Skip to comments.Any FReepers use a food dehydrator??
Posted on 06/08/2013 2:36:26 PM PDT by djf
I wuz at a yard sale and bought a couple do-it-yourself type handbooks.
Gal had a Ronco food dehydrator but I didn't get it then... after driving around a bit I went back and got it.
Hitting it with bleach and all the cleaning stuff now.
So! Any FReepers use a dehydrator? Experiences? Good things to dehydrate or not-so-good?
Manual says you can use it to make jerky. Anybody tried that?
All ideas welcome!
None that I know of!
Post your query on the weekly garden thread. I remember justadumbblonde talking about it and maybe greeneyes.
I’ve got a small cheap one and have actually dried a fair number of tomato slices. I haven’t tried meat but I’ve been thinking about drying some turkey for doggie treats first.
I’ve got a plastic 55 gallon drum I’ve been thinking about making into a dehydrator.
I have a dehydrator & mostly use it for apples. Sliced dried apples make a nice snack. I’ve also made jerky & have a pretty good marinade:
Its recommended that you use either 1pound of very lean round or flank steak to make jerky. We use any meat we have, but most often we use shoulder roasts and round roasts. When the meat is semi-frozen it is easily sliced to about 3/8 inch thick (the thinner the slices the faster the drying). Meat cut with the grain will be chewy while the cuts against the grain will be tender and break more easily when dried. Marinate the meat in a sauce of:
4 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon onion salt
1 tablespoon ketchup
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper (more if you like)
1 tablespoon of liquid smoke
Marinate the meat for at least 4 hours, then drain in a colander. Place the meat on trays to dry. For fastest drying time, do not overlap the meat on the trays and turn the meat over at least once during the drying period if it doesn’t look as though it’s drying evenly.
Dry at 145º F. for 8 to 10 hours. It is ready when it bends like a green willow without breaking. Store in a jar with a tight fitting lid, or ziplock freezer bags. Long-term storage should be in a refrigerator or freezer.
The Scoutmaster of my son’s troop used one for beef and veggies. I never tasted it but he would use it to make beef stew with the added water on hiking trips.
If you dry peppers, or onions, those dehydrators become tear gas generators if used inside. Best to dry anything hot and spicy outside.
I preferred only putting salt and pepper on the strips of meat before drying it. Some people use different flavorings like teriyaki, liquid smoke, etc but I don't care for that.
I have a dehydrator and use it all summer long. Anything from the garden that is not eaten gets sliced up and dehydrated. I then put them in zip lock baggies and freeze them. They last forever and are great for whatever you need, soups, etc. If you want to just eat the veggie just add water and rehydrate them.
I use one. I have an apple orchard. I dehydrated hundreds of pounds of apple slices. They are wonderful! Use an acid in the water that you slice the apples into. Lemon juice or Fruit Fresh
I dehydrated potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, celery. Those need to be blanched after slicing, so they don’t brown. I also dehydrated bags of frozen veggies. This way, they don’t require refrigeration, they last forever and they weigh little and don’t take up much space.
I make deer jerky in the fall using a dehydrator. I typically freeze some of the jerky to be safe ... for like 6 months. Short-term, just keep things dry and covered.
I’m cherry-smoking the chopped up remains of some salt-brined bottom round beef for a couple of hours, then will use my dehydrator for 24 hours. Makes great jerky.
Have only done jerky in mine and have not been disappointed.
My wife uses it mostly to make her own granola. We’ve done jerky, fruit, etc. I made powdered eggs once for a scout trip.
They are useful, do some pineapple and bananas, apricots, herbs, tomatoes, dehydrated refried beans are very cool.
Dehydrating is fun. If I have too much of something, I dehydrate it or it ends up as worm food.
Try dehydrating watermelon or cantaloupe. Cut each into one inch squares. When dry they are fantastic, so sweet!
You can make your own raisins. Poke grapes with a large needle and dry ‘em.
They dry everything out. I hate dehydrators.
Best jerky is done in a smoker, then can be finished in a dehydrator if you like.
Most important thing about your jerky is the cut followed by the seasoning/smoking. I use brisket cut *along* the grain, which is the opposite of roasting brisket for maximum tenderness by slicing it against the grain. I call it done dehydrating once it's the moistness of Jack Link's commercially-made jerky. Then I vacuum seal it. Dry, crisp jerky is just wrong in my opinion, and I used to think the opposite.
A simple brining/seasoning to leave the brisket slices for 24 hours before smoking/dehydrating is one cup each of soy, Worcestershire, and some A-1 sauce thrown in with onion powder and a little garlic. Mix until it's thin with some fresh water and let it soak in the fridge overnight at least. I like adding Zatarain's blackening seasoning before smoking. This recipe is if you don't have any special homespun recipe and just need quick seasoning. Smoking with hickory does a world's better job.
My next door neighbor makes Elk and pronghorn antelope brisket jerky that's just beyond compare. He once made antelope jerky from a local tribe's recipe that was just amazing.
I’ve got several, use them all summer and fall to dehydrate vegetables from the garden and fruit. I’ve made jerky several times from antelope meat.
I make trail mixes and soup mixes along with just filling jars and seal a meals with vegetables for winter.
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