We had a sponsored post come over on my other sites that asked the question, “Should you buy a freeze dryer?” As sponsored posts go, it was very accurate and not nearly as “salesy” as I’ve seen from other sponsored posts. I’ll share it below, but first I want to answer the question directly.
The best choice I ever made when it comes to long-term storage food is getting a freeze dryer. I didn’t always think that. It was far more work than I imagined and the maintenance on the machine is annoying when it needs it. With that said, I’m married to a woman who puts me to shame with her mechanical maintenance abilities, so after a couple of struggles with changing the oil she now has it down to an art.
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Once we got into the groove of freeze-drying food, we have been extremely pleased with the purchase. But know this going in if you’re thinking this is an “easy button.” It’s not. In fact, in many ways it has changed our lifestyle. For example, we now often cook for a family of 8 even though it’s just us and the two kids. Why? Because many of the meals we cook are intended to be eaten now AND freeze-dried to store away for the long haul. We don’t do it for chicken finger night but by golly we do it whenever she makes her freeze-dryer-appropriate meals like beef stroganoff.
A funny lesson I learned is that we no longer freeze-dry many fruits or vegetables. I know this goes against what most preppers say but I’ve come to a different conclusion. We did tons of fruits and vegetables at first but considering the time it takes we found that we are better served by spending that precious freeze drying usage on more expensive items like meats, eggs, and complete meals. We will still run batches of strawberries or zucchini when there’s nothing else to go in but for the most part we stick to the higher-end foods.
And therein lies the best piece of advice I can offer on this topic: Keep your freeze dryer running. Downtime is wasted time. Some items take a while. Others are quick. But keeping the freeze dryer going almost non-stop is the key to getting the bang for the buck.
It definitely helps to have a freezer nearby. You’ll cut time tremendously by freezing the food first rather than having the freeze dryer do it. It’s also cheaper.
Another best practice is to set up a station. This will take space. Having a freeze dryer, freezer, prep table, and processing area all together has been a good decision. It can all be done in a large kitchen, but the machines are noisy and a freeze-drying project can take up a lot of space.
So, should YOU get a freeze dryer? As with most questions, the answer depends on your situation. If you have the means, space, and time, then I believe it’s a good investment. If you’re lacking on any of those things, then it’s best to get buckets or other forms of long-term storage food. Just be sure to fill your pantries first.
Here’s the sponsored post from my other sites, for those interested.