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Dehydration vs. Freeze-Dried

Many people like making their own survival food as it allows them to choose what their family will eat. It also means no additional additives, chemicals, sodium or MSG. Therefore, if you are considering storing your own homemade 'survival' food, you might find it helpful to know the difference between dehydrating and freeze-drying before beginning.

Dehydration is typically associated with jerky products and fruit where the food is ready to eat without any prepping. Freeze-dried brings pouch meals to mind like Mountain House where you would add hot water to the product before consuming. Either dehydrating or freze-drying can be accomplished at home.


Dehydration can be achieved using a dehydrator, home oven or smoker. Each process uses low heat, resulting in the drying of the product. Once dried the final product can be vacuum sealed, stored or frozen. For jerky, you can look to storing it 1-2 months in the freezer or 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. Good to have on hand but maybe not the best long-term solution. For more information on making jerky - as well as the best equipment, seasonings and different processes, visit PerfectJerky.com.

Freeze-drying also removes the moisture, however, the process to remove the moisture can be much longer. Briefly stated, the process consists of the food item being frozen, then the surrounding pressure is reduced allowing the frozen water in the item to sublimate from its solid form to gaseous form. It should be noted that not all foods can be freeze-dried, i.e., breads, cake, etc., nor can this be accomplished without the use of reliable equipment.

Depending on the nature of the food, some freeze-dried food items can be stored up to 25 years - no refrigeration necessary. When ready to use, add hot water and wait a few minutes for the food to re-hydrate before consuming.


Dehydration can be accomplished in a dehydrator, home oven or by smoking. In the case of making jerky, the preparation may consist of trimming -need good knives; seasoning - need specialty seasonings and containers or zip bags; and storing - vacuum sealer. For making jerky in the oven, racks may be needed; and for smoking outside - both wood chips and racks may be required depending on the flavor outcome you want. For each process, there is a wide variety of equipment available depending on your budget.

Freeze-drying will require a dedicated home freeze-dryer. Once the food has been processed, vacuum sealing equipment will help keep your food safe for years.

Regardless of which process you decide to try, when buying equipment buy the best you can afford. This will ensure better, longer service.



For additional information on everything 'jerky', visit Perfect Jerky.com Freeze-Dry

Not inclined to invest the money, time, and energy to make your own survival food? There are many cost effective, ready to store products for both JERKY and FREEZE-DRIED DINNERS available on Amazon.

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