How to Store Dehydrated Food
In 2019, we thankfully live in an era of unmatched comfort and convenience. If you have access to the internet (and if you’re reading this article, you obviously do), then you have access to more free information than your ancestors could ever dream of.
However, it’s important that we not get too complacent with our lives. Emergency situations can and do happen. Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and other natural disasters are a fact of life.
One of the smartest things you can do is to have a solid supply of food on hand that could potentially last you for years in an emergency scenario. Canned foods are a great option to have for survival food, but we’re also HUGE fans of dehydrated food. Fruits and veggies are incredibly easy to dry out, which can significantly preserve their shelf life.
Your dehydrated food could potentially last for up to 10 years – provided you store it properly. In this guide, we’ll show you how to store dehydrated food so that you get the maximum possible shelf life out of it.
Important Things to Consider Before Storing Dehydrated Food
Before you even consider storing your dehydrated fruits and veggies, there are a few important points that you’ll want to keep in mind in order to make sure that your dried food will last for as long as possible.
The first is that you want to make sure your dried food is as free from moisture as possible. Even minor amounts of moisture and condensation can significantly decrease the shelf life of your dehydrated foods.
The next consideration you’ll want to keep in mind is exactly where you’re planning on storing your dehydrated food. External factors like the amount of light your food is exposed to as well as the temperature where you store it can all play a factor in how long your food will stay good.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using airtight jars or containers when storing your dehydrated food. Exposure to oxygen can cause spores to form, rendering your food moldy and inedible.
Tips For Storing Your Dehydrated Food
Once you’ve completed drying out your food, the first thing to do before actually storing it is to make sure that it’s completely cooled. By allowing it to cool off, you’ll help prevent mold and bacteria from forming.
Place your dehydrated fruits and veggies inside airtight mason jars or containers and make sure that you store them somewhere that is cool, dry, and dark. The ideal temperature for storing dehydrated food is around 60°F. It’s important to store them somewhere away from the light as exposure can degrade the quality of your food.
While dehydrated fruits and veggies can remain edible for between five to 10 years, we would recommend only storing them for a maximum of one year (in the case of dried fruit, less for dried veggies). And if you’re drying out meat to make a snack like beef jerky, we recommend storing it for no longer than six months.
Keep in mind that you can extend the shelf life of your dehydrated food significantly by storing it in your freezer. In fact, we would recommend always using your freezer to store snacks like jerky or other sensitive food items.
You should also keep an eye on your containers. If you begin to see moisture or condensation forming, you’ll have to dehydrate your food once again. Not to worry though – if you follow all of the tips and suggestions we’ve laid out in this article, you’re unlikely to run into this issue.
If you’re not using airtight mason jars or containers, plastic bags are an acceptable option as well. Just make sure to remove all of the air from the bag before you seal it. An even better idea would be to vacuum seal your bags to ensure that mold and moisture don’t get a chance to form.
Finally, we recommend adding a label to each container telling what the food is and when it was packaged. When storing your dehydrated food, follow the ‘first in, first out’ mantra – older items in the front, newer items in the back to make sure that you’re using the older food before it goes bad.
Tips for Using Your Dried Food
We also have a few tips for you for whenever you’re ready to use your dried food.
You should always make sure to give your dehydrated food a thorough inspection before eating it. You’ll be looking for any signs of mold or degradation of any kind. If you do happen to find anything, don’t risk it – simply throw whatever it is out.
Opened containers of dehydrated food should also be kept stored in either your refrigerator or freezer in order to preserve their freshness.
There’s really no way of ever knowing when a serious emergency situation can take place. Even if you’re not someone who usually takes much of an interest in any type of survival strategies in the event of an emergency, it’s still a wise move to keep a set amount of food on hand that could help see you through.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort on your part but it could make an enormous difference – the very survival of you and your family could depend on whether you have enough food to last you in an emergency.
If you follow all of the tips and guidelines we’ve gone over in this article, you can easily have an emergency stash of dried food on hand that could potentially last you for months on end.
Dehydrated fruits and veggies are an excellent source of food to have in a worst-case scenario – they’re incredibly nutrient-dense and packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help you keep your strength up. Making jerky out of dehydrated meat is a great way to have access to a solid protein source as well.
In the end, we can only hope that we never have to face a true emergency situation in our lifetimes. However, like the old saying goes – it’s better to be safe than sorry.