Freeze-Drying Vs. Dehydration: Which Is Best for Your Emergency Food?

dehydrated vegetables on a table

Settling the freeze-drying vs. dehydrated food debate can help you decide which is best for your survival food stash. Both options can help increase your food’s shelf life, but is freeze-dried better than dehydrated? Is it the other way around? Or is it just a matter of preference? 

Learn more about freeze-drying and dehydrating your food, so you can decide which is right for your emergency food stash.

The Freeze-Drying Process

Freeze-drying is when a food’s water content goes from a solid to a gas without ever becoming a liquid. Foods you can freeze-dry contain about 80% to 95% free water and bound water. Free water freezes, but bound water does not. 

The freeze-drying process generally follows three steps:

  • Freezing the food
  • Primary drying or proper freeze-drying (removes the free water)
  • Secondary drying or desorption drying (dries the food by removing the remaining bound water)

Freeze-drying food can keep you and your loved ones fed in case of an emergency. However, without a freeze dryer the process isn’t always easy. You need ideal conditions to maintain your food’s physical properties. The 4Patriots Home Freeze-Drying System is a breakthrough system that does the work for you and keeps the nutrients in your food. This home freeze dryer can help you sleep well at night knowing you have an easy way to make delicious, nutritious survival food for your stash. 

Pros of Freeze-Dried Food

Freeze-drying food keeps your food’s nutrients intact better than other long-term food storage methods. Some other benefits of freeze-drying food include:

  • You can freeze-dry several different types of food, such as fruit, poultry, fish, pasta, and more.
  • There’s less chance bacteria will grow.
  • Eating freeze-dried food is the closest thing to eating your food’s raw, nutritious ingredients. It’s also how you can enjoy your food’s taste!
  • Some freeze-dried foods you can purchase like the Freeze-Dried Berry Pack and Gold Medallion All-Meat Survival Kit, have a 25-year shelf life.*

Freeze-drying or buying freeze-dried food can help you and your family get the nutrients everyone needs for a long time, no matter the circumstances.

Cons of Freeze-Dried Food

You’ll have a dependable survival food stash if you choose to freeze-dry. There are a couple of things you should know, though:

  • The process can be hard without the right equipment.
  • You must cook foods before freeze-drying if you must cook them before eating normally.

The Food Dehydration Process

Food dehydration also removes the water content from food. It’s one of the oldest food preservation techniques, according to the USDA. There are several different methods for dehydrating:

  • Sun Drying: Leaving foods such as fruit to dry in the sun for as long as several days
  • Solar Drying: Solar dehydrators dehydrate your food using the sun as its power source
  • Oven Drying: Set your oven to 140 degrees and put your food in there for 6 to 10 hours to dehydrate
  • Air Drying: Leave food in the shade outside and remove after it dehydrates
  • Electric Dehydrators: An electrical appliance that dehydrates your food for you

Pros of Dehydrated Food

Dehydrating food has many of the same benefits as freeze-drying, plus a few more:

  • Can help keep bacteria out of your survival food stash
  • Lowers weight and bulk of food
  • May sweeten some foods, like fruits

Cons of Dehydrated Food

People were dehydrating food in 12,000 B.C., according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. From then until now, we’ve seen food preservation methods evolve. A few reasons for this could be that dehydrated foods:

  • Can have a shorter shelf-life than freeze-dried foods
  • Can’t be different shapes and sizes during the dehydration process
  • Easy to overheat
  • May lose some nutritional value

Freeze-Dried or Dehydrated Food: Find Your Simple Emergency Food Solution

Freeze-drying and dehydrating might help your food last longer, but both processes can take a bit of time and work. Effortlessly round out your emergency food supply with survival food kits from 4Patriots. We have everything from basic ingredients like powdered milk to flavorful, nutritious meals like Hearty Stroganoff. Order your kits online today!

*Your survival food is designed to last 25 years on the shelf. Storage conditions impact the shelf life of your food. For best results, always protect your food from heat, air and moisture. Avoid prolonged exposure to temps above 75 degrees F. Keep food sealed until ready to eat. Shelf life will vary based on storage conditions.