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The ability to freeze dry meats is one of the biggest benefits of having a home freeze dryer. You can save money by buying in bulk, preserving leftovers, and reducing food waste. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your meat going bad in your freezer, especially if the power ever goes out. Freeze dried meats rehydrate perfectly back to their original flavor and consistency, so you can enjoy delicious, fresh meals even when you’re pressed for time.

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Rehydrating meat is easy. Place the freeze dried meat (raw or cooked) in a bowl of warm or hot water. Don’t worry about over-hydrating it — your freeze dried meat will only reabsorb the liquid it needs, it will never become soggy.

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Once it’s rehydrated, pat it dry with a paper towel. If it was cooked before freeze drying, you can eat it right away or use it in recipes. If it was freeze dried raw, just prepare it the way you would fresh meat. To add a little flavor, you can rehydrate raw or cooked meat in heated broth. Or, for example, if you’re rehydrating cooked ground beef, it can go right into your pot of tomato sauce, allowing it to absorb the tomato sauce at it warms. When rehydrating things like sloppy joe mix or BBQ chicken, simply add about 1/3 hot water to the freeze dried meat. You can also warm the meat in the microwave, a slow cooker, on the stovetop or in the oven. There are so many ways to rehydrate in whatever way works best for you.