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Topic: New Dehydrator, Tips and tricks?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 12:03 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm so excited to try out my new dehydrator this weekend! I've never used one before so this should be interesting. I'm going to start easy and dry fruit (since I love dried fruit as a snack). Next weekend I might attempt beef jerky.

For those of you who use a dehydrator, any advice or favorite recipes would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not a cook and I only boil water for freezer-bag meals while backpacking, so I'd like to try new meals with home-dehydrated ingredients. I'm good at following a recipe but I like simplicity. Things like "season to taste" are impossible for me since I'm not a cook, but, like I said, I can really follow a recipe (with measurements). Feel free to share your favorite recipes that use dehydrated ingredients. Thanks!


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 8:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

check this guy out...

http://www.hungryhammockhanger.com/

has some good recipes for dehydrating...easy to make and pretty good tasting, also great for freezer bag cooking on the trail.

Also another great site...

http://www.trailcooking.com/

the book, "Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple", is also worth picking up. Some great ideas and easy recipes to follow.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 8:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been seriously dehydrating for the last year after I purchased a far-out TSM 5 tray dehydrator with 5 Excalibur silicone shelf sheets which makes drying soups and spaghetti easy.


Here's a big bag of spaghetti I dried for a recent trip and it lasted almost 10 days.  You just cook up the noodles, drain, add 2 jars of sauce, mix well and fork onto the drying trays.

I'm preparing for a soon-trip to the Big Frog/Cohuttas and my dryer is working overtime with these menus---

**  Frozen butternut squash dried.
**  goat yogurt.
**  veggie sausage links cut up
**  frozen kashi pasta meals dried.
**  big bag of spaghetti
**  fruit smoothies
**  mushroom and butternut soup stocks
**  frozen broccoli florets.
**  Amy's canned soups and chilis
**  Vegetarian canned refried beans(works great, just put in boiling water and wait).
**  Avocados don't work so well.
**  The usual fruits---apples, pears, bananas, etc.

For backpacking you need a pot cozy since all you'll be doing is bringing your water with the dried food in it to a boil and then shutting off the stove and placing in a good pot cozy for 20-30 minutes.  I cut up an old Ridgerest and use a rubber band to keep it tight around my pot.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 9:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One more thing---You can dry almost anything frozen like mac and cheese frozen and already cooked and almost anything in a can.  A few things don't work though---like burritos, etc.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 10:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Whole turkeys are my favorite.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 3:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great! Thanks for the ideas. Especially the whole turkey - gotta try that. ;-)

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 5:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I posted quite a bit on the blog this year of my dehydrating - so there is more on there than even on my website, just to let everyone know!

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 30 2012, 10:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One of my go to meals is Zatarains red beans an rice.  Cook it, dehydrate it.  Use a little less water than the recipe.

I spread plastic wrap over the trays to keep the stuff from oozing through.

Divide the dried stuff into three one-quart zip locks.  On the trail Add boiling water to the bags and let Em sit for 15 minutes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 30 2012, 9:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bikehikefish @ Dec. 30 2012, 10:25 am)
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One of my go to meals is Zatarains red beans an rice.  Cook it, dehydrate it.  Use a little less water than the recipe.

I spread plastic wrap over the trays to keep the stuff from oozing through.

Divide the dried stuff into three one-quart zip locks.  On the trail Add boiling water to the bags and let Em sit for 15 minutes.

I use parchment paper for the same reason. I wonder if either is better than the other?

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 11:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like parchment paper better.....but that is me - It is stiffer.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 8:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks. I was thinking, fewer chems too.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 10:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Guess I will have to try it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 5:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Costco carries massive rolls of parchment. You get at least 4 rolls worth for the price of one. Unlike plastic wrap you can easily cut to fit the paper :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 5:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks!

Sounds easier, the plastic can be a pain sometimes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 11:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For fun, last night, I dehydrated leftovers from dinner. Penne with tomato basil sauce, just to try it out. I had never done it before. Followed the directions in the book that came with the dehydrator.

Took about 3 hours.

I did a sample reconstitution. After 3 minutes, it was chewy and soupy. I made a mental note that it was palatable and to use less water. It took me about 2 minutes to do clean up and the water was gone. Another taste and it was perfect. The color is a little darker.

Equal parts pasta and boiling water. Let stand about 5-7 minutes. I have 2 cups in 1gallon ziploc in the freezer with instructions written on the bag with a sharpie.

I was surprised at the ease and the clean up, too.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 1:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are a lot of great recipe resources out on the 'net as already mentioned here.

A book I recommend for "learning" your dehydrator is Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook.  It's an older book but a great resource, talks about food prep, slicing, peeling, what needs pretreated, what doesn't, etc.

Another is Alan S Kesselheim's Trail Food, much shorter and more geared towards the outdoors with drying tips, charts and recipes.

Plenty of other great books and websites out there - Freezer Bag Cooking (Sarbar in this thread), One Pan Wonders, Lip Smackin' Backpackin', etc...

Have fun!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 3:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you everyone for all your great ideas! I had a lot of fun dehydrating fruit last weekend. The fruit roll-up leather was a big hit. I have some leftover pasta and meat/marinara sause that I'm going to dehydrate this weekend and test as a Freezer-Bag meal. I'm also going to try beef jerkey!

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 6:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What?  No whole turkey?

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 06 2013, 1:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I put a whole turkey in the blender. It made a mess
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 06 2013, 9:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yum...a turkey smoothie!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 1:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK. The beef jerky was a huge hit in my house. Yum!

Turkey smoothie? Not so much.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 11:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

fruit leather with the strawberries and banana that were about done were big hit in my house. Both the boy and the parrot like it... double win.

The apples with cinammon sugar and pears with ginger were popular, too.

Last night was the dehydrating of left over chili. Seemed to go OK. It is meatless with no oil.

It's like a toy I never had before.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 11:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wish someone would market pre-cut parchment paper to fit round dehydrator trays.
Would be more expensive than a roll for sure,  but I would buy them.
Cutting out parchment do-nuts with scissors is a PITA


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 4:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

red dog, when I used a circle dehydrator, I kept a template to cut out, made cutting new ones way easier. If you have a plastic liner or mesh screen, cut the template off of it :-)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 6:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Red Dog, try folding the parchment in half, then cut a big semi-circle for the outer edge and a little semi-circle to cut out the center. Gives you an edge of the paper to work with, and every cut does double-duty. A little dehydrator origami. Works for me anyway.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 9:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

And reuse the parchment paper..... depending on what I have dehydrated I will use the paper over and over again. Meats are an automatic replacement for me, but veggies, pasta, soups, whatever - the paper gets used over and over until it looks funky or I do a load of meat!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 1:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JRinGeorgia @ Jan. 15 2013, 4:45 pm)
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Red Dog, try folding the parchment in half ...

Dang...Did you sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night ?

Message received and understood


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 1:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep, I can often get 3-4 uses out of a sheet :-)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 3:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JRinGeorgia @ Jan. 15 2013, 6:45 pm)
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Red Dog, try folding the parchment in half, then cut a big semi-circle for the outer edge and a little semi-circle to cut out the center. Gives you an edge of the paper to work with, and every cut does double-duty. A little dehydrator origami. Works for me anyway.

You can take that even further.  Fold it multiple times into a long, thin triangle, which you can cut with just a couple snips.  The edges will be a bit scalloped, but you can easily mark it for the inner and outer diameters.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 3:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Chris: I have had good luck dehydrating tomato paste for use in pasta, and Bobboli pizza sauce from a packet, for use in making pizza.  Way better than carrying the whole can or packet.
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