Freeze-dried Ham Dinner

One of the things the home freeze-drying community is talking about is how simple it is to freeze dry and quickly rehydrate entire meals. This comes in handy in a true emergency, such as a power-outage or storm, and in life’s small emergencies, like when your child announces they have a science project due in the morning. In our new video we’re freeze drying sliced ham, pineapple, mashed potatoes, stuffing and berries in one run. First we sliced the ham and laid the slices on the trays so that they were overlapping. Notice that you don’t have to lay every slice flat on the tray, so you can freeze dry more food in one cycle. And, we’re freeze-drying the whole meal in one run – there’s no danger of the flavors mixing. Ham still tastes like ham and potatoes still taste like potatoes.

At the end of the video, pay special attention to what the food looks like after freeze drying. There’s little difference between how it looked going into the freeze dryer and how it looks coming out. The colors, flavors and nutrition are all perfectly preserved.

To rehydrate the ham, just dip the slices in hot water and pat them dry with a paper towel. For the mashed potatoes and stuffing, you can either add hot water slowly until they are reconstituted to the original consistency or you can add them to a pot of boiling water.  We let the pineapple soak for a while in a bowl of water because it takes a little longer to rehydrate. We added warm water to the berries and topped them with some freeze-dried cool whip that we made and stored in our pantry. The berries tasted just like freshly picked berries. No matter what foods we freeze-dry in our test kitchen, we always get excited when it comes out tasting exactly like it did when it went in.

Watch our ham dinner video to see for yourself how easy it is to freeze dry and rehydrate entrees and side dishes together. Meanwhile, we’re going to go enjoy a nice ham and pineapple snack!

By | 2017-10-19T02:59:13+00:00 February 22nd, 2016|12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Anita Dalbec February 23, 2016 at 9:32 am - Reply

    I would like to know how the oil is changed , what kind, and the cost.

    • Stephanie Barlow February 23, 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

      The oil is quickly changed by twisting a knob and allowing it to drain. Typically this takes 2-3 minutes. Many customers make an inexpensive home made filter and reuse their oil. This makes it so the cost of oil is $30-$40 a year (far less than buying ink for your printer). The type of oil used is vacuum pump oil and can be purchased for $18-20 for one gallon. Of course, we send detailed info on how to do this. Within a week or two of using your freeze dryer, you will see that it is very simple. Thanks for commenting!

      • Tricia February 23, 2016 at 2:45 pm - Reply

        Can you send me info on how to make an inexpensive home made filter so I can re-use my vacuum pump oil?

        • Stephanie Barlow February 23, 2016 at 3:43 pm - Reply

          Of course. If you call, customer service would be happy to send that over.

  2. DENNIS SETZER February 23, 2016 at 11:37 am - Reply

    One of the key components that is often missing in the freeze-drying process is how one REHYDRATES the varieties of foods we freeze-dry. Maybe I missed that but this video on rehydration is very good. We need more videos like this. I was also shocked to see the amount of food in each tray and how the meat was allowed to overlap. More videos are needed to address this misunderstanding. Thanks!

    • Stephanie Barlow February 25, 2016 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your input. We are trying to make more videos all the time. Thanks for sticking with us. 🙂

    • Stephanie Barlow March 4, 2016 at 1:33 am - Reply

      We posted a new video today with rehydrating tips. http://www.harvestright.com/blog

  3. Caity Stark February 23, 2016 at 11:56 am - Reply

    I have a freeze dryer, and the oil is very simple to change. There is a “harvey” oil filter that you can use to filter the oil after you have used it. I have only gone through 2 gallons of oil and i have freeze driend hundreds of pounds of food! There are many YouTube videos as well. Freeze dry queen, Bexar prepper, inflorida4252.

  4. Weldon Webb February 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Is it really that simple?! If so the concern is a payment plan to allow access to this wonderful device in the range of 70 to 80 a month? Also do have a procedure to freeze dry enchilades?

    • Stephanie Barlow February 25, 2016 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      We have a layaway program that you can do that allows you to put money down as you’re able to. Once you reach $2,500 in payments, you can have the freeze dryer shipped to you and pay off the remaining balance at 0% interest in 12 months. And, yes, you are able to freeze dry enchiladas. When you rehdyrate them, they would be more like an enchilada casserole, but it would still work.

  5. Rosalyn Fayette March 25, 2016 at 4:43 am - Reply

    Can we freeze dry frozen food?

    • Stephanie Barlow March 25, 2016 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Yes! Many customers freeze-dry frozen food in order to make it shelf stable for many years. It also can speed of the freeze dry process as well.

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