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Freeze Dryer - Anyone have experience — The Grow Network Community
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Freeze Dryer - Anyone have experience

A friend of mine is buying a freeze dryer. Very expensive unit. I'm sure it will come with instructions and recipes but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with a unit like this. Tips? Suggestions? Recipes? Do's and Don'ts?


  • ParadoxParadox Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    I have a freeze dryer from Harvest Right. We purchased ours 4 years ago, and absolutely LOVE it! Recipes is more about what you use, really. We do a lot of summer fruits--Strawberries, raspberries, peaches, apples, etc. , but we've also done meats (freeze dried liver for the pups is their FAVE!!), milk, eggs, veggies, and some leftovers for quick meals in the future (Spaghetti anyone?). I think my two absolute favorites for time savings is freeze-dried broth (I mean.. who really wants to open a quart jar when the recipe calls for 1/2c?!) and freeze-drying leftover cooked beans. We always do the largest batch in our insta-pot, specifically so we can have extra that we turn around and run through the freeze dryer. Next time.. need beans? grab a jar, add water, wait a few minutes, add beans to recipe--no overnight soaking, no fuss.

    Happy to answer any questions.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,565 admin

    @Paradox Thanks for answering. Glad to hear from someone who has one and is pleased. I was thinking it would make storage a lot cheaper. Canning lids have become quite expensive if you are doing a large harvest. We currently have 4 freezers running and that adds up on the power bill. I make a lot of broth and that would be a big space saver in the freezer if I could freeze dry it. Freeze dried meals for wilderness travel are so expensive to buy (and some are not all that tasty) so I was hoping to freeze dry some of my favourites for travel. How are eggs? Do you freeze dry the beaten eggs raw or do you make scrambled eggs and then freeze dry those or both?

  • solarnoon.aspensolarnoon.aspen Posts: 219 ✭✭✭

    The freeze drying idea is fascinating. Too bad the units cost so much and use so much power...... We are off grid, so it is just not feasible. But I love the fact that once processed, that's the end of energy use for that food, and that the food is preserved so well. Maybe in the future with more solar panels and batteries....... For now, I have the plans to make a super solar dehydrator and that will do. sigh....

  • I really much prefer the taste of freeze dried food to dehydrated. But for most homes, the cost of the unit is prohibitive.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were local commercial kitchens that one could rent as needed for our canning and freeze drying?

  • SheilaSheila Posts: 52 ✭✭✭

    There are a number of places that do have commercial kitchens for rent by the hour - do a google search for your area. We have 2 here in our area; neither has a freeze dryer but otherwise they are fully equipped and licensed.

  • Suburban PioneerSuburban Pioneer Posts: 201 ✭✭✭

    We were thinking about getting a Harvest Right, but got turned off by the lack of customer service (I mean, if you have a problem, they try to diagnose it over the phone, send you a part then point you towards a DIY repair video? I can just see what's going to happen the first time I can't get something to work... the unit will get heaved, with prejudice, into the junk heap...)

    Anyway, good to know that somebody is happy with theirs and that it does consume a lot of electricity. We were wondering what it might do to the power bills. They don't talk about that in their sales brochure. Wish there were a more competitive, customer-friendly unit because we really want to get into freeze drying. The commercial foods are too expensive and almost never organic.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    I to am happy to hear from a satisfied customer. There seem to be a lot of bad reviews out there.

  • ParadoxParadox Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    we honestly have never had a really bad experience with customer service, but then we haven't had to call in probably 2 years. the electric usage IS heavy.. it probably comes out to $2-3/day .. or was that a load, when I tested it. It's not like 4 figure electric bill, but you'll notice a hit.

    As for the eggs, we've done them both ways--depends on the purpose. we FD'd raw to use in baking, and scrambled/cooked to .. well.. eat. We've also done potatoes both ways.

    As for canning lids... if you think you might get a FD and/or you dehydrate, save the ones that are in good shape. You can reuse them for dried goods!

  • maryannfrickomaryannfricko Posts: 121 ✭✭✭

    If a food was in a dehydrator for along time, would it be similar to freeze dried?

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @Paradox I was thinking of getting a freeze dryer, but one of the downsides that I saw is that it uses a lot of oil and it has to be replaced often. Is that the case? Is it a difficult and/or expensive process to replace the oil?

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 182 ✭✭✭

    @Paradox started to research freeze dryers today. Found this about eggs. Love Kevin and Sarah. They are very excited about their new purchase!


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