How to preserve seafood by drying

Drying involves removing the moisture from the food. Seafood can be air dried or dried by a cold smoke method .

Equipment required

A dehydrator can be used but is not essential. Seafood was traditionally, and still often is, dried in the open air. However, care must be taken not to contaminate the seafood with foreign matter or bacteria during the drying process.


Salt seafood, or soak in brine.

Hang seafood from hooks or place on racks. The air must be dry, with low humidity. Good ventilation is essential.

drying fish

image: Cod drying during winter time on Lofoten Islands, Norway, norwegian traditional way of drying fish in cold winter air on wooden drying rack

Drying times

The time required will depend on the size of the drying equipment, the size of the seafood, the relative humidity and the degree of dryness and hardness needed. If too much moisture is left in the seafood, mould may grow and other deterioration may occur.