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  • Dehydrator love

    About a month ago I bought a real POS dehydrator from Harbour Freight Ended up $17 between sale & coupon(nice). I wanted to experiment on making jerky. Turns out I fell in love with it, & now ordered a "real" one. I am a huge advocate of quality tools, & If Im plugging in for days on end it only seems natural to get a good one (excaliber 3500). So now I am drying everything insight. Apples with cinnamon, turkey & beef jerkey. The funy part is that Dehydrating was supposed to be for preserving food, My stuff barely stays around long enough to bother putting in a container. I will never buy commercial jerky again. Anybody have anything interesting to add?
    "Don't dream it, be it"

    -Dr. Frank-N-Furter

  • #2
    I would love to hear more, as a dehydrator has been 'kind of' on my list for a while now.
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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    • #3
      I agree, it's sort of on my radar. Where did you learn to make jerky. I bet there's something on this site but I haven't looked yet.

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      • #4
        I couldn't resist, we ordered one with good reviews off of Amazon the other day. It's not here yet though. My husband loves jerky and I figure we can get the super-thin-sliced shabu beef from our local Asian market, and it'll be easy. Just marinade and dry.
        "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

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        • #5
          Dehydrators are awesome. Check out the latest pemmican thread and you can see my video series on making it. Super great if you are into stockpiling food.
          http://www.theprimalprepper.com - preparing for life's worst while living for the best

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          • #6
            Dehydrators *rock*. Have you looked at any of Mary Bell's dehydrator books? She has great recipes, though you do have to make some of them more primal.

            I'd also recommend trying both fruit and vegetable leathers. Last weekend I made a pumpkin/applesauce leather. (Used pumpkin pie spices and dried coconut for richness. Yum!) Take any fruit and puree it (add pectin/gelatin if necessary.) Add non-fat yogurt to the fruit to have more protein in a leather, or cottage cheese. As for apples, dip them in pineapple juice to preserve the color as well as give them a lovely tang.
            If I don't live my dream, who will?

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            • #7
              I've made my own jerky and such for a long time, but I've never had a dehydrator! I was about 49 seconds away from getting a great one for $2 at a garage sale, but someone snatched it up in front of me. I use my crappy oven-- that pilot light keeps the environment warm and dry. Magic!

              I've done beef jerky, lamb jerky, buffalo jerky, salmon jerky, kale chips, blueberries... i can't remember what else! I've never done turkey. I bet its good... but I'm intimidated by poultry-touching.

              Whats your favorite way? I like to marinate my meats in Coconut Aminos and then dust them with spices-- usually either five-spice or cocoa+cinnamon!

              -写
              Little Saiyan

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              • #8
                I freeze the protien just for long enough so it becomes firm.Then I slice it about a 1/8-1/4" thick. I use gluten free tamari, crushed garlic & spicy mustard as my marinade (few hours). lay the trips in the dehydrator, than hide the finished product from my kids so I get more. Dont do it to save money. I do it to get good ingredients (frass fed etc) & no sugar or chemicals.
                "Don't dream it, be it"

                -Dr. Frank-N-Furter

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                • #9
                  i'm kinda thinking about buying a dehydrator - is excalibur pretty much the way to go?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Catherine View Post
                    i'm kinda thinking about buying a dehydrator - is excalibur pretty much the way to go?
                    I have a nesco american harvest and I really like it. I guess the flat trays in the Excalibur are nice though.

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                    • #11
                      This is totally on my wish list. My boys love dried apples and apricots etc. and I thought it would be fun to make jerky too. Thanks for the recommendation I will have to check it out.
                      ~*Lori*~
                      my Primal journal : http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...-momofredheads
                      my food blog http://iamhungrywhatsfordinner.blogspot.com/

                      SW 231 as of 1/1/2012
                      CW 192

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                      • #12
                        About 16 yearrs ago I bought a Vita-Mix food dehydrator. It has 20 - twelve inch trays, and after all these years, it works just as well as when I first bought it. I'm not sure if they are still on the market, but at that time I only paid $99 for it and I thought it to be a very good deal.

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                        • #13
                          I have a Nesco American Harvest dehydrator with variable temperature setting and love it. They trays are not solid (they have slits), so if you are drying a liquidy material you might want to buy some additional solid tray liners. I use parchment paper since I try to avoid plastics, and that works very well, too.

                          Question for those who dehydrate fruit like apples, and/or make fruit leathers: would dehydrated fruit be considered awfully high in sugars? I really enjoy dehydrated fruits and berries, but thought I might have to mostly give them up as part of PB.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Atlas View Post
                            would dehydrated fruit be considered awfully high in sugars? I really enjoy dehydrated fruits and berries, but thought I might have to mostly give them up as part of PB.
                            Yes and no. They have no MORE sugar than the fruit did originally BUT since it is dried it becomes very easy to eat many many more fruits. For instance for most folks, one apple is a pretty good snack, it fills you up enough most folks don't sit down and eat 2 or 3 apples all at once. However if you dry those apples, plop down with a bag of dried apple chips and start munching you can down 2, 3, 4 apples pretty easily. Thats where you have to be careful. Just remember to think about how much fruit you are actually eating and you'll be fine. If you would eat an apple then feel free to eat however many slices of dried stuff equals one apple!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Catherine View Post
                              i'm kinda thinking about buying a dehydrator - is excalibur pretty much the way to go?
                              I have used an excalibur in the past and it was really nice.
                              Things I liked: Variable temperature, Ability to remove trays so you can dehydrate larger things (you can't do that with the ones where each tray holds the next one up), it was reasonably quiet.
                              Things I didn't like: It belonged to my friend and she wouldn't let me dry anything that wasn't organic. I know we should eat organic anyway but I had some stuff that wasn't and I still wanted to dry it!
                              Things that would be nice: A timer would be awesome (some excalibur models have one) but I just used one of those timer outlets and that worked fairly well too.

                              Currently I have some other brand that I found at the thrift store for 15 bucks. I haven't actually used it yet because my mom keeps borrowing it! (but since she brings me tasty raw food snacks from it I don't complain! I want to try doing some jerky this weekend though!


                              And on a separate note: Where do you find your jerky meat folks? I mean thats where it gets expensive! Any leads on cheaper good meat since it obviously doesn't have to be large pieces or prime cuts?

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