Cheap and Efficient way to start dehydrating

molliesmaster

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
378
I would like to dabble in dehydrating a few meals for some camping/hunting trips. A little digging and research provided an information overload and a little bit of sticker shock.

Can anyone recommend a cost efficient, simple way to give it a go?

Thanks
 

Molon Labe

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
433
I have a couple of presto dehydrators that work just fine and they are probably $40?
When doing meals just use wax paper or break into the components.
Chili or stew...the meat and beans get clumped up so I check every couple hours and bust them apart.
Mushrooms I do on a big screen with fans...think that is better than heat for taste...then add later.
Haven't tried doing meals on a big screen...but that may be the zero cost way of doing it?
 
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molliesmaster

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
378
Molon which presto dehydrators models do you use? Do you prefer the wax paper over the fruit sheets?
 

airlocksniffer

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2014
Messages
1,067
Location
Helena, MT
I have a couple of presto dehydrators that work just fine and they are probably $40?
When doing meals just use wax paper or break into the components.
Chili or stew...the meat and beans get clumped up so I check every couple hours and bust them apart.
Mushrooms I do on a big screen with fans...think that is better than heat for taste...then add later.
Haven't tried doing meals on a big screen...but that may be the zero cost way of doing it?

Wax paper has been a no go for me. Parchment paper works much better.
 

blackpowderhunter

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2015
Messages
364
Location
Washington
I use the Nesco FD-1040 Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator, White, 1000-watt. Super expandable if you get into it and want to dehydrate a lot more. I like that it has a digital timer so i can set it to run, and I dont have to be home to shut it off. This is also good because you want the food to cool before vac packing it to avoid condensation. You can run 2 trays with it, or up to 8 or 10 ( i forget, I usually have 5 trays going)
That dehydrator is under 100 bucks delivered from Amazon and will serve you quite well.
I have made TONS of meals, jerky, fruit leather, etc with it and don't regret my purchase one bit.
I use the fruit roll trays when dehydrating chilis, stews, soups, or ground meat.

For resources, check out hungry hammock hanger on youtube. He has a lot of super simple recipes and tips for dehydrating to get you going.
 

CareyJAF50

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2016
Messages
156
Personally my favorite dehydrated meal I make is pot-roast and mashed potatoes. Ill take an elk, deer, sheep etc roast and drop it in the slow cooker seasoned up until it completely falls apart. I take that meat and spread it out on my dehydrator on top of butcher paper cut to fit my round one from Walmart. Dehydrate it thoroughly. Then ill take a cup of the dried meat, a cup of Idahoin instant mashed potatoes in your favorite flavor, then add a tablespoon of instant gravy power and any other desired seasoning. Boil about 16-20 Oz of water and drop it in your vacuum bag. I love the shit, got it from a dude on IG and modified it a bit to my liking.
 
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