Ever since I posted my Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Review, people have asked for more information about the freeze dryer oil change and filtering. It's a simple process, but not something that's required for other home food preservation methods. To show those who are curious exactly what's involved, my sons help me put together a couple quick videos. The first one covers the freeze dryer oil change, and the second covers how to make an inexpensive oil filter.
Note: Harvest Right now ships a filter with new freeze dryers, but from what I've seen in the forums, those filters have room for improvement. The TP filter combo I'm demonstrating here is widely recommended by many freeze drying enthusiasts.
Quick Review of How the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Works
During the freeze drying process, the food is frozen to well below zero. Then, a vacuum is pulled on the airtight chamber where the food is located. The pump used during the freeze drying process pulls air out of the food chamber, but it also gets some water and food bits. Right now, there's no way to avoid this. This is why we need to change and filter the freeze dryer oil.
For a more detailed description of the freeze drying process, please see Harvest Right Freeze Dryer – Cost Analysis and Optimizing Load Size.
The freeze dryer pump with oil is the default option for new freeze dryers, but Harvest Right also sells an oilless pump. There is an additional change for the oilless pump.
The Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Oil Change
When your freeze drying cycle is done, the first priority to to package up the food for safe storage. Once that's done and while the pump is still hot, it's time to change the oil.
The freeze dryer oil change process is simple:
- Open drain valve and allow oil to drain into container of your choice. We use old yogurt containers.
- Tip up pump, if desired, to make sure to clear out as much oil as possible. Close drain valve.
- Open fill port and fill with clean oil. Use new oil or well-filtered vacuum pump oil. Fill to mid-line of sight glass at front of pump.
- Close fill port.
Some recommended freeze dryer vacuum pump oil brands include:
Filtering the Freeze Dryer Oil
Because of the water in the used oil, I place the oil in the freezer for a few hours or overnight before filtering. When I'm ready to filter, I pour off the oil from the top of the container, leaving the water and sediment behind in the bottom. The container is wiped clean for the next use, and the oil drains through the filter. I pour the filtered oil into the original quart container that came with the freeze dryer, aiming for just over 600 ml, which is enough to fill the pump again.
Thinking About Buying a Freeze Dryer?
Harvest Right has three sizes of home freeze dryers – large, medium and small. These range in price from $1,795 to $3,595. They also carry Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers on their site, and a sealer that allows you to safely seal your Mylar in one step. They have a layaway plan that allows you to lock in a sale price with a minimum $250 downpayment. You can make your own payment plan and the price is locked in at the time of your deposit.
My referral link: https://affiliates.harvestright.com/115.html
I'll continue posting what we're drying on Instagram, and sharing additional posts to address questions and show off the yumminess. If you choose to purchase a Harvest Right freeze dryer through my site, I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. (Thank you!)
You may also find useful:
- Dehydrator Versus Freeze Dryer – What’s the Difference?
- 11 Freeze Drying Mistakes to Avoid for Best Storage Quality
- 5 Best Freeze Dried Foods – Quality Long Term Food Storage