That outdoorsy type could be you, or someone else you want to share holiday cheer with 🙂 These are some of my favorite “behind the scenes” tools that I have in our kitchen, and use to prep trail meals. It’s easy to think about the outdoor kitchen tools but you also need to think about your at-home-kitchen where you do the pre-hike prep.
Once you get into trail food, a reliable dehydrator becomes something you crave. Nesco make some very affordable ones, that are work horses. Sure, those $300 models you see look sexy and sleek, but overall, most of us don’t need anything fancier than a Nesco American Harvest FD-61 Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker. Which runs for under $70 shipped!
Need ideas for what to do with your dehydrator once you have one? Dehydrator 101. You can dry nearly most foods and have ample hiking – and at home – foods stocked up in no time.
A FoodVac with a hose portal is great for sealing up your homemade meals. My personal favorite brand is FoodSaver, this one is an affordable starter model: FoodSaver V2244 Vacuum Sealing System.
If you happen to dehydrate or make up large batches of food items, and need to store them long-term (dry storage), a great accessory item for the FoodSaver is the mason jar sealers. These are not for canning, but rather attach a mason jar lid to the mason jar and pull the air out. For long-term dry storage it is invaluable. Especially if you just dehydrated up say 20 pounds of apples and want them to stay fresh! Easy to use. You won’t regret them.
And while some of you (menfolk) might roll your eyes at the next one, organization can look so much more attractive than say a strip of masking tape and Sharpie marker…..
These Premium Chalkboard Labels will make your storage jars look even better. And classier.
And let me say it: when you are doing long-term dehydrating, investing into mason jars is worth it. But only buy brand name like Ball or Kerr (both made by the same parent company). You don’t save much with off brands (like at Walmart), and they break easily as the jars are thinner (and not US made). Because canning has come back into vogue (thankfully! I love canning), finding mason jars is easy now. Almost any grocery or hardware store will have, as do big box stores. Ball & Kerr are US made as well. I have well over 500 mason jars and use them for everything – from canning to dry storage. Your food will thank you when a year later it is still fresh as the day you put it in the jar!
Have fun this winter!