How to make dry foods
Ready-made dried foods can be obtained from supermarkets or any bulk food store. Such food includes dried fruit, noodles, dried onions and tomatoes, oatmeal, chili mixes, soup packets and many more. Other people prefer homemade dried food and the easiest way to make them is using a dehydrator. Dehydrators are easy to use and require little supervision and maintenance, making it a favorite of those that love dried food especially for snacking. A dried food recipe can also be made using an oven, although this takes much more time than with dehydrators. In this case, set the oven on the lowest and leave the door slightly open.
Making dry meats and vegetables
For the meat lovers, it is recommended that the fatty oils be first removed from any meat because they go rancid and bring bad taste to the jerky. The next step is to slice the meat into thin pieces that can dry easily and then marinade it by adding sauce and seasonings. Meats can be marinated overnight while fish or chicken can take between 3-4 hours. This is followed by drying using a towel, then placing them in the dehydrator. The time and the temperature that is required depending on the instructions on the machine. For fruit lovers, the first thing is to choose favorite fruits, then make individual or mixture puree using a blender. The puree is then poured into the fruit roll sheet, and then ran for a period of up to 8 hours. Depending on the fruit type, others can take as low as 4 hours to dry.
Rules of drying
• Avoid mixing flavors. It is important to dry certain flavors differently and not mix them as they may taste and smell nasty. For example, do not mix onions and fruits such as bananas.
• Handle oily food carefully to avoid spoilage. Oil makes dry food go rancid and it is important to remove it before drying. Also, cook the food using less oil and rinse off the grease in the meats before drying them.
• Dehydrate using the right temperature. This ensures that the foods are safe to eat, as they are not under-dried or over-dried. The temperature for drying meat is not the same as that of drying fruits.
A dried food recipe is great at any time, whether at home or on a backpack trip. It should however be handled in the best way possible to ensure that they taste great, are in good condition and are safe for consumption.