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PostPosted: November 26th, 2007, 9:49 pm 
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benz wrote:
******: I have never put my dried meals in the freezer but it sounds like a great idea. Do you get any problems with condensation and hence increased moisture content?


Never had any issues - but I also make sure as much air as possible is squeezed out of the bag before I freeze it.


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PostPosted: November 26th, 2007, 10:04 pm 
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Great, I'm excited to try it. I just dehydrated six portions of chili the other day and it turned out great! :D


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2007, 7:05 am 
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Dehydrating and Dry Vac is where its at!! My next move is to somehow inject nitrogen gas in the bags.. then I'm good for much, much longer, and can carry a wider of variety of food.

As for chili, I prefer to cook it at the site, and have the dehydrated ingredients separated before hand. Is the chilli as tasty when its premade and dehydrated?


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2007, 8:09 am 
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If you dehydrate food and freeze it , since there is no water left , you will not get freezer burn. The freezing will just prolong the useful life of the food.

If you are planning to put it into a barrel for canoeing, you need to take it out of the freezer some time before placing it in the barrel to allow the packages to equilibrate to room temperature. If you pack it while it is cold and then seal up your barrel you will incur condensation on the packages and that will remain in the barrel and cause some grief fo you.

Nitrogen would help in storage, but there are no simple low cost methods for home packagers like ourselves to get it into the package. An easier way is to purchase a bunch of Oxygen absorbers and use them to reduce to oxygen level in the vacuum package. You can buy them from people who sell dehydrated foods such as Walton feed Mills etc.


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2007, 8:19 am 
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I find that the chili is a lot more tasty when it is premade and dehydrated. I think the reason is that when i make it at home it simmers for a really long time (4-6 hours) and the flavors really have time to get infused into the beans and the meat.

The biggest reason for doing it this way is that it's just easier. I'm already making the food anyway, so making more isn't an inconvenience.

gcc_mtl wrote:
Dehydrating and Dry Vac is where its at!! My next move is to somehow inject nitrogen gas in the bags.. then I'm good for much, much longer, and can carry a wider of variety of food.

As for chili, I prefer to cook it at the site, and have the dehydrated ingredients separated before hand. Is the chilli as tasty when its premade and dehydrated?


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2007, 10:30 am 
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If you dehydrate food and freeze it , since there is no water left , you will not get freezer burn. The freezing will just prolong the useful life of the food.

Are you saying I dont need to Dry Vac my food? Or to dry vac it before I pack the barrel only?


As for the chilli.. you cook the meat, drain it, and then continue and make the chilli? How do you drain all the fat to be able to make a good dehydration.

Lastly, where do I get all the recipes my heart desires for hearty food that can be dehydrated?


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2007, 10:44 am 
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gcc_mtl wrote:
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As for the chilli.. you cook the meat, drain it, and then continue and make the chilli? How do you drain all the fat to be able to make a good dehydration.


If I am using extra-lean ground beef, I don't bother to drain the fat, although it would probably be more wise to do so. I just use it to cook the other veggies in. When it's finished dehydrating, there is a tiny amount of fat that surfaces from the beans but not enough that I'm worried about it.


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2007, 10:57 am 
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Mac wrote:
An easier way is to purchase a bunch of Oxygen absorbers and use them to reduce to oxygen level in the vacuum package. You can buy them from people who sell dehydrated foods such as Walton feed Mills etc.

I save all mine from other purchases. Those and dessicates. Every pill bottle has one. Every store bought freeze dried meal has one. All sorts of things come with them.

I just avoid meat when I trip. Not all the time, depends on the season. If I can make use of God's Own Fridge, great. When it warms up, not worth the trouble imo. Store bought freeze dried stuff is safe, but I don't trust me or want to risk my vacation enough to play that game with my home-prep foods.


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2007, 7:58 pm 
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gcc_mtl wrote:
Quote:
If you dehydrate food and freeze it , since there is no water left , you will not get freezer burn. The freezing will just prolong the useful life of the food.

Are you saying I dont need to Dry Vac my food? Or to dry vac it before I pack the barrel only?


As for the chilli.. you cook the meat, drain it, and then continue and make the chilli? How do you drain all the fat to be able to make a good dehydration.

Lastly, where do I get all the recipes my heart desires for hearty food that can be dehydrated?


I can answer this...

Don't need to dry vac at all! (I don't even own one of those - however it would be a great housewarming present)

I use extra lean meat and cook it then drain it and make the chili like I always do. Now I do this because I usually make a lot and we have it for dinner, then I dry the leftovers. If I am just drying ground beef I also rinse it a few times.

Go to Amazon.ca and pre-order A Fork in the Trail (sorry couldn't resist plugging my cookbook). Seriously though - there are a ton of resources on the net... CCR (just click the food tab) is one of them.


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2007, 8:23 pm 
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I'll buy the book... early Merry Christmas to me.

I'm a little disappointed with the food tab on the site. Everything here is top notch, but I guess I expected more for food. Also there's a new thread JUST BEGGING for people to add recipes, but ...alas.. :cry: ... no posts... boo hoo hoo hooo.


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2007, 9:38 pm 
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Ummmm..yeah.. so I just went to check out the book, but its on pre-order. Where can I buy it now or how long till I get it from amazon.ca? Anyone know?


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PostPosted: November 28th, 2007, 12:16 am 
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gcc_mtl wrote:

Quote:
How do you drain all the fat to be able to make a good dehydration.


If you use Extra Lean G/B, it doesn't have a lot of fat in it, but you can reduce this level still more by placing the cooked meat in a strainer and pouring a kettle of boiling water over it. To get it down even further put it back in the pan and boil it up with fresh water, then strain and dry in the dehydrator or use it to make your chili.
There will be very little fat remaining on the dried meat. The yield here is about 20 -21% from fresh to dry.

As ******* has pointed out you don't really need to vacuum pack your dried meat if you are going to freeze it for storage and if you are planning a short trip, say a week or so.
If you are planning to be out longer, it might be a wise thing to do, just to make sure it stays dry and doesn't start to rehydrate in your barrel or food pack.

This past summer, I was using some dried G/B that I had prepared over 3 years ago. It had been stored in the freezer for that time period and then spent a month in my van in very hot Summer conditions before I needed it for a second trip. That was not the best way to treat it by leaving it in the heat like that but it survived and was fine to eat. (I didn't die of ptomaine poisioning)

When I started out drying meat I was fastidious about storing it in vacuum bags along with fresh oxygen absorbers ( black iron oxide pellets) Then I began to realize all this was not entirely necessary. The vacuum storage for tripping is really a convenience, I still stick to, so that my food stays dry. Ziplocks have leaks in them sometimes and this can create a problem if you tip and if your food packaging is not good and waterproof.


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PostPosted: November 28th, 2007, 4:08 am 
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To get it down even further put it back in the pan and boil it up with fresh water, then strain and dry in the dehydrator or use it to make your chili.
There will be very little fat remaining on the dried meat.


You know, around the kitchen we learned that "FAT IS FLAVOR". I will strain the meat after its pan cooked, but all the water in your method makes me feel like im turning meat into rubber... Unless theres a way to add fat back into it on site, which tricks my taste buds believe its GB again, I dont know if I have the will power to do that. Also, isn't fat a storage method, like pickling or salting?


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PostPosted: November 28th, 2007, 5:50 am 
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I would agree as well - fat is flavour (ever notice that beef tenderloin tastes like, well, nothing?).

While I do tend to try and reduce the fat somewhat, I don't go to the measures that others do. It will still dry just fine with some fat in it.

When I was first getting into dehydrating foods, I was trying to solve 'The Chicken Problem' (see the other thread re: Dehydrating Turkey).

I did a little experiement. I took several chicken thighs and prepared them several ways. I took the skin off one, cooked, then ground it. Left the skin on another, cooked, then ground. Ground it with the skin on, then cooked, etc, etc. I went so far as to rinse one of the samples in boiling water in an attempt to get all the fat out. Basically I was trying to get the whole spectrum to see what would taste the best and spoil the least (I think it was the one I ground up with the skin on, then cooked).

In the end, they all lasted, none spoiled. I probably still have some of the jars around (I've switched to shredded rather than ground poultry for drying).

Note I'm not saying people should be drying things dripping with fat, but, provided the food has been cooked properly, the small amount fat that remains (especially if you're using lean ground beef) should be fine.

Given enough time and exposure to air will cause fats to oxidize (go rancid), but I can't say I've ran into that with any of my dried food.

Many cheeses will dry fine as well, despite a relatively high fat content. When I dry cheddar (shredded), I used to blot the fat off that tends to gather on the surface. One day I didn't, and found that the cheese seemed to absorb most of the fat again after I turned of the dehydrator and let it sit for awhile.

Thanks,

Brian


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PostPosted: November 28th, 2007, 9:58 am 
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Brianl wrote:
I would agree as well - fat is flavour (ever notice that beef tenderloin tastes like, well, nothing?).

Testify! A friend used to say, "All restaurants sell three things; salt, sugar and fat."

I prefer to cook the stew/chili/tagine and then dehydrate it. Not just for the flavours, also for the drying. Cooking releases a lot of the water. Instead of having it locked up in the raw food, it's out and dries better, faster, stronger. We can rehydrate.

A handfull of TVP is pure protein for those achy muscles.


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