How to freeze dry food

How to Freeze Dry Food

How to freeze dry food


How would you like to compile your emergency or survival food supply cache that will last for over 30 years? Safe for you to eat for years to come?

As an added bonus, you can store this in your home at room temperature. It takes less space than the original food you start with and weighs next to nothing. So, you can imagine how much you can store in a small space! The cost is minimal and it doesn’t even take much time to get it done.

How awesome is that??

No special long term  storage equipment, so special freezers or refrigeration or anything like that.

Here’s good news for you. This technology is available for the common man or woman. You can protect your family by stocking up your survival food cache without having to pay an arm or a leg. You will be amazed at how easy this process is for everyone!

(The technical terms, if you’re interested are lyophilisation or cryodesiccation – but you don’t need to know these words – knowing the term freeze dried foods is enough!)

survival food image
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 Determining how to freeze dry food without expensive gear. The ability to freeze dry food to preserve it was first invented during World War II. It was used to get foodstuffs to the front lines during the war so that the soldiers could eat good, nutritional foods. Prior to using freeze drying, the foods shipped to the soldiers would spoil without refrigeration on its way to them. Freeze drying solved this huge problem. It didn’t take long for the public to see the value in this process!

The process includes several steps:

First: Flash freeze the foodstuffs. This is done by freezing the product very fast at extremely low temperatures. This keeps the ice from becoming crystals and damaging the cells of the food.

Second: The moisture is removed from the food by using sublimation (changing it from solid ice to vapor) – Usually with the utilization of a vacuum chamber.

Third: Now that the moisture is removed, the food is locked into moisture- and air-proof bags and stored away.

All you need to do to prepare the food to eat is to add boiling water – this rehydrates the food to its original state. Yum for you when you are on the run with survival gear during a disaster or emergency!

There are several good questions you should pose to yourself before you start:

How quickly can you develop your survivalist acumen?

And how valuable is your survival kit? Whether you are camping or backpacking due to a natural disaster or crisis, you must be prepared for survival.


At Home Freeze Drying – How to freeze dry food

Using a vacuum chamber, you can freeze dry your own food products at home. After you have frozen your food – place it in a vacuum chamber with a pump level below 133 X 10-3. This will cause the sublimation process to occur quickly and you can prepare more food in less time. When the food is fully sublimated, it is ready for you to place in your storage cache.

You can use dry ice to prepare your freeze dried foods. Enclosing your food in dry ice (CO2 in a solid state) can create a near zero humidity environment and perform the process by efficiently drawing out the moisture.

You will need a container than is double the size of the food you will be freeze drying. Using a lockable plastic container is a common choice. Punch a couple of holes in the lid so the gasses can escape. Place the dry ice and food in a 1:1 ratio inside the container. A layer of dry ice, a layer of food, another layer of dry ice is the optimum way to place it inside the container. Now place the container into your freezer in order to keep the dry ice solid as long as you can. Check your container every 24 hours or so until you see that the dry ice is no longer. At this point, your food should be completely freeze dried and ready for long term storage. As stated before, place it into a moisture-proof and air-proof container to preserve in your survival cache.

You can freeze dry using your own freezer instead of a vacuum chamber, but it takes a little longer. First, cut the food into small pieces and then lay them out on a perforated tray inside your freezer. In a few hours the food will be frozen through and through. It will take about a week for the full process of sublimation to happen (getting all the moisture out of the food). To test the food, remove a piece from the freezer and allow it to thaw – if it turns black, it is not yet fully sublimated. If it doesn’t turn black, you are ready for placing it into air-proof, moisture-proof bags and storing it away.  (Using a vacuum sealer – like the Food Saver brand – is the only way to be sure that your food is protected.

Of course, there are machine dryers for home use – however, they are significantly more expensive than the procedures mentioned above to dehydrate the items you want to store.

Storing the food

It is highly recommended that you use a vacuum sealer like Food Saver to protect your cache. Although some folks have been successful using zip lock bags, it is so hard to really get all of the air out. For the best protection, purchasing one of these vacuum sealers will help you to maintain the value of your stored foods. You can complete your survival kit by learning how to freeze dry foods.

What can be freeze dried?

Fruits and vegetables are the easiest and best for you to prepare at home. Remember that only the water sublimates (is removed) so acids and chemicals inherent in foodstuffs will remain. Occasionally, test the items in your stash to confirm its viability and usefulness.



16 Responses to “How to freeze dry food”

  1. Jerry

    Dec 24. 2013

    Thanks for this article. I have been looking at the possibility of freeze drying food for some time, this gives me the prod that I meed to get my butt in gear.

    Reply to this comment
    • Michael

      Dec 24. 2013

      It’s not such a hard process, although it might take a little practice on some products to get it done right. But you will save a lot of money doing it yourself!

      Reply to this comment
  2. creating one’s own freezer is an almost impossible idea (well , it was so for me till I read this post), I loved it and will surely master the process before a few failures :p

    Reply to this comment
  3. matthew

    Aug 21. 2015

    When using the dry ice method, do I need to vacuum seal the food prior to packing in dry ice? Or does the packing with dry ice itself get rid of the moisture? If you could answer that for me, I would be grateful. Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  4. elaine

    Sep 21. 2015

    Please do inform=Where /can the food saver bran vaccume sealer be atained at reasonable pricing? Please.
    Need 2 freez dri soft meats?. Will that work same way as informed here? Really need most economical way.Elaine Thanking you in advance?

    Reply to this comment
  5. hugh

    Nov 22. 2015

    Was wondering if you used a dehydrator first which would remove most of the moisture, then use dry ice to flash freeze it, while in a container where the oxygen has been removed, then store in vacuum sealed bags.
    I’ve never tried it and obviously A novice.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Rose Hernandez

    Nov 26. 2015

    can I freeze meat and vegetable

    Reply to this comment
  7. Term

    Dec 30. 2015

    To answer a few of the questions above, you want to vacuum seal the food after it is freeze dried so that you are not trapping the moisture in the bag. Also, if you dehydrate the food prior to freeze drying, you’ll end up with freeze dried dehydrated food. The main advantage of freeze drying is that the texture says intact, and rehydration is much easier as compared to dehydration.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Jake Gibson

    Jan 19. 2016

    Michael, my wife and I have been trying to find a good way to preserve the leftover food we grow from our garden. I love your tip about using dry ice to help pull moisture from the food. We’ll have to buy some insulated gloves & give this a try. I love the idea of being able to eat some of our fruits and veggies months or even years later & still have them taste great with most of all the nutrients still there.

    Reply to this comment
  9. WilliamGef

    May 09. 2016

    This is one awesome post.Really thank you! Fantastic. Merkerson

    Reply to this comment
  10. bob

    Jun 16. 2016

    How about drilling a hole in the side of an old freezer, then placing food to be freeze dried in an old chilled pressure cooker. place the cookjer inside the freezer then attach vacuum pump via hose feed thru freezer wall to top of pressure cooker?

    Reply to this comment
  11. Linda

    Jun 20. 2016

    I’ve been looking at freeze dryers for a while now. There aren’t many to choose from and they are all expensive.

    In this article you state “place it in a vacuum chamber with a pump level below 133 x 10-3”.

    I haven’t a clue as to what this pump level means. Can you explain?

    Reply to this comment
  12. WilliamGef

    Jun 28. 2016

    I really enjoy the forum.Thanks Again. Cool. Yankey

    Reply to this comment
  13. Lynn Jensen

    Feb 19. 2017

    After food has been frozen in the freezer can you use a vacuum container not a bag like a marinader from a vacuum packer to draw out the moisture?

    Reply to this comment
  14. Scott

    Feb 10. 2018

    I’ve been told, and read, that you are NOT supposed to put dry ice in a regular freezer – the escaping gasses are not good for it and it can damage your freezer. Might want to look into that before you give the dry ice method a try.

    Reply to this comment

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