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Old 06-25-2016, 08:54 PM   #1
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At Home Freeze Dryers

Has anyone tried one of those new (relatively) freeze dryers for consumer use ? Seems like it would be very convenient to have a large stock of food (fruits, veg, meat) that needed no refrigeration while on the road.
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:51 AM   #2
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No, but I often use an ordinary electric dehydrator to dry fruits and vegetables. The dried foods keep for years if stored well, and are light, compact, and convenient both home and traveling. Ours is a cheapie Nesco dehydrator purchased at Walmart 10 or 11 years ago for about $40 dollars, not counting extra drying trays.

This works really well for sliced tomatoes (not technically sun-dried but close,) and dried tomato puree which turns into a kind of leather. Just tear off pieces to put into your cooking pot to reconstitute as tomato paste.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:35 PM   #3
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I really need one of these 'cause I always eat the dried strawberries out of the Special K first.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:58 PM   #4
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I'm one step lazier than Len. I just use my convection oven. It came with a magnet - about the size of a C or D battery - that props the door open while depressing the door sensor. The convection only runs at 145 or 170 (I think? There's two settings) depending on your needs. It's a great solution that doesn't require small appliance storage 😜
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:53 PM   #5
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...This works really well for sliced tomatoes (not technically sun-dried but close,) and dried tomato puree which turns into a kind of leather. Just tear off pieces to put into your cooking pot to reconstitute as tomato paste.
Not sun dried, much better, no flies landing on the tomatoes while they dry. :-)
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:21 PM   #6
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freeze drying v. dehydrating

I don't know any freeze dryers for consumer use. I 'd be interested to know more. Dehydrating and freeze drying are two different things. Freeze dried foods usually require dry ice, are much more stable and have a very long shelf life.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:57 AM   #7
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https://harvestright.com/store/

Only $3000.

Don't have one.

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Old 06-28-2016, 09:45 AM   #8
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If you come across an Amish grocery, especially a larger one such as in Shipshewanna, IN, they have every imaginable fruit and vegetable, already dehydrated and sold at very good prices.

Nice to keep on hand to add to soups, things like potatoes, corn, mushrooms, etc.


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Old 06-28-2016, 10:51 AM   #9
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There are lots of prepper online sites too that sell freeze dried foods. Sign of the times.

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Old 06-28-2016, 02:44 PM   #10
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Having eaten our share of freeze dried backpacker foods in days of yore, we're pretty happy with our $40 Nesco dehydrator. We've never had problems of food spoiling, even after a few years, but we do make sure stuff is dry to the point of being brittle before packing it in unbreakable (for camping) plastic screw-top jars. We've not dehydrated ready-to-eat meals, but then $3K seems like a lot to spend for that kind of convenience.

BTW, kale chips are really fast and easy, and a lot cheaper than the health food store version: wash and tear the kale off the stems and ribs, into large pieces. Massage a little olive oil into them and season as you wish. A bit of soy sauce might be all you need. Dry till crispy.
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:20 PM   #11
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Kale chips are the biggest lie the internet ever told. Don't be fooled by Big Kale! 😛
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:15 PM   #12
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I tried kale for the first time a few nights ago. Nastiest crap I have eaten in a long time. Will not be eating it again.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:52 PM   #13
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I tried kale for the first time a few nights ago. Nastiest crap I have eaten in a long time. Will not be eating it again.
Hear, hear! It's like eating the sponge I just cleaned the bathroom with!
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:40 PM   #14
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Well, you guys don't know what's good. Or somebody didn't cook it properly. Next time, sautť some bacon & onions, add kale leaves that have been washed and removed from the stems and ribs. If you must add any water, do just a small amount. Or try a raw kale-based salad. But it's fine if you give kale a miss-- all the more crispy kale chips for them as likes 'em.
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