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Stephen P
(spavlock) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
My 2 cents on dehydrated chili on 04/05/2011 14:27:40 MDT Print View

I couple of months ago I used this recipe to cook a large batch of chili:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Boilermaker-Tailgate-Chili/Detail.aspx

I decided to dry some of it and see how it turned out when I rehydrated it. I used my 5 tray Excalliber set to 155F. I put parchment paper down on the trays to keep it from dripping through the plastic mesh tray. I don't remember how long I left it in the dehydrator, but I used the beans to measure when it was done. I would take a single bean and smoosh it between my fingers. Once the bean had a sand-like consistency, I was done. I put the whole batch in a gallon sized freezer bag and stuck it in the freezer....until today.

I rehydrated a serving today, and it came out great. I dumped a bunch in my pot, put water in so that it came just short of covering the top of the food, put an ounce of alcohol in my cat can stove, boiled it, then put it in my pot cozy for 20 minutes (stirring it once at 10 minutes.) it was quite tasty.

The ground beef was much more tender than it has ever been in any of my dehydrated home cooked meals. Maybe this was due to slow cooking it in the crock pot. (Note: when I cooked the ground beef initially, I did it in a skilled, drained it, and dried it with paper towels to reduce to amount of grease.)

Things I would do differently:

When I do this again, I will probably make the beans myself. I started dehydrating my own meals so that I could save some money and reduce the sodium content. I don't even want to think about the amount of sodium in this recipe...

Next time, i will include pictures. Any thoughts or comments on how to improve/change this whole process are welcome. Thanks.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: My 2 cents on dehydrated chili on 04/05/2011 21:12:18 MDT Print View

Stephen,

On canned beans: You can find reduced sodium beans by companies like Bush - that have 50% less. Also, rinse the canned beans well - it removes a good half of the sodium.

If you do beans from scratch use a slow cooker! It is sooooo easy! And tasty!

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
slow cooking on 04/06/2011 08:25:39 MDT Print View

Slow cooking in the crockpot or in a Dutch oven on top of the stove before dehydrating works best for most meats. I do everything from Moroccan Chicken to Chipotle Pulled Pork for the trail using these methods. With chicken and pork, I shred the meat with two forks when it is tender and well cooked. That way, it comes back beautifully. Chicken and pork take about twice as long to rehydrate (I usually let them soak 45 minutes to 1 hour and I start with boiling water) but I find it worth the wait for variety.

Rinsing canned beans will take away some of the sodium but not all. I do this and then reduce or eliminate the salt I add when cooking.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 04/06/2011 08:31:42 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Chili & hamburger on 04/10/2011 13:12:10 MDT Print View

I'm going to make my chili W/O the hamburger then add the meat when I cook it in camp.

As for preparing the hamburger I have found that:

1. salt the hamburger liberally when cooking (in a "riced" or loose fashion) helps it store longer.

2, rinse the cooked hamburger in boiling water to remove most of the fat

3. Drain in a collander and dry the hamburger with paper towels

4, dehydrate and store in a freezer until ready to take on a trip.

These steps ensure no spoilage and good flavor. Now I have hamburger for several different recipes, from stroganoff to chile to spaghetti sauce to tortillas.

Edited by Danepacker on 04/10/2011 23:08:41 MDT.

Dennis rosloniec
(lpranal) - F

Locale: great lakes
Deer Chili! on 08/29/2011 14:21:22 MDT Print View

I'm planning to do this for my upcoming labor day trip to Grand Island / Pictured Rocks. I'm actually going to use some ground red deer meat I bought at the farmer's market. Used it for chili before and there's almost no fat (it's even leaner than bison or elk) so I'm thinking it should be perfect for this purpose.

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
deer burger on 08/29/2011 22:45:27 MDT Print View

Venison was the only ground meat I ate a kid. Makes great rigatoni and chili.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
emu on 08/30/2011 12:40:36 MDT Print View

Emu is another good lean meat that works well in dehydrated applications.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Salt and Water on 08/30/2011 12:50:35 MDT Print View

Eric sez:
"1. salt the hamburger liberally when cooking (in a "riced" or loose fashion) helps it store longer.

2, rinse the cooked hamburger in boiling water to remove most of the fat"

Won't rinsing the meat in boiling water also dissolve and remove the salt?


FWIW, I found some 96% lean hamburger the other day in the grocery store. It dried really nicely!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Salt and Water on 08/30/2011 21:24:41 MDT Print View

I have never salted beef when drying but in that sense yes, salting does help preserve - but one would want to do it after any rinsing.

Dennis rosloniec
(lpranal) - F

Locale: great lakes
re: venison on 09/14/2011 08:30:31 MDT Print View

Well I had to postpone grand island due to weather, but ended up going out to the western part of the state instead for some mountain biking and camping. The red deer chili turned out perfectly, and I didn't even have to rinse the meat, it was so lean (I did drain it though before adding the other ingredients). Rehydrated in about 10 minutes, with some whole grain goldfish crackers it was amazing!

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
chili on 09/14/2011 08:54:07 MDT Print View

sounds like it was delicious... nothing better than a great meal to complete the day

Michael Levy
(neweyes) - F
dehydrate with cheese? on 07/02/2012 17:15:55 MDT Print View

just stumbled on this old thread as i'm prepping food for a colorado trail thru-hike. quick question: did you include the cheese prior to dehydrating? thanks!

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: dehydrate with cheese? on 07/02/2012 20:15:44 MDT Print View

Can't dehydrate fat. Add cheese later.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: dehydrate with cheese? on 07/02/2012 22:52:09 MDT Print View

I would bring a block of hard cheddar and slice it on top, should last at least a week.