do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
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fishmonger
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by fishmonger » Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:15 pm

Quick update on some recent testing:

- grilled pork, lean, all fat removed, then sliced and diced. Dehydrates really well, all the seasoning falls right off in the dehydrator, and the resulting output is a pile of very pointy/sharp morsels that will poke through any of my vac sealer bags. I may need to find a way to soften up the edges before packaging - tumble in some bucket with some hard objects maybe.

- bought white chunk cooked chicken in a can as recommended on http://www.backpackingchef.com/ - sliced and diced, and when done, I found some dark brown, really oily looking chicken pieces and droplets of grease on the Teflon tray liners. So much for 98% fat free. Not sure if I even want to eat that stuff, should it even properly rehydrate at all. I may have to buy an expensive can of freeze dried chicken after all.

- last I dried 2 pounds of mushrooms and 4 red peppers that were on sale. These veggies shrink down to next to nothing. Mushrooms do not rehydrate fully, even after 1 hour of cooking in a beef stroganoff I made with it, but it keeps my mushrooms fresh without having to buy more or get super expensive dried mushrooms at the store. I am going to kick up some store bought ramen and similar meals with dried extra ingredients we'll pack separately. Obviously, you can just buy this stuff and save yourself the dehydrator. I bought some bulk dried veggies and spices from myspicer.com recently. Really like what you can get there. Their zesty Italian seasoning is seriously zesty :)








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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by fishmonger » Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:22 am

dehydrated pork doesn't work, at least not the type I dried a week ago. It now has been in a zip lock bag with water for 2 days, but not rehydrated enough to have a soft texture. Perhaps it is the type of preparation (this was grilled, not slow cooked to falling apart point).

Canned white chicken was a little better, but still very chewy after 15 minutes in water/pot. Tolerable, but I think when it comes to meats, I will have to resort to freeze dried, or just sausage and bacon bits.

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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by sheperd80 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:12 am

Ive had good results with pulled pork. Crock pot cooked till its falling apart, pulled and mixed with bbq sauce. It rehydrated pretty well, a little chewy but not bad. It made good burritos and pita bread sandwiches. Definitely one id bring again.

Just started doing a few meals this way last year and so far homemade chili, chicken pesto, chicken angel hair basil and evoo have been my favorites.

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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by longri » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:25 am

That's the same problem I've had with dehydrated meat. It dehydrates great but it never rehydrates back to what I would find appealing texture-wise. It tastes okay, it's just super chewy no matter how long it's boiled.

That's weird about the mushrooms though. They always rehydrate easily in my experience. You sliced them before dehydrating, right?

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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by freestone » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:42 am

Same a Shepherd 80 having good luck with slow cooked cuts of meat that can shred into small pieces. Also, lean ground beef that has been browned to a fine grain consistency then seasoned with your favorite seasoning or just salt and pepper. last year I dried my own salmon using an online Salmon jerky recipe that was much better than the commercial variety. When I added it to other dishes, it had the flavor of bacon, I think because the marinate called for liquid smoke flavor.
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by fishmonger » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:28 pm

longri wrote:
That's weird about the mushrooms though. They always rehydrate easily in my experience. You sliced them before dehydrating, right?
bought mine sliced - probably a little too thick, those slices, but they still work ok. Red peppers rehydrated well and tasted excellent in my last soup test. Will do a lot more of those for the trip.

Pulled pork may be worth a try. Definitely a lot softer, but I have to use the leaner meats. A few hours in a pan in the oven with water In it at low temp should do the job.

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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by gary c. » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:02 pm

I second the pulled pork for dehydrating. We have been having computer problems but I'm going to try to link my recipe for pulled pork. Fat does not dehydrate or keep well so the important thing is to use the leanest cuts you can and trim what fat you can away before dehydrating. I use boneless loin chops. I mix this pork with dehydrated refries 50/50. Add cheese and salsa for some darn good burritos. One correction to the recipe is too skim any fat from the top of the sauce before you return the shredded meat to the sauce. I know the recipe reads kind of strange but it's one that I got from friend and then added some notes of my own without thinking of anyone else reading them but I would know what I meant.
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by gary c. » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:22 pm

When rehydrating my shredded pork what I normally do is this. If I want a cups worth to make burritos with I put 1 cup of water in the pot and 1/2cp of the dehydrated pork and light the stove. Once the water and meat come to a boil I add my refries until I get the consistency I want and turn off the heat. Remembering that I can always add more refries if it's too thin.
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by sheperd80 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:46 pm

That sounds great im gonna have to try that

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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Post by fishmonger » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:11 am

gary c. wrote:I second the pulled pork for dehydrating. We have been having computer problems but I'm going to try to link my recipe for pulled pork. Fat does not dehydrate or keep well so the important thing is to use the leanest cuts you can and trim what fat you can away before dehydrating. I use boneless loin chops. I mix this pork with dehydrated refries 50/50. Add cheese and salsa for some darn good burritos. One correction to the recipe is too skim any fat from the top of the sauce before you return the shredded meat to the sauce. I know the recipe reads kind of strange but it's one that I got from friend and then added some notes of my own without thinking of anyone else reading them but I would know what I meant.
I just printed up the recipe and will grab what I need next time I am at the store. Looks really good, and clearly, the slow cooker and the skimming of the fat off the top will make a big difference in how it will dry and rehydrate. I know my son will love this recipe. Will report back after first tests.

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