In a world of ever-advancing technology, sometimes it can be difficult to know the difference between a great investment, or a costly fad. We might have turned our noses up at Bitcoin because we were saving for Google Glass. Or maybe we preferred our minidisc player, thinking that MP3 music was never going to take off.
So, what about a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer? Is it worth the investment, or is it an expensive trend that will soon go out of fashion?
There’s no denying that a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is an expensive piece of kit, but for those who’ve bought one, it’s not only revolutionized their daily lives but has given them peace of mind for the future, too.
A Harvest Right Freeze Dryer isn’t going to suit every household, though, so we’ve done the research for you so that you can make an informed decision.
Why Should You Consider a Freeze Dryer?
For a long time, freeze-drying has been given a bad rap. It’s been thought of as being a practice of the doomsday prepper who stores thousands of packets of freeze-dried food in a bunker as they wander around town spreading a message of the impending apocalypse.
But even if we put aside the fact that freeze-drying is a great idea for a whole host of other reasons, the last couple of virus-laden years has proved that our imaginary doomsday prepper doesn’t seem to be as crazy as we once might have thought.
People panic buy food products in times of distress. It could be anything from a scary weather forecast to a worldwide pandemic. It could be a fuel shortage in an area where supply is affected by haulage trucks who can’t find the gas to power the delivery wagons. Flood, fire, gas leak, hurricane, virus… they hit us so hard when they happen because we’re not prepared for it.
But a lot of pressure can be taken off when you know that for the foreseeable future, you still have plenty of food to keep you and your family going. And this is the kind of insurance that a freeze drier gives you.
In the same way that you’d invest in home, car, and life insurance for those unexpected events, it pays to consider freeze-drying as an insurance investment. But this is still only ever a worst-case scenario, where in fact a freeze drier could very easily become an everyday feature of your kitchen. Here’s why.
Cut Down on Food Waste
Had the family over for Christmas but bought too much food that won’t get eaten? Whether it’s cooked or raw, a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer will preserve the food as it is, so that it retains practically all its nutritional value as on the day of freeze-drying. It means no more worrying about throwing away perfectly good food.
Freezers preserve food too, but for nowhere near as long, and a freezer only works for as long as there’s electricity. Freeze-dried food doesn’t need to be stored in a refrigerator or freezer. It can be put into vacuum-sealed jars or sealed packages and stored in a cupboard or larder for decades.
Keep Fresh Food Long Past its Use-By Date
Certain times of the year are exciting because of seasonal fruits and vegetables, but a freeze dryer means that you can enjoy your favorite fresh flavors the whole year-round. Those raspberries you picked at the end of summer can be freeze-dried and enjoyed in February when a little zingy boost of vitamin C is needed in the depth of winter.
Fruits and vegetables are particularly versatile as ingredients once they’ve been freeze-dried, too. They’re easy to crush down into powdered form to be added to cakes, puddings, smoothies, and a million other dishes.
If you store the food properly (and we’ll discuss storage shortly) then freeze-dried food keeps for an incredibly long time, even when stored at room temperature. And there’s no more worry about having to eat fresh produce quickly because freeze-drying ensures the nutrients are retained.
Store-Bought Freeze-Dried Food is Expensive
If you’re already a fan of freeze-dried food, then investing in a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is pretty much a no-brainer, for financial reasons if nothing else. Freeze-dried food from the grocery store is marked up at an incredible rate, and even more so when there are impending times of shortage.
Those raspberries we mentioned earlier might cost you ten bucks to buy, freeze dry, and store, but the same amount bought ready frozen in the grocery store will set you back at least three times that amount, at prices beginning at thirty dollars and rising to as high as forty.
Freeze drying your own foods will always make more economical sense than buying it ready-made so once again, if you’re already investing in store-bought freeze-dried food, it’s strongly advised that you invest in your own freeze dryer, as you’ll make back your initial outlay relatively quickly.
It’s So Much Better for You than Dehydrated Food
Yes, dehydrators are generally cheaper to buy and use, but the nutritional value of dehydrated food is so much lower than freeze-dried food. When you dehydrate food, you only preserve (at best) up to 60% of the original nutrients. With freeze-drying, the food retains as much as 97% of its nutritional content. And alongside the nutrition, freeze-drying also preserves the taste.
What are the Down Sides to Purchasing a Freeze Dryer?
It’s true that while there are plenty of reasons in favor of purchasing a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer, they’re not for everyone. And to truly be informed as to whether one would be worth it for you, it’s important to consider all the facts. Some may concern you more than others, but as with any big purchase, it comes down to your personal needs.
Freeze Dryers are Not Cheap to Buy
A Harvest Right Freeze Dryer will set you back over 2,000 dollars and that’s for the smallest model. They’re a little more expensive now, too, thanks to the pandemic driving prices for parts because of limited shipping to manufacturers.
Yes, you’ll make back your money when you no longer need to pay for ready-made freeze-dried products but it’s still a big dent in the pocket when you’re first starting out.
Freeze Dryer Maintenance is Not Fun
A Harvest Right Freeze-Dryer is a well-oiled machine. Literally. The pump requires oil to move smoothly and prevent wear to the mechanics. It also keeps the pump from overheating, as well as ensuring there’s a seal around the mechanics to stop air from getting into the vacuum.
It can be a messy, time-consuming job in the beginning as you get the hang of it but once you’ve done it a few times, changing a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer’s oil becomes a process that takes only a couple of minutes.
You could upgrade to an oil-free pump, but that will cost you about $1200 more.
Make Space for Your Freeze Dryer
A food dehydrator might sit nicely on your countertop, and you’ll hardly know it’s there, but a freeze dryer is a different piece of equipment altogether. It holds a large pump and needs the space inside the unit to complete the sublimation process. For that kind of mechanism, you’re looking at a machine that could be as large as a washing machine or dishwasher. So, be sure to have the room in your kitchen or utility room before you consider purchasing.
You Must Store Freeze-Dried Food Correctly
Once the food’s gone through the completed cycle, you must store it correctly or it’ll spoil, and defeat the entire object of trying to preserve food for as long as possible. And factoring in the cost of storage bags and jars must be considered at the time of purchase, along with the running cost with things like oil.
Regular food bags won’t do the job because they’re not airtight enough. You’ll need to purchase Mylar bags, specifically for long-term storage, because they don’t allow water or oxygen to get in, which is what’s responsible for spoiling food.
You can use jars, but they must be vacuum-sealed. Canning is also a great idea but once the cans been opened it can’t be re-used.
Most Freeze-Drying Enthusiasts Never Go Back
As we’ve established, you need to be serious about your freeze-drying intentions before you consider purchasing one of the machines in the Harvest Right Freeze Dryers range. But once you’ve committed to the purchase, you’re likely to be more than satisfied.
Very few freeze-drying enthusiasts regret getting into the process. They find their food bills greatly reduce, they waste much less food than before, and they’re prepared for the worst if it were to happen.
If these kinds of issues are similar to the ones that play on your mind, too, then you’ll probably find that a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer really is worth it. It’s a kind of insurance against food shortage in the future, and if you view it as such, then you may decide it’s a no-brainer.