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Freeze Dryer information — The Grow Network Community
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Freeze Dryer information

soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭

Here is a link to an ebook explaining why and how to freeze dry foods.




  • flowerpower *flowerpower * Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    I would like to hear what freeze dryers people bought and how much they cost. A community group could also purchase a freeze dryer for the community, say for a growing group. More cooperation required, I know.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 635 ✭✭✭✭

    I would be interested in a community group purchase of a freeze dryer @flowerpower * . That's something that makes a lot of sense.

  • lewis.mary.elewis.mary.e Posts: 199 ✭✭✭

    I could Google it, but I'll just ask. How large is a freeze dryer for home use?

  • flowerpower *flowerpower * Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    @lewis.mary.e From @soeasytocraft 's link:

    Scroll to the bottom to compare small, medium and large. https://harvestright.com/

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭

    I'm very new to freeze drying. Seems those in the groups I've joined are using their own dryers constantly.I know I will be keeping mine going much of the time as well. Makes me think for a community effort a commercial one would make more sense. Have no idea what they cost but a system of figuring our electricity costs would have to be established for sure.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    Hubby just ordered one for me in December, but it will not be delivered for a while yet. I have also joined many different groups to learn as much as I can and get tips on what works well. It does seem people are using them personally a lot more than I thought they would. Does anyone here already own one? If so how do you use yours? If you had one what would you use it for?

    We opted for the small since there is only 2 of us. I have wanted one for years, and have always planned to use it to help stop the waste of food in the house. I have added the desire to preserve more FD fruits and vegetables as snacks as well.

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 Mine arrived a couple of weeks before Christmas and I had already frozen a bunch of foods on cookie sheets to freeze dry. Then transferred to bags while I waited. It was a bit of a disappointment when it arrived it didn't have the pump we ordered. A pump that doesn't need the oil changed often. We got the standard pump that needs the oil filtered every 4-5 loads. The premium pump will come eventually.

    Why do I tell you this? Seems they have been filling orders with the standard pump because they are hard pressed to fill the order for the Premium pump. So this could happen to you. No big deal but the amount of oil they supplied was not adequate to be filtered and used to refill the pump. So....I was out of production for awhile waiting for my order of oil to be shipped. And then the parcel got lost! So if you do end up with the standard pump be sure to get an oil supply right away! Perhaps you ordered the standard pump so be sure to have enough oil. I was so bummed out just had to warn you. 😀

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 Ok, what was your question? How I plan to use it? There are only 2 of us as well. We are working hard at growing our own food but getting older and want to have our own food supply for the future when we are not able to grow for ourselves. This seems to be an easier method of preserving foods and the shelf life is very long without depending on a deep freezer. It will be a bit of a food prep learning curve but so far pretty easy. I'm very impressed with my medium size appliance.

    So far I've done tomato soup, squash soup, milk, blood, fresh chopped Tomatoes and a few tomato halves. At the moment I have a load of cooked sweet potatoes processing. Much more in the freezer waiting to go. Eggs is definitely on the list. Really looking forward to trying herbs from my garden next summer! Every day I think of something else to freeze dry!😂

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    After exercising my patience we have received the email and phone call to schedule delivery next week! I am super excited. @soeasytocraft We did order the standard pump because their prices all increased with the pandemic. Thanks for the heads up on oil. I will get some ordered right away. I have some whole tomatoes frozen from the garden I planned to use in soups this winter but didn’t end up using most of them. Do you think I could FD them whole? They are San Marzano’s.

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 wow! Super exciting!! I’m so excited for you too!!! Just a bit more patience to go!, if there is anything I can help you with give me a shout! I’d love to share our experiences together if that interests you!

    As for the tomatoes I think they are too high if not cut. I cut my San Marzano's in half. Scooped out some of the pulp and placed them cut side up. These were fresh. Foods with tough skins on them may not dry the best eg fruits like blueberries and cranberries need the skin broken to let the moisture out. Not sure if tomatoes fall in the category. Some tomatoes do have tough skins.

    I have some whole ones in the freezer too. Tried cutting them frozen and they crumbled. So still thinking of what is the best approach. Likely will just use them without freeze drying. Will be planting with FD in mind this spring.

    Have abundant fun!

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 just have to tell you about my current load! Each load is exciting especially if new items.

    celery - can’t grow it and want organic so have been doing without. It’ll be great having it in my pantry

    coffee - some recipes call for instant coffee which I never purchase. So now if this works out I’ll have my own whenever I need it.

    cranberries - mostly to make tasty juice for urinary tract health. I love cranberry sauce too.

    rabbit ears - usually just dehydrate these but this way I don’t have to save up a full load. Plus it’s more a secret so the cats don’t line up on the dehydrator and try to nudge it open. Very cute they are. 😂

    Wanted to get you more excited then you already are! 🤣

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    Cool. I've never tried freeze drying before, just dehydrating.

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭

    @karenjanicki it is absolutely amazing!! So many items make @ wonderful surprising snack. An example is cooked turnips. They are not one of my favourite veggie by any means!

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    @soeasytocraft I would love to share our experiences! Our machine has arrived however the electrician wanted a TON of money to run the wiring 2ish feet for the higher needed amperage outlet! Needless to say I have another electrician coming this Monday, hoping for a better estimate. I already have a box in the wall covered with a plate. Sooo... the FDer sits waiting to be test driven. 😢 Tell me more about the coffee? Are you just freeze drying coffee beans? Didn’t realize that would make instant coffee. I am weird when it comes to cranberries. I don’t like sauce but love the dried ones, so I bet aim will love freeze dried cranberries as well. And the rabbit ears.... are they really ears from rabbits? What do you do with those? I am thinking like pigs ears as treats for dogs. I can just imagine the cats drooling over the smell of the ears at the dehydrator.

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 Sorry I missed seeing the bell at the top of the page. Hope you have your FD up and running now. Your test run under your belt and finding all kinds of goodies to experiment with.

    Coffee - I made strong coffee, poured it onto the trays while in place in my deep freeze. Once frozen moved them successfully to the FD without spilling. I have not rehydrated into a cup of coffee yet. My purpose was to have on hand for recipes calling for instant coffee. It smells wonderful!

    Cranberries - I boil the FD berries to make juice. Good for the bladder.

    Rabbit ears - yes from our rabbit harvest. Nice to honour the animal by not wasting any of it. Pigs ears just might work as long as they lay flat on the trays. They may need to be cut up somehow. I suppose it depends on the size of the pigs. As I recall they have pretty big ears. Recently I've caught the blood as it drains out and FD its as well. It has lots of good nutrition I'm told. Hope so as I add it to soups when no one is looking. Ha! Ha!

    Cat drooling - It's pretty funny!

    What are you planning to do first? Would love to hear more! Have fun!

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    @soeasytocraft sadly no, we still sit unable to operate. This electrician came out, wasn’t 100% sure what was the best way to run the wiring so he wanted to bring out his supervisor to get another opinion. I did like his honesty. They were back on the 22nd. Gave us an even higher estimate (3 wires ran total) and said they are super busy and are booking about 2 weeks out. Then the 2 of them proceeded to stand in my front yard and chat with each other and watch another business doing work for about 40 min. 🤯 I waited several years to be able to purchase my own, so I guess a few more weeks to a month isn’t going to hurt me. I am learning some people have very different paces than I am used to.

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 Oh man! That has to be horribly frustrating!!! Sure hope you won't have to wait much longer! The wiring was one reason we went with a medium instead of a large. It's not on its own circuit but has very little draw from other stuff. We did have to change the plugin so it wouldn't be on a switch. I wanted to do that for years anyway.

    It will be worth waiting for! Get lots of food frozen so you can keep it running to make up for lost time! Mine has been quiet for awhile as its been so busy here I kinda ran out of steam. Really looking forward to the gardening season tho!

    Let me know when it gets up and running!!

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,225 admin

    @gardneto76 What changes did they need to make so you could use your freeze dryer? I am looking at getting one but an electrical charge may change that plan

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    @soeasytocraft I am so excited to say “I have electricity!” 🎉🎉🎉 Not excited about the price I paid for it and the way it came about but I just got tired of waiting. Long story turned short, I had another electrical problem so I had to call an emergency electrician to figure out why lights & outlets weren’t working. After fixing that I asked home about installing the new outlets. I just wanted it done so I can actually put together my machine. Now I need to finish the assembly and run my fist test run, and of course we don’t have bread because we don’t eat it so I have to buy some of that or beg a few slices off a neighbor. Maybe I will just use old marshmallows.

    @Denise Grant some of the machines require certain amperage wires, outlets, and circuit breakers. The larger the machine the higher the requirement. The small machine peaks at 16 amps so I wanted a 20 amp 4 plug outlet put in just for my freeze dryer, it’s accessories, and my printer to be plugged in on the stand. There was not an outlet in the room I am placing my machine into do that so I had one added. It also happens to be right inside of the circuit breaker box wall so it didn’t take much wire at all.

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 214 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2

    @gardneto76 It's up and running!! Awesome! Sounds like an easy electrical project that worked out well for you, except for the bill!! We have another wire to run and I'm considering running a new one for the FD as well. Problem can come in to play if I decide on a different location for the thing! Still waiting for my premium pump to see what the noise level is like. For now we avoid using anything else on that circuit. Easy enough at the moment.

    I was lucky about the bread. I happened to have a bag off buns in the freezer that someone brought over for a meal. We don't generally have any bread here either.

  • flowerpower *flowerpower * Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 That is a good point about checking out electrical requirements for any freeze dryer selected to buy.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    @soeasytocraft I have frozen bagels! Would that work? My hubby works by a bagel shop and if they have tons of leftovers they give him some which we freeze for when the kids come visit. The bags are sent home with the kids. I a, sure they won’t miss a few.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 635 ✭✭✭✭

    Boy, I feel like the uncool kid at school because I don't have a freeze dryer or a dehydrator. Ah well, it's fun to see you so excited.

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,225 admin

    @frogvalley you can be uncool with me ;). I would love one but will have to save up for it.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 635 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 5

    @Denise Grant Maybe we can figure out how to buy/share one. We're really not that far from one another and if we travel, we might go past one another. Maybe there would be one or two others in between to go it together?

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 774 ✭✭✭✭

    Denise Grant, @frogvalley I'll just hang with the two of you as I also want a FD buy have to wait and save for it. Then have to either find a friend to let me put it at their place or save up enough to get electricity as well.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    @frogvalley, @Denise Grandi, & @vickeym I waited several years, watching to see how they change, the price go down then back up, and read reviews before finally getting one. You can all do this! now that I have it I am discovering all the other joys. I have to search through everything to see if my door seal was hidden somewhere else in the packaging, and I of course am stuck at work. If it’s not there I have to wait until Monday to be able to call them back because it’s the weekend and they only work with in store customers on Saturdays. I feel like I will not get it operational any time soon. 😭

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,225 admin

    @frogvalley I am sure we can work something out.

    I need to do some researching and see what all I need for a freeze drier to work.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 774 ✭✭✭✭

    A co-worker just gave me a great idea for when I am able to save up enough to get one. Since we also have livestock and have friends with larger livestock...I can do some freeze dried treats for our dogs and if I can get enough...maybe even make dog food items to sell to the dog mushers here. When they are out on the trails the lighter weight foods would be easier for them to haul and since they add hot water to the food anyway, rehydrating would be fairly easy too.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    I have been seeing several posts online nOw about others finding a freeze dryer at an estate sale or listed on another sale site. Keep saving and start looking. You might be able to get one sooner than expected.

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