According to the FDA, freeze-drying is one of the best ways to preserve your food while keeping the freshness for a long time. Freeze-dried foods have a great shelf life and are lifesavers during emergencies. This is why the food industry invests millions in commercial freeze-drying units to stay in business. Fortunately, a small freeze dryer for home use will do just the job for you.
How does a freeze dryer work?
The machine freezes the water in your food at -30°F or colder, then turns this solid ice into vapor by lowering the pressure. In this solid-to-gas transition (lyophilization), the liquid phase of water is skipped.
Your food becomes completely water-free, chemically-stable, and would last for up to 25 years. This is incredible shelf life.
Remember that bacteria or mold cannot grow in water-free food. Therefore, water-free food will last longer.
Why you should buy a freeze dryer
- Better shelf-life:
You should invest in a freeze dryer if you’re looking to have an emergency food stockpile. It would take a regular freezer some months to even freeze-dry the surface of your food. But a freeze dryer does the job in 20 to 40 hours.
With a shelf life of 25 years, freeze-dried foods are perfect for storage once appropriately packaged in airtight bags. They are moisture-free and lightweight for storage and backpacking.
The truth is, we throw too much food away every month, especially fruits and veggies, with reduced shelf life. A freeze drier can help avoid this unnecessary wastage.
- Keep the nutrients:
Because a freeze dryer is heat-free, the food nutrients aren’t destroyed. Unlike other food preservation methods, a freeze dryer retains almost all nutrients in your food (about 97%). Dehydrated foods hold only 60% of nutrients. Canned foods keep about 40%.
2. Better texture and taste
It’s known that freeze-dried fruits taste better and feel good in the mouth compared to the mushiness of dehydrated foods or canned food.
With a freeze-dryer, you can preserve your garden harvest (fruits and vegetables) for many years. Because freeze-dried foods are lightweight, you can use them for outdoor activities like camping out, hiking, or backpacking trips.
3. Healthier than freeze-dried food from stores
Freeze-food sold in stores are very salty and filled with chemical preservatives. The safest option is to freeze-drying your food.
Prepackaged, processed food from the store contain unhealthy additives, like colors, dyes, monosodium glutamate (MSG), trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and sodium nitrate. Freeze-drying your food means accommodating your dietary needs, whether it’s vegan or vegetarian or having food allergies.
Who needs a freeze dryer?
- People in search of the most efficient way to preserve ripening fruits or leftover meals—from dairy and meats to fruits and vegetables.
- Emergency preparedness people.
- People are trying to cut down on food wastage.
- People who want to consume healthy meals.
The food you can freeze-dry
You can freeze-dry almost all types of food. From apples, plums, and berries to cooked legumes and pasta. Pumpkin, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, veggies, grains, potatoes, and carrots. You can freeze-dry your soups, meals, or sides with little or no oil, fat, and sugar.
- Greens—like lettuce, kale, and spinach—may become soggy and wilted after freeze-drying. You need to blanch or cook raw vegetables before freeze-drying.
- Very sugary fruits, like peaches, will take a longer time to freeze-dry. Large pieces of food will also take a longer time.
- Fruits with tough skins, like grapes and cherry tomatoes, need to be cut before they are freeze-dried.
The food you shouldn’t freeze-dry
- Very watery fruits may become powdery after freeze-drying.
- Due to their messiness, very fatty foods, like mayo, avocado, fatty meat, and peanut butter, shouldn’t be freeze-dried.
- Sugary foods (sweet relish, jellies, and jams) may not freeze-dry properly.
Getting a quality small freeze dryer:
If you’re working on a small budget and still want quality, HARVEST RIGHT’s small Home Freeze Dryer is perfect for you.
This unit comes with all you need to start freeze-drying: a pump hose, pump oil, three stainless steel trays, oil filter, impulse sealer, 50 oxygen absorbers, 50 Mylar bags, and a manual.
With a dimension of 16.5 tall x 18.5 wide x 25 deep (inches), this small freeze dryer weighs about 61 pounds and holds three trays within.
Annually, you can freeze-dry 840 pounds (4 to 7 pounds each batch) or 195 gallons (1 to 1.5 gallons each batch) of food.
This compact model fits perfectly on your beverage cart, side table, and countertop. You can also put it in the space meant for your wine refrigerator.
One exciting thing about this machine is that it runs on an upgraded Smart Freeze© software that makes the entire freeze-drying process automatic and seamless. With a push of a button on the touch screen, the estimated freeze-dry time can range between 24 to 60 hours, depending on your food type, water content, and room temperature.
Use this machine, plug it into your traditional 110-volt outlet, then put your food and its chamber and push “Start.” You can adjust the settings to whether your diet is already frozen (or not) and whether it is liquid or solid.
- More affordable than the medium and large models
- The operation is smooth.
- Easy to maintain.
- Can freeze-dry a wide range of foods
- Food taste and nutritional value are preserved.
- The long shelf life of 25 years if stored correctly.
- Post-purchase customer service available.
- Three-year limited warranty
- Perfect for couples or small households
- High initial cost of purchase, but it’s worth the investment
- Size may be unsuitable for tiny kitchens.
- The machine is quite substantial.
- Maintenance needed, but it is minimal
Freeze-drying remains one of the best methods of food preservation. Imagine getting the original flavor and almost the same nutrient level in your preserved food after several months.
This long-term food is free of additives or preservatives and great for your indoor and outdoor dining experience. You’re cutting down on food waste.
For a budget-friendly plan, Harvest Right Freeze Dryer provides the best in food preservation.