BWCA ??? danger in rehydrating foods Boundary Waters BWCA Food and Recipes
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      ??? danger in rehydrating foods     



01/10/2013 02:27AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
I'm going to dehydrate various foodstuffs for WCCP this fall and I was wondering about the danger of rehydrating them. I was figuring on like hamburger filling a lidded pot in the morning and leaving it out in the sun all day when we are fishing so when we get back to camp towards evening it would be ready to make into whatever the portage monkeys are starved for, don't want any sick portage monkeys on a trip of this magnitude. Thanks FRED
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01/10/2013 10:31AM  
You're cooking the meat first, so any bacteria is going to be destroyed in that process. Since it's already cooked, a viable option to the dehydrator is to dry in the oven at a higher temp, say 175 degrees.

Reason behind doing a higher temp is per USDA guidelines that state meat must pass thru a certain temp range in a given amount of time, "the danger zone", (cue Kenny Loggin music).

The time and temps for that are....meats must not be allowed to remain between the temps of 40 degrees and 140 for more than 4 hours. This is especially true for "ground meats".

Now granted, the meat has already been cooked, and the above guidelines for for "raw" meats. However, you are still taking a meat product and letting it set out at a low temp (pot of whatever is it your making).

Even though one grills a steak, you would not leave it out on the counter for a few hours at room temp right?

If it were me, and it's just my opinion mind you, I would mix whatever meat you intend to use, (leaner the better) with bread crumbs at a ratio of 1/2 Cup per 1# of meat. Cook as normal, spread out on a cookie sheet and dry in the oven at a higher temp. (keep oven door cracked a bit).

With this method, adding the meat to some slightly warm liquid prior to cooking will re-hydrate the meat rather quickly.

Since I have had food poisoning in the past and have worked in the food establishment for a number of years, I am overly cautious, maybe even a bit OCD when it comes to food safety, especially that of meat products. It's one thing to be cramped up on the couch, quite another to be fertilizing the portage....LOL.

Now that I have ranted on, I'll say this. The method you proposed will probably work just fine provided everything is clean and prepped before hand. But what you could do is take everything BUT the meat and proceed as planned. By the time you get back to camp, you will have a warm/hot pot of whatever and just add the meat. It won't take but 15 minutes to re-hydrate.
01/11/2013 05:14AM  
Meathunter; Thanks for the info, I had never heard of the breadcrumb thing, I will probably use some Italian bread crumbs, that should work great in spaghetti, added zing. FRED
distinguished member(8566)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
01/11/2013 08:31AM  
I like the meaty taste and avoid the breadcrumbs but to your point, put dehydrated ground beef in cool water around lunch or after, or when I make camp at 3 or so, and it's fine for dinner. Keeping it in my insulated food pack, it never is warm - more like a low room temperature.

I'm thinking of just browning the ground beef and tossing it in a tortilla or pita pocket with condiments and calling it a hamburger.
01/11/2013 02:03PM  
I read the breadcrumb tip on the backpacking chef website. May need to try that when I do some beef later this winter.
01/11/2013 08:08PM  
IMO if the meat is being rehydrated for more than 2 hours you are risking food illness.
01/12/2013 01:25AM  
Hamburger does not take long to rehydrate.
Using warm water not even boiling, helps speed the process.
But even cold water doesn't take burger long to rehydrate.
I would personally just do it just before you make the meal, like 20-30 minutes. Like first thing when you get back to camp, rehydrate it.
Just my thoughts on it.
01/12/2013 09:50AM  
The best method I've found for rehydrating hamburger is adding water to it in a ziplock bag. Be sure to use more water than is necessary and squeeze out all the air bubbles. A couple hours is generally about right to fully hydrate. Then simply pour out the excess water and the hamburger is ready to use.
01/12/2013 12:42PM  
This is contained inn the Basics for Dehydrating thread

03/24/2011 11:10AM

Dehydrated Food Safety per the experts

"How safe to eat is dried food?
In comparison with foods preserved by other methods, like canning, it is quite safe. Botulism is feared in canning because the bacteria that cause it thrive in a liquid environment. Botulism could only occur with a dried food that had been rehydrated, then left unattended long enough for bacteria to grow.
Mold may form on dried food if it was not dehydrated long enough or if the container it was stored in had moisture in it. If you see or smell mold, all the food in that container must be discarded.
Remember that the organisms that cause food spoilage, mold, yeast, bacteria-are always present in the air, water, and soil. It is important to observe sanitary precautions at all stages of the drying process.
As to the safety of drying meats, the latest word from food-science researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison is that microorganisms are effectively killed when the internal temperature of meat reaches 145°F for 45 minutes; or 167°F for 20 minutes; or 200°F for 15 minutes. This means that the internal temperature of the meat must remain steady for the designated amount of time, which is not the same as putting meat in a 200°F oven for 15 minutes. If your food dehydrator does not reach a temperature of 145°F or if its temperature control is inaccurate, then transfer the food to a preheated 200°F oven for a minimum of 20 minutes to eliminate safety concerns.
You can also store dried food in the freezer, another form of ensuring its safety."

Here is a list of some great websites and info!
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service- Food Dehydration Options
Post-Harvest handling of dehydrated chiles
Drying Foods (Guide E-322)
Drying Food at Home (CFS-146)
Drying Food (Circular 1227)
Preserving Food: Drying Fruits and Vegetables
Drying Fruits How to Dry Foods at Home
New Dehydrating Recommendations
01/12/2013 08:09PM  
Ripple has info correct. I have been precooking all my BW hamburger, roast beef, chicken for 9 years now. I then dehydrate it in a dehydrator that reaches a temp of 155 deg F until totally dry. All of these meats will rehydrate soaking in hot water for 1 hour. I use a Tupperware container and just enough water to cover the food. We usually add the water at lunch time, since it is rehydrating in a tightly sealed container there is no worrying about contamination.
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01/13/2013 10:13PM  
Not a problem rehydrating as long as common sense is applied.
01/14/2013 06:17AM  
quote fishfry: "I use a Tupperware container and just enough water to cover the food. We usually add the water at lunch time, since it is rehydrating in a tightly sealed container there is no worrying about contamination."

When you open your dried food and add water, you are potentially adding contamination right then, whether or not it's then stored in a sealed container. I personally would avoid rehydrating it more than two hours before eating.
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01/14/2013 08:23AM  
It only takes 30 min for ground beef to rehydrate in warm water. I wouldn't rehydrate in the am and leave it in camp. My first thought is bear welcoming you back to camp as it snacks.
(I have actually seen this in a campground!)

I have never done the breadcrumb trick
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01/14/2013 11:30AM  
I would not want to leave my food lying about in camp unattended (animals, wind) nor would I want rehydrating meat with me in the canoe (flies).

I just put ground beef in a cup with some boiling water and it is ready in no time. Rehydrating ground beef is one of the least time consuming aspects of using dehydrated food so I would keep it simple.
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