It was about five or six years ago when I had an epiphany. I was struggling to make ends meet, and we had three little mouths to feed.
But I wasn’t sure how to go about feeding my family a healthy diet on such a tight budget.
Then my mother-in-law informed me about preserving my own food. I had never even thought about that before.
See, I grew up in areas that were close to cities, and we never had a garden or anything like that. So I never thought past going to the grocery store.
But when I discovered the world of self-sufficiency and food preservation, I was hooked. In case you are interested in the same thing, here are the different methods of food preservation:
Food Preservation Methods
If you are new to the world of food preservation, this might be a great place to start. You’ll need a food dehydrator and that is about it.
So as you can tell, this method is pretty basic. You’ll just lay the food in the dehydrator and wait until it is completely dried.
If you are interested in drying your own food try these recipes:
If you like blueberry pie, then you’ll be interested in dehydrating blueberries. It is a super simple way to store them so they don’t go bad.
Plus, you can store them easier too. All you have to do is follow this recipe to get the berries thoroughly dehydrated, then store them in a mason jar with a screw top lid. It is that simple.
Would you love to have fresh made sundried tomatoes? If so, then you need to give this recipe a glance. It shows you how to take fresh tomatoes and turn them into sundried all with the help of a dehydrator.
So imagine all of the delicious recipes you can easily create with these tomatoes you sundried fresh at home. The savings will add up quickly with this one.
At first glance, you might be thinking, “What?” But hear me out before you scroll right on by this recipe.
If you enjoy marshmallows in your cereal, then you can dehydrate marshmallows and add it to your own homemade cereal anytime you like.
Jugging is an older method of food preservation. It lost popularity during the 20th century. But just for knowledge’s sake, jugging is when a person hunts for game.
Then they bring that animal or fish home and place it in an earthenware pot or casserole dish. Then they cover the meat in gravy, broth, or even the animal’s own blood. Finally, the dish is sealed.
Now, it doesn’t seem that this would be a long-term way of keeping your food, but it would buy you some time if you couldn’t eat the whole animal in one sitting.
I apologize that there are no recipes to share with this type of food preservation. It is one that is outdated and rarely (if ever) in use anymore.
Making jelly may not seem like a way of preserving anything, but from a woman that makes jellies practically every year, I assure you it is definitely a method of food preservation.
So the next time you are overrun in fruits or veggies, don’t panic. Instead, make a delicious jelly out of it that you and your family will enjoy for months to come.
Here are some recipes to help you get started with making jellies:
The biggest difference between jams and jellies is that jam leaves seeds in the mixture while jelly works very diligently to remove the seeds.
So you can leave this recipe as a jam or make it into more of a jelly. Either way, if you are overrun with watermelon this summer, you can make this creation.
Blackberry jelly is a recipe I love to make. My mother-in-law and I made it together for a lot of years.
So now I make it out of tradition if nothing else. Keep this recipe in mind this summer when the blackberries are ready to come off of the vine, and you’ve made all of the pie fillings you can stand.
You might be wondering how sugar can help preserve food. It actually can and does a great job at it. If you have foods like fruit rinds that you’d like to save as a sweet treat for later, you can preserve them by dipping them in large amounts of sugar and cooking them to the point of crystallization.
Then the foods can be stored dry. Other cultures will actually dip fruit in honey and store it that way to get a longer shelf life out of it. You use these methods at your own risk, though. Keep that in mind.
5. Root Cellar
Some foods are very easy to preserve with no recipes or fancy equipment needed. This method would be one of those methods.
Basically, you can use vegetables such as carrots, onions, potatoes, and other root veggies to be stored in a dark location underground that is cooler to keep the food fresh.
You can also use this method with apples and tomatoes as long as they are wrapped or stored where they can’t touch one another to cause bruising or rot.
Potting is a British method of food storage. They will pack meat inside a container with a small amount of liquid and seal it tightly.
And this method has been copied by larger industries because stores now sell items such as Spam which is considered a potted meat.
Freezing is a super simple method to preserve practically anything. When you go to the grocery store and see discounted milk or meats because they are about to go bad, don’t pass them up.
Instead, bring them home and pop them in your freezer to prolong their spoil date. You can also blanch fruits and veggies, then freeze them in freezer bags to give them a longer life span.
Here are some recipes to help you with freezing foods:
Are you overrun with zucchini or squash every summer? Don’t toss them just because you have grown tired of their fresh summer taste.
Instead, follow our tutorial on how to freeze them. Then you can enjoy them when the temps grow milder. Their freshness will be great again then.
Did you know that you can freeze meats too? Absolutely you can! We spend our winters hunting and processing meat so our freezer is full for the year.
But this recipe will show you how to freeze meat that is made into a meatloaf. That way it will save you some time on a busy night.
I love to pickle foods. It is when you add sugar and vinegar to a pot of boiling water and simmer it all together.
Then you pack whatever you are pickling into a jar and cover it with the liquid. The liquid mixture helps prolong the life of the food that you are pickling.
However, my personal favorites to pickle are jalapenos, banana peppers, cucumbers, and radishes. You’ll have to try a few recipes to find your favorites too.
Here are some recipes to help you pickle foods:
The Best Dill Pickles
Pickles are an obvious thing to make when you are trying the pickling method. Dill pickles are a delicious option for this because of how tangy they are.
So if you like a good pickle to snack on or to put with your hamburger, then you’ll want to try this recipe.
Fridge Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
I love pickled jalapenos because they allow me to enjoy the spiciness of the jalapeno pepper without being burnt to a crisp.
But this method allows the peppers to pickle in the fridge so you don’t have to worry about pulling out a canner.
The first time I hear about salting foods was in a Laura Ingle’s Wilder book. This is how they preserved their meat.
Then I heard my mother-in-law talk about when she was a little girl how they would cover their meats in lots of salt and then hang them in the barn to cure. This method could still work today if you live in an area where the temperatures stay cold enough that meat can hang without rotting.
Salt Cured Ham
This recipe shares how you can salt cure a ham the way they did in the old days. It is a good skill to know how to do because you never know when you could need it.
Plus, it could also produce a quality type of ham you may have never experienced before. You’ll have to try it to see what you think of it.
Salt Cured Egg Yolks
The first time I saw this recipe I couldn’t help but wonder who would want to preserve egg yolks. Then I read about what they taste like after they’ve been preserved.
So if you like cheese, then you may want to try preserving your own egg yolks in salt. The salt makes them turn into an easy to grate cheese type substance.
Smoking is another older way of preserving food. But it works and works well because we still use it in our modern times.
So if/when you decide to raise your own meat, this would be a good skill to have so you could create your own smoke flavored meats.
Try these recipes to help you smoke your foods:
The Smoked Turkey
If you’d like to change things up a little this Thanksgiving, then you might want to consider preparing your turkey a little differently.
So in this instance, that means that you smoke your turkey. It looks delicious, and I’m sure it smells wonderful too.
11. Vacuum Sealing
Vacuum sealing your food is a great way to preserve it. It is super easy as well. You’ll need a vacuum sealer, then you just place the food in the bags and seal.
Now, unless you dehydrated the food first, you’ll need to pop it in the freezer so it won’t spoil. But the vacuum sealer does help to avoid freezer burn.
So the next time you have excess food, don’t toss it or let it spoil, think of your favorite food that involves that ingredient, make it, and then can it for later.
Basically, you are cooking your favorite foods, then storing them in a sterilized jar and sealing them so that it will last for months to come.
Try these recipes to help you with your canning:
I love fresh applesauce, but I’m busy and don’t always have time to make it. So when apple season comes in I make applesauce galore.
Then we can enjoy fresh applesauce any time we feel like it. It only takes the twist of a lid.
Well, now you know of 12 different ways to preserve your foods. Plus, you have multiple recipes to help you along whichever food preservation path you choose.
But I’d like to hear from you. How do you prefer to preserve your food? Why?
We love hearing from you so please drop us a line in the comment box below.