Dehydrating meat that is pre-cooked and pre-sliced makes this task easy - we have the perfect way for dehydrating meat safely! -- Let's make lots of great stews and soups!
Meats are the building block of proteins for the body, and it's so easy to have your own dehydrated meats on hand.
Meats can be preserved by smoke, freeze-dried, or cured by salt. But we're all about the 'easy' here as in 'easy'-food-dehydrating! So for example, when preparing chicken for the family dinner, put some extra chicken in the cooking pot and save it to dehydrate later on!
Or as my brother says, "I'm saving it for Ron" - "late...R on" !!!
So let's get some cooked meat dehydrated NOW before inflation hits big time - and meat prices start escalating (even more than they already have...)
(Important: While vegetables re-hydrate very well, I cannot say the same for meats. You may experience a more chewy texture than you'd like ... but it's better than not having any meat available at all, that is, unless you are a vegetarian. Feel free to experiment with longer re-hydrating times for less-chewy meat!)
Cooked meats are best dehydrated at 160°F - but please consult your food dehydrator's owners manual for their specific instructions.
Your meat is already cooked, so that's one step saved - so no further preparation is necessary. The best meats to use are choice cuts -- the tender cuts - so they won't be chewy or tough. The less fat on the meat, the better - as it's the fat in meat that causes the meat to go rancid.
Dehydrated meats are perfect to use in stews, soups, or in a Beef Stroganoff for example. Make sure the meat pieces are SMALL so they rehydrate more evenly.
Vacuum sealed dehydrated cooked meats can last up to 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature.
To maintain the quality of dehydrated meats, please refrigerate or store in the freezer until ready to use. Dehydrated meats will stay fresh for up to six months in the freezer -- without freezer burn!
One of our site visitors, Paul Bee, wants to add this:
"Go to the deli counter and get lean roast beef, turkey, or chicken and have them slice it about 1/16 inch thick. When you get home, slice it into strips and dehydrate. I use it for a quick snack or when camping. As mentioned by Susan, freeze it until you are ready to use within the time limit. Vacuum sealing keeps moisture from getting to the jerky."
-- Thanks, Paul, for writing in!
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Sarah in Australia wanted us to know this about canned chicken:
"I do a lot of dehydrating for long hiking trips, and have found that the canned chicken ( that looks like canned tuna) in the supermarket (yes sounds gross) is the only chicken I've been able to dehydrate that re-hydrates exactly like it was prior. Taste and texture on re-hydration is perfect for chicken, just remember to buy the low fat canned chicken".
Hi Sarah! That's really great to know! I actually have been known to use the "canned chicken" in soups and chicken salad! :-) And yes, the low-fat stops rancidity when storing "long-term". Thanks so much for posting!