To make dehydrated ground beef, begin by cooking lean beef in a pan. Strain it in a colander to remove any excess fat. Spread the cooked beef on dehydrator trays and dry the ground beef in a food dehydrator at 145°F for 6 to 8 hours.
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What’s the Best Way to Dehydrate Ground Beef?
There are various methods of making dehydrated ground beef, but the best method is using a food dehydrator.
A food dehydrator uses low heat and air circulation to remove moisture from food, and it is the best way to dehydrate ground beef because it preserves the flavor and nutrients of the meat. It evenly distributes heat and air, which helps prevent the ground beef from becoming too dry.
How to Dehydrate Ground Beef: Step-by-Step
The process of dehydrating ground beef is easy. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps:
1. Buy Lean Ground Beef
Choose beef with a low fat content. Beef that is high in fat does not dehydrate properly since the fat will go rancid quickly. The less fat there is in ground meat, the longer it will last before going bad.
2. Cook the Ground Beef
You can add seasonings such as garlic powder, liquid smoke, soy sauce, black pepper, herbs, or salt to the ground beef before cooking it, if desired. Cook the beef on a stovetop, or spread it on parchment paper before baking it in the oven.
3. Remove Excess Fat
Drain the fat and any excess moisture by straining it through a colander and patting it dry with paper towels. Fat can spoil your dehydrated ground beef.
4. Prepare Dehydrator Trays
Place the prepared ground beef crumbles on the dehydrator trays, ensuring the pieces are spread out and not touching. Try to ensure the pieces are as close in size as possible and break up any large pieces.
5. Dehydrate the Ground Beef
Set the temperature of your food dehydrator to 145°F. Place the dehydrator trays inside and let the ground beef dehydrate for 6 to 8 hours. Blot the meat with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture you see accumulating during the drying process.
6. Check for Doneness
You can test the meat for doneness by bending it. If it snaps, it’s done.
7. Store Dehydrated Ground Beef
Once the meat is dehydrated, allow it to cool and store it in an airtight container to preserve its flavor and texture.
Can You Dehydrate Raw Ground Beef?
No, raw ground beef cannot be safely dehydrated. Before dehydrating ground beef, you need to cook it first, as this increases food safety and helps kill any bacteria present in the meat.
What Temperature Do You Dehydrate Ground Beef?
Dehydrate ground beef at 145°F for about 6 to 8 hours. This temperature helps to ensure that the meat doesn’t become tough and hits an internal temperature of 145°F.
Dehydrate your ground beef until it is completely dry and snaps when bent. If you don’t dehydrate meat long enough, dangerous bacteria can grow.
Can You Dehydrate Ground Beef for Long-Term Storage?
Yes, you can dehydrate ground beef for long-term food storage. Dehydrating ground beef eliminates moisture and prevents bacterial growth that can cause it to spoil.
Dehydrated ground beef should be stored in an airtight container away from light and in a dry place. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, if stored at room temperature, dehydrated ground beef will last two weeks.
You can also store dehydrated ground beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a year.
Is Dehydrated Ground Beef Shelf Stable?
Since the moisture is eliminated, dehydrated ground beef is shelf-stable. This makes it convenient for backpacking meals and can be used in various ground beef recipes.
Vacuum-sealing dehydrated ground beef will help it last up to two weeks at room temperature. Just make sure to use an oxygen absorber to keep your dehydrated meat safe and prevent bacteria and mold growth.
Keeping your dried meat in an airtight container can also extend its shelf life, as it helps to prevent nutrient loss and preserve its texture and flavor.
What Is the Best Way to Rehydrate Dehydrated Ground Beef?
Ground beef can be rehydrated in boiling water, soup, broth, or wine with excellent results.
- Boiling Water: Using hot water is one of the the best ways to rehydrate ground beef because it doesn’t add any additional flavors to the meat. To rehydrate ground beef with water, add it to a pot of boiling water and allow it to remain submerged for 10 to 15 minutes. Hot water will rehydrate dehydrated ground beef faster than cold water.
- Broth or Wine: Using broth, wine, or beef stock can also help add moisture and much needed flavor to dehydrated ground beef. To rehydrate ground beef in these liquids, add your dried meat to a pot containing your liquid of choice and let it come to a boil. This will result in delicious meat that is soft and easier to eat.
- Soup: If you make soup while hiking or camping, add your dehydrated ground beef to the soup when it comes to a boil. The dehydrated meat will absorb the liquid and rehydrate in minutes.
How Can You Improve the Texture of Dehydrated Ground Beef?
One way to improve the texture of dehydrated ground beef is to add breadcrumbs to the ground beef before cooking it. Breadcrumbs absorb moisture, which can help the dehydrated ground beef rehydrate, giving it a more consistent and appealing texture.
What Does Dehydrated Ground Beef Taste Like?
Dehydrated ground beef is mildly sweet. It is somewhat chewy when rehydrated, with a similar texture to a tender piece of jerky. The flavor is less robust than fresh ground beef but retains a similar flavor profile.