Dehydrating/Vacuum Packing Confusion-Help Please!

Discussion in 'Preserving the Harvest' started by Joe45, May 11, 2018.

  1. Joe45

    Joe45 New Member

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    Location:
    Arizona
    Hello,
    I've been trying to find simple information with no success. If someone can help, it would be much appreciated. I'm trying to get a batch of food ready for a week long hike on the Appalachian Trail in about three weeks.

    I just got a dehydrator machine-a Nesco, and a vacuum sealer with some vacuum bags.

    My goal is to dehydrate food mainly to go hiking and camping-but am totally confused after reading how to do it properly and what foods to dehydrate. Please give me any advice or suggestions you can. Thank you!

    I made chicken to dehydrate like this:

    1. boiled chicken breasts for 30+ minutes, then drained the water/fat.
    2. Let them cool, and shredded the breasts.
    3. Cooked them:
    a. One batch with olive oil, tomato sauce, spices, and olives.
    b. Another batch with Greek spices, olive oil, and olives.
    4. Put them in the dehydrator for about 12 hrs.
    Both batches seemed to have shriveled and dried fine, but still had oil. Is this a problem?
    Should I have dehydrated the chicken breast just after boiling, and then added the other ingredients at camp after hydration?
    5. Put them in a glass container with rubber lid and cooled in fridge.
    6. A day later, I let them go to room temp while still in the container, then opened and sealed in vacuum bags.
    7. Immediately after vacuum bagging I put them in the freezer.

    My plan is to keep them frozen until the day I fly to Florida (I live in Arizona). Upon arrival at friend's house I will place the bags back in the freezer. About three days later I will take the bags out of the freezer and we will drive to Great Smokey Mountains and start our seven day hike. The drive is about 9 hrs.

    Will this be a problem regarding the food not spoiling? Will the vacuum sealed food hold for that long? Will the olive oil used to cook it be a problem?

    I also want to cook up some ground beef, but am wondering if I should bake it, dehydrate it, vacuum pack it, and then cook with the olive oil etc. after re-hydrating at camp.

    I want to make more packets, but am waiting for an answer before spending more time and money.

    Thank you!

    PS

    Also, I ordered a 100 pack of oxygen absorbers, opened the bag, and stored them in two jars-but now I hear once you open the main bag, you have to use them all. Also heard they can cause botulism.

    I decided not to use them in the vacuum bags with this batch. Should I have? Are they really necessary?

    Again, thank you!
     

  2. Joe45

    Joe45 New Member

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    Thanks!
    That's some awesome information!

    One question: It mentions blotting out oil. Does that mean the fat? I cooked mine in olive oil but not sure if that's a problem.
    For the following ones I'm gonna cook the meat by itself like they say.

    THANK YOU!
     
  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Blotting would be soaking up excess oil and/or fat with paper towels, I think.
     
  4. Joe45

    Joe45 New Member

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    I'll just make a new batch to be safe, and add the other ingredients in the field after re-hydrating.
    Thanks
     
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  5. Home Dehydrator Pro

    Home Dehydrator Pro Member

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    Location:
    Florida
    You can blot out oil by dabbing your food with a paper towel as it's cooling down. Fat content is more of an issue for long-term food storage (months or years at a time), because it's the first to go rancid.

    The most important aspect will be moisture content. Bacteria begins to grow immediately after meat is warmed, and a dehydrator will reduce water content by about 95%, at most. Using a vacuum sealer is going to be your best option for avoiding oxygen, and many folks use oxygen absorbers, as well.
     
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