Did you know that you can use the inside of your car to dry meats, fruits, and vegetables? Drying food is an ancient method of food preservation, and harnessing the sun’s heat can be a simple and effective way to do so. While ovens and dehydrators are convenient, using a car as a dehydrator can save time, energy, and money. Even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a car can reach over 100 degrees, which is perfect for drying food. By thinly slicing your food and placing it on the dashboard of your car where the sun hits directly, you can have nicely dehydrated food ready for storage or consumption. It’s an easy and cheap skill to learn that can come in handy in various situations.
Using A Car As A Dehydrator
Drying meats, fruits, and vegetables in a car can be a simple and effective method of preserving food. Drying is one of the oldest techniques used by man to preserve food. Native Americans and American pioneers used to dry their meat by exposing it to the sun. Today, we have ovens and dehydrators, but knowing how to harness the sun’s heat can still be useful, especially when it comes to food preservation.
Temperature inside a car
Even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees. In fact, at 70 degrees outside, after about half an hour, the inside of a car can reach an average of 104 degrees. After an hour, it can go up to 113 degrees. This means that even if temperatures outside are not extremely high, the inside of a car can still produce enough heat to effectively dry meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Advantages of using a car
Using a car as a dehydrator has several advantages. First, it is a simple and easy method. All you need to do is thinly slice your meats, fruits, or vegetables and place them on the dashboard of your car, where the sun hits directly. Second, using a car as a dehydrator is cheap and can save you energy and money. You don’t need to invest in expensive dehydrating equipment. Lastly, it is a great skill to have. Knowing how to effectively dehydrate food using natural resources can be valuable in emergency situations or when you don’t have access to traditional dehydrating methods.
Placement of food in the car
When using a car as a dehydrator, it is important to place your food in the right location. The dashboard of the car is the best spot as it receives direct sunlight. You can place your thinly sliced meats, fruits, and vegetables on cooling racks and arrange them across the dashboard. Make sure that the front window of the car is in direct sunlight for the majority of the day. It is also important to close the car doors but open the windows slightly to allow moisture to escape the car.
Drying Meat In The Car
Drying meat in the car is a simple process that can result in delicious and preserved meat.
Preparing the meat
Before drying the meat, it is important to thinly slice it. This helps to speed up the drying process and ensures that it dries evenly. Season the meat with salt, which aids in the preservation process.
Arranging the meat in the car
Once the meat is prepared, arrange it on a few cooling racks and place them on the car’s dashboard. The front window of the car should be in direct sunlight for the majority of the day. Close the car doors but open the windows slightly to allow moisture to escape.
Monitoring and flipping the meat
Let the meat sit in the car for 5 to 6 hours, flipping it over every couple of hours. This helps to ensure that it dries evenly on both sides. After the allotted time, remove the meat from the car and place it in an airtight bag for storage.
Drying Fruits In The Car
Drying fruits in the car is a great way to preserve their flavors and nutritional content.
Choosing ripe fruits
When drying fruits in the car, it is important to choose ripe fruits. Apricots, plums, strawberries, tomatoes, peaches, berries, pumpkin, corn, celery, and greens are some of the better options. However, you can dehydrate almost any fruit.
Slicing the fruits
After choosing ripe fruits, wash them and then either quarter or slice them into 1/6 inch thick pieces. This helps to speed up the drying process and ensures that the fruits dry evenly.
Drying the fruits
Place the sliced fruits in a cardboard box or on a flat baking sheet and put it on the car’s dashboard. Let the fruits dry for a day or two, checking on them every few hours to ensure they don’t get overcooked. Once the fruits are dried, store them in an airtight container in a cool place.
Bonus: Drying Herbs In The Car
Drying herbs in the car is a convenient way to preserve their flavors and aroma.
Preparing the herbs
To dry herbs in the car, remove the leaves from the stems and spread them out over a baking sheet or piece of cardboard. This helps to ensure that the herbs dry evenly and quickly.
Drying the herbs
Place the herbs on the car’s dashboard and let them sit for anywhere between an hour to a couple of days, depending on the desired dryness. The car temperature should ideally be at 105 degrees or lower to preserve the nutritional content of the herbs. Check on the herbs every few hours to prevent them from getting over-dried. Once the herbs are dried to your liking, remove them and store them in a ziplock bag for later use.
Drying meats, fruits, and vegetables in a car can be a simple and effective method of preserving food. Using the heat inside a car, especially on hot days, can help to dehydrate food quickly and efficiently. Whether you’re drying meat, fruits, or herbs, the process is easy and can save you energy and money. Plus, it’s a valuable skill to have in emergency situations. So the next time you need to dehydrate food, consider using your car as a dehydrator.
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Can I Use a Sharpened Knife to Cut Dried Meats, Fruits, and Vegetables in a Car?
Using knife sharpening techniques, it is possible to use a sharpened knife to cut dried meats, fruits, and vegetables in a car. However, it is essential to prioritize safety precautions to avoid accidents, ensuring a stable surface for cutting and being cautious of movement or distractions while handling sharp objects in a moving vehicle.
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I’m Alex, the author behind True Survivalist. As a survival enthusiast myself, I’ve created this website to serve as a valuable resource for fellow survivalists and preppers. Whether it’s understanding survival situations, emergency preparedness, or finding the right survival gear, I’ve got you covered. Through a series of informative guides, I aim to provide answers to commonly asked questions, debunk common myths, and help you avoid common mistakes. At True Survivalist, I believe in equipping you with the knowledge and tools you need to be prepared for any survival scenario. Join me on this journey of self-reliance and resilience.