Dehydrated Chili


As I wrote in a past post about making my own Backpacking food by dehydrating it. I made chili for an upcoming trip.

Start by making chili just as you would like to have at home but maybe a little thicker since we are going to dehydrate it and  will be removing the water anyway. I add onion and peppers along with some chopped tomatoes.

My personal favorite is to use ground hamburger at 93% lean.  After browning I rinse it in hot water to remove any extra fat. The fat is what will cause it to go bad, later. There are other ways to prepare the beef but for this meal it works for me. I will discuss another option in a future post. The beef rehydrates fairly well.

I like to have noodles in my chili so cooking some noodles until tender, usually the longer time suggested on the pasta box.  Mix the noodles and chili together and dehydrate. The noodles seem to rehydrate better when cooked to the longer time.


After the chili is finished I let it cool and then add it to a dehydrator tray with a plastic liner. I have done this with parchment paper but I have better luck with the plastic liner.

Store your chili in an airtight container in a cool location and it will be good to go. I know that it will last a while but not sure how long. I have never made enough to last more than six months and I usually put it in a freezer until need although it doesn’t need to be.

*note- I have never had this problem before but I found that I was getting holes in my vacuum sealer bags from the sharp edges of the dehydrated chili. I had to make a small sleeve of the bag to put in the larger bag. This keeps the vacuum bag from failing.


Leave enough room in the bag to add boiling water, I measure by eye. Add enough to cover the chili. I dehydrated one and half cups for a meal on one tray. I add about 1 cup or so of boiling water to the bag and close with with a clothespin.  Cover with a towel, shirt or hat. I use a cloth insulated bag that I made just for this.  Use your had to need the bag once in awhile so that everything rehydrates evenly. About 8- 10 minutes later it’s ready to eat if it’s too thick add some more water.

When you outdoors, eat it directly out of the bag, use a long handled spoon.

Also consider adding some corn chips to it as well after it has rehydrated.


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