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Scott Truong
(elf773)

Locale: Vancouver, BC
1st time, dehydrated spaghetti dinner.. pretty good. on 08/09/2010 21:02:02 MDT Print View

Thanks to this forum and it's members, I purchased a Nesco 75P (?) dehydrator for $45 off Amazon and proceeded to prepare my first backpacking meal.

I watched Tinny's (of minibulldesigns) youtube video on dehydrating a spaghetti dinner and pretty much did the same.

Half a pound of lean ground beef, add Mrs Dash and whatever else I had in my pantry. Some organic spaghetti sauce on a fruit roll up tray. Place in blender once dry to turn it into powder. A couple of handfulls of whole wheat sphaghetti broken in half, placed in a ziploc bag (no bears where I was going) and I was good to go.

I made a reflectix (used car windshield reflector) cozy for my Snowpeak 900 pot. Water, dehydrated ground beef, spaghetti in pot, boil, put in cozy, 15 min. later, add dehydrated sauce powder (like KD), stir for a bit... a pretty decent dinner.

I was impressed at how well the ground beef rehydrated. The prep time was almost zero.

Way better than the mountain house dinners I had my last outing. I look forward to seeing what I can do with a little more effort. I'm going to give a hearty Irish stew a shot. I'm guessing I'll have to cut the beef and potatoes into much smaller chunks/slices.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: 1st time, dehydrated spaghetti dinner.. pretty good. on 08/10/2010 08:20:39 MDT Print View

Scott, you can always dry it together as well for an even easier time :-)
http://www.trailcooking.com/dehydrating101/diy-meal-vs-commercial-freeze-dried-meal

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
smell on 08/10/2010 09:07:21 MDT Print View

I've been kicking around the dehydrator idea for years. I'm close to being tired of MH. My only drawback, and it's a silly one, is odor.

How bad does dehydrating stuff stink up the house? My wife is sensitive to smells (especially my favorite which is tomato sauce).

How funky does it get in the house? I know it depends on what you are dehydrating. Like a tray of garlic verses a tray of banannas.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: smell on 08/10/2010 10:00:34 MDT Print View

It depends....I did a batch of capers last week that caused me to have every window open....it was eye watering ;-) Fruit smells great though! Mushrooms can be a bit pungent for example though.
If you have a protected area outside and you live where it is nice you can always dry there instead of inside. Or encourage her to go on a ladies weekend...hehheh! Then you can stink up the house!

But in all honesty - I can usually only smell the drying food in the kitchen (even with windows closed).

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: smell on 08/10/2010 10:02:01 MDT Print View

Also...some things are just worth buying pre-dehydrated. For example you can get great deals on garlic and onions ready to go. Both online and at places like Costco. No reason to work hard on those items. Save the drying for the harder to find items :-)

Scott Truong
(elf773)

Locale: Vancouver, BC
Thanks.. on 08/10/2010 13:29:52 MDT Print View

Hey Sarah,

I'll give the cooked-together pasta a try. I guess you can't over-dehydrate the pasta.

"Parchment" paper, is the waxy paper found in rolls like aluminum foil correct?

Can I dehydrate stew the same way? Figure I"ll use dried onions and garlic from the start, potatoes, baby carrots and chunks of lean beef.

As for the smell, I"m not a good person to ask. My sense of smell is pretty poor. However, yes there were odors. About the same, a little less than when I use a crock pot or cook stew on the stove all day. With the windows open, the smell went away quickly and wasn't unpleasant though... do it in the garage or balcony (if you're in a condo).

Edited by elf773 on 08/10/2010 13:31:47 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Thanks.. on 08/10/2010 13:35:29 MDT Print View

Parchment paper is sold next to foil - but do make sure it says that and don't grab "wax paper" on accident - that stuff will leave wax on said food...hehheh! I often get multiple uses out of my pieces of parchment paper that I cut to fit the trays, it holds up well.

And yes on stew, just cut everything to the same (small) size for best results.