Are you in the process of learning some old-world skills? Learning to garden and can and possibly dehydrate some of those fresh foods you just nursed from a seedling to succulent, vine ripened goodness? Something to consider is the difference between dehydrated, canned and freeze dried food.
One of the easiest things you can do is dehydrate food. While the process can take time and a little bit of practice, dehydrating is a good way for you to keep your fresh veggies and other foods edible for a long time. Couple this with an air-tight bag and an oxygen absorber and you can have a good longer-term food option.
Canning is a lot more work and requires more stuff to do. You’ll need cans, lids, the centers of the lids, ingredients to cook the food you are about to can and time. A lot more time. Canning isn’t just for making jams and storing carrots, canning is for just about everything you eat, including meat.
Freeze-drying is not all that common for the average person. The process involves several steps and more advanced equipment to complete the process. For this reason, freeze-dried foods are a little more expensive than the other two options.
Now that we have the basic descriptions out of the way, let’s talk about why your grandparents had the right idea with canning. I know I just said it’s more work, but what in life that’s worth anything is easy? The reason I say canning is the rout to go is, most of the supplies can be reused. You will need to buy new seals though.
If you dehydrate meat, you essentially get jerky so you still need to can it. You can use pressure canning to store meat. Here is a good pressure canning FAQ page. Dehydrated meat can vary in amount of time you can store it. Having an airtight container helps. Re-hydrating meat is not the same as opening up a jar of meat you canned.
A quick meal you can make if you can chicken is chicken and rice. Rice is an essential and easy to store food item and easy to cook. Pairing rice with canned chicken is a super quick and easy meal. What’s nice about canning is the ability to make pre-made meals. You can create different flavors ready to eat later. Here is a Pinterest account with some interesting canning recipes to try.
You might be reading this thinking, why the heck is this guy talking about canning foods on a site where they sell long-term storage foods? Well, my answer to that is, you need options. Canning food and using it regularly is a good habit to get into. Buying larger quantities of meats when they are on sale and canning it can save you money in the long-run. With the price of everything going up, taking advantage of a deal when you see it is a smart move.
Another bonus of canning is, you do not need to take up space in your freezer or rely on the power grid to keep all of your meats and vegetables cold or frozen. Thus preparing for a power outage situation of any length.
What do you think of canning? Too much work or worth the effort?