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OT i guess - food dehydrating question
9:48:23 AM
I dehydrated a bunch of food for a walk yesterday and they were actually in the dehydrator for about 14 hours (at 70degrees), this morning i have a little drama with them. They weren't quite done when i went to bed, so i left it on, but woke up in the night and turned them off, leaving them the rest of the night in the dehydrator to cool off. When I went to pack them up this morning, the pumpkin curry looks a little oily in places and the chilli beans have the odd soft spot. So i turned the dehydrator back on again, but I'm starting to worry that they might have gone off in the 4 hours or so that they were left to cool before I discovered they needed another burl.

So my question for the morning is - are they going to be ok or should I suck it up and start again?

9:52:26 AM
Depends on whether or not you like botulism?

(My guess is that since they are vegie meals, you are more likely get away with it, than if they were meat based; ... if you are feeling adventurous.☺).

From memory, there is at least one other thread on Chocky that deals with dehydrating food, however your question is quite specific and (from memory again), did not arise earlier on similar threads.
10:00:18 AM
Oily foods simply don't dehydrate well. Whatever water was used to prepare them will evaporate but oils will remain. I have often had your experience with vegetables and it is usually caused by irregular sized fragments. I have never fallen sick from my meals but you never can tell! I would prepare and eat a reasonable portion and have a mobile phone close handy for the next 12 hours.
10:04:45 AM
to OT the OT, what's your internet speed like today, if you're using your home landline? Ours has been rubbish and my usual reset tricks aren't working. Speculating that it's water in the telstra pits from the rain so curious to know if the problem is affecting others in Nati.
Regarding the food, I would play safe and toss it I'm afraid. It's probably OK but the consequences if it isn't doesn't bear thinking about.
10:09:56 AM
yeah, i was leaning to that conclusion to.

Can't help you with the Nati internet - i'm in Adelaide this week.
10:36:24 AM
Mmmm, so the instruction manual on the dehydrator suggest that if moisture develops in the storage containers after a few days, you can just lob it back in the dehydrator. The pumpkin curry was dry, it just had oil. I'm guessing that was the coconut milk? Maybe I should just make pumpkin and curry paste mash and add coconut milk powder later? Still, i'm leaning towards feeding it to the dog.

10:49:52 AM
On 13/06/2013 Wendy wrote:
>Maybe I should just make pumpkin and
>curry paste mash and add coconut milk powder later? Still, i'm leaning
>towards feeding it to the dog.

Don't do that to the poor thing.
11:09:24 AM
you should see what that dog lives on. It is the cafe recycling machine. Actually so is Douglas. There's this food order in our households. I eat stuff for the firs 2-3 days then get scared. Douglas will happily eat it all week. Jed will happily eat it all the next week. He happily downs roo lasagne, vegie quiche, chicken curry ... i don't know that he's refused anything yet! I'm sure reconsituted beans and pumpkin would be a gourmet treat! Actually, I suspect Douglas will be happy to eat them too.

Reading through the other dehydrating threads - people talk about freezing their dried food. When I bung stuff in the freezer, it tends to get ice crystals inside the packaging. Does this not happen with dried food?

It's been years since I dehydrated whole meals, so I can't remember how long they used to take, but 14 hours seemed like heaps, but I noticed Neil found it took 24. What sort of times have people found whole meals, bunged through a food processor into mush and spread out on baking paper took? It's been raining so I guess it's high humidity which isn't helping, and maybe the food reabsorbed some moisture as it cooled?
11:22:21 AM
Problem with dehydrating oily foods is they can turn rancid after awhile.
Best to add coconut milk after reconstituting in my experience.

Depending on how finely you chop your meal up, 12 hours is about average to dry full meals from my experience. I always have to throw out a couple of bits which are not fully dried - usually tomato/onion!

These days I find it easier to just dehydrate the veggies separately and make the meal up at camp.

This website is useful for ideas/average times:

Edit: Oh, and try double bagging/ziplock plus airtight container if you want to keep it in the freezer.
12:19:21 AM
I've had that happen Wendy, not quite dehydrated properly, left out for a day or 2. I've always just kept & packed it away anyway & its been fine. I usually keep it in the fridge until its used, just in case.

I think time to dehydrate depends on humidity a lot... it was taking nearly 2 days in humid Brisbane summer, but 12 hrs or less in the Rockies (20-30% humidity most of the time).

1:20:34 PM
I'd eat it for sure

There are 11 messages in this topic.


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