Nov 2, 2010 at 2:51 am #1265049
I bought a dehydrator the other day and tried some tomatoes and banana. The banana was sliced and cherry tomatoes halved. The book said about 8 hours for banana and 8 for semi of 12 for totally dried tomatoes. They were nowhere near ready after 8 hours. I took them out after 24 hours and the tomatoes were about right. Maybe still a bit juicy and the banana was hard and dry but chewy not crispy to eat (but delicious). Is this normal?
I had it on 55C / 131F
BenenNov 2, 2010 at 4:27 am #1660283
Those crispy banana chips you buy are deep fried, not dried. Dried bananas are chewy like yours. I like to add some lemon wash before drying, so they don't o as brown, but it's purely cosmetic.
Time to dry also relies on humidity, and if you're sitting under the same weather pattern as Melbourne at the moment, that sounds about right. Try it during one of those hot weeks in Adelaide, with the wind from the north. You won't even need to turn the dehydrator on!Nov 2, 2010 at 7:14 am #1660313
Great. Thanks very much :-)
A bit off topic but do you walk through the grampians much? What do you do for water during summer and autumn when all of the tanks at the camp sites are empty?Nov 2, 2010 at 7:52 am #1660321
@elf773Locale: Vancouver, BC
Not really pertaining to your original question and disregard if you're a vegetarian, but I was just using my new..ish dehydrator and came across your thread.
You may want to check this out if you haven't already:
Lean ground beef de-rehydrates really well. Rotini with meat sauce, with instant rice etc. I'm lazy so I just open a jar of store bought sauce, and put it straight into the fruit roll up tray, dehydrate and then put it into the blender to turn into powder.
Slow cooked beef stew, potatoes and carrots (cut into smaller pieces after cooking) works really really well. The beef, and vegetables are super tender from slow cooking which makes them rehydrate well. I do the same thing to the liquid portion of the stew as the spaghetti sauce.
Add a little instant rice and sure beats oatmeal for breakfast.
You'll be shocked at how light a stew with 4 kgs of raw materials ends up being dried.
I haven't dried any fruits or vegetables yet, so can't be any help there.
Hope this helps.Nov 2, 2010 at 8:37 am #1660339
You'll have lots of fun with that dehydrator of yours. Here is a small primer I wrote for the Washington Trails Association's magazine on dehydrating meals for backpacking (with a couple recipes) that might be of help.
If you have any questions BPL is a great resource too, as there are lots of cooks here.Nov 3, 2010 at 9:45 pm #1660915
Thanks very much for your replies guys! I really appreciate it.
Laurie, that PDF was fantastic. Thanks so much :)
BenenNov 4, 2010 at 12:15 am #1660947
but id love to know how rooo jerky tastes
its supposed to be super lean and healthy …Nov 4, 2010 at 3:44 am #1660963
Thanks Benen. It's pretty easy to convert many of your favorite foods to backpacking fare. Anything that is saucy or stew-like usually does fairly well.
I am also interested in the roo jerky. I've never had roo before but it sounds like the meat would be similar to emu or venision when it comes to being lean. Both emu and venison make gorgeous jerky.Nov 4, 2010 at 6:48 pm #1661257
I've never tried roo jerky. I love beef jerky and I love too steak so I'm sure it will be delicious!Nov 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm #1661645
@superdaveosbourneLocale: Rocky Mountain
Lots of it per cow in the last season, takes very little time to find/kill and clean, dries wonderfully and tastes GREAT. You'll have more jerky than you know how to eat in a year of overnights.Nov 29, 2010 at 7:39 pm #1669213
Benen… just checking in to see how your adventures in food dehydration are progressing.Nov 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm #1669460
Thanks so much for checking in :) I actually haven't had a chance to get it out again. Things have been pretty hectic.
I am heading away this weekend for our first overnight hike so I'm pretty disappointed that I have not been able to put the dehydrator to use. I might get some more banana's in it before we go but unfortunately no dinners.
I think the plan is cereal for breakfast, those cheese, mash & salsa wraps for lunch and probably some instant rice, tin chicken and some kind of sauce for dinner.
Looks like we're in for some heavy rain both days too so it should be interesting haha. I don't get too many weekends off though so I don't want to miss the chance. Even if it doesn't go so well it's still a learning experience.
As far as the dehydrator goes, I was thinking of cooking something in the slow cooker when I get a chance, then seperating the meat, sauce and veg and dehydrating that. Probably a lamb stew or something?
Cheers again :)
BenenDec 1, 2010 at 9:20 am #1669753
Have a great trip. It has been raining here and now it is snowing! Finally!
Slow cooker meals dehydrate beautifully and generally come back fairly decently too. Lamb is something I haven't tried yet but I am sure the results would be similar to beef.Dec 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm #1669852
I've only seen snow once in my life when I went to New Zealand in December. It was so much fun!
I love beef steak and beef mince but prefer lamb if I'm using a diced meat or chops. I find it so much tastier and much much more tender than beef (except in the slow cooker where a boot would go tender.)
Thanks again for your help :-)Dec 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm #1669882
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Lamb dries well – especially when slow cooked first, so that it stays moist and tender during the cooking.
And yeah, way more flavor than beef!Dec 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm #1669896
You are most welcome. I love the snow, but I am also Canadian – you have to love it.
We love lamb here too and I'm actually a little puzzled that I haven't dried it before. I make a wicked lamb tagine that would dry amazingly.Dec 3, 2010 at 6:10 pm #1670624
The hamburger dehydrating link above in thread was great!
Just what I need for pasta.
I am long time user of pasta (and backpacks), never mixed the two before.
I found this pasta tomatoe sauce dehydrating thread.
The pakcaged pasta in the stores itself is already dehydrated (sphagetti, rigatoni, etc.).
Kitchen aid makes pasta making attchments to their mixers, for making your own pasta, or there are cheap hand crank models.
I love using canned salmon instead of hamburger, ground turkey is also great.
Can't believe I never tried dehydrating, guess I need to buy the appliance and give it a try.Dec 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm #1670815Dec 5, 2010 at 6:01 am #1670991
Bill… even an inexpensive unit from Nesco would do the trick. Sometimes you can even find them used for under $20. That way if you don't like drying your own foods you aren't out of pocket too too much. I have a feeling that you'll like it though – it opens up the menu options more than any other bit of at-home kitchen gear.
Edited to add…
Bill… I forgot to mention. You can take Hot or Sweet Italian Sausage, remove it from the casings, and treat it like hamburger for adding to sauce and such. A few notes about that… you'll need to rinse it with boiling water (usually 1 more time than you would ground beef). I reseason after the rinsing. You'll need to use that up fairly early in a trip (in the first 7 days) but with some dried roasted red peppers and some dried spaghetti sauce you can have one tasty pasta meal.Dec 5, 2010 at 7:44 am #1671013
@page0018Locale: Southeastern USA
Laurie, Sarah, and all
What's a good substitute for the Paraflexx sheets that come with an Excalibur dehydrator? Is there something that works well for making "bark" or fruit roll ups, etc, that I can get at my local grocery store, or hardware store?Dec 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm #1671121
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Years ago I purchased large, fairly stiff polyethylene (I think) sheets from a plastics supplier. I cut them to fit my dehydrator trays. We've been making leathers on them for 30 years now. For the really sticky stuff we lay down a layer of plastic wrap over the polyethylene.
Teflon sheets would be better, but they were too expensive back then (I was a graduate student).Dec 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm #1671183
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
I just got back from Cabelas today and I saw they were selling sil liner sheets for their dehydrators…
They were quite neat!Dec 6, 2010 at 5:11 am #1671301
Coin… the most readily available and inexpensive route for making bark and roll ups is parchment paper. You can also use plastic wrap but make sure it's a brand that is microwave safe. However, the parchment is a better option because it doesn't get the creases in it and that can be a little problematic. Use a good name brand such as Reynolds. It's about $2 a roll.
You can also use silpat sheets and cut them to size but that would be more expensive than the Paraflexx so if you want something more permanent I'd recommend buying the fruit roll sheets to match the dehydrator.
I will say one thing I miss about using parchment – cleanup. Parchment can be reused a few times in a row if you are doing a lot of leather but being disposable you don't have to wash it. The tree-hugger in me decided on reusable simply because of the sheer amount of dehydration that I do around here… speaking of which. Time to check the dryer.Dec 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm #1671441
@page0018Locale: Southeastern USA
I'll look into all of these.
Thanks!Dec 7, 2010 at 9:55 am #1671775
Coin… what make/model of dehydrator do you have?
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