Author Topic: What can you NOT dehydrate?  (Read 18483 times)

Offline Pukwudji

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What can you NOT dehydrate?
« on: September 25, 2009, 01:13:19 AM »
I'm stoked to try dehydrating when I can scrape the pennies for a dehydrator.  Watching some of the videos and reading some of the posts have got me thinking about what the limits are.  To go to the furthest extreme, can you dehydrate things like milk and butter?  I know they make dried milk, but is it just dehydrated or artificial or what?  What about butter?  Will the fat in it prevent it from dehydrating or is it possible?  Is it good for anything once its dehydrated?  Can you do it at home and how?  If you can't do high fat stuff like butter, what is the best way to store it long term; or is there?

What about fruit juices?  Honey?

What other 'odd' things have you dehydrated or seen dehydrated?

Thanks,
Brian

Offline quietmike

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 02:02:40 AM »

Offline texasmufflerman

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 09:05:47 AM »
I don't know anything about dehydrating foods, but since you mentioned honey...

After a trip to Niagra Falls several years ago, I decided that my new favorite candy was maple sugar.  When I got back home, I decided to make myh own.  I went to Costco and bought a big bottle of maple syrup (the real stuff).  I stood in front of the stove stirring the maple syrup continuously for three hours.  When it was done, it was pretty good, but at the cost of lots of work.  Since honey is being considered here for the dehydrator, I am wondering about maple syrup.


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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 09:38:07 AM »
http://www.buydehydratedwater.com/

The process they are explaining here seems to be alot like if someone destilled water.

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 10:24:40 AM »
I'm stoked to try dehydrating when I can scrape the pennies for a dehydrator.  Watching some of the videos and reading some of the posts have got me thinking about what the limits are.  To go to the furthest extreme, can you dehydrate things like milk and butter?  I know they make dried milk, but is it just dehydrated or artificial or what?  What about butter?  Will the fat in it prevent it from dehydrating or is it possible?  Is it good for anything once its dehydrated?  Can you do it at home and how?  If you can't do high fat stuff like butter, what is the best way to store it long term; or is there?

What about fruit juices?  Honey?

What other 'odd' things have you dehydrated or seen dehydrated?

Thanks,
Brian

High-fat items such as meats, eggs, milk, butter and cheese are best either purchased dried commercially (milk and eggs) or canned (meat, butter, cheese).

Now, some meats can be dehydrated, such as jerky, but you start off with lean cuts of meat and you rid the meat of as much fat as possible. A lot of people salt (brine) or smoke meats and fish to preserve them, in addition to canning.

Cheese can also be stored in a wax coating (think of those baby bel cheese things you can get at the store). If a cheese can hold its shape when at room temperature, it can be waxed for storage. Many of the harder cheeses (parmesan, reggiano, etc) were processed during storage in such a way that a rind was developed on it.

Butter can be canned - Sister Wolf canned some and reported that even after a period of storage, it turned out great. Here is the link to that topic: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=1928.0

The volume of water that you would have to displace to dehydrate fruit juice is really much greater than a home system is capable of doing. If you want to save the fruit juce, you'd be better off canning it also. That being said, you *CAN* dehydrate sauces to reconstitute, such as a tomato paste for pasta, etc.

Check out this site for a pretty in-depth conversation of dehydrating:  http://www.dehydrate2store.com/


edit - added the link to Sister Wolf's canning butter topic
      

Offline TXChikk

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 12:33:18 PM »
I too am curious about the many things you can dehydrate. My partner & I bought the Excalibur & love it. I'm curious about whether or not I can dehydrate my chicken stock into cubes like the ones you get at the store sans the preservatives and other dubious ingredients. I'm aware you can freeze them in ice cube trays but wonder if any of you know of a resource for the dried bouillon cubes? I have looked on the web (including that fabulous link to Dehydrate2store) but have turned up nil on the topic of dehydrating stock @ home. Any clues?
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Offline Taylor3006

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2009, 12:37:16 PM »
Not sure why you would need to dehydrate honey, stores well with no problems other than crystallization which responds well to heating. When they opened tombs in Egypt they found lots of food items that had been stored for thousands of years. Two items in particular were still edible, wheat (which also sprouted), and honey.

I can say from experience that pineapples do not dehydrate well. They get a tad sticky, am thinking that is why commercially available dried pineapple always has that powdered sugar coating. Pukwudji is correct, high fat items do not dehydrate well and will go rancid. Eggs can be done, its tough and if you do the yolks as well, you need to store them in the freezer. Some things are as cheap or cheaper purchased dehydrated, grapes (raisins), bananas (banana chips), milk, and potatoes. I normally dehydrate stuff I have lots and lots of or things I collect in large quantities in the wild (dewberries, mustang grapes, etc). The Church of LDS recently revised it's recommendations about the edibility of items after long term storage. I consider them to be experts in the field and they have stated on their website that many dehydrated fruit items remain edible for up to 30 years if stored correctly with only minimal loss of nutrient value. Just my two cents.
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Offline HelenWheels

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2009, 12:41:53 PM »
From everything I have read, I just don't believe you have the capability of dehydrating liquids of any kind. Their water content is just too high for a home dehydrator to process. Besides, I don't know how you'd keep the liquid on the tray. And getting it in the shape of cubes? I don't know that you could dehydrate them in ice cube trays to approximate a cube shape.

Is there a reason you wouldn't can it yourself instead?

      

Offline Pukwudji

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2009, 01:20:50 PM »
From everything I have read, I just don't believe you have the capability of dehydrating liquids of any kind. Their water content is just too high for a home dehydrator to process. Besides, I don't know how you'd keep the liquid on the tray. And getting it in the shape of cubes? I don't know that you could dehydrate them in ice cube trays to approximate a cube shape.

Is there a reason you wouldn't can it yourself instead?

I'm all for canning.  My question (and I'm sure the person who asked about bullion) is more around sapce and weight.  I can store a hundred gallons of beef stock as dried bullion in a small can or bag and it weights less than a pound.  Many areas of the country don't typically build cellars or basements in the houses so storage for large volumes of material is at a premium.  The root of my question is to understand what I can dehydrate and what items I just have to accept will take up a lot of space.

Brian

Offline donaldj

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2009, 01:28:02 PM »
I just started dehydrating, and still do an internet search on what I'm planning on dehydrating next.

I have successfully dehydrated applesauce and some other blended fruits to make a "fruit roll up" type deal, so you can technically dehydrate liquids.

Right now I'm mostly doing potato slices for bulk food storage as well as apples.

D


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Offline Pukwudji

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2009, 01:30:48 PM »
Here's a question.  If you dehydrate the frozen shredded potatos (which I assume are already cooked) can you just grind a measure (in a food processor or something) to make instant mashed potatos? 

B

Offline soccer grannie

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2009, 01:48:08 PM »
In one of the YouTube videos from dehydrate2store she talks about dehydrating cooked mashed potatoes and rehydrating for eating. In another one she talks about dehydrating frozen hash browns. Best I can remember she has about 10 videos on YouTube and more on the Dehydrate2Store website. On the website there's a lot of info. You can also sign up for a free e-newsletter. IMO: The time spent watching the videos was well worth it.

Offline Pukwudji

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2009, 01:57:13 PM »
Yeah, I've watched several.  I'm just impatient.   ;)

-Brian

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2009, 02:01:01 PM »
I'm all for canning.  My question (and I'm sure the person who asked about bullion) is more around sapce and weight.  I can store a hundred gallons of beef stock as dried bullion in a small can or bag and it weights less than a pound.  Many areas of the country don't typically build cellars or basements in the houses so storage for large volumes of material is at a premium.  The root of my question is to understand what I can dehydrate and what items I just have to accept will take up a lot of space.

Brian

Sorry if I sounds snippy in my response. I didn't mean to.

A minimum of storage space is a valid reason for not canning.. as would be a lack of skills or tools to use for canning. I can also understand why people want to create their own bullion or fruit juice powders instead of using commercial items (sodium, added ingredients, etc).

I live in a small apartment and space is at a premium for me. I don't mind the bullion cubes or other concentrated forms. I have considered canning my own chicken and beef broths by cooking them down to a concentrated broth and canning them in smaller (pint) jars. Maybe you could consider that - it won't be as lightweight and small as a powder or cube but maybe it would work.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 02:03:43 PM by HelenWheels »
      

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2009, 02:05:04 PM »
I just started dehydrating, and still do an internet search on what I'm planning on dehydrating next.

I have successfully dehydrated applesauce and some other blended fruits to make a "fruit roll up" type deal, so you can technically dehydrate liquids.

Right now I'm mostly doing potato slices for bulk food storage as well as apples.

D


We'll have to agree to disagree. To my thinking, applesauce and other fruit blends are fruit solids suspended in a fruit juice. When dehydrated, the juice concentrates and the liquid disappears, leaving behind the 'leather'.
      

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2009, 02:09:53 PM »
You can't dehydrate cats.

Offline Taylor3006

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2009, 03:06:09 PM »
You can't dehydrate cats.

Umm yes you can.... Just gotta bop them on the head first.
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Offline Pukwudji

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2009, 04:48:11 PM »
I like the idea of boiling down liquids to concentrate them so you can call into smaller containers.  Not as good as dried, but better than nothing.  If I could store broth in a pint instead of a quart I can store a whole lot more.

Thanks,
Brian

Offline 00Lucky

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2011, 10:52:19 AM »
Hi
Check out this website.  This backpacker/hiker seems to have a few good recipes he calls Bark.

http://www.backpackingchef.com/food-dehydrator-recipes.html

Offline PrimalTroy

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2011, 10:57:13 AM »
Nice find! Thanks for sharing. :)

Hi
Check out this website.  This backpacker/hiker seems to have a few good recipes he calls Bark.

http://www.backpackingchef.com/food-dehydrator-recipes.html

Offline madcap1one

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2011, 03:21:04 PM »
Well...

I have to disagree with a couple of items above.

1. Pineapple is absolutely one of my favorite fruits to dehydrate. I have been doing it for years, and can only comment that if you are experiencing some issues with sticky-ness, you may not be dehydrating long enough. I literally buy a dozen pineapples at a time to dehydrate. I much prefer the slower lower temperature method to preserve the nutrition (higher temps mean the nutrition "cooks" out.) Think no higher than 115 for almost everything, except liquids that will require higher temps to overcome the additional liquids. Which leads to
2. Yes, you absolutely can dehydrate more liquid items. I have never tried it with stock, but a favorite with kids (and adults looking for natural ways to satisfy a sweet tooth,) is to use flat sheets (not the screens) to drizzle a fruit smoothee that when dried becomes a fruit leather, or the equivalent of the grocery store fruit roll up. I should note, this is not a "juice" but a smoothee - i.e. I use my blender, not my juicer, so its a thicker more milkshake consistency to dehydrate.
3. One thing I have never had luck dehydrating is broccoli. I love broccoli. I buy it in bulk. I wish it stored better when dehydrated, but it always seems to come out as broccojerky, and doesn't rehydrate well.

Oh - one other thing. Mix the dehydrated pineapple with dehydrated strawberry, and create a dry virgin daquiri snack! Delicious! and rehydratres as an incredible ice cream topping, cake baking addition, trail side snack, etc.
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Offline joeinwv

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2012, 10:14:25 AM »
Stock would take forever to dry - but you could probably make a leather from a well made demiglace. In any case you need to remove every bit of fat and reduce it until very thick. Even so, the end product would likely need refrigeration.

Anything with a high fat content has a risk of going rancid, which makes a poor candidate for drying.

Pineapple is awesome - I do mine for the first few hours at 125 and then rest of the way at 105

Offline Freebirde

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2012, 06:24:07 PM »
A couple of Alton Brown's videos on dehydration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GkD2GQ3Tg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIK4DVLHf7Y&feature=related

His dehydrator is a lot cheaper than a commercial dehydrators.
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Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2012, 07:45:35 PM »
someone posted recently on how to make homemade bullion cubes...  lemme see if I can find it.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=33845.msg379082#msg379082

not exactly easy, but I cannot wait to try it next time I make stock.
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Offline reefmarker

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2012, 06:36:55 AM »
Green Beans - No - They don't rehydrate anything like they started out.  Even in soups.

Honey - Yes!  It crystalizes into this really great tasting goop that you can use as a super sugar topping for other stuff like cakes!  Never really completly dry just like a super thick gel / goop stuff.  Clover honey is not the best for this since it seems to bring out the flavor of whatever the bee spit came from.


Offline Thom

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2012, 10:57:46 AM »
Oh - one other thing. Mix the dehydrated pineapple with dehydrated strawberry, and create a dry virgin daquiri snack!

Suddenly I find myself wondering how well these would rehydrate with rum or vodka rather than water.  :P
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Offline TexasGirl

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2012, 12:59:14 PM »
You can't dehydrate cats.

Umm yes you can.... Just gotta bop them on the head first.

Suddenly I find myself wondering how well these would rehydrate with rum or vodka rather than water.  :P

Word to the wise...  Don't try vodka when redydrating the cat.

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Offline Mysphet

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2012, 01:33:40 PM »
http://www.buydehydratedwater.com/

I would say that water would be at the top of the list of things NOT to try and dehydrate. Great LOL, quietmike.

Offline Truik

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2012, 01:38:05 PM »
Word to the wise...  Don't try vodka when redydrating the cat.

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Offline Vakota

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Re: What can you NOT dehydrate?
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2013, 11:01:11 AM »
Word to the wise...  Don't try vodka when redydrating the cat.

~TG

What about Rum?  I have lots of both.: )
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