Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > Outdoors Related Discussion > Gear, Food, and Survival Topics
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-31-2020, 02:02 PM   #1
forest dweller
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 640
Any of you become an expert with a food dehydrator?

Any of you become an expert with a food dehydrator?

I LOVE the idea of removing the water (and WEIGHT!) from an assortment of delicious meals and foods, having them not spoil for up to a week or longer, and mostly bringing them back to life to eat by adding boiling water. I love going on backpacking trips for up to a week or longer but the few times I have my food caused my back to weigh a STARTLING amount on push off at the trail head. Any tips or books or websites or other resources that you'd recommend? I'd like to try to become a bit of an expert on this!

Also, can you dehydrate anything or does it not work for some things? Can I, say, make penne primavera, loaded with veggies and garlic, and just dry out all of the water, and then reconstitute the water back into it and have it taste the same and have the same nutritional value?
forest dweller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 02:49 PM   #2
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,139
Avoid all fat and oils as much as possible in any food you attempt to dehydrate. Keep all pieces small and of consistent size as much as possible. If you want to include the taste of, say, olive oil in something, carry a tiny bottle and add it after rehydrating.

Instead of large cut Penne pasta (though it may work), consider something of smaller size, such as angel hair or orzo, cut veggies small. Double bag, especially if pasta is sharp. Rehydrate most food completely by mixing with boiling water in a bag within an insulating cozy of some kind, 20-30 minutes. Do not cook over fire. Check midway, stir, and add more hot water if not getting soft. It is better to have soup than hard dry bits. It will turn out fine. Dehydrated food will in general lose 3/4 of its volume and 2/3 of its weight (or vice versa).

Recommend:
Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook

Linda Yaffe's Backpack Gourmet: Good Hot Grub You Can Make at Home, Dehydrate, and Pack for Quick, Easy, and Healthy Eating on the Trail

Both are on Amazon. Yaffe offers some oddball sounding recipes. Most are quite good. Try a few, treat them as a starting point for your own new idea modified creations.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 03:58 PM   #3
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
Rehydrate most food completely by mixing with boiling water in a bag within an insulating cozy of some kind, 20-30 minutes. Do not cook over fire.
I've never found this completely effective and have always had cold, chewy food.

I found adding a small amount of boiling water, then simmering whilst adding water and stirring to be the most effective way of getting a good, hot, consistent texture meal. I especially had trouble with pasta the other way. You could probably remedy that by just dehydrating the sauce and boiling non-cooked/dehydrated noodles fresh. The noodles themselves don't have a lot of moisture content and if are fresh pasta are naturally air dehydrated.

JME...
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 04:02 PM   #4
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,045
I guess I forgot to mention it in another thread, but one thing that's super easy to make as a backpacking meal is Parmesan cheese macaroni and cheese. Dry parmesan keeps quite a while and all you need is some dry spice and olive oil to make a really tasty "fresh" pasta. Just boil pasta, and mix dry ingredients (min salt and pepper) and parm and olive oil until you have a consistent mix. I usually carry this all the time as a "backup" dinner because it's super small and high calorie.
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 04:49 PM   #5
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,139
If you have a good insulating cozy, most food should not get below satisfyingly hot and nicely rehydrated within 30 minutes. I only report what works for me and others I have been with using the same methods. In rare cases when food pieces are too large, I have resorted to external heat and and maybe several more minutes. Usually not required. Some kinds of food (I like to break up frozen and dehydrate hash brown bricks) come back perfectly in only 5 minutes with very little hot water. Top with separately rehydrated seasoned ground beef and a prepared packet of country gravy mix (that you must cook separately). yum.

1000 miles (6 days) racing on the Yukon, 7 paddlers in a Voyageur canoe, two major meals a day were prepared this way onboard with only the chef stopping his paddling. No one complained, no one wasted food or went hungry. The outfitter with us (Brian Mac) asked for leftover packages to take home. An Adirondack BSA camp trek director asked that I prepare trek meals for the whole season, same process.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 06:17 PM   #6
DuctTape
Out of Shape
 
DuctTape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,838
Another book I recommend is: "A Fork in the Trail" by Laurie Ann March.
__________________
"There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

My trail journal: DuctTape's Journal
DuctTape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 06:34 PM   #7
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,045
Actually now that I remember, the cozy way (I don't think I had a proper one either) was always giving me a product that was too wet or too dry as well. I feel like to get it to cook well enough it was too wet and if I used less water and added some later it didn't cook well enough.
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 06:36 PM   #8
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,139
that is why I open and check it mid way through the alloted time for proper hydration. Often more hot water is needed, as the initial filling is usually a semi-educated guess.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 08:02 PM   #9
forest dweller
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 640
Thanks everyone. Would be a really cool thing to master, and you could eat meals you actually enjoy instead of buying that heinous dehydrated stuff! Speaking of the heinous dehydrated stuff, are there any particular ones that you actually like?
forest dweller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 08:31 PM   #10
DuctTape
Out of Shape
 
DuctTape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,838
I personally rehydrate in my cookpot. I cover the food with water, bring to a boil and move it away from the heat. Partly because I am too lazy to check on it and mostly because I abhor eating out of bags.
__________________
"There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

My trail journal: DuctTape's Journal
DuctTape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 10:40 PM   #11
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,711
I have often dried, and rehydrated leftover Chipotle burrito bowls...the portion is too large for a single meal and I actually look forward to drying the remnants. The taste is identical to the fresh meal.
I have also dried leftover Chinese take out, I'm fond of Szechuan chicken with extra hot pepper, again, the taste is identical.
From home cooked meals, goulash, leftover Mexican lasagna, tikka masala all work well.

I do use a home made cozy, and also would rather have a soggy meal than hard dry chunks. I use heavy weight vacuum freezer bags that I vacuum and seal at home.
The only drawback (for others, I don't care in the least) is that the see though bags allow the meals to show through...Some of the stuff looks decidedly pre-digested.

Bottom line, try it out at home and see what most pleases you. Better to find out at home than 20 miles in that a particular meal is not so great.
stripperguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2020, 08:55 PM   #12
St.Regis
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,362
I learned a good trick for potatoes years ago. Slice them thin, dice them small, or hash them and blanch them before dehydrating. It makes rehydrating them much faster and they look better too. When everything else in your stew is cooked to perfection, but the potatoes need way more time to cook is not a good thing, especially when you're famished
St.Regis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2020, 07:31 PM   #13
forest dweller
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 640
Thanks everyone. What do you recommend I start with? stripperguy, seems like you have found success doing entire meals and having them come right back to life on the trail? I have a Chipotle right near me and I'm a fat slob! Tempting to start there! I also have a place up the road that does great fajitas, and an Italian place that does great penne primavera. I'm wondering how home made meatballs would do, especially if I cut them up afterwards and made them part of the sauce...making it into a meat sauce.
forest dweller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2020, 09:20 PM   #14
bioguide
Member
 
bioguide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Niskayuna, NY
Posts: 486
Here is a great online resouce:

https://www.backpackingchef.com/dehydrating-food.html

__________________
My YouTube channel
bioguide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2020, 09:00 AM   #15
DuctTape
Out of Shape
 
DuctTape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest dweller View Post
Thanks everyone. What do you recommend I start with? stripperguy, seems like you have found success doing entire meals and having them come right back to life on the trail? I have a Chipotle right near me and I'm a fat slob! Tempting to start there! I also have a place up the road that does great fajitas, and an Italian place that does great penne primavera. I'm wondering how home made meatballs would do, especially if I cut them up afterwards and made them part of the sauce...making it into a meat sauce.
Full meals works well. It is how I started.

I don't think fajitas will work too well. I suggest starting with things like "casseroles" and "stews". Pasta with meat sauce works very well. I have done meatballs. I make them very small, and even cut them up. One of my go-tos was "macaroni & meatballs". Not sure how it rehydrates using just boiling water in a bag as I boil in the pot. I find the heating of the water with the food makes a significantly superior end product in texture. This is more pronounced with meat based meals.I have found meat to rehydrate better when started in cold water. YMMV

edit: ChefGlen in bioguides link has a unique style to his methods. He and I were in contact many years ago. I think I might still have a draft copy of one of his books.
__________________
"There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

My trail journal: DuctTape's Journal
DuctTape is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.