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 Post subject: Hey Harlan - dehydration
PostPosted: November 25th, 2010, 2:20 pm 
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Hi Harlan.

I saw on your website that you rehydrate your dried foods in "7 or 8 minutes".

How do you do that so quickly? I need to soak my dehydrated stuff for 2 -3 hours before I can be sure I won't break my teeth on it.

Thanks for the info.


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PostPosted: November 25th, 2010, 6:00 pm 
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7-8 min is standard for veggies. Perhaps 15 minutes for ground meat.

If longer you either case hardened your meat or your chunks are too big.

Warn water works best. What you don't want to do in rehydrating is boil and continue to cook your meat or veggies.


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PostPosted: November 25th, 2010, 6:49 pm 
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I find that heating up the water and letting the stuff sit in that speeds up the process. I carry a little wood stove so fuel is not an issue.

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PostPosted: November 25th, 2010, 7:39 pm 
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Many dehydrated recipes call for adding the ingredients to water, bring to a boil and simmer for a period of up to 30 minutes. I find bring to a boil and put it in a cozy works just as well and saves fuel. I had made several models of cozy with foam, bubble wrap etc but then Mec started selling these:

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_deta ... 4302696309

One of the best pieces of kit I own :thumbup: and hey the price was right 8)

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PostPosted: November 25th, 2010, 10:53 pm 
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With my dried food, it takes about 15-20 minutes, sometimes longer. I often add the ingredients to cold water, so after the boil starts, I turn the heat down (using either fire or a gas stove), and simmer. Sometimes I add the dried meat and other dried ingredients in the cold water, and after the boil starts, then add the pasta, so that the pasta does not get over cooked. I cook pasta like rice, i.e. measure the water and add it, and let the pasta absorb just the right amount of water. That way it all cooks in one pot. No need to use a second pot to drain pasta and waste all that hot water. The starch from the pasta also thickens the olive oil based sauce. When using rice, I add the rice to the cold water at the beginning, and when the rice is done, the meal is done and totally rehydrated. Everything from start to finish is under a half hour. I don't pre-soak anything.

I don't like dried veggies, so never bring them. When I have tried them they seem to take forever. I do use dried mushrooms, onions and olives, but don't think of these as "veggies".

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PostPosted: November 25th, 2010, 11:08 pm 
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I figure out what I'm having for supper around lunch time when my barrel is open. The dried veggies (peas, carrots, corn, beans,mushrooms, peppers, whatever), the dehydrated meat (ground beef, turkey or tuna) and a dehydrated sauce all get dropped into a 1 liter Nalgene and filled with water. By supper time, all I need to do is cook the pasta or rice then add the contents of the Nalgene as everything is nicely rehydrated by then.

Ted

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PostPosted: November 26th, 2010, 9:54 am 
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Hi Oldntired,

All my meals are also "one pot" and usually consist of either pasta, KD or Rice. I simply go down to the lake, fill up the pot and get the water on the stove. As it's heating, I grab my dehydrated mushrooms, olives and whatever else I can find as well as my main carb and add this to the water as it begins to boil. If it's not super windy, dinner is available within 7-8 minutes.....10 minutes max. I drain the excess water and enjoy!

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PostPosted: November 26th, 2010, 11:37 am 
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Ted wrote:
I figure out what I'm having for supper around lunch time when my barrel is open. The dried veggies (peas, carrots, corn, beans,mushrooms, peppers, whatever), the dehydrated meat (ground beef, turkey or tuna) and a dehydrated sauce all get dropped into a 1 liter Nalgene and filled with water. By supper time, all I need to do is cook the pasta or rice then add the contents of the Nalgene as everything is nicely rehydrated by then.

Ted


This is how I do it too...
It produces the best results - by far.
Another tip - when soaking veggies, use the 'rehydration water' to cook your pasta/rice/whatever, to use up any nutrients that would otherwise be lost in the water.


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PostPosted: November 26th, 2010, 2:22 pm 
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Thanks everybody for the info. The food I am usually rehydrating is often a chicken or beef stew that was cooked at home and then dried in an American Harvester dehydrator. I usually dry the food for between 12 and 18 hours (I am really paranoid about bacterial contamination since these meals need to keep for up to 3 months). The pieces of meat are about the size of the end of my thumb (or a little larger) before cooking.

So are the chunks too big?
Is the drying time too long?
And Littleredcanoe, what is "case hardened"?

Thanks


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PostPosted: November 26th, 2010, 6:34 pm 
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Quote:
So are the chunks too big?
Is the drying time too long?
And Littleredcanoe, what is "case hardened"?


Yes.

Don't know. It varies with size of piece.

Case Hardening is when you really jack up the heat on the dehydrator. Its common on large pieces. Its like really searing your thick steak and making shoeleather out of the outer layer. The middle can remain raw. That sort of situation where the outer layer is dry and the middle layer soft is potentially a bacteria breeding ground if the middle cannot be completely dehydrated. Plus on rehydrating that shoeleather layer resists the entrance of water. Not surprinsing that you are breaking teeth.

I get all chunks very small..about a sixth the size of a thumbnail.


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PostPosted: November 26th, 2010, 9:37 pm 
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Chicken is very difficult to rehydrate even when well cooked.
I always use ground chicken for meals I am going to take out tripping. Oldntired you could try using ground chicken in stews you are planning to rehydrate.
The same applies to beef stews.
if you cut up chunks of beef and then stew them and dehydrate they will dry down into very hard chunks. Almost impossible to rehydrate. Either use ground beef or make shredded beef(roast beef cooked very thoroughly and then shredded with a fork to break up the connective tissue before drying). This makes a great stew and the meat will rehydrate readily in a few minutes with boiling.
The connective tissue problem is even more prounced with chicken.Grinding breaks up the meat and keeps it from case hardening on the outside, allowing it to rehydrate more easily.


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