We have a small one. While TF doesn’t think that they’d be useful long term, I disagree.I'm thinking about investing in the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. Does anyone have experience with home freeze drying or with this freeze dryer in particular?
Please share your thoughts.
We haven’t tried eggs yet as we have a lot of them from before we had the dryer. Meat wise, about 6 pounds or so, but keep in mind we bought the smallest one they have.we have changed our eating habits, trying to stay with meat that hasn’t been loaded up with antibiotics and hormones, so this helps preserve that long term. Time wise, read my original post. Generally no more than 30 hours.Let me change my comment above a bit. First, let's say post SHTF you have power to run a freeze dryer. If you say it's $2-3 to run a batch, that's 20-30 kW-hrs of power. Let's say you have a 10kW solar system ($25-30k cost today). You could run 2 batches a day using all the power from the solar system. That above is my main objection, it will suck power to operate.
But back to my change. I can see where freeze drying will be really handy: seasons. Chickens will lay eggs like crazy in spring into summer. Freeze dry those eggs and you'll eat through fall/winter. Gardens produce through summer/fall, freeze dry it and you'll eat through winter/spring.
Now there are options for canning these products. Canning is only good for a few years, but we're talking about needing 6-18 months shelf life. It would be interesting to see a side-by-side analysis of the materials/effort for freeze drying vs canning.
And Brent does have a good point. Pre-SHTF, it would be nice to know your food is chemical free.
WGreg, can you tell us how many pounds your unit can process at a time? For example, how many dozen eggs can it dry in one batch? How many pounds of meat can it hold in one batch? And how many hours does it take to dry them?
Also, typical commercial freeze dried meals run nearly 10 a bag, and it would not take long to pay for a freeze dryer if you were going to store a year’s worth of food.I think it an amazing way to preserve, by far the best. I’ve thought that it may be cheaper to just buy freeze dried foods, but considering the fact that you don’t know what went into the stuff you buy, like chemicals, freshness, etc, I like the idea of doing your own. My garden is as fresh and chemical free as any food can get, so I’d like to start with using that first.
I was reading up more on harvest right dehydrators, and believe they could pay themselves off much earlier than I thought, when compared to buying #10cans of stuff. One thing I did read though were a lot of bad reviews about the company. There were lots of people that said their machines worked fine, but there were a lot as well that said they had chronic problems with little help from the company. I love the idea of having one, but think I will wait a little while longer and see where the R&D takes it in a couple more years. I am really glad that you and Greg seem happy with yours.Also, typical commercial freeze dried meals run nearly 10 a bag, and it would not take long to pay for a freeze dryer if you were going to store a year’s worth of food.
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Like I said, I’m really glad for your sake. So far I’ve heard from two people that have them, and you’re both happy,so that’s a step in the right direction. It would be nice to make my own stuff. I’m still interested to hear how well some lettuce rehydrates.The one time we had to call them, they were great. My 2 cents thinks that they’re not that big of a company, and I bet that was the problem.
I dunno. Can’t complain.