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I just uploaded videos that I put together showing how to dehydrate chicken, since I'm not too crazy about paying out the nose for prepackaged dehydrated or freeze-dried meats and don't like the high sodium content that a lot of the prepackaged stuff has. I've also been dehydrating a ton of vegetables and sticking 'em in mason jars, but figure meats might be a little trickier, so I hope these videos will be helpful:



 

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How long have you stored your dehydrated chicken...

Greetings!

How long have you stored your dehydrated chicken and what were the storage conditions?

Smiles!!! Robyn
 

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You are right - meats are a lot trickier. I did a lot of research and found that dried meats like jerky don't have a particularly long shelf life.

I did a lot of research on storing meat in the first half of 2010. When the power goes off for more than a day or two, meat begins to spoil. Ask folks anywhere that has been hit by a hurricane and been without power for a week or so. I was looking for a way to keep meat that does not require refrigeration and preserves the fresh texture and flavor. Here is what I came up with:

The key to long term storage seems to involve several factors beginning with the bacteria count when processed. All fresh meat has at least some bacteria, so the shelf life depends on killing as much of the bacteria as you can and making sure the meat is a hostile environment for bacteria growth.

Salt, low moisture content, a slightly acid pH and low temperature are all effective in extending meat shelf life by inhibiting bacterial growth and chemical decomposition.

Here are the notes from my first experiment with chicken:
10/1/10

1) Bought 10 lb (11 pieces) Chicken Leg Quarters (this is just drumstick, thigh and a bit of backbone) for $5.48
2) Removed skin and fat to get 7 lb 6 oz of lean quarters with the bone in. Cost at this point = $0.74/lb
3) Cover with water and heat to 165 F (Yes I used a thermometer). Place in oven at 170 F to hold temp for 2 hours.
4) Bone and separate muscle bundles to get drying size pieces. This yielded 3 lb 6 oz of lean boneless dark chicken meat. Cost at this point = $1.62/lb
5) Covered with brine (1.25 cup salt, 1.25 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp Cajon seasoning in 2 qts water) and refrigerated for 2 days. I skimmed off maybe half a cup of fat during this process. (I reduced the salt and added sugar and spices after the finding the beef done previously was very salty)
6) Put in dehydrator for 1 hour at 130 F and 3 hours at 155 F. Meat was white to light brown and very pliable at this point. Wiped some greasy pieces with a paper towel. I was surprised to find the chicken was a lot greasier throughout the process than the beef brisket dried previously.
7) Bag and refrigerate overnight to let remaining moisture equalize. At this point there is 1 lb 13 oz of chicken with the flavor and consistency (it is pliable) of moderately salty jerky. Cost = $3.02 / lb at this point.
8) Dry for 3 hours at 155 F. Now there is 1 lb 10 oz of dried chicken that cost $3.37/lb (not counting time and supplies). It is hard (not pliable like jerky) and tan to light brown in color (the greasy spots are darkest brown). You would classify this as dried chicken, not jerky.
9) Vacuum pack in ~ 5 oz bags representing the lean meat from about 2 Chicken Leg Quarters.

2/1/11
After four months in the refrigerator, there is no discernible difference in appearance. I opened one of the bags and soaked the dried chicken in water for 24 hours, rinsing and replacing the water 4 times to remove as much salt as possible.

I boiled it for about 5 minutes. It looks and tastes like fresh cooked boned chicken. The cajon seasoning flavor intensified as did the brown sugar taste. Otherwise, I don't think you can tell the difference, certainly not in a soup or casserole dish.

What I would do different:
Use white sugar instead of brown and leave out the spice.
Use a dry cure in a Zip Lock bag instead of a wet cure.
Add some ascorbic acid to help retain fresh appearance and lower pH.

Other notes:
I heated the chicken to 165 F in water before curing because I read that botulism bacteria will go dormant with dry heat and grow later. Higher temperatures than about 170 F begin to cook the meat, changing both flavor and consistency.

Several studies mentioned that removing the fat was very important because it will go rancid by a non-bacterial chemical process over time and give the meat a bad flavor.

Since you can store a lot of dried chicken in a very small space, I am keeping it in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator for now. If the power goes off for an extended period, it won't spoil for several years.

Cordially,
TwoHoot
 

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Now did ya do what I do? I would have roasted the skin and bones in the oven and then made stock with them-I use so much stock when I cook that it only made sense to make my own. I often make twice as much baked chicken as we are gonna eat at one meal and then I make stock the next day. Once you make your own you can never go back to store bought stock again.
 

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Hi. I know this thread is old, but why on earth would you want to dehydrate meat at all? Outside of making jerky, meals in a jar/camping, or to store in a bug out bag (lightweight) what are the advantages? More importantly, why not just PRESSURE CAN it? Minus the fat, you can can it raw with bones and all..........
You really should look up botulism and understand how it works before trying this. I'll save you some time: It likes oxygenless environments, with moisture and low pH/acidity. Boiling doesn't kill the spore, it only neutralizes the neurotoxin after about 10-15 mins.
 

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I didn't watch the videos but dried meats do have their advantages, no jars to break, light weight and less storage space needed.

It sounds like you are saying that he didn't cook the bird frirst but if it is cooked then dehydrated there is much less to worry about as far as food poisoning goes. I have experimented with curing and dehydrating whole chickens before and most definitely would not advise it as a way to preserve and keep it long term.

Dried poultry, beef, pork and any other lean meat that I know of dry, keep well and can be pretty tasty if prepared right.
 

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ty for doing the vids on chicken.. I have done lotsa vegs and hburg, and eggs but never chicken.
I will def try this.

one tip for the trays..

I had lotsa probs with the 'little stuff' falling thru the trays, so i went to the hardware store and found window screening made from..... nylon?

easy to work with.. can cut it to shape with scissors.

works perfect
 

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Have done and kept well for several years lots of hamburger rocks. Have also dried cooked turkey in small dice, visible fat removed, of course. Still looks good, but haven't tried using it yet.
 
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