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Question Food Dehydrator - recipes.

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by DPS Driver, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

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    Hi all, I'm new to the food dehydrator world, well let me rephrase that, the "do it yourself' food dehydrating.

    My son wanted to get into it and so we are now the proud owners of a Sunbeam dehydrator. We did some fruit on the weekend to break it in but that's about it.

    I know we've got a bunch of seasoned dehydrators here, so thought I'd ask for some tips recipes for some of your best work. ie cuts of meat which are best for jerky, marinades, rubs, best veggie recipes etc.

    Please feel free to share. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Kangaroo and venison make great jerky. Low fat is the key. Fats go rancid. Broc, cauli and carrot rehydrate well and so does onion. Kiwi fruit, pineapple, strawberry and banana are great also. We do curries and laksa but tend to do them without added veges. Put the veges in afterward. You can also buy dehydrated coconut milk to add later when cooking at camp. Shepherds pie with Deb topping and usual spag bol. We do find mince meat comes back quicker and not so chewy and we blend up the dried mince to make it smoother. Chunky meat can dry on the outside and the inside can still be moist. You should buy a vacuum sealer also. This will keep things good for so much longer. Pumpkin soup is another favourite but it needs a blend also as it comes out like a fruit rollup.
     
  3. buckwheat

    buckwheat One of Us

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    We've recently been exploring the joys of mouth feel. So whatever you rehydrate, see if you can add something crunchy to. For example, add some tortilla chips to a chili con carne, or crunched up poppadums to a curry or korma. Will change your world!
     
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  4. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Con carne is my go to, I put the whole mixture in the machine in small batches. Plus double the chilli as I find it’s half the strength once re-hydrated
    Can’t go wrong fruits, personally really love the pears and nectarines
    Once the meals are dehydrated I weigh them into around 160g bags
     
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  5. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cooked rice rehydrates well - so rice-based meals can be great.
     
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  6. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It is actually lighter once cooked and dehydrated. Also uses less fuel (quicker) than cooking rice from scratch. Dehy pasta also. We used to be able to buy 3 minute pasta but have not seen it for quite some time. Get into a habit of weighing out a serving or weight what you have on each tray to start with then weigh again when finished and this will give you an idea of how much water to add. Write it down on the bag. Getting the serving size right helps.

    The next thing is working out the system of rehydrating that goes with how you travel. Thinking about dinner when you get to camp and getting your meal in the water before you start other things means the food has longer to reconstitute. A bit of heat helps that too but no need to boil it.
     
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  7. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Totally, great Kilojoules/grams bang for buck!
     
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  8. legend

    legend One of Us

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    Precook the many different curries (one of our favs is Mango Chicken curry). Just cook the meal normally (make enough for several meals at a time). Curries tend to be a bit oily, so put them in a paper bag first(The paper absorbs the surplus oil.) After getting off the surplus oil, rebag in another paper bag then place in a ziplock bag.
    Oh - btw - use chicken thighs (much better than the breast), pull apart and shread when cooked with a fork. This helps greatly with the drying process and you don't get the hard bits when rehydrating.
    Many driers say dry at max heat (50-60º) for meats and chicken - this cooks everything and will turn everything black or very dark in colour. I found the best temps are 40º.
    Many years ago when we were making our own driers there was a great book - "Dry It - You'll like it."
    They warned you not to dry anything over 40º.
     
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  9. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Spag bol, so easy.
    Boil low fat mince and drain.
    Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and spices, some sugar and cook.
    Add cooked short spaghetti and mix thoroughly
    Dehydrate, go forth, rehydrate and eat, yum.
    Strawberries are great too.
     
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  10. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    I tend to make a dried fruit trail mix of various fruits kiwi fruit gold & green, strawberries rasberries, pineapple, apple, pear. use the summer season for tropical fruits to your advantage. Add your seeds pepita or goji berries or what you like.
    experiment with the sliced fruit thickness, the thinner the crispier the thicker the chewier..

    This is a great thread lets keep it going !!!
     
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  11. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

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    We're still experimenting with fruit.
    Oranges came our really good. Kept the skin on. Blueberries take huge hours to do. We put them in with the apples and oranges for 9 hours and they needed a lot more time. Haven't redone them yet.
     
  12. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I make jerky and dehydrated fruit, but soups and curries? There must be different style dehydrators for this. Mine and the ones I’ve seen are an open lattice try system. It isn’t going to end well putting pumpkin soup in there. How do you guys dehydrate ‘liquid’ foods?
     
  13. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    you can get a plastic liner tray for the dehydrators, they have slightly turned up edges.
     
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  14. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I’ll have to look into that for my model.
     
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  15. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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  16. legend

    legend One of Us

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    When preparing curries and other meals with chunky ingredients, squash or shred these down with a fork. You want uniformed pieces so all dries evenly.
    For the soupy curries, don't get rid of the juice - (they make it very tasty) place on a solid tray (coat thinly with oil it first otherwise the food sticks. The top will dry first leaving the underneath still wet. Place this onto the mesh trays, dried (solid) part face down and the rest of the meal will dry out evenly.
     
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  17. Ricardo64

    Ricardo64 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    try baking paper- the trick is thin layers
     
  18. Owen_Makalu

    Owen_Makalu Hard Yards

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  19. Ian

    Ian One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I make my own jerky for ski trips.
    I have a Fowlers Vacola and use the marinade recipe in the book that came with it. Your Sunbeam may too.
    It's important to marinade in salt to stop bacteria growing on it during dehydration.
    I buy a cut of meat with little or no marbled fat, freeze it and just before marinating partially defrost it so it's much easier to slice into consistent thickness strips so it all dries in about the same time.
    I dry mine hard and bag up straight in the freezer, I eat it all within a week of taking it out of the freezer. I don't chase down every skerrick of fat, but if you want it to last unrefrigerated for more than a few days you should.
    I did try thinly sliced sizzle steaks and they worked well although a little tough.
     
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  20. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Also makes a difference to it’s ‘chewiness’ whether you slice along the grain or across the grain. If you like a ‘stingy’ style jerky, then slice along the grain, and for a easier chew, slice across the grain. I don’t mind either but for a trail snack I think across the grain would be less effort to eat.
     
  21. teleroo

    teleroo Ignored Member Ski Pass: Gold

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    Currently got my dehydrator cranking, drying fruit for upcoming ski trips. Started dehydrating at the tail end of summer. Found the humid summer air here in the Illawarrra not that helpful in terms of dehydrating food. So this dry westerly air we have at the moment is working a treat. @DPS Driver I think you may be in Qld, so aim for periods of low humidity air if you can.

    There is a cheapy fruit and veg shop nearby where I can get apples, pears etc for $2/kg etc. I like them with the skin on for a bit of texture. Also found the red apples with more intense flavours are good for dehyd. Granny smith's seem to lose some of their zing for some reason. I have found that fruit tends to shrink quite a bit. What I have found works is load up the dehydrator with fruit, run on high for 6 hours or so, then shuffle all the fruit around and repack and usually that will free up about a third of the capacity. Then add in another third of fruit and run on medium overnight. That way you can get a bit of bonus capacity out of the dehydrator.

    Have not yet experimented with dinners. Some commentary here about eliminating fat because it will go rancid. But is that just animal fat? Personally I find I need some fat in the meal to feel full. But did note the tip about adding dried coconut milk to curries when rehydrating. The idea of dehydrating curries is appealing. Any more tips on this - I am just thinking most curry pastes are rather oily. Could use curry powders and minimal oil during cooking, then add coconut powder at rehyd time?
     
    #21 teleroo, Aug 23, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
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  22. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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    Can anyone advise on re-hydration tips and tricks @Untele-whippet ?

    Add water slowly or bunk in the required volume in one?

    What's the dried-weight to water ratio? That kind of thing.
     
  23. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    I use 2:1 weight ratio water to dehyd.
    So add 1 cup water per 100 g dehyd and I normally leave this to soak in for a while before heating.
     
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  24. legend

    legend One of Us

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    I boil the water, then pour over the meal, just covering.
    If I am taking a salad (coleslaw, beetroot, mushroom, spring onion, chicken thigh/smoked salmon/tuna) for lunch I put this in a peanut butter jar (perfect size), add cold water till almost covered at breakfast. It's perfect at lunchtime.
     
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  25. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    You can always add more water but it is harder to take it away. A bit of heat to start with helps with meat things but if you have time then soaking will do fine. Veges come back quicker.
     
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  26. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    i love curries, and ive dehydrated my own, and take away with rice, and it tastes great......but somehow just on its own with rice and not the other colours, in the snow, has this look about it that has put me off it
     
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  27. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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  28. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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  29. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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    Green Gully Track from Sunday with 2 old school mates.

    Spag bol for the win

     
  30. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds great! It's on the hit list :) Love to hear how it goes.
     
  31. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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    Apparently rather damaged from the bushfires but recovery now in full swing.

    this is 3rd attempt at making it happen. Booked and paid this time last year for Nov - First set of dates canned due to fires, March rescheduled dates canned due to Covid.
     
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  32. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Did it a few years ago,
    Recommend!
    There is a BIG downhill on day 2.
    Enjoy.
     
  33. philthree

    philthree Addicted

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    IME using a food dryer to dehydrate fruits increases their sweetness (yum), however savoury meals (curries, spag' bog etc) seem to become more bland when rehydrated. I usually take extra seasoning in the field to compensate. Favourite for me on a trip is to soak dehydrated fruit overnight then add them and the liquid to my porridge.
     
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  34. zac150

    zac150 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have always found dehydrating the ingredients separately and cooking as you normally would is the best way to get great flavoured meals. I’ve seen a few people add a little too much water in the rehydrate and loose flavour and as others have said some flavours can be lost in the dehydration rehydration process.

    for meat I tend to use mince to get uniformity and if cooking sausages I boil then de skin them. With the meat I might add a little extra if I want a subtle flavour like orange juice if I’m doing a lamb targine.

    I tend to go to the markets and buy spice mixes to make up meals, but some of our favourites

    beef pho
    Moroccan lamb
    Mango chicken curry
    Beef stroganoff
    Devilled snags
    Curry snags
    Tacos

    I’ve recently discovered pearl cous cous so will work out a lamb stew to go with this.
     
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  35. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    OK so the Spag bol sauce and thai red curry are cooked, dried and a test meal rehydrated and eaten.
    I have cooked extra rice (the rice cooker does not understand one serving) and am wondering, is it worth drying some to take on our hike?
     
  36. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Do it. You can work out then if dehydrating rice is worth it for you. Also cooking rice in a saucepan is pretty simple. One cup of rice and two cups of water. Bring to boil and put a tight lid on then turn down to low for 15 minutes. Low means low too. Brown rice will take longer. This method also works in the bush.
     
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  37. Greybeard

    Greybeard Addicted

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    In the bush, I cover dehydrated rice with boiling water in a thermos type mug, place in sleeping bag, go for a ski, and have fluffy rice on return. Very energy efficient, easy and reliable.
     
  38. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

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    I can't wait for the stone fruit season to come on in full swing. We've been doing lots of fruit, as we haven't been away camping or anything of the like.

    We all like dried fruits and it's been great experimenting with different timings etc to vary the end result. Dry versus chewy and semi dried etc. We had our first mangoes for the season this week but they didn't get anywhere near the dehydrator.
     
  39. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    So I did a test run and followed @Greybeard procedure above (well without the sleeping bag and going for a ski bit sadly) and voila, fluffy white rice.