How do the 3 different Harvest Right freeze dryers compare in efficiency?
With this test, we chose corn because it’s relatively easy to freeze dry. Corn is generally cheap, which makes it the perfect food to compare against our pork cost analysis. It’s also a simple food item that regularly goes on sale. Needless to say, we picked up a bunch of these bags:
Setting up the test
We tried to eliminate a bias by filling the machines equally based on the tray capacity. After calculating the tray sizes, we determined the correct amount of corn to fill each machine with trays of (close-to) equal densities. As you can see from the sq.in/lb (square inches per pound), we got close. The “perfect” amount might have been more or less than this, but it was a good guess for the test.
It’s interesting to note that the tray capacity of the 5-tray freeze dryer is more than the combined capacity of the 3- and 4-tray units. To be able to compare the total cost, I measured the cost of each freeze-dryer cycle and then totaled each of them. The results are shown in the table below.