How to Store Freeze-dried Food

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable How to Store Freeze-dried Food

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    Drew Smith
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    Companion forum thread to: How to Store Freeze-dried Food

    Best practices for storing your freeze-dried food (plus one killer chiles rellenos recipe).

    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    can you store freeze dried (or heat dried) food in the freezer?

    andrew nigh
    BPL Member


    Great series of articles on freeze drying.  What is your “formula” as to how much water to add to a given quantity of freeze dried food?  Thanks.

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    Thanks for this much-needed article.

    Just yesterday I took a bunch of freeze-dried  and “freezer bag” food out of my garage refrigerator in preparation for an antelope hunt. The freezer bag food was stored in ZipLoc plastic bags and it’s so old (years) that I’ll have to toss it and go to the store for some new stuff. Oxygen has gotten through the ZipLoc plastic bags and made it unuseable.

    All the freeze dried food is packaged in aluminum lined pouches so it is still good.

    Lesson learned. If you aren’t eating all your freezer bag food in a season of backpacking then eat it at home to avoid wasting it.

    Drew Smith
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    @Jerry – I don’t see why you couldn’t store FD food frozen. The main risk of freezing anything is that ice crystals will form and cause structural breakdown resulting in a slimy mess when reconstituted. With so little water in FD food, the risk of this is small. Plus, it is frozen during the final cycle of freeze-drying. So re-freezing seems pretty safe.

    – I weigh food before and after, and calculate what percentage of mass was loss. I then calculate how many mL of water to add per 100g (a typical meal size) of food. That’s at home when I have nothing better to do.

    But when I am in the field I generally just eyeball it. Most foods take up water pretty quickly, so I slowly add hot water until there is just a little bit of excess free water remaining. I’ll check on it after a few minutes and add more water if needed.

    More generally, most foods lose 65-85% of their mass in the form of water. Meats and pasta are at the low end of the scale, fruits are at the high end. So adding 300 mL of water to 100g of food usually comes out about right.

    Doug Coe
    BPL Member


    Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA

    I’ve taken the unused portion of a big can of Mountain House FD chicken and put it into double freezer bags with the moisture absorber that came in the can. I put this in my freezer. It seems ok a year later. YMMV.

    Bendrix B
    BPL Member


    Have you anything to say about clear plastic freezer bags, heat sealing, that work with a vacuum machine like the FoodSaver.  There are many versions of these machines marketed to hunters and people preserving abundance of garden goodies.

    I use these bags to store (in the freezer) all the venison not eaten immediately.  Although not intentionally, I’ve “discovered” packages dating back years (I put dates on all packages). The oldest yet was 10 years in the freezer.  When cooked I could not tell any difference between that and venison just months old.

    Although not metalized, you can pour boiling water into them without distorting the plastic.  Since I probably would not store freeze dried food in the freezer, the absorbent packages make sense.

    Paul G
    BPL Member


    Jeez Drew, if you’re going to go to the trouble of carrying a beer all day long to your campsite, you should at least choose a good local craft brew! 😁

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