With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Harvest Right has made products for homeowners, outdoor enthusiasts, and off-grid dwellers alike since 2012. Today, we’re going to talk about one of their most popular products, the Harvest Right freeze dryer. Here's what you need to know!
Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Types
Harvest Right has a collection of 4 different sizes: commercial, pharmaceutical, powder coated, and stainless steel. All of these have different functions and features for specific purposes, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your needs.
The commercial size can hold up to 10 pounds at a time, and it is designed for large-scale freeze-drying purposes.
Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical freeze-dryer uses no heat in the process. This is designed for more delicate products.
Lastly, the powder-coated and stainless steel freeze dryer is perfect for people who want to start freeze-drying at home. These are the two most popular options, and the only difference is the aesthetic.
Still, any of these can come in 3 different sizes (small, medium, and large), which each hold different capacities. Of course, the small sizes are the cheapest, but they have the lowest capacity. Most small sizes can hold between 4 and 7 pounds or 1 to 1.5 gallons of food at a time.
Moreover, the medium sizes can hold 7 to 10 pounds or 1.5 to 2.5 gallons of food. The largest models can hold 12 to 16 pounds and up to 3.5 gallons of food at one time. Over the course of a year, this means that a large system could freeze-dry up to 2500 pounds, or 546 gallons, of fresh food.
How They Work
All of these systems work roughly the same. They cycle low heat to begin the dehydration process, freeze the food, and then vacuum out the excess water. Overall, this full cycle will complete within 20 to 40 hours at full capacity. Of course, this depends on the food and its water content.
However, the pharmaceutical version works a little differently. First, they need to freeze the material and then slowly reduce pressure while adding heat to turn the water directly into vapor. This is similar to others, but slightly slower to avoid damaging delicate materials.
What Makes Harvest Right Freeze Dryers Different?
Harvest Right freeze dryers range from 61 to 138 pounds, and the small and medium systems will fit on your countertop. So, what makes them so special as freeze dryers? Let’s find out.
Available in the kit, you will haveyour own freeze dryer, a premier vacuum pump, vacuum pump oil, one oil filter, 3 to 5 stainless steel trays, a guide to freeze-drying, 50 mylar bags, 50 oxygen absorbers, and an impulse sealer.
All of this smart technology, along with the helpful guide, allows you to start freeze-drying food right away. Set-up is easy, and you can have
Also, each freeze dryer comes with an outbound pump, and you can upgrade any of them if you don’t want to use oil in your machine. However, the oil-free pump will cost extra.
You can buy a cheaper freeze-dryer, but you won’t have nearly the same large capacity. Harvest Right measures its capacity ingallonsof food, whereas others will only speak in ounces or cups. Even the smallest model allows you to freeze-dry up to 195 gallons of food per year.
Most dehydrators and other food preservation systems will only remove around 80% of the water from your food. They do this using low heat over a long period.
Conversely, Harvest Right home freeze dryers use a series of low heat, cold, and a powerful free vacuum pump to remove over 95% of the water from your food. This allows your preserved food to last for much longer!
High-capacity freeze-dryers come with a large energy demand, so consumers should always look for energy-efficient models. All sizes require a 110-volt outlet, but the large systems will need a dedicated 20-amp circuit. Generally speaking, they will run between 990W and 1500W of electricity at a time but may peak at higher rates.
These are not cheap appliances you can forget about. Harvest Right freeze dryers are long-term investments that can last for heavy-duty use over a long period. You can use these as commercial or hobbyist freeze dryers.
They also require very little maintenance. All you have to do is change the oil and filter every 3 to 4 months, even with heavy use.
When you dehydrate foods in a typical dehydrator, removing around 80% of the water content, you can expect a shelf life of 4 to 6 months for your food. That’s pretty impressive and more than enough for a long backpacking trip.
However, when you freeze-dry foods properly in a Harvest Right freeze dryer, your food can safely last for 25 to 30 years, as these systems remove up to 98% of water. That’s a staggering difference that’s perfect for emergency food storage, backup supplies at home, or really anything you want!
That’s more than enough to freeze dry yourself a life-time supply of pet food for your furry friend. If you find berries on sale at the grocery store, why not freeze-dry enough of them to last in your cereal bowl for the next few years?
Using Harvest Right Freeze Dryers
Once you receive your package, it’s easy to take it out and set it up. The freeze-dryer itself is already assembled upon arrival, so all you have to do is set it up. First, find an appropriate location, preferably in a room you don’t use too often. Just ensure you have a 20-amp circuit available if you choose the large version.
You may want to remove the gasket in front and clean it, as it may have been exposed to contaminants during transport. It will have contact with the inside of the system, so it’s better to be safe than sorry! Just run it under some cold water and wipe it down with a lint-free cloth before putting it back on your freeze-dryer door.
Next, simply remove the cap on your premier pump and fill it with mineral oil until it reaches the fill line. Replace the cap and hand-tighten it. From there, attach the hose (hand-tight) to the pump and the side of your freeze-dryer.
Plug in your system, place food on your stainless steel trays, insert them in and double-check your connections. If everything looks good, all you have to do is set the weight on the touch screen, press start, and wait!
What Can the Harvest Right Freeze-Dry?
When we hear about freeze-drying, our minds often go to freeze drying fruits. It’s a great way to enjoy a sweet treat with a long shelf life and minimal weight. However, that’s not the only use for freeze dryers, as they’re great for preserving the original flavor of other foods, and even full meals!
Let’s say you’re planning a long backpacking trip or bicycle tour. In that case, packing home freeze-dried foods is a great way to ensure you have enough food on your trip without too much weight. You can freeze-dry anything from pasta sauces to rice dishes, or even beef stew.
However, if you plan to freeze-dry more delicate types of food or anything medicinal, you may need to opt for the pharmaceutical version. This is best for preserving herbs and other delicate organic compounds. Otherwise, there’s no limit to what you can freeze-dry, as long as it doesn’t exceed the capacity.
Honest Review of Harvest Right Freeze Dryers
We all know that freeze-drying is one of the best ways to preserve food for as long as possible. It doesn’t add any unnecessary chemicals to your food, alter the taste, or cook the food like other preservation methods. Also, freeze-dryers and freeze-dried products last for a long time.
More importantly, these machines are a great way to freeze-dry several pounds of food just by loading the trays and pressing the start button. There’s minimal maintenance involved, making it an easy and healthy way to boost your food storage.
Overall, with a 7 to 16-pound fresh food capacity, there is no better freeze-dryer for home use, as well as for small businesses. Other food preservation methods simply don’t compare for capacity, health, and shelf life.
More importantly, if you do run into any issues with your freeze-dryer, you will have a 3-year manufacturer warranty. You can rest assured that even with heavy use, you will get what you paid for!
Try a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer For Yourself
For dairy products or an emergency food supply, a freeze dryer is the best way to limit your total weight and safely preserve your own food. Whether you want to keep delicious and nutritious meals handy in case of emergencies or plan a long trip in the great outdoors, this is the perfect technology for your needs.
Stay up to date with our latest product reviews, and buy a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer today with free shipping and a price match guarantee!