5 Candies to Freeze Dry

Give your family a ‘sweet treat’ this summer! Freeze-dried candy is always a customer favorite and is by far one of the tastiest things your freeze dryer is capable of. Below is a list of some ideas to get you started!


Freeze-dried Skittles

Skittles are a fun experiment to try with your freeze dryer. These small, chewy candies will expand to nearly triple their size. Along with this massive size change, they’ll also change textures! The skittles will go from a chewy candy to a crunchy, lighter one! A near complete transformation. These treats also are packed full of flavor once freeze dried. A helpful tip to keep them from sticking to the tray is to use silicone mats or parchment paper. Then break them apart and enjoy!

Saltwater Taffy

Freeze-dried Saltwater Taffy

Saltwater taffy is the perfect summertime treat, a fun food to freeze dry, and a customer favorite. These candies don’t only taste good, but also look very pretty and have a nice presentation. Saltwater taffy puffs up in the freeze dryer and becomes even sweeter. We suggest you cut taffy in half (or fourths) for bite-size snacking. Make sure to leave plenty of room for taffy to expand.

Jolly Ranchers

Freeze-dried Jolly Ranchers

Jolly Ranchers are a tasty treat to freeze dry. These hard candies will puff up and become something entirely new. They become slightly crunchy and airy and much easier to chew than a regular Jolly Rancher. If you leave them whole, make sure to leave plenty of space for them to expand. Many customers cut them in half using All-Purpose Utility Shears.

Milk Duds

Freeze-dried Milk Duds

These candies may not be the first ones you think of when you think of freeze-dried desserts! However, these treats may just be the most exciting. These small, chocolate covered caramels end up going through a complete transformation in your machine. Customers love these puffed up, crunchy candies!

Gummy Bears

Freeze-dried Gummy Bears

Gummy bears are by far one of the customer favorites to try. These small candies grow nearly double their size and become light weight and crunchy. They also become sweeter and have a richer flavor, a definite must-have for a hot summer day.

Tell us which candies have you tried freeze drying in your Harvest Right freeze dryer.


The skittles have been a big hit with the grandkids but my personal favorite is cheesecake bites. I just get a cheesecake from the grocery store (with a mix of different kinds), freeze it, cut it up into bite sizes, then freeze dry. Crunchy and delicious.

Only skittles and peeps, so far. The skittles are a hit with my no-sugar relatives (for which they hate me) Peeps are just for decoration. They look so cute peeking out of the jar!

I use werthers chewy caramel, cut them in half and put it at 145 degrees and warm the trays for 15 min and run for an hour Anda half turn out great

If you haven’t tried air heads yet I would highly suggest it. I think air heads turn out the best so far. I love them as they are but put into the freeze dryer and they are the closest thing to heaven on this side of the planet.

What would be the reason my jolly ranchers don’t react at all while other things do just as shown…I’m only 2 batches in fyi…any tips?

Sometimes Jolly Ranchers need a little higher temp. Because warm air rises the top tray gets a little warmer than the bottom tray (about 10 degrees). So, if you didn’t put them on the top tray you might try that next time.

We love doing rhubarb, after it’s stewed we put it in straight or mix with strawberry yogurt into small silicone molds and freeze then pop them out onto the trays and into the machine. They are wonderful snacks and you can have all sorts of fun with the molds you use.

I’ve done nerd clusters with great success but leave lots and lots of room, they swell huge! I’ve also done Junior Mints and love those.

Most candy batches take about 24 hours to complete. In warmer conditions it could be a little longer and in cooler conditions it could be shorter.

I’ve had great success with Milk Duds, Werther’s caramel chews, and caramel M & M’s. They are all sooooo good!!

Try the wet there soft chews but take them out after 20-25 min into the cycle. It makes a crunchy outer shell on the outside with the Chet cookie like texture on the inside. They are ABSOLUTELY DIVINe! Have to eat them fresh though bc they will deflate.

Should I have condensation on the outside of my rubber gasket and door? This is my first batch and I can’t find any information regarding water dripping from the gasket. Thanks

Make sure you wipe the condensation off before you pull your trays. If water gets in the tray, your batch will be ruined.

There is a huge difference in the brand of gummy used for us. We have used three brands and they all swell to different sizes and consistencies. Nassau(source) wild cherry swells to twice that of Albanese and even more than that with Haribo. Which is best for biggest swell for you all? density and original ingredients obviously have an impact. Thoughts? We do medicated “puffs”
Has anyone here mixed sub straights?

I have freeze dried caramel apple suckers and bit of honey, individual caramels, and peach rings, and they turned out great!

Ok so I’ll try to get an answer here as head office isn’t helping.
What temperature should the freezing and dehydrating should be at when doing gummy bears.
As well how long does the batch take to be done.

Every brand of gummy bears reacts different to freeze drying. If you have the newest model of freeze dryer then I would recommend 135 or a little higher.

Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike candies do not change (same with jelly beans), they stay the same – even when you cut them up before freeze drying. They don’t puff or change like Skittles, Werthers, gummy bears, etc. do. I think because there’s too much corn starch and wax. The filling is like jelly in those hard shells.

Do I just keep adding dry time of my candy is not turning out like my nerd clusters 1 try did not change at all?

We have tried countless times to make Jolly Ranchers, Gummy Worms and Gummy Bears but ours remain small and still very chewy. (We ran all batches for 24 hours.) We’ve purchased other freeze dried Jolly Ranchers, Gummy Bears and Worms online and they are huge and soft. Can anyone else us understand what we may be doing wrong or could try?

We had lots of failures and mixes successes until someone suggested always doing candy at 145. Now we see more success than failure! And failure is mostly when experimenting with new stuff on just the extra dry time (we’ve done lots of Skittles, gummies, nerd clusters, milk duds, marshmallows on extra dry at 145 with great success). Good luck!

I’m so thankful to have come across this great tip thank you so much for sharing! I can not wait to try increasing the temps for our candy. And trying the extra dry time hack. After so many failed batches I was feeling discouraged. I’ve been coming back to this blog discussion over and over looking for any helpful info. Again thank you

I used Black Forest organic gummies. They expanded to at least four times original size,so leave a lot of room. I wasn’t aware of using a higher temp for candy, so don’t know if that would make a difference.

I used albanese and a generic from the dollar store. Both rose, but the generic was more dense. They weren’t as fluffy as the albanese gummy bears.
My freeze dryer is 4 or 5 years old. I just freeze dry it without changing anything settings.

The easiest way to do most canies fast is the test mode. Load the candy, shut the drain, and go to test screen. Turn on heat and vacuum. When the heat hits 135-140 shut it off and continue to vacuum til you get to the size w
You want. Leave vacuum on and turn freeze on to under 100. I do Carmel m&ms and Charlestown chew rollers but keep the temp at about 125 so all the chocolate doesn’t melt off and cool them to about 60. You can do a batch of skittles in maybe 30 minutes like this.

Never mind. I figured it out. I found how to turn the temperature up and had a good batch of assorted candy. Some turned out, some didn’t. I froze them before I read that you didn’t need to. Now I’ve got it loaded with taffy, charleston chews, bit-o-honey, gummy bears and more. 2 stores have not had jolly ranchers. Can’t wait to give them a try.

Does anyone know the secret for Warheads? I have got them to work like twice about a year ago and now for some reason they arent.

Great question! I cannot get them to work either… I put them on a tray with the jolly ranchers… JR’s worked perfect… Warheads… nothin! Anyone have good settings to make them work?

Just did a few batches of ice cream sandwiches, skittles, milk duds, blue gummy sharks, gummy worms, gummy bears, and jolly ranchers. All were pretty good except for the sharks, gummy bears and jolly ranchers. Any ideas on why some candies work and why some don’t? I’m guessing they need to be freeze dried longer since they don’t puff up as much and are still hard/gummy. Thought about doing the same type candies for every cycle, but we’ll see as I’m still experimenting!

We have used the salted caramels that we purchased at Sam’s Club we cut them into pieces because they expand yummy yummy.

How long should I put in Jolly Ranchers? On what temperature?

How long should I put in Starburst? On what temperature?

How long should I put in salt water taffy? on what temperature?

Hoe long should I put in skittles? On what temperature?

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