Dehydrating Seafood - Safely

Want to know how about dehydrating seafood safely? Read on! You, too, can have dried fish in a jiffy! Before starting the drying process, it's important to purchase fresh fish fillets of your choice from a specialty fish market, or a trusty local supermarket. If you can "smell fish," don't buy it.

Fresh fish does not stink! Yeah, a slight fishy aroma is allowed, but it shouldn't be overpowering.

Salmon Shrimp and Tuna

Clean Fresh Fish Prior to
Drying Fish on Your Dehydrator

Clean your fish by removing any bones or shells. Cut the larger fish into thin strips or pieces, making sure all the pieces are roughly the same size. If you are working with smaller fish, like anchovies, you can leave them whole.

Dehydrating Seafood ~ The Drying Process

By having uniformly-sized fresh fish strips, you'll get better drying results. If the fish is not properly blotted dry prior to dehydrating using paper towels, it will drip and could cause sticking. If seafood is still dripping after blotting with paper towel, it's still too wet! Dry fish are happy fish.

Air drying the fish a little longer will eliminate the need for running the dehydrator longer than necessary.

Next, place your dry fish on the dehydrator trays, making sure they are not touching or overlapping.

Place your fish strips on a dehydrator tray to start the drying process and dry at 125 degrees F for about four hours. Check on the fish every few hours to make sure that it is sufficiently dry.

Once the fish is dried, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Storing Dried Fish Using Vacuum-Sealer Bags

Dried fish can be an excellent addition to your food storage pantry. If you have a seafood-loving family, then chances are good that you will want to have some fish on hand for those times when you can't make it to the store or when it's simply too expensive.

This is where the Foodsaver food vacuum-sealer comes in!

Vacuum-Seal Your Seafood

Place your dried fish inside a quart-size vacuum sealer bag. Insert a 100cc oxygen absorber. Place the top of the bag's edge smack dab in the center of the oval chamber. Before closing the lid, smooth out the contents in the vacuum-sealer bag. This helps prevent bag punctures.

proper food vacuum-sealer bag placement

Close the lid and clamp it. Press the 'vacuum and seal' button. Seconds later, your bag is fully vacuumed and the Foodsaver automagically switches over to the 'seal' function. Wait for the red light to go off. Your fish is now safely packaged and ready for long-term food storage. Read more about the food vacuum-sealers here.

Dehydrating Seafood: Fatty Fish vs. Lean Fish

When it comes to dehydrating fish, there is a big difference between fatty fish and lean fish. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, have a high oil content.

This oil is what helps to keep the fish moist and gives it its flavor. Lean fish, such as cod, flounder, and haddock, have very little oil.

The difference in oil content will affect how you dehydrate the fish. Dehydrate fatty fish at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time. Dehydrate lean fish at a higher temperature for a longer period of time.

Preserved Fish Can Last for Months

Properly dried fish aka 'preserved fish' is a great for storing for long-term. When done properly, the shelf-life of dried fish is months, or even years. Just be sure to follow the following tips to ensure that your fish preserved by dehydrating stays safe and tasty.

Have you dried fish before? What are your favorite tips? Do you have any favorite fish seasonings? Lemon juice and garlic powder go a long way for added fish flavorings to baked fish.

Share your TIPS below!

Share your Seafood Dehydrating Tips

Do you have a great tip about dehydrating seafood? Share it!

Tips on Producing Safe-to-Eat Dried Fish

Drying fish is a great way to preserve it and make it last longer. Here are a few tips on how to dehydrate it safely:

  1. Make sure the fish is completely dry before you dehydrate it.
  2. Don't dehydrate fish that's been frozen or contains ice crystals.
  3. Dehydrate the fish at a low temperature to avoid bacteria growth.
  4. Store the dried fish in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Why Not Dehydrate Frozen Fish?

The reason why you should not dehydrate fish that has been frozen is because when you freeze fish, the ice crystals can puncture the cell walls of the fish. This can cause bacteria to form and the fish will not be safe to eat.

Dry Fish on Low Temperature for Best Results

The drying process of fish at a low temperature is important because it helps to prevent the growth of bacteria. Bacteria can cause food poisoning, so by dehydrating fish at a low temperature, you can help ensure that the food is safe to eat.

The temperate for dehydrating fish is typically low, as the food item can spoil quickly at high temperatures. It is important to monitor the dehydration process closely to ensure that the fish does not spoil.

Check your specific dehydrator's instruction manual for the ideal temperature setting.

Best Storage Containers

The best storage containers for dehydrated food are airtight and moisture-proof. This will help to keep the food fresh and prevent it from spoiling.

Cleaning Your Dehydrator
After Dehydrating Fish

Cleaning your dehydrator is important to avoid bacteria growth and will also keep your dehydrator in good condition. After dehydrating fish, the best way to clean your dehydrator is to:

  • Unplug the dehydrator
  • Remove all the fish from the dehydrator
  • Wipe down all the surfaces of the dehydrator with a warm, soapy cloth
  • Rinse off the soapy residue with hot water
  • Ensure that the dehydrator is completely dry before plugging it back in and using it again

Can You Re-Hydrate Dried Fish?

Yes, you can re-hydrate dried fish. To do this, simply soak the fish in water for a few hours or overnight. The fish will absorb the water and will be re-hydrated and ready to eat.

So there you have it, a few tips on safely dehydrating seafood!

dozing fisherman

All you have to do now is simply have the patience to catch the fish.

Or do what I do... go to the store or fresh-fish market!

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