Do you want to live healthily? If so, maybe you’ve considered freeze-drying your food. However, finding the best at-home freeze dryer can seem like a daunting task, with so many great products on the market.
While freeze dryers still aren’t widespread household items, more and more of them are showing up on online stores. How can you be sure you’ve picked the right one? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We have prepared a list of the top four products, trying to find the perfect at-home freeze dryer for everyone’s needs. We have also prepared a buyer’s guide to let you know what you need to look for in a good freeze dryer for your home. Let’s begin!
The Best at Home Freeze Dryer – Top 4
1. Harvest Right Medium Freeze Dryer
If you’re looking for a smaller in-home freeze dryer that can work just fine for everyone’s needs, you’re on the right spot! The Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is small enough to fit most countertops, but it can still hold up to 10 lbs of food. This is enough for 1.5 to 2.5 #10 size cans.
The process is automatic, and the entire dryer is very easy to use. You just press one button to start it, then the machine will alert you once the food is dried. With it, you can dry up to 312 gallons of food yearly. This is food that can stay fresh for up to 25 years when sealed properly!
This in-home freeze dryer comes with everything you need as a beginner. It includes a set of trays, oxygen absorbers, mylar bags, a bag sealer, a vacuum pump, as well as an oil filter. No matter your lifestyle, this is an excellent freeze dryer for your home.
- Works with just one button
- It comes with everything you need for a start
- Can’t dry very large amounts of food
2. Harvest Right Pharmaceutical Freeze Dryer
Are you searching for a modern at-home freeze dryer with modern technology that can help you create healthy dry meals? Then the Pharmaceutical Freeze Dryer might be the right product for you! It uses patented technology to keep the food fresh. This technology also helps the food preserve its nutrition, potency, shape, and color.
Unlike many in-home freeze dryers, this product uses smart technology to manage the drying process automatically. It has 6.5 square feet of tray space and can hold up to seven trays. Its capacity is four liters, which is more than enough for an average user.
The maintenance process is straightforward. All you need to do is replace the filter and oil after every use. While the product isn’t tiny, it isn’t too large, either. It may not fit all countertops, but you’ll hardly have an issue finding the right place for it.
- Automatically managed drying process
- Holds up to seven trays
- Easy to maintain
- It may not fit your countertop
3. Labconco 700201000 Free Zone Benchtop Freeze Dryer
If you’re looking for an excellent small-capacity freeze dryer for your home, you should check the 700201000 Free Zone Benchtop Freeze Dryer. While Labconco isn’t a well-known brand, its products can do the work flawlessly. You can even freeze ice cream in it!
This is a brass at-home freeze dryer with a capacity of 2.5 milliliters. This is smaller than most freeze-dryer machines we’ve reviewed, but it can be enough for a smaller, tasty meal. Considering how small this unit is, it will hardly take away much space in your kitchen, anyway. Not to mention how stylish it is!
Since it’s manufactured with sturdy materials, this in-home freeze dryer is very durable, and it will last you for a very long time. The unit dries food at a temperature of around -58oF, which is excellent for preserving nutrition value and good taste.
- Reaches very low temperatures
- Very tiny
4. Harvest Right Small Freeze Dryer
This is yet another small freeze dryer for a home that is very useful to have around. When it comes to freezing dryers, it seems like you can’t go wrong with Harvest Right – and their small product is just the right size if you’re someone who wants to try drying food but doesn’t want to go overboard.
Unlike a dehydrator, this dryer is versatile and fast. With it, you can preserve your garden product with ease and make perfect healthy snacks and camping meals. This at-home freeze dryer will help you create food that will retain its nutrition, look, and flavor.
You can freeze anything from fruits and vegetables to meat, fish, eggs, dairy, or ice cream with this unit. It can even preserve fully-cooked meals! By using this product, you can save money by not throwing away your leftovers. This freeze dryer comes with a Plexiglas door, making it durable and robust.
- Durable and well-built
- Keeps the food’s nutrition and shape
- Very small
What Is a Freeze Dryer?
A freeze dryer is a machine that removes moisture from foods. While it won’t remove it entirely, it will get rid of most water. This is one of the ways you can keep your food preserved for a long while.
A freeze dryer isn’t the same as a food dehydrator. Dehydrators circulate hot, dry air over food, which is mostly held on open racks. This will cause the water to evaporate, and the food will shrink without being cooked. However, you’ll still lose a lot of nutrients during this process – not to mention how the taste and texture can change.
Freeze drying, on the other hand, works by freezing the food and lowering pressure. This will remove the moisture with the use of sublimation. The end product is very different from dehydrated food.
The process is more complicated than food dehydrating, and it requires modern technology. This is why at-home freeze dryers aren’t as popular as food dehydrators, but the market is slowly adapting.
In order to freeze dry food, first, you have to place it on the open racks and allow air circulation. However, you won’t put it in high temperatures. Quite the contrary. This process requires a vacuum chamber that will lower the temperature to -40oF or even lower. When the food is entirely frozen, a vacuum pump will reduce the pressure before slowly raising the temperature. During this time, the water ‘sublimes’ and evaporates. This will keep your food looking and tasting the same way as it did while it was fresh.
Why Should You Buy an at Home Freeze Dryer?
You may wonder why you need an at-home freeze dryer, or why are these machines better than food dehydrators? There are a few reasons.
Better Moisture Removal
Moisture allows for bacteria and mold to grow. This is the main reason why people remove moisture from foods. When you lower the water content, microorganisms aren’t likely to grow.
While nor dehydrators nor freeze dryers remove the moisture entirely, dryers have a slight advantage. Dehydrators will usually remove between 90% and 95% of humidity. For comparison, an at-home freeze dryer can remove up to 99% of moisture.
Better Shelf Life
As a result of great moisture removal, food that you’ve freeze-dried has a much longer shelf life. You only need to store it properly, and it can last for up to 25 years! During all this time, it will keep its texture and flavor, as well as nutritional value. This is why freeze-dried food is considered to be among the best non-perishable foods.
Better Nutritional Content
As we’ve already mentioned, food that you’ve to freeze-dried won’t destroy valuable minerals and vitamins. While dehydrated food keeps it iron or fiber content, it can break down minerals, which freeze dryers do better.
One of the biggest complaints when it comes to dehydrated food is how much its taste and texture change. Yet again, this won’t happen with food that you’ve freeze-dried. Such snacks keep the color and the shape of fresh food. In fact, you can even rehydrate most of these foods to return their original consistency! You can do this by adding a bit of water to dried fruit and vegetables.
Freeze-dried food lost its water. This also means it lost at least a portion of its weight. While this isn’t a necessity, it is a nice feature dried food has – especially when you’re packing snacks for a hiking trip.
Less Preparation Time
Freeze-dried foods don’t need a lot of preparation. You can just place them in a bit of water, and the food will be ready to eat in less than five minutes. People can simply put some freeze-dried foods in your mouth without any prior preparation. This isn’t the case with dehydrated food, which needs some time to be reconstituted.
What to Look for in a Best at Home Freeze Dryer – Buyer’s Guide
If you’ve realized that the freeze dryer is what you need in life, that’s great news for your health! However, you should still consider some key features you need to look for in an at-home freeze dryer.
Most at-home freeze dryers are made for smaller amounts of food. It would be best if you looked at how much food can fit into one batch and one vacuum chamber. A small freeze dryer is enough if you’re preparing food for yourself and your partner. However, if you plan on providing for an entire family, you’ll need a bigger one.
How Much Space It Needs
A freeze dryer isn’t a small appliance. It consists of the vacuum chamber, pumps, and the control system. All of these take up a lot of space. While some freeze dryers can fit a countertop, others are as big as a dishwasher! Think about where you’ll place it before you make a decision.
How Much Electricity It Needs
Freeze dryers are strong units that need a lot of power to function. Make sure you have a dedicated electrical circuit that can hold an adequate amount of electricity.
Buying an at-home freeze dryer is a great way to add some variety to your meals. This is a great way to preserve your food and give it longer shelf life. Freeze drying has many advantages compared to a much more common dehydrating, as it keeps the food’s flavor and nutrition.
However, as freeze dryers are expensive, you shouldn’t just throw away the money before making sure you’ve checked if the product is the right for you. The four units from our list have been tested out, and their quality has been confirmed, but you’re free to go and search for yourself using our brief buyer’s guide. Good luck in your quest.