Canning versus Dehydrating

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Bobbi
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Canning versus Dehydrating

Hello Friends,

I am curious what y'all do with your food canning versus dehydrating.  I personally prefer canning meats and dehydrating most vegetables and fruits.  Reason being, dehydrating is easier and gives better texture and versatility for the fruits and vegetables.  For example, I use dehydrated vegetables for making homemade pizza every Friday.  I have dehydrated mushrooms, peppers and onions that I rehydrate and they are very close to fresh-textured.  I can beef, chicken, turkey, pork loin and hamburger.  In fact, the only method for dehydrating meats is making jerky and it does not last as long as canning them.   I use the canned meats for soups, pot pies, casseroles, tamales and tacos.   It's very convenient having the canned meats in the pantry for quick weekday meals because the canning process fully cooks them.

Here's my recipe for Pantry Pizza:  It makes 2 each approximately 12" pizzas.  Note! I usually weigh my bread ingredients but I will include both weight/volume measurements for y'all  ;)   Have ready a bowl or 2 qt dough rising bucket to which you have added 1 tablespoon olive oil.

339 grams (2-1/4 cups) fresh ground white wheat flour OR unbleached white flour 

1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid OR 2 teaspoons of dough enhancer IF using fresh ground flour

1-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (I use SAF Instant - bread machine or rapid-rise will work)

1-1/2 teaspoons sugar   Whisk together the flour, instant yeast and sugar AND ascorbic acid OR dough enhancer IF using.

1-1/2 teaspoons salt.  Whisk into the flour, yeast and sugar mixture. 

237 grams (1 cup) water at room temp. 

Add the water and stir well until the dough comes away from the bowl, about a minute.  Don't overmix, it should be a very rough wet dough.  Overmixing will make it sticky and hard to handle later.  Transfer the rough dough to the greased bowl/rising bucket.  Turn dough over to grease top, cover and let rise for about 1-1/2 hrs or until doubled in size.

Divide dough in half, round into a ball and let rest for 15 minutes on either olive oil drizzled parchment paper or a 12" pizza pan, cover with plastic wrap.  While the dough is resting, rehydrate whatever toppings you are going to use by covering them with warm water and preheat oven and preferably a pizza stone to 475 degrees.  GENTLY flatten dough by laying on of hands and deflating and shaping from the center out into approximately a 12" round, building up outer edge as you go.  If the dough resists, i.e. as you try to stretch and flatten it out to 12" and it shrinks back instead of readily stretching, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for an additional 5 minutes.  Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until puffy.  If using parchment, slip a pizza peel under the crust and slip onto the pizza stone and bake for 6 minutes, snatching out the parchment paper after 4 minutes.  If using the pizza pan, use a spatula to remove the crust from the pan and place either on the stone or on the oven rack after 4 minutes of baking.  Remove crust to cooling rack and repeat with the other crust.  Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Top with your favorite sauce, grated cheese, meat(s), drained rehydrated vegetables and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is melted.  Remove from oven to cooling rack and brush crust with olive oil.  Add freshly grated pepper and parmesan cheese.  Let rest for 3 to 5 minutes, slice and serve!

Please share your own preferences/recipes. 

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:06
Bobbi
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Pictures of the panty pizza

JoeKa
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Panty Pizza cheese

I don't think stuffin too much cheese in a Panty Pizza is gonna be good.

Who'll eat it!? =P

Though the fact that it has salami/pepperoni is pretty suggestive.

I'll.Stop.Now.

Bobbi
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Actually JoeKa it has just a scattering of cheese

compared to the GOBS that Pizza Hut et al throw on theirs!  Thanks for stopping by and checking it out. I thought y'all stayed exclusively over at the Pailin Silver Corner or whatever it's called.   Must be a very boring, quiet night for y'all to stop by here  ;)  It's pepperoni, not salami.

Sarcasm off.  :)

tmosley
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I would like more information

I would like more information on how you dehydrate those veggies and keep them from going bad, and perhaps how long they last.

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Panty Pizza

I try to stay away from Panty Pizza, never was a fan of fish on my pizza.

Bobbi
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tmosley wrote: I would like

tmosley wrote:

I would like more information on how you dehydrate those veggies and keep them from going bad, and perhaps how long they last.

tmosley, I use these 2 sites for my instructions/quidelines:

www.dehydrate2store.com

http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/index.html

I have the Excalibur 9000 dehydrator.  The instruction booklet that comes with it is not very complete, hence the need for the 2 sites listed.  I really like blanching most vegetables and roasting peppers prior to dehydrating.  It just seems to get them off to a good start as well as making rehydrating easier.  The mushrooms need very little prepwork, just brush them clean, slice and dehydrate. 

After dehydrating, I dump them into ziploc bags and condition them for a day or 2 before final packaging.  Conditioning them gives them time to "even out" and allows you to give them a final inspection to be sure they are completely dry.  I then vacuum seal them along with an oxygen absorber.  I also store those that I am going to put in my working pantry stock in mason jars with an oxygen absorber.  Sometimes, I have difficulty with the vacuum seal process "taking" with dehydrated foods.  I reckon it's because of the sharp edges created with the dehydration process.  I have had success with double-bagging the item first in ziploc bags (leave the ziploc open) and then in the vacseal bags.

As for how long they store:  Most of the vegetables they say will last anywhere from 6-12 months, but that is based upon just dehydrating most of them to like what you would find in commercially produced stuff (approx 50 - 70%) - I follow Tammy's advise from dehydrate2store and do believe that if you dehydrate the item to 95% or better and then vacuum seal them with oxygen absorbers and then further bag them in mylar bags and enclose them in food grade buckets you are probably looking at LONG term storage of them.  I use what I store so am constantly rotating and replenishing my stock.

HTH :)

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For those just getting started

with either canning or dehydrating - start simple, enjoy success and then build upon your success.

Canning: Jelly and/or jam is the simplest thing to do!  Start here, learn the techniques, gather your tools, gain your experience and confidence and continue on to more advanced techniques.  The simplest, fastest jelly I know of is grape jelly made from bottled grape juice (think Welch's). 

Dehydrating:  buying frozen mixed vegetables on sale is nice but if they don't fit your schedule just buy them and do it!  The Excalibur 9000 has 9 trays, each tray holds 1 pound of frozen veggies.  So, for roughly $9 you can put up 18 bags of soup-starter or 9 side courses of vegetables.  If you belong to one of the discount clubs, you can probably purchase them for less than $1 per pound.  I was a happy camper when Martin's had the 3 pound bags on sale 2 for $4 - that is $.67 per pound!!  Anyway, since all the prepwork (blanching) is already done for you you simply dump the bags on the trays and put in the dehydrator.  I like to start this at night before I go to bed and when I get up in the morning, they are done!  They should sound like plastic when dropped on the counter.   Put them up in ziploc bags and let condition for a day or 2 then package either in vacuum-seal bags or mason jars with oxygen absorbers.  If planning on using within 6 months, the O2 absorbers are not really necessary.

This will give you confidence with your newly acquired tools/knowledge.  I cannot over-emphasis how important this is.  My first adventure with my new dehydrator was spent with fresh blueberries (one of the most difficult things to dehydrate) because they were on sale and they are one of my favorite things!  But,because I just stupidly went forth without a plan I nearly failed and the taste of failure often leads us to just give up.

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Great Post!!!

We love our Excalibur too.  Going right now with pears. Just did some figs.  Great post! Wish I knew a way to keep those O2 absorbers from going bad for longer after opening. Hate to waste them!

Laineyisat
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PantRy vs. Panty: Bobbi! Great posts/Great info!!!

Hi Bobbi!

Thanks for the great info... I've been hesitating with the canning thing.... I've got all the supplies.... but just hesitating... I really do need to jump in and git-r-done!

(I think JoeKa was teasing you about the typo! He's a funny guy. He didn't mean to offend you... it just struck him as funny. But personally, the pics of your pizza were stunning... very appealing! Yum, Yum!!! Inspirational even!!!)

Thanks again for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!

Lainey

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I also have the 9000 and use

I also have the 9000 and use it mostly for drying nuts or sprouted grains that have been soaked/sprouted.

Once and awhile I'll buy 3-4 bags of apples or pears, dehydrate and then vacuum pack them. Problem with this is it yields so little food value for the $ and time put into it. 10# of raw produce will be reduced to maybe 1# of final product. I'd rather just eat the fruit straight up.

The fruit exception might have to be coconut because at least you get the vital fats in the dehydrated chips in the end.

I'm not into canning right now, but am looking into it. If I do dehydrate meat, I make jerky first and then combine it with rendered beef or lamb fat and some berries or seeds to make pemmican. Pemmican is the king of all dehydrated foods.

Nice job on that pizza, Bobbi.

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Bobbi
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westernthing, here's what I do with the O2 absorbers

After opening them for the first time and using what I need, I put the rest of them into a vacuum seal bag (gallon size or if you have the roll of bag material, make a large bag with plenty of extra space at the top) and vacuum seal them.  I also include the indicator dot thingy in the vacuum seal bag so I can monitor it.  Whenever you need to open the bag to use some of the O2 absorbers, re-seal the bag with your vacuum sealer.

Thanks for the kind words.  I've not done pears yet, they are on the to-do-list.  They sound delicious, I'm thinking they are akin to sliced apples for snacking on?  And oh MY figs!  Bet those are incredible!

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@Laineyisat thanks for the kind words

and OMG I hadn't even noticed the typo!!  LOL, yeah taken in context JoeKa's remarks were pretty funny.  Note to self, even after you think you have proofread your post go back and proofread again - including the subject!

Please let me know if I can help you with your canning.  I am considering adding my email addy publicly so folks can directly contact me with questions.  I want to help folks and I certainly have the time, not working for the man anymore.  Just a little scary putting yourself out there in cyberspace, you know?

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I agree with you Dr Durden

Dr Durden said:

"Problem with this is it yields so little food value for the $ and time put into it. 10# of raw produce will be reduced to maybe 1# of final product. I'd rather just eat the fruit straight up."

Yes, me too but I am gaining experience with how best to prep the fruit, playing with % dryness and not to mention buying things in season to save money.  Actually, I find dehydrated apple slices so much more tasty than fresh apple slices - something about the concentration of sugars during the dehydrating process?  See, it is an ongoing lesson, at least for me :)

And not to mention the availability issue.  This is what concerns me most.  What if you couldn't buy fresh apples anymore?  Would it not be nice to have them dehydrated and on your shelf  (I'm done with the word pantry LOL)

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Newbie canner here

I just wanted to chime in with some canning encouragement.  I have just canned my first jams, using fruit purchased at great sale prices.  I have to say the consistency wasn't perfect but the flavor is great and I am planning on doing more this week. 

My real goal is to learn to pressure can meat but one step at a time.

I also have an Excaliber that I am learning to use.  Failed with beef jerky but good results with veggies!

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Hi Maryann and welcome!

I'm a newbie too, just trying to help share what I've learned and thank you for sharing your experiences.  Consistency is in the eye of the beholder methinks, as I share I've had the same results as you with my jams.  But, in the end they always get eaten and go away and requests for more, more, more  :)

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Thanks Bobbi

My jam turned out too thick, and a friend gave me a great suggestion.  Just put a little bit of warm water in the jar and stir with a fork until you get desired consistency.  This works great.  I think I was so worried about it not getting thick enough I just way overcooked it.  Also, I was trying to get the fruit cooked down well.    

If anyone has a great recipe or tips on successful beef jerky, I'd love to know. 

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Maryann wrote:If anyone has a

Maryann wrote:
If anyone has a great recipe or tips on successful beef jerky, I'd love to know. 

The leanest grass fed meat you can find. Reason you want grass fed besides the quality of the protein is the lack of interstitial fat in the tissue. Bottom round or eye of round are a couple cuts to try. If the raw meat from the butcher has an almost purple-like color, then you have a winner.

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Bobbi wrote:What if you

Bobbi wrote:
What if you couldn't buy fresh apples anymore?  Would it not be nice to have them dehydrated and on your shelf  (I'm done with the word pantry LOL)

Steal them from the neighbor's tree! :D

I hear you. Apples are typically cheaper, but if I find a bag of Anjou pears then I'll go for those. They make much better fruit fiber as they have less pectin and taste a lot better IME. 

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Dehydrating question

Thank you Dr D.  Do you cook your meat before dehydrating it?  I read that you need to bring the internal temperature up to 165 before dehydrating it for long term storage, but than my meat came out way too dry, maybe I dehydrated it too long?

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Great Thread Bobbi

We have done some dehydrating, however have stopped as our unit is about 30 years old and takes forever to dehydrate to an UNacceptable level.  Time for a new dehydrator!  I do wish to dehydrate and pack full dinner recipe ingredients to use along with my canned meats for easy to prep meals.  Never know when power will be out, or so expensive to require judicious use.

I might be hitting you up for some advise on canning meats.  I bought 2 - 40# boxes of frozen chicken breasts a few months back for $67 each!  I plan on canning those whole in both pint and quart (1 and 2#).  Couldn't do that until I had my new pressure canner,  which I just received as a gift from my stunning bride of almost 30 years.  We have done jams, tomatoes and various other waterbath items for years, just no meats yet.

At the same restaurant supply,  I plan on getting some fullsized hunks of chuck roast, round and sirloin steak to both cube and grind (in my brand new meat grinder) in both pint and quart sizes.  The meat is 20 - 25# each, but at $2.10 - $2.70/lb. at last check.  I plan on using a propane turkey roaster for heat source as my range is electric, old and very hard to control heat precisely enough for pressure canning.  

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