Fruits and vegetables
must be prepared for drying as soon as possible after harvesting.
only fresh, good quality fruits and vegetables. All
foods should be prepared by proper sorting, washing, and peeling.
are low in sugar and acid and this increases the risks for food
Fruits are practical and much easier to dry than vegetables, because of
the high sugar and acid content and because moisture from fruits
more easily. See instructions for Practical
Food to Dry.
sanitation are essential and very important throughout the drying
Make sure everything is clean through before drying.
Size of Food Particles
It is very important
to cut food into uniformly-sized pieces for the best result. Food
be cut into halves, strips, or slices and should not be more than 1/8-
to 1/4-inch thick. Larger pieces take longer to dry because it is more
difficult for the water to travel through the pores in the food. Spread
thin layers of uniformly-sized pieces of food on the prepared drying
The trays should be stirred occasionally and rotated if top trays dry
different rates than the bottom trays.
NOTE: In general,
the shelf life of home dried vegetables and fruits stored at 60° F
is 4 to 6 months. If the product is stored at 70° F, shelf life
be shortened. See tables.
|Did You Know?
remove scale or hard-water film from canning jars, just
soak jars for several hours in a solution of one cup of vinegar and
one gallon of water.
* * *
A Mason jar is a glass jar used
in canning to preserve food. They were invented and patented by John L.
Mason in 1858. They are also called Ball jars, after Ball Corp., a
popular and early manufacturer of the jars; fruit jars because they are
often used to store fruit; or generically glass canning jars. While
largely supplanted by other methods for commercial mass-production,
they are still commonly used in home canning.
In modern usage, the terms often refer specifically to jars featuring a
two-piece cover: An inner, flat, metal or glass lid, covered by a
screw-on ring. The ring holds the lid in place during the canning
process, which creates a partial vacuum, sealing the lid until opened.
The lids are sold separately so that the jars and rings can be reused.
Mason jars are made of soda-lime glass, and come in a variety of sizes
including quart, pint, half-gallon, and cup sizes, as well as in
wide-mouth and regular mouth shapes.
The most common US brands of Mason jars are Ball and Kerr, both brand
names now part of the Jarden corporation.