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Frequently Asked Questions About the Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer
How Does the Home Freeze Dryer Work?
- Raw or cooked foods are placed in the freeze dryer where they are frozen to between -30 degrees and -50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once frozen, the freeze dryer creates a vacuum in the food chamber.
- As the food is gradually warmed, the water turns to vapor and evaporates out of the food (sublimation).
- When dry, the freeze dryer notifies the user that the process is complete by sounding an audible beep.
- You can then remove the freeze dried food from the dryer and place it in vacuum-sealed containers that are moisture and oxygen proof (preferably a mylar pouch or a can) to ensure freshness until opened.
- When water is added to the food, it regains its original fresh flavor, aroma, texture, and appearance!
What Size Are the Freeze Dryers, and How Much Do They Weigh?
The freeze dryer is smaller than a dishwasher and larger than a microwave. The sleek design makes it the perfect size to reside on a countertop, cart, or table.
There is also a detachable vacuum pump that sits outside the freeze dryer. The vacuum pump weighs about 30 lbs.
Dimensions: 25” Tall x 16.5” Wide x 18.5” Deep
Weight: Powder-Coated Colors: 82 lbs.
Weight: Stainless Steel: 97 lbs.
Capacity: 3 Drying Racks Will Accommodate 4-7 lbs. of Fresh Food per Batch
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Dimensions: 30” Tall x 20” Wide x 25” Deep
Weight: Powder-Coated Colors: 105 lbs.
Weight: Stainless Steel: 125 lbs.
Capacity: 4 Drying Racks Will Accommodate 7-10 lbs. of Fresh Food per Batch
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Dimensions: 32.5” Tall x 22.5” Wide x 25.5” Deep
Weight: Powder-Coated Colors: 147 lbs.
Weight: Stainless Steel: 177 lbs.
Capacity: 5 Drying Racks Will Accommodate 12-16 lbs. of Fresh Food per Batch
How Much Food Can Be Freeze Dried with Each Batch?
Three Drying Racks: 4-7 lbs. of fresh food will fit in our small freeze dryer. That amount of food will typically fill 1 to 1.5 gallons (1 to 1.5 #10 cans) of food per batch.
If used regularly, you can freeze dry about 900 lbs. of fresh food in just one year.
Four Drying Racks: 7-10 pounds of fresh food will fit in our standard size freeze dryer. That amount of food will typically fill 1.5 to 2.5 gallons (1.5 to 2.5 #10 cans) of food per batch.
If used regularly, you can freeze dry about 1,500 lbs. of fresh food in just one year.
Five Drying Racks: 12-16 pounds of fresh food will fit in our large freeze dryer. That amount of food will typically fill 3.5 gallons (3.5 #10 cans) of food per batch.
If used regularly, you can freeze dry about 2,200 lbs. of fresh food in just one year.
What Types of Food Can Be Freeze Dried?
You truly can freeze-dry almost anything. All kinds of fruits, vegetables and meats taste wonderful when freeze dried. That includes things like tomatoes, apples, bananas, strawberries, peaches, green beans, peppers, onions, potatoes, spinach, shrimp, pork, beef, turkey and even ice cream.
Your favorite meals that include meat may be easily freeze dried. Foods like lasagna, rice dishes, cheese macaroni, chili, beef stew, chicken a la king, casseroles, shrimp, lobster, pulled pork, pasta sauces or scrambled eggs are perfect for this process.
You will find that it is a delight to experiment with different foods and meals in your freeze dryer. A great way to start is by picking meals that are already favorites in your home.
Ready to begin but need some ideas? View our image gallery of freeze-dried foods.
How Long Does It Take to Freeze Dry Each Batch?
It typically takes between 20 to 40 hours to complete the process. Food type and quantity will affect the freeze-dry cycle.
Foods such as meat, peas and corn dry quickly, while squash and watermelon can take longer. The thickness of the food slices will affect the cycle time too.
Most importantly, your machine senses when the food is ready (alerting you with a beep) so you don’t have to guess when to stop the freeze-dry cycle.
Is It OK to Freeze Food Prior to Placing It in the Freeze Dryer?
Yes! It is a great to put frozen products into your Home Freeze Dryer. Your machine will accept pre-frozen foods and cool them even further, to around -40 degrees F.
What Components Make Up My Home Freeze Dryer?
The freeze dryer unit itself as well as a high-quality vacuum pump that sits outside the freeze dryer.
You will also receive Stainless Steel Trays (3, 4, or 5, depending on which size freeze dryer you have chosen), a power cord, an owner's manual and a guide to freeze drying.
Where Should My Home Freeze Dryer Reside?
The freeze dryer and the vacuum pump require a bit of space and the freeze dryer makes some noise during the drying phase (about 60 decibels).
While some people like to use their freeze dryer in their kitchen, many people choose to locate their freeze dryer in a utility room, storage room, extra room, or garage.
Often in our videos and advertising, we choose to show the freeze dryer on a stainless steel cart that can be easily moved out of the kitchen to the location of your choice.
What Maintenance Is Required for My Home Freeze Dryer?
Every Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer comes with a high quality vacuum pump. Each vacuum pump comes with an initial supply of oil. There are 3 cups of oil in a vacuum pump that need to be changed regularly to keep a freeze dryer running efficiently.
Some customers choose to drain out a tablespoon of oil and add a tablespoon of oil after each batch and and then periodically perform a flush of their vacuum pump to maintain the high quality performance of their vacuum pump. Other customers choose to simply drain their oil after every batch and start with a fresh batch of oil. Many customers also choose to filter their oil in a variety of ways and re-use their filtered oil to save money. Additional vacuum pump oil can be purchased online from sites like Amazon.com or from a variety of retail locations (like an auto parts store or a refrigeration supplier).
What Are the Power Requirements? How Much Will It Cost to Run?
Harvest Right has taken great efforts to design this appliance to run as efficiently and affordably as possible.
Small and Medium
Our small and medium freeze dryers use a standard 110 volt outlet.
At peak, the freeze dryer draws about 16 amps, but on the average about 9 to 11 amps (990-1210 watts) of power per hour. A dedicated 20 amp circuit is recommended. Your freeze dryer will cost an estimated $1.25-$2.80 a day, depending on power costs in your area.
Our large freeze dryer requires a 110 volt (NEMA 5-20) outlet. (See image).
At peak, the large freeze dryer draws about 16 amps, but on the average about 10 amps (1500 watts) of power per hour. A dedicated 20 amp circuit is required. Your freeze dryer will cost an estimated $1.25-$2.80 a day, depending on power costs in your area.
Large Freeze Dryer Requires 110 Volt (NEMA 5-20) Outlet
~ Power Cord Is Included with Freeze Dryer ~
Where Does the Water Go That Is Taken Out of the Food During the Freeze Drying Process?
During the freeze dry process, the water sublimates (evaporates) out of the food and then freezes to the walls of the chamber of the freeze dryer. Once the freeze dry process is complete, the unit has a defrost cycle that quickly melts the ice, and the water is drained into a bucket or sink.
How Loud Is the Freeze Dryer?
When running, the Home Freeze Dryer is about 60 decibels -- similar to the sound of a noisy dishwasher.
What Type of Warranty and Technical Support Is Offered?
Simply call our support line at Harvest Right when there is a problem. If the problem is something that cannot be handled by our Customer Support team, a local technician can be hired by our team to come to your location. We offer a full one-year warranty on our state-of-the-art freeze dryers.