramel puddings were amazing. I didn't mind the expense on Sierra's meals, but camping stores stopped stocking them for the cheap New Zealand rubbish because they were expensive ... I was told. Buy cheap buy often.
Last edited by WarrenH on Sat 03 Jul, 2010 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Macca81 » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 6:59 pm

i have had my jerky stored for a couple of weeks in a ziplock bag once (i forgot about it...) and it was still fine after that time. when walking i always keep it in a ziplock, it does start to wear through the bag however. if you ware worried about it, id get a sistema or tupperware container and put it in (thats what mine live in while its in the cupboards at home)
geoskid wrote:nothing but the best of several brands will do :)
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Keziah » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 8:11 pm

I stored some home dehy spag bog in a zip log bag for 7 weeks with no problem (may have lasted longer but I ate it so will never know!). This was in my pantry though.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby climberman » Sun 04 Jul, 2010 9:04 am

Warren - grab a dehydrator. It's a very easy thing to do. The trick is to make sure you minimise fats in any meats - use good cuts, and/or skippy. Cook meals you like - spag bol, fried rice, curries, whatever. Make sure you get the 'trays' for liquids / leathers as well as the standard 'mesh' inserts on the dehyrdator shelf thingos. It means you can put in a whole curry or moist meal.

Cooked rice dehydrates very well, cheap and easy kilojoules. Do a few practice runs.

There are quite a fe threads on backpackinglight about it also. There are a few tricks with some fruit for dehydrating, but mostly to do with aesthetics - any instructions kit in the dehydrator you purchase will prolly mention the basics.

Will you carry 42 nights' food ? Even at 500g/day that's 21 kegs of tucker ! Yowser !
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby climberman » Sun 04 Jul, 2010 9:19 am

PS WarrenH - you can get dried commercially mince ready made- search on this site. I haven't used it but others here have. Might be a very handy addition if making so many nights' food.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby WarrenH » Mon 05 Jul, 2010 1:42 pm

Thank you for your thoughts and best advice. i

climberman wrote:Will you carry 42 nights' food ? Even at 500g/day that's 21 kegs of tucker ! Yowser !


Climberman, you aught to see what else I'm taking. I'm doing the Bicentennial National Trail from Killarney in Queensland to my home in the NW of the ACT plus a few hundred kilometres of NSW Travelling Stock Routes (like the Yarrowyck/Box Corner and Second Moombi TSRs). The TSRs not on the BNT are away from the National Trail, I'll top up some supplies in Walcha. 42 days should be about right if the rivers are passable, and I can beat the Spring rains and I don't get too distracted with photography. I'm expecting to push my bike a long way possibly more than 150 kilometres and then there will be portage, much portage. I'm used to pushing push-bikes. I'm doing the trail, not the advised alternate BNT routes for bikes. There will be some rivers that will not be passable, there will no doubt be a few hundred kilometres of back tracking.

I've a dual suspension mountain bike and I'm haulling a BOB Ibex trailer. 30 kg on the trailer as stores, 8kg in my rear panniers, my maps and toiletries in the handle bar box and my camera gear on my back and I've a couple of bar boxes for quick to get at stuff like reading glasses and snacks. My medical kit is heavy, no skimping and then there are bike spares and tools. Iso-butane as well. There is no hassle finding water on the BNT since there will be a lot of rainforest travel. I'm no novice to the BNT.

I just received a copy that I ordered of Mike Allan's 'Packhorse Trekking Manual' and in it he says, "Store dehydrated meat in a cloth bag not a plastic bag."

Warren.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby climberman » Mon 05 Jul, 2010 6:40 pm

Warren - cool. You could yarn with Huw Kingston regarding long distance bob trailering. He has done many thousands of k's, I'm pretty sure with a BOB.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby north-north-west » Mon 05 Jul, 2010 7:51 pm

Most dried foods come with a little sachet of silica gel. You know, an absorbant. It must be possible to buy the stuff commercially, or collect a few sachets and reuse them. They have a long life.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby SteveJ » Tue 06 Jul, 2010 2:21 am

Silica gel can be 're activated' (dryed out) by sticking it through the dehydrator also.

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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby WarrenH » Tue 06 Jul, 2010 6:55 pm

north-north-west, climberman and SteveJ, thank you.

I Googled food-grade silica gel sachets and got about 16,200 results in 0.18 seconds.

Now all is well with my camping world. Cheers.

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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Nuts » Tue 06 Jul, 2010 7:47 pm

Depending on time away from 'civilisation', another couple of handy items are a vacuum sealer (keeps things dry as well as compact (dunny rolls cant get much smaller)) and those porous vege bags for a few fresh items (extend the life of vegies 3/4fold)
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby climberman » Wed 07 Jul, 2010 10:51 am

Nuts wrote:those porous vege bags for a few fresh items (extend the life of vegies 3/4fold)


nuts, what are these ?
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Nuts » Wed 07 Jul, 2010 11:03 am

they are available in supermarkets, just a green 'vege' bag though the plastic is porous allowing the gasses to escape (somehow without letting oxygen in). There are two brands that iv'e seen. They are similar though the ones in the white box (that coles sell) seem to be the only ones available now locally (and they are a bit flimsy around the zip lock flaps)... They keep veges fresh a lot longer!
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Kelly Jones » Wed 15 Dec, 2010 7:37 pm

Has anyone tried using solar dehydrating? I bought a parabolic solar cooker about six months ago, and use it on sunny days with a black pressure cooker or black frypan to make my evening meal. I haven't tried dehydrating yet, as I'm still musing on the design.

My general idea is to use a lightweight black metal container with transparent perforated cover to keep insects out. To create circulating air, and help carry moisture out of the container, it'd need a ring of small holes in the container's walls near the base, and also perforations in the lid. Then I think a couple of ordinary cake trays. Any criticisms on the design?

Once I get the dehydrating set up working, I'll post some photos or maybe a link to a video.


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