HOW TO FREEZE DRY FOOD AT HOME

Imagine if you could prepare an emergency food supply that would last over 30 years without spoiling. Even better, imagine if you could store this food at room temperature, pretty much anywhere, without intricate storage equipment. And lastly, imagine if this form of food storage was actually smaller and lighter than regular food, and could be prepared very cheaply with minimal time investment.

Well, good news friends! This technology already exists. It is called freeze drying (or lyophilisation or cryodesiccation, depending in how big of a nerd you are talking to)

HOW FREEZE DRYING WORKS

Freeze drying was first invented during World War II. The allies would ship serum to the front lines to help soldiers wounded in battle. However, due to the lack of refrigeration technology available at the time, it would often spoil by the time it reached its destination. Freeze drying was invented to solve this problem.

The process of freeze drying works like this: First, the food (or serum, in the above case) is flash frozen (frozen quickly at very low temperatures, so the ice doesn’t form large crystals and damage the cells of the food). Then the moisture from the food is removed through the process of sublimation (going from solid ice directly to vapor), often with the help of a vacuum chamber. Once all the moisture is removed, the food is placed in air-and-moisture-proofed bags, and stored. The food will return to its original form- with its taste, texture and nutrients still intact, even decades later- by just adding boiling water.

HOW TO FREEZE DRY AT HOME

1) FREEZE DRYING WITH A VACUUM CHAMBER

The quickest and most effective method of freeze drying is with a vacuum chamber. After the food is frozen, it is put in the vacuum chamber at a pump level below 133 x 10-3. The vacuum environment will cause the sublimation process to happen much quicker, and you’ll be able to prepare more food in less time. When fully sublimated, the food is ready for storage.

2) FREEZE DRYING WITH A FREEZER

If a vacuum chamber isn’t available to you, though, you can still freeze dry. You just need more time. You can cut the food into small pieces and place them on a perforated tray in the freezer (This process works much better in non-frost freezers). The food will freeze in the first few hours, and over the next week the process of sublimation should take place (all the moisture will be removed). You can test the food by taking a piece out and letting it thaw. If it turns black quickly, it isn’t ready. If not, you’re ready for the next step, storage.

3) FREEZE DRYING WITH DRY ICE

There’s a third way to freeze dry, and that’s by using dry ice. In a low humidity environment, water molecules are drawn out of a material. Surrounding the food you want to freeze dry with dry ice (CO2 in it’s solid state), will create a near-zero humidity environment, drawing out the moisture very efficiently.

You’ll need a container twice the size of the amount of food you’re going to freeze dry (Tupperware is fine for your container).  Poke a few holes on the lid for the gas to escape. Put equal volumes of dry ice and the food you’d like to freeze dry into the container. One layer of dry ice, one layer of food, etc. works well. Put the container in the freezer, to keep the dry ice solid for as long as possible. Check every 24 hours until the dry ice is gone. The food should be fully freeze dried, and ready for storage.

STORING FREEZE DRIED FOOD

After freeze drying, either with a vacuum chamber or not, place the food in air tight, moisture proof bags. You can use a vacuum packing machine for this if one is available to you. Ziploc bags also work fine, as long as the air is pushed out of them. Seal them up and place them in your area of storage. You now have freeze-dried food, and emergency food supply that will be good for decades!

WHAT TO FREEZE DRY?

There are many foods you can attempt to freeze dry. Fruits and vegetables work really well. Apples and potatoes are great to start with as they’re the easiest. I’ve even heard of freeze dried ice cream. One thing to remember is that water is the only substance that sublimates, so while you may remove all the water moisture some alcohols and acids can still affect the storage and chemical stability of your food. Occasionally test your freeze dried food to make sure it has transformed effectively and will be of use to you should the day come when you actually need it.

 

FOR RELATED ARTICLES, CHECK OUT HOW TO PRESERVE FOOD AT HOME, AND HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN VACUUM CHAMBER.

Good luck and stay prepared!

By Rambo Moe

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Comments

  1. Great post thanks. I’m going to try bananas for my hiking trip.

  2. Awesome, let me know how they turn out!

    • mary chambers says:

      Hi

      Can I freeze dry dehydrated foods?

      Mary

      • Mary, if your food has been dehydrated, why would you want to freeze dry it?

        • what about meat??? i have some beef freezing now. when you take out of freezer should it go directily to the bags??? will there not be condensation???

          • Yes, should go directly in the bags as per the instructions. If it has dehydrated properly, then there won’t, by definition, be any condensation.

        • I’d like to continue the question regarding dehydrated foods – can you freeze dry them? The reason would be to make them last longer. It stands to reason that if freeze dried last 10 years or more than it would benefit you to do so. And dehydration is a much quicker process – so dehydrating ahead of time seems like it would speed up the process of freeze drying. What do you think?

          • @Sharron: freeze drying is a form of dehydrating food, but a very effective one that will take out more moisture and cause the food to last much longer.

          • I understand what freeze drying does, I just wonder if dehydrating them in a dehydrator first would speed up the process? I am dehydrating apples today – after about 8 hours they will be fairly crispy, but leathery. If I threw them into the freezer, do you think the freezer would take out the remaining moisture, and thus make them last longer? I’m only asking because I wonder if that 8 hours of dehydrating would speed up the process once I put them in the freezer? Like maybe they’d be completely freeze dried in a few days rather than a full week? I’m just curious.

          • It is my understanding that freeze drying is just a dehydration process that better preserves food as well as its taste and texture. The regular dehydration process destroys more of the cellular structure so it isn’t as flavorful and the texture changes. So if you used the regular dehydration process first, the damage would already be done, so freezing would perhaps make the food last a bit longer just because cold temperatures inhibit bacterial growth. I am fairly certain that following regular freeze drying procedures would make the food last longer with better taste and texture.

          • I agree with that.

      • SO YOU WANT TO TAKE MOISTURE OUT OF SOMETHING THAT HAS ALREADY HAD THE MOISTURE TAKEN OUT OF IT?

  3. Thanks for the info. So, after you freeze dry the meat and put them in ziploc bags, can you put them on the shelf with the other canned goods or do you have to keep them in the freezer?

  4. If they have been freeze dried and sealed properly, you should be able to keep them on the shelf at room temperature for decades. The key is removing all moisture and oxygen, so there is simply no way for decomposition to take hold.

  5. Wow, is it really that easy? If you go the freezer way, how do you avoid getting freezer burn on your food? I mean, it is sitting on the freezer shelf for a week or more. And if you go with dry ice, how do you get the dry ice in small enough segments to layer it with the food in a container? Please let me know what works best! I’m eager to try each of these methods.

  6. @Maxine: freezer burn is what happens when organic material gets dehydrated through sublimation. So freezer burn is essentally the goal here. I believe that cutting the strips as thin as possible helps in mininizing any cellular damage from the formation of ice crystals, which would be a problem with larger portions.

    As for dry ice, I suppose you could buy it in small parts, or cut it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar2KG4av8hA

  7. UNBELIEVABLE ! I have been pricing ‘freeze dryers’ for a couple years, not only do i get turned off by the prices ( $^^^$^^^$ ) but also the complexity of the idea.

    I am going to try your ideas ! I can, I dehydrate & I freeze…somehow between all of those I’m still not quite “there”. What foods seem to be most affected by the acid issue…the same food that need a pressure canner to preserve correctly…or… well…is there a list I could look at?

  8. If you try to cut the dry ice, I’d suggest a hack saw rather than a kitchen knife. Also, it should be mentioned that you’ll want to cook the foods that need cooking prior to freezing. Re-hydration with boiling water isn’t for “cooking” as much as it is for warming the food up to make it more enjoyable to eat.

  9. @Kathryn: I’ve never seen a list, but maybe a Google search will help.

    @Allen: Thanks, good advice.

  10. hi this is my first time freeze drying…how do you freeze dry apples to get the effect the same as brothers all natural freeze dried apple crisps? the only way i saw on your site…that im able to do is cutting up the apple and freezing it….will the apples have the same taste as the brothers all natural crisps?

  11. @angela: I’m unfamiliar with that brand, so I can’t really say. I imagine they have a specific recipe though, and it would tough to exactly mimic them without using it.

  12. I use a raw food for my dogs. I receive it frozen but that is terribly difficult to travel with, especially trying to keep it frozen during travels and making sure I have a freezer available on the other end.

    I have seen dog foods that are raw and freeze dried but the cost is nearly double and what I spend now (one 1 dog) is larger than my own grocery budget, so increasing is not doable.

    The raw food I receive is already frozen, so any ideas on how to go about this, with let’s say, the dry ice method?

    • @Kym…I would suggest cooking your raw meat for the dog food before Freeze Drying, as was mentioned before. The dog will still eat it. It will still be healthy for him, too.

  13. I honestly cannot say that I have any experience freeze drying dog food :)… it could make a fun experiment, though. The same principals should all apply.

    Keep in mind that with the dry ice method, it’s a little different- the moisture is drawn out in liquid form, not through sublimation. So you’ll want the food unthawed when you freeze dry it.

  14. Let me fully understand the freeze drying with a vacuum chamber. 1st I freeze the product in my home freezer, once its frozen I place the (still frozen) product in a vacuum bag and vacuum seal the bag in the vacuum chamber. Is this correct?

  15. Allen, you want to place the frozen food directly into the vacuum chamber. If it’s in a bag, sublimation cannot take place.

  16. Can liquid nitrogen be used? I can get some from the lab I work in.

  17. What is the difference between a vacuum chamber and a vacuum sealer. Can a vacuum chamber be purchased cheaply for home use?

  18. @Gus: I’m not sure about liquid nitrogen. I’m sure it could be helpful in flash freezing, but exactly how to do that I’m not sure.

    A vacuum chamber is a chamber that removes the air and creates a vacuum. A sealer is something you can use to seal food in airtight bags.

    Vacuum chambers can be purchased, and can be made yourself: http://preparedforthat.com/diy-how-to-build-your-own-vacuum-chamber/

  19. to freeze dry meat do you cook it first or do it raw?

  20. Hmmm… I would say the best thing to do is to freeze dry meat raw, and cook it after re-composition. I suppose it could be eaten raw and freeze dried- with all the moisture removed, there won’t be any bacteria in there to make you sick…

    My worry about cooked meat is that the cooking process will cause changes in the composition that mess up the freeze drying process. Just a guess though, never tried it.

    • I don’t see why cooked meat or eggs should be a problem. After all, you can purchase camping food that is sold commercially that way.

  21. Does the entire vacuum chamber, with the frozen food inside, go into the freezer as well?

  22. No, you want to freeze the food and then place it in a vacuum chamber.

  23. Awesome stuff! Thank you!

  24. Sounds great. I was unfortunately turned off from the article by the term “unthaw” which means “to freeze”.

    • Brian, glad you said something about that. It’s a pet peeve of mine that people say they’re going to take food out of the freezer to “unthaw”. Sorry, thaw is opposite of frozen, unthaw therefore is the same as frozen. Oh well, our American English language gets butchered worse each day as people “tolerate” other people’s differences whether it’s right or wrong or even comprehensible. And thank you, RamboMoe, for owning the mistake and correcting it. Between the two of you you’ve made me a very happy camper!

  25. Heh heh, you’re right, I’ll fix that.

  26. Once frozen, and then vacummed…then what. How do you seal it…Do you have to remove it from the vacuum chamber to seal it?

  27. Once freeze dried you want to put it in an air tight container. This can be done using a vacuum sealer, or simply using Ziploc bags, pushing out all of the air and sealing them tightly. So yes you’d probably want to remove the food from the vacuum chamber to do this, or you could do it within the chamber, it doesn’t really make a difference.

  28. Hi, I wanted to put the food in #10 cans after it is freeze dried. Since I have access to a can sealer I would assume that I just use the little oxygen packets like when I can anything else (rice, wheat, sugar etc.) and it would be fine in there???

    • I use mylar bags to store some of my dehydrated foods. I place the oxygen absorber packet in, then seal the bag shut(squeeze as much air out as possible), after a while, the bag will no longer and will wrap itself firmly around the food inside(you’ll be able to tell there is no air in bag).

      The same will work with the cans(only it doesn’t wrap firmly around the food item). The oxygen absorber works like it should and will take the air out of the can, resulting in no air for germs or mold to grow. The absorber will last for years, until can is opened.

      • I messed up on other post… After a while, the bag will no longer HAVE AIR and will wrap itself firmly around food….

        I should also add, different size mylar bags will require different types of oxygen packets.

  29. Danielle, I have no experience using cans for sealing, so I can’t say for sure. I would suggest running a test, letting it sit and checking after a few months. After that hopefully you can come back and let us know how it worked ;)

  30. Ok, so when using the Dry Ice method, when you layer the food and the dry ice inside of a container and place it in the freezer, do you have to worry about your other food being freeze dried in the process?

  31. The dry ice in the container pulls the moisture out of the food and this will be released into the freezer. If anything, the problem will be an increase of moisture in the freezer.

    • Are you supposed to break the hunks of dry ice? We started ours yesterday. A ratio of roughly 2:1 (Ice to meat) and the dry ice is already gone.

  32. First off thank you for the guide you’ve provided. I’ve been wanting to start storing freeze dried food for awhile now, but have been really set back by the price of it. I’m going to attempt making a vacuum chamber. My question is how long does the food need to be processed in the chamber? Or if the time varies on differant types of food, how do you know when it’s done ? Thanks-Mike

  33. That’s a very good question, and it will change for different types of food. The best thing to do is test the food after freeze drying (leave it out to thaw, if it turns brown there’s still moisture) and find the sweet spot.

  34. How long will the freeze dried food last when made from home (properly sealed and stored)? And I read somewhere to put the dry ice in a cooler and layer bag on bag with lid on slightly for 5 hours then seal lid after that until finished. Does that sound right to you?

  35. If the food is freeze dried properly, it should literally last for decades.

    As for dry ice freeze drying, you need to have some way for the moisture to escape. I’m not totally sure if what you describe there does that.

  36. Are you supposed to break the hunks of dry ice? We started ours last week. A ratio of roughly 2:1 (Ice to meat) and the dry ice was gone the next day.

  37. It depends on how large they are, you may need to if you have big chunks.

    Did you place your container in the freezer?

  38. Yes. I think we may have crushed it a bit too far though.

  39. Yeah crushing it too much will increase the surface area, so they will vaporize quicker. It’s a bit of a balancing act.

  40. When you freeze-dry in the Tupperware container do you lay the food directly on the dry ice or should you put it in a bag or on wax paper something first? Thank you so much for this post I’m so excited to try it!!

  41. I think both would be fine, if your concerned go with a layer of wax paper between the food and dry ice. Just remember that the more surface area of the food that is exposed, the better the process will go.

  42. Hello! I have been searching everywhere for freeze dried yogurt drops that don’t have added sugar. but plain yogurt is just too unpleasant for folks that it doesn’t seem to exists.

    I figure I should try and make my own, would you please assist me in a method for freeze drying tiny drops (chips, morsels) of plain whole yogurt?

    I’m going to strain the yogurt as best I can before hand.

    I don’t know where to find dry ice and the link you posted for vacuum chamber just made me realize I am not that handy.

    What would you do?

  43. Hmmm, I’ve never tried that myself. Perhaps try freeze drying in your freezer, or searching Google for dry ice retailers in your area.

  44. I tried to freeze dry in the freezer and its been a week and its frozen but not dried. What did I do wrong?

  45. Can you freeze dry left overs? Or already made meals. I have seen eggs dried and full meals. How do you do that? etc: spaghetti and meatballs?

  46. Yeah, freeze drying leftovers should work the same as freeze drying fresh food.

  47. I live in a rather humid area, will this affect trying to freeze dry in my freezer? How reliable is this? I would hate to open something I did when I really needed it to find out I messed up or something…

  48. Great instructions! Can food be placed in airtight bag first then put through dry ice process? Or put in bag left open so it just needs to be sealed when complete?

  49. how should freeze dried ground beef look? I want to use my freezer to freeze dry the meat but above you said it needs to been checked after a week and if it turns black as soon as its removed from the freezer its not ready, so how should it look? Also if I did the same for chicken and veggies and fruits, do they need to be in the freezer the same amount of time and how will they look? thank you

  50. @James: It shouldn’t affect it as long as you vacuum seal the food immediately. I recommend testing the food before sealing, to make sure all the moisture is removed.

    @Damien: The moisture cannot be released if you bag it first. The ood must be bagged and sealed after the process.

    @Tonya: fruit/veggies should look fully dehydrated. Meat should look the same (although I’ve never seen freeze dried meat myself). I recommend testing the food before sealing, to make sure all the moisture has been removed.

  51. Hi,
    I’m interested and appreciate the info, but I don’t see any success stories yet. Is that because you just started this site?

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  52. @Jeff: Probably more likely that people don’t bother to report back after something worked. Human nature, I guess ;)

  53. Can I make beef jerky using this process?
    I would also like to know if I could build a vacuum chamber that can withstand that amount of vacuum. Any ideas?

  54. I should have looked on this website before posting the second part.

  55. Heh, first part of the question is covered, too:

    http://preparedforthat.com/dehydrating-meat-and-fish/

  56. LilDeadZoneGirl says:

    I know most people reading this are preppers. However, my boyfriend and I are planning a cross-country bicycle trip, which will be taking us south through the deserts and probably 6-8 months to do since we are planning an easy daily cycling average. Light food that doesn’t spoil has been one of our concerns. I am glad I stumbled on this site. I currently stay in an RV where I don’t have access to a large freezer. I do live in WA and winter is quickly coming with temps in the lower to mid 30’s at night and 40’s during the day. I have shipped food with dry ice in styrofoam containers before. Have you tried using the dry ice and plastic container and putting it in a styrofoam container? Any recommendations?

  57. LilDeadZoneGirl says:

    Also, what I am not seeing is approximate times it is taking to do the freeze dry process. Is it taking a few days to a week or does it take a few weeks? I understand time will vary, but I’m sure after practice you have a relative idea.

  58. A few days to a week, depending on the method.

  59. I understand that this can be done in a large cooler and leave the lid slightly cracked for the first 5-10 hours, then latch it. This gives you a little more room to work in. I want to try drying milk. I have goats milk and hate wasting any. I’ll give it a try and report back!

  60. Awesome Sue, I can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

  61. Thanks for great article. I freeze dried some lunch meat slices, bell peppers, and mushrooms. I live in SC (translation humid to near underwater) so seems the peppers are taking longer. The test piece didnt turn black but was moist. Am planning to just leave them longer. Now for some red skin and sweet potatoes. Thanks again!!

  62. What a great site!! Very informative! I too have researched the commercial freeze dried food market and found the costs prohibitive for large or medium scale food storage supplies!After reading all the great Questions and answers, it lookes like the vacume chamber would be the best way to go. Am I correct in assuming this? Thanks for providing a site with such good info!!

  63. Yes Joe, making a vacuum chamber is a good way to start the process at home. There are also other methods though, as outlined in the article.

  64. R. Storrie says:

    I want to try home freeze drying since I use a dehydrator. One thing I did not see, or cannot find is that after taking the food out of the freezer, do you vacuum pack the food cold straight from the freezer, or do you let it sit at room temperature to warm and dry before bagging? Thanks.

  65. Stumbled on your site, thanx much. We should all be concerned for the future events. It’s possible that the people that do get ready and a disaster does happen will be sought after for our supplies. I’m a gun advocate and would suggest part of our preparedness be to defend it. Just my opinion, not meant to offend anyone. The article found on your site about preparing meat for jerky using an oven sounds great but says it only preserves for a few weeks. I’m going to buy a dehydrator plus freeze dry then use a vacuum sealer and hope that’s correct. This week I’ll try the freezer method although not sure of the actual length of time but plan on testing after a week and keep testing til I find the correct length? I hate to go through all this only to find my food supply no good. So much depends on it. I’m also purchasing seeds that will last for years. I understand also by freezing them will extend their life and hopefully will never need to use them. The history channel is very enlightening as to the changes in our earths surface and what we have to look forward to. Good luck to everyone and thanks again for your site to help each other.

  66. Jennifer Edwards says:

    How long does the food need to be kept in a vacuum? Is a few minutes adequate, or is an extended period of time required?

    • Depends on the food and the moisture contained in it. If there’s somewhere for the moisture to collect, you will know it’s ready when moisture stops collecting. If not I’d say try for a few hours and then test it. If its ready you’re good to go, if not test a bit longer.

  67. Jacqueline says:

    I appreciate you sharing the basics of freeze drying, but there is one area you don’t seem to be aware of and that is plastics. ALL plastics off gas toxic chemicals and if someone uses tupperware, ziploc’s or any other plastic to store it, their food will have cancer causing chemicals in it. The longer it is stored, the worse it will be and you won’t taste it. If you use aluminum cans you also have toxic chemicals. To do this properlty, you need to use the specialty containerss or invent your own.

  68. Tim Guenot says:

    Rambo Moe,
    I know you haven’t covered this yet. I am interested in freeze drying bird wings for dog training. Which method would work best if any at all?
    I plan on vacuum sealing once done but are they truly freeze dried like a taxidermist would do it? I appreciate the info.

  69. 1. coloco gotas de yogurth en toperware por gota de hielo seco ,hago hoyos a la tapa para que escape el aire lo pongo en el congelador de casa?? es asi , en el caso de yogurth su apariencia quedara seca? y al comerla se derretira en mi boca , como los yogurth melts es asi? me pregunto cuanto tardara?

  70. Please , ok i will tell you in english , i will put yogurt drops and pieces of ice same sice of the yogurt drops , one and one , then i will make holes to the
    cover , and i’ll wait until they get dry in my refrigerator , well in the freezer? Is that it ! But for the yougrth , How long will it take to get dry , ?

  71. Yogurt as an interesting case as it is essentially liquid. It may take a long time to freeze dry, and may require more dry ice than solid foods.

  72. what would be the best size vaccuum pump?????? or would it matter?

  73. I was wondering if you ran a food dehydrator outside in the winter if you could achieve a freeze drying effect?

  74. Some of the comments I’ve read on here says that you cook your food first then freeze dry it, and others says to do it raw. I am wondering which is best. I would love to be able to cook full meals and freeze dry it that way but at the same time I don’t want it to be messed up. What is truly the best way to freeze dry food?

  75. I just started today dehydrating banana’s and oranges and I would like to start freeze drying meats for emergencies,but I am a little confused when you say to freeze the meat raw. When the meat is done and after you put it in the vacuum sealed bag and put it on your shelf for storage what keeps the meat from rotting when it thaws out on the shelf, it seems to me that if the meat is not cooked before freezing, and then thawed that it would spoil and get bad.

  76. I would like to freeze dry chicken breast and salmon chunks for my cats’ treats. It’s getting expensive ($7+ per quart tub) buying these treats. Would I cook the meat first? If not, would I just serve the chunks right out of the bag, once the process is finished? I can’t tell if the commercial brand is cooked and then freeze dried or not…the label just says freeze dried. The chunks are solid but can be broken into smaller pieces rather easily.

    • You would want to freeze dry them raw. To use them, take them out of the pack and boil them in water to return to form. After that, prepare how you usually would.

  77. So if I have a vacum pump and gauge, I should effectively be able to create a chamber to pull a vacum on frozen foods, including my sausage and taso, and then vacum seal for dry storage?

  78. Sorry, also need to know how long should I pull the vacum?

    • You will have to test it yourself, it will depend on the size of the container and the power of the vacuum.

      You can test the food after freeze drying by letting it thaw and seeing if it turns black.

  79. Thanks for all the expert knowledge. I plan to freeze dry veges and fruits and then make my own MREs but…I am worried about bacteria forming. After I freeze dry say…peas, I place them in my food saver vacuum, should I add an O2 package or is this overkill.

  80. hi i want to try freeze drying. When the food is not ready to vacuum pack it turns black if i take it out of the freezer to soon ( am i understanding that correctly).Then what do i have to do when im ready to use it (do i add water and let it set to rehydrate) .

  81. Robin P says:

    Ok so when freeze drying, you can cook the meat as well as have it raw? The reason I am asking is I am doing it in my freezer and tried it with strawberries and steak. I did it raw. BUT with the strawberries they thawed and made juice. I left it in the freezer for 2 weeks. What did I do wrong with the strawberries? With the meat, I cooked mine and did it that way. It came out great. It looks like a stack of paper when it gets wet, sits around and dries. I have done it with meat raw and when it thawed after being vacuum sealed it still had moisture from the meat. So thats why I cooked mine..Am I doing it all wrong?

    • That’s too bad about the strawberries, we’re they sliced thinly?

      For meat, it’s generally better raw, as cooking alters the chemical structure. Not saying it won’t work, but I haven’t done it and can’t vouche for it. But if it works, awesome!

  82. vicki8881 says:

    Here’s a weird question. Can you freeze dry eggs and would you go through the same process using your freezer?

  83. Just discovered this site,awesome..going to try freezer method.to me it makes more sense cooking food first.

  84. tom jones says:

    I read the article on how to make freeze dried food and that article led me to this page. My question is, how does one Flash-Freeze the food quick enough as not to have it damaged by the ice? Here is the original article: http://preparedforthat.com/how-to-freeze-dry-food-at-home/

  85. Oh my gosh RamboMoe bless you for answering ALL of those questions! You are very patient. Can you answer one more? Since the food essentially gets freezer burned, how does it taste? Thanks!

  86. Question on using dry ice for freeze drying. Some websites state to put product into freezer bags (preferably vacuum bag), seal and layer with dry ice. What happens to the water vapor, and resulting ice when using this method? Does the water vapor exit the food, then freezes into crystals?. Any more info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Hmmm. I’ve never heard it done that way, so I can’t really comment. At first it doesn’t seem to make sense, since the moisture doesn’t escape. Perhaps the idea is to pull it out of the food, and have it collect in another part of the bag, as you suggested.

  87. I’m interested in trying this for my dogs. I feed the raw diet in our kennel, however having to have several huge freezers with hefty electric bills. So wondering if you can freeze dry any meats. Beef,pork,chicken,bison,venison etc. and can you do this in bulk with the dry ice method of layering. Coud possibly save me a few bucks. Thanks.

  88. Zama, I too am interested but for my cats! They’re on a raw food diet as well. I currently buy them the Beefeater’s brand of freeze dried chicken breast chunks and salmon chunks, for treats. It’s very expensive though…$7 for a 1.75 oz tub! I know there has got to be a better and less expensive way!!! Does anyone have any special tips they can share?

  89. I have been freeze-drying botanicals, i.e., flowers and such for thirteen years. I have also experimented with fruits and vegetables. In my opinion, the freeze-dryer is the best and safest way to freeze-dry food products for the novice. The machine is automatic and once the food is placed in the freezing chamber, you can forget about it until the machine is finished with the cycle you have set it for. Some foods will take longer than others. The larger the food product and the more moisture it contains, the longer it will take. My grandkids loved all of the fruit and yes, ice cream that I have freeze dried. Don’t know why you couldn’t do yogurt drops as well. Freeze drying would be a great option for CSA’s and home gardners who get a lot of the same type of fruit or vegetable at one time. Why not freeze dry corn, peas, beans, carrots, chicken pieces and some spices and prepare a soup base that could be re-hydrated with some broth later? I found that in a freeze drier, the salad trays (clam shells) you get at the salad bar carry out work great for keeping the food separated.

  90. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Hello, I have the opportunity to buy an ultra low temp lab freezer (-150F) for a ridiculously low price…. As this article and comments were probably written under the assumption that this type of device would not be available to the average home chef, does this change anything? Also, I have a chamber vacuum sealer at home. Is there a way to make this work?

  91. When using the dry ice and fruit do you pot the fruit right on top of the dry ice or do you set up a barrier from the dry ice? I thought dry ice was dangerous? Isn’t it a bad idea tp touch it with bare hands? I really wanna try the dry ice. I’m just not exactly sure how safe it is? I have two small boys I need to protect.

  92. Freeze drying for the bigger outfits is done by quick freezing the food with liquid nitrogen which is -300 degree Or absolute zero , witch is where all mol
    ecular movement stops. There is no ruptureing of cells at this temp . The food is than sublimunated with a hard vacume .

  93. the question I have is when using a vacuum chamber after freezing the product do you have to keep it in the freezer or refrigerator while performing the vacuum process or do you do this at room temperature?

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