Food is one of the most crucial elements of existence as a human being. If you want to have enough food to survive, then you need to learn how to store it. Man has tried many food storage techniques for the past hundreds of thousands of years. Some of them still remain with us to this day despite significant advances in food storage technology.
The method you use to store food at home will mostly depend on the resources available to you. What is important is that the food remains fit for human consumption. The following are some of the best ways to store food at home:
A refrigerator is a device present in essentially all modern homes in the developed world. It offers one of the safest and the simplest ways to store food at home. Chilling is meant to store food for a few days or weeks. The bottom part of the fridge is the part that is typically meant for storage. However, it will depend on the manufacturer of the fridge. Chilling involves setting the fridge to between one and four degrees centigrade. You should store food in separate plastic containers when chilling them to avoid cross-contamination.
Another common use of the refrigerator is freezing food. However, there are stand-alone freezers if you have a lot of food that needs storage. If you freeze properly, it can last for months at a time. It kills any bacteria that may contaminate your food and some foods can be stored indefinitely in a constantly running freezer. Freezing involves setting the fridge to below ten degrees centigrade. You should also freeze food in airtight plastic containers for safety. It is also important to label the expiry dates on the foods so you don’t store them for too long.
As the name suggests, vacuum packing involves storing food in a vacuum. It is a preservation method that preserves the quality of the food exactly as it is. Vacuum packing often involves storing the food in a plastic bag or container. It is a very hygienic method of food storage. Vacuum-packed foods can have a shelf life of up to 25 years but you need some equipment to do it. Vacuum packing will ensure that food retains its smell, color, taste, and texture. It is also vital for helping food preserve its moisture which ensures optimum quality.
Canning is an old method of food storage that is similar to vacuum packing. The main difference is that you have to use preservatives in order to preserve food through canning. Canning involves packing the food into a can and then removing all the oxygen via an airtight seal. The food is typically placed in a sugary, salty, or acidic environment for posterity. There are suitable jars with self-sealing lids that are ideal for canning your own food. You will also need to strictly follow canning preservation instructions if you want the food to last for the longest time.
Another time tested method of preserving food is salting it. However, salting usually has severe limitations as opposed to methods like vacuum packing or freezing. Salt preserves food by drawing out the water and preventing the growth of bacteria. You can store food by salting in two ways. There is dry curing which involves pasting the food with salt and letting it dry. The other is wet curing which involves placing the food in some sort of salt solution. You should follow salting recipes that you trust or you risk spoiling the food. You also need to use the specific salts meant for pickling.
Sugaring is much like salting with the obvious difference being that sugar is used instead of salt. Moreover, salting and sugaring work in much the same way. Sugaring is an especially favorable way to store fruit. Vegetables can also be stored using sugar. You may also store some meats and fish in sugar brine provided they are kept in certain conditions. There are a wide variety of sugary materials that you can use to store various foods. Such sugary materials include sugar granules, syrup, and even honey.
An excessive amount of sugar is dangerous to your health hence you should use just enough. Following the instructions to the letter in sugaring recipes will be a great choice. To summarize, the six methods above are the best and most common methods to store food at home. They include salting, sugaring, canning, chilling, freezing, and vacuum packing. The method of food storage will depend on your consumption needs.