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Four Ways To Preserve Food At Home

 Free Three Mason Jars Inlined on White Surface Stock Photo



Whether you’re an aspiring chef or just a home cook who takes their job seriously, you’ll know that homemade is always better than store-bought. There are several reasons why homemade food items are always better than even some of the best things you get at the store. For starters, homemade items are free of chemical preservatives and are much healthier for you in the long run. These items are also cooked to your taste and often pack more flavor than store-bought stuff.


However, making your sauces, condiments, and preserved additions can seem like a hassle, especially when preserving food at home seems so hard.


However, at-home preservation is much easier than you may think, and with the right tricks, you can stock up your pantry all on your own. If you’re interested in learning more about at-home preservation, keep reading below.


Pickling 

If you’re looking to create multi-purpose condiments you can use with a range of cuisines and food items, pickling is the perfect option. Pickling is also one of the most long-term preservation options and can help you preserve fruits and vegetables for several months without worrying about them going bad. When picking fruits or vegetables, you can preserve them in acid, salt brine, or oil. 

Before starting, get your hands on a suitable storage option. Since pickling relies on strong acids to preserve the food, you’ll need a resistant material that won’t wear away with time. You also need a jar with an airtight lid, so no air can speed up the oxidation process and ruin your pickles. Getting your hands on a set of amber mason jars is a smart choice since these jars can keep UV rays away from your food, thus prolonging their life even more. Plus, these mason jars will look pretty stylish on your countertops or in your pantry.


Dehydration 

Like pickling, dehydration is an age-old food preservation method that can help you keep various food items ready-to-use months down the line. However, you can’t apply it to every food type. Additionally, certain foods can be easier to dry out than others. In contrast, some items can take a much longer time. Dehydration can be as easy or as complicated as you want to make it, and you can work with fancy equipment or use natural resources. 

If you want to take the simple route, all you have to do is leave whatever you’re drying out in the sun. You can leave things out during the day and store them in a dry, moisture-free place during the night. Although it’ll take a few days, you can preserve food eventually.

However, if you want to speed up the process, you can use a solar oven or even a traditional oven. Fruits and fruit skins are popular foods to dehydrate, and you can also try your hand with vegetables and even beef jerky.


Freezing 

If you’re looking for a quick fix to your food preservation problems, freezing can be the easiest option. Freezing doesn’t require any fancy gadgets or too much effort and, at times, can be as simple as stashing something directly in the freezer. Additionally, there’s very little that you can’t freeze, making this one of the most useful options for preserving food. Freezing food works by slowing down enzymes within food so that the food stops breaking down over time. 

You can preserve fruits and vegetables by either freezing them whole or pureeing them. This is also an excellent way to reduce food wastage, as you can store a lot of food in smaller spaces. If you’re worried about ice crystals forming and affecting the taste, vacuum-sealed bags are an excellent choice. Apart from fresh produce, you can also freeze cooked meals and baked goods such as cookies, cinnamon rolls, certain bread, and more. Frozen meals can easily last a few weeks to even a few months.


Canning 

Canning or airtight food preservation was invented in the early 1800s by Nicholas Appert and is one of the most professional ways to preserve food. It’s also a technique you can perfect at home, albeit with a little practice. Canning is one of the best ways to ensure you hygienically store your food without compromising shelf life. There are several ways to can your food, depending on how advanced you want the process to be. 

If you’re just starting, water bath canning can be a great place to start. You don’t need any fancy equipment for this, and you can use a large pot and a canning rack to prepare your cans. You can use water bath canning to preserve any food that is slightly more acidic, such as jams and jellies, fruits, tomatoes, and pickled vegetables. When canning, you can use a pressure cooker to gradually build steam until the jars seal up. Once you’ve successfully canned your food, keep your jars on rotation so you use the oldest ingredients first.


Conclusion 

At-home food preservation can seem like a pretty challenging undertaking. You might feel like you need a lot of fancy equipment and ingredients to make it work. However, the process can be super simple, and depending on your needs, you can choose from a variety of preservation processes. This guide can help you figure out what you need to get started and help you stock up your pantry all on your own.


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