How to Freeze Dry Food

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Motomom34, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Has anyone tried this? One can freeze dry food with out a big fancy $3000 machine. I am going to try some fruit but unsure about doing meat.

    How To Freeze Dry Food, With And Without A Machine

    Jim Mcgill

    1. The simple freezer method

    The easiest way to freeze dry food is the one that also takes the longest. All you need to do is place your food in small pieces on a tray such as a cookie sheet, or a cooling rack or air drying rack and simply put it in your freezer. A deep freezer works best.

    The food starts to freeze in the first few hours itself, but the drying process takes weeks. This process is known as sublimation. This is what separates freeze drying from simply freezing food inside of sealed bags or containers like we’re all used to doing.

    And it’s this procedure that takes several weeks to complete….

    The best way to check when the food is done drying is to remove a frozen piece and let it come to room temp. If the food turns dark or black, it means the drying process is still not over. Frozen food that doesn’t change color has been freeze dried thoroughly. It’s more an art than a science.

    Once that has been achieved, you can go ahead and store the freeze dried food in ziplock bags. Freeze-dried food should be kept in storage that stays under 75 degrees.

    Please follow link for the dry ice method which is faster:
    How To Freeze Dry Food, With And Without A Machine | BeSurvival
    natshare, snake6264 and Ura-Ki like this.
  2. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    We have had mixed results doing this, hopefully you have better results then we did!
    For fruits we did good, but every thing else not so much! We decided we like the meats cured and smoked or dried or a combo of, and we also have perfected the pemicin.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  3. Out in the woods

    Out in the woods off-grid in-the-forest beekeeper

    Use a 'HarvestRight' freeze-dryer. Start to finish 30 hours, done.
  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Never tried freeze drying, knew one person that had a freeze dryer and it did excellent work, but was expensive and took a lot of time. Quality isn't the same, but I get an awful lot of use out my dehydrator and it is good enough for what I want, apples, fruit, tomatoes, etc. Once you get blanching down and use of lemon juice or fruit fresh - vitamin C to keep color, it is very acceptable for food storage, although recipes become important. Freeze dry seems to work best for delicate things like straw berries and meats as well as completed meals and for some things only freezing is an acceptable alternative to it and that is dependent on power.
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  5. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @duane what dehydrator do you use?

    @Motomom34 I think its a great experiment. I wonder if the results are different in a standard chest freezer vs and frost free freezer. I have a love hate relationship with frost free freezer
    Ura-Ki and Motomom34 like this.
  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Those run a couple thousand dollars, are big and require maintenance. I have talked to the HR rep a few times. I would love one but do not know if I would use it enough to justify the purchase. This freezer way is basically free if you have a freezer.
    Ura-Ki likes this.
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