Saturday, December 3, 2011

Food Dehydration

The drying of food as a means of preservation has been around a very long time. Many people around the globe have dried meat, fish, fruit and veggies when these things are plentiful for those times when they are not. From years past to now.

My first encounter with food dehydration was a friend's uncle who dried apple slices. The "machine" he used to dry the apple slices was a bit strange. It was an old car. He used cheesecloth covered trays he placed the apple slices on. The trays were placed on wood strips laying across the dashboard, the seat backs and the rear deck (window). The car's windows were rolled down just a bit to allow the moist heated air to escape. This made a pretty effective, if somewhat, bulky dehydrator.

Essentially, dehydration of food removes the moisture that provides an environment conducive to the growth of bacteria. Removal of the moisture results in a product that can be stored for months or, even years. (I have orange zest from 3 years ago vacuumed sealed still on my shelves.)

I initially purchased the small round dehydrator which is available at your local retail store down the block. It had only an "on/off" switch. I have since found out why the better dehydrators have a thermostat. (It gives you options in your drying heats. A very big plus.) Anyway.... I burned the first unit out. When I bought my next unit cause I was hooked on drying foods, what I thought to be a middle of the road semi-decent model of food dehydrator, lasted me just a couple of months past the warranty date. Was I pissed? You bet I was.

Now I don't own stock in the company nor, am I getting any kick backs from them.... but, I now own an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator with thermostat and timer and have never been happier with anything in my life. What a real beauty! I highly recommend you get yourself one.

I learned how to dehydrate with the Yahoo group online. I have dried any number of things. Even things I never knew you could dry. I have done meat (jerky and liver treats for the dog), shrimp, berries, lemon and orange zest, veggies of every kind, tomatoes by the buckets full.... and making yogurt becomes a breeze using the dehydrator. Mine can even be used to dry wet things... like mittens and gloves during the winter.

I hope this has piqued your interest in trying this way to preserve foods. It's not at all costly to get yourself set up to do this. It's a safe and proven method to store those extras for those leaner times.

No comments:

Little old me...

My photo
An american yankee up past the 49th parellel.


Blog Archive