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Moisture and oxygen are the two most important factors in spoilage or decay of stored foods.
Moisture in dried foods can lead to microbial growth and moisture around metal canned foods can lead to rust and eventually compromise the can.
This is a food shelf life extension (quality extension) method, NOT a food preservation method. The methods circulating for canning butter, especially unsalted canned butter, have not been scientifically tested for consumption safety.
Note: To avoid potentially exposing your family to food borne illnesses, purchase commercially processed butter and eggs. In case of a power failure, check with the utility company to see how long it will be before power is restored. Check into moving your frozen food to a freezer that is working; you might have a friend or neighbor with space in their freezer for your food. If there is no space available in another freezer, use dry ice in your freezer to keep your food frozen. If there is ample advanced notice of an emergency, fill food-grade water jugs with water and freeze them; you can use them to keep the food frozen longer.
Keeping your dried foods at a temperature below 21°C (70°F) will also help with insect damage as many of the tiny insects that like to dine on our foods prefer it warm. This is simple, needing no equipment, and just involves hanging the food to be dried in somewhere warm with a decent amount of airflow.
They used to be quite expensive but in recent years low cost models have appeared on the market.
You can build a simple drying cabinet for next to nothing at home if you have a little skill.
Build from wood (thin plywood or whatever you have to hand) a box or even use a stout cardboard box. Completely seal it except for a few holes in the sides towards the bottom under the heat source and at the top to allow ventilation. Ventilation is important so that the warm air can circulate freely throughout the whole cabinet, so the food should be placed on either perforated trays, trays or racks with wooden slats and a cheesecloth or muslin base. Unlike the commercial bought dryers with their thermostats and timers, you need to use your judgement as to when things are ready.
Effectively a box lined with reflective aluminium foil with ventilation holes at the base at the rear and through the top at the front with wire shelves and a glass front. You can use an ordinary oven to dry foods but the oven needs to be capable of working at a very low temperature, 50°C (122°F). With a solid-fuel, wood or oil fired oven like an Aga or Rayburn, the heat remaining after cooking sessions can be utilized. You can leave the door open to keep the temperature down and airflow up but please be careful with children and pets.
When drying either fruit or vegetables in the oven, check the temperature occasionally during the drying process. You can use a microwave for drying herbs successfully but we’ve not tried drying other foods and doubt it would work for them. Drying Apples & Pears - How to Dry Apples & PearsDrying Apples & Pears - How to Dry Apples & Pears shows you how to make these lovely sweet snacks with or without a dehydrator.
Drying Apricots, Peaches, Plums - How to Dry Apricots etc.Drying apricots, peaches and plums is popular since they make such a lovely snack sweet Don't forget they're high in sugars and everything in moderation.

Drying Fruits - How to Dry and Store Fruits, Fruit LeatherFruits can be dried and are very palatable, in some cases delicious.
Drying Runner & French Beans - How to Dry Runner & French BeansTraditionally runner beans were salted and I would suggest freezing as the storage method of choice, but drying runner beans and French beans is possible. Drying Herbs - How to Dry and Store HerbsDrying herbs is really quite easy and doesn't require a drying cabinet or machine. Drying Vegetables - How to Dry and Store VegetablesVegetables can be dried but generally there are better ways to store.
Sun Dried Tomatoes - How to Dry TomatoesYou can easily make your own sun dried tomatoes at home just using your oven.
Drying Beans & Peas - How to Dry Beans & Peas at HomeDrying beans & peas at home isn't difficult and you don't need any special equipment. I posted a photo of some freshly harvested lavender on my Facebook page the other day, and one of my readers asked for tips on how to harvest, dry and use lavender.
The best time to harvest lavender is before the flower buds have fully opened, but you can harvest them after they open too, the fragrance just won’t be as strong. You can cut the stems longer if desired, which would work better for flower arrangements or hanging.
Drying lavender is just as easy as harvesting it, and there are several ways to dry lavender. Lavender has so many wonderful uses, that I won’t even attempt to list them all here.
You can remove the flower buds from the stem by gently running your fingers along the stem, or you can store dried lavender stems whole.
I added a little dried lavender to peach jam when I was making it and the two flavours are delicious together!
The first time I made it my husband asked, what I will do with that and do not like to taste it. If rodents or other pests are a significant potential problem in the storage area, foil pouches, PETE containers, and plastic buckets holding food should be placed into containers that are rodent or pest proof. The oxygen then can catalyze an oxidation reaction leading to rancidity of the grain oils and causing changes to other chemicals in the flour. A recipe for baking zucchini bread in a canning jar has been widely distributed with a 45-minute baking time at 325 degrees F. According to some studies, there is a major food-borne illness risk if eggs are stored above refrigeration temperature (34-38 degrees F). Canning unsalted butter may be especially dangerous, because it has no confirmed prevention of botulism-causing bacteria. But don't vacuum seal wet foods because they provide optimal environment for the growth of botulism-causing bacteria. Putting packaging material or crumpled newspapers between the cabinet and the blankets will also help.
Obviously, some sort of “door” needs to be allowed for placing whatever you are drying inside. We found the heat from a 60 watt light bulb gave the right temperature for a box of about 2 ? feet by 1 ? feet (75 cm x 45 cm).
Wire cake trays or weldmesh cut to size with cheesecloth or muslin stretched over them and fastened at the corners with pin can also be used. The concept is that the sun heats the chamber, drawing in cold air at the base, passing it trough the cabinet and out through the top.

Electric fan ovens that will work this low are great, followed by solid fuel ranges with cool ovens and finally gas.
This may mean that the drying process is not continuous and has to be carried out over several days but this should not affect the quality of the finished product. But after he has taken a bath once, after a hard working winter day, he asked me to make it every year. According to several studies, canned bread meets all the criteria to allow growth of Clostridium botulinum, which can cause the fatal food-borne illness botulism.
To extend the shelf-life of eggs, mineral oil (often called egg oil) may be rubbed onto egg shells to fill their pores. Make your own, dry quick bread packages and add liquids the day you intend to cook it; this will taste much better and be safer than the home canned quick breads we've mentioned. Even today, fishermen in hot countries dry their catches by simply hanging the fish on lines in the sun and wind. Although properly dried food is safe from microbial action, there’s still the risk of insect and even rodent damage.
The bulb needs to go in the bottom, protected from any dripping juices by a perforated piece of wood, thin metal sheet or cardboard suspended above it.
The fabric allows air through but stops the imprint of the wire from marking the fruit or vegetable. If you want to ensure the stems stay upright while they’re drying, you can dry them upside down. If your dehydrator doesn’t have this setting, dry lavender on your dehydrators lowest setting.
You could also use dried lavender to make potpourri or lavender sachets to freshen up closets and drawers. This type of foil dramatically reduces the transmission of oxygen and moisture through the film. If you chose to use this method for drying lavender, tie the bundle loosely and hang it in a warm, dry location to avoid mildew.
It only takes a couple hours for lavender to dry in a dehydrator, and the whole house smells wonderful while it’s drying. Actually, it has been heat processed, just as if it were in a Mason jar, for low acid canning.
Fresh or dried lavender can be used for cooking or baking, tossed into salads, in tea or other drinks like cocktails and lemonade, or sprinkled into bath water. Put heavy cardboard on top of packages of frozen food in each compartment of your freezer and put the dry ice on top of the cardboard. Close the freezer and DON'T open it again until you need to replace the dry ice or the freezer is working again.
Cook smaller packages that are beginning to defrost and leave larger foods like turkeys and roasts in the freezer, as these can serve as blocks of ice.

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