12 Most Popular Dehydrated Food Shelf Life

Jacob Moore

Last updated May 15, 2021

We all are well versed with the food dehydration benefits, and the one reason that keeps all the preppers on the food dehydration grind is its exceptionally famous long shelf life.

The peskiest hindrance of the food expiry gets in the way of storing food for years. But with dehydration, any type of food group can be dehydrated and used for years without compromising the nutritional value and taste of the item.

Let us read some of the most popular dehydrated food shelf life to help you add these items to your list.

#1 Potato

dehydrated potato

  • Average Shelf Life: 20 years

How to prolong the shelf life

To extend the shelf life of potatoes, we highly recommend storing them at the top counter of your prepper pantry.

The placement will keep them dry, and the constant change in temperature while you stock and restock won’t affect and make them go bad.

Dehydrate them as much as you can; a little water in them can cause mold, which will defeat your purpose of storing them.

Make sure to blanch them before you start dehydrating; skipping this step will make them turn brown/ black even after dehydrating. They do not look appetizing in the slightest.

Possible uses and important niblets

No meal can complete without a hearty side dish of potato. Luckily dehydrating them isn’t as hard as digesting the carbs from the potatoes!

These potatoes have an excellent 20-year lifeline which makes them very storage-worthy. You can either dehydrate these potatoes as a powder, chips, or grated Julian. The potato powder would reconstitute quickly with some water and butter.

Mix these three ingredients, and you have mashed potatoes ready even while surviving; you can carry your ritual of breakfast hashbrowns by simply soaking them in water and frying as you usually do.

Do not worry, as your daily casseroles of au gratin or scalloped potatoes would taste just the same.

#2 Apples

dehydrated apple

  • Average Shelf Life: 20+ years

How to prolong the shelf life

To increase the shelf life, you must keep the moisture content about 20 percent. There are high chances of the moisture pooling in one part of the apple slice; you can tackle this by conditioning the fruit.

Once the fruit is cooled down, place these slices into a Ziploc bag; make sure not to cram them; use several bags if you have a large quantity to deal with. Let this Ziploc bag stay on your countertop for a week.

This process would aid the driest piece to soak the extra moisture and balance the water ratio. If you see heavy condensation after one week, place them one more time in your dehydrator and let them crisp. This step will undoubtedly increase the shelf life of your apples to many years.

Possible uses and important niblets

Try to spritz a little dash of lemon juice to maintain the color of apple slices; if you wish to make a powder try to keep the pieces as thin as you can.

Thin slices will make the dehydration process comparatively faster; you can then grind and use this powder on ice cream or flavoring your yogurt as a quick snack.

If you wish to store these potatoes for a scrumptious cobbler pie, try to cut the pieces slightly thicker than your regular size.

#3 Jerky

jerky shelf life

  • Average Shelf Life: 0.5- 1 year

How to prolong the shelf life

Beef jerky will stay edible and good for 10-12 days if you keep them in a Ziploc bag.

If you plan to store this a little longer for 5-6 months, consider investing in vacuum-sealed bags; these would considerably prolong shelf life.

Possible uses and important niblets

Making homemade jerky is extremely easy and cost-effective than a pack of store-bought ones. Dehydrating your jerky will be very nutritious and devoid of preservatives.

An ideal beef jerky should bend a little before cracking into pieces; if it simply breaks like a chip, you have over dehydrated the jerky. Always use a lean piece of meat; the little the fat, the better your jerky will dehydrate and stay fresh for a long time.

Some of the best meat to dehydrate include top and bottom round roasts, flank steak, sirloin tip, and the eye of round roast.

#4 Milk

powder milk

  • Average Shelf Life: 15- 20 years

How to prolong the shelf life

If you wish to keep your milk powder for more than ten years, try to skip on regular milk and use skimmed milk for this process. Skimmed milk will increase the shelf life because of the lower fat content.

We recommend storing your milk powder in an airtight container to help it keep fresh for the most prolonged time. Consider avoiding a wet scoop or spoon while using the powder. The wet spoon can moisten the milk, leading to mold within days drastically.

Possible uses and important niblets

We apologize in advance as dehydrating milk will be an arduous task; the result is highly worth it.

Reconstituting milk is the quickest and most straightforward of all dehydrated food. You add water and stir the mixture to let it turn into milk.

#5 Strawberries

dehydrated strawberries

  • Average Shelf Life: 10- 15 years

How to prolong the shelf life

Condition your strawberries soon after your first dehydration cycle completes.

Conditioning will remove all the moisture so they can stay good for years. Keep shaking the Ziploc bag to start and aid the conditioning process.

Possible uses and important niblets

We recommend that you chop and slice the strawberries in the same thickness, or else they won’t dry evenly. An ideal size would be ⅛ to ¼ inch slices that would get dehydrated very evenly.

Since it’s comparatively easy to dry strawberries, you can try dehydrating these in the microwave or oven too. Microwaving is a good start if you are on the fence about buying the dehydrator.

These strawberries would taste extremely sweet, and you can opt-out of your dessert for a healthier alternative.

#6 Eggs

dehydrated egg

  • Average Shelf Life: 5-10 years

How to prolong the shelf life

You will see many people dehydrating their eggs at 140° F, but this temperature doesn’t kill the salmonella, and you need to vary about the consequences of the temperature.

Dehydrating your eggs at a lower temperature will also make the eggs go bad a lot quicker because of the bacteria. USDA studies suggest keeping a minimum of 160° F to make them safe. We would recommend going 165° F for 10 hours to be extra safe.

Possible uses and important niblets

Eggs might not sound the most appetizing, but extreme survivors and preppers add dehydrated eggs to their pantry for their nutrition value.

You can enjoy a steaming bowl of scrambled eggs or make a french omelet, or you can use it for baking or cooking. After mixing the eggs and dehydrating them, they should look like thin crispy crackles; you can blend and store the powder in airtight containers.

#7 Brown Sugar

brown sugar

  • Average Shelf Life: Indefinitely

How to prolong the shelf life

Your dehydrated sugar would surely go bad if you fail to store it properly. To make it last indefinitely or last for a few years, make sure to keep the brown sugar in a sealed five-gallon bucket deep where there is zero light present in the environment.

You can take out smaller batches and store those smaller batches in airtight containers for instant use.

Possible uses and important niblets

You can use brown sugar in almost all deserts. It is very healthy than regular white cane sugar and adds a rich flavor to your dishes.

Since brown sugar gels excellent with desserts, you can use them to make bread, croissants, and various types of desserts but make sure to taste and break the clumps before adding in the dishes.

#8 Banana

dehidrating banana

  • Average Shelf Life: 20 years

How to prolong the shelf life

Give your banana slices an ascorbic acid bath to retain their color and compositing while it dehydrates.

It would be best if you carefully stored these bananas in an airtight container with oxygen absorbers to increase the shelf life of these chips.

Possible uses and important niblets

You need to make sure your chips are bone dry to get the maximum number of shelf years. Some people do love chewy chips, which would reduce the final shelf life to 5 years.

These chips are very nutritious and go well with a bowl of granola or simply snacking like a chip. If you use fully ripe bananas, the final chip would surely be sweeter to taste.

#9 Pinto beans

dried pinto beans

  • Average Shelf Life: 25 years

How to prolong the shelf life

A great thing about pinto beans is their fantastic quality of staying fresh without much effort. You can store them in Mylar bags, and they are good to use for more than a whopping 25 years.

Possible uses and important niblets

These beans need some time to reconstitute if you wish to add this as a taco topping. If you are making chili, you can plop them with water and spices and let them cook with all the rest of the ingredients.

Beans would surely give you a fuss-free option while keeping your meal nutritious.

#10 Carrots

dehydrated carrots

  • Average Shelf Life: 20+ years

How to prolong the shelf life

We highly recommend that you wash your carrots in the Fit Organic Produce Wash or make a 50/50 mixture of clean and vinegar to wipe away the germs and make the veggies clean.

A perfect way to store carrots would be to use zip lock bags. You can make various Ziploc bags of different vegetables and store them in a five-gallon sealable tub. This method will keep your dehydrated carrots fresh for more than 20 years.

Possible uses and important niblets

Blanch or steam the carrots before dehydrating them. Blanching is generally used for vegetables that you do not eat raw. Doing this step also makes it easier to add in your meals after dehydration.

Cut small dices and reconstitute by adding them into hot water for 5-6 minutes. You can use these carrots for soups, salads, or a quick healthy snack.

#11 Tomato Salsa

Tomato Salsa

  • Average Shelf Life: 1 year

How to prolong the shelf life

You can store this tomato salsa leather in a glass jar as plastic containers absorb the flavor and odors over time. Adding these pieces in a well-sealed glass jar would surely increase the shelf life.

You can transfer these into easy carryable plastic bags when you are hiking and going outdoors.

Possible uses and important niblets

You can add a little dash of olive oil to enhance the flavor of this sauce. You cannot dehydrate all types of sauces as a three-cheese sauce, or vodka sauce has an abundance of fats that won’t dehydrate properly, and you can only use them for a brief period.

Your dry paste should look like leather in which you can add water to make tomato sauce for your spaghetti and pasta.

#12 Yogurt

dehydrated yogurt powder

  • Average Shelf Life: 2 years

How to prolong the shelf life

You can increase your yogurt’s shelf life by storing the powder in a sealed glass container with zero light and oxygen. We discourage opening the yogurt powder jar constantly as the moisture in the air can get quickly sucked into the powder.

Possible uses and important niblets

This yogurt works as an excellent base if you wish to make no-cook breakfasts. You can combine this with freeze-dried fruits and cereals to make a healthy meal.

This yogurt powder will have a sour taste than your regular yogurt with a bit of gritty consistency, but this can only be noticed while eating the yogurt alone. When mixed with granola and fruits, you seldom taste its shortcomings.

Conclusion

These we some of the most popular dehydrated items that you can try and follow our steps to increase the shelf life of these ingredients.

Before wrapping up, we highly discourage dehydrating butter, avocado, and olives. They have a lot of oil that does not get dehydrated well, and butter creates Botulism, which is dangerous poisoning and can lead to severe paralysis.

It would be best to avoid non-lean meats; concentrate on lean beef for a product that gives you more shelf life.

Jacob Moore

Jacob Moore is the founder of BasicFoodPrepper.com, and he has spent more time surviving in the wilderness than an average human being. A familiar face from the rural United States, Jacob has always wanted to live close to nature. Even after spending a few years in the buzzing world of cities and 9 to 5 jobs, he managed to get out to the outer world when he got a chance. Jacob would say that hiking is his passion, and he has spent up to several weeks in the wild.