How to Dehydrate Ground Beef

Dried Ground Beef
Dried Ground Beef

Ground beef can be used in all kinds of meals from Cuban Picadillo to traditional camp chili. Dehydrating it yourself also saves money and means you can do a little at a time as your budget allows. I always wait for sales and then stock up and do a big dehydrating session. You will need to buy at least 90% lean beef because the low fat content means it will store the best. Many people get frustrated and give up on dehydrating ground beef because it won’t rehydrate well. This is because the ground beef is so dense that the water has a hard time getting back into it. The fix for this is to add some breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs make little spongy pathways into the beef making rehydration easier. No more trail gravel for you, just tender, flavorful ground beef.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time:  15 minutes

Dehydration time: typical overnight but varies by machine

Total time:  about a day

Tools Needed:

skillet, food dehydrator


  • lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs for every pound ground beef.
  • chopped onion, 1 small onion for every pound of beef
  • crushed garlic, 1 clove per pound of beef
  • salt, 1 tsp per pound of beef
  • pepper, 1/2 tsp per pound of beef


Add all the ingredients to a skillet, mixing it together well, and brown the ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks. Be sure to break it into the smallest pieces possible. The smaller they are the faster the meat will both dehydrate and rehydrate so take your time. When the beef is cooked through drain all the liquid from the skillet. You can blot the meat with paper towels to speed the dehydrating process. Place the beef on your dehydrator’s trays making sure to space it out and not overcrowd it. Dehydrate until the it is crisp and dried all the way through. Store in an airtight container. For long term storage you can freeze it and just remove what you need for each camping trip.

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