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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Meat in the Dehydrator

is it true that in the dehydrator, things can not touch each other, and what vegtables work well in it.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 04:07 PM
 
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It works best if stuff dosen't touch, but it doesn't preclude drying stuff out. If your goodies are touching, you'll have to move them around every couple of hours to expose the touching bits to the airflow. It's just simpler and less work to keep everything separated and in one layer.

As for veggies, most anything can go in there. I usually save myself some trouble and buy frozen veggies, defrost them and then dehydrate. The notable exception is potato, which seems to come out pretty darn insipid. I've dried cabbage, carrots, peas, bags of mixed vegetables, apples, bananas, tomatoes, tomato sauce, bags of frozen fruit, pineapple slices, and more.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 04:13 PM
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Wild Mushrooms are great !!!

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 04:55 PM
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Be careful with onions! You need to either put the dehydrator outside while you do it, or in a well ventilated room you don't plan on going into. I've heard stories about friends leaving the dehyradator going in the morning with some onions in and coming home to an extremely angry roommate and the dehydrator running outside with a box over it.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 03:45 PM
 
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Gulagger

Be careful with onions! You need to either put the dehydrator outside while you do it, or in a well ventilated room you don't plan on going into. I've heard stories about friends leaving the dehyradator going in the morning with some onions in and coming home to an extremely angry roommate and the dehydrator running outside with a box over it.
I forgot about that. I did a batch of onion bits inside once. It wasn't terrible, but YMMV.

I do most of my batches outside. I live in an apartment and get tired of the constant whirring of the beast. I just put it out on the balcony and forget about it for a few hours.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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i was thinking about doing meat in the dehydrator, but i know nothing about that. Maybe chicken or ground beef. What do you know about doing it and how long does it last.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 08:07 PM
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I dried some bananas the other day - my first attempt at using my dehydrator - and it worked great! Man, those banana chips are a ton better than the store bought ones!

Anyhow, I thought about trying to dry some chicken (thinking it might be great mixed in with other stuff), so I cooked up a batch of thighs. However, due to circumstances beyond my control (read "no self-control"), they wound up being my snack for the evening. DOH!!! How does chicken dry, and how does one dry chicken anyhow? How about some advice for aaron and me?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 08:54 PM
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I'd assume you'd want to slice the chicken thin or make little chuncks out of it and then dehydrate it, otherwise the outside would be a rock and the inside would still be juicy
never tried it so I could be wrong
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 03:57 PM
 
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I'm a vegetarian, but my family has dried and smoked meat for aeons so I've got something of a clue.

The best way to dry meat is to slice it as thin as you can manage, season it with your favourite spices and salt and then dry it. That's jerky. You can then rip it up and add it to your food, or just eat it as is. If you're going to do chunks, make them small and dry them for an extended period to get them dry to the core. Ground beef should be fine; cook it, remove all the fat you can (Drain and then dry with paper towel) and then dry it. You don't have to cook meat you cut yourself, but hamburger is the perfect medium for E. Coli and Salmonella. You want to take the fat off because it tends to go rancid; fat on jerky will eventually go rancid, but it seems to take longer.

I'll second those banana chips! I do a batch every few months myself. They take longer than other stuff and I find they tend to stick to the trays, but they're worth it.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for the tips, Patrick.

The banana chips I made were from just slightly over-ripe bananas. They were a little riper than I like to eat them, and was wondering what I should do with them. I let them dry for about 6 hours before trying to loosen them from the trays. By that time they were firm enough to pull away without leaving anything behind. After flipping them, another 2 hrs or so and the were done. Just like candy

Gotta try making some jimbolaya for the trail this year - that's where the info about the meat will come in handy. I hear seafood doesn't dry well, but I'm willing to experiment a bit. Maybe chunked up cocktail shrimp instead of real shrimp will be okay.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Jimbo

Thanks for the tips, Patrick.

Gotta try making some jimbolaya for the trail this year - that's where the info about the meat will come in handy. I hear seafood doesn't dry well, but I'm willing to experiment a bit. Maybe chunked up cocktail shrimp instead of real shrimp will be okay.
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If you want dried seafood, hit an asian market like T&T; They have copious quantities of those little teeny shrimp you get from a can already dehydrated, as well as other fishes.

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 12:34 PM
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i just got a dehydrator the other day too ive been dehydrating everything. I tried to do some fruit roll ups but i overdid them a bit, anyone got any tips or recipes for making them

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 08:16 PM
 
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There isn't much of a recipe. Puree your fruit mixture and pour over trays lined with parchment. The pool should be quite shallow, less than 1/4", and closer to 1/8" in the centre to promote even drying. They're done when they are slightly tacky.

I've had great success using the bags of frozen fruit. If you're using fresh fruit, blanching and colour preservation protocols are in order. The commercial fruit leathers are generally largely apple and pear. Jars of applesauce would do the trick, accented with your favourite fruit.
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