Long Term Food Storage – Food Dryer

Many consider food drying to be the oldest method of long term food storage. It can be done very simply and offers the benefit of of taking up less space than canned or frozen foods. While you can simply dry foods in the sun (if the humidity is suitable), in this post we’ll consider the use of a food dryer. While there are various types of food dryers available, we recommend the type that has a temperature control. Although the air temperature can be relavitely high at the beginning of the deydration process without overheating the food (due to the evaporation in the food which keeps it’s temperature low), it is helpful to be able to adjust the temperature to keep from scorching the food later in the process. The other main consideration in selecting a food dryer is air flow, which directly relates to the evenness of drying. We use a circular shaped dryer with a main airflow channel through the middle.

Foods should be dried quickly, but not so fast that the outer layer becomes hard inhibiting evaporation of the moisture inside. Also, drying should be uninterrupted so that mold and other microorganisms don’t have opporrunity to grow.

Dried food can be effectively packaged in plastic using a vacuum sealer.

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