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Hi there, it's great to see you here again! I hope you're finding what you're looking for - if not, please consider taking one of our online courses over at Udemy! Thanks! Susan for Easy Food Dehydrating and Safe Food Storage

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I am dehydrating dairy,  veggies and beans,  and have no o2 absorbers. Is it safe to food saver pack then place in 1/2 gal vacuum packed jars which I will reseal when anything is removed,  as an alternative? - Norine

Hello Norine, you can certainly store dehydrated foods in Mason jars (vacuum-sealed) though you won't be able to keep them as long as you would if you added the oxygen absorber to the jar. A great reason to use Mason jars is the ease of access; when foods are vacuum-sealed in the pouches, that's more of a decision to store it for the long-term.

Remember, oxygen absorbers inhibit mold growth. We certainly don't want you and your family to become sick due to not using oxygen absorbers. Check out our oxygen absorber page and visit Amazon for the best prices.

Norine, I hope I answered your question and thanks so much for taking time to write!

Have a great day!

Christine from Wilmington asked: Should I use oxygen absorbers if I have a food saver and take the air out of my mason jars with my jar attachment?

Hi Christine,

The short answer is "yes" --- if you're looking to store your dehydrated foods for long periods of time.  Add your oxygen absorber in the jar prior to drawing the air out. The oxygen absorbers help stop mold growth.

Thanks for taking time to write in!

Hello, I did my first dehydrating and nothing turned out. I tried to do sweet potatoes and they dried OK but they were so rubbery you couldn't chew them. I did frozen green beans and they just shrunk right up. Do you know a good recipe book out there? -- Donna N.

Hi Donna, Sorry to hear that you found your dehydrating to be disappointing ... Donna remember, your items WILL be rubbery etc. UNTIL you add the water or vegetable/chicken/beef stock back into them! Our site has a recipe book, please visit this page for more info.
- - -
When foods are dehydrated, the water is taken out and that makes the foods shrink right up. This enables us to store them for long periods of time. Only a few fruits are quite edible when dehydrated (in my humble opinion), such as plums that turn into prunes; grapes that turn into raisins; and bananas make good banana chips! Donna, I hope this helps and thanks for taking time to write in! -- Susan

If you have a question regarding the best, safest way to dehydrate food, please consider purchasing our eBook or our paperback book!

In it, you'll learn all you need to know about storing dehydrated food for long-term storage, and which containers are best to use for daily/weekly use.

Easy Food Dehydrating & Safe Food Storage

Hi I've been inspired by your site and have done 30 jars of dehydrated food this week. They're 1/2 gal size. I used my food saver jar attachment and put an O2 absorber as you said. Now another site says no air causes botulism! Help! Have I ruined my fruit. Veggies. Flour etc.  Thanks -- Terri

Hi Terri, thanks for taking time to write in and congrats on your dehydrating thus far and no, you haven't ruined anything! Regarding the botulism ... 

I went to Wikipedia which no doubt you did too. It is disturbing to read.  Here's a quick cut and paste from Wiki:

Botulism (Latin, botulus, a sausage[1]) is a rare and potentially fatal illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The disease begins with weakness, trouble seeing, feeling tired, and trouble speaking. This may then be followed by weakness of the arms, chest muscles, and legs. The disease does not usually affect consciousness or cause a fever.

Botulism can occur in a few different ways. The bacterial spores that cause it are common in both soil and water. They produce the botulinum toxin when exposed to low oxygen levels and certain temperatures. Foodborne botulism happens when food containing the toxin is eaten. Infant botulism happens when the bacteria develops in the intestines and releases the toxin.

This typically only occurs in children less than six months old, as protective mechanisms develop after that time.

Wound botulism is found most often among those who inject street drugs. In this situation spores enter a wound and, in the absence of oxygen, release the toxin. It is not passed directly between people. The diagnosis is confirmed by finding the toxin or bacteria in the person in question.

Prevention is primarily by proper food preparation. The toxin, though not the organism, is destroyed by heating it to more than 85 °C (185 °F) for longer than 5 minutes. Honey can contain the organism, and for this reason honey should not be fed to children under 12 months. Treatment is with an antitoxin. In those who lose their ability to breathe on their own, mechanical ventilation, potentially for months, may be required. Antibiotics may be used for wound botulism. Death occurs in 5 to 10% of people. Botulism can affect many other animals.

I certainly understand your concern. When I use my dehydrated food in soups etc as in the recipes featured on my site, you'll notice that I bring the food back to a boil and simmer after re-hydrating. That takes care of destroying the organism.  Thankfully botulism is rare but it IS scary nonetheless.

Sorry I'm not the bearer of better news ... Remember to rotate your stock and bring ingredients back to a boil.  In the dehydrated banana scenario for banana chips, these are most often eaten straight away (after they've cooled!) so there's no worry about the low-oxygen level.

Cindy wrote in to ask this great question: Can you use garlic out of a jar to dehydrate?

Hi Cindy, yes you can use garlic out of a jar. Just let excess water drain away first and then slice your garlic. Thanks for taking time to ask your question! Sincerely, Susan

I have been dehydrating frozen vegetables and putting them in vacuum packed bags and putting them in the freezer.  I have discovered that the vacuum seal is lost on some of the bags.  When some vegetables are dehydrated, they form sharp points, like green beans.  I think this is my culprit.  Any suggestions?  Joe

Hi Joe, I've suffered the same fate with my sharp green beans and one thing I learned was not to overfill the bags prior to vacuum sealing them. When you've filled your bag and have it clamped on your vacuum sealer, pat down/smooth out the bag and then turn on the vacuum. This helps tremendously!

To prevent the odd bag that does get a sharp protruding point, I wrap all the vacuum-sealed bags in cling wrap (read more here about that). Thanks for writing in Joe, though your email in response would not send (AOL).

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SIGN UP for our Six Simple Steps!

Keep YOUR Food Pantry FULL!

Learn how to keep a full pantry –
for any reason or season!

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