Jars, Tupperware, Bags

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Jars, Tupperware, Bags

Post by jennyjj01 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:34 pm

Hi folks: Fellow dehdrators.

Having impressed myself by drying a bag of carrots down to a handful, I'm now trying to plan the wholesale blitz. Onions, Carrots, Peppers, Mushrooms.

But I'm a cheapskate and I want my dried veggies to last longer than a year and cost nearly nothing to store, preferably without freezing.

So, please help me out here with my thought process.... I am googling too and will post back my conclusions, so not totally lazy.

New Kilner jars seem to cost about £1.50 per litre (IKEA). Seems expensive when i can re-use coffee jars. What about trying to blag some plastic or glass 'Sweet shop' jars? They would seem to hold a hell of a lot, but would I NEED costly oxy removers and maybe silica gel? Would big jars have disadvantages when i start to use them and let air in? Would small jars actually be optimal?

Or should I buy polythene 'tupperware type tubs? I still suspect oxygen is an issue? Or even vac seal tupperware which seems dear?

What about vac sealing mason jars? That seems expensive but wouldnt need the oxy absorbers? I suppose i can get an adaptor for my vac packer

Any thoughts on partially vac sealing ordinary jars, somehow?

What about vac bagging. I can see that working with onions and sweetcorn, but would it crush mushrooms, carrots and peppers to oblivion?

I think it's obvious that no one size fits all, but I'd value practical advice.

Oh.... and would ready frozen carrots, peas and corn be a good value for money start rather than fresh? Cost/kilo wise seems good and avoids blanching

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Jars, Tupperware, Bags

Post by Deeps » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:42 am

I'll answer your last question first, yes, the bought packets of veg are ice and easy to do, I've struggled with brocoli but the packs of mixed veg etc work a treat.

I use the Kilner/Ikea jars but if they're full I use 'tupaware', I've got stuff that's a good few years old and its fine, I keep a jar of leeks, onions, chillies, onions and mushrooms in jars in the kitchen, I open and shut them as required and they're sat in the light, they're absolutely fine. My 'reserve' stuff (including pepper/mixed veg/carrots as well as the stuff mentioned) is sat in the dark and not opened, some are years old too, no oxygen absorbers etc, all fine (as far as I can tell). I tend to use fairly large jars for most things, but dried herbs, sliced garlic etc is in smaller sealed containers.

I don't know what quantities you plan on doing but if its a concern, do one container 'au natural' and put the others in vacc sealed bags and see how the container lasts. You probably have already but the 'reduced' section can throw up some real steals for the dehydrator.

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Re: Jars, Tupperware, Bags

Post by jansman » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:00 am

I am with Deeps on this. The only difference being that I use reclaimed jars. Just sterilised in the oven first ( after washing). I dry a LOT of tomatoes , as I grow many. In the cool, dark of the pantry they keep very well, easily a couple of years.

You mentioned that you don’t want to freeze your dehydrated veg. I am sure you don’t, as that rather defeats the object of the oldest preservation technique known to mankind.

Don’t over- think it. :D
In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: It goes on.

Robert Frost.

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Re: Jars, Tupperware, Bags

Post by jennyjj01 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:52 am

Cheers guys,
Some websites are of the 'keep the brown sauce in the fridge once opened' mindset and imply that once a container is unsealed, you have shelf life of very few months. Others obsess about oxy removers etc and some would have us spend more on jars than the food is worth. Bugger that! :D

So.... I think this shall be my approach....

To hell with oxy absorbers. I have some silica gel bags, which I'll use up but won't replenish. To hell with expensive new jars and replaced rubber seals. I'm not making jam and I reckon well dried and jarred up on a dry day should suffice for long term..(2 years?)

1) Try to blag some gallon sweet shop jars in Plastic or glass. Otherwise Blag some 2 gallon sealable buckets. These will be for long term 'big' stash. Aim for a years worth of each veg spread between two containers. Actually not much volume.
2) Continue to retain my Kenco coffee jars. ( I use lots ) They don't have rubber seals but air flow is next to nothing. These will be for the kitchen cupboard and replenished from one of the big containers to rotate stock.
3) Retain the little spice jars and keep replenished for kitchen. e.g. garlic.

For anything that I don't mind getting crushed like Onions and maybe sweetcorn, Just vac pack in quantities that would refill a Kenco jar. Onions seem to naturally pack rather loosely like crisps, but I see a big difference in the chunk sizes of the ones I bought ready dried. I'll see how much they smash up when bagged.
Keep bundles of vac bagged stuff in a big sealed bucket. I MIGHT bag up some dried pulses loosely vac sealing just as belt and braces..

For fragile stuff like mushrooms, tomatoes and maybe peppers.keep the bulk in big jars with one litre or so in a Kenco jar in the kitchen. I'll probably use the silica gel packs with these.

If there's room in the garage fridge, pop some of the sweety jars in there in summer, but don't obsess about them. Just inspect occasionally.

I'm inclined to experiment soaking some of my dried tomatoes in oil.

Does that sound balanced? Off to the veggy wholesaler tomorrow.

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