Dehydrated food is when water is slowly taken out of food. Certain methods for this include air-drying, sun-drying, and kiln drying. You are probably most familiar with sun drying tomatoes since this is a very popular and flavorful food item. This is a very inexpensive and compact way to store food. I also think I keeps a really naturally and delicious flavor. With that understood we can get into how store food.
- Dehydrate foods of choice. One finding rule in food storage is to "store what you eat, and eat what you store." Dehydrate the foods you love. There is no need to waste time with foods you and your family do not eat. Love your food storage choices.
- Ration your food into smaller portions. If you ration into larger portions you will either A) never eat small portions of your food storage and will only use it when you are feeding a lot of people or B) you will be wasting your dehydrated food every time you open a container. It also decrees risk of contamination.
- Place dehydrated food in an airtight container. A sealed container is very important. Do not keep in plastic bags or containers with loose lids. Never use trash can liners, these are dangerous because they usually have pesticides in them. Place an oxygen absorbber inside. These will take out all oxygen and leave behind all the nitrogen. Nitrogen is an inert gas that very effectively eliminates oxygen. Oxygen will speed up its expiration date.
- Label each container with its expiration date on a piece of tape so that you can reuse your containers. Dried fruits and herbs can last up to a year. Dried vegetables and meats can last up to six months. If you keep your dehydrated foods in the freezer they can last much longer.
- Find a cool, dark and dry place to store your dehydrated foods. Ideal temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature places the largest role in how long your dehydrated food will last. Avoid open piping, uninsulated rooms and furnaces. Avoid any direct sunlight. And avoid damp places such as near a swamp cooler. Any temperature over 75 degrees Fahrenheit will spoil faster. Also avoid freezing temperatures.
- Do not place too high. During an earthquake these items will fall and seals may be broken. Look into using # 10 containers which are recommended by preparedness companies. Other good options include sealable food storage buckets and sealable food quality metal or plastic drums.
- If you have dehydrated foods that are in a containers that have been opened you should keep these in a refrigerator or a freezer.
- Organize your dehydrated food by expiration date from newest in the back to oldest in the front. This way you can cycle through your food efficiently without wasting. Organization is very useful in your food storage process.
- Inspect your food before eating. Throw away any food you find mold on. If you find condensation inside your containers immediately dehydrate again. Condensation will not allow your food to keep very long.