One of the best ways to keep food lasting longer than ever is through freeze drying. This is a solution that will help you not only remove moisture from food, but will preserve it for months on end. Freeze drying and canning are some of the best options to help you keep just about any food as long as possible, in case of emergency, or just to ensure that you always have food. Before you can get moving forward with any process of drying food, you’ll need to prepare for the freeze dry process. Without proper preparation, and the right tools, you could end up just simply freezing items, not freeze drying. There’s a huge difference in that regards. The following will break down the preparation and process that you need to work with in order to keep food longer through the process of freeze drying with a vacuum sealer.
The Preparation Process
First and foremost, you need to decide what you’re going to freeze. You cannot work with all options, as not everything works well with this solution. As you look into options, you’ll most likely want to work with options that have a great deal of water or moisture within them. For instance, meats, meals, and fruits are all great options. Most often, people freeze dry meat, because there’s a percentage of moisture within them, and it can be easy to store overall. Full meals can also be done, but if you’re just starting out, focus on single items and simple things like meat, and cheese. After you get the hang of this process, go with other solutions overall.
Fresh Works Best
Unlike freezing foods that are reaching their shelf-life, focus on using fresh foods. The fresher the food the better this process will become. Remember, this is a process of reconstituting elements down the line. You’ll want to make sure that things are done as soon as possible, in peak freshness. When trying to work with meals overall, you’ll want to freeze them as soon as you’ve finished cooking them, so that things are easier to reconstitute down the line. With that in mind, do not work with items that are not going to come back to life, so to speak. For instance, don’t go with baked goods, or anything that has too much gluten in it. A loaf of bread, for instance, is going to be really difficult to bring back after it’s been frozen. Cakes, and other items won’t work well either.
The next thing that you need to work with is simple, cut things up a bit. Cut things in quarters, and separate items so that the water is completely removed. Moisture removal is a good thing, and that’s the thing that you’re going forward with here. Cut things up, make sure that they are a bit more separate, and put them into proper bags. You’ll want to go with options like Save It Fresh bags, which are absolutely grand. Don’t go with generic or overprized options, make sure that you get the right bags to work with, or you will be sorely disappointed with what is going to happen during the process. With that in mind, look into Save It Fresh bags moving forward.
Dry Ice Solutions
Before getting into machines, you may want to look into freeze drying with dry ice. This is a difficult task at first glance, but there’s a few steps that you can take to make this work. The initial preparation remains the same, as mentioned above. Once you do that, you’ll be able to use dry ice to dry things properly. You’ll want to flatten your bags and push out all the air you can, ensuring that they have an air tight seal. Once you have done that, you’ll want to use dry ice to cover your items, in order for them to literally freeze. You will need to have a cooler, and gloves overall, so that you are able to keep the ice covered and frozen for at least 6 hours or so. Within 24 hours of leaving your foot with the dry ice in Save It Fresh bags, you’ll find that things will be done and ready to place in a freezer.
Vacuum Drying Machines
One of the most popular ways to work with freeze drying food is to purchase a vacuum chamber. You’ll find these in stores, and they are not expensive overall. The machine literally pulls the air out of specialized bags, ensuring that moisture is taken away, so that you can put them in the freezer. Once you have worked with the preparation phase mentioned above, you’ll then place Save It Fresh bags, or other options at one end of these chamber machines, and you’ll be able to move forward. These are sometimes called dehydrators, which are similar in what they do overall, but without the cold aspect.
Shopping for these machines is simple, as you can search for freeze dryers or even dehydrators. These options pull air out of the bags and food that you put in them, and after the drying process, you can place them in a freezer and keep them safe and sound for upwards of 6 months’ time if not more. The cost of these machines range from $50 to $500, and upwards of $1,000 depending on what you are looking to freeze overall. If you’re going to be doing this on a grand scale, you may need to purchase larger machines, and focus on breaking up the food that you want to dry.
Many Different Options
There are a lot of different ways that you can work with freeze drying food. Regardless of how you work with these options, you’ll need to have bags that lock out the air and allow for freezing without freezer burn. Freezer burn will ruin your food, and that’s not what you want tin the end. The above options should help you get started, and there are a lot of solutions that can help you gain the upper hand in drying foods, storing them for months and reconstituting things after the fact.