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How to Safely Dehydrate Hamburger to Make Hamburger Rocks


Dehydrating Hamburger (AKA Hamburger Rocks)
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Today we are going to talk about dehydrated hamburger.  This is commonly called “hamburger rocks” online.  When you make some you will quickly learn how it got its name.  Once the hamburger is cooked and dried it resembles really small dark brown gravel.  The reason we make it is not to have small meat stones, but because when stored under a vacuum, and kept in a cool dry place, our hamburger rocks can last a couple years.

While nothing beats fresh meat, this ingredient works very well in any recipe that uses browned ground beef.  I use it quite often in making chili, tacos, or spaghetti.

While in my video I state that the recipe for rehydrating is subject to personal preference, and I like to use a 1:1 ration (since I use it mostly in chili and lasagnas), most people prefer to rehydrate with more water and usually use one cup rocks to 2 cups boiling water and let it rehydrate prior to using it their recipes.

Now, as the video shows, you may cry a little when your done, as 5 or 6 pounds of good ground meat will dehydrate away to a quart jar of rocks, and you may think you wasted a lot of good meat, but it is the decrease in size that is helpful for long term storage.

How to Make Hamburger Rocks


  1. Cook Ground Beef
  2. Drain Fat
  3. Rinse Meat in a colander to remove all fat
  4. Recook to drive off water.  Cook until steam stops.
  5. Dehydrate
    1. I use a dehydrator with a temperature setting and cook it at 160 for 8 hours.
    2. You could use an oven by putting the beef on a roasting pan and putting in a 200 degree oven with the door open slightly and continually monitoring and stirring the beef until dry (its easier with a dehydrator)
  6. Once it is dry and cool, and hard to the touch, vacuum seal in mason jars or bags.
    1. Alternatively, while the rocks are still hot, you could “can” the hamburger rocks for long term storage, by preheating mason jars to 250 F, simmer the lids as usual, put the “rocks” into the jars while still hot, then seal the jars. After 15 minutes or so the jars will cool and you will hear the jar lids “pop” as they seal in place.  This is not my favorite method, but it is similar to a vacuum seal.


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    • Depends on storage conditions, I have used it at 18 months in a cool dry pantry vacuum sealed, and I had it go rancid in 4 months sitting out next to the stove. It does not hurt to refrigerate it, but it is not strictly necessary.

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