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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #121  
Old 03-21-2020, 3:29 PM
ChuckD ChuckD is offline
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Originally Posted by WalterJones View Post
With many fruits and veggies I find I get a better final product if I steam them brfore dehydrating.

For one, it destroys enzymes that cause discoloration. Second, I find the final product tastes better (in the case of dried fruits like peaches and apricots) or reconstitutes better and tastes better after cooking (like potatoes).

Taters get quartered and sliced on a mandoline. Steamed to the point where the color is white opaque but not tender enough that they fall apart.

Carrots get sliced and steamed till tender but not falling apart.

Apricots get sliced in half, seeds removed, then layered. Steam just until the skins slip. I like to lay on trays and sprinkle with a little sugar.

If I think of other things I'll post back.
How do you steam them? The only "steamer" I have is the basket in my rice maker.

I dunk potatoes in boiling water for a 2 minutes before putting on trays. I've done a lot of carrots (I like adding them to soups, stews, pot pies, and pasta salads), I just slice them and dehydrate the (no steam or boil), and they turn out good.

I've also done blueberries & grapes - those I froze before dehydrating and they turned out OK, but might be better steamed as you mentioned.

I've never done the other items you mentioned.
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  #122  
Old 03-21-2020, 5:06 PM
WalterJones WalterJones is offline
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Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
How do you steam them? The only "steamer" I have is the basket in my rice maker.

I dunk potatoes in boiling water for a 2 minutes before putting on trays. I've done a lot of carrots (I like adding them to soups, stews, pot pies, and pasta salads), I just slice them and dehydrate the (no steam or boil), and they turn out good.

I've also done blueberries & grapes - those I froze before dehydrating and they turned out OK, but might be better steamed as you mentioned.

I've never done the other items you mentioned.
I have an 8 qt pot that has a steamer insert. It'll hold about 5# of sliced carrots or taters in one batch. Just try some small batches and see if you like how things turn out. Most of my dried veggies go in to stews and soups so may not be to everyone's liking. Though I do think precooking makes reconstituted taters fry up better.

I haven't tried steaming blue berries either, might give it a shot next time and see how they turn out. Never had an abundance of grapes worth making in to raisins. Never steamed apples, pears, or bananas...don't think it necessary or that it would trun out well.

We have a huge apricot tree and made tons of fruit leathers last summer. I steam them whole for fruit leather and the slip then skins and pop the seeds out. Cook down with a little sugar.

Adding other fruits when cooking gives nice variety. We've added strawberries, blueberries, mango with pretty good reaults. I also add in ascorbic acid (vit C) to help retain color and flavor (sometimes the leathers get brown and taste carmelized without it)

The kids like it when I mix half a packet of Koolaid in to the apricot mix...like fruit punch or cherry.
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  #123  
Old 03-21-2020, 5:21 PM
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Barbarosa Barbarosa is offline
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Originally Posted by The Tiger View Post
I'm looking for a new dehydrator. Some of the Amazon reviews for the Excalibur show an occasional person unhappy with the quality of the plastic units, they say it is flimsy. Anyone here have experience with that? Is it better to spend the big money on the stainless units?

Also, is it worth it to get the fancy digital controller? That is only available on certain models.
I've had mine for over 10 years and have never had a problem with durability of the plastic parts. I also don't see a benefit to digital controls.
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  #124  
Old 03-22-2020, 6:57 PM
ChuckD ChuckD is offline
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Originally Posted by The Tiger View Post
I'm looking for a new dehydrator. Some of the Amazon reviews for the Excalibur show an occasional person unhappy with the quality of the plastic units, they say it is flimsy. Anyone here have experience with that? Is it better to spend the big money on the stainless units?

Also, is it worth it to get the fancy digital controller? That is only available on certain models.
I agree with Barbarosa above.

I have the Excalibur 3900B. It is thick durable plastic, and very sturdy. I've had mine over 4 years and I use it very frequently. During the summer when my garden is producing, and when certain items go on sale throughout the year I run it 24 hours a day for several days running. I prefer plastic to metal, because I clean it by hosing it off and letting it air dry.

I don't have a timer on it, and haven't seen the need for one. Fancy digital controller sounds like something that could break - mine has a manual dial and is fairly simple - the more technology involved the higher the likelihood that of failure. As I said I run it a lot, and I clean it by hosing off, so no electronics is a good thing.
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  #125  
Old 03-22-2020, 10:33 PM
tamalpias tamalpias is offline
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Has anyone tried jerky from any cuts of beef other than London Broil?

Boneless Cross Rib Roast is on sale for $3.47/Lb & Boneless Beef Loin Tri Tip Roast is $3.99/Lb. I'd love to get a good bargain, but I'd hate to waste money trying to save a little.
yes I have used brisket as well as short rib, the marbling and fat makes it taste great! I copied this company's recipe with pretty good success.

https://www.ljsjerky.com/products.html

youtube their reviews, it is literally one of the best jerky out there. the rendered crispy fat adds a ton of flavor.
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  #126  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:04 AM
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I appreciate the feedback on the excalibur units. I am a little torn on the the digital controller and timer features. I want the timer but watch a Youtube review where the guy said the newer models have limited adjustability when it comes to temp compared to previous models. For that reason he likes the newer digital.

I don't want to post the vid link because the video was long winded. He just said they changed the dial on the new non-digital models and he didn't like the temp control
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  #127  
Old 03-23-2020, 6:21 PM
ChuckD ChuckD is offline
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Originally Posted by tamalpias View Post
yes I have used brisket as well as short rib, the marbling and fat makes it taste great! I copied this company's recipe with pretty good success.

https://www.ljsjerky.com/products.html

youtube their reviews, it is literally one of the best jerky out there. the rendered crispy fat adds a ton of flavor.
I thought marbled fat was exactly what you're supposed to avoid? I thought the reason London Broil was good for Jerky was because it is very lean. Won't the fat go rancid? Do you keep it on the shelf or in the refrigerator?
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  #128  
Old 03-24-2020, 12:03 PM
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FYI I decided to get the 9 tray Digital Excalibur. I found a 15% coupon "ENJOY15" and it worked on the dehydrator unit but not on accessories.
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  #129  
Old 03-24-2020, 5:33 PM
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I thought marbled fat was exactly what you're supposed to avoid? I thought the reason London Broil was good for Jerky was because it is very lean. Won't the fat go rancid? Do you keep it on the shelf or in the refrigerator?
if you make it and keep it within a week or so outside is fine, if refrigerated 2 weeks easy. since I don't add preservatives I don't chance it for long. but believe me the fat is soooo good. cut thin 1/8th inch then marinade, use the recirculated air to dry off the outside moisture, run it for 4 hours at 135 so it doesn't cook, then 30 minutes at 160 to kill bacteria, put on cooling racks to cool then enjoy.
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  #130  
Old 03-24-2020, 5:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tamalpias View Post
if you make it and keep it within a week or so outside is fine, if refrigerated 2 weeks easy. since I don't add preservatives I don't chance it for long. but believe me the fat is soooo good. cut thin 1/8th inch then marinade, use the recirculated air to dry off the outside moisture, run it for 4 hours at 135 so it doesn't cook, then 30 minutes at 160 to kill bacteria, put on cooling racks to cool then enjoy.
Those juicy fat bubbles are great.

I do not make large amounts so jerky does not last a week here, especially if I tell my son.
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  #131  
Old 03-25-2020, 8:27 PM
ChuckD ChuckD is offline
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Originally Posted by Garv View Post
I do not make large amounts so jerky does not last a week here, especially if I tell my son.
I buy London Broil when it's on sale ($2.77/LB the last couple times), and I make a bunch at a time. My dehydrator will easily do 10 Lbs at a time (it winds up being 3.5 - 4 Lbs after dehydrating); last time I did 2 batches, this time I did 3. I like being able to store the jerky on a shelf, so I'll stick with the lean meat, but if I get an opportunity to do a small batch I will give this a shot.
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