Freeze Dried Friday:

Welcome to Freeze Dried Friday on SurvivalBlog! We’ve been making so many things in the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer that we want to share some of them with you. If you have something wonderful you’ve prepared in your freeze dryer that you would like to share with SurvivalBlog readers, take a photo of it and send it in along with a description. We might just feature you here!

Practice What You Preach

It’s that time of year again. The freeze driers have been eerily silent and lonely this week. The Latimer household is on vacation. Of course, we are not just relaxing and enjoying ourselves, though that is a big part of vacation. We are testing all those yummy foods we put up over the last year. We will let you know exactly what worked and what didn’t work very well from our freeze dried stocks as we go along. In the mean time, we’d love to hear what you are putting up or testing this week. Leave us a comment and include a picture or two if you’d like.

o o o

If you would like to include pictures of your freeze dried products in your comments, just send them to us via email along with the name you posted the comment under and I’ll place the pictures for you. Alternatively, you can host them on your own server and use the html <img> tag to include them.


  1. This week I decided to flush the FDer vac pump. I have a power flush system but I am a bit intimidated by it so I did a manual flush instead. I used about 1-1/2 qts of filtered oil to flush it and I got a lot of spice flakes out of the pump. I refilled the pump with new vac oil. It is purring away right now.

    I did 4 more trays of sirloin tip steak, 4 trays of sweet colored peppers and finished off with 4 trays of scrambled eggs. I have plenty of eggs but I figure I can use the scrambled eggs either as barter or for charity. Hurricane victims would probably like to have them.

    The sirloin steaks are so easy to fix for a casserole or a meat and potatoes dinner. I make a skillet of gravy and put the FD steaks in to a simmering gravy and by the time the potatoes and veges are finished the steak is also. Yummy and quick!

    1. patientmomma, you might try putting sausage or bacon plus peppers and onion in your scrambled eggs and go for a western mix. We’ve had great luck with ours. Even though you flush your vacuum pump. you should still take the front cover off every so many cycles and wipe out the gunk.

  2. Mr Latimer,

    Would it be possible to address running the freeze dryer off grid? Salietnt issues include average power use, peak power (eg.motor start),total power (kwh), run times for various loads. Also any issues that might arise from your perspective of experience. My goal is to determine if this is a viable alternitive off grid.


    1. @Lonestar,
      Off grid would be hard to do. The freeze dryer is a power hog for an extended period of time. Typically, the freezer draws about the same amount of power as a large freezer (about 100 to 150 watts) for the first 8 to 9 hours. After that, the 1/2 HP vacuum motor kicks in and runs for the life of the cycle. While the motor only pulls the full 800W or so the first 30 seconds or so as it draws the vacuum down, it still pulls a pretty good load. It’s about the equivalent of 4 or 5 100 Watt incandescent bulbs running for 24 to 36 hours per load. The supply must also be consistent. It can be done though. You just have to make sure you plan for a constant load of about 12 kwh/day of usage.

  3. I’m working on my third load thru our new FD. Part of the first load was a tray of portabella mushrooms. They were all about golf ball sized or a little larger. They came out beautiful and you couldn’t even tell then from looks that they weren’t fresh. We put them in a half gallon mason jar and vacuum sealed it. They barely fit since it was 4 one pint packages we used. But what was odd was the next day I looked at the jar in the storage closet and they had all shrunk up to take up only about half the jar. Now a few days later they only take up about a quarter. I know the laws of physics pretty good but this one has got me stumped. In a vacuum I would expect them to possible expand if they had air in them. Instead they did the opposite. I have not opened the jar yet to see if they puff back up.

    I also did some eggplant that we sliced to about 1/2″ thick. I couldn’t fit them in a jar so I decided to vacuum seal them in a food saver bag. It sealed up nice but the vacuum did crush and flatten them a bit. Before the next load I read up on using the impulse sealer and when the halved bell peppers were done I put them in in mylar bags with an O2 absorber. I sucked down tight too but more gently and didn’t crush them. I’m still learning!!

    BTW, my wife is really loving this. Getting the FD was a surprise to her (read as I didn’t tell her until it showed up at the door so she couldn’t say no) but she now has a whole list of items she wants to put thru it. And now she doesn’t have to feel bad about making such huge batches of foods for dinners. Before we used to have the same leftovers for days or they would go bad before we could ea them up. Now we can just FD the rest of her yummies (she really is an awesome cook, even better than me) and have them ready at a moments notice.

    One issue I ran into was after the first load when I drained the oil from the pump. HR now includes an oil filter so I drained it straight into that. What I found out is that the filter appears to be made of some sort of paper or tissue and the first time you put oil through it absorbs a large amount that you can’t recover. Since only one quart is included I didn’t have enough to refill the pump. Fortunately in the first email from HR after I ordered they included some links to a couple types of oil to use. I looked at Amazon for those too since I have Prime and was able to find a pack of 4 one gallon jugs of Robinair 13204 for “only” $95 and free shipping. I ordered it at 2pm and amazingly it was delivered at 10am the next day!!

    One other thing is I am now draining into a quart mason jar and putting it in the freezer overnight to freeze the water before pouring thru the filter.

Comments are closed.