How to Freeze Dry Candy at Home

At That Sweet Lyfe, we are passionate about freeze-dried candy and we’re excited to guide you on how to freeze dry candy yourself! Have you ever experienced the delightful crunch and flavor burst of freeze-dried candy? It’s a delightful experience where your favorite sweets transform into light, airy puffs that dissolve instantly on your tongue! While many people opt for basic freezing or dehydrating treats, our detailed instructions will make freeze-drying a breeze.

3 Unique Things About Freeze-Drying

If you’re new to freeze-drying or want to learn more about it, here are three fascinating aspects of the process:

Freeze-Drying Creates a Unique Texture

No candy is ever the same. Freeze-drying at extreme temperatures preserves every ingredient, resulting in the highest flavor retention. This method also retains all the nutrients when freeze-drying other foods like fruits and vegetables. Additionally, freeze drying is a unique dehydration process that relies on lowering both the temperature and pressure of items to remove their water content through a process called “sublimation”.

Freeze-Dried Food is Out of This World

Astronauts have been taking freeze-dried food to space since the 1960s. It’s lightweight and portable, making it ideal for long-term sustenance. Unlike regular frozen food, no moisture is added, preserving its flavor and nutritional value. This method dehydrates candy and other food items without relying on heat, keeping the composition intact.

Long Shelf Life

Freeze-dried food typically lasts at least five years, but some products can last up to 25 years. No other preservation method maintains a food’s nutrients and flavor for such a long period. The advantage here is that rehydrated candy retains almost all of its initial properties, contrary to other methods of dehydration.

What Candies Can Be Freeze-Dried

Many types of candy can be freeze-dried, but oily products like chocolate chips won’t work. Once the moisture is removed, they become an oily mess.

Most other candies, such as Skittles, Starburst, and Laffy Taffy, freeze-dry wonderfully. An exception to the no-chocolate rule is Milk Duds, which make a great freeze-dried treat. Freeze-dried ice cream is another favorite. Not all candy turns out perfectly, and some varieties fare better than others. Personal preference plays a significant role, so we recommend trying different candies to see what you like best.

Dry Ice vs. Freeze Drying Machine

The simplest and most effective way to freeze-dry candy is with a freeze-dryer. Follow the instructions that come with your machine. However, if you don’t have a machine, you can still freeze-dry at home using dry ice with some patience. This guide will unveil a variety of methods to help you enjoy freeze-dried goodies using simple alternatives that you may have around, sparing you the costs of buying a brand new machine.

How to Freeze Dry Candy in the Deep Freezer

For this method to work, you’ll need a fairly powerful deep freezer, preferably one that can keep the temperature at -30 °F (-34 °C) or lower. In addition to the deep freezer, you’ll also need the following items:

  • A regular-sized baking sheet (large enough for your candy and your deep freezer)
  • Parchment paper
  • Vacuum seal bags
1Place your candy on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper
2Put the sheet in the deep freezer at its most powerful setting
3Transfer the frozen candy into a vacuum seal bag after 3-4 days
4Take the candy out to thaw after 2-3 weeks, then store in a cool dry spot

How to Freeze Dry Candy with Dry Ice

Another technique to make freeze-dried candy at home is through dry ice. The advantage of this method is that dry ice has a temperature lower than -109 °F (-78.5 °C), which is far cooler than any regular freezer out there. For this method, you’ll need the following:

  • A few bags of dry ice
  • High-insulation styrofoam box
  • A regular freezer
  • Vacuum seal bags

Start by preparing your candy, either placing them directly in vacuum seal bags or laying them on a baking sheet and flash freezing them. Next, fill the ice box with a 1.5-inch layer of dry ice, add the candy bags on top, then cover with more dry ice. After a few days, transfer the box to a freezer for 24 hours. Finally, remove the candy bags and store them in a cool, dry place.

Can You Make Freeze Dried Candy in a Dehydrator?

Simply put, you can’t freeze-dry candy using a dehydrator, as dehydration and freeze drying are two completely different processes. However, you can extend the shelf life of your favorite candy by using a dehydrator. Line your sheet with candy pieces, introduce them into the dehydrator, set the time depending on the candy’s hardness, then store in vacuum-sealed bags.

Can You Make Freeze Dried Candy in an Air Fryer?

No, air fryers work with a completely different mechanism that relies on blowing extremely hot air at food to mimic frying. The high temperature would typically melt or deform most candy and sweets, making them unpleasant to eat.

Freeze-Dried Candy at Home or to Order

Creating your own freeze-dried candy allows you to experiment with different types and find your favorites. Check out our FAQs and start your freeze-drying journey! If making your own isn’t feasible, you can browse our selection of freeze-dried candy instead. Freeze-dried candy can stay good for over 20 years in the right conditions, making it a perfect technique to preserve your food.

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