Freeze-dried food has been used for years by those who need quick, moisture-free meals. It is also great for including in emergency food supplies, as it stores well and has a long shelf life. Although you may have never heard of freeze drying food at home, it is possible. If you would like to know how to easily freeze dry food, the following tips can help.
Although there are various methods for freeze drying food, the method discussed here uses dry ice. It is simple to accomplish at home and eliminates the need for a special freeze drying machine. Dry ice creates an environment that is freezing and relatively free of humidity and oxygen, which is essential for the freeze drying process. To get started, you must gather the food items you want to freeze dry. For beginners, it is advisable to start with simple items such as strawberries or potatoes, as they are easy to handle and pretty much fool-proof. You will also need a supply of dry ice, a large cooler or bucket, and food containers to hold your food.
Freeze Dry Your Food
First you will want to slice your food into thin pieces, which makes the freeze drying process much easier. After you have become more experienced at freeze drying, feel free to move onto more complicated items such as spaghetti or ice cream. Next, place your food items into food containers with lids, such as Tupperware or Rubbermaid containers. You will want to poke some small holes in the lids of the containers, so the moisture from the food can escape. Next, place a thick layer of dry ice into the large cooler or bucket. Then place a container of food on top of the dry ice. You never want the food to come in direct contact with the dry ice, as it will render the food unusable. Make another layer of dry ice, then another food container. Layer as many times as necessary. Finish with a top layer of dry ice. Cover the cooler or bucket slowly to allow any moisture or gas to escape. Place the cooler or bucket in a large freezer, which will keep the dry ice solid as long as possible. After 12 hours, check on the food. Keep checking until the dry ice is gone. After the dry ice is no longer present in the cooler or bucket, your food should be completely freeze dried and ready to store.
Store Your Freeze Dried Food
After the freeze drying process is complete, you will need to store your food items in the proper manner. Vacuum-sealing machines work great for this step as they will eliminate any and all air from the packages. You can also use plastic zipper bags, just make sure all the air is removed prior to zipping them closed. Store your freeze dried food packages in a cool, dry location and your supply should last for many years to come.
Now that you know how simple it is to freeze dry food, you should definitely give it a try. Once you become experienced, you can create a stock of freeze dried food that will be very useful in the future.
Guest post from Jean Clark. Jean writes for BackgroundCheck.org.