We’ve seen in the last part of this blog that dehydrating food can save space and weight on long trips, and can ensure that the food doesn’t spoil. But how exactly do we use dehydrated food? There are two different ways you can do this.
1 Dehydrating meal components and cooking on site
This method has you only dehydrate some components of the meal. For example, in a stir-fry, you would dehydrate the vegetables and cooked meat, pack the spices, and then assemble the whole thing while on the camping trip. This would involve first rehydrating the food, and then cooking it along with other items. For example, if you were making a fruit curry dish with rice, you would dehydrate the fruit, but pack the curry and rice as separate items. On the trip, you would rehydrate the fruit, cook it up with the curry, and then cook the rice separately before adding them all together.
- Less time spent dehydrating
- Allows you to keep food separate when eating (for example rice, and veggies)
- More difficult to determine portion sizes and flavours
- More work on the trip itself
2 Cooking the whole meal in advance and then dehydrating
The second method has you cook to completion the entire meal, before dehydrating the whole thing. For example, if you were making a meat chilli, you would first cook the entire meal right up to the point where you would eat it, test it and spice it the way you want, then let it cool down before putting it in the dehydrator. Almost any meal can be dehydrated like this, including food that are dry to begin with, like rice and lentils. In fact, rehydrating these foods after cooking them is faster than cooking them from scratch.
To rehydrate, simple put the dry food in a pot, add a lot of water, and turn on the stove. It only takes about 10 minutes, and the meal tastes as good as when you made it!
- The food tastes exactly how you want it to
- Very little prep time on the trip
- You need to cook the meal in advance
- It takes a little bit longer to dehydrate