| Drying and Smoking Food |
The least expensive method of preserving food is drying. It is also the oldest. Dried foods use less storage space than other ways of preserving food. Smoking of meats adds flavor and smoke also has some compounds that inhibit growth of bacteria and molds.
A dehydrator is a good investment if you plan to do much dehydration. Dehydrators yield a better-quality dried product than any other method of drying. A dehydrator should have a heat source, a thermostat, and some method of air circulation. If you do not have a dehydrator, foods can be sun-dried, solar-dried in a solar box that collects the sun's rays, or oven dried.
WSU extension bulletins on drying and smoking include "Smoking Fish at Home Safely", "Curing and Smoking Poultry Meat", and "Homemade Meat, Poultry and Game Sausages".