Author Topic: Help buying a dehydrator :)  (Read 670 times)

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Offline PaleoPatsy

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Help buying a dehydrator :)
« on: May 12, 2017, 04:44:00 pm »
Hi guys, thanks for welcoming into your forum   :D

I've been paleo for coming up to a year now and have just started looking into dehydrating my own meats to make jerky and other homemade dried goodies.  I've found it fairly hard to find a great, small dehydrator to use at home.  What ones do you guys use and recommend? And is there anything I should look be keeping an eye out for?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Patsy



Online TylerDurden

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 05:34:03 pm »
Well, my own dehydrator is rather large with 3 or 4 circular trays to put the raw meat on. It's also an Austrian make, so  no point in mentioning the brand. I would recommend a large dehydrator, though, as the dehydrator does massively reduce the size of the raw meats after dehydration.
Other points:- I personally find that fully dehydrated meat is too tough for me and prefer to just do a partial dehydration. I find that even minor processing such as mincing or drying tends to lead to issues re digestion( or eating too much in the case of minced-meat). But others would differ on this.

Oh, out of curiosity, are you cooked-palaeo or raw-palaeo?
""When kids stop reading comics, Oceania has won." -George Orwell/Joke=" “How do you know a vegan at a dinner party? Don't worry, they'll tell you.”

Offline Drengr

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2017, 02:48:19 am »
I use a Nesco FD-61. I think I paid around $50 usd for it and it comes with 5 trays and you can add more. I set the temperature to 95 and it usually takes about 48 hours for the meat to dry.

Offline sabertooth

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 07:25:58 am »
I just cut small strips and hang my meat in front of a high speed fan, air drying it at room temperature, over a couple of days works just fine, no machine.
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Offline PaleoPatsy

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 02:04:50 pm »
Oh wow, you're all so friendly thanks so much for all your replies and feedback. 

I've been looking through all the smaller tiered dehydrators, and think they might end up being too small so I think I will have to go with the bigger varieties with 5 + tiers so that I can make larger quantities.  Has anyone found a timer to be incredibly useful? As I'm currently looking between two options which are very similar except one is a tad more expensive but includes a timer.

Offline PaleoPatsy

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 02:06:55 pm »


Interesting, how long do you find works best for you for a partial dehydration? I have had similar thoughts and am a bit worried about digestive issues.


Offline PaleoPatsy

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 02:07:49 pm »
I just cut small strips and hang my meat in front of a high speed fan, air drying it at room temperature, over a couple of days works just fine, no machine.

Interesting, do you find this produces more of a biltong than a jerky?

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 07:52:36 am »
Sorry, Paleopatsy, I seem to have been using  your past post to answer, and somehow deleted stuff. Sorry, I will try again to answer:-

"I prefer just dehydrating at c.37 degrees Celsius  for 2  days. I am actually seriously considering, though, to dehydrate all my meats until they are all full dehydrated. I suppose I will have to start with much larger pieces than usual, and then, while I am in the mountains, rehydrate them over 4-6 hours to see if they regain their water-content. My main interest in beef jerky is to carry lots of food but weighing as little as possible. For hiking, apparently most of the weight in the rucksack consists of food and water. I don't need water given the plentiful lakes and streams in the area I will be visiting, but the dehydrated meat would solve the weight-issues.
""When kids stop reading comics, Oceania has won." -George Orwell/Joke=" “How do you know a vegan at a dinner party? Don't worry, they'll tell you.”

Offline sabertooth

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 09:14:52 am »
You can air dry into jerky that will preserve just as well as heat drying. Sometimes I will dry for a couple of days and put it into a large jar, then if it starts to weep moisture, fan it out until entirely dry. The end product is virtually identical to heat dried jerky, exept that if there was any fat in the cuts it would still be present in air dried, while in heated most of it melts away.

Even fatty cuts of meat can be dried this way, and stay good for weeks, though eventually the fat will go a little rancid, but even if it begins to turn it is still edible, as long as there is no visible mold.

Ive have a vacuum sealer and could feasibly preserve a lean cut air dry jerky for over a year, if so inclined....but Im too hook on fresh flesh to go through all the trouble.

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Offline van

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2017, 11:19:22 am »
I believe oxidized fat in something we should avoid.  I believe you can actually feel the difference energy wise.  In nature fat wouldn't hang around very long, as scavengers would quickly devour it.    And yes, all the stories of the inuits and american plains indians with there pemican and fermented fish ect... but they also needed to survive their winters, and most likely didn't ponder much over whether one food was causing harm on a cellular level.  They were desperate for calories instead.   I always suggest people to pay particular attention to how fresh their fats are.. as I'm always amazed at how insensitive most are to rancid or oxidized fats and oils.

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2017, 06:59:40 pm »
I think(?) that the fat only oxidises on the surface of the meat so is not as bad as all that..?
""When kids stop reading comics, Oceania has won." -George Orwell/Joke=" “How do you know a vegan at a dinner party? Don't worry, they'll tell you.”

Offline van

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2017, 04:53:13 am »
I buy half inch thick pieces of back fat,, flat pieces.   In two weeks in the fridge, it has a very off smell, one that I've grown to listen to.  I have attempted to skim off the outside 1/8 inch only to find the remaining 3/8 thick portion smells the same.
  When meat dries, it shrinks, thus squeezing out fat that is inter celluar, exposing it to oxygen....

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2017, 08:55:57 am »
I buy half inch thick pieces of back fat,, flat pieces.   In two weeks in the fridge, it has a very off smell, one that I've grown to listen to.  I have attempted to skim off the outside 1/8 inch only to find the remaining 3/8 thick portion smells the same.
  When meat dries, it shrinks, thus squeezing out fat that is inter celluar, exposing it to oxygen....
Interesting, thanks, that makes sense. Still, I will  try dehydrating some raw pig's tongues in the near-future as I have only tried raw fresh muscle-meats so far for drying out. Tongue is 50-60% fat so it should be interesting to see what happens.
""When kids stop reading comics, Oceania has won." -George Orwell/Joke=" “How do you know a vegan at a dinner party? Don't worry, they'll tell you.”

Offline sabertooth

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2017, 07:30:37 am »
I believe oxidized fat in something we should avoid.  I believe you can actually feel the difference energy wise.  In nature fat wouldn't hang around very long, as scavengers would quickly devour it.    And yes, all the stories of the inuits and american plains indians with there pemican and fermented fish ect... but they also needed to survive their winters, and most likely didn't ponder much over whether one food was causing harm on a cellular level.  They were desperate for calories instead.   I always suggest people to pay particular attention to how fresh their fats are.. as I'm always amazed at how insensitive most are to rancid or oxidized fats and oils.

Of course I will freeze the majority of my fats and agree that fat is best fresh, and I agree oxidized and rancid fats are not ideal, but in my experience home made jerky fat seems to keep fairly well for at least a few weeks or so, before starting to turn, and even then I would say the benefits of the fats outweigh the detriments up to a certain point.

My advice for fatty jerky is given with the catch that it should be eaten before rancidity reaches the point of revulsion....Typically once all the moisture is dried out of the meat, if you keep it in a cool place and air it out regularly, the melty streaks of fat taste absolutely delicious and you can take with you on short treks as travel food without need of refrigeration.

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Offline PaleoPatsy

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2017, 04:57:45 pm »
I believe oxidized fat in something we should avoid.  I believe you can actually feel the difference energy wise.  In nature fat wouldn't hang around very long, as scavengers would quickly devour it.    And yes, all the stories of the inuits and american plains indians with there pemican and fermented fish ect... but they also needed to survive their winters, and most likely didn't ponder much over whether one food was causing harm on a cellular level.  They were desperate for calories instead.   I always suggest people to pay particular attention to how fresh their fats are.. as I'm always amazed at how insensitive most are to rancid or oxidized fats and oils.

Hi Van, do you think this applies to Biltong as well? It's one of my grab and go supermarket snacks  -[

Offline van

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Re: Help buying a dehydrator :)
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2017, 11:11:39 pm »
I don't know 'Biltong'.  Sorry.