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John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
Chicken and beef rehydration on 10/08/2009 21:00:20 MDT Print View

I am a great fan of dehydrating my own chicken and beef. Ground beef i find re-hydrates almost to perfection when fried, drained, patted down and dehydrated however my chicken - whether from a tin or a boiled fresh breast - never gets past the hard /crunchy stage regardless of whether i have it in the water that i bring to a boil or not.

Using an alcohol stove that lasts around 7-8 minutes, I need a solution. The pieces of chicken I dry are v small, unseasoned. Help!

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Chicken and beef rehydration on 10/09/2009 07:56:30 MDT Print View

Okay... I can help. First of all canned chicken usually rehydrates better than boiled. The only way home-cooked chicken seems to come back decently is if it is cooked as part of an entire meal that has a sauce base to it (chicken chili as an example) and then dried or from canned.

Rehydration. While not super UL, I find that rehydration works better with a Nalgene (wide mouth water bottle) and a cozy. Boil the water and pour it into the dish that is in the cozy. Replace the lid and place the Nalgene in the cozy. Wait 30 to 50 minutes or even an hour if you have the time. The steam in the Nalgene will create pressure, something which can't be recreated with a zipper baggie. You could probably use a screw top Ziplock container though. The pressure helps the meat take in the water. Chicken will always have some chewiness to it compared to predrying but it should be relatively soft when rehydrated this way - not crunchy.

John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
50 minutes! on 10/09/2009 08:31:13 MDT Print View

it takes 5-10 for beef , i do use screw top ziplocs but 50 mins - wont it get cold???

but thankyou for the help, appreciate it... :)

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
FBC with no pre-hydration works for me on 10/09/2009 09:22:08 MDT Print View

I use both canned chicken and ground beef, little vacuum sealed packets of each in the freezer, grab 1 to N of those for a trip to add to ramen or liptons or whatever.

I've never pre-hydrated these, just put the dried meat plus olive oil and the meal in a freezer bag, add hot water, leave for 10 minutes in cozy. The only time I've had problems with this was when I didn't add enough water. I tend to over-hydrate the meal itself such that I sort of have "meal plus soup" in the same bag so rarely have that problem.

How small you break up the chicken or ground beef nuggets during preparation perhaps has something to do with this.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: FBC with no pre-hydration works for me on 10/09/2009 10:20:00 MDT Print View

Brain has it right - size matters. Keep your meat uniform and small for quick rehydration.

You might also consider using freeze dried chicken - it works perfectly :-)

Lori Pontious
(lori999)

Locale: Central Valley
re: ziploc on 10/09/2009 10:34:52 MDT Print View

"it takes 5-10 for beef , i do use screw top ziplocs but 50 mins - wont it get cold???"

A reflectix cozy for the ziplock will keep anything hot. Weighs next to nothing.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: 50 minutes! on 10/09/2009 13:46:07 MDT Print View

Use a cozy - I use a Granite Gear Aquatherm and unless it is very late Fall or Winter I don't have to reheat. Also this is only for chicken and pork that isn't ground. Ground beef is generally 10 to 15 mins. I also don't like meals that aren't supposed to be soup to end up soupy. If I want soup then I take soup.

Edited to add photo...

Here is Moroccan Chicken Stew (this one is meant to be as soupy as in the photo).

Moroccan Stew

As you can see I like a decent sized piece of chicken and not gravel... pieces are about 1 cm.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 10/09/2009 13:50:39 MDT.

John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
my chicken is smaller than your chicken on 10/09/2009 13:57:22 MDT Print View

i do use a cozy - i have a ziploc one for bags and the screw top 16 oz ziplocs. 50 minutes seems a long time..... still....

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: my chicken is smaller than your chicken on 10/09/2009 14:01:32 MDT Print View

Actually I said 30 to 50 minutes and that time is dependant on weather, season, altitude, the dryness of the meat, the size of the pieces, etc. If you want chicken to come back nicely that can be what it takes... otherwise you end up with the chewy pieces that aren't fully hydrated.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
texture on 10/09/2009 14:07:38 MDT Print View

Here is the same photo enlarged so you can see the texture and size of the chicken pieces. The spoon is one of the little blue GSI ones... there is an average sized piece of the chicken quite visible in the lower right corner. When I hydrate I usually use the wait time to set up camp, explore a bit and take some photos or chat with those I am hiking with so it goes by quickly.

texture of the chicken

John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
delicious! on 10/09/2009 14:11:03 MDT Print View

much nicer than mine!