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John Peterson
(skik2000) - F

Locale: Austin, TX
Rehydrating meat on 05/12/2012 22:35:32 MDT Print View

I just bought a dehydrator and decided to play with it at home so I could hone in my skills. I did chicken and rice from babelfish's you tube page. As you could probably guess, the chicken was impossible to rehydrate. I used ground chicken. Does anyone have any tips on how to make it better?

I did a quick search on here and saw a few mentions of ground beef working better. I'm assuming that means 90%+ lean?

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Rehydrating meat on 05/13/2012 07:55:51 MDT Print View

I did chicken and rice from babelfish's you tube page. As you could probably guess, the chicken was impossible to rehydrate

I haven't tried ground chicken but sliced chicken and ham make decent shoe leather when dehydrated ... but don't rehydrate for eating. Meat that has been pressured cooked works much better ... Canned meat and meat in foil pouches (have used ham and chicken) rehydrate well (the key is that they have been pressured cooked.

I did a quick search on here and saw a few mentions of ground beef working better. I'm assuming that means 90%+ lean?

Ground beef rehydrates pretty well. You want to remove as much fat as you can by rinsing with hot water (the fat turns rancid without refrigeration). I do use 90%+ product.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Rehydrating meat on 05/13/2012 08:08:08 MDT Print View

Chicken really needs to be pressure-cooked before dehydrating, which is why Sarbar/Sarah on her trailcooking.com site recommends using canned chicken to dehydrate. Even canned chicken is unsatisfactory if you don't break up the chunks into tiny pieces before dehydrating. It works better if you give the completely dehydrated chicken a few whirls in the blender to break it up even more.

Ground beef works, but it not only needs to be as low-fat as possible, you need to remove as much fat as you can after cooking and before dehydrating.

Both meats will still have some crunch after rehydrating, but will taste good.

Lots more info here:
http://www.trailcooking.com/dehydrating101/hamburger-and-canned-meat

If you need a lot of dried meat, you may find that freeze dried meat bought in bulk is no more expensive than buying and dehydrating high quality chicken and ground beef. However, this only is true if you need enough to use the biggest packages of freeze-dried meat.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Rehydrating meat on 05/13/2012 11:08:31 MDT Print View

Check out http://www.backpackingchef.com/

He has some suggestions on ground meat.

You did not mention if you used white or dark meat. I have not dehydrated chicken, but I would thigh if I did. I did make turkey jerky from breast once, but it was like eating plywood.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Tvp on 05/13/2012 14:20:50 MDT Print View

I gave up on dehydrated and freeze dried meat. Now i just use TVP textured vegatable protein as a groung beef replacement. It is very cheap and you can get it pre flavoured as well.

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/HikingCamping/Food/VegetarianEntrees/PRD~4010-229/hothucks-tex-mex-veggie-ground.jsp#tab3

The above is one of my favourite meals with rice and tortilla shells. It is a little heavy though at only 3.5 cal/gram but you can up that by adding olive oil. They also make a spegetti one as well. 1 pouch for me lasts for 3 meals so it is only $1.50 a meal per meat. Im sure if you found a bulk source for it it coukd be even cheaper.

John Peterson
(skik2000) - F

Locale: Austin, TX
Chicken Breast on 05/13/2012 15:03:04 MDT Print View

I used ground breast as I figured the lower fat content would be better.

Don Abernathey
(OldGuysRule) - F

Locale: PNW
Ground beef works good on 05/14/2012 14:38:00 MDT Print View

I too just bought a dehydrator - fun! :)

Anyways I made up a batch of goulash, dehydrated it, and it rehydrated very well. Tasted excellent! My burger had 12% fat, so I doubt a unrefrigerated meal would last more than 4 or 5 before the fat went rancid. I might leave a bag outside for a couple days and then give it the "nose" test.

I was planning grinding up a chicken breast, cooking it and then dehydrating it for my next test.

I have Sara's book somewhere ( I bought it but never used it). I've been freezer bag cooking for a long time but my meals were pretty awful.

Don Abernathey
(OldGuysRule) - F

Locale: PNW
Turned out great! on 05/18/2012 20:43:37 MDT Print View

Well I finished my 4 day spoilage test. The 12% burger (bought it at Costco) rehydrated perfectly and tasted great.

Here's the video with all the appropriate nouns and verbs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvpIctMXUIM

Justin R
(5150Bronco) - F

Locale: Bay Area, Ca.
Re: Chicken Breast on 07/01/2012 17:17:38 MDT Print View

I just bought my dehydrator and I have already made thinly sliced pieces of chicken flavored wood sticks. LOL.

How did your ground chicken turn out John?

Thanks for everyone's comments.

Off to try some more stuff.

Edited by 5150Bronco on 07/01/2012 17:18:30 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Chicken Breast on 07/01/2012 17:22:59 MDT Print View

This does not beat the food weight problem, but I have found a good chicken item to take for backpacking is from Bumble Bee.

Bumble Bee Chicken Breast, skinless and boneless, with barbecue sauce, foil packed. Net weight is 4 ounces.

--B.G.--

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
meat on 07/07/2012 06:58:05 MDT Print View

Pork and chicken should be cooked in a moist method... pressure cooker, slow cooker in a sauce of some sort, or part of a soup/stew. It also needs to be cut very small or shredded before dehydrating. I find shredding works best.

Plan these dishes where you will have 45 minutes to an hour for rehydration. Rehydrate with boiling water and cozy the food. I prefer (I know it's not UL) a screw top ziploc container or a wide-mouth Nalgene for rehydration. It creates a bit of steam pressure and the meat takes on the water better.

Grilled or baked chicken/pork does not rehydrate well. Canned meats do well dried and in the rehydration end of things... likely because of the canning process.