Tips For Home Made Dehydrated Meals

How to Make Your Own Dehydrated Meals

Make Your Own Dehydrated mealsYou can save significant amounts of money by creating your own meals in advance of a hiking or backpacking trip.  All you will need to do is head to the store. If you already have a vacuum sealer and a dehydrator you are ahead of the game, Although they aren’t necessary.

In the past I have really enjoyed most of the factory made dehydrated meals I have had in the wilderness. Some brands make  delicious concoctions. However you can easily recreate them for a fraction of the cost. The best part is you will always know exactly what you are eating.

Different ways to make your meals

There are a few ways to make your meals. You can either make your meals entirely at home including cooking it, or use all dehydrated ingredients to begin with, and cook only one time on the trail.

Cooking and preparing at home:  This method will require you to use a dehydrator. You can pretty much take any of your favorite recipes and put them into a dehydrating unit and make your own hiking food. Most chili’s and such will be dehydrated in 10 hours or less at a high setting. Any time you are dehydrating meats you should do so at a high heat. It is recommended to do so at around 160 degrees.  If you have a mesh tray dehydrator, you will need to line the trays in some instances with TEFLEX, or parchment paper. Some people say that saran wrap also works well. Some foods will stick to wax paper but it is also an alternative.

Mixing up all dried ingredients: If you don’t have a dehydrator this is the way to go until you invest in one. You can find at almost all grocery stores the dried up ingredients for most foods. The spice section should cover most necessities used for the flavoring. Such as chili powder, dried minced onions etc. In fact most of these are available at the dollar store. You could easily average around 1$ per meal if you tried. While packaging your dried ingredients for the trail you should do so in individual packages. Its easy to have the ratios get screwed up because of the different densities of the foods. If you mix up 5 servings of pasta in one big bag, one serving might be really flavorful, while the next serving is bland.  For instance salt, pepper and minced onions will settle at the bottom of your bag leaving noodles on top.

Drying all of your veggies and sauces in advance: If you dry all of your vegetables and base ingredients in advance you can save time. You could dry out some jars of pasta sauce during the winter and put small bags of it into your pasta servings before your trip. You can also quickly dehydrate mushrooms, onions etc. Store them in different jars and add them to your meals as needed. ​