Re-hydrating Freeze-Dried Food for the Holidays… and Beyond

freeze dried food in jars

A home freeze dryer can make holiday feasts and parties so much easier. Freeze drying allows you to make snacks, entrees and side dishes ahead of time, then quickly re-hydrate and serve. Instead of cooking all day and feeling too exhausted to enjoy your party or holiday meal, you can make, freeze-dry and store dishes and ingredients ahead of time and re-hydrate them just before serving. And, after that big party or meal, you don’t need to throw out your leftovers. Instead freeze-dry those meats, side dishes and goodies to enjoy later. Think of the money you can save and how much less food you’ll waste.

Re-hydrating food is fast and simple, and in most cases re-hydrated food tastes the same as freshly made food.pork ribs

Here are some tips for re-hydrating food for holiday meals and parties:

Re-hydrate meats such as ham and turkey by soaking them in water. Don’t worry, freeze-dried meat will soak up the right amount of moisture–you can’t over-hydrate. Once re-hydrated, pat excess moisture off the pieces with a paper towel. You can easily warm your re-hydrated meats in an oven or microwave or just add them to your favorite dish. You’ll never know they were freeze dried.

 To re-hydrate vegetables, place them in a bowl or on the stove in a pan of water or just put them right into a simmering soup. To keep vegetables as crispy as possible, instead of soaking, freeze dried apples in a bowl next to raw applesspritz them with water allow the water to absorb, then spritz again until they are rehydrated to your liking. Most fruit is delicious without being re-hydrated, but re-hydrated fruits like apples and berries are great for pies, smoothies and so much more. Or, put fruits right into your yogurt and oatmeal and they’ll rehydrate on their own.

Entrees like freeze dried lasagna can be rehydrated with steam if you want it to retain it’s shape. Or, you can easily break it into pieces, put in a casserole dish, add hot water and cover with foil and bake in the oven it will make more of a “lasagna casserole.” It will taste exactly the same as before you freeze dried it, it just might not look as pretty. If you’re re-hydrating side dishes such as soup, stuffing or mashed potatoes, just add hot water little by little until you have the desired consistency. But, just remember, everyone does things just a little differently, so there’s no right or wrong way to rehydrate your freeze dried food.

Need some more ideas for using your freeze dryer this holiday season? Join the discussion on our Facebook page or take a look at other ideas on our blog or in our Will It Freeze Dry section of the Harvest Right website!



Do you have some samples that we could evaluate, before investing a large sum of money for a unit. It is difficult to believe that the food would be as good as it is reported.

Call one of our sales people and they will be happy to coordinate getting some samples to you. Generally, they just charge you for the shipping cost only.

I’ve had my freeze dryer for about five weeks now and it is the most awesome piece of equipment I have ever bought!!! My only complaint is I wish I would’ve bought this a long time ago the food that you can make is so much better than the stuff you can buy that is freeze-dried already..

I have special food that I make like homemade chili, potato soup, mac & cheese and it is unbelievable how well it comes out of the freezer and then is rehydrated.

The fruits are fantastic I just cannot believe how great this machine does, . I highly recommend it in fact I would like to get a couple more and actually go in to business selling freeze-dried food..

I see you have canning jars listed as storage for food after freeze drying. How do you do that? Just fill and close like any storage container or is there a process to seal them or do they seal?

You can add an oxygen pack to your mason jars for long-term storage. You just toss in one pack and screw on the lid. Or, you can vacuum seal your jars for long-term storage as long as you make sure all the air is out and store the jars in a cool place and out of the light, they will also work well for long-term storage. Many foods (like fruit and veggies, etc) will last for short-term without an oxygen absorber. Meats should definitely be stored with an oxygen absorber or carefully vacuum sealed to ensure they do not spoil because of the moisture.

on the subject of canning jars, i do not understand the term vacuum seal mason jars, and do the oxygen absorber come with the unit, and can they be reused? how long do you get to test the f. dryer, and for testing and is shipping free if returned?

No, oxygen absorbers do not come with the unit. And, no, we do not allow testing of the units with free shipping for returns. Canning jars can be sealed with a separate vacuum sealer. We do not sell these. It’s just an option that some people like to use.

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