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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Drying Ground Beef

Here is a post from the forum from TCadd...
Great post by the way, hope you all enjoy.

Hi all, thought I would throw in a simple method to preserve a cheap source of protein!

I do this in five pound batches, and am left with roughly one pound of dehydrated meat:

1) Break up and brown meat - I use my largest frying pan and about 2 cups of water over medium heat. Mix every couple minutes until all meat is cooked through.

2) Move meat into colander and run hot water over it. This cleans off the grease that has separated from the meat during the browning.

3) Put meat back into cleaned frying pan, fill with water until it is even with the beef. Bring to a boil. You will probably see fat/grease on top of the water again.

4) Drain meat in colander and run hot water over again.

5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 until no grease is seen after boiling (Usually only once, but your mileage may vary depending on fat content of the beef)

6a Oven Method) Spread drained ground beef onto cookie sheets lined with tinfoil and heat in oven at low temp (I use 200 degrees f) with oven door open. May take several hours to dry depending on how thinly spread beef is (I've taken up to 8 hours with a small oven requiring deeply piled beef on only one cookie tray)

6b Dehydrator Method) Spread onto trays used for fruit leather or parchment paper covered regular trays. Dry on high if you have variable settings.

6a+b) Dry until beef is completely dried, appearance will be much like gravel, very hard.

7) Store in your preferred manner, keep in a cool dry dark place or put in freezer for maximum life. I normally do just a freezer bag as I use it too quickly to be worried about complicated methods!

To rehydrate you can literally just add water and wait or you can speed things up with heat either in the microwave, a pot or mixed in with other food.

I don't add much in the way of spices until use but you can add them at the final boiling stage. You can use this anywhere you would normally use ground beef, but it won't stick together into a burger patty or anything similar without a lot of help from other ingredients.

Even just storing in a freezer bag in a cupboard this should be good for a minimum 3 months, in the freezer you should be able to use it for two years or more.

Hope you enjoy or at least find it useful!

2 comments:

Ancient Dragon said...

We've done the dehydrator method quite successfully. I think it is less fuss and IMO retains more caloric value.

angel said...

I WAS JUST WONDERING IF I FREEZE IT AND THE ELECTRICITY WENT DOWN HOW LONG WOULD THEY KEEP IN THE CUPBOARD,WOULD THEY GET SOGGY, THIS OF COURSE IS MY FIRST TIME TRYING THIS KIND OF THING,THANKS FOR THE HELP
RPARANT