Home Food Storage: The Difference Between Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Foods

So what is the difference between freeze-dried food and dehydrated food? Excellent question – and one that I have asked myself many times in those quiet moments between wakefulness and sleep or while waiting for traffic before I pull out of the Walmart parking lot. Anyway, I decided to do a little research and find out exactly what the difference is between the two types. And now that I know what the difference is, I would like to pass this little nugget of wisdom on to you, dear reader. So please, sit back, relax, and take a skinny dip in my Pool of Knowledge.

Okay. As far as similarities, both types of food are great for long-term storage and are almost identical as far as shelf life (about 25 years). Also, both need to be kept in similar temperature, humidity, and oxygen conditions.

However, the similarities between the two types of food end there. From that point on, there are three major differences between freeze-dried food and dehydrated food:

First of all, I want to make it very clear that my species did not climb to the top of the food chain so that we could become vegetarians. I like meat. Maybe you do, too. So for me, I need to have meat that tastes good in my home food storage. Well, the meat, as you will see, is very, very different between the dehydrated and freeze-dried types of food storage.

See, dehydrated food doesn’t have any seasoning or additional ingredients added to it when it is made. In fact, most dehydrated foods are just a single ingredient and that’s it. Whether it is fruit or meat, it is just that one item. This is a huge problem for a meat-eater like me because what this means is that a dehydrated piece of meat is just that. A piece of meat. Nothing added to make it taste good or to make it enjoyable. Therefore, if you want any seasoning or anything like that, you need to add it in later.

On the other hand, freeze-dried food does have seasoning and additional ingredients already added in. So when it comes to meat, seasoning and added ingredients have already been added in! That makes eating meat and other items oh so tasty.

This is the first major difference between the two types of food. Even though dehydrated food can range from everything from rice to pancake mix to Ramen noodles, you need to make sure you have some ingredients to add to them once they are hydrated. Otherwise they are quite insipid and tasteless. Freeze-dried food, on the other hand, contains lots of different ingredients and some fantastic seasonings. So, you just heat it up and eat it and mmmmmmmmmm. Remarkable.

The second big different between the two types of food is that although both freeze-dried food and dehydrated food just need water and heat, the prep time varies greatly. Freeze-dried foods are usually quicker to prepare than dehydrated foods. The times can vary anywhere from as little as 15 minutes to one hour depending on what it is you are cooking, but, as a general rule, the dehydrated food takes longer to prepare than the freeze-dried food. Note: If you have a pressure cooker on hand you can cut the prep time down considerably on both types of food. Pressure cookers will save you a ton of time and energy regardless of which type of home food storage you have.

Finally, the third difference between the two types of food is that freeze-dried food is usually a full meal that contains multiple items. Think “TV Dinner” or even “Meals on Wheels” when you think freeze-dried food. Unlike dehydrated foods, freeze-dried foods are meals that are completely ready to eat once they are heated up and water has been added. Again, dehydrated food is usually just a single ingredient. You will need to mix them with other items or season them or they won’t taste that great.

Now, does this mean freeze-dried food is better than dehydrated food? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Well, actually, yes.

But before you start thinking freeze-dried food is some Bastian of Morality and dehydrated food is one step below plankton pee, it should be noted that dehydrated food takes freeze-dried food behind the woodshed every day of the week when it comes to price. Dehydrated food is way cheaper. Way cheaper. Dehydrated food also usually makes more food than freeze-dried food per serving—again, this adds to the value and price ratio advantage.

So, a quick recap here: Freeze-dried food tastes better, is ready to eat sooner, and has a wider variety of food once prepared. Dehydrated food does not taste as good, takes longer to prepare, and is just that one item when you prepare it. However, dehydrated food is much, much cheaper than freeze-dried food.

Related Posts:

Food Storage: Enough and More (Plus Earthquake Proofing)
Emergency Food Storage Essentials
A Simple Sample of An Emergency Food Storage Solution
Do You Have One of These In Your Food Storage?

Go to Source (EmergencyFoodStoragePros.com)

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