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Postby ADavies » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:15 pm

Some thing a bit different. I thinking of doing a bit of home dehydration, to see if I can save paying £5 a meal for the pre done stuff. I saw some guy saying he was dehydrating some great meals and portion sizes that would be better for a lad like me.

Does any one do it them selves and how do you do it or what do you use. I see Lakeland do one but that's advertised for fruit and veg, not the chilli I had in mind.
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Re: dehydrator

Postby basscadet » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:26 am

I have dabbled with the idea as well, seems like the ideal solution if you can be bothered with the faff.. :D
In the 4 days at home between weekends away, I have trouble enough fitting in unpacking, friends, work, gym, washing, shopping, cooking, packing.. I think dehydrating as well would be a step too far :lol: For longer trips, I think it would be very useful for cutting down on weight, but for the 2 or 3 trips a year I do that are long enough to warrant the effort of dehydrating, I cant justify the cupboard space for a dehydrator in my wee 2 roomed flat :(
I think if you were wanting to dehydrate chilli or pasta sauce or something, you just put a thin layer on a plate and put it in the dehydrator.. which I think would mean you would need quite a large surface area to dehydrate even one portion. :?
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Re: dehydrator

Postby Backpacker » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:42 am

I looked at this a wee while back, I think one way round buying a dehydrator is to prepare your food and put it in the oven at a very low temp for about 4-5 hours.

I decided I couldn't be bothered with the faffing and decided to stick to porridge, noodles and whatever else I could be bothered carrying :lol:
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Re: dehydrator

Postby whiteburn » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:10 pm

I’ve been dehydrating my own meals for around a year now so I have some experience but can’t profess to be an expert. My driver for buying a dehydrator was more about preparing the food that I want to eat, in the quantity I want, rather than take what someone produces, having said this I’ll probably spent > 60 nights backpacking/ year so I’ll soon repay the outlay.
The Lakeland model doesn’t seem to have any temperature control (no specification given in the description) & may only be suitable for fruit etc which dehydrates at lower temperatures.

After doing a bit of research I bought a Stockli Dehydrator which has both temperature control & a timer (http://www.juiceland.co.uk/item--Stockli-Dehydrator-with-12-Hour-Timer--STTIMER.html), also bought 3 additional drying trays so that I could dehydrate larger batches; I usually dehydrate 6 meals at a time, more if it’s just a sauce.
I’ve sucessfully prepared Beef curry & Chicken, Beef & Bean Chilli, Beef Bolognese, Hot & Sour Beef, Beef casserole & Venison casserole.
I’ve found the key to all successful recipes is LOW (or zero) FAT & NO SALT in the preparation; too much fat and the meal will go rancid & salt hinders the rehydration. I’ve stopped adding rice or pasta to the meals as I found that it’s just as easy to add these as the meal goes into the pot.
Rehydrating does take longer than commercial meals, I’ll normally put the meal into a 1 litre pot (with the 100 – 125g of rice or pasta if needed) add ~ 500ml of water, bring to boil and then stick in the pot cosy for 20 – 25 mins to ‘cook’; add salt after cooking up!
Others I know put the meal & water into a jar at lunch time to shorten the cooking time in the evening; I’d rather wait an extra 10mins rather than carry the extra weight.
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Re: dehydrator

Postby Frogwell » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:17 pm

I got one of these a few months back: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Digital-Food- ... OC:GB:3160

Great thing so it is. I've done quite a few chilli & spaghetti bolognese type meals as well as loads of fruit. I tried a few curries too, but they really didn't taste good when rehydrated. The Chilli and bolognese taste great though. As the post above says though, they do take longer to rehydrate than the commercially available freeze dried meals. I found it best to add the boiling water and then keep the whole lot on the jetboil for 5 - 10 minutes. That said, I bought a load of the Poly-Lina Pour & Store bags yesterday so that I can experiment with my own dehydrated meals in them along with a cosy.

If you're going to be doing chilli in the dehydrator make sure you get some silicon baking paper to go over the dehydrator trays. I use this stuff from Tesco: http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=256581915
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Re: dehydrator

Postby Andy Howell » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:31 pm

This is the best bit of kit I have ever bought! Home made meals are just so much more pleasant.

You can use these all year round for all kinds of domestic stuff as well. The slightly more expensive Exalibur dehydrators are well worth the extra if you think you will be using a dehydrator for any length of time.

Dehydrate your meals by heating to the boil and then letting them sit in a Pot Cozy for 20-25 mins. Tge Outdoors Station has a good video of how to make on up on their You Tube Channel.
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