I made another batch of the pulled pork burrito filling. Again, about 18 hours in the crock pot, different beans, more spice than last time, but very much the same meal. Protected most of it from being eaten by the kids, so I was able to dry over 4 pounds (wet) of it, resulting in three pouches that will rehydrate to about 1.5 pounds of delicious tortilla fillings somewhere in the Sierra this July
Some photos from the process after cooking
What it looks like out of the pot. Note box of vinyl gloves - treat the food like you're in a NASA cleanroom after cooking and the chance of it going bad before consumption a few months later is greatly reduced
Spreading it thinly on the dryer racks (with Teflon sheets, parchment paper will do, too), breaking up the beans for better rehydration
this is what it looks like after about 14 hours at 155F in the dryer and flipping over once. It probably was good at 12 hours, but I figured it can't hurt to run the drier a little longer. This is very easy to break into much smaller pieces, but it will also break the stringy meat into shorter buts. For better packaging, I choose to really break it up, about 1/4" max size. This stuff is really sharp at the corners, so use quality vac seal bags or double zip locks, because I had several of my no-name food vac bags leak right after sealing, being punctured by sharp corners of the dry pork poking a hole into them.
Other things to dry while you have the unit out - here I have peppers and mushrooms on the racks, about 5 large red bell peppers and 2 packages of mushrooms. This makes great addition to soup mixes and anything else. Tastes so much better than the tiny morsel stuff you get out of commercial dry pepper or mushroom packages, and costs a fraction. All these peppers shrivel down to about 2 cups full of dry peppers.
and a little off topic - here's one of the meat sources on our hikes - these packages contain 8 links of smoked/dried sausage and they last for months without refrigeration as long as not opened. I made the mistake of repacking some for our last trip and that resulted in spoiled sausage. Cajun is new this year, we usually buy their "original" - I think they do mail order, too, via their web site, but stuff costs twice as much there as here in the local grocery store. Strange business model.
Does anyone have experience with Harmony House
products ? I am about to get some of their freeze dried cheese, but their "backpacking kit" pack of soups and veggies does look like a decent deal. They also have a soup sampler pack, no sugar added freeze dried fruit like mango and papaya, great to add to a mountain breakfast smoothie with some protein shake and milk powder. Beats eating pop tarts every day, although we certainly will have pop tarts or cookies for a lot of our morning meals.