Today we’re going to talk about preserving food with one of the simplest methods ever devised by man. Drying. Although, there are many other ways to preserve the food, but to me, drying is the best way ever.
Why should we preserve the Food?
It is the best way if you’re growing your own food or you’re hunting your own food. What happens though, if you shoot a deer and you don’t have a freezer? You better eat it quickly because it’s going to spoil and it’s going to make you sick. We often have this problem in our gardens. Whole bunch of tomatoes come in, all at once and what do you do? You give them all away, right. Well, what if it was important for you to have that food for your family? In that case, you’re going to have to learn how to preserve it.
What about Canning for preservation?
The first thing we would probably do for food is can them. But canning requires a stove, it requires jars, it requires a source of heat and it requires you to balance things properly so you don’t end up getting botulism. Canning is a little more intense.
Drying for the cause of preservation
Drying is what you do when you basically have nothing, or if you want to preserve the value, the nutrition in that crop to a higher than if you can. If you can, a lot of things are destroyed in the canning process because of the heat and boiling. But with drying you actually preserve more of the vitamin and mineral content.
It doesn’t get lost in the water you’re canning in or the sauce that you’re cooking or whatever else. So drying is actually a really good option.
The Best Dehydrator For Drying
If you want to go for the easy way to dry, that would be buying a dehydrator. They’re called Nesco dehydrators and they worked great. They’re the circular type with the little plastic sheets, one fits over the other. You cut you’re produce up into little manageable chunks, maybe three eighths of an inch thick or so and you lay them out on the little trays and you start it up and you set your heat level from quite warm, like 140 degrees or down to 95 degrees and you just let the breeze blow through there and warm them and overnight they pretty much are dry and you just scrape them off at that point and you put your dry pieces into jars and seal them or you put them in bags and seal them. Because you don’t want the moisture coming back in because it will spoil and you’re done.
Excalibur for Drying
You can go for Excalibur, it is more expensive and you can get yourself an Excalibur which is like one of those big awesome square things that cost a few hundred bucks or more. Those are seriously great, but those are expensive.
The use of Solar collector box for drying
The solar collector box that’s painted black and it’s got glass on it and the warm air runs up through a couple of screens. And then you’ve got your stuff sitting on the screens and there’s a cover to it.
Screening for Drying
The other easy way to do it, is to take some screening, if you can get some food grade, like stainless steel, that’s really good. You can also take stainless steel pans and go set them in sun and spread out some things cut thinly, laid out on top of that stainless and it’ll work. Bits of steel is known reactive so you have a bit of steel like grating or something like that, you can put it out. If you have a porch that gets some breeze and gets some sun but the rain doesn’t fall on it.
Car for Drying
Your car heats up and the rain doesn’t come into it, hopefully. And you crack the windows and it heats up and the moisture is coming out of those windows. And it’s just like a big dehydrator. So your car is an awesome dehydrator. If you have a car, use it as a dehydrator, spread stuff out inside of it and just let the sun do the rest of it.
Drying is one of the best ways to preserve your food and it takes very little work. Just string some stuff up where they can dry and let them go. Make sure they don’t stay wet too long.