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  1. #1

    Default Harvest Right Freeze Dryer - my results

    So finally got the Harvest Right freeze dryer and ready to start the first batch. DH set it up the other day and last night looking over the directions and checking to see what all was done, I noticed the il level on the pump was a little low. He topped it off and I said "don't fill it up too much." Not that I knew anything. So today I was doing the prechecks and one of the things you do is make sure your pump is working right and SPLOOSH! Oil all over the place. So now I'm kind of freaked out. I'm looking through the booklet to see what could have possibly gone wrong. And yep, too much oil in the pump and it will end up getting vented out the "exhaust." So I cleaned that all up and went through the checks again (after trying but failing to find some way to take out the excess oil - didn't want to use the drain). But this time I was ready! I had my hand on the button in case it happened again, the area draped off to keep the carpet clean, and paper towels in hand. This time, good to go!

    So I started the freeze cycle on the machine to get it cold - required for frozen foods - as I was going to be putting homemade ice cream (no sugar, we use monk fruit to sweeten it) in. 2 trays of ice cream, 1 tray of sweet potatoes, and 1 tray of cooked scrambled eggs (15 large eggs). After putting the trays in I restarted the cycle and it's nearly done with the 9 hours of freeze time. After this it will draw a vacuum on the machine and start the drying cycle (a process where it slightly warms the food so the moisture can sublimate out and then refreezes it).

    The food should be ready to come out sometime tomorrow morning.


    PS. before I posted this it was time for the freeze cycle to end. Thankfully I grabbed some paper towels "just in case" because the oil did come out of the exhaust again. Not as bad as before but I'm glad I was there. So now it's started it's drying cycle and the pressure is dropping? very well. At 5 minutes in it was already at 335 mTorr, so vacuum achieved!

    I will keep y'all updated!
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  2. #2
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Very cool! I'm looking forward to hearing how this works out.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    Very cool! I'm looking forward to hearing how this works out.
    Me too! LOL
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  4. #4
    Registered User ADVStrom14's Avatar
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    Awesome! I'm looking forward to hearing too. I want one of these SO BAD!!!

  5. #5
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    So cool, love the blow by blow details here! Watching for results ....

  6. #6
    Registered User theinfamousj's Avatar
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    Following in eager anticipation!

  7. #7

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    SO the first batch is out. After about 26 hours the sweet potatoes and scrambled eggs were done. We put the ice cream back in for a couple more hours. That basically turned to dust when we scooped it off the trays. But very tasty dust! DH tried the sweet potatoes and liked them (without rehydrating). I think I will try the eggs for breakfast tomorrow. This machine is fantastic!

    IMG_3317.JPG
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  8. #8

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    I look forward to reading about your results. I wish i had access to a FD. More pictures please....

  9. #9
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    SO the first batch is out. After about 26 hours the sweet potatoes and scrambled eggs were done. We put the ice cream back in for a couple more hours. That basically turned to dust when we scooped it off the trays. But very tasty dust! DH tried the sweet potatoes and liked them (without rehydrating). I think I will try the eggs for breakfast tomorrow. This machine is fantastic!

    IMG_3317.JPG
    those jars are going to be heavy carrying them in your pack

  10. #10

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    So this morning I measured out my eggs, put them in a bag similar to what we will be using when we hike and added boiling water. While I should have let them rehydrate a little longer (patience may not be my strongest suit) they actually came out very good. I dumped off the extra water, added some salt and pepper and ate up. They had great "form" and good texture, which I believe would have improved if I had used a little more patience in the rehydrating phase. I was using too wide a bag at 11" wide as that's what I had on hand. a 6" or 8" wide bag would have been much better I think for the purposes of rehydrating.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  11. #11
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Just using back-of-the-napkin math, I'm thinking you'd need to prepare 400+ meals for the investment in a freeze dryer begin to pay off. Less if you take into account the fun factor. That means I have to plan on a thru so I can get one!

  12. #12
    Registered User ADVStrom14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    Just using back-of-the-napkin math, I'm thinking you'd need to prepare 400+ meals for the investment in a freeze dryer begin to pay off. Less if you take into account the fun factor. That means I have to plan on a thru so I can get one!
    If you think about it, it's not quite that much. I know in my case I lose a lot of produce because I can't cook/use it all in time. I have delusions of grandeur when it comes to cooking each week) So if you bought some on sale and freeze dried it you can use it for years to come if stored properly so you can really save some money in spoiled food as well. Also with freeze dried meat not requiring freezing you can save money on frost bitten meat that got lost in the freezer. ...or am I the only one that does that?!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    SO the first batch is out. After about 26 hours the sweet potatoes and scrambled eggs were done. We put the ice cream back in for a couple more hours. That basically turned to dust when we scooped it off the trays. But very tasty dust! DH tried the sweet potatoes and liked them (without rehydrating). I think I will try the eggs for breakfast tomorrow. This machine is fantastic!

    IMG_3317.JPG
    We have a Harvest Right freeze dryer. It should be the perfect solution for hiker food. Eating healthy on the trail seems to be a challenge. With a freeze dryer you can bring just about whatever you want while leaving all the water weight at home.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    Just using back-of-the-napkin math, I'm thinking you'd need to prepare 400+ meals for the investment in a freeze dryer begin to pay off. Less if you take into account the fun factor. That means I have to plan on a thru so I can get one!
    Well that won't be a problem. We plan on doing a thru in a few years but also, due to recent dietary changes, we find it very hard to eat out at all. So we will use it for being able to travel easier. Not to mention all the shorter backpacking trips between now and our thru and after that. We also have always liked to make sure we have a good supply of food on hand for emergencies so we will be stocking it for emergencies as well. We also look at it as an investment in our health.

    Just for a thru we will need approximately 420 breakfasts (210 for each), lunches and dinners for a total of 1,260 meals!
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  15. #15
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    Well that won't be a problem. We plan on doing a thru in a few years but also, due to recent dietary changes, we find it very hard to eat out at all. So we will use it for being able to travel easier. Not to mention all the shorter backpacking trips between now and our thru and after that. We also have always liked to make sure we have a good supply of food on hand for emergencies so we will be stocking it for emergencies as well. We also look at it as an investment in our health.

    Just for a thru we will need approximately 420 breakfasts (210 for each), lunches and dinners for a total of 1,260 meals!
    Yeah, I was actually thinking this makes more sense than I originally thought. I was really only thinking of dinners, but I do the occasional breakfast, too. And plenty of weekends, and all those strawberries, and...

  16. #16

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    One of my favorite parts of the FD is that I can set it and "forget it." I do a lot of pressure canning too and while it's a few hours each batch (as opposed to 24+ in the FD) with prep and processing and cooling to the point where I can take the jars out of the PC, I can't leave it for more than a few minutes. With the FD there is NOTHING for me to do once I start it up other than occasionally taking a peak at the control panel to see how it's progressing out of curiosity. I can even leave it and it can finish when I am not around and no worries as it goes into a hold pattern. We did not eat the sweet potatoes last night. We will by the end of the week I am sure but I really have no doubt that it will taste great. I am hoping to run another batch of trials this week.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  17. #17

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    Freeze dry coffee beans and roll in chocolate...you'll never feel another thing.

  18. #18
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Have you figured out how long it will take to produce those 1,260 meals?
    Having just found organic dark chocolate at Walmart and grass fed beef jerky at a small grocery store in the East Texas wilderness, I still believe that you are overstating your new dietary limitations.
    However, I'm old and I'm slow. Pay no attention to me.
    Wayne


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  19. #19

    :banana

    IMG_3321.JPG

    3 eggs scrambled, 1.9oz. 2.3 oz with packaging. I'm thinking I will need to use larger bags. This is 8"x10". I like the 8"width. Last time I tested I used an 11" wide bag - too wide. But this bag is likely too short. This was a bag cut from a roll. I think this one will rehydrate better because the pieces are smaller than last time. Husband is the guinea pig in the morning.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  20. #20
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    I saw the unit in a tv commercial. Looks like you could do several meals in a cycle.
    Hope it all works out for Y'all.
    Wayne


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