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The Freeze-Drying Thread

Discussion in 'The Homestead Kitchen - Recipes Etc' started by Britesea, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Oct 27, 2017
    waretrop

    waretrop Almost Self-Reliant

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    Wow I dehydrate lots of stuff but never thought of doing salsa. Your salsa looks very nice and I'll bet it re hydrates great... What I do is try some of these things and if I like how they cook back up I try dehydrating first since that takes such little space. If I don't like it when I use it I either can it or freeze it. Like, carrots look disgusting when dehydrated but you sure can put allot of them in a small space.... They re hydrate up real nice especially for cooking in a combo dish. Mushrooms do great also dehydrated.

    I love this thread and all the info....gives me great ideas....
     
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  2. Oct 28, 2017
    Britesea

    Britesea Super Self-Sufficient

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    Tomatoes are AWESOME dehydrated. You can grind them up into a powder and use them with different amounts of water for tomato paste, tomato sauce, tomato juice, even instant tomato soup. I tried freeze-drying them, but the amount of time and small space available decided me to keep dehydrating them instead; although I still need to see how the freeze-dried ones turn out rehydrated- would they have enough texture left to be a usable substitute for fresh in winter salads?

    We got an entire pork loin (about 9 lbs) from Cash N Carry today- $1.55 a pound. I've got it in the freezer for just long enough to make it easy to slice, then into the freeze-dryer. Should make some lovely chops!
     
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  3. Oct 28, 2017
    sumi

    sumi Super Self-Sufficient Administrator

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    Enquiring minds wants to know how do you store that meat afterwards, for how long and how would you prepare it for cooking later? Sorry about the interrogation! I'm familiar with dehydrated meat, as we make "biltong" in South Africa, which is basically salted and seasoned air dried beef (and absolutely wonderful :drool), but freeze dried meat is a new concept for me and I'm curious.
     
  4. Oct 28, 2017
    Britesea

    Britesea Super Self-Sufficient

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    Started the pork in the freeze dryer at 3:30 today. We'll see how long it takes to dry. The only prepping I did was to pre-freeze the chops to shorten the freezing cycle.

    @sumi the meat needs to be kept away from oxygen, moisture and light for maximum storage time. I use my vacuum sealer and the special mylar bags made for it (regular mylar doesn't work because both inside surfaces are smooth, so it can't suck the air out). Once they've been vacuum sealed in there, they should be good for as long as 25 years (if kept in a cool environment). Once you open a bag, you can store anything you don't use in a ziplock bag, as long as you use it up within a month or so. I will only store a smallish number of pork chops per bag so it's easy to use them all up within that month.

    To use it for cooking, you can rehydrate it in water (or broth or a mixture of water/marinade for more flavor!). From what I read, it's best to do this in a ziplock bag, with just enough water to cover; let them sit for about 50 minutes and then cook. They apparently take less time to cook than fresh meat, so watch carefully. Oh, I also read that they might have a weird "cat-food" type smell when you first open the bag, but that goes away with rehydration.
     
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  5. Oct 29, 2017
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    I n t e r e s t I n g.... Let us know how that goes! :)
     
  6. Nov 14, 2017 at 12:32 AM
    Britesea

    Britesea Super Self-Sufficient

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    I've been FD'ing cuts from about 18 lbs of beef round- I did cubes for stews, strips for stir-fry or things like beef stroganoff, and several 1/2" thick steaks cut into decent portion sizes for things like swiss steak. They all look great, but I haven't actually cooked with any of it-- gotta do that soon.

    Today I put in the last of the beef strips (2 trays) and the other 2 trays have leftovers from misc meals- Chicken Carbonara, Moqueca de Camaroes (brazilian shrimp stew), and Thai Ground Beef.

    We had turkey this weekend (it was meant for Thanksgiving, but I bought it too early and it was thawed already); today I'm going to shred the rest of the meat off the carcass and freeze most of it for FD after setting aside enough to make a casserole tonight and turning the carcass into soup.

    I'm having so much fun with this thing!
     
  7. Nov 14, 2017 at 9:46 AM
    sumi

    sumi Super Self-Sufficient Administrator

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    It sounds like a wonderful gadget to have around! I'd love to know how the meat etc cook up when you get round to using it.
     
  8. Nov 14, 2017 at 1:47 PM
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    DH must still be curious about getting a freeze drier. He bought some bags of dehydrated food from Harvest Right. I think the meat (ham) rehydrated best. Potatoes broke apart when stirred (I didn't mind, it was yummy). Rehydrated apple was floppy, but not sauce like if it had been frozen. i like the apple dry. Banana was wierd. Pineapple didn't rehydrate well, but i liked it dry too.

    i'm hoping maybe we'll get one someday. We have a 220 outlet in the basement....
     
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