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Dehydrating chicken trial and error
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Matt P
(flatlandmatt) - F
Dehydrating chicken trial and error on 07/06/2010 01:10:00 MDT Print View

So I've been dehydrating food for my upcoming CT hike in a couple of weeks. I went to Meijer and purchased one of those Tyson brand big bag of chicken b.reasts and cooked them well in the oven. I then diced and dehydrated them for 8 or 9 hours in a dehydrator until crispy, brittle and very dry. I let it cool for an hour or so and then put it in a plastic bag. Upon opening one of the bags of diced chicken bits a few days later it smelled like goldfish food. Is that normal? I rehydrated some of them with boiling water but they didn't seem to rehydrate all the way....though it sort of tasted like chicken.

Is poultry a bad choice? Should I seek elsewhere for an easy protein to add to pasta/couscous based meals?

I do have a good amount of dried beans already, should I just go that route? Trying to build some variety here.

Thanks in advance for any advice...

Edited by flatlandmatt on 07/06/2010 01:10:51 MDT.

James D Buch
(rocketman) - F

Locale: Midwest
Dehydrating Chicken on 07/06/2010 08:15:43 MDT Print View

Sarah, on her website, tells the "secret" and limitations of dehydrating cooked chicken.

Any *dense* *large* piece of meat is going to be terrible to try to dehydrate. That is one of the reasons that beef jerky is often in thin strips.... avoid thickness - avoid the *Large* issue complicating drying.

What can you do about density? Wet cooking such as boiling, softens up the meat and throws a bunch of water into it. Broiling dries out the meat, some, and closes up any "drainage" channels it may have possessed.

Sarah reports that cans of precooked moist chicken dehydrate pretty well, especially if the pieces are broken up into small pieces.

To the eye, the appearance of precooked canned chicken meat suggests a looser fiber structure than broiled meat. Less dense or more permeable might be a better phrase.

Sarah's site is great for solving problems. I'd go read what she has to say about the spoilage free life of home dehydrated chicken.

Once in a while, at GoodWill, you can find old books on dehydrating food to use as a guide. They are often less than $1.


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Dehydrating Chicken on 07/06/2010 08:36:55 MDT Print View

I'd dry the canned version over the bags - and personally I don't like the Tyson brand. One of the best buys is the industrial can at Costco - just drain, shred and dry. Tyson has an odd flavor/smell IMO where as the Costco and are much tastier. VF is the best option for taste - it isn't full of additives.