1 Branson. com MO Forum
   

Welcome to 1 Branson. com

Go Back   1Branson.com > Miscellaneous Topics > Recipes, Cooking, & More

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-28-2018, 05:53 AM   #1
Suselit
Super Ultra Member
 
Suselit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 25,300
Food Dehydrator

One of my gifts this year was a dehydrator....just a simple one, nothing fancy. But it will be a good place that start, I think.

So I am starting out knowing nothing, and looking for ideas beyond YouTube.
But if you have any favorite videos, I would like to see them because some folks seem to be prepping for the apocalypse.

What do you dry? And why?
Recipes?
And tips, please.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
Suselit is offline  
Old 12-31-2018, 05:51 PM   #2
tortminder
Mobile Methane Generator
 
tortminder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: State of confusion
Posts: 2,269
Lightbulb From my archives

Susilit-
This is out of my archives on dehydrators, (I have a large Excaliber);
Dehydration of Food is one of the oldest methods of preserving food for later use.

It can either be an alternative to canning and freezing or a compliment to these methods. With modern food dehydrators, drying food is simple, safe and easy to learn.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is food drying?

Food drying, also called food dehydration, is the process of removing water from food, thus inhibiting the growth of microorganisms (enzymes) and bacteria by the circulation of hot, dry air through the food. Removing water from food is the easiest, cheapest, and, in my opinion, the most appropriate method of food preservation.

Will I have a lot to learn before I can start drying food?
No, food drying is not difficult. It means less work, not more. And the benefits are many. Your dehydrator heats the air inside the unit; it dries and circulates the air so that it absorbs the water in the food placed in the drying chamber. The temperature of the air is low enough to dry the food, not cook it. It is as simple as that.

What are the benefits of food drying?
Many. Here are some:
1) You will save money. Keep in mind that food drying is a one-time cost. Canned foods, once opened, must be used promptly, but containers of dried foods can be repeatedly opened, ingredients removed or added, and closed again with no deleterious effects on the contents.
2) You will be able to reap the rewards of your own garden and of both locally grown and regionally grown produce, because you can keep up with abundant seasonal harvests. There is a movement now away from the importation of foodstuffs, not so much because of safety considerations but because of an increasing awareness of the importance of self-sufficiency when it comes to one's own food supply.
3) You will be able to feed family and friends safer, pesticide-and chemical-free foods because you control what you are drying.
4) You can create a food supply which, in a financial crisis or when a natural disaster strikes, can be like money in the bank.
5) You will be able to take advantage of supermarket specials and the savings they offer. Food drying is a form of creative recycling. In drying your own foods, you are cutting down on packaging; wait until you see how little storage space you will need. You can store 20 to 25 dried bell peppers in a 1-quart jar; 16 to 20 dried tomatoes in a 1-quart jar.
6) What I like best about incorporating dried foods into my diet is that it allows me to control the quality of the food I eat whether I am at home or backpacking in the wilderness. Dried foods are tasty, nutritious, lightweight, easy to prepare, easy to carry, and easy to use.

What does dehydrated food look like?
Many foods are a little darker in color, more fragrant, and sweeter in taste. Do not expect food dried at home to look or taste like commercially dried food. In my opinion, home-dried is much better. Much industrial food drying uses additives and preservatives that the home food dryer does not need to and-more important-want to add.

Does drying affect the nutritional value of foods?

Dehydration only minimally affects the nutritional value of foods, especially when the process takes place in your own home. Most research on the nutritional value of dried foods has been conducted on foods that are commercially dried. When you dry foods at home under gentle conditions (correct temperature and a reasonable amount of drying time), you produce a high-quality product. Compared with canning and freezing, both of which involve extreme temperatures, food drying is the least damaging form of food preservation.

Here are some specifics:


* Vitamin A is retained during the drying process. Because vitamin A is light sensitive, foods that contain it-like carrots, bell peppers, mangoes-should be stored in a dark place.
* Some vitamin C is lost during the drying process because vitamin C is an air-soluble nutrient and food drying is an air-based process. When a food is sliced and its cells are cut, the surfaces that are exposed to air lose some vitamin C content.
* The caloric value of a fresh food stays the same when it is dried, although some dried foods, fruits for example, taste sweeter because the water has been removed and the sugar is concentrated.
* Dried fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and carbohydrates, neither of which is affected by drying.
* Dried fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat. Minerals available in certain fresh fruits-such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, and so on-are also not altered when the fruit is dried.

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.

What equipment is needed?
In addition to your food dehydrator, of course, you will need:

* A good sharp knife
* A spatula or two
* Several heavy-bottomed saucepans
* A blender for pureeing and chopping
* A strainer
* Steamer trays

Nice to have on hand and very helpful, but not mandatory are:

* A cherry pitter
* An apple parer-slicer-corer
* A corn kernel cutter
* A pea and bean sheller
* A bean Frencher
* A mortar and pestle
* A salad spinner (for pre-drying herbs and flowers and for washing greens)
* A food processor with a shredding disk
* A Salad Shooter for slicing potatoes

But what is really necessary?
A good sharp knife.

Is it necessary to pretreat foods before drying them?
Pretreatment is not necessary for successful drying, but it can enhance the color, flavor, and texture of certain foods.
Pretreatment options include dipping, blanching, marinating, and sulfuring.
Pretreatment affects the enzymes, a group of special proteins that cause chemical reactions-ripening and eventual spoilage-and determine the color, texture, flavor, and aroma of certain foods. The microorganisms that cause spoilage need moisture to live and reproduce. Drying foods above 140°F halts enzyme activity.
Foods also contain simple yeasts, molds, and bacteria, all of which can cause deterioration. Again, reducing the moisture content of food inhibits their growth. When dried, vegetables contain only about 3 percent moisture, and fruits, depending upon sugar content, up to 15 percent water.

What is sulfuring?

In the most simple definition, sulfuring helps to preserve the color of some dried foods, like apricots. Fumes from burning sulfur or gaseous sulfur dioxide penetrate the surfaces of foods before they are dried. I do not sulfur the foods I dry. I do not believe that it is necessary when drying foods in an electric food dehydrator. Sulfuring is mainly used as a pretreatment when foods are dried out-of-doors.

What foods can be dried?
You can dry fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, herbs, flowers, and much more, including frozen and canned foods. In fact, you can dry almost anything that contains water-items you may never have considered, such as tofu.

Here are some other ideas that will keep your dehydrator in constant use:
* Use it to revive limp potato chips or soggy popcorn.
* Dry leftover bread to make crumbs and croutons.
* Instead of draping homemade noodles to dry all over the kitchen and dining room, dry them in your dehydrator.
* Make your own bagel chips by seasoning thinly sliced bagels with garlic, onion powder, or cinnamon sugar, then drying them until crisp in your dehydrator.

How long does it take to dry food?

This is the question I am asked most frequently and it is the hardest one to answer because many factors affect drying time:
- The water content in the food
- The sugar content in the food
- The size of the piece of food
- The amount of air circulation when the food is dried
- The level of humidity in the air entering the dehydrator
- The air temperature inside the dehydrator.
- Last and most important, the type of dehydrator you are using will affect the time needed to dry food.

The lower the air temperature inside the dehydrator, the longer the drying time. Raising the temperature in the unit will increase the amount of water removed from the food and decrease the length of time it will take to dry. The temperature should be high enough to draw the moisture from the food but not high enough to cook it. Temperatures that are too low may cause food to spoil; temperatures that are too high may cause the surface area of the food to harden and prevent moisture from escaping.

The three food categories -meats and fish, fruits and vegetables, and herbs- require different drying temperatures:
# Meats and Fish: 145°F and above
# Fruits and Vegetables: 130°F to 140°F
# Herbs and flowers: 100°F to 110°F

Will flavors mingle if I dry different foods at the same time?

I am often asked this question. In my experience, the answer is no, although I do not recommend drying pears and onions at the same time! If you combine foods that are in the same category -fruits with other fruits, vegetables with other vegetables- each retains its own flavor.

How can you know when foods are dry?
The best way of finding out if a food is dry is to touch it. It will feel sticky, moist, leathery, or hard. When touching foods for dryness, remember that they feel softer when they are warm. Therefore, always let the foods cool for a few moments -either turn off the dehydrator or remove the drying tray. If you are not sure if an item is sufficiently dry, it is better to overdry it somewhat than to underdry it. However, know that foods that are overdried in some dehydrators may turn brown and become brittle.
If you are concerned about the safety of a dried food, you can freeze it. The freezer will keep frozen any water remaining in the food, thus preventing spoilage. You can freeze dried foods at any stage of the drying process. A woman I once met at a home show told me that she only half-dries her mushrooms because she likes how quickly they rehydrate.

How do you store dried foods?
Moisture is the enemy of dried foods. Dried foods exposed to the air absorb the moisture in the air and become limp.
Always store dried foods in airtight containers and label the contents. Store the containers in a dry, dark place with a moderate temperature. Your kitchen cupboard is an ideal spot. After all, dried foods take up so much less space than fresh or canned ones that it is easy to keep them in a handy place.
Remember to store any dried food containing vitamin A away from direct light.

Here is how I store certain items: I always keep some dried tomatoes in the refrigerator. When I want to make spaghetti sauce, I retrieve the tomatoes from the fridge, take my dried herbs from the cupboard, and collect my dried peppers and onions from the pantry.
Economies of scale make all of this possible, and if you have a small kitchen, you will appreciate the extra space gained simply by using dried foods.

When storing dried foods, contamination from insects may occur. The only insect I have ever found to be a problem is the Indian meal moth, in both the worm and adult stages. A University of Wisconsin food researcher told me that the food may have been contaminated with the insect eggs already sealed in the jar.
To destroy the insects, pasteurize the food right after it has been dried. There are two ways to do this:

* Place the food in the freezer for 48 hours, or
* preheat your oven to 175 degrees F., or the lowest possible setting, and heat the infested food on a cookie sheet in the oven for 15 to 30 minutes. Let cool before rewrapping.

How long can dried foods be stored?

Dried foods will last from one season to the next. Dry garden tomatoes this year and replace them next year when fresh ones are again dropping from the vines. When fresh tomatoes have gone, I immediately start using dried ones. (And if I run out of dried tomatoes -what an awful thought!- I just promise myself to grow and dry more of them next year.)
For optimum quality, dried fruits and vegetables should be replaced annually. Herbs and flowers, once dried, last a very long time. And although our ancestors may have kept dried meats for long periods of time without benefit of refrigeration, I recommend storing dried meats in the refrigerator or freezer after one month at room temperature. Remember, many jerkies, with the exception of poultry jerkies, have not been cooked.

I repeat, I think it is a good idea to use dried foods within one year of drying them, just as you would canned and frozen foods. First of all, you will enjoy their quality year round by using them at their peak and replacing them when fresh foods are in season again. Second, and no less important, dried foods that have been squirreled away for too long lose their taste and tend to darken in color. Follow the rule of first in/first out and be sure to rotate the containers on the shelf so that you use the oldest dried foods first.

You might be interested in finding more somewhat interesting stuff at my blog;
Tales From the Deep State

My two books are available at amazon.com;
"A Republic, if you can keep it" (The US Constitution from the point of view of the Founding Fathers)

"A Wake of Vultures" (a "docu-novel" based on the events leading up to and during the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas shootings)

---tort--
__________________

"dictum meum pactum"
My word is my bond

Laughter is the best medicine... unless you have diarrhea!


Last edited by tortminder; 12-31-2018 at 06:00 PM.
tortminder is offline  
Old 12-31-2018, 06:07 PM   #3
Suselit
Super Ultra Member
 
Suselit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 25,300
Thank you, Tort, for this valuable information.
I know I will refer to it often as I begin my dehydrating adventures.

My reasons for doing this:
The ability to preserve herbs and food and not have to depend on a freezer, which could fail when power goes out.
And being able to save pantry space...as opposed to the space required for home canned foods....there’s a whole lot of weight on those shelves, too.

I appreciate your help, Tort.
Suselit is offline  
Old 12-31-2018, 06:49 PM   #4
tortminder
Mobile Methane Generator
 
tortminder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: State of confusion
Posts: 2,269
Talking You're welcome

I will try to find more in the archives after the New Year holiday.

The dehydrator is great when you get good deals on produce in season. Apples & bananas are great dried as are all berries and apricots, (peaches have been "iffy" for me).

If you have a jerky eater in the hose, I know I have a great jerky recipe around here someplace.

Have fun with your dehydrator.

---tort--
__________________

"dictum meum pactum"
My word is my bond

Laughter is the best medicine... unless you have diarrhea!

tortminder is offline  
Old 01-01-2019, 09:58 AM   #5
Suselit
Super Ultra Member
 
Suselit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 25,300
That’s a really great point, being able to take advantage of good sales on foods that can be dehydrated. I am looking forward to having jars of dried veg for soup making.

My oldest grandson is now 16 and he makes his own jerky. For Christmas he received a “Jerky Gun” that shoots out the meat in strips or tubes to then dry.
Suselit is offline  
Old 01-01-2019, 01:57 PM   #6
tortminder
Mobile Methane Generator
 
tortminder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: State of confusion
Posts: 2,269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suselit View Post
That’s a really great point, being able to take advantage of good sales on foods that can be dehydrated. I am looking forward to having jars of dried veg for soup making.

My oldest grandson is now 16 and he makes his own jerky. For Christmas he received a “Jerky Gun” that shoots out the meat in strips or tubes to then dry.
Every once in a while you can get a really good price on frozen veggies. They dehydrate really well.

I also have a Jerky gun, (it looks like a painters' caulking gun). One of my recipes uses ground meat, (I use venison or beef), and you end up with a product very similar to Slim Jims(r). I'll try to dig up the recipe.

---tort--
__________________

"dictum meum pactum"
My word is my bond

Laughter is the best medicine... unless you have diarrhea!

tortminder is offline  
Old 01-02-2019, 01:56 PM   #7
Suselit
Super Ultra Member
 
Suselit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 25,300
You are going to think this is silly, but I have a big bag of mini marshmallows to dehydrate.
The grandkids love those “cereal” type marshmallows we get at the Branson Amish Store.
So the next time the kids are over, we will start making those iddy biddy marshmallows. I think it will be fun.
Suselit is offline  
Old 01-02-2019, 04:58 PM   #8
tortminder
Mobile Methane Generator
 
tortminder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: State of confusion
Posts: 2,269
Talking Ground beef jerky

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suselit View Post
You are going to think this is silly, but I have a big bag of mini marshmallows to dehydrate.
The grandkids love those “cereal” type marshmallows we get at the Branson Amish Store.
So the next time the kids are over, we will start making those iddy biddy marshmallows. I think it will be fun.
Not silly at all if they like the texture of dehydrated marshmallows why not, (although marshmallows will not "go bad" as sugar is an anti-bacterial).

Ground beef jerky

Ingredients
• 1 pound extra-lean ground beef (ground round) or ground turkey
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or to taste
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon ketchup
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Steps to Make It
1. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine ground beef or ground turkey, onion powder, garlic powder, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, and salt.
2. Cover bowl and refrigerate ground beef or turkey for 4 hours until well-chilled.
3. Place ground meat mixture by the tablespoon in between pieces of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to flatten into rounds less than 1/8-inch thick and dry.
Drying with a Dehydrator
1. Place the meat rounds on dehydrator trays to dry following the manufacturer's directions.
2. Turn jerky strips once midway during the*drying process.

---tort--
__________________

"dictum meum pactum"
My word is my bond

Laughter is the best medicine... unless you have diarrhea!

tortminder is offline  
Old 01-03-2019, 06:34 AM   #9
VBeason
Super Ultra Member
 
VBeason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Raytown, MO
Posts: 6,153
I do the jerky in ours but I mix it 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground turkey. We call it "berky". I found a great mix of spices and I do a bourbon bbq from High Mountain one that is to die for and I know you can get it at Bass Pro Shops and maybe even Bed Bath & Beyond.

I also make sweet potato chips and banana chips in ours. Just remember to use a little lemon juice on the veggies before you start dehydrating them.

It really is easy to do. I usually do my jerky about 3:00 pm and let it go all the way to 7:00 the next morning. Then it is good and crunchy - almost like eating bacon.

Vickie
VBeason is offline  
Old 01-03-2019, 09:38 PM   #10
rjw1991A1
Super Ultra Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: On the "Ridge" outside the Lou
Posts: 10,519
Full muscle jerkey. I have done the ground, and used a cookie spritzer to make sticks.
I haven't bothered using the Instacure powder for a preservative. Mostly because my jerky doesn't stay around that long!
For full muscle I like brisket best, but for a more economical cut I use eye of round. Sliced 1/4" with the grain for a more chewy jerkey. I soak it over night in a 4 to 1 mix of soy sauce and brown sugar. Sometimes adding some crushed red pepper.
Dry it until leathery, and then cool it before sealing it up in Foodsaver bags.
Once I grew some Habanero peppers in the garden. Thought I would dehydrate, then crush them for seasoning. I think I over did the drying because they crushed up into a powder. I used it in my jerky anyway, and it was awesome. Great for deer season, and cold weather fishing. It didn't really burn all that much chewing it, but warmed your tummy like a good Brandy!
I usually pull a roast or two from a deer for jerky every year, but didn't bother this year.
I've also use pureed fruit or berries poured on a plastic sheet that came with mine for a chewy fruit "leather"
To cut down on the sugar I don't add any, or dip the fruit in simple syrup like is often suggested.
Sometimes I go the the grocery looking for bargain priced bags of bananas that are getting too ripe to sell. Slice them up about 1/4" thick, and dry them. Then put them in bags with some walnut halves.
__________________
Voted Branson's Best Trout Fisherman
rjw1991A1 is offline  
Old 01-07-2019, 07:06 AM   #11
Suselit
Super Ultra Member
 
Suselit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 25,300
I bought too much organic kale. I guess I was really hungry for it, but quickly reached satiety. So let’s see it I can dehydrate kale.
Suselit is offline  
Old 01-11-2019, 01:28 PM   #12
Suselit
Super Ultra Member
 
Suselit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 25,300
Three big bushes of kale equals one pint glass jar of kale.
Actually more of a powdered kale, that just happened as I was crumbling the kale inside the jar.
I added a little silica pack leftover from a vitamin purchase. I have been saving these silica packs after I was able to dry out a TV remote with them.

But.....the house had a lingering odor of kale so I dehydrated the mini marshmallows.
Big Hit with the 6 year old and the 10 year old.
The marshmallows are not hard like stale marshmallows. They came out light and crunchy and did not reduce any in size.
As they were drying, I checked and the marshmallows were melting inside which made me think of maybe making smores this way? Next project when the Grandkids are over.

And the marshmallow smell nicely took care the kale smell.
And the time dehydrating was about 4 hours.
Suselit is offline  
Old 01-11-2019, 03:27 PM   #13
tortminder
Mobile Methane Generator
 
tortminder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: State of confusion
Posts: 2,269
Suselit-
When dehydrating Kale it is useful to coat it with olive oil. That way it slides off the trays into the garbage easier!

Old real estate trick is to simmer a pan of water to which you have added a vanilla bean and some cinnamon.
__________________

"dictum meum pactum"
My word is my bond

Laughter is the best medicine... unless you have diarrhea!

tortminder is offline  
Old 01-12-2019, 11:01 AM   #14
Suselit
Super Ultra Member
 
Suselit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 25,300
Quote:
Originally Posted by tortminder View Post
Suselit-
When dehydrating Kale it is useful to coat it with olive oil. That way it slides off the trays into the garbage easier!

Old real estate trick is to simmer a pan of water to which you have added a vanilla bean and some cinnamon.
Funny!

And hopefully my home grown kale won't have as strong an odor since I harvest it often to encourage more growth.
Suselit is offline  
Old 01-22-2019, 06:21 AM   #15
Suselit
Super Ultra Member
 
Suselit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 25,300
More odd things to dehydrate

I am going to purchase some organic raw walnuts , soak them in water overnight and then dehydrate them for 10 hours.

I am going to do this for the health benefits.

An explanation here:
https://wellnessmama.com/59139/soaking-nuts-seeds/
Suselit is offline  


 

Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
McDonald's Launches New "Fast Food/Health Food" Chain MelanieHamilton Just for Chit Chat 11 02-15-2011 08:48 PM
Food Programs - Angel Food Ministries and SHARE labpup89 Just for Chit Chat 3 05-28-2008 07:40 AM
Another Pet Food Recall...dry food this time. Gabriella Just for Chit Chat 13 04-02-2007 08:57 AM
What Dog Food Do You Use shis1 Just for Chit Chat 11 03-20-2007 07:50 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:58 PM.


--