Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dehydrated chicken for the trip

I dehydrated some chicken (and some bananas) for the trip. Like we both do before we try anything new -meals, gear, or even some new high-falootin' technique- we test at home.

The bananas didn't turn out as well as I thought. Some were still soft even after 12 hours. It may be because I placed them directly on the tray and not the plastic sheet that I had the chicken on. The next batch of bananas will be dehydrated on the plastic sheet to compare the two results.

I took some foil-packed chicken breast and dehydrated it for 12 hours. I set it up at 9:00pm and let it go all night. I had two packs of the chicken and dehydrated them on individual shelves.
After the 12 hours, I bagged on pack in a Ziploc freezer bag. and tested the other package of chicken.
Here is a shot of the chicken re-hydrating in some cool tap water after only a few seconds:

After one hour:
I forgot about the chicken and here is a shot after 4 hours:

The texture after 4 hours was not much different than it was at the one hour mark. So one hour might have been enough.  I took some chicken out of the bag and felt it and the texture was still a bit tough deep into the chicken. the exterior was soft like it should have been but kind of tough as you applied pressure.
I then started eating the chicken.  It tasted like chicken but was very firm as I chewed. I think (I did not test this part) after we boil it it may soften up some. I plan on taking some Rice-A-Roni  I dehydrated some time ago and eat that on the trail. With Rice-A-Roni, you need to cook it all first per the instructions and then dehydrate it. If you take the contents from the box and into your pack, it may not taste as good to you on the trail. I tried that once. I took all the ingredients and put them in a bag and took it on the trail. I added water and boiled it and for me at least, I didn't like the taste.

The next time I tested it at home by cooking it first. I re-hydrated it in boiling water for a bit and it tasted like I just cooked it. So for any type of rice that you need to add butter or oil to cook it, do so prior to dehydrating. If you like you can take it directly from the box and boil it, but it is my opinion to cook it first.

We will shoot a video on the process while we are eating dinner on one of those nights.
See you on the trail.

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