Dehydrated Fuel? Or Huel?

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PDA1

Settler
Feb 3, 2011
646
5
Framingham, MA USA
From a camping/backpacking point of view, dehydrating complete meals makes a lot of sense. Cook the meal in large quantities (4 servings, 10 servings) portion it and dehydrate. Then youdon't have to dehydrate all the components and then cook them - just rehydrate with hot water and eat. For me, two outstanding sources for thisare:

https://www.youtube.com/user/MrBabelfish5/videos

verycomplete videos and enough meals for a very long hike.

http://www.trailcooking.com/

covers complete meals for rehydration, and also dehydrating components for trail cooking.

A couple of points. If you dehydrate large chunks, or thick slices, they will a) take forever to dehydrate b) take even longer to rehydrate. Bananas should be sliced really thinly. Meat should always be ground (minced)rather than chunks / steaks. Veg finely chopped or sliced. Pasta should be cooked then dehydrateed - dried pasta from the shop needs to be boiled for ten minutes, whereas dehydrated cooked pasta just needs 10 minutes in a cosey. If yo want something from a shop, cous cous would be a good choice as it is pre-cooked and very small particle size. Potatoes - IMO better off with Smash. Pre cooked rice again saves 20 mintes cooking time. everythimng you dehydrate should be as fat free as possible. Home dehydrators cannot dehydrate fats/oils, and they go rancid pretty quickly. If yo wantsome fatty flavour, add a scoop of powdered butter - widely available on the internet and not subject to going rancid.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,712
2,630
S. Lanarkshire
Previous threads show that folks successfully dehydrated full meals for camping trips. I don't think any of their meals were kept long though; good food happily eaten, kind of thing.

PDA1….we dehydrated turkey breast, popeseye steak, and pork loin. All were cut as fine as bacon.
I filled the dehydrator and the finished 'jerky' was gone in a couple of hours :rolleyes:
My brother went to the butcher to stock up and do it again :)
 

PDA1

Settler
Feb 3, 2011
646
5
Framingham, MA USA
"High risk of bacterial growth due to time." - Incorrect. The temperatures in which you are working is well above the minimum required for safe food prep. In addition, dehydrating individual components takes just as long as complete meals. As you say, commercial dried meals are easier, but very expensive compared to home produced. Plus if your homemade chili isn't quantum levels better than Mountain House, then there is something seriously wrong with your cooking. Also, cooking in your own kitchen, you have, readily to hand, all the herbs and spices needed to make the "perfect" version of whichever stew or braise you are making. You won't have those on the trail. Biltong (or jerky) is frequently the first thing a home dehydrator makes. Gives you a nice chewy snack, but not something yo can easily incorporate into a meal as it takes forever to rehydrate.
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
Picked up the dehydrator first thing and got it running with the sliced bananas. They're five hours in and looking good so far. It's interesting because online it suggests just ripe, but these were almost mush, but still drying fine.
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
The only time I've tried plantain. My Peruvian friend here fried some up until they were like crisps and covered them in salt. They were delicious! I could go to the Caribbean stall in Leeds market and buy some for a dehydration test when I'm next in the centre. :)
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
Ok it's official.
Overripe mushy bananas, cut 2mm thick and dehydrated at 50C for 9 hours are the most delcious tasting toffee things ever! I've just been re-arranging them to dry them to a crisp, and had to stop myself from eating them all!

I also bought two bags of 5p swiss chard which looks like it's good to dehydrate too.

My other thought was for my blackberry leaf tobacco test from the other week. This will sort it in no time. I've read if I mix blackberry leaf, raspberry leaf and motherwort leaf, it'll make a nice relaxing smoke by all accounts as motherwort is like valerian. Just need to find some Motherwort.
 

PDA1

Settler
Feb 3, 2011
646
5
Framingham, MA USA
A recipe. There are many and depend how spicy or sweet you want your jerky to be. 1 kilo flank steak, chiill in freezer then slice along the grain into thin strips. Marinade 125 ml Soy, 125ml worcester sauce, tablespoon honey, half onion sliced thinly, teaspoon pepper flakes, if you like smoky, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke. place meat strips and marinade in a large ziplock bag squidge about so all the meat is in contact with the marinade, regfrigerate 6-8 hours (overnight works well.) remove meat and pat dry, place in dehydrator. Set to 75 deg C and dry - probably 12 hours, maybe more - until dry. Should last several months in airtight wrapping (vacuumsealed best) but likely to be gone in a few hours if family are nearby.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,712
2,630
S. Lanarkshire
My recipe or PDA1's ?

Mine, and mind I'm Scottish, I just based it on our beef ham. Beef ham is spiced with allspice, salt and black pepper.
Allspice is the Jamaican Pimenta.

Basically I made up a mixture of ground allspice, seasalt and ground black pepper, and I added that to some of the liquid from a can of pineapples and sliced up one of the balls of stem ginger from the syrup jar.
The pineapple juice softens tough meat, though the meats I used weren't 'tough', if I make myself clear, but they'd only been poached in boiling water for a couple of minutes just to make sure that there was no residual e-coli to cause any grief later.
That was all the cooking it got. Then it was soaked in the marinade for a couple of hours, lifted out, patted dry on some paper towels and laid out on the racks.
Himself and my Bother devoured it :rolleyes: and then the other Toddy headed to the butcher so he could have another shot at it all.

M
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
Toddy, do you just cut it with a sharp knife or do you have a mandolin?
I'm thinking mandolin is next on the list to speed up fine slicing.

BTW I dehydrated chard overnight and it's now all crispy so boxed it in tupperware. Did it at 45C probably for 12 hours.

Bananas I got crispy and have been eating them non stop. They've just been sat in a bowl so have actually absorbed the humidity so they're back to chewy toffees.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,712
2,630
S. Lanarkshire
You're a bushcrafter….sharpen your knife :D

I just used the carving knife. It worked fine, but Himself remarked not so long ago that the cheap ceramic knife we bought was really excellent for cutting raw meat. Lidl's special offer on the knife, but it wasn't an expensive one anyway.
The butchers used to use a really big sharp knife to do the ham slicing. Stuart Mitchell's selling a couple of blanks just now that would be superb I think. I'll find a link if someone's interested.

We find that the dried fruit keeps well in big Kilner jars (special offer on them in Home Bargains just now…I know, I'm a housewife :eek:) if we dry a glut of it. Otherwise it's just munched in a few days. Bananas, pears and mangos are absolutely superb. We do an awful lot of apples too though, but that's one way to use up the excess from our tree.

How did the chard work out ? I like brassicas, and happily snack on them, and the dried seaweeds.

M
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
That's great thanks!

At the moment I actually use a big chopper (Just like a meat cleaver) I got from a hardware store in Taipei by mother in laws house. It has become my favourite kitchen knife. :D

Looks like I'll be off to home bargains then. :)

The chard has worked out well, though I did just try to eat one and it quickly turned back into a raw chard leaf in my mouth whilst chewing it. I left them large as half of the leave with the main stem cut out. Two large bags have dried crispy to easily fit into a tupperware box 20cm x 15cm x 5cm.

Just been drying a bag of spiralised carrots for 5p too. They kind of worked apart from lots of tiny bits falling through the holes. I've boxed those up too. They didn't take long at all.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,289
2,085
McBride, BC
I buy small slicing cleavers and revise the bevels to a total included bevel of 20 degrees for general purpose kitchen prep.
Fine for all fruit, veg and leafy greens. Meat, I put in the freezer so it's quite hard. Then I can almost shave it as thin as I like.
JamPan: please keep writing notes detailing your drying conditions and times.
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
I buy small slicing cleavers and revise the bevels to a total included bevel of 20 degrees for general purpose kitchen prep.
Fine for all fruit, veg and leafy greens. Meat, I put in the freezer so it's quite hard. Then I can almost shave it as thin as I like.
JamPan: please keep writing notes detailing your drying conditions and times.

Thanks Brian, I actually specially bought a note book on your advise and have been making detailed notes of them all.
Hm putting meat in the freezer is a good idea for super thin shavings.
 

JamPan

Forager
Jun 8, 2017
245
1
Yorkshire
I have a question that all you meat dehydrators can probably answer.

So pemmican is dried meat mixed with fat which lasts forever. So then why do the internet dehydration pages say to remove all the fat as it'll go rancid.

Is it that you have to separate it for drying purposes, then it's okay to mix it back in afterwards?
 

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