Up until recently, it was impossible to freeze-dry foods at home. Freeze drying was done in massive machines at industrial scale — until now. Harvest Right has taken the cooking world by storm by introducing the first freeze dryer that can fit right on your countertop. Unlike dehydrators, freeze dryers preserve the most amount of nutrients possible and don’t alter the taste or texture of foods. It’s an interesting proposition, which is why, in this article, we have Harvest Right Freeze Dryer reviews to see if it’s worth the money.
The Benefits of Having a Freeze Dryer
Some consumers think that a dehydrator and freeze dryer practically do the same thing, but this is a common misconception. While both dehydrators and freeze dryers preserve foods by removing the water content, dehydrators use heat to evaporate water and freeze-drying uses cold temperatures to remove water.
The benefits of freeze-drying include:
- Food that is freeze-dried preserves 97% of its original nutritional content, while dehydrated food only preserves around 60% of the original nutrients.
- Because freeze-drying removes 99% of the water content in food, the shelf life shoots up to an amazing 25 years!
- Unlike dehydration, freeze-drying preserves the texture, taste, and color of foods. They look good and fresh when re-hydrated!
- There are hundreds of food items that can be freeze-dried including entire meals, soups, fruits, veggies, meats, and even ice cream!
- It’s easy to use! Harvest Right freeze dryers begin operating at a push of a button.
If you’re concerned about high nutrition and preserved food tasting the best it can, freeze-drying may be your best bet.
Disadvantages to Consider
While there are many positives to owning a freeze dryer, there are a few downsides, as well. These include:
- The cost. Harvest Right freeze dryers are pretty darn expensive, costing thousands of dollars per freeze dryer. This can be a major issue for those on a budget.
- Freeze-dried food takes up more space. Because any exposure to the elements may cause the freeze-dried food to re-hydrate, it must be stored in smaller batches, which can take up a significant amount of space in your pantry. Freeze-dried food also remains its original size and slices don’t shrink.
- The pump filter will need to be changed (in oil pumps). As we’ll see later on in this article, Harvest Right Freeze Dryers have oil pumps that need to be changed. This can be a messy and smelly process, especially when inside the home.
What Harvest Right Has to Offer
In the next few sections, we’ll be providing you with in-depth Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Reviews.
Freeze Dryer Options
Harvest Right has three freeze dryer styles to suit every customer. Each machine performs the same quality of function, however, the Medium and Large freeze dryers have a bigger capacity for freeze-drying food.
Take a look at the guide below to Harvest Right freeze dryers to find the best one for your needs:
|Freeze Dryer Sizes||Amount of Food Per Batch||Amount of Food Per Year|
Freeze Dryer Pump Options
Each of the above Harvest Right freeze dryers comes with an oil pump but can be upgraded to a Premier Oil Pump or an Oil-Free Pump. The standard oil pump has to be filtered every 4 to 5 batches (with the oil change taking around 2 to 3 minutes to finish. The Premier Oil Pump must be filtered every 20 to 25 batches (with the change taking around 2 to 3 minutes). Finally, the Oil-Free Pump doesn’t have to be filtered, considering it needs no oil to function.
The noise levels of the pumps are as follows:
- Standard Oil Pump – 64 decibels
- Premier Oil Pump – 52 decibels (quiet like a dishwasher)
- Oil-Free Pump – 62 decibels
If you’re handy with filtering oil, then we would recommend going with the Premier Oil Pump. This is because it lasts 5X more batches before it needs changing and is quieter than the standard oil pump. On the other hand, if you don’t want to go to the trouble of filtering either oil pump, go with the Oil-Free Pump. Maintenance is practically non-existent, and it’s still quieter than the standard pump. Keep in mind that upgrading the pumps is at an additional cost.
Costs of upgraded pumps:
- Premier Oil Pump – $695
- Oil-Free Pump – $1,495
Though the cost of the upgraded pumps is pretty expensive, especially when tacked on to the thousands-of-dollars bill of the machine, the upgrade may be worth the money to avoid changing the standard pump after a few batches. Additionally, the regular oil pump has been known to smell up homes when being changed, so an oil-free pump is likely a good idea in the long run. We definitely recommend upgrading if you plan to use your freeze dryer often for excessive batches of food.
So, after considering our Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Reviews, are they worth it? Well, it depends.
If you have the money and the need for a way to store large amounts of preserved food, whether it be for an emergency, food security, or other reason, then a freeze dryer may be worth the investment. However, if you plan to use your freeze dryer scarcely, or you’re not willing to spend thousands of dollars at once, then it’s probably not the best choice for you. In that case, you might want to consider a dehydrator as a food preservation option (like these dehydrators under &100!).
We hope our Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Reviews helped you to make a decision, and whatever you choose to do, happy cooking!