Anyone have a Harvest Fresh Freeze Dryer??

ioujc

SILVER BULLET
Have any of ya'll purchased a home Freeze Dryer?? I was all set to get one, but then I read the reviews and they apparently have several issues which make them not such an excellent choice!

Anyone have any experience with them or another brand??

And how did it work out for you?? And ARE there any other brands out there??
 

moldy

Veteran Member
As far as I know, there are no other brands out there. You have to remember that people complain a lot more than they praise. I have one - have had it about 3 years and used it a lot. Last month, I started having issues with it. Harvest Right called and emailed me, sent new circuit board and touch screen. It has the ability to download files which you then email to the company for them to figure out the problem. They also sent new software for me to install.

I have run 3 loads with the new software, and they have all been perfect. I do filter the oil with each load, and clean the pump after each 30 loads. I am not a handy person, and I can do it with ease. I have the pump that uses oil. I would suggest the Dairyland brand oil - seems to keep the pump cleaner from what I"ve heard.

THere are several FB pages and a youtube channel (Betty Stills Harvest Right freezedryer in the search box will bring up a lot). If you have other questions, just post and I"ll try to answer.
 

Walrus

Veteran Member
We have one and it works real well. I'd definitely upgrade to the oil-free pump; changing the oil on the old one was totally po-dunk, a big PITA and the new one is significantly quieter.

We don't use it as often as I'd envisioned. Looking back, I wish we hadn't bought it now.
 
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Broken Arrow

Heathen Pagan Witch
I have one, only issue i've had has been with the pump. That appears to be the weakest link in the system.
 

Walrus

Veteran Member
I have one, only issue i've had has been with the pump. That appears to be the weakest link in the system.
I agree, BA; the system itself appears to be pretty smart and generally fool-proof unless the boards short out or something.

I think one of the better things I did pre-installation was that an electrician neighbor and I put in a dedicated 20-amp circuit just for the freeze dryer. No issues at all with that up to this point.
 

Millwright

Knuckle Dragger
_______________
I have one.

Impressed with it so far.

Have only run a few batches. It's so hot in the shop that I'm not running it for awhile.

It was 3 years old when I bought it, lightly used tho.
 

59 MGk.

Inactive
I have one works great, F/D 8 roasts, 30 lbs chicken 10 lbs pork chops 15 lbs hamburger 12 steaks. Unit is about 4 months old. To hot &humid to use now. Last batch two weeks ago took 36 hrs to process.
 

Walrus

Veteran Member
I've been thinking of clearing some space in the garage for f/d during the summer, and moving it back into the house in the winter to add heat to a part of the house we don't usually frequent all that much except for going through. Haven't done it yet because it probably wouldn't take much to mess it up when moving it (couple steps down from house entry into garage).
 

ioujc

SILVER BULLET
Thank you all! I will probably go ahead now and get one>>>>I really wanted one a LOT!! I will continue to do research and make sure of what I do before I take the plunge!!

Thank you again!
 

Dozdoats

On TB every waking moment
No experience here, not in my future right now either, but many thanks for the question and all the answers!
 

Jubilee on Earth

Veteran Member
I’ve considered buying one in the past, but always decided against it. They’re just too darn expensive. It would be a nice to have, not need to have. Nothing I can’t preserve without dehydrating, canning, or freezing.
 

GenErik

Veteran Member
A while back I heard they are on backorder, several weeks. Don't know if they still are. We'd LOVE to have one, but it's just not in the budget.
 

MaryLu

Contributing Member
I’ve been looking for the last few years and reading reviews. I currently have the $ and space. Thank you for the information
 

Coco82919

Veteran Member
I have had one for 3 years now. I had a hard time setting it up and getting it going. The first one did not work. It did not freeze the food. I sent it back and got another. I could not get a good seal on the pump. I ended up getting 3 different pumps before I could get it to work. I have not had any problems since except that the pump failed after 3 years. I have a new pump that does not seal as well and so the pump runs hot and at higher pressures.

I have FD a lot of different foods. My favorite is raw eggs. The medium size lets me FD 72 eggs in one run. Also shredded cheese and diced ham. Fruits and vegetables FD the best. I now have celery anytime I need it, same with mushrooms,blueberries, apples, and cranberries. I have FD ham and bean soup, which is really good. If you have a favorite recipe, you can FD and enjoy when you want. Fats do not FD well and will go rancid before to long.

I bought my FD for 3500 dollars. I have spent maybe 200 dollars in oil, a few hundred dollars in Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, as well as mason jars. In the long run, it is cheaper to FD my own food. The problem I have is storage. The Mylar bags take up odd space. It also take time to cut up and prepare the food. Dicing the ham takes me between 2 and 3 hours. Same with apples, celery onions and such. So there are pros and cons. The Harvest Right company is good and will help you with any problems. They are a solid company and I recommend them.
 

Jackpine Savage

Veteran Member
We used our stimulus money (and then some), ordered the medium, just received it a week ago. Haven't run it yet, have to run a new circuit in the basement.

Just saw a used one pop up on facebook marketplace near Bemidji if anyone is looking. Asking $3,000.

It would be cool to keep this thread going, share successes, failures, tips, etc.
 

ginnie6

Veteran Member
Dh popped up last night and told me he is really thinking of investing in one of these. We have dehydrators but he thinks we're loosing too much nutrition through dehydrating. I know this thread is a few months old now but looking for input. I will tell him to look at the upgrade on the pump.
 

alpha

Veteran Member
We purchased one about five years ago through our farming cooperative. It belongs to them but we are the caretakers for it. After adding the filter system to clean solids from the oil, we've had absolutely NO problems with it (still original pump model). During a demonstration a few years ago, I freeze dried a dozen pork chops and then rehydrated, baked, and fed them to attendees... They were absolutely amazed at how well they kept and tasted after being stored at room temperature for several months in mylar bags.
We use it often at this time of year to preserve herbs and fruit mostly since we run four freezers for meat stores and our root cellar for the root crops.
 

etdeb

Veteran Member
I bought one in 2015, it sits in a corner now. Used it in 2016 when I retired but stopped once I went back to work because I lost a number of batches because I was no there when it finished. It will hold frozen to wait on you but mine never worked right in the cycle. It also ran my electric bill up the 6 months I used it.
I cleaned it all up changed its oil and retired it for future use I hope.
 

Coco82919

Veteran Member
I had some issues in the begining. My first one did not freeze and we had to exchange. Then I could not maintain the pump pressure and they sent me a new pump. All in all it took about 3 months to be up and running. Now I love it. The only negative about it is where to store the food. It basically pays for itself. The Harvest right store was very nice and helpful. I really recommend the product.

The food retains 97 percent nutrition whereas dehydrated food has only 50 percent nutrition retained.
 
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