Freeze-drying is a process that helps preserve food while retaining up to 97% of the nutritional value and moisture content of the food. In contrast, canning only keeps 40% of the food, and dehydrating only keeps 60%.
It’s also becoming a popular option for camping, survivalists, and people who just want to save money by buying in bulk and preserving their food instead of throwing it away.
The freeze-drying process has been used commercially since the 1950s, but many myths exist.
In this article, I’ll discuss the buying guide, which is jam-packed with advice, tips, and recommendations on the best freeze dryer and what to look for when purchasing one.
Let’s dive in!
What is a home freeze dryer?
Home freeze dryers are kitchen appliances that help you freeze-dry your food.
It uses heat and air to remove moisture from foods such as meats, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Food drying has numerous advantages.
They can be used to freeze dry candy, fruits, vegetables, and other foods that need to be kept fresh. They come in different sizes, so you can find one that works for your space.
What is the best freeze dryer for home use?
Here are 3 best freeze dryers for home use you can consider buying this year:
- Harvest Right Freeze Dryer (Small)
- Harvest Right Freeze Dryer (Standard)
- Harvest Right Freeze Dryer (Large)
1. Harvest Right Small Freeze Dryer
2. Harvest Right Medium Freeze Dryer
3. Harvest Right Large Freeze Dryer
Small, Standard, Large Model Comparision
|Freeze Dryer Size||Small||Standard||Large|
4-7 pounds per batch
|7-10 pounds per batch||12-16 pounds per batch|
|Cost (Premier oil pump)||$2,595||$2,995||$3,795|
|Cost (Oil-free Pump)||$4,090||$4,490||$5,290|
|Dimensions||16.5″ W x 18.5″ D x 25″ H||18″ W x 21.25″ D x 28.5″ H||20.25″ W x 23.75″ D x 30.75″ H|
|Weight||61 pounds||112 pounds||138 pounds|
|Warranty||3-year limited warranty||3-year limited warranty||3-year limited warranty|
What is included inside each model?
- Freeze dryer
- Premier Vacuum Pump
- Vacuum Pump Oil
- Oil Filter
- Stainless Steel Trays (set of 3)
- Guide to Freeze Drying
- Mylar Bags (50 ct)
- Oxygen Absorbers (50 ct)
- Impulse Sealer
Freeze Dryer Tray Sizes
It is important to remember that the trays in each Harvest Right home freeze dryer are different sizes. See the table below to compare the sizes of each tray:
|Freeze Dryer Size||Small||Medium||Large|
|Number of Trays||3||4||5|
|Tray Width||7.75 inches||7.5 inches||9 inches|
|Tray Length||14 inches||18 inches||20.5 inches|
|Tray Height||0.75 inches||0.75 inches||0.75 inches|
On-growing costs when you own a home freeze dryer
Vacuum pump oil
This item costs between $25 and $35, depending on where you buy it. It’s important that you get a freeze dryer with a long-lasting pump so that you don’t have to change it often
My 3 tips to save money on vacuum pump oil
- First, do not overfill your freeze dryer. If too much oil is in the tank, it will be unable to extract all of the air from the container. A good rule of thumb is to fill it up about halfway.
- Second, you should make sure that your lines are clear from ice build-up or other debris. This will help prevent any clogs that may occur during use and cause leaks or other issues with your vacuum pump oil system.
- Finally, make sure that your freeze dryer is clean by wiping off any dirt with a damp cloth before starting up again so that this doesn’t happen again!
Why should you buy a home freeze dryer?
You can stop wasting food.
We all feel bad about wasting food.
Whether we’re tossing out the last bit of produce before it goes bad or throwing away leftovers because they’re past their expiration date, wasting food is just a fact of life. But what if you could stop the waste? What if you could use your leftover produce to make something delicious?
You can with a home freeze dryer!
You can preserve your homegrown produce.
You know how it’s always nice to have a nice, fresh batch of homegrown tomatoes in the fridge. But it’s hard to get them there without throwing away the seeds.
But what if I told you that you could freeze-dry those tomatoes and save them for later? What if you could also preserve your homegrown herbs? What if you could use those herbs in all kinds of delicious dishes and recipes?
This is where a freeze dryer comes in. A freeze-drying machine allows you to preserve food items without wasting them. You can keep your herbs fresh and ready for use all year round. And if you have kids or family, it will save them money on food because they won’t have to buy as much!
You can have an emergency supply of food that will last up to 25 years and more!
A home freeze dryer can be a great investment if you’re planning on living in your home for a long time.
Not only does it provide a space-saving solution for storing food—but it also provides an emergency supply of food that can last up to 25 years and more! That’s right, you can freeze dry any type of food, even for long-term storage.
These appliances are incredibly efficient and use less electricity than other food preservation methods. They are also easy to use—just add the dried items to your pantry or storage area and turn them on!
You Can Make Your Own Freeze Dried Foods At Home, Organically.
Because the freeze-drying process is natural, you don’t have to worry about nasty chemicals or synthetic ingredients. You can make your freeze-dried foods at home organically.
You can save money on food costs.
If you’re like most people, your household budget is already stretched thin—not to mention that there’s always that one friend who has a birthday party every month and invites everyone they know!
So why not save money when it comes time to buy food? You can freeze-dry some of your dinner recipes or even just make one batch of bread or cookies instead of buying them individually whenever someone comes over.
How does a freeze-dryer work?
The drying food process consists of 3 steps:
The first step in the process is freezing. This is done by placing food on large open racks to allow air circulation.
The freeze dryer lowers the temperature inside the vacuum chamber to an incredibly low temperature (around 40 degrees F).
Once the food is completely frozen, a vacuum pump lowers the pressure inside the chamber. And then the temperature is slowly raised back to normal.
2. Lowering pressure
Lowering pressure is accomplished through sublimation, which is when solid ice changes directly into water vapor without ever becoming liquid.
The end product gives up its water content without sacrificing texture, flavor, or nutrition.
A food dryer works by sublimation, which means you’re removing moisture from the food and drying it.
3. Removing the moisture through sublimation
The most common method of removing moisture from food is through sublimation.
Sublimation is a process by which a substance turns directly from a liquid to a gas without going through the liquid phase.
When you heat something up, it expands—that’s part of what makes things like toast pop out at you when you hit them with a pan.
But some molecules in your food aren’t able to keep up with this expansion, so they get left behind as a solid form: that’s sublimation!
Drying your food using a food dryer involves heating it up until they start turning into vapor; then, it’ll be left behind as tiny particles (vapor).
You can think of them as little bubbles in your food that are invisible to the naked eye but are releasing moisture that would otherwise be in your food.
Pros and Cons of buying a freeze dryer
You might love it for
- It provides a great way to preserve food.
- It’s easy to use and operate.
- It is possible to dry large quantities of food at once, making it very cost-effective.
- It can be used for different purposes like dehydrating meat, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
- Home freeze-dried broccoli, pineapple, and cooked chicken chunks have better nutrition information than raw foods or commercially frozen foods.
- It can replace the pressure canning of low-acid foods.
- Freeze-dried foods will last longer than dehydrated foods.
- Freeze-dried food rehydrates more completely than dehydrated food, so the taste and texture are closer to fresh than with dehydrated food.
You might not love it for
- The process can be time-consuming depending on how long you want the product to dry out.
- The machine might be too large for some people’s kitchens
About Harvest Right
Harvest Right is a company that specializes in freeze-drying machines and helps people keep food fresh.
They have three different sizes of each product type for home use and use in a pharmacy.
They also make and sell 3 different types of pumps for your machines: the Vacuum Pump, the Premiere Vacuum Pump, and the Oil-Free Pump.
The main differences between these pumps are how often you have to change the oil (or not use oil in the case of the “Oil-Free Pump”) and if you can use it on your machine. For example, some of them may need an adapter.
Usually, when you buy a freeze dryer, the trays, some Mylar bag units for storage, oxygen absorbers, and an impulse sealer are already included (you can also buy them separately after, as well as other accessories).
The Harvest Right Freeze Dryer was found in Salt Lake City, Utah, where it was designed, engineered, and tested.
They worked hard for four years to make this product, which they then sold worldwide.
Things to consider before buying a home freeze dryer that meets your needs
If you’ve decided to purchase a freeze dryer, you must still consider these factors before making a payment.
Most freeze dryers tell you how big the vacuum chamber is and how much food you can put in it at once.
If you’re only “cooking” for yourself and your partner, you can get away with a smaller dryer.
If you need to feed many people or want to make more than one kind of food at once, you’ll probably need a bigger dryer.
If you’re considering buying a freeze dryer, you’ll need to consider how much space it will take up in your kitchen.
Most large freeze dryers are roughly the size of a dishwasher, but some smaller models can fit on a countertop.
The electricity you can provide
Electricity usage will be a huge factor in determining what kind of freeze dryer you’ll need.
If you’re planning on using this in a very small space or looking to save money, it might make sense to purchase a smaller model.
The large pump and other machinery in a freeze dryer can take some serious power. You may need a dedicated electrical circuit for the larger models.
The final factor to consider when purchasing a home freeze dryer is the amount of maintenance required.
Most of them require little maintenance, but they require cleaning and inspection of the door seals and other important parts.
In addition, most come with a vacuum pump that requires oil changes on a regular basis. Some allow for an upgrade to an oil-free pump, but it comes at a premium.
Food Freeze Dryer vs. Food Dehydrator: What is the difference?
They’re both great at removing water from foods for storage. The difference between a freeze-dryer and a dehydrator is their use of heat.
Freeze-drying is a process that uses low heat to remove about 95% of the water from foods, while dehydrators use a combination of heat and vacuum to remove about 80% of the water from foods.
Both methods are great for preserving food, but one is better for some types of food than others. For example, freeze-drying works best on fruits (ex: freeze-dried strawberries) and vegetables with high sugar content (like apples, bananas, and avocados), but it’s less effective at removing excessive amounts of fat or salt.
Dehydrators work better on meats and other foods with high protein content (like beef jerky or chicken breasts), but they can’t handle dehydrating foods with very high moisture content (like fruit leather).
Best freeze fryers-FAQs
Why are home freeze dryers cost a lot?
The complex components, additional accessories required, operating and maintenance costs, and indirect costs are the 4 reasons why freeze dryers are so expensive to own.
How long does a freeze dryer last?
The best freeze drying machine will last for many years. They are made to last a long time and be durable. A freeze dryer is made to last forever as long as it is cleaned and cared for properly.
If you don’t let the freeze dryer get too hot or too cold while it’s drying your food, it will last longer. If you do, then that can cause damage to the appliance and shorten its lifespan.
Does freeze drying remove nutrients?
No! Freeze drying doesn’t remove nutrients. The process uses a vacuum to remove moisture from the food so that it’s still preserved and won’t rot when it’s frozen. The food is dehydrated but not cooked.
How long does it take a freeze dryer to freeze?
It depends on the size of your freezer and the amount of moisture in your food. If you have a large, well-insulated freezer, you’ll probably be able to freeze dry in 24 hours or less.
If the temperature in your freezer is low and you have a lot of moisture in your food, it might take longer than 24 hours.
To Wrap Up
The best freeze dryer will cost a lot of money upfront, but it will save you a lot in the long run.
I hope you found this article useful and gives you a better understanding of what to look for and consider when purchasing a freeze dryer, as well as the pros and cons of the model.
In the end, the 3 freeze dryer models above are all useful choices for a food storage enthusiast.
As always, make sure to do your research and familiarize yourself with the product before buying it. That said, one of these three should suit you perfectly.