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Do You Salt Green Beans While They Are Drying?

Eileen posted a comment on the FaceBook comments section of Green Beans wanting to know if I salt them while dehydrating them.

The answer was "no", even though we all know that salt does extract water from foods while cooking.

Can I dehydrate Chicken and Beef?

Pamela asks: We have a dehydrator but have only used it for veggies from the garden. Is it a possibility for drying chicken and beef?

Primarily I want to make treats for my dogs, as most treats in stores these days are not made in the USA.

Yes Pamela, try dehydrating thinly sliced COOKED meats.

See the links at the bottom of this page for CHICKEN, ROAST BEEF, and TURKEY.

Can you also store dehydrated lunch meat on the shelves? If so how long will it last?

To answer Patricia's question: Yes, you can store it on your shelves, unrefrigerated, but only for say, three months. Keep checking on it for any spoilage (meat contains fat which goes rancid and that's why I don't recommend anything beyond three months). Most important thing is to keep it airtight, out of sunlight, and away from water!

Do you really need to use your 'oxygenators' when you vacuum-seal all the air out? I'd use them in canning jars but if all the air's vacuumed out when you seal a meal ... Just wondering since 'oxygenators' are limited in my stock.

Hello Ani! The oxygen absorbers protect dry foods from insect damage and extend the shelf life by preventing mold growth which eliminates the need for additives like BHA, BHT, and sorbates, etc. The oxygen packs are non-toxic, which is good to know, as they are in-contact with our food!

Yeah, I know they cost money, but in the long run, keeping the food safe beats throwing it out later if it spoils. Thanks for writing in!

I didn't like the taste of my dehydrated oranges, so I tossed them into the blender and powdered them. Makes a great sprinkle of flavor on my salads!

Great idea for brightening up a salad! Also use in cake recipes, or my carrot soup!

Sonja wants to know: What is the calorie count, fat count, sugar count when dehydrating vegetables?

Good question, and the answer is: Pretty much the same. When cooking and/or dehydrating veggies (and fruit), their nutritional value is lessened in the vitamin and mineral department. It's ALWAYS best to eat veggies and fruit at their peak ripeness if not using straight away to dehydrate.

Is there a certain amount of water used to re-hydrate? Or just soak them for a bit in more water than what's really needed? Does it matter if it's cold or hot water? I'm just now getting into dehydrating, so some things aren't really clear to me yet. Thanks! Laura

Hi Laura! I usually use a 2:1 ratio – but should the item being re-hydrated 'run out', i.e. absorb it all, then I just add more. In hot weather, re-hydrate food in water in your refrigerator to avoid spoilage.

Making soup in winter? Add boiling/boiled water to the item, let stand for 20 minutes and then cook up in a soup, making sure to bring the soup BACK to a boil, then simmer, per your recipe.

Thanks for writing in!

Easy Food Dehydrating & Safe Food Storage

Emelia asks: I hope these frozen peas are suitable to put in a snack mix. I've put garlic powder, onion powder and salt on my peas and put them in the dehydrator. I'm going to be doing some traveling without easy access to food so I'm dehydrating anything I can think of that I can put in baggies and eat. I've dehydrated zucchini slices, yellow squash slices, mushroom slices, cherries and figs. Any suggestions?

Hi Emelia, thanks for writing in! The Peas WILL BE inedible UNLESS you rehydrate them FIRST before eating! I don't want you to break your teeth on them! When they are fully dehydrated, they are very brittle and rock-hard. How about taking along dates (can buy those ready to go) and apricots and raisins!

potterygirl1 asks this about our Chicken Chow dog food: How long will it be able to be stored if you dehydrate the food as it has meat in it?

Hi potterygirl1 – This doggie food has meat in it, so you know that it's the fat in meat that goes rancid; dehydrators don't remove the fat, so I wouldn't want to keep packets of this hanging around for more than six to eight weeks. If you live in a cold(ish) climate, you could probably get away with eight weeks. Down in FL, maybe a month. Having said that, you can refrigerate your dehydrated packets of doggie food and you'll be good to go for three months. Good Luck and thanks for writing in!

Can I "over" dehydrate food? Will I burn food if I dehydrate too long? Thank you, Suetta.

Hi Suetta, you can certainly 'over' dry foods, so just follow each fruit or vegetables' 'Drying Time' guidelines found in their individual dehydrating 'How To' section on the page. Don't worry about burning anything really. It's just not hot enough. I think the only things you could 'burn' out are the fan motor and heating element if you left it running constantly! Some (more expensive) dehydrators have timers so they turn themselves off automatically.

One thing I really need are recipes for things we get pre packaged nowadays like potatoes au gratin, mac'n'cheese, scalloped potatoes, rice'n'beans, spanish rice, hamburger helper mixes etc.

I have slowly figured out some but others continue to elude me. I have powered cheese, powered sour cream, powered margarine or butter and a complete complement of spices so it should be able to be done! If you have these, or are working on them, that would be the best thing ever.

One more question: Can steak fries be dehydrated & do they rehydrate to fry OK? I have a house-full of steak fry lovers! fj

Hi Feather (FJ), are you asking about FROZEN steak fries? If so, they have already been partially cooked and then flash-frozen. When you cook them normally, it's either in the oven or microwave, correct?

However, IF you're asking about BIG fries that are freshly cut from whole potatoes and then dehydrated, then you can re-hydrate them. After re-hydrating the big fries, make sure they are DRIED off well, as you know how hot oil and water DON'T mix! I hope that answers the steak fries question! Now then, on to the recipes ...

I don't have any recipes for mixes, but why don't you just experiment yourself on putting together ingredients for a soup? A handful of (all dehydrated) celery, peas, diced potatoes, crushed-up bouillon cube – then put in a vacuum-sealer bag, add an oxypack – and vacuum seal it. Soup-In-A-Bag! Just add water! You can also add dehydrated tomatoes to the mix(es) too!

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SIGN UP for our Six Simple Steps!

Keep YOUR Food Pantry FULL!

Learn how to keep a full pantry –
for any reason or season!

Click the little girl's basket of
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