ten methods for preserving food

Preserving food
Ten methods to preserve foods

There are many ways to manage food in order to stop or slow
down food spoilage. This article discusses the ten basic methods
of preserving foods, which include canning, curing, drying,
fermenting, freezing, jellying, smoking, sugaring and vacuum
packing. There are so many more ways to preserve food, which
this article discusses at the bottom of the page.

10+ ways of preserving food

Method # 1: Canning.
Canning is sealing food in cans or tins to preserve it (extend the
shelf life). Canning can be as simple as sealing sugar in a can.
This is called dry canning. ("Bottling" in the United Kingdom is
the same as "canning" in the United States.) The typical shelf life
of commercially canned goods is 1-5 years, and generally freeze-
dried canned products can last 25 years or more. Mostly, the
shelf life is indicative of the quality and texture of the food, and
not whether or not it is edible. Canning also can improve the food
quality: canned tomatoes, for example, have a higher lycopene
content than fresh tomatoes.

Method #2: Curing.
A salt cure draws out the water in meats through osmosis.
Sometimes curing meats is done in combination with sugaring.
Pink curing salts may be rubbed in small amounts to cure hams,
beefs, bacon, sausages, and other meats, to prevent the growth
of bacteria. It's usually a combination of salt and sodium nitrite.

  • Morton Tender Quick Curing Salt, pictured right, is a mixture
    of salt, sugar, sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, and propylene
    glycol. This combination ingredient salt cures meats quickly
    and easily.

Method #3: Drying.
Drying meats, fruits and grains is an ancient art and in the
process of drying them it reduces water content so that it
sufficiently prevents bacterial growth. Commercially, there's
freeze drying as a method of food preservation, but this method
is too cost prohibitive for doing yourself at home. To dry foods at
home, invest in an Excalibur Dehyrator.

Method #4: Fermenting.
There was a time when fermented beverages were more healthy
than ordinary water.

Method #5: Freezing.
Used in combination with vacuum sealing, freezing can be part of
a Happy Preppers emergency plan. In the event of an extreme
power outage scenario, know that a freezer can keep food cold
for about 4 hours if unopened. So keep the doors closed until you
fully assess your situation. A Happy Prepper strategy might be to
cook it and consume frozen items immediately following an
EMP
power grid failure; otherwise discard perishable foods, including
meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers after 2 hours of not being
refrigerated.

Method 6 #: Jellying.
Preserving with jellying is a process of cooking with material
(such as agar, fruit pectin, gelatin arrowroot flour or maize
flower) so that it solidifies to form a gel. Canning extends the
shelf life of jellied products even more.

Method 7 #: Pickling.
Happy Preppers can pickle food starting with a liquid that has a
high salt (brine) and mixing it with vinegar, alcohol or oil.
Vegetables pickle well! Most notably, the pickle, which is really a
pickled cucumber. Home Preserving, left, has some outstanding
recipes.

Method #8: Smoking.
Preserving meats, fish and nuts with heat and smoke gives the
extra benefit of increased pleasing smoked flavor. Unfortunately
for preppers, this means the wonderful smells will travel for miles
away and may risk giving away your location to hungry marauders.

Method #9: Sugaring.
Preserving fruit with sugar, and combined with water to create a
syrup or alcohol. Crystallizing with sugar can also provide a
protective coating (candied ginger, for example). Excellent
candidates for sugaring include apples, apricots, plums, pears,
and peaches.

Method #10. Vacuum packing.
In stripping bacteria of oxygen, vacuum packing foods is an
effective means of preservation. A simple method of vacuum
packing is a straw used in combination with plastic zipped bag
that locks. One can minimize the oxygen present in the bag by
sucking out the air with a straw. A more complicated vacuum
packing process is with the ever popular Foodsaver brand devices.
There are several varieties, including electric and manual.
















To there you have the 10 basic methods of preserving foods:
canning, curing, drying, fermenting, freezing, jellying, smoking,
sugaring and vacuum packing. Which method will you prepare
today for tomorrow's dinner?

More methods of preserving foods
Food preservation goes beyond the ten basic methods mentioned
above. Other traditional methods include:
  1. Preserving with Oil
  2. Preserving with vinegar
  3. Preserving with Alcohol
  4. Sweet and Sour preserves
  5. Cold storage (Root cellaring); and
  6. Lactic Fermentation (a method of preservation using simply
    of salt, water and spices – no boiling water baths are
    necessary).

Happy endings...
Prepare to live happily ever by preserving your foods in any way
you can!

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