This isn’t a sales pitch for a freeze dryer but often I’m asked what’s the difference between freeze drying and dehydrating. Freeze dryers are expensive, they aren’t terribly inexpensive to operate, they need a climate controlled place to live but they are so good for gardeners and those who want to preserve food.
When looking for something the other day, I came across a jar of dehydrated squash, on the right, and a jar of freeze dried squash on the left. The dehydrated squash is a couple of years old. I did it in late spring of 2018 before I got the freeze dryer. I honestly cannot remember if this is exactly how it looked fresh out of the dehydrator. The jar of freeze dried squash was done in late summer 2018 so they’re about the same “vintage”. I think you can see the difference.
The freeze dried squash is obviously going to taste way more like fresh than will the dehydrated. In a scenario where we were short on food, I’d be happy to have either. If I didn’t have a freeze dryer, I would be happy to dehydrate the squash.
All I’m saying is . . there is a difference. Is the difference worth the investment in a freeze dryer? For me and the amount of food we preserve, yes. But, if I wasn’t using that freeze dryer almost every day of every week, I would not recommend it.