Jul 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm #1261636
I am new to this forum as of a week ago. I have read many of of the threads and am hopeful some of you will have an answer for me. I have become "obsessed" (as my husband puts it) with dehydrating foods and coming up with new recipes. I have recently dehydrated commercially canned turkey and chicken which turned out beautifully. I was very pleased with how it rehydrated and tasted after wards. My question is, what is the expected shelf life of the dehydrated chicken and turkey? I currently have it stored in a glass jar with an oxygen absorbing packet. My husband and I have a trip to the BWCA planned for September and if the shelf life is pretty long, I plan on doing much more of the chicken and turkey for our trip. If I can save 3 pounds of weight in our pack by dehydrating it instead of taking the chicken in the foil packet, I would love it! Thanks for your help!Jul 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm #1632844
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Since all meat contains some fat, I store my dehydrated meat, as well as any dishes containing meat, in the freezer. At room temperature, the fat will end up becoming rancid. I of course set the freezer bag out until it's room temperature before I open it to prepare a meal, to avoid condensation on the cold dried meat.
If your jar has been around for only a week or two, probably no harm done. Just stick it in the freezer.
Per Sarbar's website,my "bible" for all things dehydrated: http://www.trailcooking.com/dehydrating101:
"With dehydrating meat you will want to use as low fat meat as you can. Once dry, store in your freezer till time to use. Cycle through your dried meat within 6 months."
Frankly, I have used meats up to a year old without problems. It has probably lost some flavor but I jazz everything up with herbs anyway.Jul 28, 2010 at 3:15 am #1632864
Just for the record, I meant "obsessed" in the best possible way! Keep dehydrating! I'll continue to obsess over stoves, cook kit, hammocks,lighter shelter and knives. :)Jul 28, 2010 at 7:31 am #1632893
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
6 months is a good goal for turnover, the nice thing about canned chicken is the salt in it helps with preservation. Freezing is best for long term storage though :-)
Have fun! Drying is addicting…hehheh!Jul 28, 2010 at 8:37 am #1632907
@socalpackerLocale: Southern California
Dehydrating is VERY addicting! when i started dehydrating I started looking at everything at home and in the store wondering if it would rehydrate well. I was crazy then and I still am! My experience with chicken was with chicken breast. The book I have says dehydrated food has a shelf life of up to 2 years if stored in the freezer. I can't recall the title or author at the moment… It's quiz day for my summer school kids… However, I left some chicken breast and salmon out on the kitchen counter for a couple of weeks once and decided to rehydrate it and eat it. I had diarrhea for the next 2 or 3 days. i've read that if you don't store dehydrated food in a freezer, then you should store it in a cool, dry and DARK place. My kitchen is cool, but not dark. And, yes, if you do not store it in a freezer, my book says the turn around is 6 months. But, based on my experience cool, dry and dark storage is crucial.Jul 29, 2010 at 11:03 am #1633228
Laurie Ann MarchMember
@laurie_annLocale: Ontario, Canada
I wouldn't keep chicken more than six months and then only if you've kept the dried chicken frozen. If you don't freeze the chicken after drying you can expect at 4 to 6 week shelf life at most.Jul 29, 2010 at 11:30 am #1633236
Thanks everyone for your feedback! I put the dehydrated chicken and turkey in the freezer and will be doing more soon!! The food pack is going to hopefully be much lighter for our September BWCA trip. Yay!!Jul 31, 2010 at 2:50 am #1633697
@socalpackerLocale: Southern California
I really appreciate that. Food is a delicate matter. After my previous experience It would be good for me to follow your advice.
The book that I've been using is "Backpack Gourmet" by Linda Frederick Yaffe. she's got some great recipes.
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