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Old 02-04-2010, 01:44 PM
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scottinaz scottinaz is offline
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Can I Freeze Dry Food at Home?

To freeze dry food quickly and easily you need a commercial set up, but if you have a little time and you donít mind waiting you can actually freeze dry food at home.

While you donít have a vacuum chamber you do have a refrigerator. You can experiment using your freezer.

You will Need

*
A perforated tray. A metal mesh tray is perfect. In a pinch if you have nothing else you can use a cookie sheet but it could take longer
*
Decide what you are going to freeze dry. Apples and carrots are good to start with.
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You are going to slice your freeze dry food choice into paper thin slices. The thinner the better.
*
You will need to be quick because some foods quickly discolour.

The Process for Freezer Dry Food

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Place your tray in the freezer. It should take only about 30 minutes to freeze solid.
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Over the next week youíll need to continue checking on your slices.
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It takes about a week to make your freeze dry food at home, depending on your freezer and how thin your slices are.
*
Store in plastic freezer bags or plastic containers that are air tight.

That's it. You're ready to enjoy the freeze dry food you made at home.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/can...#ixzz0eatl2vxa
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:05 PM
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The problem with the home freezer freeze-dry technique is that awful freezer taste I usually blame on the bell peppers. Don't know where it really comes from, but would be relieved to know not every freezer is plagued with it.

Keep us updated!
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by grebetrees View Post
The problem with the home freezer freeze-dry technique is that awful freezer taste I usually blame on the bell peppers. Don't know where it really comes from, but would be relieved to know not every freezer is plagued with it.

Keep us updated!
LOL,,, thats as good a thing as any to blame for that taste,, Damn Bell peppers !
Old 02-04-2010, 10:27 PM
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I've tinkered with drying in the freezer. It's only good for small batches, it takes time and the results aren't worth it. The foods just don't taste good. Freeze drying is an expensive technology. Why bother with it anyway, when dehydrating has been around since the beginning of time and works so well. You can get dehydrators in all price ranges from cheap at second hand stores to pricey high end setups. You can make solar dehydrators that can dehydrate huge amounts of food using energy from the sun. You can air dry a lot of foods also.
Old 02-04-2010, 11:16 PM
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Funny I was researching the same thing earlier today. What I found out was yes, like mentioned above, that you can do it in your freezer. But it is very slow and less than ideal product. The reason is that the process is to slow. Commercial freeze drying machines freeze the item while under a vacuum. This causes the sublimation process to go more smoothly and quickly. Sublimation is when the frozen water goes straight from a solid to a gas bypassing the liquid stage.

Really all you need is a chamber in a freezer that you can pull a vacuum in.

I came across one post in a taxidermy site that mentions a guy that sells plans to build your own. Here is the link. http://www.taxidermy.net/forums/Indu...287CCF09C.html his address is in the first post. And another thread from the same site. http://www.taxidermy.net/forums/Indu...287CCF09C.html address is in there too.

I bet you could look at picures and figure it out too. Most freezedryers are very expensive. This is the cheapest model I could find to buy. Look at the pictures of it and see how it is built. Pretty simple really. A freezer with a steel chamber hooked to a vacuum pump through the side of the freezer.
http://www.freezedry.com/t_models.htm

And then here is one of the many instructions I found on how to do it in your freezer.
http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/men...servation4.htm

If I ever have extra cash I may try to build one myself. The true commercial dryers are $11,000+ to get started. Te one above, I think, was around $5,000. So it has to be cheaper to build one. Especially if you can get cheap parts.

Right now I dehydrate fruits to store. But freeze drying is superior in the shelf life of things you can store. And you can process more varieties of food. They even do Ice Cream!
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:51 PM
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Is freeze drying foods really any better than dehydrating foods ?
Old 02-06-2010, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wchancey View Post
Is freeze drying foods really any better than dehydrating foods ?
Freeze dried will stay good longer (if properly sealed and stored) than dehydrated foods. Dehydrated foods still have some water content in them. Freeze dried foods have almost no water left. But improperly sealed, it will start to absorb mositure from the atmostphere and spoil.
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