How do you make Dehydrated Food Last longer?

How to Extend the Shelf Life of Dehydrated Food

While dehydrated food already has an impressive shelf life, there ways to make it last even longer. How do you make dehydrated food last longer? I’ve got the tips. From using oxygen absorbers to freezing and rotating your stock, these techniques can help maximize the shelf life of your dehydrated food.

How do you make Dehydrated Food Last longer: plastic air-tight containers.
Photo by DIY Homesteading 101, Alina Bradford

Use Oxygen Absorbers

Oxygen absorbers are little packets filled with iron powder and salt. Toss ’em into an airtight container with your dried food, and they’ll suck up the oxygen. Less oxygen means your dried goods will last longer. Here’s how to make the most of these handy packets:

  • Match the size of the absorber to your food stash. It should be proportionate to the volume of food you’re storing.
  • Make sure your container’s really airtight. Go for vacuum-sealed bags, mylar bags, or even glass jars with super snug lids.
  • Stick to the guidelines that come with the oxygen absorbers. That means use the right amount per container, okay?

Freeze dehydrated food

Want another way to make your dried food last? Stick it in the freezer. Just know that not all dried food likes to be frozen. Some stuff like fruits, veggies, and meats are cool with it, but grains and legumes? Not so much. Here’s how to freeze like a pro:

  • Dry the food really well before freezing to avoid freezer burn.
  • Package it in airtight containers or freezer bags so moisture and air can’t get in.
  • Label and date your frozen goods so you know how long they’ve been chilling out.
  • Thaw in the fridge before you use it or rehydrate it.

Rotate and chow down

You don’t want your hard-earned dried food to go bad. Use the “first in, first out” method to keep your stash fresh. Here’s how to rotate without wasting anything:

  • Check the dates and eat the older stuff first.
  • Use your dried food in meals and snacks so it doesn’t get forgotten.
  • Get creative in the kitchen. New recipes mean you’ll be more likely to use up your stock.

Rehydrate and test

Before you dig in, make sure your dried food is still good to eat. Rehydrate it and do a little quality check. Look at the texture and appearance. It should look and feel like it did before you dried it. Taste it to make sure it’s still got its original flavor. It shouldn’t taste funky or smell weird.

dry it right

It all starts with how you dry the food. The less moisture, the better. You can go old-school and sun-dry it, or you can use a fancy food dehydrator. The key is to make sure you’re getting as much moisture out as possible. If you can snap a piece of dried fruit cleanly in half, you’re on the right track.

keep it cool and dark

Temperature matters. Stick your dried food in a cool, dark place like a pantry or a cellar. Light and heat speed up the oxidation process, so unless you want to eat it fast, keep it away from the stove or direct sunlight. And try to avoid temperature swings. Consistency is key.

container matters

Don’t underestimate the power of a good container. Mylar bags, glass jars with tight lids, or vacuum-sealed bags are your best bets. Make sure it’s airtight to keep out moisture and oxygen. And speaking of moisture, toss in some silica gel packs to absorb any stray moisture that sneaks in.

Now you know how to make dehydrated food last longer. Need more help? Here’s how long dried food lasts.