Freeze Drying Steak

freeze dried steak

There’s nothing like a good steak, right? When you have a home freeze dryer you can enjoy this indulgence more often because you can take advantage of sales and bulk opportunities. Freeze drying steak is easy, and it allows you to use steak in recipes as a replacement for less flavorful meats.

raw steak on a freeze dryer tray

To freeze dry raw steak, just dice into large pieces, remembering to remove as much fat as possible. Then place the pieces of steak on trays and freeze dry. When the freeze drying process is complete, break one of the largest pieces in half and make sure there are no ice crystals in the middle of the steak. If there are, make sure to add more dry time until you can be sure there is no ice left in the largest piece(s).

Store the steak in airtight containers or Mylar bags with an oxygen absorber. Make sure to label the contents of the container as raw and record the date they were freeze dried. Most meat should be good for 10 to 15 years if it is properly freeze dried and stored in at least a 7 mil mylar bag. When you are ready to rehydrate your steak, place raw meat in a bowl of cold water and place in the fridge overnight, or until rehydrated. Meat will only accept the amount of water it needs; so no need to worry about over-hydrating it. You can remove any excess water with a paper towel and then cook the steak as usual. If you do not plan to rehydrate all of your steak, make sure to reseal your bag/container with a fresh oxygen absorber or store the meat in the fridge. Meat should never be left out in an open bag or jar once it has been opened.

Steak makes an excellent addition to stews and chili, and is delicious as a replacement for hamburger in tacos. You can also use these smaller pieces of steak in steak sandwich sliders.


Does anyone have experience with freeze drying spaghetti squash and / or pumpkin chunks that have had the outer shell peeled off? Should then end product still be “rubbery” or should it be dry in texture? Do you need to add additional time in the freeze drying process?

We haven’t tried that specifically, but we’ve seen people try it on some of the customer Facebook Groups. You might be interested in joining one of them. But, no, the chunks should not be rubbery but very dry and we’ve heard spaghetti squash comes back perfectly.

My friend freeze dries raw squash and sweet potatoes all the time. She simply cuts them into cubes. They always come out dry and crispy. She loves them.

Can you freeze dry already frozen hamburger that is in 1 lb blocks and how would you do it. Would it be better to cook it first then freeze dry it? Can you add spices to it when you cook if before freeze drying it?

sorry have tried meat several times and it still has the lavor but comes out tough. not near as good. I was hoping for better results for this is one of the main reasons I bought one.

We find that freeze drying smaller pieces or tenderizing before freeze drying provides an amazing product. Meat is something that typically reconstitutes very well.

trying to freeze dry Eye of the Round, then grind to make pemmican…how might I tenderize first? If trying to preserve nutrients, could I just sear the outside of the rounds? dip in vinegar? then FD it, and use it in pemmican?

I sous vide chicken breasts and round steak (London broil) prior to freeze drying. I use a vacuum sealer and leave a little extra space for the au jus (broth). I drain the au jus, cook it down, freeze it in silicon cupcake molds before freeze drying. I use the chicken au jus to re-hydrate the chicken, the beef for the beef. It is so delicious. I am a prepper that loves to eat well. Sous vide the beef for 12 hours at 131 degrees. Follow chicken recipe to your personal taste. I have both a Joule and an Anova.
Ps. I do not freeze dry uncooked meat.

We just got a sous vide and was hoping you could explain a little more on how you use it with the freeze dried meat. Do you keep the meat whole when you freeze dry or cut in cubes or shred it? The love au jus idea. Would love to hear your tricks. Thanks

Can you freeze dry rhubarb?. Should it be peeled? Cut in chunks? Run through food processor? Cooked before freeze drying and how long a cycle?. Default or custom?

Most customers cut in chunks, no blanch. Some sprinkle a little sugar on it and say that it is an amazing snack. Default settings are perfect.

I have freeze dried many meats that has turned out wonderfully. Turkey slices, shredded barbecued chicken(one of our favorites…even our picky eater kids love this), ham slices, hamburger gravel , bacon, pork chops, and on and on. We have had great success and love it all and the convenience.

When you put freeze dried product in a fruit jar and vacuum seal it is it necessary to put a packet of oxygen absorber in the jar?

We put an oxygen absorber in always, just to be safe, but if it’s properly sealed with no oxygen inside, then that also works.

I would say it depends on how long you intend on keeping it. Vacuum sealing in a jar will keep new air from getting in. While it gets most of the air out, it does not get it all, and a portion of that air is oxygen. So if you want it to last the longest, it would be best to put in an oxygen absorber. That would use up the last bit of oxygen in the jar. If you are going to eat it within a few months or so, there is probably no need.

I am wanting to buy mylar bags ahead of when I get my freeze dryer. I see all kinds of bags for sale. What is the best to use. And what kind of oxygen absorbers are best to use?

Some of the beef I freeze dried has a little fat in it, difficult to remove. Will this effect the shelf life? Thanks in advance!

I just freeze dried butternut squash, peeled and no seeds, of course. I baked it first, until it was tender. Then smooshed it in the freeze dry tray. I just rehydrated with hot water and it was great! Spaghetti squash will not likely hold the noodle/spaghetti shape unless you cut it in chunks and freeze dry that way.

Do you use dry ice to freeze dry your meat.
I’m concerned that if I just dry in the freezer it would get freezer burn.

That’s not how freeze dryers work. They lower the pressure in the chamber below the triple point so that the water vapor sublimates out of the food during the heating cycles. Given enough of those cycles, a considerable amount of the moisture can be driven off without lysing the cells.

I’ve had my freeze dryer for about a month. I’m concerned with the meat I have freeze dried so far. After freeze drying my cooked ground beef, I found grease drippings on the bottom of the tray. After freeze drying cooked pork chops, I realized my fingers were greasy after I finished sealing them up in bags.

Next I did raw steaks. I trimmed as much fat off as I could and patted them dry. After the cycle finished, there was grease drippings and moisture especially in the fatty areas. I patted them with paper towel again and added more time – as much as 15 hours more. They definitely looked better, very dry except the marbled areas which were still greasy to the touch and seemed to moisten up when I touched them.

I’m worried that the grease is holding moisture and that my food will not keep. Do I need to be adding even more dry time to my food?

I’m planning to put up a lot of meat now and I cannot afford to have it all go bad. Any advice would be sincerely appreciated. Thanks!!

I will share with you what we did. We cooked the roast beef, and the roast pork in a slow cooker. when is done, sat on the counter to reach to room temp. before putting it in the fridge, in the following day we sliced and trimmed as much fat as possible then freeze dried them. They came out perfect. the same with hamburgers. we cooked them first, rendered all the fat, and freeze dried them. came out perfect, we also did stew meat, cook, trim fat, freeze dry.

I have found, for the best outcome, I always add extra dry time. The extra time is determined by the type and quantity of food. For example, herbal leaves like stinging nettle, lemon balm or mint, I automatically add 2 extra hours when the countdown clock appears.

For something like mac-n-cheese, whole milk, egg beaters, I add 3 extra hours.

Depending on the moisture level of the food and how full the trays are will also determine the extra time I add. I always try to completely fill the trays and I have found that shredded onion or green pepper, jalapeno leaves the food sitting closer together and with less air space between the foods. For that, I would probably add 4 hours, but if they were chopped into chunks, I would only use 3 hours.

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