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Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Review & Guide

Welcome to Wild Oak Trail’s detailed Harvest Right Freeze Dryer review. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Harvest Right has made quality products for homeowners, outdoor enthusiasts, and off-grid dwellers since 2012. If you’re considering the leap into home freeze drying, you’ve likely pondered whether this expensive machine is worth the investment.

Freeze drying is an incredible technology that allows you to preserve a wide array of foods—from vegetables and fruits to meats and even freeze-dried meals—all while maintaining their original flavor, nutrition, and texture. Unlike traditional dehydrating, which can sometimes sap the taste and nutrients from your food, the Harvest Right freeze dryer ensures that your freeze-dried food retains all the qualities you love, with the added benefit of a remarkably long shelf life. This contrasts with dehydrated food, where concerns about quality and safety can arise, especially when comparing the precision and control of freeze-drying technology to traditional home dehydrated and canned foods.

In this Harvest Right Freeze Dryer review, we’ll dive deep into everything the Harvest Right home freeze dryer has to offer. From its touchscreen controls that simplify the freeze-drying process to the detachable vacuum pump that ensures consistent performance, every feature of this machine is designed to enhance your food preservation efforts. Whether you’re a survivalist looking to stockpile freeze-dried meals for a rainy day or a gourmet enthusiast interested in creating freeze-dried ingredients for culinary use, understanding how to maximize your home freeze dryer can save you money on food waste and expand your dietary options.

So, let’s get started on this dryer review to help you make an informed decision about investing in a Harvest Right freeze dryer—the tool that could revolutionize how you store and enjoy your favorite foods. Here’s what you need to know!

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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 and freeze dry a batch of 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.

Size Comparisons

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 much tray space 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 be completed 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 Pharmaceutical Freeze Dryer

Harvest Right freeze dryers range from 61 to 138 pounds, and the small and medium systems will fit on your table or countertop. So, what makes them so special as freeze dryers? Let's find out.

User-Friendly Features

Available in the kit, you will have your 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.

High Capacity

You can buy a cheaper freeze-dryer, but you won't have nearly the same large capacity. Harvest Right measures its capacity in gallons of 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.

Performance

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!

Energy-Efficiency

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.

Longevity

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. 

Shelf Life

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 own freeze-dried 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 lifetime 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

Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Pump

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 fruit as 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

Harvest Right Freeze Dryer and pump

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. Investing in a freeze dryer for home use not only offers the benefit of long-term food storage but also significant cost savings compared to purchasing commercially prepared freeze-dried food, along with the advantage of having control over the food preservation process.

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, nutrition, 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!

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Hunter Kissam
Hunter Kissam

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