BWCA New Dehydrator: What Should I Make? Boundary Waters BWCA Food and Recipes
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      New Dehydrator: What Should I Make?     
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03/30/2022 12:49PM  
I got a food dehydrator (the Fleet Farm 10-rack big boy) a few months ago and have been going to town making dried apples, and onions, and mushrooms, and jerky.

In the past my group and I have brought in fresh onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, et al. for cooking. For those of you that have done the dehydrated foods, what cooking ingredients worked out best? I have not yet attempted to dry a jar of spaghetti sauce; I would assume that would work.

Can you share any tips and tricks? Thanks!
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distinguished member (384)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/30/2022 01:27PM  
I enjoy dehydrating meals for use while camping. There are many good recipes available.
One of my favorites is Lasagna. Foods are dehydrated separately and combined before packaging. I use this method with almost all my planned meals.

So the favorite things:
My most liked is hamburger. It is nice to have meat on the 6th day in. Special care is taken to dehydrate (high temperature), adding bread crumbs prior to dehydrating to assist with rehydrating, and storing in a freezer before use to limit the fats going rancid. But I think it is worth it and it can be added to almost any side to make a meal.
I also enjoy vegetables. Peas, Green Beans. Vegetables are a treat also.
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03/30/2022 03:04PM  
I just dehydrated wild rice. Cooked it, then dehydrated so that it cooks quickly on trail. We love making creamy chicken and wild rice soup on every trip.
03/30/2022 06:15PM  
There are lots of things that dehydrate really well. A jar of spaghetti sauce. Easy to do. I like making and dehydrating my own pasta and pizza sauce (I like them full flavored and spices). I have really liked dehydrating my own beef stew, chili, and shepherds pie, all of which are similar to what I would do at home but with a bit less fat and meat cut up into smaller bits. Like mentioned above, I started making lasagna last year and it became a favorite (other than the sauce, all the other parts are dried individually). So you can dehydrate individual ingredients, fully cooked meals, or something in between. It’s really just a question of starting with what foods you love, then figuring out how best to dry them out.
03/30/2022 07:31PM  
Dehydrating food is addicting. My daughters eat half the stuff I make in their school lunches!

Fruits: We enjoy pears, peaches, cherries, blueberries, and bananas.

Veggies: asparagus, peas, mushrooms, onions, and peppers are our favorites.

We also do spaghetti, lasagna, pizza sauce, and beef stroganoff for meals. I second LoonyCanoe's suggestion about adding breadcrumbs to extra lean beef while browning it prior to dehydrating. I also put a little olive oil in the water when rehydrating to get some fat flavor back. For pears and peaches, I really like to do them in halves even though it takes a long time to dehydrate. Applesauce is also a favorite, and quick/easy, fruit roll-up. We also make smoothies from all kinds of fruit and it almost always turns out. A quick option is simply to put mixed frozen berries and some orange juice in a blender and then pour on the trays.

Anyway...lots of youtube videos with great hints and tips.
distinguished member(849)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/31/2022 09:25PM  
Dehydrating homemade spaghetti is great. Beware when you put it in the food processor/ blender - powder will escape all over the counter. And if you package the powdered spaghetti with a food saver do not remove all the air. If you remove all air you end up with a hard red block.

Some things do dehydrate better than others. Diced kielbasa stays too hard. You’ll hav3 to experiment and see what you like.
04/02/2022 09:24AM  
I just bought a dehydrator too. I am finding Kevin Ride's book Backcountry Eats, and his KevinOutdoors YT channel, very helpful. So far I have been using the zip lock in the freezer method.
04/10/2022 05:31PM  
Pasta and Rice. It seems odd at first to think of dehydrating these, but the work really well and use a lot less fuel to cook in the field that way.

Spaghetti sauce works really well. I like to do have it pretty thin and make sure it gets really dry so it doesn't go moldy on you. After it's done I throw it in the food processor to make powder. Works really well!

Refried beans are another of my favorites. Again just get them thin enough to get really dry. I could eat beans, rice, and ground meat everyday. A little cheese and a bag of Fritos and that makes a heck of a good meal!
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