We have been asked our opinion on home freeze-dryers many times since Harvest Right came onto the preparedness scene. A few months ago I went and toured the corporate offices and was able to learn a lot more about the company and the home freeze-dryer machines. Harvest Right offered me the opportunity to test out one of the freeze-dryers to do a full review on it for our blog. I hope you enjoy following along with my adventures as I learn the ropes and determine how useful it is for long term food storage purposes!
To see my day to do journey please make sure to join our Facebook Group where I post about all of the different things I’m trying and my own tips and tricks.
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Setting up the Freeze-Dryer
I am using the medium size unit. They are available in Small, Medium, and Large. Even the medium unit is BIG. It is not a one-person job to get in inside and situated. It is over 100 lbs and very bulky. Following the instructions in the manual I was able to get it set up on my own once it was in the house. Here is a video showing the whole process.
Filtering the Oil
I had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to change the oil in the pump. The freeze-dryer came with a filter that I have been using but I haven’t found it to be that great of a filter. A few of our facebook friends suggested an alternative home-made version that I think I will try.
I do the brita pitcher ($3 at thrift store) and I use Scott 1000 toilet paper. I used a serrated bread knife and cut down the roll of paper, peeled that off and rolled it and squished it in. I freeze my oil first so that all the water and particulants are frozen in a disc at the bottom. I pour the oil out, and throw away the frozen water disc. It takes a few hours to make it through the filter.
I didn’t tip the pump to get all the oil out of the bottom the first time, but I did that the second time and got a lot of nasty black stuff in the oil so make sure you tip it and empty as much as possible each time! Here’s a video showing how to do it with the pump and filter that I currently have.
First Batch of Food
I’ve been sharing some of the pictures of different foods we are trying in our Facebook group. My kids think it’s fun to just put random things in there and see what happens. A few things I tried that didn’t work were butter, hershey’s chocolate, and toothpaste (they wanted to make mints out of it). A few of our favorite things so far are yogurt drops, ice cream sandwiches, marshmallows, apples, oranges, cantaloupe, and cookie dough. Yumm! Here is a video of the whole freeze-drying process I captured throughout each step.
The Freeze-Drying Process
The Home Freeze Dryer uses a refrigeration condenser that freezes to a very low temperature (-20 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit); then, in combination with a vacuum pump that creates a vacuum inside the drying chamber, it makes freeze drying at home possible for everyone.
Freeze-Drying versus Dehydrating
Many people are curious about the difference between freeze-drying and dehydrating. I have done some of both and am loving having the chance to make some of my own Freeze-Dried foods. Here are a few key differences and a handy chart you can print out. The main downside listed here is that freeze-dried tends to be more expensive than dehydrated. This is true for the machines as well as for buying commercial food. But once you have paid for the machines the cost of the food is the same.
Order through Food Storage Made Easy
If you’d like to get your own Harvest Right Freeze Dryer, we have arranged for some AWESOME pricing for you. If you order through our store shipping is included and these are the lowest prices you will see online. Click here on the image below to grab your own freeze-dryer through us.
Follow My Adventures
As mentioned above, please join our Facebook Group so you can see more of what I am “cooking” up in the freeze dryer this summer. We also have tons of discussions on food storage, emergency preparedness, gardening, homesteading, and more. It is so fun to see what everyone is up to and learn from each other. We’d love to see you on the inside and get to know you better 🙂
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