Contributed By: Adventures in Freeze Drying
As I have continued to freeze dry, and started a little on the side candy business, there are times that I find that I need to get creative to keep getting real food or snacks pre-frozen while I have other trays in the freeze dryer. I have a lot, and I mean a lot of the accessories from Freeze Drying Supplies and they have more uses than what their intended purposes are. In this blog I will detail out some of the additional uses I have found for these accessories!
Lids and Stackers
The stackers from Freeze Drying Supplies will sit on top of the lids. This means that you can freeze things on top of the lids, add stackers, then put the next lid on top. The size and shape of the area I have cleared in my freezer is the size and shape of the Harvest Right Trays. Using the lids and stackers allows me to pre-freeze things that will hold their shape, or are in molds using the same space as those trays!
Doubling Up Stackers or Using Stackers and Then Lids
Sometimes when I am layering items, doing something like berries, watermelon, apples, etc. what I want to pre-freeze is slightly taller than my trays. If I use just 1 set of stackers, then food sticks to the bottom of the next tray. I have learned that you can stack a second set of stackers right on to the first, and then put your tray. The second set will seem a little loose until you put the tray on top to lock them into place.
If what I am pre-freezing may be sitting in my freezer a little longer than usual, and the mold, or food sticks up above the edge of the tray, I have found that putting a lid on top of the stackers and then my tray gives my food a little more protection than just stacking the trays on top of two stackers.
Either way, both of these methods will give you the extra space you need so nothing is sticking to the bottom of your lid, or tray when you go to put your trays into your freeze dryer.
Pre Cut Parchment
I have moved to using parchment over silicone mats on my trays. Freeze Drying uses radiant heat as part of the process and the silicone mats act a little bit as an insulator in the freeze drying process. When I have used silicone, my loads take longer than when I use parchment.
Parchment however isn't just for the bottom of your tray, it can also be used between layers of things like bananas, apples, skittles, etc. When layering, especially fruits, you need to be aware of your machine's weight capacity, or you will easily overload your machine.
Pre cut parchment can also be used on top of your food to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the next tray or lid if you are pre-freezing food that sticks slightly above the lip of your tray.
You can also use it to help you know the size and shape of your trays for pre-freezing if you are out of trays. You can place this in a lid, on a cookie sheet, on top of a lid etc. Then once frozen find the edges of your parchment pull tight, and transfer the contents to a Harvest Right tray and put right into your freeze dryer.
I am certain there are more additional uses for the accessories from Freeze Drying Supplies than the ones that I have discovered and used. What other uses for the accessories have you found? Share in the comments below to share with the community.