You've never dehydrated before? You're worried about the complexity? You're concerned about the cost? You dread all of the work that is involved? Well, you can stop worrying.
With the new, counter top dehydrators that are now available, dehydrating has never been easier. Even something as "complex" as beef jerky takes little work. Consider these easy dehydrating steps.
Take one pound of lean ground beef (extra lean if it's available) and mix it with your own marinade or one of the cure packets along with one of the flavoring packets sold by Store-It Foods.
Take the meat mixture and, using a jerky gun, form it into flat or round strips on your dehydrator trays. This can also be done by hand although that will make the job a little more labor intensive.
Set your dehydrator to 160 degrees Farenheit, place the trays into the dehydrator, and turn it on.
That's it. You're just about done. Now you need only wait until the dehydrating is completed. That takes anywhere from four to fifteen hourse depending upon your dehydrator, the number of trays, the thickness and the amount of meat being placed on each tray, and the air flow that can be generated. It is recommended that every couple of hours you take paper toweling and pat dry the meat strips that are being dehydrated. That removes any surface oils that may be accumulating as the meat dries, and that is done to assist in extending the shelf life for the jerky that you are preparing.
It really is simple isn't it? Admittedly, there may be a little more involved in preparing some other foods for dehydrating. There may be some cutting or chopping to be considered. A sauce maker or blender might be utilized when you wish to prepare fruit leathers. You may even wish to brown meats or blanch vegetables, depending upon what is being dehydrated and how the dehydrating is to be done.
Nevertheless, dehydrating is often as simple as is shown in the three steps above. That means the novice as well as the expert can easily make full use of that dehydrator.
Dehydrating can also be a money saving venture. Buy meat when it is on sale, vegetables when they are in season, and fruits when being promoted. Buy in bulk. Take advantage of farmers' markets. Use your own garden produce. These cost saving measures can all translate into big savings for the novice and the expert alike when it comes time to dehydrate.
So don't be dismayed by the cost, the complexity or the difficulty of dehydrating. As can be seen, dehydrating is usually not complex nor difficult, and it certainly need not be expensive
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