There’s an easy distinction with freeze dried vs dehydrated, and it breaks down to shelf life. Freeze dried food has up to 99% of its moisture reduced, and is extremely reliable for a decades-long, emergency food supply.
That being said, a food dehydrator offers clear advantages, as well. They’re capable of reducing up to 95% of your food’s moisture, and is an economically viable tool for survival food.
Freeze dried vs dehydrated for long term food storage
A freeze dryer can cost anywhere from hundreds to many thousands of dollars. Purchasing vacuum-sealing equipment, including a vacuum pump, hose, oils and other accessories that are required to enjoy its benefits will increase its price tag further.
That being said, everything from freeze dried fruit to red meat will last for 25+ years. Because there isn’t a breeding ground of moisture for bacteria, your MRE meals will break down at an exponentially slower rate. This meals optimal flavor and nutrients.
By comparison, dehydration is still valuable. Since many families will rotate out their emergency supplies, the added shelf life can be replaced with economic benefits. You could take advantage of special pricing on bulk food, and use your dehydrator to create fantastic recipes that keep your dried food from spoiling.
There are many foods that can be dehydrated for decades, as well. Dehydrated vegetables, for example, can be vacuum-sealed and frozen with an extremely long shelf life.
Many people also use a dehydration machine to prepare raw ingredients, like garlic, lemon and dried strawberries. Freeze drying will be more effective in the long term, but for regular use, a food dehydrator seems to make the most sense.
How much of a difference do food storage containers make?
This is often a deciding factor for both freeze dried and dehydrated foods. Your home freeze dryer should be set up with a vacuum sealer, including a pump, hose, oils, bags and power supply, in order to enjoy long term food storage.
Canning, vacuum-sealing in jars, oxygen absorbers and freezing can all be used to extend the shelf life of food made with your home dehydrator, as well. You’re not going to get the same shelf life as a freeze dryer, but by using your own knowledge and a quality dehydrator, you can achieve impressive results.
Let’s say that you’re making some dehydrated dog food. You dehydrate your carbs, protein, veggies, as well as a source of fats, calcium and other trace minerals.
Using your operation for freeze dried meals, you simply vacuum seal it and store it for later use. Even 25 years later, you can simply pour some warm water into your pup’s portion of food, and it’s ready to eat. They won’t know the difference between freeze dried and fresh.
Alternatively, using your home food dehydrator, you can portion 2-week or 1-month supplies into airtight bags. To extend shelf life, you can use oxygen absorbers and large freeze bags that you can freeze for years on end.
Where to put all of your survival supplies
When considering a survival kit, storage space is going to be a major factor. While both freeze dried and dehydrated food reduces in size due to lower moisture content, you will have to decide on where a 2, 5, 10 or 15-year supply of food will go.
Using a dehydrator machine offers some advantages in this area. The less time you wish to store your MRE food for, the less space it is required and the easier it’ll be to recycle via regular use.
A jerky dehydrator also uses heat, which makes it capable of cooking meals like beef jerky. While you won’t be able to work with freeze dried ice cream, it can be a more practical and cost-effective approach for families who wish to enjoy their dehydrated food, as well as use it for long-term food storage.
Using a meat dehydrator will provide various advantages, including economy, performance, durability and convenience, depending on the model you choose!