Hikers, campers, climbers, and adventurers of all kinds have been dehydrating their food for ages. It is the easiest way to preserve the nutritional benefits and get a good source of protein when you are going to be away from easy supply.
But this is not just limited to hikers and climbers. In this economy, all households are finding better ways to buy bulk amounts of food and preserving them. So the question on how to dehydrate ground beef has become more relevant to us all that it was before.
And, honestly, it’s not that tricky. In our household, we have been dehydrating ground beef for a long time. To the point where it has become a regular everyday thing and no one even bats an eye. I personally think it is an important technique to learn and a very interesting habit to pass down.
So, let’s talk about it.
The Easy Answer to Dehydrating Ground Beef
You can dehydrate ground beef without much fuss and you can do it with ingredients and equipments that you already have at home. Having shelf-stable meat source will go a long way in terms of saving some cash and having a diverse pantry.
Ingredients and Equipments
- Lean ground beef
- Seasoning of choice (Optional)
- A Spatula
- Parchment Paper
- Paper Towels
Process: How to Dehydrate Ground Beef
The trick is to get lean low-fat beef. The lower the fat content the better. Ask your butcher that you want to dehydrate this meat and so you need a lean cut. Once you have your lean ground beef, take it home, spread it out on a bit of parchment paper to soak up the moisture.
Now go ahead and heat up a skillet. Cook the beef until its well done. Do not add any extra fat to the ground beef. Once the beef is brown and no parts of it look uncooked, take it off the heat and put it in a colander to drain out any residual oil or fat.
Next lay the cooked ground beef on paper towels and allow for the fat to be soaked up by the paper towel. Take some more paper towel and squeeze out the excess oil. Squeeze out as much oil as you can. This will make the next few steps much easier.
Measure the weight of your ground beef. You will need this measurement later so write it down somewhere.
Now, you can either use an oven or a dehydrator, whichever is most comfortable and accessible for you. I will show you both directions.
The Dehydrator Method
Spread the ground beef onto dehydrating sheets and put them on heat. Here you can bump up the heat to get things going faster. Dehydrators are better in this case because your meat won’t burn.
The Oven Method
If you are using an oven you have to be a bit more alert. Take your cooked and drained ground beef and spread it onto some parchment paper on baking sheets. Stick the baking sheets into your in the oven on the lowest heat. And let it go on for about 3-5 hours. Keep a keen eye on the meat so that it doesn’t burn.
The Crumble Test
How do you know when your meat is done? Firstly, it’s going to gain a brown coloring and secondly it will be crumbly on touch. There won’t be any sign od moisture. Once it has reached that point your meat is pretty much done.
Now measure the weight of your ground beef again and subtract the number from the previous measurement. You will use these numbers when re-hydrating your meat before cooking next time.
Is it safe to dehydrate meat?
Absolutely. It is a lot safer tha storing raw beef in the freezer. Because you are killing off the bacteria in the meat, there is little to no chance of any fungal infestation in the meat. It is shelf-stable and practical.
Some hikers add half a cup of bread crumbs to per pound of ground beef before cooking it in the skillet. This does not alter the flavor or the texture much but it adds a great benefit of quick rehydration. If you are going to take your deghydrated ground beef with you on a hike or an adventure this little trick can save you a whole lot of time.
This is also money efficient as it increases the volume of the meat.
Well, that’s about everything right off the top of my head. I believe you have everything you need to get going on your meet preservation journey. Share with a friend how you dehydrate your ground beef. It can be a fun little thing to share between family and something very interesting to teach your kids. Happy cooking!