What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

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Old Fashioned
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by Old Fashioned » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:47 am

ok so I'm kind of on a mission to increase preps. Canning & freezing are great & easy.....been there, done that & still do it. If the power is out I'd have to do a lot of canning and drying so not to lose the freezer stuff. And if push comes to shove, I will water bath if I have too. I have learned that 3 hours is a standard time for low acids & meats....definitely not looking forward to that and pressure canning is back under serious consideration. Still, canned goods are only great if we bug in and I've stayed away from having to bug out. If we can drive, then we can pack more, but if we have to walk out for a couple hundred miles for days or weeks or possibly months at my slower pace, canned goods won't be part of the luggage program.

So I am now putting some focus on drying foods. Much lighter weight and can pack alot more to last us longer. Us being the 4 of us, with 2 dogs and 2 cats. Thankfully dog & cat food is pretty much based on human food.....just different amounts for different nutritional requirements. And in a bug out situation, it is only temporary and shouldn't effect our overall health or those of the animals if we all have to eat 'rations'.

Fruits, veggies, eggs, and whatnot don't seem to be a problem, but meats are another matter as far as being 'shelf stable' without a freezer. With the possible exception of burger. But I think I might try an experiment of cooking or using leftover steak/roast/chicken that has been cleaned of all fat and rinsed in the same manner as burger and vacuum seal it in bags and keep in the outdoor cabinet, just to see what happens. This can give me a good idea of what I'm looking at & if it can work or if I have to buy dried meats.

What I've been thinking of doing to keep it easier on us in such a situation was to cook everything before drying it, then seal it in individual bag pouches with meat, veggies, starch/carbs, seasonings/bullion ....so all we had to do was to add some water to reconstitute. This way we could eat on the go instead of having to carry a pot to cook it, or build a fire to do so. I guess you could call it 'homemade MRE's' I'll keep looking into this.

I also got an idea of 'doggie biscuits'.......but not just for the dogs and as a meal of sorts, not a treat. Possibly puree or finely chop/shred meats, veggies & other ingredients....then form & bake. When cooled, vacuum seal. Hand held nutrition in a bar or cookie with a bottle of water to wash it down.

Definately not 5 star gourmet, but survival. Ideas? Suggestions? I'm all ears

Old Fashioned
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by Old Fashioned » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:30 pm

Today I cooked, washed and dried some burger gravel. I also boiled up some taters, some I sliced and some I mashed and spread on trays. I'm thinking I should do it differently next time for the mashed but we'll see how they turn out. Also put in some bananas and just a dab of leftover veggies.

I'm also thinking about trying some cooked rice & pasta. Still looking at websites & youtube about doing other types of meats besides burger. I also told hubs that as soon as I can get a good supply of dried stuff and some bags for the vacuum sealer, he can help me bag & seal it.


I have also found a great idea for homemade protein bars & granola bars that is pretty much the same basic of Rice Krispie treats, but add nuts, seeds, dried fruits, rolled oats or whatever you want I guess to the melted marshmallow. |em24|

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calendula
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by calendula » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:39 am

I like the doggie biscuits idea. I have been getting into make my own pet food because most commercial stuff is so highly processed and has lots of junk in it. I may start a thread on that.

If the meat is heavily salted, I know it will keep for a long time. But then its really salty, so I don't know if it could be rinsed to get some of the salt off?

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Farmfresh
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by Farmfresh » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:52 am

That is what they did to dehydrated fish back in the day. They would salt the fresh fish down, dry it and the soak it in a couple of changes of fresh water before cooking or eating.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
"Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT !"
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Old Fashioned
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by Old Fashioned » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:10 am

calendula wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:39 am
I like the doggie biscuits idea. I have been getting into make my own pet food because most commercial stuff is so highly processed and has lots of junk in it. I may start a thread on that.

If the meat is heavily salted, I know it will keep for a long time. But then its really salty, so I don't know if it could be rinsed to get some of the salt off?
Yes and the same with ham. Not what you find in the store today, but in the past. I even remember hams Ma would buy and have to soak with several changes of water to get as much salt out as possible.

As for the 'doggie biscuits' I also meant for people and making them big enough that only 1 or 2 per person or dog would make something of a meal.

I'm not sure I want to deal with fish, unless it's smoked with a brine. Now that's some good eating. |em24|

Dirtdevil
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by Dirtdevil » Sat May 18, 2019 9:45 am

I'd like to talk about Dehydrating. I've been doing it a long time. I have a ten tray excaliber that I have been using for ten years almost continuously in the fall after harvest but I do store bought stuff, mostly potatoes, year round. I never try and reconstitute any of it except the potatoes which can then be fried but everything else is reduced to a powder but somewhere I would have to explain my diet to understand why. I consider the Excaliber overpriced for what it is but certainly can't complain about the durability . Having never used a less expensive model I can't say if they would be more cost effective in the long haul. I dry large amounts of kale, broccoli, parsley, carrots, beets, and some onions. Aside from the dehydrator my number one tool is a Kitchen Aid food processor. I drop everything into that and slice it or shred it so it all dries much quicker and with less energy and effort on my part. Everything I dry gets vacuums sealed.

Mainly I'd like to know how others do potatoes. I slice them in the food processor about a heavy eighth of an inch thick. I dump them in boiling water for six or seven minutes and then space them out on a tray. Ninety five percent of them come out really nice. The others did not get cooked well enough and end up with a black spot in the middle. I toss those to the worms. What I have never been able to do well is hash browns. They always turn to mush or come out discolored. Any body else do them well?

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Farmfresh
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by Farmfresh » Sat May 18, 2019 12:20 pm

You do basically what I do to dehydrate potatoes. I have never tried dehydrating them as hash browns, but when I COOK them as hash browns one thing I always do is salt them and let them drip out the extra water. Just grate them up, add about a tablespoon of salt (6-8 potatoes) and mix well then let them sit in a colander over a bowl to catch the liquid that drips out. I let them sit about 5 to 10 minutes before putting them in the skillet to fry.

I wonder if you did the same procedure, then the quick blanch and dehydrate how they would turn out?
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
"Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT !"
Every little bit ... is a little bit.

Dirtdevil
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by Dirtdevil » Sat May 18, 2019 2:49 pm

Who is the idiot who put the delete key just above the backspace key. Didn't they think for a moment about ham fisted idiots? Anyway I just erased a good chunk of post.

The gist of it is that I don't actually use the potatoes I have dried. They all go into preps because a time will come when I'll have to find a way to feed some of the people I know including two sons that still live in the area. I don't see anybody else storing food despite the fact that shortages are becoming an obvious issue. People think that the supermarket will always be there or else Amazon will drop them food out of drones. I can't imagine turning a hungry person away but neither can I take care of them. Potatoes are cheap and can sustain a person for quite a while so I put up as much as I can. I can probably offer a hungry stranger a bowl of potato soup with some other dried veggies in it or maybe bean soup. Then they need to move on. I have also stored hundreds of pounds of various dried beans. I know that everyone is tired of the chicken Little warnings but regardless, time is short for any serious stockpiling of food. It is about to become much more expensive and much harder to come by. I don't know how many people will read this but if you do, do yourself a favor and try an extended fast. I mean something serious, like five days. It will give you a whole new perspective on what is really important to you.

However if I did use any of the hundreds of pounds of potatoes I have stored. ( talking about pre-dried weight) then your way of reconstituting them sounds like a plan.

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Farmfresh
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by Farmfresh » Sat May 18, 2019 3:16 pm

BTW... I do a lot of veggie powders too in my dehydrator. Sweet potato, kale, spinach and several others dehydrated into a powder make an easy way to hide veggies inside of dinner.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
"Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT !"
Every little bit ... is a little bit.

Old Fashioned
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Re: What kinds of things do you dehydrate?

Unread post by Old Fashioned » Sat May 18, 2019 11:47 pm

I've not done hash browns either, but would be an interesting experiment. Thanks for the idea. |em23|

I've only done slices & 'flakes'. For both, I cooked the potatoes first, and the flakes were basically cooked mashed potatoes run thru a blender to powder.

I do a lot of herbs & things for seasonings and if I can get my darned peppers to grow & produce, then I'll do my own cayenne pepper, chili powder, and paprika. Also fruits, veggies, and like Farm...make many a powders as well. Including tomato powder....just add some to a thin sauce to thicken it & give it a burst of flavor.



Reading back thru this thread and I have to admit I didn't keep up with the homemade MRE's or meals in a pouch idea. I still have the stuff I had dehydrated for them, but never did put them together. I really should get back to doing that again and finish the assembly.

I had tried looking up the information on homemade MRE's, but never did find anything that was really homemade that all the food was home prepped & dried. All I found was people that had put together a mixture of store bought pre-packaged items like granola bars & cans of spam, and that's alright I guess but not something I'd want to have to live on if I had too.

My plan for this year is to take the homemade MRE's a step (or three) further to plan out a few different meals...cook then dehydrate all the ingredients separately, then when I get enough of each...add the ingredients together to create a meal & vacuum seal. Then when time to eat it, just add water. Each pouch would have a protein, starch/carb, a veggie or two and some kind of seasoning...atleast that's my theory. But before I get too involved in it, I need to make a couple up and try it out to see if it's really worth eating & if I need to make any adjustments

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