Saturday, March 12, 2016

Preparing Dehydrated Foods for Next Summer's Wilderness Adventures

Cold winds howl. The urge to hunker down at home and keep warm strikes. What do you do? Enjoy a nice warm pot of of chili, spaghetti, beef stew, or beef stroganoff and dehydrate the left-overs for your next wilderness adventure. Lightweight, well-preserved, home cooked foods for your back-country adventures prove far more satisfying, contain more protein, and taste far less salty than the prepacked options.


  1. Chop meats and vegetables into very small pieces. This will ensure the meal will dehydrate and later hydrate more quickly and thoroughly. 
  2. Remove fat from meat prior to cooking. Rinse ground beef with water in a strainer before adding wet ingredients during the cooking process. Removing fat helps prevent dehydrated meals from quickly going rancid. Store these dehydrated foods in the freezer for food safety reasons.
  3. If there are no instructions for soups and stews containing meat, follow the instructions for meat.
  4. Read and follow the dehydrator manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Do not package moist foods. Food must be fully dried for food safety reasons.
  6. Packaging in vacuum sealed bags (I use a Food Saver system) helps preserve dehydrated meals. 
  7. Moisture, air, and light will degrade your dehydrated food. Storing the dehydrated meals in the freezer helps preserve dehydrated meals.
  8. Always follow safe and hygienic cooking practices.
  9. Label and date your packages.

Prepared meat sauce before dehydration.
Dehydrated meat sauce.
Spaghetti before dehydration.
Dehydrated spaghetti.

Vacuum sealed meat sauce.
Vacuum sealed pasta.


handling food

Please use sanitary handing and storage practices and great caution when preparing foods. Wash surfaces and hands before and after handling foods. Cook foods thoroughly. Dehydrate fully and store in a light, moisture, and air free environment (in a freezer to prevent traces of fats from going rancid and slow the aging process). The tips offered on this blog are presented as guidelines only.


I do not receive compensation for the products mentioned or reviewed in this post. All products mentioned or reviewed were purchased by me. All comments made are based on personal use and experience.

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