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Meat for Dehydrated meals
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Leslie Erickson
Meat for Dehydrated meals on 02/27/2013 14:15:27 MST Print View

I posted this on another thread, but thought maybe I should put it on its own.

I'm starting to put together my menu and prepare my meals for the JMT this summer. I'm new to all this, and I have a few books that seem to be good references. I was wondering if anyone uses these freeze-dried meats from Costco (or similar) when putting these meals together.

Any other suggestions would be welcome.

(I have to put these all together to be included in my resupply packages and the initial load before I leave home the middle of May, even though I won't begin the JMT till July 3. I'll be hiking in southern Utah and Washington state for the 6 weeks leading up to the JMT, so it has to be done early.)

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
Dehydrated chicken... on 02/27/2013 15:02:27 MST Print View very yummy. Buy the large cans of all white meat pre-cooked chicken (I buy Swansons brand for least amount of salt and fat of the major brands). Dehydrate at 160 F for 6-12 hours and crumble-up any larger chunks before drying. It keeps for months at room temperature, though I store batches in the fridge, and it re-hydrates really well since it has been crumbled into small pieces. I find it to be a great protein addition that pairs well with any spice combo or regional cusine (curries etc).

Dehydrated ground turkey and ground beef works well too, but requires pre-cooking at home and rinsing under hot water to remove excess fat/grease before going into the dehydrator. I find the flavor is a little dominant to pair with lighter flavored meals, but it makes a killer Shepherd's Pie with potato flakes, blanched peas and carrots (dried). Add fat back to the meal in form of oil or butter carried separately.

Paul Mountford
(Sparticus) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic Canada
Re: Meat for Dehydrated meals on 02/28/2013 01:51:47 MST Print View

I have found a lot of good ideas here:

I would also recommend a book ( by Laurie Ann March. I just picked it up a few weeks ago to give me meal ideas. I’ve only tried the baking recipes so far (they were fantastic), but the rest looks good.

Leslie Erickson
Re: Dehydrated chicken... on 02/28/2013 07:58:26 MST Print View

Kevin, thanks for the suggestion! I'll try this. That Shepherd's Pie sounds really great. Can't wait to start trying a lot of this stuff.

Leslie Erickson
Re: Re: Meat for Dehydrated meals on 02/28/2013 08:01:57 MST Print View

Paul, thanks for these suggestions. I downloaded Recipes for Adventure from Backpacking Chef and "Lipsmackin' Backpackin'" so hopefully those will give me some good recipes and ideas. I'll take a look at the March book you recommend. Thanks!

Heather Hohnholz
(Hawke) - M
Meat on 02/28/2013 08:05:28 MST Print View

Dehydrated meat is pretty good, but I find it a pain to cook, dehydrate, etc. You have to be careful with fat, and rehydrating can be iffy. I buy 10# cans from Honeyville ( I know it seems expensive, but from 1 can of the sausage, I've gotten pretty close to 30 hefty servings. It's lasted well, is very flavorful, and is easy! I like their ground beef as well, but the chicken I found to be...Meh. Ok, but not great. I'm not a chicken fan anyway though, so take that for what it's worth. Never tried the ham, but I bet it's pretty good.

Here's some of my regular FBC meals that include the FD meats (keep in mind I eat Paleo, so no grains in my meals):

Panang Pork Curry w/Sweet Potato
Spaghetti squash Spaghetti w/meat sauce & parmesan cheese
Mashed potatoes w/ground beef or chicken, cheese, and mushrooms
I also put together omelets with sausage, dehydrated peppers/onion/garlic/pequins, and Ovaeasy eggs.

Hope this helps!

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F

Re: Meat on 02/28/2013 08:37:51 MST Print View


You need to post recipes!

Leslie Erickson
Re: Meat on 02/28/2013 09:45:58 MST Print View

Heather, wow! Thanks for the advice and those dishes sound fabulous! I'll order some of that Honeyville sausage. I agree with Jon - I'd love to get your recipes.

I'm excited to get all these suggestions - this is so much better than buying the prefab meals (and less expensive and lighter weight!) Now to just tackle putting together a month's worth of meals and dividing those for the packages. I plan to experiment quite a bit in the next few months.

Thanks again!

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
freeze dried meat on 02/28/2013 12:09:33 MST Print View

I regularly use the freeze dried sausage and chicken from packit gourmet. Both are great. The chicken rehydrates amazingly well, and tastes closer to real chicken than any dehydrated chicken I've had. Highly recommended.

Leslie Erickson
Re: freeze dried meat on 02/28/2013 13:36:37 MST Print View

Thanks Ike! I'll check that out too.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: freeze dried meat on 02/28/2013 18:13:24 MST Print View

Ike, IIRC, Packitgourmet claims their chicken rehydrates in cool water. Have you tried that?



Heather Hohnholz
(Hawke) - M
Recipes- on 03/01/2013 10:10:14 MST Print View

For the curry, I peeled, cubed, and boiled enough sweet potatoes for 3 servings (I can't tell you how much this is-how much sweet potato do you eat in one sitting?), mashed them in my KitchenAid, using some of the leftover pot liquor to thin them a bit for good mashing. Then I divided it in thirds, and spread it on parchment paper about 1/8" thick. Then dehydrated it at 135 until it was crackly. Mine took about 10 hrs (I just left it go overnight). I broke the sweet potato leather into pieces, but you could also grind it to powder in a food processor/blender/coffee grinder. I bought Thai Red Curry Paste (I prefer Mae Plong brand), spread it out on parchment, and dehydrated it at the same time as the potatoes. When the paste was done, I ground it in my food processor. In a quart ziplock, I put one of the servings of potatoes, about 2T of the dried curry paste, about 1/4 c of coconut cream powder, and about 1/2 c of freeze dried pork sausage (from Honeyville). I often make this at home on the stovetop, and use a can of coconut milk instead of the powder. This version of the recipe is pretty zesty/curry heavy. Either up your coconut cream powder, or back off on the curry powder if you don't like the strong flavor.

For the mashed sweet potatoes (you can do this with regular potatoes or instant potatoes too), I did the same potato prep, put it in the quart bags with 1/2 c of either FD ground beef or chicken, 2T of butter powder (you could also put cheese powder in here, or freeze dried cheese), and some dried chantrelle mushrooms I got at Whole Foods. This one definitely needs at least salt/pepper to zest it up a bit.

For spaghetti, I baked a spaghetti squash whole, let it cool a bit, cut it in half, cleaned out the seeds, and spread the pulp on two dehydrator trays (I figured 1 serving for each half). I also dehydrated a jar of my favorite no meat spaghetti sauce (I find the serving ratio works best at about 1/3 jar a serving, but do what works) for about 10 hrs, until it's leathery. Put the squash & the sauce-leather in a ziplock along with 1/4C ea. of FD hamburger & sausage, & some more of the chantrelle mushrooms. Separately package some grated parmesan (I use little teeny ziplocks like you can get at a craft store), and voila!

I know these aren't very exact, but I hope it gives you some ideas. Hope this helps!

Edited by Hawke on 03/01/2013 10:11:10 MST.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: freeze dried chicken on 03/04/2013 18:35:27 MST Print View

I tried it tonight, and the packit gourmet chicken rehydrated in about 5 minutes with cold tap water. I try not to sample dehydrated foods at home without the seasoning of a good hunger, but it tasted fine, like chicken. Certainly better than MH, Hawk Vittles, or home dehydrated chicken. Seems like it would be fine in a cold chicken salad.
Hope that helps.

Kimberly Wersal
(kwersal) - MLife

Locale: Western Colorado
Re: Recipes- on 03/04/2013 22:47:20 MST Print View

Heather: I have gone through this same process myself with sweet potato (though I ended up freezing the dried potato crisp so that it powdered more easily in the food processor)-- it's pretty labor intensive! I have seen organic sweet potato flour available online but have never tried it--it sounds like it could potentially be a huge time saver. I used my sweet potato to make a hot breakfast dish with dehydrated ham and a little maple syrup--pretty tasty. Also works with the dehydrated sausage from Packit. The curry sounds great, though. I also like the Mae Ploy brand, though I use the yellow, and, like you, dehydrate it in little single serve disks. I eat Paleo, but will use some rice for BPing, which does open up quite a few options...

Heather Hohnholz
(Hawke) - M
Sweet potato on 03/05/2013 08:32:41 MST Print View

I think the other thing you could do with sweet potatoes to cut down on the labor is to buy canned sweet potato puree (I can get it at Whole Foods organic & without additives), and dry/grind that. I've never heard of the flour, but that could be an interesting experiment! Long as you don't have to buy like 2 lbs of flour to find out that it's disgusting. :D

I did find this upon Googling...I'm not sure if it's the same as flour or not, but at least it has rehydration instructions.

Edited by Hawke on 03/05/2013 08:37:04 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Recipes- on 03/05/2013 08:52:22 MST Print View

I have seen sweet potato flour for sale, in a natural foods store. It was NOT cheap though. $10 a bag.....

Btw, on Thai curries: they do NOT need to be dried. They will last even when opened. Seriously.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
chicken rehydrated in cool water on 03/05/2013 19:01:47 MST Print View

Thanks, Ike! This is very helpful.



Kimberly Wersal
(kwersal) - MLife

Locale: Western Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Recipes- on 03/05/2013 22:15:33 MST Print View

When I think of the time involved in cooking/drying those potatoes (almost 24 hrs.!) $10 a bag sounds pretty fair! It might be worth a try...

Texas Chinooks

Locale: DFW
Re: Meat - Chicken on 03/06/2013 08:39:02 MST Print View

I've had good luck with the chicken & crumbled sausage from Shelf Reliance. I buy the pre-seasoned chicken slices and after they rehydrate they taste like chicken. I buy the pantry sized can but I might move up to the #10 can size to save money on long hikes.

Heather Hohnholz
(Hawke) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Recipes- on 03/07/2013 11:29:32 MST Print View

"When I think of the time involved in cooking/drying those potatoes (almost 24 hrs.!) $10 a bag sounds pretty fair! It might be worth a try..."

It was actually only about 12 hrs total, mostly passive drying time. Pretty much everything I dehydrate gets at least 8 hrs, cuz I usually do it overnight. I think the canned puree might be the really easy way to go.