What foods to freeze dry?

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I bought a good sized freezer. Big enough I can dump my 50# bags of stuff in there for a few days, dig 'em out, let them sit for a week, dump 'em back in a few days, and feel I've "done my duty" on the bug-killing routine.

But I'm thinking, you know, now that I have this big freezer and there IS food available, why can't I freeze-dry stuff? The only thing stopping me is my complete ignorance about it.

I did read something that said, slice apples SUPER thin, freeze them for awhile, take one slice out, if it's not properly frozen it'll turn black pretty fast.

I don't really want a zillion pounds of freeze dried apples. I hope you can freeze dry other things, like ... er ... I don't know. Ideas?

Does anybody have experience with freeze-drying? And how is this different in food quality than dehydrating, I wonder, isn't it really the same thing in the end?


-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), March 17, 1999


Freeze-drying eliminates the possibility of contamination during the dehydration process... I wouldn't want to eat eggs that had sat out for more than an hour. I'm just now in the process of trying eggs (seems to be working but not yet dry enough) and apples.

I bought some dried lemon powder at the health food store the other day, so I'm going to try some limes and oranges.

I think the most important thing is think THIN... I poured my egg batch in too thick and it's taking longer than it should.

I'm going to try carrots, bananas, apricots, and powder some citrus juices.

-- Shelia (shelia@active-stream.com), March 17, 1999.

When I get time (snort! yeah, right!) I'll see what I can find on the web about freeze drying. I'd like to start doing some of it if possible, and eggs sound like a great idea -- if they work. Are you doing yolk too? Do you mix them up and then do it, or boil them and then do it, or what?

I wonder, can you freeze-dry meat? What is beef jerky?


-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), March 17, 1999.

I'm doing the yolk too...I found egg whites in vacuum sealed cans at the grocery store for a decent price (4+doz for $4+) no need to do those. But I wanted some whole egg. I just whip 'em up like scrambled eggs, added some garlic powder and put them on butcher paper on a cookie sheet (my cookie sheet was old so I wanted to cover it with something). If I had spread the dozen eggs I whipped into two pans they would already be dried.

-- Shelia (shelia@active-stream.com), March 17, 1999.

Beef jerky is thinly cut beef, marianated (there's lots of recipes out there)... pre-cooked and then freeze dry it... At least that's the way I intend to do it. I wouldn't eat beef or any other meat that's not cooked well. I just use teriyaki, liquid smoke, parsley and garlic powder...but then I'm no chef when it comes to meats. I'll hunt down some of the recipes I've seen out there. Some people take their jerky very seriously. It's like a chew toy for humans.

-- Shelia (shelia@active-stream.com), March 17, 1999.

Did you actually cook these eggs before you put them in the freezer? Or do you just pour the raw egg mixture onto waxpaper coated cookie sheets and freeze? Do you cover before putting in the freezer? How do you know they are done? How do you store once they are freeze dried?

Thanks for your help.

-- Still Me (notimportant@all.com), March 17, 1999.

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