Dehydrator recipes as of 15 Jan 2017

COMPLETE DISCLAIMER:

I’ve made the following using our Cabela’s “10 tray dehydrator with acrylic door feature” dehydrator, and have not yet died or become ill. Nor has the Wayward Pilgrim, or our dogs. We have even avoided food poisoning or worse at our Tiny Cabin; so we must be doing something right!

Please follow food guides/common sense when working with any food, at home, off the grid, bbqing, at the lake, camping, dehydrating, etc. Seriously, poor food health management takes a toll. If you are new to something such as Dehydrating, as I am, do your homework. Google and YouTube are great teachers. Just to be safe, if you want to dehydrate something, verify the method and outcomes by at least three (3) different websites/YouTube videos. Always read the comments, see what other people have learned before you try. Trust me, there are some Completely Useless “professionals” out there, and people Love Them. More on that later, in another blog!

If you Dehydrate anything following these recipes, and get sick or die, you fucked up; not me, so don’t go complaining about lawyers and such (see first paragraph – I’m not Blogging from beyond the grave – hell, I finally got schooled about blogging, so I’m not about to clock out. I have so much to share. And bitch about.).

JERKY (Marinade and Dry Rub):

  • Meat Used: Sirloin Tip from Costco (a fair amount of marbling/thick strips of fat).
  • Slicing: 1/4 inch, give or take (after freezing meat for 1-2 hours – helps with slicing).
  • Marinade: Whatever I had in the fridge; Gluten Free Soy Sauce, HP Sauce, Keen’s Mustard, lemon juice, salad dressing, BBQ sauce, etc. You get the drift. If it tastes good, add it.
  • Dry Rub: Smokehouse is what I have used so far (Red Pepper, and it packs a hell of a nice punch). I picked up a Smokehouse Original pack today (both from Cabela’s), but have not used it yet (review to come!).

Okay, common dog here, but just to be sure:

  • NEVER dehydrate raw meat. Some folks debate this, but most, according to Google and YouTube, agree. Safety First.
  • If you use a home marinade (let it sit, covered, in the fridge from 4-24 hrs), put it in the oven and let it bake, at low temp (160-180 f) until the internal temp hits 160 f. Google food guidelines if you do not understand.
  • Smokehouse (and other companies/brands) rubs/cures include NITRITES Not NITRATES; different beast altogether), which replace the baking/cooking of the meat till the internal temp reaches 160 f. To be honest, I put the dry rub meat in a different pan and throw it in the oven as well, to be safe. Hell, I’m learning, right?!!
  • MOISTURE IS THE ENEMY. If it sweats after dehydrating, refrigerate it; eat sooner than later (a week), but after that, I’d bin it. Don’t store it for “the future”. It’ll likely kill you. Don’t confuse marble-rich dehydrated meat with frothing meat.
  • (Meat/Any) FAT does NOT dehydrate. If you want a beautiful steak, marbling is brilliant. If you want to dehydrate meat that will last a fair while, the LESS FAT/MARBLING, THE BETTER.
  • Depending on the fat content/marbling, jerky can be stored in the pantry, out of the sun/heat for a week or more (common dog). I’ve made split batches; one small batch in cupboard, one in fridge. Learn your meat. Freezing and vacuum sealing is the best way to go (I don’t have a vacuum sealer, yet). Another Blog to come!
  • Freezing Jerky is not a bad thing at all. In fact, it helps you enjoy it much longer (I know there is some sort of split infinitive/grammar faux-pas in that last line, and I apologize).
  • 160 f for minimum 6 hours in the dehydrator. Make sure to rotate racks, and when the jerky bends, semi-stiffly, it’s damn near perfect.
  • Google further questions! Verify with other dehydrating sites!!!! Let me know what I missed!

Dehydrated Peppers:

  • Be warned, cutting Bell Peppers is both an ass pain and boring as hell. Worse than watching paint dry.
  • For Bell Peppers, cut the top and bottom off. Remove seeds as best as possible (good luck). The bottoms, along with top rings, can be cut and dehydrated, but in a separate session, as they are thicker (another blog to come).
  • Remove the meaty veins from inside the peppers, discard or dry then shave to become seasoning.
  • Cut the remaining peppers into 1/4 thick sticks, place on trays and dehydrate for 4-6 hours at 135-140 F (or by your dehydrator manual – I’m not Dog; this is a learning process, and all machines are different). The more you put in, the longer it takes (learned that on 14/15 Jan 17).

More to follow, but it’s just past midnight, and I had time to kill before I put the last batch of peppers in to dry overnight. I’m new at Dehydrating, and don’t want anyone to get sick or croak. Just sharing what I have learned thusfar. Check, and check again. 2 is one, 1 is none.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Cabin food, Camping food, Dehydrator, Food, survival, zombocalypse | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Food variables: Eating made fun while wasting far less (than we used to).

2016 wasn’t a good year, for myriad reasons. I won’t delve into that. One good thing that happened though, was that we purchased a Dehydrator from Cabela’s in Ottawa. No, it’s not a super-top-of-the-line Excalibur, but a higher-mid range Cabela’s store brand. It retails for about 225$, was on sale for 150$, but with the staff discount offered to first- responders and military over the 11-13th of November, it came out to 119$. Can’t complain about that!

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The beast with apples drying.

Now, all I had to do was figure out how to use the damn thing!! It turns out that we had a Trail/Camping cookbook that was heavy on dehydrating. We thought it was just full of fun new recipes to make ahead of time, or variations of good old standards. What it held was a treasure-trove of info.

The dehydrator sat in the basement, out of the box and all ready to go until 1 January, 2017. We got our big-kid pants on, and while my better half was walking the dogs, I sliced up some apples for a test run. After verifying with the Trail cookbook, everything was a go (next time I’ll peel the apples so they dry better, and increase the heat a bit – the Trail cookbook says to dehydrate EVERYTHING at 130°F, except herbs, which are done at 110°F).

 

 

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Who knew kale could be so much fun?

The apples were going along nicely, so I upped the game to kale chips. Yes, kale. We made a commitment to start juicing again in 2017, to get our energy and health levels back up. No point in having something that just collects dust, is there? Buy it and use it…but I’m not advocating a disposable economy, where we buy a new wardrobe every two weeks, even though the other clothes are perfectly fine. I suppose you can blame social media, corporations and the sheeple mentality for that.

Kale leaves ripped off stems, rinsed, dried with towels, sprinkled with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of Slap Ya Mama seasoning from New Orleans (hard to find in Canada, but easy via Amazon), and into the dehydrator. A few hours later (about 4), we were happily munching away on kale chips (a bit too much salt) and apple slices that were almost ready (in the end, the apple slices didn’t quite make it; the skin being left on inhibited the dehydrating process, but we ate them anyhow).

On the 2nd of January, we tried to make juicer-pulp crackers from the remnants of our morning juice. The idea is solid, but we lack experience. We spread the pulp out and put it in the machine, and several hours later, removed and bagged the cracker-like mass. By the next morning, it was a soggy mess, as we did not get the thinness equal all over, so some areas were still wet inside, which rehydrated everything. Live and learn!

On the morning of the 3rd, I got damn good and brave. I’d gone to Costco and picked up a package of sirloin tip steaks. I then got me a fierce hankering for jerky. Enlisting the help of Google and YouTube, I learned how to (safely) make jerky. Did you know that only cooked meat should be dehydrated, UNLESS it has been properly cured and spiced in a brine or cure that contains NITRITES, or cooked until the interior temperature reaches 160°F?  Nope, neither did I. Some/most brines require a 24 hour marinade process. Some cures are rub-and-go. I’ve done the rub-and-go Red Pepper Dry Rub & Mix by SmokeHouse.

 

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The first Jerky batch before….

Sirloin sliced, home-made marinade applied and then popped in the oven at 170°F for an hour or so to bring internal temp up to 160°F, then into the dehydrator for 6 hours. Damn, that was the longest six hours of our lives! Needless to say, that small batch of jerky didn’t survive 24 hours in the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…And after. Damn good!

Between 1 January and today, 8 January 2017, we have dehydrated kale, sirloin tip steak (side note: a package of 4 rather large steaks will run you about 18-25$ at Costco. Based on the average price of 7.00$ for a large bag of jerky found in most stores, our 20$ steak investment provided us with the equivalent of 160.00$ of pre-made, store-bought jerky. Just saying; the dehydrator has already paid for itself.), apples, juicer-pulp crackers (second batch in right now, and this time I used a rolling pin to create equal thickness) and bell peppers. I bought a big batch of peppers (8 large peppers) for 2.50$ at Farm Boy, from the reduced produce section (not a damn thing wrong with them, except for a few wrinkles). I had a massive tray of peppers that dehydrated down into a medium Tupperware container, now in the pantry. The idea is to add them soup or stew in the near future, but we keep nibbling on them.

The peppers, before and after:

 

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2 types of nitrite based rubs/brines. We have used the top one, dry rub (spicy!!) so far.

We used to get rid of a fair amount of food, because we forgot about it, or didn’t have all the ingredients for a particular dish. Now, that’s irrelevant. If we lack something that moment, or it seems to be getting a bit wrinkled, we dehydrate it and use it later. So yeah. It looks like 2017 is going to be a whole lot better than 2016 (which can kiss our collective asses goodbye).

 

 

Categories: Cabin food, Camping food, Dehydrator, Food | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First post!

I needed to get this site up and going, to populate it with things that don’t compete with a sister blog, tinycabinbigdreams.com. No point in repeating everything. Unless you are government or military, but I digress.

Being able to get through tough situations beyond your control is kinda important. I don’t care how you tough it out, just be smart about it. Some folks like to prepare, and that is a good thing. Some folks don’t believe anything bad can ever happen. Uh, whoops. Wrong process of thought. Shit can happen, and does.

Using the Zombie Apocalypse as a metaphor; in reality, just be prepared. Food, water, shelter, smarts. Shit will happen. It doesn’t matter what form; it will happen. It doesn’t need to be a disaster or chaos-filled, world changing event. It might just be 48-96 hours without power. Or heat. Or running water.. What about your 70 year old neighbour? What about your family? Remember the Ice Storm of 1998? Only the old school heating systems worked, give or take. Don’t be caught short.

Next up:SHTF.

It’s not if, but when – Creek Stewart

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