• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • jordan barton
  • Carla Burke
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
  • Steve Thorn

Comparing dehydration with freeze drying

 
Posts: 23
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This topic may have been covered before, so forgive me if I am recycling it.  
We are considering adding a freeze dryer.  But, it is really expensive as everyone knows.  
I can't convince my wife that we are going into a collapse/shtf/wrol scenario, so don't give me any arguments about needing 25 yrs of shelf life.  Those arguments will fall on deaf ears.  Can you give me some ideas if a food freeze dryer is worthwhile as compared to a food dehydrator all things being equal.  Money is an object!
 
pollinator
Posts: 297
Location: Northwest Missouri
105
forest garden fungi gear trees plumbing chicken cooking ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Apples to oranges. A dehydrator makes things leathery and uses heat. So some properties of whatever you're dehydrating will always be destroyed.
A freeze dryer is a completely different process with a completely different result. Show her the difference between a dehydrated strawberry (gross) and a freeze dried one (crispy delicious!)

But honestly, I don't think I could ever justify dropping the minimum 2k on a freeze dryer unless it was a business situation where I knew I'd make that money back over time.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 978
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
232
duck tiny house chicken composting toilet homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Two words: freeze dried ice cream.  I always try to bring some on canoe/hiking trips and it's a huge hit, though it's $4.50/oz.  It could pay for itself right there!

I take both dehydrated (my own and purchased) and freeze dried meals on trips and the FD meals are better than the store bought dehydrated ones, though my home-made meals are the best.  There's a big difference in energy requirements, though, between FD and dehydrated meals.  The FD meals just need to soak in boiled water for about 15 minutes, while the dehydrated ones need to simmer, so there's a time issue too.  I prefer to cook with fire, but that isn't always easy, so I bring FD meals and a stove with fuel for quick meals that use very little fuel.  I'll often put dehydrated meals in a bottle in the morning with water to let them hydrate partially during the day to save fuel at night.

The texture, as Matt says, is much different, too.  I've got a Cabela's 80 litre dehydrator, which can dry a crazy amount at a time and I put it on the lowest heat that I'm comfortable with, but it's still heat.  From what I've read, the FD method loses less nutrition than dehydrating, though I'm not sure how big a difference it is.  You can also build a solar dehydrator (plans on this site) with a huge capacity and no inputs, so there's that.

I have thought of a FD machine but, like Matt, I would be buying it to make FD meals for sale.  You can buy FD strawberries from Mountain House or other companies, so your wife could try those and other foods compared to dehydrated meals.  I've read, but have no experience, that you can FD a steak and then re-hydrate it and it'll be much like fresh.  If you're handy, there are a few people out there with DIY FDers, so that may be an option too.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3769
Location: Toronto, Ontario
535
hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi trees rabbit urban wofati cooking bee homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I often think about how I would deal with a real bumper crop of perishables. Honestly, I am not going to outlay a huge amount of money, mostly because I don't have it.

My practical solution to this is to settle for what I can do myself, and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

If I could find really great plans to a Freeze Dryer that I could build myself from reclaimed, repurposed, and cheaply-bought, readily-available parts, I would choose that, as it's the nutritionally superior method of food preservation.

But if all I could find are plans and materials for a really great solar dehydrator, I would go that route. It might not be as versatile, and might not preserve all the nutrition, but it would keep my harvest from being lost to spoilage.

And at the end of the day, that's the goal.

-CK
gift
 
Justin Rhodes 45 minute video tour of wheaton labs basecamp
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic