Dehydrated food

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Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
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I've messed about with dehydrating for a few years. I'm a dab hand at knocking up some biltong or easy jerky now. I've also dehydrated pasta meals like spaghetti bolognaise and herein lies my problem, that I can't seem to figure out..... I can't seem to rehydrate pasta meals properly. I've soaked it from cold, soaked it in warm water before heating and I've left it to bubble away for 15 or so minutes and it's STILL crunchy! I'm clearly doing something wrong...... any ideas??

Here's a cheeky 'easy jerky' recipe for anyone who's interested (also works well in a low temperature oven with the door cracked open a touch)

500g of lean (5% or less) beef mince
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika

Mix all ingredients together really well and roll into about 10 balls. Flatten out thin as you can (about 2mm) and lay in your dehydrator, either directly on the shelving or laid on top of parchment. Dry until it's snap dry. Also good added to other meals to rehydrate.

Now that winter is coming, I'll be dehydrating every week. Not because I need it, but because I just love biltong!

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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
The starch structure in the semolina wheat of the pasta has changed.
The starches are sugar chains (amylose and amylopectin) which get badly tangled in the dehydration drying process.
You can't untangle that mess with rehydration. The gluten protein responds in the very same way= the tangle can't be undone.
I suggest dehydrating everything but the dry pasta which should need only 8-10 minutes to cook up in the first place.
= = =
When you do your dehydrations, is there any chance to add a few snorts of apple wood smoke?
I do mince jerky @250F in my kitchen oven with the door propped open with a wooden spoon.
Door is shut for the first 30 minutes with apple wood smoke. Hi Mountain cure and seasonings.
Hell of a lot better than tobacco smoke.
 
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Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
647
449
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UK
The starch structure in the semolina wheat of the pasta has changed.
The starches are sugar chains (amylose and amylopectin) which get badly tangled in the dehydration drying process.
You can't untangle that mess with rehydration. The gluten protein responds in the very same way= the tangle can't be undone.
I suggest dehydrating everything but the dry pasta which should need only 8-10 minutes to cook up in the first place.
= = =
When you do your dehydrations, is there any chance to add a few snorts of apple wood smoke?
I do mince jerky @250F in my kitchen oven with the door propped open with a wooden spoon.
Door is shut for the first 30 minutes with apple wood smoke. Hi Mountain cure and seasonings.
Hell of a lot better than tobacco smoke.
Ah ha! There's the answer.... I didn't know that but now I do. Why oh why didn't I just think of only dehydrating the meaty sauce.... d'oh!!! So simples....... thanks buddy!

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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
You can buy quick cook pasta. Macaroni (elbow) that has only 3 minute cook time ( or there’re about)

You can find other quick cook pasta shapes in UK supermarkets.

Another solution is to use the pasta from the various Asian inspired ready meals, the ones you pour hot water on, then wait. Ramen, noodles.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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There's something wrong with that quick cooking pasta. Doesn't taste right.
I won't go out of my way to ever buy it.

If you can afford to carry the extra fuel, Cooking trad. pasta is the way to go.
You need to watch rotini being made. Instant hunger pangs.

Sapporo Ichiban chicken soup with noodles is fantastic for breakfast.
Very little water needed, quick to cook and a snort of soya sauce to perk it up.

I like Van-Wild's plan to dehydrate everything = interesting experimental dinners
to learn how to reconstitute everything. OK. Dehydrate a cooked meat rabbit.
 

Van-Wild

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Feb 17, 2018
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I didn’t realize you could use mince for jerky, I thought the fat turned rancid or something so had to be ‘best steak’
I've used lean or 5% fat beef mince loads of times. It last ages. I haven't had it go rancid matey. Quick and easy, from prep to dried in about 6hrs (ish).

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Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
I've looked at dedicated dehydrators for years now and never committed to one. As far as I can see I can spend anything from £25 to £250 (and more) - can anyone recommend a unit please or is there little to choose between them?
 

Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
647
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UK
I've looked at dedicated dehydrators for years now and never committed to one. As far as I can see I can spend anything from £25 to £250 (and more) - can anyone recommend a unit please or is there little to choose between them?
My dehydrator cost £30 from Aldi. It has two temperature settings (ON or OFF). it's super cool. And I built my own biltong box a while ago which was much easier than I thought it would be!

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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Broch, mine's like Van-Wild's, and is as simple as it can be. I do have to turn the trays, from top to bottom, and I do have to 'free' food from the racks to stop them glueing themselves down, but otherwise, it's brilliant and has lasted me now for years with a lot of use. It cost me under thirty pounds. It's the same kind that's being sold for that price now.

If you go a fair bit more expensive you get ones with temperature control, ones that don't need to be rotated for best results, and ones that you can literally just leave running 24/7.
I switch mine off at night, but it does often run from 7am until 10pm if I'm trying to get through a big batch of stuff. It doesn't overheat or smell odd. I just feel happier switching it off overnight.

If mine died, I think I'd just buy the same kind again. If I were drying much more than I do, if I still had a young family or I did a lot of camping, etc., then I'd buy the bigger temperature controlled kind.

M
 
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Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
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I've decided to have a go with the mince today. Changed the recipe slightly in that I've put in a large glug of sweet chilli sauce, and used smoked paprika. Should be interesting to taste the results.
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Bearbait's suggestion is a good one = cous-cous is the world's shortest pasta.
Add boiling water and wait a few minutes.

If it's going to be carried on your back, there's a fuel cost to consider in 10 minutes cooking.
To be safe, you might need to be carrying clean water.

In a tent, in the pouring rain, might as well eat.
OK, now what do you do with the pasta water when the cooking is done?
Hot, starchy water. Second pot? What can you cook in that?

Van-Wild: could the used pasta hot water be worked into the dehydrated items?
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
My lunch today was miso soup with glass noodles. The whole thing, before I added boiling water, weighed a few grams. The hot water rehydrated the seaweed, the veggies and the glass noodles and by the time it was cool enough to eat, it was all ready.
Glass noodles are just basic carbs.

M
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Rice noodles need a lot of help to taste like much of anything. Too much help.
I would just as soon get serious and plan to cook up a pot of real pasta.
I have got to plan what to do with the boiling hot starchy salted pasta water.
That hot water cost me money for the energy it took to boil for 8-10 minutes.
Adding to dehydrated foods has set off my curiosity. Must plan for it.

Van-Wild: Thank you for the topic. I am in sore need of novelty cooking ideas.
BTW: I make linguini from scratch. I roll herbs right into it as a side dish to meats.