Dehydrating ground meat is not something all of us think about very often. However, it can become a great method to keep food longer and take it everywhere.
If you like hiking, camping, going on road trips, or work somewhere without a kitchen, then this dehydrated ground meat is the perfect choice for you.
If You Still Haven’t Thought About Dehydrating Meat, It’s About Time You Did!
Let’s get started right away! There are many secrets to cover on dehydrating ground meat safely:
Secret #1: Know what meat to dry
You can dry any raw ground meat, including beef, poultry, and pork. Still, the key part of choosing the meat is going for leaner options.
If you pick out ground beef, go for a 96% lean meat and 4% fat, as the excess oil can ruin the dehydration process.
The fat is what makes your meat go bad, so removing it from the equation as much as possible yields better results.
Secret #2: Clean, marinate and get ready to dehydrate
After you choose the leanest meat available, you can break the meat into pieces and begin seasoning.
Depending on what meat you choose, you will want to season differently.
Ground chicken seasoning can involve paprika, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic.
Ground pork, on the other hand, is more versatile and can be seasoned in similar ways to poultry and beef.
For beef jerky, a good mix of seasoning includes Worcestershire or soy sauce, black pepper, salt, onion and garlic powder, and salt. For added flavor, consider using mustard or red pepper flakes.
After seasoning, you are ready to cook the meat for a bit. You should put the meat in the skillet and cook until there is no visible pink.
Transfer the cooked meat to a colander and drain the excess fat. Make sure you pat the ground meat dry with a paper towel to remove any other superficial fat that remains.
Secret #3: Start dehydrating the meat!
Now that your meat has been precooked, you are ready to begin the process of dehydrating.
Spread the cooked pieces of ground meat onto the dehydrator trays, baking sheets, or cookie sheets. Make sure to line them with parchment paper or non-stick sheets.
If you have a dehydrator, set it to 145 degrees or a similar temperature. Place the trays and allow drying for 4 to 6 hours.
Remember, though, meat cooks differently, so make sure you check on whichever ground meat you chose every couple of hours.
If you are using an oven instead, the process of preparation is the same. You will have to either keep the door slightly open for the whole process, or open it several times during the dehydration process.
Some ovens are gas-powered and thus leaving the door open can be virtually impossible. Remember to check on the meat and open the door now and then, to let the moisture out.
The drying time will be around the same, but flip the meat over to the other side, halfway through, to allow for even cooking.
Your meat will look brittle and completely dry, it should be rock solid, but should look cooked throughout.
Secret #4: Store appropriately for longer-lasting flavor
Once your ground meat is dry, blot off any fat with a paper towel. Allow the trays to cool down for a few hours outside the dehydrator or oven.
When your meat is cool, you can store in vacuum-sealed containers, glass jars, or Ziploc bags. Store these in a dry, dark place for two months, but for a longer shelf life keep in the fridge.
Secret #5: Use your dehydrated ground meat in as many ways as you want
Even if your finished product doesn’t look too appetizing, it doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty. All you need to do is use it accordingly.
Some common ways include making a quick stew, beef chili, jerky chicken, and more.
You can take these ground meat bits to your next overnight camping trip, week-long hikes, car rides, airplane trips, and more.
For better flavor, add a sauce to dip the meat in, or mix it on a sandwich. Your new activity of dehydrating ground meat results in versatile meat that lasts much longer and can be used in almost every recipe!
Don’t let your food go to waste, and get dehydrating!
Most of us are scared at the thought of messing up a dehydration process, much more so when it comes to meat.
Yet, this process is relatively easy, quick, and the product will save you money and effort in the long run.
Get creative with the meats you use, but remember to always make sure the temperature is consistent. Time to start your journey as an expert at dehydrating ground meat!