I've always dehydrated foods using the oven at a low temp and canned/ frozen fruits and veggies not eaten fresh from my food coop for winter, but have just purchased a used plug in dehydrator thinking maybe in the end it saves power over the oven.
The next item I'm considering looking for is a vacuum sealer. I see you can reuse the bags, at least until you cut it all down, and for some you can get an attachment to seal jars as well, helping stay away from plastic.
Does anyone have experience using bags and jars? What's the best company/ model? I was looking at the models of Foodsavers, but am not sure how current my info is.
Thanks a bunch!
hey, because I backpack, a lot, my wife got me a dehydrator from walmart, one of the plastic, multilevel, with controlling blower on top...works fantastic. She got me a vacuum sealer (I'll come back and post the model) on amazon, also fantastic.
I don't dehydrate much, mainly because I'm lazy and find it easier to just buy a packet of jerky or dried fruit or chili, than spend 12 hrs watching the thing hum in the kitchen. I was dehydrating my wife's chili, among other things, but I always find that re-hydrating it is soooo problematic. I mean, it's nice to sit around the campfire and brag that I fixed it all up myself, but everyone seems to be much better at it than I am. (sigh)
Now the vacuum sealer, that's another story, it's really fantastic! Not only did it allow me to safely store my chili for a few months (sometimes much longer!), but I'm now using it to sous vide meats as well. Very easy to use. The bags, more precisely the plastic material, are on a roll, you need to use scissors to cut the size off the roll you need, keep the end dry and stick it in the sealer, press a button, and ...voila!
I realize that this isn't that helpful, you'll do fine. ps there are a ton of videos on youtube about using this stuff, plus recipes.
Backpacking builds huge self esteem, creating your own meals just adds to how good one feels about oneself!
@Philreedshikes thanks for the reply! I was away thru hiking the Cohos trail and am just now getting back into the swing. The dehydrator will help with my yard produce and such. I agree. I'm amazed by people that make most of their food for huge thru hikes. With the time spent and shipping expense, it's not something I'm up for, but I figured the sealer would be a great way to save leftovers and things longer term so as to reduce weight and I could have some grab and go meals for weekend trips. I purchased a used Nesco that sounds like what you're describing for dehydrating. Do you happen to know what model sealer you have? I can't image jars would hold seal for that long, but any attachments on yours? Are the seals super pricey and dependent on model? Thanks!
A dehydrator with trays is the way to go. You can't beat Excalibur. On sealers, I've had the same FoodSaver for 20+ years. Replaced the seal once.
@taskmaster By looking at these convos I see that im in the wrong spot to strike a conversation, but personally i dont waste time with freeze dried food or vacuum sealing i honestly just get canned food and that hasn't failed if you dont mind packing extra weight 🙂
if you're going 'old school' with canned stuff, you might consider dumping the contents into a sturdy freezer type zip lock to save a bit of weight and then you don't have to mess with empty/messy cans. Maybe double bag or protect somehow so you don't have to worry about a bag getting squeezed and spillage. But then you have to dump the contents into a pot to heat up, and then clean it, which I hate. I'm pretty lazy, and prefer to just boil water. I dump my freeze dried meals into a freezer zip lock, just add boiling water, and eat out of the bag, then I don't have to mess with ANY clean up. (which I hate)