Dehydrated Chicken: One of the Best Backpacking Meals

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Introduction Cooking is essential for survival. You may have the best survival gear in your backpack and be aware of many survival and camping hacks, but if you have insufficient skills regarding cooking, your off-the-grid or any other survival situation will get hard without food storing, food canning, and food preparation.

To the point

Dehydrating chicken might seem to be an easy task, but actually, it is not so simple. Therefore, we have tried to create a decent dehydrated chicken with different methods, such as:

  • Baking,
  • Poaching,
  • Frying and grilling.

However, nothing seemed to work, and everything only made a dried chicken that was really rigid!

So, what can we do about making a dehydrated chicken? There are a few options that you can use, and that will actually work. The most widespread ones are:

  • Dehydrating canned chicken breast,
  • Pressure cooked chicken,
  • Or a ground chicken.

For more information on these methods, please read further.

Dehydrated foods: what is the secret?

Dehydrated Foods: What Is The Secret? The canned chicken was the answer to all of our problems during the searches for creating the best dehydrated chicken, as it can rehydrate in your meals pretty well.

The secret of this canned chicken is that it is pressure-cooked, which means that it was made straight in the can with the help of a retort cooking process.

Also, as we have tried many different brands, you can be almost 100 percent sure that almost any can will rehydrate decently.

Pouched chicken breast is as good as the canned one, as it is also the type of a pressure-cooked product. It is better than the home-cooked one but chewy in comparison with the canned one.

1. Dehydrating meat of a canned chicken

Now that we have understood what is needed to escape creating a dried chicken let us talk more about the specifics of making a decent one, starting from the canned chicken.

  1. Pour out of the can the liquid and wash the product under hot water to get rid of any fats.
  2. Make smaller pieces of chicken and spread them out on dehydrator trays.
  3. Put the dehydrator trays inside your oven and dry the chicken for about eight hours at 145 degrees heat.
  4. After that, do not be surprised that the amount of dehydrated chicken is much lower than the initial canned one. 12. 5 ounces will give less than a cup of cooked product that will weigh somewhere around one and a half-ounce.

How to make long term storage of your dehydrated chicken

Store the meal in an airtight container (ziplock bag) or your freezer up until the moment when you will want to use your chicken.

Note that canned chicken is a hard-to-find product outside the States. In this case, the ground chicken will be of use for you.

2. How to pressure cook the chicken for the future dehydrating process

Pressure-Cooking-Chicken If you have a pressure cooker in your house or want to know how to use it to make a pressure-cooked chicken, we have a recipe that will definitely allow you to create tender and tasteful chicken, as this device helps you to make your own home-cooked meal with herbs of your choice that dehydrates as good as the canned chicken.

The first step of our recipe is to:

  1. Clean and cube approximately four ounces of potato, as starch helps the dehydrated chicken to rehydrate better.
  2. After that, start pressure cooking your potatoes and add one-fourth of a cup of chicken bouillon.
  3. Add one-half of a teaspoon with salt or more if you want to.
  4. Then wait until the water dissolves and close your pressure cooker with a lid and wait three more minutes until set aside.


  1. Take approximately one pound of chicken or two chicken breasts.
  2. Remove the fat and create chicken strips, cover the cutting board with parchment paper, and beat the sliced breast meat with a small hammer to make the pieces thinner.
  3. And finally, mash the potatoes in your pressure cooker and add the chicken strips in.

After that, you can also add some other ingredients and spices to your chicken, which are:

  • 1 onion cut in slices
  • 1 clove garlic, also cut into little pieces
  • 1 lemon sliced into four parts and squeezed
  • Rosemary, basil, and parsley for freshness
  • Ground pepper.

When all of the ingredients are added, stir your chicken for a bit so that all vegetables and herbs are distributed equally.

Pressure cook your hodgepodge for ten more minutes and wait for the high pressure to be reached. Set the pot aside and wait for the pressure to dissolve naturally.

Now your chicken is ready to dehydrate, which is done in the same way as the canned chicken: through the oven’s dehydrator platters.

When you want to eat it, simply add some warm water or bouillon into your meal’s liquid.

3. Dehydrating ground chicken

Dehydrating Chicken This type of creating a dehydrated chicken or turkey is similar to creating dehydrated ground beef: all you need to do is add some bread crumbs or oatmeal to the meat and then cook it in a pan.

Afterward, spread your chicken onto the dehydrator platters inside the oven for ten more minutes, and that is it.

Note that you need to make larger pieces and smaller ones almost the same size before dehydrating.

Some tips on how to dehydrate chicken

Some Tips On How To Dehydrate Chicken First, think about replacing some of your cans with ground beef or ham, so that you will have a bigger variety of dishes for yourself.

Second, add some rice or vegetables to your chicken meals. You can also cook your rice in chicken bouillon or add some soy sauce before putting it onto the dehydrator trays in the oven.

Look for more recipes that can make your cooking more delicious.


Some other dehydrating recipes you might be interested in

1. Dehydrating steamed chicken

  1. Take a large chicken, but not too fatty, and cut off all of the skin and visible fat.
  2. Slice the chicken in two half and steam it for one hour.
  3. When the meat is soft and can easily fall apart, remove the bones and make small pieces of a chicken.
  4. Add some salts or soy sauce for better taste and dehydrate it under 145-155 degrees. Look for the chicken to become dry before taking it out.

Steamed chicken is better for those who do not like a lot of fat in their meat, as the steaming process helps to get rid of it. Note that this recipe can also be used with turkey or duck.

2. Dehydrating broasted chicken

Consider dehydrating strips that were broasted. This is the process of pressure cooking the whole chicken or its parts with oil.

Be aware that you cannot cook with oil in your home pressure cooker, but you can buy this kind of chicken in restaurants and stores. For example, Kentucky Fried Chicken, or simply KFC, does its chicken by roasting it.

The advantage of this method is that much less of the oil is entering the meat in comparison with the usual fried chicken. However, note that it is better to use chicken breasts for this method, as the thigh meat has twice as much fat in it and can be stored less.

All you need to do here is to buy some of the broasted meat, mix it with rice and vegetables, and spread it all onto the dehydrator platters.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it safe to eat dehydrated chicken?

It is safe to eat dehydrated poultry as long as you cooked it properly.

We all know that raw chicken has different bacteria that our organism is not capable of processing, such as salmonella. If you do not want to have a horrible fever and take a lot of antibiotics, ensure that the chicken in your dehydrator platters is cooked well.

This means that you first have to clean the chicken and wash it properly. Second, it is always better to cook your meat a bit longer than is said in the recipe. This will ensure you that your dehydrated chicken, like any other cooked chicken, is dehydrated and safe to eat.

Moreover, it is essential to check different recipes on how to dehydrate chicken: some might include spices that your stomach is not used to.

Also, do not forget to use an air-tight container (ziplock bag) and a refrigerator to store your dehydrated food: you do not want to spend a lot of time on creating your survival meals, eating them, and getting food poised, as the product got spoiled.

How long will dehydrated chicken last?

This depends on whether or not your food is stored properly. For unrefrigerated storage, dehydrated chicken can be kept for no more than two weeks. After that, you can only store it in a refrigerator for up to one year.

With this in mind, it is better to store your chicken in a freezer right after dehydrating it so that when the time for off-grid adventures comes, you will be able to take it with you.

Also, consider keeping your backpacking meals in an air-tight container (ziplock bag), as this will also prolong the life of your product.

What is the best way to dehydrate chicken?

No such recipes exist. It all depends on your preferences.

When you want to spend little to no time on the dehydrating chicken process and are afraid of creating a dried chicken, buy a canned or a broasted one and simply dehydrate it in the dehydrator trays.

When you want to create a product that is more natural, with fewer chemicals, and that suits your eating preferences, create your own pressure chicken or use the steaming method, and then also dehydrate it.

However, be aware that this choice will take more of your time and require a personal pressure cooker. But on the other side, you can also use it together with dehydrator platters for making jerky, which is as delicious as the chicken.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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