What material for home dried foods?

Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,832
Location
Schenectady, NY
I'm going to finally follow through on the promise to myself to dry my own foods for camping trips. After sampling Hawk Vittles, I'm convinced that really tasty meals can be enjoyed while keeping the weight at a minimum. I switched to all fried foods and a Kelly Kettle a few years ago, for me, a great choice. No pots, pans, no plates, no clean up, no stove, no fuel. Just Kelly and some bagged dried food.

But....what material do you home driers use for the bags? I prefer to use something that is commonly available. I do have a heated seam sealer to make bags from sheet stock.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
924
Location
Red Lake, Ontario
I have experimented extensively with dehydrating meals and use a vacuum sealer for meals and just freezer ziplocks or jars for storage.

While I have never tried it, I am sure that just adding hot water to dehydrated is not the same as adding hot water to freeze dried, if it is I am going to be very excited. But usually it is just a matter of soaking for a few minutes then a one pot meal depending on how elaborate you want to be.
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,832
Location
Schenectady, NY
Thanks everyone.
I have a Uline heat sealer, I guess they also have premade poly bags. I suppose they should be able to handle 100 C water...
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
Thanks everyone.
I have a Uline heat sealer, I guess they also have premade poly bags. I suppose they should be able to handle 100 C water...


http://www.uline.com/BL_2253/Tabletop-Poly-Bag-Sealer-Impulse

Those are interesting! I bet they take up less room. I am confused about the 100 C water. But after all I just reheat and rehydrate in the pot , not the bag. I have never had luck with Hawks rehydrating methods.

I like that you can get parts for the Uline too..

So Stripperguy can you post a field review over the winter? Also I am wondering what thickness bag
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,832
Location
Schenectady, NY
The 100 C water? That's the boiling water poured in to rehydrate. I can't/don't rehydrate in the pot...There is no pot!! I bring only my KK and the dried foods. No pots, no plates. Even though I still can make weight in the same class as when I was 20 years old, I certainly don't have the same strength, hence the light boats, no pots, etc...
And of course, as I move along I'll post updates.

Here's wishing you good health, YC, hope you can maintain your active lifestyle forever!
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
Got it..SG.. but what thickness bag? I was thinking 3 ml. But not sure. I will try to find out the thickness Food Saver uses. I don't want my jerky to punch holes in the bag.
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,832
Location
Schenectady, NY
I'm looking at 4 mil and 6 mil. Some of the bag stock is mylar lined too!
I'll have my purchasing agent get some samples tomorrow (there are some advantages to owning your own R & D business) and test a few to see how they handle the boiling water.
Some of the premade bags even have pleated bottoms.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
I notice that the U line sealer does not vacuum.. In my experience its necessary to get out as much air as possible..( especially if the air is humid), Thoughts?
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,832
Location
Schenectady, NY
The Hawk Vittles that I devoured weren't vacuum bagged, IIRC. And the book I just borrowed "Lip Smackin' Backpackin'" has no mention of vacuum either. Some of the commercially mass marketed stuff is, some isn't. As long as all (is there such a thing?) the moisture content is removed, the vacuuming would just save some space and add a few months to the useful life.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
I had some HV with an expiry date of Dec 2014. Two meals last month were rancid. I think I will go with my personal belief that I should vacuum seal. Oxygen is not friendly to food. I have also had sour dehydrated shrimp where the vacuum failed even though all my meals are stored in the freezer. Sometimes though its three weeks from packing the barrel to eating the food though.

http://www.backpackingchef.com/vacuum-seal-bags.html
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
152
Location
North Creek NY
As I understand it, the issue with vacuum packing is the sharp edges of pasta and other ingredients poke holes in the bags.

YC you should let Hawk know about those bad bags. I've never run into that and I've had ones that were over a year after the due date. I keep mine frozen as well.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,474
Location
Raymond, ME
I tend to think about stuff a lot.. And wonder if air is not that important, why not just put everything in a ZipLoc and maybe another Zip loc for reinforcement?

Why seal anything?

To me it just seems if you are going to seal something get all the air out first.

It might not matter at all for trips of a few days, especially when you go from freezer directly to camp. But I am looking(hopefully) at 20 days in Florida in humiditiy where everything breeds.

I still like Hawks Sierra Sphagetti. I make a regular version at home.. its Pasta Puttanesca. Its name has a colorful history.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
706
Location
Western Adirondacks
I just use doubled freezer weight ziplock bags. To help avoid puncture by grains of rice or pasta, line the bag with a paper towel. I have dried hundreds of pounds of food over quite a few years, and had no problem with months of storage as long as I keep the the fat content minimal, though not zero. Like others, I store packaged dehydrated food in the freezer until ready to go. A month of summer temperatures on trips has not resulted in any noticeable degradation.

I am quite certain that Hawk started out by using Linda Yaffe's Backpack Gourmet book for recipes. Many of his early recipes were the same. I also began using that book, as well as Mary Bell's book. Both are excellent. The Yaffe book has some unusual sounding recipes, most are very good, and by working with those and a bit of experimentation you quickly will develop your own techniques and very tasty different combinations that work well.
 
Top