When it comes to food, are you a Freeze Dried or Dehydrated type of person? Before you answer, let me ask you another question: What’s the difference between the two? If any of you are like me, you’ve probably had the same questions pop in your head when thinking about Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated: Is there a difference in quality or taste? Does one store better than the other?

Today we’re going to discuss just a few of the differences between Freeze Dried and Dehydrated foods and how we can make them work better for ourselves and our families. We’re going to look deeper into the following questions in order to get the answers we’re looking for. Those questions are: What does Freeze Dried and Dehydrated mean, How does it affect my food, and Which one is better for me.

What does Freeze Dried and Dehydrated mean?

Dehydrated Celery vs. Freeze Dried Celery.

Freeze drying is a process in which fresh or cooked food is rapidly frozen and then placed in a vacuum chamber where a low level heat is applied. This is done to evaporate the ice without returning it to its liquid form. The process of freeze drying removes up to 97% of the moisture in the product and virtually any food item and ingredient can be freeze dried.

Dehydrating is the process of slowly cooking out the moisture within the product without actually cooking it. This can be done through various methods such as air drying, sun drying, or through a dehydrator. While Freeze drying is a process that requires large, expensive equipment, dehydrating is a fairly simple procedure that can even be done at home.

How does it affect my food?

Some dehydrated foods contain additional ingredients, such as honey in our Dehydrated Bananas, while Freeze Dried Bananas (left) contain no additives or preservatives.

Believe it or not, the similarities far outweigh the few differences between the two. With Freeze Dried foods, much of the same color, shape, aroma, and freshness still exists in the food. The food looks and, for the most part, tastes the same as it did before it was freeze dried. As well, the food easily rehydrates within minutes of adding boiling water.

What Dehydrated foods may lack in rehydration speed, they make up for in space and storage abilities. While both Freeze Dried and Dehydrated foods hold similar shelf life (typically 10-15 years sealed in a #10 can) dehydrated foods are more compact and storable. The dehydration process shrinks the food, making it smaller in size than what it was originally. For many, this makes it easy to pack and use on camping and hiking trips as well as in food storage situations.

Which one is better for me?

As with all food products, this is a very personal choice, and many questions should be examined before deciding. Are you looking to use one of these processes to preserve fruits or vegetables grown in your personal garden? Then dehydration might be the best choice for you. What about a product you can store easily but that can be rehydrated quick enough to use in your everyday cooking? You’ll probably want to go with freeze dried for that. How about a delicious treat for the kids or a snack to take to a picnic or on a walk? Try them both in this case! The differences between the two are just what you make of them.

So, now that we’ve discussed them, I’ll ask the question again: Are you a Freeze Dried or Dehydrated type of person?