A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jars.

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Ajax, Feb 19, 2009.


  1. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Hello everyone, I am doing a test run tomorrow with dehydrating and storing in Mason Jars. I am going to do a batch of carrots. I will blanch them first for about 3 minutes and then dip in cold water before placing on the dehydrator. I have one of the Ronco dehydrators, hopefully it will work well enough to get the veg below 10% moisture.

    Once they are done dehydrating I am planning on putting them in a mason jar and then vacuum sealing the jar with a jar attachment and a hand pump that will get a nice amount of pressure.

    Some of my main questions are...

    1. Other than cleaning and blanching do I need to do much else to prep for dehydrating?

    2. What should I do as far as cleaning the jars out, will a simple disinfecting cleaning and drip dry work or do I need to bake for a while?

    3. Do I need to do anything to the rubber seal in the lid, like put Vaseline on it or heat it up before vacuum sealing, in order to give it a better and longer lasting seal?

    4. From what I have read and researched dehydrated food with low moisture, vacuum sealed and stored correctly can last for over a decade, does that sound right?

    5. How many inches of vacuum do I need for proper long term storage? If I remember correctly it needs to be over 20 inches of vacuum.

    Thanks a lot for any help I can get, I have some store bought canned food saved up but I am planning on concentrating more on dehydrated and staple foods for long term survivability.
     
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    First, I've never canned dehydrated fruits or veggies but I would suggest two things.
    1. I have read that you should never use anything, vasoline or other lubricant, on the rubber as it can ultimately negatively affect the rubber. After canning and before storing the jars, I would put a small amount of vasoline on the outside of the metal jar caps to help inhibit rusting of the metal.

    2. If it were me, I would sterilize the jars just as if I was canning anything else. I don't know if this is necessary but it's a simple step that would add a little extra safety.

    Keep us posted on the process and outcome.
     
  3. enough

    enough Monkey++

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    These are not canning facts, but simply things that I have thought about, and intend to test or study more ... I've always thought that they MAY apply to long term canning of dried goods. I do lots of fruit, but will be doing fruit and veg this year.

    Taken from the field of homebrewing, you could use a sanitizer on the jars. Iodophor (iodine solution) and Starsan (can't remember the chemical) are food grade sanitizers that after washing with detergent, you simply dip or soak the jars and let them air dry. It comes in a concentrate and an ounce or two in a full sink of water will do hundreds of jars.

    When it comes time to keg the beer, I use a food grade silicone lubricant that is put on the rubber O-rings of the keg. I don't know enough about the "rubber" material on the caps to say if its safe or not. The silicone lube is thick enough, that even when I'm using a cracked O-ring, I can hold 20-30# of positive pressure inside the kegs.

    Liek I've already said, I don't know about the practical applications of these ideas in actual canning. These are things used in brewing where sanitsation is paramount. I'll test it this spring/summer and check the long term results.
     
  4. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    When the brew is ready, just put the word out and more than a few monkeys would be happy to come by and taste test your results!
     
  5. enough

    enough Monkey++

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    The brew is ALWAYS ready! :)
     
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    ROAD TRIP!!! (But to where?)
     
  7. enough

    enough Monkey++

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    Lower peninsula of MI. I'm sure you can find me from there. :) Just look for the guy that isn't sitting on the front porch, waiting for uncle 'bama to come bail me out.
     
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    Lived in Midland for a few years, know the area moderately well --. One of the kids broke out with chicken pox in the most famous of the restaurants in Frankenmuth. Got some funny looks as we left the place. Went in clear, went out pocked. Was in the area last spring, things have changed, ah, just a bit --.
     
  9. enough

    enough Monkey++

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    Zenders? :)

    I live south of Midland, but nothing south of Tawas/Clare/Cadillac is "the same". I hope I can get over the bridge before the UP secedes. ;)
     
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    Yup, Zenders.

    Also spent two years in da yoop. Liked it excepting the noseeums.
     
  11. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    I've dehydrated veggies and stored them in mason jars. I never blanched them, I just cleaned them and cut them into pieces and put them into the dehydrater. When I stored them in the jars all I did was just wash them like any other dish and dry well. The food stored like this for years. You got to remmber people have been drying food for thousands of years without all the vacume sealers and such.

    OGM
     
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    OK, you have my attention. There have been lots of threads on food preservation, usually needing some sort of preparation before storing in normal environments (say like zero to 100+, but kept dry.) Is there anything at all that cannot be dehydrated for storage? The scheme of getting a dryer is becoming attractive vs. canning supplies, vacuum packers and a huge freezer. I have plenty of storage space, but little liking for lots of work in prep and paying for power to run the freezer. How dry is dry?

    Yep, I think I know that grains don't need it. Thinking here of fruits, veggies, fish and meats that can be handled with simple sealing jars and heavy duty plastic bags in vermin proof totes.
     
  13. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    You don't need much for equipment. G-pa used to make his fruit leather with a home-made form and sunshine. Rolled it in plastic wrap and that stuff lasted for years (if he could stash enough away from us kids).
     
  14. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    I started it this morning around 11 AM and the carrots are a bit flexible still so I am going to check them in the morning and see if they are brittle yet and then seal them up. If they don't get crunchy by morning then I may need to get another dehydrator than the 5 tray Ronco one I have.

    Does anyone have a good dehydrator that will get veg to brittle dry in 12 hrs or less?


    True, the vacuum seal just helps preserve it much longer, although fuly dehydrated food and store for a long time still from what i have read.
     
  15. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    I have a 12 tray "NESCO" unit, model FD-60, and it drys all my stuff in 12-14 hours, really dry!
    Then I double bag the veggies, as some get quite sharp in the process, or you can wrap them first in paper towels to protect the bag/s. Or, they puncture and the air gets in in a few minutes or less. I prefer double bagging, 1st is in the frood grade bags clear type, then secondary the mylar food grade bags. I make them big enough I can re-use them again later! My vac unit is the "FOODSAVER" V2220 model.
    The dehydrator was $100.00 and the vac unit was $60.00. Now, the food dehydrator came with only 4-6 trays as I recall, so I bought more, plus the screens and the plastic liners to make jerky, fruit roll-ups, etc.

    WARNING: do NOT do this: Vacuum bag spaghetti noodles!
    Fun to watch! Makes cool crackling sounds, but all you have left is 1/2 pieces left in the end, and the bags puncture really quick!
    Then, I tried crackers, and cookies, and had a powdery mess!
    Want to have some REAL fun?
    Try chocolate cake!
    That's hilarious!
    Messy, but hilarious!

    Oh, and watch out WHAT you chose to vac bag!
    Things like pens, butane lighters, and any sealed or pressurized items, have a tendency to go BANG!
    Now we tried, just for the heck of it, to seal up a few rounds of .22 long rifle ammo.....
    Due to the fact they were originally assembled in a "normal" atmospheric pressure, they have a tendency to separate also!
    I decided NOT to attempt others, as I could see a danger of having the rounds dimensions change by the vacuum pulling the bullet even partially from the casings!
    Some vacuum units really have a strong vacuum!
    Bill
     
  16. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    PS....
    Since I ran everyone out of the house with my first dehydrating of vegetables, I thought I'd share this one with you:
    Green onions, really reek!
    Everyone was mad and they said it was burning ther eyes as well...
    Hey, it was my first experiment in this area!
    Nobody told me any different!
    Might be a good idea to keep any of those out on a porch or a back room!
    Bill
     
  17. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    :lol::lol::lol:

    My ex-wife and I put some freshly cut onions in the dehydrator and left the house for several hours. We came back and opened the door. :cry: I never did that again. [lolol]

    OGM
     
  18. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Re: A few questions about dehydrating and storage, mason jar

    The Nesco looks pretty nice, I think I am going to get a Nesco or a Excalibur dehydrator. It took about 28 hours to get the carrots to brittle dry but the other units look like they can do it much faster. Plus I can do a lot more at a time.

    When I was done 9 cups fresh carrots turned into a little over 2 cups dry :shock:, I might of lost a little in the process but no more than a half cup I would think.

    The mylar bags are great, ecspecially if you want to store larger volumes. The Mason Jars work pretty good too I think, I bought the vacuum cap and a hand pump for about $30 and it works great, also has a guage so you can tell how many inches of vacuum you have. It's good for stuff that has sharp edges and could puncture a bag. It's good for things like spices that you want to store in smaller containers too.

    Does anyone have a link to a site that gives you a general idea of how many cups of dehydrated xx veg will give you xx cup rehydrated and cooked veg?

    I know I can get this info by rehydrating but I wanted to leave the carrots sealed up for a while and test them out later, plud it would be good info to have when determining what types of veg to dehydrate next.

    Thanks,
     
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