Freeze dried food can be stored for up to 25 years! Its longevity depends on how you store it, however. Here are some tips for properly storing freeze dried food so they’re fresh and ready when you need them:
Make Sure It’s Dry
When you remove your food from the freeze dryer, break a large piece of the food in half and check for ice particles in the very center of the food or touch your tongue to it to make sure it’s not still cold. If it’s not, it’s dry. Freeze drying works from the outside of the food to the inside, if your food still has ice particles or is cold in that center portion, you can put it back in the freeze dryer for a short dry cycle. Don’t worry, though, because the freeze dryer makes it simple and will ask you if you’d like more dry time.
Place freeze dried food in an airtight container. Otherwise, it will begin to reabsorb moisture from the air and spoil.
- For a 25-year shelf life, Mylar bags are the easiest and least expensive option. Add an oxygen absorber to make sure oxygen isn’t in your bag and will destroy your food over time. Then, simply seal the bag with an impulse sealer or even just a hot iron or flat iron.
- #10 cans are also a great way to store long-term food storage, but they do require an investment in a can sealer.
- Vacuum sealed plastic bags are another good option for all foods except meats or other high-protein foods. For food you want to eat in the near future, resealable jars or containers are just fine. Make sure to add an oxygen absorber to any meats or long-term food storage.
- Simple air tight jars like the one below work well for snacks such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or even cheesecake and ice cream. These can easily store in a pantry for a few months without adding an oxygen absorber. Just remember to seal the jar tight after you grab your goodies.
What is the problem with storing meats in a plastic bag? I currently vacuum pack everything I FD in mylar bags with a double seal.
Unfortunately, air/oxygen can still get through plastic bags over time. So, especially for meat, we recommend that you use a mylar bag and an oxygen absorber.
As for FD meats I was wandering if you can use bags for a Foodsaver machine that are made specifically for vaccine sealing… I’ve stored died goods in them for a year with no air leakage problems…. Including noodles that are not flat or easily vacuumed..
Can a Avid Armor Vacuum Sealer work for freeze dried meats? I ordered my Harvest Right and my Avid Sealer but haven’t received them yet so I’m very new and learning everything I can before they arrive.
Light is bad. It can do a lot of damage and affect nutrient content. And, as Ms. Barlow mentioned, the plastic bags are not perfectly airtight, nor are they sturdy. I’ve used them for years and have constantly had bags get tiny holes and lose vacuum just from being shoved around because vacuuming thins the plastic and leaves it more susceptible to damage.
two questions, how do I know what size to order or is bigger is better? and do you sell refurbished ones?
I would go with at least a standard or a large. I have a small freeze drier. it always seems that opportunities
happen all at once,and I don’t have enuff capacity to take advantage of it. that being said, ilove my freeze drier.
well worth the money. just give yourself time to get used to it
We bought the Starndard size freeze dryer and it is a hefty size (it overwhelmed us when we placed it in our kitchen). But the drying cycles can take up to several hours (24 hours or longer) depending on what you are freeze drying. That being said, the standard size holds one extra tray than the small size. Given the time involved, we prefer the standard dryer (you might even prefer the large) but if your overall concern is size and the unit will stay in your kitchen, maybe the smaller will look and store in your kitchen more harmoniously. I guess it all depends on where it will be used, stored, etc. I prefer the capacity of the standard dryer over the smaller dryer given the time the process takes.
How long will dairy item such as cheese, cream cheese and yougurt last in a sealed mylar bag with oxy absorber?
What number settting to use, or how many seconds should I set the Impulse Sealer to seal Mylar bags?
That depends on the thickness of your mylar bags. For a 7.0 mil mylar bag, you will want to your setting to be 7. For a 5.0 mil mylar bag you will put your setting on 5.
can meat be stored in canning jars?
Yes. Just make sure to use an oxygen absorber.
I have been freeze drying zucchini and when they were through i transferred them to a mylar bag. I later opened them and they were soft, not hard like they are supposed too. Although, maybe it was because I first put them in a Ziploc bag because the Mylar bags hadn’t arrived yet.
Any tips for zucchini? Do you have to dry it for longer?
We would recommend a little extra dry time just to be safe. When in doubt, add an hour or two. Zucchini chip are one of our favorites. Add a little season salt and pepper.Yum!
Put the zucchini in the freezer for the first 30min of the unit running. The first 30min is a heating cycle and it messes up the consistency/texture of some food. I found popping it in the deep freezer for 30min is the fail safe method. My zucchini comes out light as air and completely dry.
I hope you find this tip helps.
Make it a great day
Being that you have to “prime” the Freeze Dryer for 30 mins. so it gets cold enough, that Putting whatever your going to be FD’ing into the freezer for the same 30 mins., while you wait. will help with anything you are going to be FD’ing. IMO ? Not just for Zucchini . ( Great idea BTW.. ) think I’ll do it for all the trays.. while it’s cooling down 🙂
My experience with zuccini is to immediately put it in an air tight container because it does soften up soon along with apples.
Just purchased a medium dryer and are anxious to begin drying. a Couple of questions:
1: We want to take items currently in the freezer and freeze dry them but many of them have quite a bit of ice crystals- Is it best to do a quick rinse to remove those or freeze dry as-is?
2: Most storage suggestion refer to mylar bags. Can canning jars be used for similar longevity as long as they vacuum sealed and have an oxygen absorber?
1. I find that it is best to give the frozen vegetables and frozen fruit a quick rinse before putting them in the freeze dryer.
This way, there isn’t unnecessary liquid that the freeze dryer has to remove and also so the freeze dryer won’t have to work as hard. It may even finish the batch faster.
How exactly are the #10 cans used to store freeze dried food? Can you reuse cans that were purchased at the store & once held veggies or fruit?
Hi I have 6 cans of freeze dried food with portions range from 8 to 10 and I was wondering can I open these tins and decide the contents Into individual portions in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and if yes will these bags still have the same 25 year shelf life or will the life be alot less or would you not recommend doing this. Kind regards Gordon
I just saw a VLOG on Deep South Homestead where they put something in the bottom of the mylar bag, and seal it 1/2 the way up, then add something else, and seal it again. This way they use less bags, and have smaller portions. myself, i bought smaller mylar bags for things like spices or stuff that powders.
If I put FD meat in a mason jar and vacuum seal along with 02 absorber how long will it last? Will it go maybe 10 years?
Thank you for your comment. There are a few other factors involved. The first is light and the second is fat content. If the meat is very lean and kept in a dark place, then the shelf life will be very good.
Does freeze dried food break easily if it is stored in the mylar bag? Is it better to store the food in a no. 10 can to prevent the food from breaking?
I bought freezed dried food from a large company. The meat was packed 6/12/2019.
Some of the bags have air in them and some are shrunk tight. It is 5/6/2020 today when I noticed this. Should I get some mylar bags and repack the meat with oxygen absorbers??
I hope it’s still good? Thanks for any advice!!
What is the limit for fat content in freeze dried meat to avoid botulism when vacuum sealing? Thank you!
Does freeze-dried food that has been sealed in a Mylar bag with an oxygen absorber need to be sealed in an airtight bucket to prevent the humidity from affecting the food?
High quality mylar bags will keep air and humidity out of the food. This is one of top reasons for choosing mylar over clear food saver type bags. Clear bags allow moisture and oxygen into the bag. So, you should not need an airtight bucket as long as your bags are properly sealed. (Some customers choose to store their mylar bags of freeze-dried food in airtight bins in order to prevent mice from nibbling at the bags. If you think that could be an issue, you may want to consider doing that as an extra layer of protection.)
I have a follow up to Anna’s question…. do the Mylar bags need to be stored in a cool vs. warm, light vs. dark etc environment ?
We have some screw-on plastic containers (similar to coffee containers), and were wondering if it is ok to store food in these? They are not clear, so don’t allow light in.
How does light and room temperature affect the life span of freeze dried foods?
We are considering a long trip with our dogs. They eat a raw food diet and I am thinking of buying a freeze dryer so that we can take their food with us. Does the food sealed in a Mylar bag with the oxygen absorber need to be kept in a temperature controlled space?
what is the best way to FD milk or dairy creamers. Or is it really worth it?
Milk is wonderful freeze dried. There are a few great YouTube videos that show how to do this. It turns out great.
Do I need to add an oxygen packet to every Mylar bagged item? I’m curious specifically about freeze dried ice cream, cheesecake or even gummy bears.
For long term storage an oxygen absorber is recommended.
I din not seal about ten bags after drying so I can open and use absorbers all at once, what is the risk of taking on moisture, I redried some apples, I tried to fold them over and clip, am I taking a risk of them not keeping long term, should I ad moisture absorbers, is sthis safe?
I’m in the middle of freeze drying a batch of food. I just realized that my oxygen absorbers are bad !! Can I still bag & seal the food & add an absorber at a later date , and reseal ?
Yes, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Do you need to let the food cool to room temperature be for storing?
Is it necessary to add oxygen absorber in the mylar bags ?
For long term storage it is very important.
Can I assume that FD food is at least as good as dehydrated food for storage purposes? I don’t intend to keep food for years, but mainly to have fresh produce through the winter. If I FD asparagus, for example, can I assume it will last six months in a ziplock baggie or glass canning jar without the packet of oxygen absorbers? I’ve dried hot peppers, and those keep just fine…I’m confused on the finer points of why I need the absorbers if I’m not going to keep food for 25 years…I’m fine with doing this with meats, but wondering about fruits and vegetables. Thanks for any help!
Barbara, the short answer is yes, FD food is just as good if not in most cases better than dehydrated food. And yes, it will store for short periods of time in air tight containers with out oxygen absorbers. However, some food stuffs absorb moisture much faster than others. Two examples are apples and zucchini. If not bagged and vacuumed almost immediately they absorb moisture out of the air and then become as if dehydrated. Bananas can last for months in just a jar. (We don’t know past that because they are so good we can’t keep them on the shelf ) On a year to year rotation you will do just fine storing like you do for dehydrated food stuffs keeping in mind that if air does get to it you will just have dehydrated instead of FD. We have had better luck with hard plastic or glass containers vs. the zip lock bags.
What is the volume of the various bags you sell:
resealable, 8″x12″ and 10″x 14″?
The 8×12 are half gallon and the 10×14 are 1 gallon. We also have a great 6×9 quart size bag.
Do you have to defrost or let it self defrost between batches?
Either way works great.
The manual says between every batch! i do ‘manual’ but leave the door open in my hot arid climate and within 15 minutes i can pull the ice ring OUT of the FD easily. and then i start a new batch.
I have FD apples stored in foodsaver bags that are about a year old. They did not stay crunchy, but are soft. They were sealed with moisture absorbers. Are they still good?
What storage process should be followed –where the food will retain the crunchies dried texture, as originally came out of the machine and last for years?
Foodsaver bags allow moisture and oxygen to penetrate the bag. The best methods are a high quality mylar bag or mason jar with an oxygen absorber. It is ideal to store these items in a cool dark location if possible.
What about mason Jar with Harvest Guard Lids, and A Vacuum Sealer to seal them?
I saw a video about freeze dried feta cheese. They said once you open a Mylar bag of meat or cheese then it needs to be refrigerated. Is this true?
It is recommended, but not a requirement.
After freeze dried food is sealed in mylar bags, do the bags have to be stored in a special food grade container or can it be in any kind?
Why cant the Freeze Dried food be stored by Canning if you use a Vacuum Sealer for the Canning process?
Is there any way to store the Freeze Dried Food for a 25 year shelf life that would not require mylar bags?
What about Vacuum Sealing it with Canning? What about sealing it in 5 gallon bucket?
Im looking to minimize Waste
Does the Stainless Steel one improve quality and durability of the machine; or does it simply cost more because of the extra weight ?
Does it help to put my meat in a FoodSaver bag and put that bag in a mylar bag?
If I freeze dry a batch of food do I have to fully defrost the machine before starting another batch??
I love my Harvest Right Freeze Drier!! You will gain confidence the more you use it. Then you’ll be like “Dang, what else can I freeze dried?!” I just bought a case of canned corn and a case of green beans. As I was looking for a place to store all those cans, I remembered I could have freeze dried just as much corn and green beans and have it all stored in two jars. Crazy, but I decided to donate the can veggies and redo freeze dried!
I purchased a commercial chamber vacuum sealer which will vacuum the air out of canning jars. I put a oxygen absorber inside the jar as insurance. It seals great and does not crush delicate food. As an added bonus, you can open your jars, use what you need and reseal using the same lid.
How long will sticky things like cherry store safely out of the freeze dryer? I am afraid to seal these up in mylar bags because I heard if sticky they will go bad. Thanks ahead for the info.
When removing the freeze dried food to bag the food, can I take my time or does it have to get in the bag as soon as possible?
Can I store freeze dried rice & milk powder in airtight Tupperware?
What size oxygen absorbers should I be using in mylar bags we will be doing a lot of small individual Brest milk bags
I have fajitas and rice I want to put in one bag. The fajitas will take longer to reconstitute. Can I put the rice in an open plastic bag and set it on top of the fajita mix inside the Mylar bag before sealing? (Oxygen sealer inside) Then I could take the rice out and start the fajitas soaking and add the rice halfway through so it doesn’t get soggy. But would that compromise the good in any way?