Dehydrating Question

  • Dehydrating Question

    Posted by Agardenfull on April 25, 2023 at 1:20 am

    Last year out freezer door was left open and many bags of cheap frozen veggies were compromised (thawed slightly), I refroze them thinking I would dump them in stews or purees in the winter, didn’t happen, so my question in, should I consider thawing and dehydrating for long term food storage? Keeping in mind they have been refroze in the past… TIA for your input!

    MartHale7 replied 5 months, 1 week ago 6 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Woodsman

    Member
    April 25, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Great question. My understanding is that it’s doable. There are exceptions to the rule and it seems; in general, the leafy veggies will develop a taste we humans could not tolerate. Other variables; how much of your stock was thawed? How much to you value quality? Here’s what I would do: if no one responds with the dehydration answer try that so that you will at gain something from the experience and that something being wisdom. I still feel quality is lost there too. If you want to do the work and make and freeze stew it could act as a filler. Personally, I believe much of the value (nutrition, quality, taste) is gone and would feed them all to the pigs … if you have pigs? Store bought frozen veggies in my opinion are nothing more than a low quality, taste lacking filler. There is nothing better than a pluck directly from the earth and prepped immediately to be consumed veggie! Good luck and let us know how it works out? Thanks for the interesting topic / question.

  • MartHale7

    Member
    April 25, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    This is why I go with canned meat, and dehydrated food. I am off grid, and the less power I need to keep food good is a real bonus for me. You can save even more space if you first dehydrate, then powder, then vacuum seal the food. ( useful for soup stocks. ) Rain Country has been doing this for several years, her videos on Rumble are well worth the watch. Also to consider is fermenting as you can store food for a long time with that method as well.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  MartHale7.
    • Redcap

      Member
      April 28, 2023 at 1:43 pm

      I’m the same. Every year I think I’ll just go ahead and get a small chest freezer (we don’t have room for much more than a 5 cubic foot one) and at least put by for me and the husband, but I just can’t see being MORE dependent on power both financially and with the risk of losing it in an outage. I have quite a bit of food already in our 22 year old side-by-side fridge freezer but I’m not ready to add to the mix. That’s why I have also switched to dehydrating as a main food preservation method. I just feel that the less dependent the methods can be, the more secure we are.

      • MartHale7

        Member
        April 28, 2023 at 8:20 pm

        Yes, When I was watching Hurricane Matthew pass thru I was away from my home as I did not know where it would track. I was talking with another person who ran away from that area to the same Walmart I moved to and he was talking about what in the world was he going to do about all his meat in his freezer. I mentioned canning to him, but it was at that time I decided to lower my liability even more by canning my meat ahead, I put 5 years of meat on the shelf back in 2021, and that was a very good investment that has paid me back for every meal I eat from that stock. I have been thinking in about 3 years I should be ready to do some meat birds in my chicken tractor and restock. I have a standard fridge which I power with solar and I store mainly cheese and butter in the freezer. I have considered using wax to store cheese but the freezer + vacuum sealing works so well that I am slow to try any other method.

        I would like to move away from plastic freezer bags to hold the cheese, but might try another method later…. I considered putting a 55 gal barrel in the ground and attempt to put food in it as a test run to see how well that would work.

      • Redcap

        Member
        April 29, 2023 at 12:30 am

        Amazing that you canned so much meat! Well done!

        I ended up buying canned beef to get a start on things. I don’t pressure can and wanted to at least have meat on the shelves.

        I have bad pressure cooker karma. I have used one about 8 times, three of those times with my grandmother and two different friends walking me through it, standing right there and saying yes, that’s perfect….and then it blows anyway. EVERY. TIME.

        So I’m not allowed near pressure cookers or canners. LOL

        I also have a lot of butter in the freezer. I’ll collect pounds of unsalted butter and then periodically make jars and jars of ghee to have on the shelves.

      • MartHale7

        Member
        April 29, 2023 at 2:27 pm

        The reason I have so much is I have cut my meat eating down to one day a week, but I still have eggs and beans, and moringa as source of protein. The Mennonite cook book, “More with Less” has shown me that protein can be found in multiple sources and it does not have to be meat alone. I also have adopted a pattern of thinking that meat should be there to flavor the food, not be the whole meal… That has changed the way I think, using the meat to flavor the food sure helps with how much food you can buy as meat can flavor tons of rice and beans.

        Now I am only storing for myself, so I know it is far far more difficult for a family to put up, as they have more mouths to feed.

      • Redcap

        Member
        April 30, 2023 at 2:52 am

        I love the More with Less cookbook. I used it more when I had kids at home.

      • MartHale7

        Member
        April 30, 2023 at 3:01 am

        👆 yeah, I attended a Mennonite fellowship for some time, adore Mennonite cooking.

      • MartHale7

        Member
        April 29, 2023 at 2:29 pm

        I have both a standard canner, and i bought a Nesco canner (electric ) I adore it as you set it, then can walk away as it shuts itself off when done.

        I picked up lots of canned tuna and salmon, this sure makes it easy to fill gaps and to add variety of meat for long term storage.

  • Donna-Martz

    Member
    April 26, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    I think the answer depends on whether that food is something that you can’t afford to lose, or if you are just trying to salvage it from being wasted.

    I had a chest freezer thaw that was filled with fruit and tomatoes that I had dry frozen on cookie sheets then bagged up. The freezer had thawed to a degree that the bags of fruit had thawed and essentially melted into each other. The freezer was turned back on when the problem was found. That created a chest freezer of a solid mass of food baggies that could not be separated when I found out about it. The food was most likely still very useable for sauces and cooked items, but I had to thaw the entire freezer in order to get the bags of food out. I let this conundrum rule for 3 years of paying to keep it frozen. Finally, I had to unplug the mess and dig out my heart ache. I do not have any farm animals to feed spent food to. But, we did add it to a new large compost pile. So, we got that out of it.

    I hope that my experience gives you some perspective and you can make your decision more easily. I have purchased freezer thermometers that send the temperatures to my kitchen so that I can keep an eye on them even in a different building. Another lesson is to put bags of food in baskets in a chest freezer. 😎

  • Truhaven

    Member
    April 26, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    Guess it depends on how long they were thawed or how old the bags were. I’d just do a taste test on some of them to see if they still taste good. Try dehydrating one bag. Especially if it’s a diced soup vegetable mix they’re so easy to dehydrate.
    Logically I think if they taste “off” out of the freezer dehydrating them won’t be of benefit. I often make huge batches of soup when going thru the freezer and pulling older bags of veggies. Even if they’re getting a little freezer burn it’s still fine for soup. It’s one food we prefer to freeze in 2-4 serving batches rather than canning.

  • Agardenfull

    Member
    April 27, 2023 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks you all for the insights, I really just didn’t want to waste ~ I appreciate your responses!

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