Some people wonder if a freeze dryer is right for them, and what the costs and benefits are to start drying their own food at home. We understand that purchasing a freeze dryer is a major investment, so we want to clearly lay out the benefits and details of owning a freeze dryer so that you can feel confident in the decision you make.
Is it Healthy?
Freeze drying is hands down the healthiest way to preserve your food at home. One of the most significant advantages of freeze drying over other storage methods is the preservation of nutritional value. Unlike dehydrators for example, which rely on heat that can degrade essential vitamins and minerals, the freeze drying process relies on sublimation.
The result is food that retains its original nutritional composition, including vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. With your freeze dryer, you can enjoy preserved food with optimal nutrition for extended periods.
What is the Shelf Life and Versatility?
Freeze dryers offer an extended shelf surpassing that of food dehydrators and traditional preservation methods. The removal of water content during freeze drying inhibits the growth of spoilage-causing microorganisms, such as bacteria and mold. As a result, freeze-dried food can maintain its quality and freshness for 25+ years when stored in proper conditions, and when using a proper storage tool like a high-quality mylar bag. This longevity makes freeze-dried products an excellent choice for emergency preparedness, backpacking trips, and maintaining a well-stocked pantry at home.
Furthermore, a freeze dryer can accommodate a wide variety of foods, ranging from fruits and vegetables to meats, dairy products, and even complete meals. Freeze-dried foods are lightweight and require minimal storage space, also making them ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, travelers, and those with limited storage capacities.
Is it Worth it?
A freeze dryer could actually save you money over time. For example, buying freeze-dried goods off the shelf can be an expensive endeavor, especially when creating a supply of food storage. Preparing home freeze dried meals yourself could bring big savings in the long run.
Due the prolonged shelf life of freeze dried goods, you can take advantage of buying your meats, produce and other goods in bulk when at their lowest price, and preserving them using your freeze dryer.
You can even make some money on the side too. Some of our own customers have had success selling freeze dried candy they made from home, earning back enough to cover what they spent on their freeze dryer.
How Much Does it Cost to Operate?
Operating a freeze dryer isn't free of course, but we've got the stats so you can know what owning a freeze dryer would mean for your budget:
The freeze dryer will draw about 15 amps at peak, but around 9-11 amps per hour on average. Depending on prices in your area, the freeze dryer will typically cost about $2.00-$3.00 of electricity per day.
We recommend to change the oil in your pump every 5-10 cycles, but it could be less frequent depending on water content of your batches. If you only dry candy for example, the oil could be replaced every 30 cycles.
3/4 quarts of oil is needed for the pump, which averages to about $7.00 per oil change, or $1.00 or less per drying cycle.
Also needed to preserve food are mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, or other preservation tools. A high quality mylar bag and an oxygen absorber together will typically cost less than a dollar.
In total, each freeze drying cycle should cost between $4 and $8, depending on electricity costs and what preservation tools are used.
Sometimes you can't deny that freeze drying food can be plain old fun. Food brings smiles to people's faces, and a freeze dryer lets you bring smiles out in a whole new way.
Whatever decision you decide to make, we appreciate you considering Blue Alpine. If you have any questions at all, feel free to call 208-607-1722 to speak to our team today.