You might be one of those in a dilemma whether to can or freeze-dry your foods.
Because when it comes to canning and freeze-drying foods, both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at each method to help you decide which is best for you.
Roger Williams once said, “Health requires healthy food,” and we couldn’t agree more. In this era of unhealthy processed food, focusing on eating healthy and nutritious food has become even more critical. So, ensure that you’re using the right method to store your food that wouldn’t only last longer but also maintain its nutritional value.
What are Canning and Freeze Drying?
We all are familiar with the term canning, as it is one of the oldest and most popular methods of preserving food. It involves sealing food in airtight containers and then heating them to a high temperature so that the microorganisms present in the food get destroyed.
This method is quite effective in preserving food for a long time, but it also has some drawbacks. Canning is widely used in the commercial food industry but is unsuitable for home (for most people) use as it requires special equipment and training (or experience).
On the other hand, Freeze Dry is a relatively new method of preserving food. In this method, the water present in the food is removed by freezing it and then subjecting it to a vacuum. This process is also known as lyophilization.
However, this method is relatively expensive and unsuitable for large-scale food preservation. But, it’s the best method to preserve food for home use as it does not require something special.
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Canning vs. Freeze Dry: The Pros and Cons
I am sure that by now, you must be wondering which method is better for preserving food: Canning or Freeze Dry. Well, both methods have their own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them:
- Canning is best to preserve food for a long time.
- It is perfectly suited for preserving large quantities of food.
- For commercial use, this is the most recommended method. However, it can be done at home with the help of a pressure cooker.
- Canning is the most effective way while preparing your pantry for SHTF.
- The process takes less time as compared to freeze drying.
- Canning can alter a bit the taste and texture of food.
- This process may require special equipment.
- You can only store food that is easily put into jars or containers.
- This is an optimal method to store food for home use.
- Food retains its original flavor and texture.
- It is perfect for preserving delicate foods like fruits and vegetables.
- You can freeze-dry any food that contains water. So, you can preserve more things this way.
- It is simple and doesn’t require anything special except a freezer.
- This method can be quite expensive.
- It is time-consuming as it can take more hours to freeze and dry the food completely.
- Freeze dry foods need to be recooked before eating.
The Costs of Canning and Freeze Dry
The costs of these methods depend on your usage.
Well, the cost of freeze-drying for home use ranges from $500 to $3000. While for commercial use, freeze dry can cost as much as $10,000, depending on your business needs.
On the other hand, the cost of canning equipment for home use ranges from $100 to $200. However, the canning equipment is a little costly. Also, you have to buy cans every time you want to store food.
So, on the long run, canning can cost a bit more than freeze drying if you’re into home use. However, for commercial use, the canning cost is quite low compared to freeze drying.
For me, freeze drying is the best option as it doesn’t require anything special and is perfect for my home use. What do you think? If you use canning more than freeze drying food, please let us know in the comments section what kind of foods you are canning.
How to Choose the Right Preservation Method for You
The preservation method you choose depends on your needs. It also depends on what kind of food you want to preserve, for how long, and the quantity.
For instance, if you want to preserve a large quantity of food for a long time, then canning could be the best option. But freeze drying would be best if you want to maintain delicate foods like fruits and vegetables.
The purpose of preserving food also matters. For example, if you want to keep food for an outdoor adventure, then canning would be the right way to go — it is simple and doesn’t require to be reconstituted.
But if you want to preserve food for home use, you must use freeze drying as it preserves the original flavor and texture of food.
At the end, it all depends on you and your requirements. Therefore, you must choose the right preservation method accordingly.
In my personal experience, both methods are potential ways of preserving food. But it all comes to personal preferences and needs. Canning is ideal for preserving food for longer shelf life, whereas freeze drying is more expensive but good for maintaining the original shape and taste of food.
Also canned foods are easy to store (in a root cellar or pantry), but freeze-dried foods need a freezer.
I hope this article will be helpful for you in choosing the best preservation method for you. Remember, before deciding upon anything, it is always better to do your own analysis. It helps to make clear and better decisions by better understanding your situation.
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