do you dehydrate your own trail meals? | High Sierra Topix  

do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby gary c. » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:55 pm

Good save on the pork. I have not messed with the dehydrated sauces yet. I'm just plane scarred I'll open on the trail to a bunch of mold. I know it won't likely turn out like that but it keeps me away.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray



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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby ERIC » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:48 pm

I'd be curious to know how the lettuce fares in the re-hydration process, robow8.
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby robow8 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:04 pm

ERIC wrote:I'd be curious to know how the lettuce fares in the re-hydration process, robow8.

I did dehydrate a cabbage salad, and rehydrated some. It looked a little different, but was about as crunchy as fresh.
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby ERIC » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:13 pm

Cabbage I can kind of see how that could work since it's so dense and crispy to begin with. Some lettuces...I wonder. I like cabbage though, so if that works maybe a good substitute for lettuce. Some food for thought, literally.

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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby Asolthane » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:24 pm

fishmonger wrote:Some more progress to report. Recall my rock-hard pork from my first meat drying experiment? I took those pieces and pounded them in a stone masher, breaking up the hard pieces into fiber strands. Tested in a bowl of ramen and it worked like a charm. 4 pounds of pork saved, now to be used with ramen and mashed potato meals.

Next I tried my luck with chicken again. I bought canned chicken at Costco - 6 can pack for a net 75 oz of white meat, 98% fat free, drained and rinsed it, cut into small pieces, put in pot with chicken stock and boiled it for about half an hour to remove more fat, then rinsed it in a strainer with hot water and washed it a few more times in a pot of hot water. The result dried up perfectly, no fat on the Teflon sheets, and it showed how much water they manage to sell you as meat in those cans. Once dried only about 1/6th of the original weight remains, so my 75 ounces of chicken are little over 12 ounces dry. It rehydrates quickly, but due to my process, there aren't any bigger pieces left for proper meat texture. It's finely shredded chicken now.

Another meal that needed some testing was spaghetti with a red sauce. We used to buy this freeze dried, but never really liked it. So I took a lesson from backcountrychef.com and made spaghetti sauce "leather," drying two cans of Newman's Own sauce. Spread on 4 dryer rack liners, this took a while to dry, but when done, it peeled right off the sheet and folded like a piece of really thick leather. I tested rehydrating and put 1/2 of a can into a bowl, broke it up into quarter-sized pieces and added just 1/4 cup of water to start the process while the water for the noodles was heating. Finished the 5 min spaghetti, and added another 1/2 cup of water to the already mostly dissolved thick sauce. I screwed up the math on the water with that half cup (thinking I had a full can of sauce), so it was suddenly really runny. To fix that I put in a lot of dry mushrooms, some beef gravel and dry onions. After a few minutes that seemed to get it all to the proper consistency, mixed in the noodles and had a great bowl of spaghetti, although still al little too much water. Next time no more than 1/2 cup total for half a can of that sauce. I will also chop up that sauce leather into tiny pieces before the hike, so that it packs better and rehydrates even faster, but even without the chopping, there really no problems with rehydrating the sauce. Spahgetti for two with meat sauce for about $2.50 per meal (mostly due to the meat cost) and much tastier with lower salt than the freeze dried stuff.

A few more simple meals we enjoy were tested - Idahoan Roasted Garlic mashed potatoes, added in some of the crushed-up pork bits, home-dried red peppers, some green and white dried onions. Beats our old version with the cut-up Landjaeger sausage, although for the ultimate version, we'll probably add that, too.

Right now I'm drying red and yellow bell peppers as well as some broccoli to see how that works out as an added ingredient for soups. The last batch of bell peppers I dried has almost been used up in home cooking, that's how good this tastes. Better than fresh peppers, because the flavor is more concentrated, as it never rehydrates back to the original levels of water content.

2 weeks before I have to mail a resupply bucket to the Muir Trail Ranch. We already have a pile of ProBars, Builder's bars, Luna and Lara bars. Next I will have to source some beef jerky (buy from local farm - cannot do this any cheaper and their stuff is awesome). Dried sausage and other more perishable foods will be bought at the last moment.

I hope you share your jerky source with us!

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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby robow8 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:43 pm

So I rehydrated some of the carrot/pineapple salad tonight. It is as good as fresh. I'm going to take some with me up to SEKI Fourth of July weekend.
It is a little too sweet for me, so next time I'll reduce the sugar by a third.
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby ERIC » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:52 pm

robow8 wrote:So I rehydrated some of the carrot/pineapple salad tonight. It is as good as fresh. I'm going to take some with me up to SEKI Fourth of July weekend.
It is a little too sweet for me, so next time I'll reduce the sugar by a third.


Fantastic. Photos, please.
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby robow8 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:01 pm

ERIC wrote:
robow8 wrote:So I rehydrated some of the carrot/pineapple salad tonight. It is as good as fresh. I'm going to take some with me up to SEKI Fourth of July weekend.
It is a little too sweet for me, so next time I'll reduce the sugar by a third.


Fantastic. Photos, please.


Of the salad? I ate it already! Of the trip? Absolutely! And of the salad on the trip!
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby ERIC » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:13 pm

Haha yes! The July trip! And the salad on the July trip! :)
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby robow8 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:06 am

Here's a photo of the rehydrated salad at camp. It was delicious! We're going to have it twice on the Rae Lakes loop next month.
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby ERIC » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:29 am

Looks good! Will have to try. Thanks for posting the picture.
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Re: do you dehydrate your own trail meals?

Postby gary c. » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:04 am

It does look good.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
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