Some fruits, like whole blueberries, grapes, and cherries, should be blanched in hot water, followed quickly by an ice bath, to crack the skin to promote better dehydration. It is not possible to over-dehydrate vegetables when using the proper temperature (but you can scorch them if dehydrated at too high of a temperature). You can expand your backpacking menu by making your own meals. Thanks for sharing. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Remember, you can always add more water if needed! This can cut drying times in half without negatively effecting the food dried so long as the heat is reduced to the recommended heat after 2-3 hours. Fruit Juice (for fruits): Fruits high in citric acid, like lemons, limes, and oranges, can be used to make a pre-treatment solution. But, after picking up our Nesco dehydrator a few years ago, we realized how wrong we were! Dehydrating your own backpacking meals allows you to control the final product. To condition, cool the dried fruit to room temperature and store it, loosely packed in a clear, airtight non-plastic container such as a large glass jar. Tips for dehydrating foods for backpacking: Contents hide. Cook rice and quinoa as you usually would (subbing broth for water adds flavor but be sure to use low or nonfat broth to help prevent spoiling). Fruit can either be sliced thin (apples, bananas, strawberries, kiwi), cut into small pieces (pineapple, apples), left whole (raspberries, blueberries), or pureed and dried into fruit leathers. There are two ways of accomplishing this: ↠ Vacuum Sealing (bags): Vacuum sealing your meals in vacuum seal bags is a good option for long term storage, such as sending with resupply boxes. It has variable temperature settings (95F-160F), is BPA free, allows us to change the number of trays depending on the load (each tray has .8sqft capacity and you can use up to 12 trays or 9.7 sqft), and disassembles for easier storage. Before getting started, make sure you thoroughly clean and dry all surfaces, equipment, and your hands. Too hot and your foods will scorch or burn. Of course, some report that their dehydrated food lasts much longer than the timeframes listed above, but these are the general guidelines we follow based on the listed sources. Dehydrated fruit is great for snacking on during the day, or adding to breakfasts like oatmeal and quinoa porridge. If using canned chicken, rinse and blot dry with a paper towel. It is always a good idea to check a few pieces by slicing them in half, squeezing them, and seeing if any moisture presses out. Ground beef will rehydrate best if mixed with breadcrumbs or ground oats (a trick we learned from Backpacking Chef). Ground beef. Protip: Just buy freeze-dried blueberries from Trader Joe’s, our blueberry dehydration test took 3 days! https://www.trail.recipes/recipe-collection/dehydrated-backpacking-meals When you have to carry all of your food on your back, you want that food to weigh as little as possible . ↠ Minestrone Soup, ↠ How to Make Beef Jerky This method will take the longest, usually 15-20 minutes but sometimes longer depending on the food and altitude. You can use the same solution for two batches. It has six trays with a 6.5sqft total capacity, the trays are dishwasher safe, it’s very quiet, and it’s less expensive than some of the other front-loading dehydrators with the same features like a transparent door and timer. ↠ Chili Spiced Fruit Leather Soft vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, celery, onions, okra, and zucchini don’t need to be steamed/blanched. These are less efficient and can result in uneven drying unless you reshuffle the order of the trays periodically, but they are usually less expensive. This is such a great method when you consider the food that could be lost in refrigerators and freezers due to power outages. If budget is no issue, you might consider an Excalibur dehydrator, which is widely regarded as the best-of-the-best, though it has a price tag to match. You can buy packages of dehydrated food at your local camping store or online. Can be used when vacuum sealing (especially jars that will be opened and resealed), but not necessarily required if the ingredients are properly dried and handled. It’s great for vegetables, fruit, and meat. There are certain foods that lend themselves to dehydrating, while others aren’t suited to the process. The solution is to store your dehydrated food in airtight containers in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation. Give it time. Just spread them out on your dehydrator trays and you’re ready to go. We would like to share with you our experience dehydrating foods using a normal electric oven. To dehydrate pasta, cook it as normal, then drain and spread evenly on your dehydrator trays, preventing as much overlap as possible. Food that has case-hardened can look properly dehydrated since the exterior has dried, so it’s important to avoid it altogether by using the right temperature. Here are three methods for cooking and rehydrating your meals: Soak & Simmer: This is the fastest method, but uses the most fuel. Lower the heat towards the end to avoid scorching. Dry at 145F for 6-12 hours, until completely dry. A few times during the drying process, blot the meat with a paper towel to absorb any fat that has surfaced, and if using a vertical flow dehydrator, reshuffle the trays. Here are some things to consider as well as a few of our top recommendations. You can dehydrate batches of single ingredients and assemble your meals later, or you can prepare and then dehydrate complete meals. they are inexpensive — because you can make them at home, dehydrated backpacking meals are much cheaper than commercially sold freeze dried backpacking meals. You'll be notified via email when someone replies to your comment. You don’t need to wear gloves (those protect your hands, not what you’re touching), but we recommend washing your hands frequently when handling food before and after it has been dehydrated. Lower Cost: Relying exclusively on store-bought backpacking meals can cost a fortune. Diversify Your Meal Options: There are only so many store-bought backpacking meal options available, and not all of them sound very tasty. Mix 1 teaspoon of powdered ascorbic acid into two cups of water, and soak sliced fruit for 3-5 minutes before draining. Shake the jars each day to keep the fruit from sticking together, potentially creating moisture pockets. Food Saver makes a wide range of vacuum sealing products. Apple slices may be done in as little as 6 hours, whereas whole blueberries and cherries could need multiple days. 125°F Vegetables Stackable dehydrators have their fans and heating elements on the top or bottom of the unit, which then blows air up or down through an open column in the middle of the trays (vertical flow). Over time, dehydrating your own meals allows you to dramatically reduce the cost per meal. Conditioning is an important final step, primarily for dehydrated fruits, before packing them away for storage. Also when certain produce comes into season dehydrate as much as you can! Dehydrating your own meals for backpacking means adding the ingredients you want, in the quantities you want. Other than printing the whole page as a pdf, unfortunately, no. Through low heat and steady airflow, dehydrating removes enough moisture from food through evaporation to inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold. Like ground beef, ground turkey will rehydrate best if mixed with breadcrumbs or ground oats. For example, food stored at 60F has twice the shelf life as food stored at 80F (source: NCHFP). Too low of a temperature, and you could be leaving the food in the “danger zone” for too long and risk bacterial growth. 165°F Poultry. Place the baking sheet in the oven, and leave the oven door open at least 2 inches to improve air circulation, advises Canning Pantry. Dried vegetables can be snacked on or … ↠ Blueberry Coconut Oatmeal, ↠ Tortilla Soup ↠ Red Lentil and Bean Chili 1.5 6. ↠ Grains, rice, and pasta Dehydrating food can also be cheaper than using only pre-packaged backpacking meals, and it means you can safely bring a lot of foods that usually require refrigeration like meat along with you on your trip. And, some foods may not last as long due to dehydrating and storage conditions. Use a vegetable peeler or a knife. There are some commercially available alternatives such as butter powder, powdered milk, sour cream powder, and cheese that you can add to your dehydrated backpacking meals. Precooked, hydrated meats are an amazing additive to any meal. Control Nutritional Profile: Everyone has different nutritional needs. Be sure to let the food come up to room temperature before opening the bag, to prevent introducing moisture via condensation. Dry rice at 125°F for about 5 hours (or until hard) and quinoa at 135°F for 8–10 hours. We live in a golden age of trail cuisine. The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content. This temperature is perfect for dehydrating foods. Dehydrate at 145F for 6-12 hours, until completely dried and hard. Once it’s cooked through (poultry needs to cook to 165F), remove from the heat and chop into small pieces if needed. at 135F. Cook the turkey in a nonstick skillet over medium-high, breaking it apart with your spatula so that you end up with nice crumbles. ↠ Strawberries and Cream Quinoa Porridge After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Metal dehydrators are generally more expensive, but if you want to put the trays in the dishwasher or if you want to avoid plastic altogether, this might be the better option. Introduction. We are currently living “on the road” full time traveling the country in … This will help improve circulation and temperature. Oxygen: Oxidation will cause your food to break down, lose flavor, and shorten the shelf life. Be sure to thoroughly wash any fruits that will be dried with the skin on, as most have a waxy coating (naturally, or added to protect it). Login or Subscribe to see it all. You can figure this out by weighing the food before it goes into the dehydrator, then subtracting the dehydrated weight, and that number is the amount of water you would want to add back in when rehydrating. Rice will rehydrate best if cooked just shy of al dente. What Are the Best Containers to Freeze Food In? Use the leanest ground beef you can find. You can put it back on the heat if it cools too much before it’s done. 160°F Meat, Seafood Case hardening occurs when the exterior of the food dries too quickly and forms a tough case around the outside, which will prevent the interior from properly dehydrating, trapping moisture inside which can cause mold and spoilage during storage. Dehydrating is one of the oldest methods of food preservation and has been used effectively since the dawn of civilization. Vegetables: Carrots, beet, mushrooms, onions, peas, and tomatoes are some of the most commonly dehydrated veggies. Dehydrating Meat, Vegetables, Fruit, Fruit Leather, Sauce, Bark, Soup, Dog Treats, Vacuum Sealing and More! Fruit leathers: up to a month at room temperature, or a year in the freezer (source: NCHFP). to absorb any moisture re-introduced while the jar was unsealed. Connect with me. We're Megan and Michael and we love cooking outdoors! The Cosori dehydrator comes with six metal... Load the Dehydrator. Storage: If storage space is a concern, a stackable unit might be a better option for you since it can be disassembled and stored in pieces, whereas a solid unit will take up more space. Moisture: The whole point of dehydrating food is to remove as much moisture as possible so that the food can be safely stored without it spoiling, so the last thing you want to do is re-introduce moisture during the storage process! Consider using safety gloves or using this finger-safe plunger-style mandoline). For 1 lb raw beef, mix in ½ cup breadcrumbs and work it into the meat. Gluten-free? Dehydration Times and Methods Meat. Boil in Bag: If you pack your meals in mylar bags that are heat rated 212F or above, you can pour boiling water right into the bag, seal, and let it rehydrate (stir the food after 10 minutes). Are you familiar with the 6 Ps? Fruit should dehydrate in a single layer (no overlapping!) Our goal is to make it easy for you to enjoy great food in the great outdoors. Too high of a temperature, and you risk case hardening. Generally speaking, you want to add as much water back into the food as you took out in the dehydration process. This will leave moisture in the food, which can cause it to spoil, or go rancid. Then, simmer the meal until it has rehydrated. Set your oven's temperature control between 140 and 200 degrees F. The temperature should be set as close to 140 degrees F to dehydrate the foods instead of cooking them, advises the Canning Pantry website. There are a ton of different models, features, and price points to choose from. This is particularly true for grains, legumes, and vegetables. Dehydrating has completely changed the way we approach food in the backcountry. We’ve seen some online resources state that rice/grains can be dehydrated at temperatures as low as 125F, but there is a type of bacteria (B. cereus) that can cause food poisoning and thrives on cooked rice at temperatures lower than 135F, so we suggest following the recommendation of 145F for rice and grains (source). ↠ Raspberry & Coconut Quinoa Porridge This concept totally applies to dehydrating. Pretreatment refers to a range of different processes performed on fruits and vegetables prior to dehydrating in order to retain color and flavor, improve rehydration time and texture, and increase their shelf life. 1.3 4. temporarily increasing the temp then return back to the recommended temp – we agree with you. If you see any, put the fruit back into the dehydrator to dry longer. Let the food cool completely before transferring to a storage container, which will help prevent condensation. Dehydrating your foods is a great way to prolong the shelf life, lighten pack weight, and overall increase storage space. Prepare the food. We’ve read some accounts that cooking beans until they are only slightly underdone can help prevent splitting (but we have not tried this ourselves). A standard oven is the most common appliance in the kitchen and the easiest one to use for dehydrating food. Blanching or steaming (for vegetables): Blanching (dipping food in boiling water and then rapidly cooling in cold water) or steaming can help vegetables retain their color, and can reduce rehydration time. Fresh Off The Grid is a culinary resource for the outdoor community. Drying time will vary widely depending on the specific fruit. Place the pot in a cozy (if you’re using a Jetboil or Windburner stove, the insulating wrap should be sufficient). A few times during the drying process, blot the turkey with a paper towel to absorb any fat that has surfaced, and if using a vertical flow dehydrator, reshuffle the trays. Peeling fruits and vegetables ensures maximum contact with the warm air in your oven, according to the Recession Ready America website. Mylar Bags (with O2 absorber for longer-term storage): This is a good option if you want to store your food for longer time periods, but don’t want to invest in a vacuum sealer. Protip: Using frozen vegetables (that have been thawed) is a great time-saving hack since they are already cut and blanched for you! Wouldn’t it be great … Spread chicken in an even layer on mesh dehydrator sheets. Let the fruit cool and then condition (read about conditioning here) before storing. We love dehydrating vegetables to add to our backpacking meals! Dehydrate at least 95%. Same as above: add your meal and water to your pot and let it soak for a bit. If you want to have eggs in the backcountry, we highly recommend OvaEasy. It has opened up an entirely new world of meal options and has dramatically reduced our price per meal. Use a vegetable peeler or a knife. Fan position: Front loading dehydrators have their fan and heating element in the back of the machine and will blow the hot air across the trays (horizontal flow). Under those circumstances, the risk of hard-casing is probably very minimal. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "false";
. Dehydrate like-foods together. Your email address will not be published. 1.6 7. The key to dehydrating complete meals is to make sure that all the ingredients can be dehydrated at more or less the same temperature to prevent case hardening of ingredients. Return to: Dehydrating Food Table of Contents. ↠ Teriyaki Beef Jerky, National Center for Home Preservation: Packing and Storing Dried Foods, University of Georgia: Preserving Food – Drying Fruits and Vegetables, The Dehydrator Cookbook for Outdoor Adventurers by Julie Mosier, Your email address will not be published. Here are some of our favorite dehydrated meals on our site. However, since we are attempting to give direction to a wide-range of dehydrator users (a lot of first-timers), we often rely on the simplest and safest option. Dehydrated Celery. Avoid dehydrating strong smelling dishes with other foods, matching similar flavours together when dehydrating. Desiccant packs remove moisture. Steam or blanch vegetables that you would not eat raw, or that are particularly tough or fibrous: carrots, corn, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. 145°F Grains Vacuum Sealing: This method is good for longer-term storage. Ingredients like cheese and oils should be brought along and added during the rehydrating process. Now we're ready to talk about loading the dehydrator! Many contain ingredients that should not be dehydrated (oils, fats, eggs, or dairy) or are loaded with sodium or preservatives. This is due to water evaporating off the food and carrying heat off with it so that although the dehydrator is 20°F higher the food itself won’t surpass it’s maximum recommended heat. “If you need to speed up the dehydration process, just turning up the heat is NOT an option.”. Ground beef will rehydrate best if mixed with breadcrumbs or ground oats (a trick we learned ... Chicken… If your oven doesn’t have such low settings then use the Warm setting. This is a great option if you do not have a dehydrator at home. Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close, 13 Trail Mix Recipes to Fuel Your Next Adventure, 11 Camping Desserts to Share Around the Campfire, How to Plan a Memorable Backyard Camping Trip, A Guide to the Best Sedona Swimming Holes, 4 Hikes to Beat the Crowds in Zion National Park, The Gem of the West: Our 7 Day Idaho Road Trip, Scenic Drives in Moab (That Don't Require Four Wheel Drive! Dehydrating curries with apples will result in curry flavoured apples. Dehydrating food in a convection oven is certainly convenient for most people, but if you've been bitten by the dehydration bug, you may want to invest in a special dehydrator. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0";
Two cups of … By dehydrating foods, Nicky and I have noticed we are 1.5 times more efficient with packing by using dehydrated … How To Dehydrate Food In An Oven Read More » They are also easy to store--you will not have to worry about food leaking in your backpack. Sulfite Dip (for fruits and vegetables): Sulfite dips are an option if you’re planning on storing fruit long term. You can often find it for less than $65 or $70, which is a great deal for this model (MSRP is $89). (It’s dry when it’s dry, regardless of how long it “should” take.). Preserve Perishables: Some foods would be impossible to safely bring backpacking without preserving them through dehydration, such as meat and fresh produce. They are good for using in heat-sealed mylar bags or in canning jars if you don’t have a vacuum sealer. ↠ Store-bought condiments: not all condiments are good candidates for dehydration. With a small amount of home preparation, include healthy portions of colorful, vitamin-rich vegetables in all of your backpacking meals. If you want to dehydrate condiments, make sure you read the label. Required fields are marked *. At first, set your oven’s temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add your meal and water to your pot and let it soak for a bit, maybe while you set up camp or do chores (keep within arms reach if in bear country). Click "Show More" for a ton of info and links. Place the foods in a single layer on a baking sheet. When in doubt, discard any questionable food! Some veggies like corn, peas, and spinach don’t need to be cut at all. 1 Tips for dehydrating foods for backpacking: 1.1 1. And you probably can speed up the drying process a little bit. Dehydrate at 125F until hard or crunchy, 6-12 hours. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. We use these double-locking silicone humangear GoToobs to bring oils with us out into the backcountry. This method is generally used for vegetables that you would not eat raw, or particularly tough vegetables like carrots. After a week, if there are no signs of moisture or mold, you can package and store the fruit using one of the methods below. Lentils can be cooked on the stovetop until tender, or you can use canned lentils (Trader Joe’s also carries pre-steamed lentils). amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart";
Temperatures higher than this may cook the food instead of dehydrating it. Place cut fruit into a bowl with enough juice to cover. It’s a very valid insight. Then, cover and bring the meal to a rapid simmer for a few minutes before turning off the heat. Placing the bag in a cozy will help retain heat. If you are only going to dehydrate a few days’ worth of food at a time for weekend trips, you can get away with a smaller capacity unit. Airtight Containers: Properly dried food can be stored in an airtight glass or hard plastic container that has an airtight seal, such as canning jars. How to Dehydrate Food for Backpacking. This recipe works well for cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. Fruits & Vegetables: 1 year for fruit, about 6 months for vegetables at 60F (source: NCHFP), though vacuum sealing can extend the shelf life. One of the keys to even drying is to ensure that your food is uniformly sized. Pressure-cooked chicken will give you the best results when rehydrating. thecampgal.com/2013/07/30/10-dehydrated-recipes-for-camping But for larger fruits and vegetables that will need to be sliced or chopped, it is important to cut everything into evenly sized pieces. Vegetables should be dehydrated at 125F until crisp or hard. amzn_assoc_asins = "B0090WOCN0,B07PY5M579,B008OKI8GG,B008OV4FD0";
You decide! Sounds like it isn’t your first dehydrating rodeo! Many foods lend themselves well to dehydration, such as: ↠ Fruits There are a number of different types of dehydrators and dehydrating techniques including air dehydrating and oven dehydrating, but this guide will focus on dehydrating food using an electric food dehydrator. Canned beans will dehydrate and rehydrate the best, though home pressure cooked beans also work. Part 2: Dehydrating Start the Dehydrator. Cook rice and grains as usual in water or non-fat broth. Blot with a paper towel to remove any fat. Learn how to dehydrate chicken so that it turns out tender every time. The process removes all the oxygen from the container to extend the shelf life of the food. Soak, Simmer & Set: This method takes a bit longer but uses far less fuel than the previous method. Dry at 145 F for 12 to 24 hours. Dehydrated foods make handy snacks for camping and backpacking, because they keep well and can hold up to heat. Resealable container with refrigeration: If you’re making food for a trip that’s in the next week or two (and you’re not sending it in a resupply), you can store it in a zip-top bag in the fridge. Freeze-dried and dehydrated meals are better-tasting and more nutritious than ever before. ↠ Tie-Dye Fruit Leather For this, really like these reusable bags from ReZip. Here is what the NCHFP has to say about it: “When dried fruit is taken from the dehydrator or oven, the remaining moisture may not be distributed equally among the pieces because of their size or their location in the dehydrator. Side Note: One of the benefits of some of the stackable models is that you can add and subtract trays to fit your current batch. Weight and Space Savings: Dehydrating your food will dramatically reduce its weight while retaining its nutritional value. We personally find this feature to be unnecessary, especially since drying times can differ so dramatically. A few times during the drying process, blot the chicken with a paper towel to absorb any fat that has surfaced, and if using a vertical flow dehydrator, reshuffle the trays. Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and water. Dehydrate them for later. Grains, Beans, and Rice: 1 year (source: The Dehydrator Cookbook). This process is referred to as “checking”. Try to heat it to the lowest setting possible. But that is a really great suggestion and we are going to look into providing PDF version. If you need to speed up the dehydration process, just turning up the heat is NOT an option. Dehydrating pre-cooked grains, rice, and legumes like beans and lentils will save you a ton of weight and cooking time on the trail. CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON. This tends to be more efficient and results in more even drying. Meat: 1 to 2 months (source: USDA), or 6 months if vacuum sealed and frozen (source: The Dehydrator Cookbook). More protein? Spread evenly on mesh dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 145F for 6-12 hours, until hard and dry. There are a few environmental factors that affect the shelf life of dehydrated foods: Temperature: Even when properly dried and sealed, temperature will still affect the shelf life of your food. Our goal is to make it easy for you to enjoy great food in the great outdoors. Once it’s cooked through (beef needs to cook to 160F), remove from the heat and chop into small pieces if needed. Thanks for the response. ↠ Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Porridge When certain items are on sale, buy extra and dehydrate as much as you can, store them, and then you have them in the pantry waiting to be used when you need them. Let it sit for a week, checking daily for any signs of moisture or condensation. 145°F Pre-cooked Meats ↠ Olives (too high in fat) Spread evenly on mesh dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 145F for 6-12 hours, until hard and dry. We use Ball Mason Jars. You can’t beat a hearty full cooked … High in protein, fat, and calories, meat dries best at or above 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Not all fruits and vegetables “require” pretreatment, but generally speaking, it is a good idea. For 1 lb raw turkey, mix in ½ cup breadcrumbs and work it into the meat. ↠ Eggs: Eggs are not safe to dehydrate due to the high chance of food poisoning; salmonella, common with eggs, thrives in the temperature range used during dehydration. Vegetables such as broccoli and green beans benefit from a few minutes of steaming before dehydrating. Depending on your storage method, you might consider including either a desiccant packet or oxygen absorber packet. The Excalibur dehydrators we see recommended most often are the 5 tray/8 sq ft capacity and 9 tray/15 sq ft capacity models. We are currently living “on the road” full time traveling the country in our DIY campervan. If your mylar bags are temperature rated as such (these ones are rated to 250F according to the manufacturer), you can also add boiling water right into the mylar bag to rehydrate your food, so cleanup will be easier on the trail. I’ve been backcountry camping for years but have never gone the food dehydrator route. *This method is not as effective as using an ascorbic acid solution and will alter the flavor of your fruit as well. Sanitize your hands and containers before handling food for storage and make sure everything is completely dry. Dehydrating at home may sound intimidating, but it’s a lot easier than people realize. Light: Like oxygen, light will break down the food and cause off-flavors, loss of nutrients, and shorten the shelf life. This is the model we used for our first couple of years of dehydrating. Oxygen absorbers remove… oxygen.