How to freeze dried food at home without a machine (2023)

How to freeze dried food at home without a machine (1)

As freeze-dried and dehydrated emergency food experts, we often get the question, “How are you?freeze-dried foodsat home without a machine to create your ownessence reservedelivery?"

Believe it or not, you don't need any of those big fancy freeze-drying machines to make your own freeze-dried food. Instead, there are two popular methods for freeze-drying food without a machine, which we'll discuss below.

How to freeze dried food at home without a machine (2)

But first, you need to understand that freeze-drying food at home has some limitations that are worth considering.

Let's break down the realities of home freeze-drying food, then talk about two ways you can freeze-dry in the comfort of your own home without an expensive special machine.

Important Considerations for Home Freeze Drying

Settlers and preparers love to plan. Part of your planning is thinking about how to store tasty and nutritious food for a long time. As a result, they often turn to popular food preservation techniques, such as B. Canning and pickling.

However, more and more people are interested in how to freeze dry food at home without investing thousands of dollars in a specially designed machine.

It's possible. However, it may not always be the best option. We have three key tips to keep in mind before trying freeze-drying at home:

    1. Freeze drying at home requires a lot of time and effort. For example, it often takes weeks to complete the process. Depending on your schedule, the labor intensive form of home freeze drying may seem ideal but unrealistic.
    2. The food you have freeze-dried at home is only good if you intend to eat it relatively soon.Unfortunately you will not have the fullEmergency food has a shelf life of 25 years.that professional freeze-dryers have, because without professional freeze-drying equipment it is very difficult to remove all the moisture.
  1. To get the best food you can always buy oneselection offreeze-dried fruitsYfreeze dried vegetablesto make sure you have enough food and it is available in case of food shortages or emergencies.

We will talk about those below.Difference Between Freeze Dried and DehydratedGroceries. We will also share two methods you can try to freeze dry food without a machine.

Let's talk dry food

It's not uncommon for people to accidentally use freeze-dried and dehydrated interchangeably when talking about dry foods. The reason behind this error is probably that the end result of the two processes is very similar.

Freeze-drying and dehydrating food creates long-lasting, nutritious food that can be stored for more than two decades. However, the processes by which food is dried are very different.

Dry foods include both categories of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. Simply put, food is considered "dry" when the water content of the food has been removed or significantly reduced.

Therefore, both freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are considered dry foods. However, not all dry foods are freeze-dried or dehydrated.


Freeze-dried foods vs. dehydrated foods

Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods fall into four major categories:

  1. the equipment you use
  2. The texture of the food
  3. The nutritional value of food.
  4. The cost of the entire process and the final product.

What equipment do you need?

Commercial freeze-drying operations use expensive machinery. However, you can freeze dry at home using the freezer you already have, or even easier, with a cooler and some dry ice.

How are the textures different?

You can assume that freeze-dried and dehydrated foods have the same texture. However, that would be wrong. Although the two processes produce a similar result, the texture of the two is different. Dried foods are chewy, while freeze-dried foods are firm and crunchy because they contain even less moisture than dried foods.

What is more nutritious?

Both freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are nutritious. Neither process removes the nutrient content (vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates) from the food being dried.

However, because freeze-drying removes more water from the product than dehydration, freeze-dried foods tend to have a longer shelf life.

Is freeze drying more expensive?

Yes, in most cases, freeze-dried foods are more expensive than dehydrated foods. Freeze-dried foods are generally more expensive because the process is more labor intensive.

For example, commercial freeze-drying operations use expensive equipment for more than 40 hours to dry a single batch of food. Buying the equipment and doing it yourself would also be expensive.

On the other hand, if you need a large quantity, nothing beats the easy-to-use pre-pack.Survival-Food-Eimer; they are much cheaper.

How to freeze dried food at home without a machine (3)

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1. Freeze-Drying Food: The Home Freezing Method

How to freeze dried food at home without a machine (5)

One misconception about freeze drying is that it is an extremely complex process, but you can actually do it in your home freezer. That means the process takes longer.

To freeze dry using your home freezer, you need a few items.

  • A baking sheet, cooling rack, or large plate.
  • The food of your choice.
  • Plenty of freezer space (and patience).

A brief step by step overview of freeze drying at home using a freezer:

  1. Wash and cut the chosen food into slices or small pieces.
  2. Arrange your food on a tray in a single layer and avoid stacking.
  3. Place the tray in your freezer where it can't get in the way.
  4. Wait 2-3 weeks and periodically check the freeze-drying process.
  5. When sufficiently freeze-dried, remove food and store in an airtight container or bag.

A few things to keep in mind when freeze drying at home with your freezer

To freeze dry food at home, the first task is to prepare the food to be frozen. Before slicing, it's important to wash the food you want to freeze to remove any dirt or contaminants. Next, we recommend cutting the food into slices or small pieces to facilitate the removal of moisture.

After that, simply place your sliced ​​food on a baking tray or tray and place the tray in your freezer. Ideally, a deep freezer works best, but your regular freezer will work just as well.

Food starts to freeze in the first few hours. However, it's important to note that the drying process will take weeks before you have the freeze-dried food you want. The process by which food is freeze-dried is known asSublimation. Sublimation distinguishes freeze drying from simply freezing food in sealed bags or dehydrating food.

(Video) Freeze dry foods WITHOUT a freeze dryer!?

How to know when freeze drying is complete

After a few weeks, it's time to check the food you're freezing. The best way to check how dry your food is is to take out a frozen piece and set it aside to come to room temperature. If the food turns dark or black, it means that the drying process has not been completed yet.

On the other hand, frozen foods that do not change color have been completely freeze-dried.

Once this is accomplished, you can store the freeze-dried foods in airtight ziplock bags. Remember that freeze-dried foods should be stored below 75 degrees.

At first, it's important to note that it's best to start with simple foods that are high in water content. These foods are the easiest to freeze dry. Try fruits like apples, berries, and bananas or vegetables like broccoli and bell peppers.

Freeze drying animal products gets a bit more complicated. If you want to avoid freeze-drying animal products at home, you can check oursfreeze-dried meatSelection.

How to freeze dried food at home without a machine (6)

Proper preparation of freeze-dried foods in the freezer is more of an art than a science. It may take some trial and error, but it will eventually refine your process.

2. Freeze-Drying Food: The Dry Ice Method

How to freeze dried food at home without a machine (7)

The next home freeze drying process that we want to discuss also does not require special machines. Similar to the first method, you only need a few essentials:

  • A large Styrofoam cooler.
  • The food of your choice, properly prepared and sliced ​​or chopped.
  • Lots of dry ice.
  • Freeze safe, durable and airtight bags.

Because dry ice evaporates all moisture from food very quickly, this method is much faster than the first, unless your location is incredibly humid.

Ideally, we recommend starting the freeze-drying process on a day or season when the humidity is low or non-zero. The more moisture in the air, the longer the freeze-drying process will take.

A brief step-by-step overview of dry ice freeze drying:

  1. Wash and cut food into small pieces or pieces and place in airtight, freezer-safe, but unsealed bags.
  2. Place the freezer bags neatly in a large Styrofoam cooler..
  3. Cover the food with dry ice.
  4. Wait at least 24 hours, maybe longer.
  5. When the food is sufficiently freeze-dried, remove the bags of dry food and store it properly.

Dry Ice Safety Guidelines

dry ice safetyIt is important. Due to the potential dangers of working with dry ice, we will omit to mention just a aspectsFirst.

  • Ideally, dry ice should be shipped in Styrofoam containers, not electronic refrigerators or freezers.
  • We recommend thermal applicationinsulating gloves. Dry ice is so cold that you risk serious burns if you touch it with your bare hands. Neoprene gloves can freeze and stick to the skin, making them difficult to remove. Leather or cloth oven mitts also work.
  • Dry ice should be stored in well-ventilated areas. Do not store dry ice in cars, trucks, hallways, closets, walk-in coolers, or confined spaces.
  • Do not put dry ice in plastic, glass, or metal containers that are not suitable for dry ice.
  • Dry ice should be used (or disposed of) in an area where it can sublimate to outside air or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid disposing of dry ice down the sink, toilet, or drain, as it can damage the plumbing.
  • Do not dispose of your dry ice in the trash can.
  • Avoid putting dry ice in completely sealed containers.

Using Dry Ice to Freeze Dried Food at Home

To begin the freeze-drying process, place the food in the cooler. We recommend using a container at least twice the size of the food to be frozen. This allows you to dry freeze large amounts of food at once with enough dry ice. Also, place the food in a plastic bag so it doesn't come into direct contact with the dry ice, but leave the bag unsealed to allow moisture to escape.

Next, completely cover the food with dry ice. For best results, we recommend using a 1:1 ratio: one pound of dry ice for every pound of food you want to freeze-dry.

(Video) Watch this BEFORE you get a freeze dryer!

At this point, we would like to remind you not to completely seal your refrigerator or container. In sealed containers, dry ice can generate enough pressure to rupture or explode.

So if you must use a lid or makeshift container like a plastic bag, be sure to poke holes in it. To avoid drilling holes in your cooler, we recommend that you leave the lid open.

Finally, let the process run its course and wait until there is no more dry ice left in the container. At this point, the container is now full of carbon dioxide and free of all moisture.

Wait to remove food until you are ready to bag it immediately.

We recommend using quality freezer bags to store your food. When transferring your freshly freeze-dried food to bags, take your time and make sure no moisture gets inside the bag, it will ruin all your hard work! For best results we recommend using a vacuum sealer.

Tips for Freeze Drying Food at Home

  • If this is your first time, start with simple options like bananas, apples, and berries. Vegetables like broccoli and bell peppers are also good for starters.
  • The thinner you can cut and the smaller you can make your pieces, the better.
  • If you want to try the dry ice method, don't take shortcuts and follow all the safety guidelines we've outlined above.
  • If you enjoy freeze drying at home, consider buying a freezer and installing shelves so you can freeze large amounts of food at one time.
  • Try other food preservation techniques to complement your freeze drying. Some foods are better pickled or canned.
  • Some foods, like apples and peaches, oxidize and turn brown. We recommend sprinkling them with lemon juice to prevent this from happening.
  • Freeze drying does not kill bacteria. So be sure to keep your process clean: wash food beforehand and keep your freezer clean.
  • Some foods can be blanched before being freeze-dried. Blanching certain foods will help give them the correct texture and color when rehydrated later. We recommend blanching carrots, potatoes, beans, asparagus, and parsnips.
  • Avoid freeze-drying strong-smelling and strong-tasting foods in the same batch. For example, you don't want your berries to taste like the curry powder you freeze-dried.
  • Try not to overload your freezer; Process your food as evenly as possible; and keep your food in a single layer under the edge of the tray.

Frequently Asked Questions About Freeze Drying

Do you have any additional questions? Fantastic! We have more answers.

How long does home freeze drying take?

It depends on the method you use. In general, freeze-drying food takes a long time. With a special machine, freeze-drying can take up to 20 hours or more. With a standard freezer, the process can take up to a month.

The duration of the process also depends on the type of food you are going to freeze-dry. Foods like corn, peas, and slices or chunks of meat dry out quickly. However, other foods like pumpkin and watermelon take longer.

The thickness of the food slices also influences the drying time. The thinner and smaller the food, the better.

What foods cannot be freeze-dried?

We have good news. Most foods can be freeze-dried. However, freeze drying food with dry ice works best with fruits and vegetables. But that doesn't mean you can't try other foods, too. You can try freeze-dried meats, desserts, and dairy.

With that in mind, here's a short list of foods we don't recommend freezing dry. This includes foods like syrup, jam, honey, butter, and plain chocolate.

How are freeze-dried foods rehydrated?

Some types of freeze-dried foods can be enjoyed without rehydration. However, some foods, such as freeze-dried meat and vegetables, work better if you rehydrate them.

To rehydrate your freeze-dried food, add hot water to the food and allow it to soak for a few minutes.

Conclusion: how to freeze dried food at home

If you're set on freeze-drying from home, the two methods above might be great options for you instead of spending $3,000-$4,000 on them.Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. However, if you want to freeze dry on a budget, you have now learned the best ways to freeze dry without expensive equipment.

(Video) Freeze Drying VS Dehydrating

If freeze drying at home seems unbelievably slow to you, you can always contact us. Here at Valley Food Storage, we do all the hard work for you. You can simply enjoy the fresh taste of our freeze-driedfruits and vegetableswhen they arrive at your doorstep.

Thanks for reading this article. For more helpful information, check out our handy prep blog. we have a great oneInsect Baggage Checklistsome tips for thatThe best survival food to keep.and some tips forstart preparing.

With the turbulent nature of our world, of potentialFood shortage at the grocery storeASurviving Hyperinflation, there has never been a better time to become more self-sufficient.


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