Question: "Why dehydrate food?"
Answer: So you have emergency food on hand when the grocery stores have run out. Or when another pandemic like Covid-19 hits (heaven forbid) or its variants.
Supply chains around the world still face major issues of transporting goods.
But why dehydrate food over freezing, or canning, you ask? It's the time-factor along with three important reasons why dehydration works better.
In order to store food properly for long-term storage, you need to keep three things at bay:
When those three things are addressed, your success in storing food for long-term will be greatly increased.
So, what's wrong with freezing food? Not only do you have to have electricity to keep the foods frozen, you need freezer-storage space. But what happens when the power goes out? You can't run one of those noisy compressors for ever. And more often than not, those packaged frozen meals get 'freezer burn' which is simply a case of air being converted to ice. This brings me to:
Point 1: Air. When dehydrating foods, we remove the air using a food vacuum-sealer. Point 1 'done.'
Point 2: Light. Keeping foods away from direct light also prolongs its shelf-life. Storing our dehydrated food in Mylar bags takes care of Point 2.
Regarding point 3: Water... when you freeze foods, the water is in there, and again, you need electricity to keep the food frozen. When we dehydrate food, we're taking the water out. And to make sure your foods stay as dry as possible, we add oxygen absorbers to the vacuum-sealed bags. Point 3 covered!
To help you understand why we dehydrate food and the food dehydration process, download our free Six Simple Steps eBook today (click the link. The free eBook covers the necessary steps to safely dehydrate fruit, vegetables, and (cooked) meats!
And while you're downloading that freebie, treat yourself to our "How to Grow and Dehydrate Herbs" too! Click the book in the sidebar if you're on a desktop computer, or click here to visit the Herb Book page. It's my free gift to you for taking the time to visit this Easy Food Dehydrating website!
A great way to save cash is by dehydrating fruit and vegetables. Fact: you do not have to store the fresh foods in the refrigerator for days and weeks at a time. When the foods have been dehydrated, they can last for years without electricity—and that's a great energy savings right there.
Another reason why you should dehydrate food: It's affordable and very easy to set up at home. Simply visit our dehydrator page and/or check out dehydrator reviews online and choose which dehydrator suits your home situation best.
If you are a large family, you may choose a dehydrator with the capacity to have nine trays dehydrating all at once. For just the two of you, maybe a simple four- or five-tray dehydrator would be sufficient.
There are many brands of dehydrators—some have stackable trays
and some have trays that pull-out like a chest of drawers. I have one of
each type of dehydrator. I have not found one to be better than theother, but I have found unique purposes for each. I have a Nesco dehydrator and an Excalibur dehydrator.
The pull-out trays can allow the dehydrator to be used for proofing bread dough by simply leaving the bottom tray in and omitting the trays that would be above it.
The benefits of the stackable dehydrator are when you only need to use four trays versus six. You can do that without the nagging thought of the wasted space using expensive electricity! The next step is to purchase a vacuum sealer machine. Its purpose is twofold:
You could call it a day right there or go one step further and protect your dehydrated packages by placing them into Mylar bags—made of shiny un-tearable material–which keeps out light, moisture, air, and yes, bugs—depending on where you intend to store them, i.e. the garage, for instance.
The Mylar bags are also sealed, but there is no need to vacuum
them. Simply use a sharpie pen to write the contents on the bag and date it.
A different kind of savings can be achieved in the way of space saving!
Eight whole bunches of celery can be stored in one quart mason jar! Can you believe that? And it takes no electricity—great energy savings—and no fridge space to store it either!