Dehydrating food is one the of oldest and safest forms of food preservation as long as simple, but important safety guidelines are followed. These guidelines are essential when dehydrating ground beef or other meats such as venison, bison or ground turkey. Dehydrated ground beef, also know as “Hamburger Rocks” can be stored in a vacuum-sealed container for several years.
To Dehydrate Ground Beef:
- Choose extra-lean ground beef, venison, bison or turkey.
- Cook plain ground beef (with no added fat or seasonings) until completely cooked.
- Rinse all fat off with boiling water by placing cooked beef in a colander lined with cheesecloth. This may take several rinses to make sure all fat is removed. *Removing all fat is key to safely dehydrating and storing ground beef. Pat dry to remove excess moisture, or you could use a salad spinner, or place the rinsed meat back into the pan, cleaned out of course, and cook until dry to remove any remaining moisture.
- Pre-heat dehydrator to 155-160 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Place cooked and rinsed ground beef on dehydrator trays. It is easiest to use the fruit leather sheets or parchments to avoid the small particles falling through the dehydrator screens.
- Dehydrate until completely dried, inside and out. They will resemble small pebbles. This may take 8-12 hours, depending on your dehydrator and the humidity in your home.
- Let the Hamburger Rocks cool.
- Place Hamburger Rocks into sterilized and dried canning jars to 2 inches below the rim.
- Place oxygen absorbers into the filled jars and place sterilized and dried canning jar lids and tighten, OR vacuum seal the jars with jar lid attachment. Write the date on the jar or lid.
- Store jars in a dark, cool, dry place, away from heat, extreme cold, moisture or light.
1 cup of Hamburger Rocks dehydrated equal one POUND of ground beef rehydrated
To Rehydrate Hamburger Rocks:
- Remove Hamburger Rocks from jar and place into a bowl.”
- Cover Hamburger Rocks with boiling beef broth or water.
- Cover bowl with a lid to retain steam.
- Allow Hamburger Rocks to sit until tender. Strain, season and use like cooked ground beef.
- Or, you can simply add the Hamburger Rocks to soups, stews, casseroles (with liquid), chili, sauces or broths and allow Hamburger Rocks to rehydrate while simmering.
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