Dehydrating food is a great option for long-term storage, but once it is dehydrated, what is the best way to store it? Mason jars are an option for protecting and storing dehydrated food, but some aspects require consideration when using this method.
The best way to store dehydrated food in mason jars is to cut the food to the right size to fit in the jar, seal the jar and remove the air or oxygen with a vacuum pump or an oxygen absorber. Store the mason jar in a cool, dark, dry location with stable temperature and humidity levels.
Mason jars are a good choice for dehydrated food storage, but some best practices should be observed for this storage method. Follow our tips for storing dehydrated food in mason jars to get the best out of your food storage.
Storing Dehydrated Food In Mason Jars
Dehydrating food removes the water content, reducing the risk of spoilage and prolonging the food’s shelf life. You need a method of storing the food once dehydrated to protect it from moisture contact, contaminants, and pests.
Mason jars have become popular for storing dehydrated food because they are affordable, easy to find, and provide an airtight seal. They also come in various sizes, making storing both large and small quantities of food easy.
Preparing The Dehydrated Food For Storage In Mason Jars
Once the food is fully dehydrated, it’s important to properly cut or grind it before storing it in Mason jars. This will help ensure that the food takes up less space in the jar, making it easier to store and transport.
For example, if you’re storing dehydrated fruits, you may want to chop them into small pieces to fit more easily into the jar.
By properly preparing your dehydrated food for storage, you can maximize the amount of dehydrated food you can store in your mason jars.
Choose The Right Mason Jars To Store Dehydrated Food
Choosing the right mason jars is an important part of storing dehydrated food. There are many different sizes, types, and shapes of mason jars to choose from, so it’s important to select the ones that will work best for your needs.
Mason Jar Size
When selecting mason jars for storing dehydrated food, consider the size of the food you’ll be storing.
Larger jars, like quart-size mason jars, are better for larger items like apple slices or whole pieces of fruit. Smaller jars, like half-pint or pint-size jars, may be more appropriate for smaller items like herbs or spices.
Type Of Mason Jar
There are also different types of mason jars to choose from, including regular-mouth and wide-mouth jars.
Wide-mouth jars are typically easier to fill and empty, which can be helpful when storing larger pieces of dehydrated food. Regular mouth jars may be a better choice for smaller items that are easier to pour into the jar.
Mason Jar Brand
Several different brands of Mason jars are available, but the two most popular are Ball and Kerr. Both brands offer high-quality Mason jars designed to be durable and long-lasting.
When selecting a brand, consider factors such as price, availability, durability, and personal preference.
Storing the Dehydrated Food in Mason Jars
Storing dehydrated food in Mason jars is a simple process, but it is important to do it properly to ensure the food stays fresh and moisture-free.
I use the following steps to store my dehydrated produce in mason jars.
- Clean and sterilize the mason jars. There are several ways to sterilize mason jars, from submerging them in boiling water for up to 10 minutes or heating them for 10 minutes in an oven at a temperature of 350°F or 180°C. Ensure the jars are thoroughly dry before filling.
- Fill the mason jars. First, fill the Mason jars with your dehydrated food, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top. This will allow for proper sealing and prevent air from getting inside.
- Remove the air from the jar. Place the lid or top cover on the mason jar and remove the air. You can use a vacuum sealer on the mason jar to remove excess air or an oxygen absorber to remove the oxygen from the jars. A vacuum sealer will remove all of the air from the jar, while an oxygen absorber will remove any remaining oxygen. Both methods can help prevent spoilage and extend the shelf life of your dehydrated food.
- Close the mason jar. Once you’ve filled the jars and removed any excess air, putting the band on the jar is important to hold the sealed lid in place. Don’t over-tighten the bands, as this can cause the lids to warp and prevent a proper seal.
- Label the mason jars. Labeling each jar with the date and type of food inside is important. This will make it easier to track what you have stored and when it was stored.
- Store the mason jars. Finally, store the Mason jars in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Ideally, you should store the jars in a pantry or cupboard where the temperature is consistent and there is low humidity. Storing the jars properly will help ensure that your dehydrated food stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible.
A word on storing mason jars is necessary to ensure your stored food is safe. Store your labeled mason jars in a cool, dry place that is away from direct sunlight.
Ideally, the temperature should be between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity levels below 60 percent. A pantry or cupboard is a good storage location. It’s better not to store the jars in a humid place like a basement.
Mason jars are fragile, so don’t store them so they can be knocked off a shelf. The jars will break, and the dehydrated food will be lost.
Vacuum sealing dehydrated food in a mason jar is not essential, but vacuum sealing will extend the life of the food in the jar.
Pros And Cons Of Storing Dehydrated Food In Mason Jars
Storing dehydrated food in mason jars is a popular method for preserving food, but, like any storage method, there are both pros and cons to using mason jars for this purpose.
Pros for storing dehydrated food in mason jars include the following.
- Easy to use. Mason jars are easy to fill and seal, making them a convenient option for storing dehydrated food.
- Cost-effective. Mason jars are relatively inexpensive and can be reused multiple times.
- Airtight. Properly sealed mason jars create an airtight environment, preventing moisture and air from getting in and spoiling the food.
- Versatility. Mason jars are available in a variety of sizes, making them a versatile option for storing different types of dehydrated food.
- Sustainable. Using mason jars for food storage is an eco-friendly option, as it reduces the plastic waste generated by single-use storage bags and containers.
As I have already mentioned, every storage method has some negative aspects that must be weighed against the advantages.
The following are the main disadvantages of using mason jars to store dehydrated food.
- Fragility. Mason jars are made of glass, which can break if dropped or mishandled. This makes them less ideal for storing food in areas where they may be knocked over or subjected to rough handling.
- Not space efficient. While Mason jars are versatile, they take up space, and their shape is not conducive to maximizing storage space. This can be an issue if you have limited storage facilities.
Storing dehydrated food in mason jars is a great way to preserve the flavor and nutrients of your favorite foods. The seal on mason jars is pretty reliable, ensuring that your dehydrated food stays fresh for months or even years to come.
While mason jars are a cost-effective and versatile food storage option, they require careful handling and storage. Mason jars are my storage method of choice for dehydrated foods, and I recommend you try them out for long-term storage.