Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Reviews

Harvest Right Freeze Dryer
( 2,255 reviews )

Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Customer Reviews

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want to love it, but can't
February 22, 2024

When the machine works, it's great. Love the idea of preparing/preserving nutritious food. But, it rarely works. Customer service is friendly, but difficult to get a call through, and not very helpful when you do. It really is a giant pain. An expensive, rather noisy, pain. Read fine print on warranty, it's not a good as it looks. I dread every time I get a failure notification. Fixing it involves long hold times, submitting large files, downloading and installing new software, and often disassembling a portion of the machine. And, now that I am past one year, I have to pay a fee to talk to a tech on the phone. Once it's up and running, often I get a different error code in the very next cycle. Save yourself the headache. Wait for something more reliable to hit the market, this isn't it.

great customer service
February 22, 2024
Harvest Right has the best customer service of any company that I have ever dealt with. Their representatives are pleasant and seem to genuinely want to help resolve your problem. Once my wife and I had an issue with our dryer when it stopped pulling a sufficient vacuum. Harvest Right quickly diagnosed the problem and offered to have a technician come and perform the repair on-site or provide instructions for how I could fix the issue myself. I elected to affect the repair on my own and found their directions and videos sufficient to walk me through the process. Overall we are happy with our freeze dryer and believe it is a quality product.

Harvest Right review
February 15, 2024

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

A day ago

Good Morning Harvest Right

Good morning. About 3 years ago we, my wife and I, started with a dehydrator. It was good for the time. Shortly after that purchase, watching a YouTube video on food storing, there was this video on freeze drying food and how it preserved over 95 % of its nutritional value compared to simple dehydration and the shelf life it preserved for. A short talk with my wife and the short decision that incurred, we decided to invest in a medium size, Harvest Right Freeze Drier. The food quality is so amazing, and of course there are multiple stories that surround our adventure with this, what I call, a miracle machine. We have experienced preservation in both, raw but mostly cooked foods. I even freeze-dried Jello, LOL. But no joke, eggs in both forms, meat, yogurt, soups, veggies and I can go on. I am very proud to own one of these units and I promote it to my friends and people that I meet. Thank you Harvest Right for being there.

My unit has over 8000 hours of usage and has been dependable throughout.

Loving My Freeze Dryer - Simple, Versatile, and Efficient
February 13, 2024

I love my freeze-dryer! It's straightforward to use, making the freeze-drying process straightforward and hassle-free. The intuitive design means even beginners can quickly get the hang of it, turning fresh ingredients into long-lasting, preserved foods with minimal effort.

The quality of the food preserved is fantastic - flavors remain vibrant, and textures are well-preserved, making rehydrated foods taste almost fresh. The freeze dryer handles everything from fruits and veggies to complete meals, giving me the flexibility to experiment with a wide range of foods.

What's more, the convenience it offers is unbeatable. It's changed how I prepare and store food, allowing me to easily keep a stock of diverse, ready-to-use ingredients and meals. This freeze dryer has simplified my meal prep and significantly enhanced my food storage capabilities.

In short, this freeze dryer is a game-changer in the kitchen, combining simplicity, versatility, and efficiency in one powerful package. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to step up their food preservation game.

Most fun Hobby ever!
February 13, 2024

Purchased the Small size directly from Harvest Right in Sept 2023; while waiting for delivery (a few weeks), I spent a lot of time on face book groups and watching you tube videos; and quickly realized that the Medium machine would be better; so I was able to get them to change to that before it was shipped.

It arrived the middle of October and I have loved using it. Between the actual process of getting the food ready to put in the machine, and then packaging it up when it is done; along with my extensive excel spread sheet keeping track of everything, and following 5 or 6 Facebook groups and you tube channels; I bet I spend 15 enjoyable hours a week on this newest hobby of mine. It is great fun experimenting with new ideas and being able to fully use all the produce and meat products from the farm. Also brings me joy in sharing the finished product. Beware...it takes a lot of space and planning to store the food!

Good appliance, but room for improvement towards its customers.
February 12, 2024

We have enjoyed using our HRFD, and have upgraded from the original four shelf medium to the five shelf medium insert. While this is such a great opportunity, I wish that the upgrade came with one more tray automatically, but that isn't the case. Once you have upgraded to the five tier, you then need to order, however, you can now only order the five trays package, which continues to leave you with one lacking from your initial order, if you turn your HRFD around for a "second go" immediately after emptying the first one. This is especially important when freeze drying liquids, having one in the freezer to refreeze while the FD is working on the initial load.

I would like there to be an option for either buying trays individually, or better yet, just have the upgrade come with one additional tray!! This goes for the tray covers for stacking in the freezer, again, so as to be as proficient as possible.

Please note, that what I have stated above isn't reflected in the 5 Star Review, because the HRFD works very well!

Also, the other thing I wish HR would do is offer a book for freeze-drying foods, how they should be FD, do they need blanching, what is the ideal size of the food, and estimated FD time of said food, so that those of us who want to be sure of a great outcome, can have a valuable resource at our fingertips, and not waste valuable time or resources while trying to "figure it out" on our own!

Dead on arrival
February 11, 2024
Bought a unit for Christmas this last year and it all showed up on time, but one component was faulty. The unit has the ability to store data that can be uploaded onto a thumb drive and shared with the support team at harvest right so they know how to help. After a little back and forth I have a good unit. Ran my first batch of bananas and they’re great.

Great for Homesteading/Campers/Emergencies
February 11, 2024

Hiking/camping food: Less weight to carry, and vastly cheaper than store-bought freeze-dried food, and you get custom meals versus the generic 5 types of MRE meals you will find at REI or any camping supplies store.

We grow and pick our own vegetables and fruit so if the season was good, we have plenty to put in the freeze-dryer and can enjoy it throughout the year, which lowers grocery bills. Freeze-dried food keeps most of its nutrients, canned and frozen food can lose nutrients over time. Freeze-dried food also takes up a lot less space than frozen and canned food, especially if you are storing it in bulk.

You can buy a lot of on-sale items and freeze-dry them for later, and it doesn’t just have to be fruit and vegetables either. We freeze-dry ice-cream bars, and my husband loves them. He says it takes him back to space camp eating astronaut ice-cream.

We cook all our meals from scratch, so I have a large pantry of airtight bins with uncooked diced/chopped/sliced ingredients at the ready if we don’t have fresh ones already in the fridge. My husband also doesn’t like eating leftovers, so I take the extra servings and put them in the freeze-dryer to use either for camping or in case of an emergency.

I think 2020-2022 has shown that you never want to wholly rely on the supply chain system to meet your needs in an emergency. Stores and factories can runout, close, get robbed, get destroyed or even just refuse you service. We aren’t owed or are entitled to anything in this world, and no one will look out for your best interest better than yourself. Don’t leave your and your family’s well-being up to the competency of others. A freeze-drier is a long-term investment into your future stability in an emergency.

Tips:

- I suggest putting the freeze-dryer on a cart as you will need to put a bucket under it for the drainage tube.

- I find when its on, its about as loud as a washing machine so if that level of noise bothers you have the freeze-dry in a space that can dull the noise a bit like in a mudroom or garage. You will still need to be able to hear the notification noises though, so I won’t go so far as to have it in a completely soundproof room.

- Buy oxygen absorbers and airtight containers as they make the freeze-dried food last longer.

- If you are making MREs weigh the food before it goes in the freeze-drier and after it dries (subtract the weight of the trays for both) and write those weights on the bags as that is the general amount of water, you will need to add to the MRE.

- Avoid Freeze-drying fatty and super sugary foods, they will not freeze-dry properly. They also might kind of explode a little bit during the process and its very messy. Breads also turn into stone when freeze-dried.

- Freeze-Dry like foods together, so all raw vegetables, or all fruit, or all cooked meals, or all raw meat. The smells will mix otherwise. You don’t want onion flavoring in your chocolate ice-cream.

- You don’t have to fill the tray with all the same meals, you can get silicone molds and do a bunch of single-portion meals on one tray.

- Freeze-dried vegetables and fruit even when rehydrated won’t be exactly the same as it was when it was fresh, the fruit makes for a good snack or used in baking and the vegetable should be used in cooked meals.

- Each tray for a medium drier is about 2-3 meals.

- You can make dog/cat treats, we buy the tiny salad shrimp when they are on sale and freeze-dry them for cat treats.

- Customer service for Harvest Right replied quickly and replaced parts for us at no cost. They will also email people if you want to buy refurbished models at a generous discount, so if you are looking to get more than one over time it’s a good option.

- Try to avoid unplugging and replunging in the shelf too often, the plug in the back of the shelf is a great high-end plug but it isn’t meant to be undone too often.

- Clean the inside of the machine with a microcloth, water, and distilled white vinegar. Slowly pour water in the back of the chamber to flush the drainage tube too when cleaning, as oil can get pulled out from the food and end up in there.

Trena February 13, 2024

best review ever!

If you are mobility impaired....beware!!!!
February 8, 2024

This machine is awesome! But first, I’m going to start with the negative;

Buying the freeze dryer was so expensive! So it was very disheartening to open the package and find mylar bags that I did not need, oxygen absorbers, that I did not need, and a bag sealing machine that I did not need. I can see how a package deal with all of these items included would be nice for someone who was just starting out in food preservation. But for someone like me that has been doing it for YEARS, this was a huge waste of money. It would be nice if harvest right in the future, would offer a machine and pump only package.

The next gripe has to do with the machine itself. The way it is set up is extremely inconvenient especially for someone who is limited on mobility. Why does the on off switch have to be on the backside bottom of the unit??? The fact that it is on the backside and the bottom of the machine is hard enough to reach, but then when you add the depth of the machine, my arms are almost not long enough to reach that switch, especially when I have to stand on my head to get to it!

That brings us to the placement of the drain valve. There is an option to put it on the left or the right side of the case. Why can’t there be an option for it to be on the FRONT side of the case??? Again, being mobility limited, reaching that valve, for every batch is very difficult. I ended up having to place the dryer in such a way that it takes up twice the amount of space that it should have to just so that I am able to have access to the back side.

It would really be nice if the machine could set off an alarm bell/alarm of some type when it needs attention. I am already concerned about the amount of electricity. It’s going to take running each batch. But to have the machine sit there for who knows how long before I noticed that it needs me to do something, it’s really frustrating. The only alarm it seems to have is a very very soft beep when it’s done processing. That beep is so soft that unless I’m actually in the room where the dryer is I cannot hear it. It would really be nice if there were alarm bells EVERY time the unit needed attention. I can see that having alarms go off in the middle of the night could possibly be a pain. But hey, this is the space age! Lol. Make it so there’s an option to turn the alarms off.

OK, done with griping! I love this freeze dryer! So far I have only put ground beef and cheese through it. But I am extremely satisfied with the product that it produces. I am very excited to try other types of foods to see how they turn out. I would love to get a second unit, but with them set up the way they are. It’s going to be extremely difficult to find a place in my home that I can have it out away from everything else enough to be able to reach that back switch and drain valve. I am hoping a new design comes out that will allow me the ability to make that happen.

Harvest Right Small Freeze Dryer - 2-Thumps-Up!
February 7, 2024

Ordered and received my Harvest Right Small Model Freeze Dryer last summer. Back then the Small unit was advertised with 3 trays but to my happy surprise what arrived was a newly updated system with 4 Trays. This size unit works good for my wife and myself though the next size up would of been nice so I could do more per cycle , but I had no where to put something bigger.

The touch screen controls work well and the system is highly configurable for different kinds of foods; from fruits, to vegies to deserts.

Initially the system had some firmware issues that were solved by the engineering team, probably needed fine tuning due to the addition to the 4th tray location as this was an upgraded design. The support people were good to work with and within a few days the system was running to spec. Problems were resolved and I was pleased with the results.

From what I can tell it is well built and sturdy. Make sure to have 2 persons to lift it, even the Small unit is very heavy.

The unit has worked flawlessly for the 30 or so cycles I have done with it. Follow the oil maintenance schedule for the vacuum pump and expect the system to run for years.

Why did I purchase one? I have a small garden and fruit trees on the property and I wanted to be able to save what we could not consume when things ripened. It provides a way to preserve food when it is in season for when it is not.

Do I regret the Purchase expense, Nope...

Would I do it all over again? You Bet...

Excellent Technical Support
February 6, 2024

We have owned a Harvest Right freeze dryer for about 3 years. It has worked very well. Recently I got an insufficient vacuum alert that I could not clear. I contacted Harvest Right Customer Support and arranged a technical support phone call. The scheduling went super smoothly, and I was given detailed instructions by email about how to collect data from the freeze dryer and provide it to the technician ahead of time.

I worked with Itzia, and she was great. She was friendly, knowledgeable, and resourceful, even recording a short video on her cell phone and sending it to me to show me how to do something I was having a little bit of trouble understanding. The determination was that I needed a new vacuum pump. I ordered a refurbished Premier pump, which she recommended. That seemed to fix the problem and I ran five loads in the machine successfully. But then the vacuum alert came back. I used the troubleshooting techniques I had learned and determined that the drain valve needed to be replaced. I contacted Itzia and ordered the part.

The technical support assistance was exceptional. My only recommendation for improvement is in the shipping area. After I ordered each part, the pump and the drain valve, I waited a week for a shipping status and then contacted Harvest Right. Only after I contacted them did I get a shipping status that the product was being prepared for shipment. I think the shipping should be a lot quicker than that and should happen without prompting or follow-up.

I recommend the Harvest Right freeze dryers and commend their technical support.

Three hundred plus loads and going strong...
February 6, 2024

Outside of most people's comfort zones - mine included, I am now just over three hundred loads and while still learning have found freeze drying to be very satisfying and a great way to preserve food much longer then dehydration or canning.

The machine is pretty straightforward and there are a lot of online resources. When I have needed help the customer service team has been fantastic. I always feel sorry for them because so often it is operator error and yet they have always been super nice.

My favorite recipe is Shitake mushrooms sauteed with onion, fennel, and garlic.. so delish and it makes for a great snack or salad topper.

Before I purchased my Harvest Right dryer my family was skeptical that it would ever be worth it - well, I passed the worth it mark long ago. My family now enjoys customized meals for hiking (dairy and gluten free for two of my kids) at a much more affordable cost then buying commercially. I have more than paid for this with less food waste. No regrets!!

if you don't have a Harvest Right, your missing the boat!
February 5, 2024

we bought our harvest right freeze dryer last year, and only got to use it a very few times before winter set in. it was absolutely AMAZING. the food we freeze dried turned out perfectly. we mainly did fruits and veggies since we were just starting out. after our batches were done and bagged, on a whim, i decided to try some of the stuff.the fruits were super flavorful. we ate those just as they came out. nice, light and crunchy but not hard. we did pineapple, apples, bananas,apples ect. all i can say is WOW. we also did a couple of loads of fresh corn ( not cooked ) and fresh peas. we dropped some of these in warm water for a couple of minutes, and sampled them. the texture and taste were just like they were before freeze drying

we put the freeze dryer away for the winter. a week ago, i decided to start running again. i had found a super sale on 2lb boxes of strawberries, so i bought 2 flats. during my first run of the season, about half way thru i got a vacuum error. i immediately contacted Harvest Right who had me check a few things, and then assigned me a ticket to speak to a tech about the issue. i was lucky enough to get Madysen Price as the tech. she was on point, and we had my freeze dryer running and putting the goodies out pretty much same day, i couldn't be happier! their customer service and techs are down to earth real world people, not some newbies just out of school

if you haven't gotten a Harvest Right freeze dryer yet, i can tell you this...your missing out BIG BIG TIME.

Highly recommend this freeze dryer
February 2, 2024

First I would like to say I love my Harvest Right freeze driers!! I originally bought the first one to do candy. Then it was on all the time and I wanted to use it so I decided to buy another one. It was a great move to buy another one! It's so easy to use! I love the way I can put stuff in it and then not have to worry about it. I put it in then go about my life. I always add at least 12 hrs extra dry time just in case I'm in bed or not home when it's done. I have done candy, fruit, veggies, ice cream and meals. The trays are so easy to clean! The machine itself it so easy to use! At first I was worried but after I did it for the first time it was SO easy! I will continue to buy Harvest Right! I even like the accessories you can buy from them. I highly recommend them!!

Amazing Customer Service
January 31, 2024
When I first ordered my medium Harvest Right Freeze Dryer, the delivery driver told me that the company suggests that I look it over before I accept delivery. We took the packaging off and I noticed that the tray shelves inside were tilted and had to send it back. I was very disappointed because I was excited to finally have it (it had been a Black Friday purchase) and figured it would be months before I had another one delivered. I called the company to give them a heads up that it was on its way back hoping it would make it go a little bit faster in getting a second one delivered. They were absolutely wonderful! The young man APOLOGIZED, took my information about the damage and forwarded it to the appropriate department. I had to leave a voice message but he called me back by the next day as well as sent me an email. The best thing about this whole interaction is that my new machine was delivered in perfect condition within the next 2 weeks not the months I was expecting. When we had questions in regard to setting it up, we called them and had all our questions answered on the spot. I am looking forward to upgrading my machine in the near future and buying from this company again.

My Harvest Right experience
January 31, 2024

I have had a Harvest Right (HR) medium freeze dryer for about 2 years. Before I purchased a HR I researched other freeze dryers but none compared to the HR.

At first, I was a little intimidated because I am new to any type of food preservation. To my relief, the set up was very easy and I began freeze-drying everything in my pantry: replacing heavy can vegetables was first on my list. Now my pantry is full of dried garden vegetables, meats, meals, just about anything you can think of. I even freeze dried ice cream sandwiches. My goal is to have ingredients so I can make Meals-in-Jar and also Mylar bag meals for camping.

My experience with Harvest Right customer support is always positive, they are experienced and answer my questions so I can keep my dryer operating. Also, I have purchased additional trays and lids to prep trays while the dryer is processing.

I recently shared some freeze dried food with a friend visiting from Australia. She contacted HR and purchased a dryer compatible with Australian electrical requirements. HR has experience in shipping dryers to other countries. They arranged the crating for shipping, custom requirements, and shipped the dryer by air freight. It arrived without any damage in about 3 weeks, sooner than she expected.

My experience has been awesome. If I could, I’d purchase a second dryer. I hope this information is helpful.

Harvest Right Medium Freeze Dryer Purchase
January 31, 2024
With food prices skyrocketing we decided to purchase a Harvest Right Freeze dryer. We have a few friends who already had them but was really worried about the large purchase. But we decided to purchase it through our local Tractor Supply, and Wow! they made the experience so smooth. When we received it, we thought the door was broken, and it was missing 1 bottle of oil so we called the customer service number and they explained that it is that way for a reason, and immediately sent us an instructional video to watch and also a link on more common questions, and a 2nd bottle of oil at no charge. So far it has been wonderful. We have only done batches of chicken strips but are excited to see what else we can freeze-dry in it. I would not hesitate purchasing another freeze dryer in the future form Harvest Right.

Great Customer Service/ Iffy Product
January 31, 2024

Honestly, I have had many problems with this unit. I have had multiple tickets in on it and lost a lot of time during my warranty trying to get it fixed.

I worry because, after the first year, you have to pay for shipping to get it to them to work on. I am disappointed we have had so many problems.

The one upside is the customer service people are friendly and helpful.

Super happy with the freeze dryer
January 30, 2024
I don't often take the time to write reviews, but I will make an exception here for this product. We have had our freeze dryer for over a year, and been extremely happy with its use and performance. It does everything exactly as we hoped, and additionally - and this was unexpected - the software that they use for the controls is really awesome - super easy to use, allows you to do all sorts of stuff, tweak settings, etc. In addition to all that, the customer service is fantastic; I have called on two separate occasions with questions, and both times I quickly made it to a real person who guided me through my question.

Saving space in the freezer
January 30, 2024
We have only completed five batches so far. Setup was straight forward and easy, operation is incredibly simple. We are surprised at how easy it is to operate. We have done fruit, and some meat, everything has come out great. We actually enjoy some of the fruit dried more then fresh, the meat was a real surprise, flavor was the same dried or reconstituted. Truly an amazing machine. Their is also so much information on use and operation online don't be afraid to take the leap, I am sure you wont be disappointed.