Freeze Dryer Part 2: What it does and choosing the right size

Part 2. What the Freeze dryer does and choosing the right size for your home

Remember when they tried to teach us about sublimation in high school science class? Water goes from a solid to a vapor without becoming liquid. Then it recondenses back to a solid. That’s what happens in the freeze dryer. Food freezes down to around -40 F. An external pump attached to the freezer sucks air out of the chamber where the frozen food is. This creates a vacuum. Warming pads below the trays come on. The frozen water vaporizes out of the food and recondenses on the inside surface of the chamber. When the food is completely dry, take it out, seal in mylar bags or mason jars for storage.


Dryer sizes:
Harvest Right makes 4 sizes: small, medium, large, extra large. For our family the medium gives the most bang for the buck. For us the small with 3 trays, is too small. The medium with 4 trays is not much larger overall, or more expensive, than the small one. **Important thing to know: A designated 20 amp circuit is recommended for the medium. A designated 20 amp circuit is required for the large and extra large units.

Our little 1975 house doesn’t have a designated 20 amp circuit. The medium freeze dryer runs fine but I try not to run other appliances, like the washing machine, that draw a lot of power, on that circuit while the freeze dryer is running.

A Medium Home Freeze dryer is about the size of a small college dorm refrigerator. Its four trays hold about a quart of food each. So, about a gallon of food, say 8 pounds on average. Mediums cost about $2,900. You get:
*The freeze dryer.
*4 stainless steel trays.
*Premier pump.
*Oil specific to the pump.
*Oil filter.
*Mylar bags.
*Oxygen absorbers that go in the bags along with the food.
*Impulse sealer. A heat gizmo to close the bags air tight.
(There are mylar bags I like better than those that come with the freeze dryer. Will explain that and talk about oxygen absorbers in another article in this section.)

Shipping: Is free in the lower 48 states. It cost us about $400 for shipping to Alaska. HR has an international desk that can give a quote for shipping to other countries.

Wait Times: There may be a 3 to 10 week wait before your order ships. How long the wait is depends partly on the time of year. They sell more during fall harvest/hunting/fishing seasons when food is available and people are getting ready for winter. Extra large units are fairly new and in demand. Waits on them may be longer. I would expect wait times to increase due to global food insecurity and supply chain delays. As the old Steve Goodman song goes, ‘You better get it while you can.’