The 5 Best Methods for Food Preservation

Wish you could make your meals last longer? With these handy food preservation methods, you can! Here are the top five ways to preserve food for storage.

Here’s the 5 Best Methods for Food Preservation

Knowing how to preserve food and drink is a handy skill to have. We all know eatables don’t last forever, but sometimes, we wish they could last a little bit longer—and with food preservation, you can extend the life of food and drink considerably. 

Whether your goal is to store some tasty leftovers or create a long-term food supply for emergencies, here are the five best methods for food preservation and how they work. With this knowledge, you can make every meal you cook last.

Preserved lemons in jar

Canning

Canning is a quick, easy, and reliable method of preserving food. Canning food is simple: place the food you want to preserve in a jar with a lid, use hot water, steam, or pressure to kill bacteria, and seal the jar. 

Canning is ideal for fruits, vegetables, and meats, but you should never can dairy, flour, or sweets because they’ll either turn to mush or not heat enough to eliminate all bacteria.

Freezing

Freezing is another easy food preservation method. Place your food in freezer bags, toss it into the freezer, and that’s all! 

The main downside to freezing is that it isn’t as effective as other preservation methods. Freezing doesn’t kill bacteria; it only makes it inactive. And the enzymes in your food will still break down, just slower than normal. 

Freezing is a fantastic option for short-term food storage but not long-term storage

Dehydrating

You can also preserve foods by using a dehydrator to remove all moisture from them. Dehydrating is one of the best preservation methods for long-term storage. 

When stored in an airtight container, dehydrated foods last years, sometimes even decades. Another perk of dehydrating is that the food retains 97 percent of its original nutritional content.

Pickling

Most people think about pickled cucumbers when they hear the word “pickling.” But you can pickle more than just cucumbers. 

In fact, you can pickle every fruit and vegetable, along with a few less conventional things, like shrimp or eggs. Avid picklers will joke that you can pickle pretty much anything. 

To pickle foods, submerge them in a jar of alcohol, brine, or vinegar and set them aside to ferment. Pickled food can last up to a year when stored correctly.

Salting

Salting, also known as curing, is one of the oldest food preservation methods. Salt works a lot like dehydrating: it depletes the food’s moisture content and prevents bacteria from forming. 

To salt food, pour an inch thick layer of salt on top of it and then hang it to dry or add acid to pickle it. Cured food can last anywhere from months to years, depending on the food item in question. 

Now that you know the best methods for food preservation, you can go forth and preserve to your heart’s delight. But don’t go too wild, or you might run out of room in your fridge or pantry!

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