View topic - Dehydrating Ground Beef ... Please Reassure Me....

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PostPosted: August 17th, 2006, 8:52 am 
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Location: Windsor, Ontario Canada
BOTULISM!

After suffering a salmonella infection in the Dominican, I'm in no hurry to get any more food-borne sicknesses, especially during a one week canoe trip. Last night was my first experience dehydrating ground beef. I followed all the instructions in the "Recipes" section, and woke this morning (8 hrs) to find a tray full of what used to be ground beef but is now the consistency of hard, fine gravel.

Everything's okay, right?

My only worry is that my dehydrator tends to shut off occasionally, as though the fan needs to cool down before it starts back up again. Could this leave me vulnerable? Does anyone else's dehydrator do this? (mine's a NESCO American Harvest - a wal-mart job with no temperature gauge)


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2006, 9:17 am 
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Location: Big Flats, New York USA
Sounds like you have exactly what I have always seen. Ground beef is amazing, hard gravel when dried, can barely tell it has ever been ried after rehydrating. Good stuff!

The ground beef will be fine. I have the same dehydrator as you. If it turned into gravel within 8 hours the drying process was very fast and effective.

Bring Purell and make sure anyone who handles food uses it first. That is your best protection against salmonella.

Tony


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2006, 10:19 am 
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The gravel consistency is about right.

it takes about 4 hours to re-hydrate back. We add a seasoning mix to it and heat it up in a frying pan and it tastes great. I have tried it after 2-hours of re-hydration and it was tough.

Barry

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PostPosted: August 17th, 2006, 10:28 am 
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birkezaoud wrote:
......consistency of hard, fine gravel.


Sounds about right. If you have any doubts, package it separately from the rest of your meal. At camp when you open this baggie, take a sniff, if it's gone off you'll know right away.

birkezaoud wrote:
Does anyone else's dehydrator do this? (mine's a NESCO American Harvest - a wal-mart job with no temperature gauge)


I have the same FD35 and it has done that a couple of times recently. A little scary for someone that dehydrates quite often. Wal Mart has them in stock, so if need be I'll just get another one. I'm on my second one now, after 10 or 12 years. As a result I often times stack the 10 trays from two dryers. Really high and I have to rotate the trays to get an even dry, but I can do alot of food in one session. :D

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PostPosted: August 17th, 2006, 11:14 am 
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Location: Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania USA
Crumbly BB's, yep that's it.

I usually use 95% fat free hamburger when I dehydrate.(The only time I buy the good stuff.) While it is frying, I keep breaking it up with the spatula into smaller and smaller pieces.

After it is dehydrated, I vacuum seal it with my foodsaver in 1/4 pound or 1/2 pound packages and put it in the freezer until I need it.

To rehydrate, I cook it for about 10 minutes or more with, say dehydrated Prego Spaghetti Sauce and Barillo Three Cheese Tortilini (another story) and it rehydrates quite well. I'm not too sure about rehydrating it all day though, but I'm no expert. Seems like a long time for bugs to grow. 10-15 minutes while cooking seems to work, at least for me. So many wonderful uses. Have fun!


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2006, 8:40 pm 
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Location: Yarker, ON
In researching jerky recipes over the past week, I came upon an article that talks about food poisoning risk in drying meat, especially ground beef. The article said that food dehydrators do not reach high enough temperatures to kill the bacteria that causes food poisoning (typically dehydrators go up to about 140 degrees and the meat should be heated to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees). The article recommended that the first step in the dehydrating process for meat should be to heat it in the oven to 160 degrees (internal temperature of the meat) and then put it into the dehydrator.

Here is a link to the article (USDA website).

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/jerky_and_food_safety/index.asp

Chris[/url]


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2006, 9:07 pm 
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CA Shannon wrote:
In researching jerky recipes over the past week, I came upon an article that talks about food poisoning risk in drying meat, especially ground beef. The article said that food dehydrators do not reach high enough temperatures to kill the bacteria that causes food poisoning (typically dehydrators go up to about 140 degrees and the meat should be heated to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees). The article recommended that the first step in the dehydrating process for meat should be to heat it in the oven to 160 degrees (internal temperature of the meat) and then put it into the dehydrator.

Here is a link to the article (USDA website).

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/jerky_and_food_safety/index.asp

Chris[/url]


Chris

The hamburger meat refered to in the above reference is raw hamburger meat used in making jerky. If the hamburger has already been fried it has reached a temperature of 160 or more and dehydrating just removes the remaining moisture. So far we've survived and enjoyed about ten summers of tripping meals but I remember being very dubious of that crumbly grit the first time around.

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PostPosted: August 17th, 2006, 10:29 pm 
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Ted's rules for ground beef - notice that I did not say hamburger. Hamburger is everything but the ahole.

1. I go to my favourite non-supermarket butcher where I buy my rump roasts for making jerky.
2. Ask him for extra lean ground chuck.
3. When I've got it home I make sure my working area super clean by using a ittle vinegar on a cloth.
4. Cook the ground beef with some spices and onion.
5. Run a little hot water over it to remove any fat.
6. Set my AH dehydrator to 155.
7. Go to bed

Like everyone else says, it'll look like sand.
It's great stuff.
Ted

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PostPosted: August 17th, 2006, 11:02 pm 
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Just last week our group meal for 12 was Taco Soup, basically most of the goodies but the cheese and sour cream in a real thick soup. We first cooked the ground beef and rinsed it in hot water, then stewed up the soup, let it set for a day or two then dehydrate it. We rehyrated it by adding hot water and letting it sit on low heat for about an hour while be baked up 4 focaccia breads in 2 Outback Ovens. In one hour it was very tender and yummy. Gotta remember for next time that 2 cups per person is a bit shy when the hikers are real hungry and the grub is great.

We have made up spagetti sauces with burger the same way and that too is yummy.

Do not fear cooked, dehydrated ground beef.

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PostPosted: August 26th, 2006, 6:21 pm 
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Yep, sounds right to me too! However, I always thought they look more like dried nose pickings.

After frying the meat, I pour hot water over it until all the fat has been removed. I then liberally shower it in soy sauce to add some flavor to it. All the flavor is in the fat. It is now ready to dehydrate.

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PostPosted: August 26th, 2006, 7:01 pm 
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Here is what I do.
I by extra lean ground beef. I buy the leanest rump or chuch the butcher has and ask them to cut the excess fat from it a put it through the grinder. When I get home I fry the ground beef until brown. Then place it in a stainless steel strainer and run hot tap water over it. Place it back into the frying pan that I have wiped out with a paper towel and fry it again until the ground beef is dark brown. I place the ground beef on 3 folded paper towels and place another 3 folded paper towels on top and press down to absorb any moisture in the ground beef. I then place the ground beef in the dehydrator and let it run overnight (8 hours.). I then let it cool for an hour and then place in the freezer until the morning before my trip. I then place it in the fridge in an open bowl. THe morning of my trip I then place the ground beef in a zip lock bag and pack it with my other food. I may have 2 or 3 ziplocks of ground beef for a trip. At noon on the day I plan to use ground beef, I fill the ziplock with water. When arriving at camp I rehydrate a sauce for spagetti or chilli or whatever and set up my tent and do other camp duties like fire wood collection. Then start heating the pasta or whateveron the stove, add the ground beef and sauce and I have a great dinner with ground beef. I havebeen doing this for many years and have never had a problem or anyone that has canoed with me.

Bill

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PostPosted: August 26th, 2006, 9:44 pm 
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The key is to cook your ground beef first. That kills everything.

Then you can de-fat it by (a) draining off the obvious fat when its still hot, and then (b), place in tupperware and fill with boiling water and place in fridge for a day or two.

The fat solidifies like ice on a pond, and you can skim it off. Then dehydrate and you will have the dried gravel, which should last "forever". Be safe and store all your dried food between trips in the deep freeze. I store all my dried food in the deep freeze in mason jars which have an air-tight seal. The mason jars are cleaned in the dishwasher which washes very hot.

You have to add fat back to the meal, or else the meal will be listless, bland and won't satisfy. Ensure that you have a stable fat for long hot trips. I prefer olive oil which I keep in Nalgene narrow mouth leak proof bottles, which have also been washed carefully.

For all dried and wet foods, proper handling and "aseptic technique" is important. Touch any surface with your hands and you have inoculated it with bacteria and fungus. Residual soap film is a medium for bacteria gardens, so proper rinsing of food containers after washing is important.


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PostPosted: September 8th, 2006, 9:06 am 
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Boneli wrote:
it takes about 4 hours to re-hydrate back. We add a seasoning mix to it and heat it up in a frying pan and it tastes great. I have tried it after 2-hours of re-hydration and it was tough.
Barry


4 hours? I assume you mean just soaking and not cooking? It shouldn't take more than 10-20 minutes if cooking it into some type of sauce.

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PostPosted: September 8th, 2006, 9:17 am 
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Canoe_Junkie wrote:
Boneli wrote:
it takes about 4 hours to re-hydrate back. We add a seasoning mix to it and heat it up in a frying pan and it tastes great. I have tried it after 2-hours of re-hydration and it was tough.
Barry


4 hours? I assume you mean just soaking and not cooking? It shouldn't take more than 10-20 minutes if cooking it into some type of sauce.


For sure, I usually add hot water and let it sit for 10 minutes while prepping other things, then heat it up to a simmer in the sauce. Always great, never tough.

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PostPosted: September 8th, 2006, 9:29 am 
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Location: Kanata, Ontario Canada
I found a farmer on March road that sells ground beef that's super lean... I actually have to add fat to fry it....it's non-registered organic from a single source (IE it's not feedlot cow and is processed in small batches) it tastes gamey....sort of like a stronger orchard feed deer.

anywho...... I don't make hamburg jerky anymore after reading similar articles...a friend said to get your butcher to give you pieces for chineese fondue or something like that...waffer thin slices that take up flavoring and dehdrate really quick. I'm going to give it a hook this winter.
hamburg takes 10 minutes to come back...mix with a little refried instant bean mix and some cheese and roll in some flatbread for a quick lunch on a cool day....spices of course

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