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How to Use Dried Meat in Your Cooking

Updated on January 9, 2018
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, an industrial engineer, a mother of two, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

How to Use Dried Meat in Your Cooking

Whether you have dried meat along with other freeze dried food as part of your preps or dried meat in the form of jerky created via a dehydrator, there are a number of ways to incorporate dried meat into your cooking without making drastic changes to the recipes or cooking methods. What are the best ways to use dried meat?

Using dried meats reduces the risk of food poisoning and can shorten cooking times.
Using dried meats reduces the risk of food poisoning and can shorten cooking times. | Source

Cooking Rice, Veggies and Freeze Dried Meat

One benefit of using dried meat instead of raw meat is that you can add dried, diced meat to a rice cooker without changing the recipe, cook times or rice cooker settings. As long as there is enough water or steam, as well as sufficient time, this is one way to make a one pot meal out of your rice cooker.

Another method of cooking with dried meat is adding extra water and dried meat to the steaming tray while the rice cooks in a rice cooker. This is assuming the rice cooker has the add-on steaming tray in the first place.

The dried meat will re-hydrate into tender chunks and flavor the rice below with its drippings. When done cooking, simply dump in the re-hydrated meat and stir.

Dried meat is safe to cook in this way, whereas raw meat won’t get hot enough to be safe to eat. Rice cookers generally don’t get hot enough internally to fully cook raw meat.

Slow cookers and freeze dried meat are an ideal combination.
Slow cookers and freeze dried meat are an ideal combination. | Source

Slow Cookers

You've probably already used dried meat in a slow cooker if you use shelf-stable soup mixes that contain meat pieces.

You can use dried meat in place of raw meat in your slow cooker regardless of the type of dish. Freeze dried meat cannot get overcooked in a slow cooker, though it can burn if it sinks to the bottom and sticks to the sides of the slow cooker. This is less of an issue with freeze dried diced meat. The upside of dried meat added to simmering vegetables or starches like potatoes is that you cannot under cook it as long as it is adequately hydrated.

You can use freeze dried beef, chicken and other dried meats in your slow cooker recipes. If the recipe calls for half a cup of beef, use a quarter cup of dried beef. Always ensure that there is sufficient water to rehydrate the meat. If the recipe calls for a specific amount of water, add another one to two cups of water per cup of dried meat.

Soups and Stews

You can use dried meat in your soups and stews in place of raw meat. You’ll save cooking time when making soups based on vegetables, since the minimum cook time is based on how long it takes to thoroughly cook the meat. If you are cooking frozen soup mixes, just throw in the freeze dried meat. If the vegetables cook quickly like peppers and onions, add extra time to ensure that the dried meat is both fully rehydrated and heated up.

Or use dried meat in slow simmering stews like those heavy in raw potatoes. This saves you quite a bit of work, since you don’t have to simultaneously cook the meat while slow cooking the stew. Add freeze dried beef or chicken along with the potatoes as you pour them into the stew pot and let it all boil together. Or simply add freeze dried beef to your potatoes as they boil for a low-effort beef and potatoes recipe.

Dried Meats and Pasta Recipes

Pasta usually cooks too fast for dried meat to be cooked in the same pot. A work-around for this problem is adding the dried meat to the water as you start heating it. The meat is hydrated by the water as it starts to boil. Once the dried meat is soft and tender, add the pasta. Then cook them together for maximum flavor.

TVP Versus Dried Meat

What should you do if your dried meat turns out to be meat flavored TVP, texturized vegetable protein? The same recipe shortcuts recommended here for dried meat can be used with TVP, though cook time increases with the size of the TVP granules. Both dried meat and TVP avoid the pre-soaking or longer cook times required for beans.


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