Freeze-dried foods are a favorite of settlers, preppers, serious hikers, and chefs who love to try culinary experiments. In addition, it is interesting to use a freeze dryer. These specialized kitchen gadgets seem futuristic and open up a whole range of ways to store food.
Home freeze dryers allow you to prepare freeze-dried ingredients, meals and snacks at home. While they are still relatively new to the consumer market, with the first home use version only introduced in 2013, we have researched the options and put together some of the best freeze dryers currently available. These machines are easy to use, efficient and produce high quality freeze dried products. Read on to learn about some of the best freeze drying options for home food storage.
Freeze-dried products have many advantages: stable shelf life, low weight, and processed product does not change compared to fresh products. As a result, they tend to have better taste, texture, and nutritional value than frozen, dehydrated, or canned foods.
It is because of these advantages that many buyers want to purchase a freeze dryer in the first place. However, a freeze dryer is not a cheap device, so it’s worth considering if it’s worth it. Because many packaged freeze-dried foods are also not cheap, settlers, preppers, and campers can save money in the long run by using freeze-drying at home. Or for those who just want to try freeze drying as a hobby, one of these space age gadgets is perfect. When considering the price, keep in mind the running costs of freeze drying, such as vacuum pump consumables, mylar bags used to store cooked food, and overall electricity consumption.
The freeze dryer is not a popular kitchen gadget, and options for home use are few and far between, making them hard to come by. Buyers can invest in pharmaceutical or commercial freeze dryers, but consumer freeze dryers are better for typical home use. They are more affordable, convenient and easy to use, as they are designed for freeze drying products at home.
Freeze dryers can be complex machines. In this guide, we are looking for freeze dryers designed for home use because they make the process simpler and easier. Consumer options are new and may be more limited than commercial freeze dryers, but the best home machines are designed for food use, easy to operate, and much less expensive than commercial options. They are the best choice for most homes.
When choosing home options, we evaluated convenience, price, ease of installation and use. Our top pick offers the right capacity for most home users, at a reasonable price (at least for such a dedicated machine) and makes it easy to get consumables for permanent use.
Whether users are interested in freeze-dried products for camping, preparing for the end of the world, or just want to do fun experiments in the kitchen, freeze-dried foods are just a few steps away and here is the best home freeze dryer. options one first.
Combining reasonable size and reasonable cost, the Harvest Right medium size home freeze dryer is our pick of the best home freeze dryer. It’s easy to set up and use – it has all the components to start using right away. Like all Harvest Right home freeze dryers, it comes with a vacuum pump and stainless steel freeze drying trays, mylar storage bags, oxygen scavengers, and impulse sealers for freeze drying storage.
In terms of capacity, a freeze dryer can process 7 to 10 pounds of food per batch and produce 1.5 to 2.5 gallons of freeze dry food per cycle. That’s enough to process up to 1,450 pounds of fresh produce a year.
This freeze dryer is the perfect size to fit on a table, counter or cart. It measures 29 inches high, 19 inches wide and 25 inches deep and weighs 112 pounds. It uses a standard 110 volt outlet, a dedicated 20 amp circuit is recommended but not required. Available in stainless steel, black and white finishes.
This freeze dryer is Harvest Right’s smallest offering and the brand’s cheapest option. While still an investment, this is the best entry-level freeze dryer on this list for beginner experimenters and less frequent users. It holds 4 to 7 pounds of fresh food and can produce 1 to 1.5 gallons of freeze-dried food. With regular use, it can process 840 pounds of fresh food per year.
Its capacity is less than other Harvest Right freeze dryers, but at the expense of a more compact and lighter machine. This small freeze dryer measures 26.8 inches high, 17.4 inches wide, and 21.5 inches deep and weighs 61 pounds, making it easy to move and store. Available in black or stainless steel, it comes with everything you need to freeze dry and only requires a standard 110 volt electrical outlet. Maintenance takes only a few minutes, including filtering and changing the oil.
Designed for both laboratory and home use, the Harvest Right Scientific freeze dryer is the best freeze dryer for those looking for flexibility. This is a scientific freeze dryer, so in addition to being easy to set up and use, the Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer offers a lot of customization. This feature allows you to control the freezing speed, freezing end temperature, time settings, drying cycle temperature and more to customize your recipe. Although it is a scientific unit, it can also be used in processed foods.
It has a large capacity to handle up to 2 gallons of material. All settings and monitoring are controlled from the full color touch screen. It measures 30 inches high, 20 inches wide, and 25 inches deep, and while the Harvest Right has no overall weight, it fits nicely on a counter or countertop.
For homes that need a lot of capacity but aren’t quite ready for the science model, consider the Harvest Right Large Home Freeze Dryer. This large freeze dryer can process 12 to 16 pounds of food per batch, resulting in 2 to 3.5 gallons of freeze dried food. He freeze-dries up to 2,500 pounds of fresh food every year.
The device measures 31.3 inches high, 21.3 inches wide, and 27.5 inches deep and weighs 138 pounds, so it may require multiple people to move it. However, it is suitable for a solid countertop or table. It is available in black, stainless steel and white.
Like the rest of the Harvest Right home products, it comes with all the parts you need to freeze and store food. Because of its size, it requires more power, so it requires a 110 volt (NEMA 5-20) outlet and a special 20 amp circuit.
Freeze drying of foods can be done without an expensive freeze dryer, although there are a few caveats. The DIY method is not as reliable as using a dedicated freeze dryer and may not get enough moisture from the food. Therefore, the finished product is usually not suitable for long-term storage. The previous two methods are suitable for short-term storage and experiments with freeze-dried products.
Use a standard refrigerator. The easiest way to freeze dry foods without a freeze dryer is to use a standard refrigerator. Prepare food as usual, wash and cut food into small pieces. Spread it out in an even layer on a cookie sheet or large platter. Place the tray in the refrigerator and leave for 2-3 weeks. Remove food after it has been sufficiently freeze-dried and store in an airtight bag or container.
Use dry ice. Another way to freeze is to use dry ice. This method requires more supplies: a large Styrofoam refrigerator, dry ice, and freezer plastic bags. Wash and cook food again as usual. Place the food in a freezer bag, then place the bag in the refrigerator. Cover bag with dry ice and leave for at least 24 hours (or until freeze-dried). Transfer freeze-dried products to an airtight bag or container.
A freeze dryer is a significant investment; these machines usually cost more than a standard refrigerator or freezer. However, they are essential for home cooks who want to freeze dry foods efficiently and economically. Before choosing the best freeze dryer, it is important to consider several specifications, including power, freeze dryer size and weight, noise level, and installation requirements.
The capacity of a lyophilizer means how many products it can process at one time. Freeze drying at home involves thinly spreading food on trays and placing them in a freeze dryer. Home freeze dryers often display fresh food capacity in pounds, allowing the user to know the approximate amount of fresh food that these trays can hold.
Freeze dryers will also sometimes display freeze drying capacity in gallons, giving you an idea of how much finished product you can produce after each round. Finally, some of them also include a measure of how much food you plan to process in a year (in pounds of fresh food or gallons of freeze-dried food). This is a useful measurement for homeowners and others who plan to use the freeze dryer frequently.
A freeze dryer is not a small or light device, so size is a factor to consider when weighing the pros and cons. Home freeze dryers can range in size from the size of a large microwave or toaster to the size of a clothes dryer.
Small items can weigh over 50 pounds, making them difficult to move by one person. Large freeze dryers can weigh over 150 pounds. Buyers should consider whether their countertop or table can accommodate the size and weight of their preferred freeze dryer. Also, consider other storage options and availability of other suitable locations where you can designate a spot for the freeze dryer.
Noise can be an important factor in the decision to purchase a freeze dryer. Typical knead time for freeze dryers is 20 to 40 hours, and freeze dryers are quite loud, 62 to 67 decibels. In comparison, many vacuum cleaners emit 70 decibels.
There are very few options currently available (the domestic market is dominated by Harvest Right freeze dryers) so there is no real way to avoid the noise. If possible, it is best to locate the freeze dryer away from important and frequently used living areas to reduce the impact of noise pollution in your home.
Home freeze dryers usually come with everything a customer needs to get started, often including a freeze dryer, vacuum pump, food trays, and food storage materials. This is one of the benefits of buying a homemade freeze dryer as commercial options may be missing some of these key components.
Due to the machine’s heavy weight (starting at around 60 pounds), a freeze dryer typically requires two people to set up. Many freeze dryers need to be countertop or countertop mounted for easy drainage. Like many household appliances, freeze dryers generate heat, so it is important to provide space for them to ventilate.
Small freeze dryers can be plugged into a standard 110 volt outlet, and a dedicated 20 amp circuit is usually recommended. Larger freeze dryers may require a 110 volt (NEMA 5-20) outlet and their own dedicated 20 amp circuit.
Sublimated products have several advantages. They usually retain excellent nutritional content. They also usually retain good texture and flavor after being freeze-dried, so the rehydrated product is comparable to fresh products. This method means there will be no more frostbite from stuffing jar food into the freezer. Owning a freeze dryer allows you to enjoy these benefits at home.
Home freeze dryers are very easy to use, yet very useful as they allow you to cook long shelf life food in just a few steps. For most foods, simply prepare foods as you normally would for regular freezing (e.g., divide foods into portions, wash and blanch vegetables, or dice fruit). Then simply place the food on the freeze dryer tray and press a few buttons to start the process.
Freeze drying safely preserves food for future use, which is probably the biggest benefit for most users. The shelf-stable finished product is lighter in weight and easy to store, making it ideal for carrying groceries on long hikes or for families with limited food storage space. Finally, with frequent enough use, families can save money on freeze-drying their own products versus buying ready-made freeze-dried products.
Almost any food can be sublimated, including vegetables, fruits, meats, sauces, and even entire meals. Freeze drying allows you to process foods that would otherwise be difficult to store properly, such as dairy or egg products.
Quality matters, so start with high quality, fresh produce. In most cases, freeze-drying food is similar to the preparation of conventional frozen meals. For example, this includes washing and slicing fruit, blanching vegetables, and portioning meat and other dishes. Freeze-dried products are more difficult to handle, requiring pre-work such as cutting the fruit into small pieces.
Home freeze dryers are designed to be easy to use, so just follow the directions for placing food on the tray and using the machine for best results. If desired, use parchment paper or a silicone mat to keep food from sticking to the baking sheet.
Freeze-dried foods are space-age (remember astronaut ice cream?), but meats, vegetables, fruits, and other foods can be freeze-dried at home with a food freeze dryer. This is a relatively new home cooking gadget, so there are bound to be issues with it when it comes to use and convenience. Below we have answered some frequently asked questions about freeze dryers.
Freeze drying and food dehydration are two different processes. Both remove moisture from food for preservation purposes, but freeze dryers remove more moisture.
A dehydrator works by using warm, dry air to remove moisture from food. These machines are cheaper and simpler than freeze dryers but produce a different end product. Dehydrated foods often have a different texture and taste than fresh foods and are only stable for one year.
How does freeze drying work? The freeze drying process uses freezing temperatures and a vacuum chamber to preserve food. Foods produced by this method are shelf-stable, often have a texture and flavor similar to fresh produce, and have a shelf life of over 8 years.
it depends. The initial cost of a freeze dryer is high, but it is definitely worth it for the frequent user. To determine if it’s worth it for your family, compare the amount you typically spend on freeze dried products with the cost of a freeze dryer.
Don’t forget to consider the ongoing costs of running a freeze dryer (primarily maintenance supplies, storage bags, and electricity) as well as the convenience and flexibility of owning your own freeze dryer.
It is impossible to get around this – cheap lyophilizers do not yet exist. Be prepared to spend around $2,500 for a small, high-quality homemade freeze dryer. Very large, commercial and pharmaceutical options can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
A freeze dryer is generally not as energy efficient as other large modern kitchen appliances. Because they have to run for long periods of time (up to 40 hours per batch), they can add to your energy bills, depending on how often you run them. As for the top pick on our list (Harvest Right Medium Size Freeze Dryer), Harvest Right estimates the energy cost to run a freeze dryer at $1.25-$2.80 per day.
Freeze drying food can be done without a machine, but it can be tedious and not as safe or effective as using a dedicated freeze dryer. The freeze dryer is specially designed to freeze dry fruits, meats, dairy products and other foods so that they can be stored safely for a long period of time. Other do-it-yourself methods may result in products not being freeze-dried properly (may not reach the correct moisture level) and therefore not safe for long term storage.
For decades, Bob Vila has helped Americans build, renovate, renovate, and decorate their homes. As the host of popular TV shows such as This Old House and Bob Weal’s Home Again, he brings his experience and DIY spirit to American families. The Bob Vila team is committed to continuing this tradition by turning the experience into easy-to-understand family advice. Jasmine Harding has been writing about kitchen appliances and other household products since 2020. Her goal is to break through the marketing hype and jargon and find kitchen appliances that actually make life easier. To write this guide, she researched home freeze dryers in depth and turned to additional university resources to find reliable information about these relatively new kitchen appliances.
Post time: Aug-18-2023