How To Freeze Dry Airheads

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Freeze Dried Candy

Airheads candies are so chewy, soft and explode with artificial flavorings that are strangely satisfying. Another strange thing is calling the candy Airheads when there’s no air in it. But there is a way to create micro air pockets in the candy and transform it from a chewy taffy into a crunchy melt-in-your-mouth candy. Here’s how to freeze dry airheads and make them worthy of their name

What Kind of Airheads Candy Can I Freeze Dry?

You can freeze dry almost any Airheads except for the Airhead extremes. They don’t freeze dry well because of the high sugar content. As for the Airheads bites, you’d think that they won’t freeze dry well with them looking like Jelly Beans. Turns out, they do so amazingly and have a satisfying crunchy. They don’t look as fun as Sour Skittles do, but they have their own interesting shape.

How to prepare the candies for freeze drying

Aside from the Airheads bars, you don’t need much preparation to start freeze-drying them. For the bars, you can leave them as is if you want to eat candy, almost like you’re eating beef jerky. These can expand and lengthen to nearly three times in size, which makes them even more fun to eat.

You can use a knife to cut the candy bars to size. Or just go for the minis if you don’t want to bother with prepping. Just make sure to use parchment paper on the trays to keep the candies from sticking.

Also, don’t forget to add a bit of space and avoid piling the candies on top of each other. Space is for expansion and gives the candy more surface area for freeze-drying.

multiple boxes of airheads stacked

Do You Pre-Freeze Airheads?

If you live in a hot place like a desert or have a tropical climate, pre-freezing can help. The temperature where you put your freeze dryer can affect the freeze-drying time. The hotter the environment, the longer your freeze dryer will take to freeze the candies.

If you have a deep freezer already running, there is no harm in putting in the trays of Airheads for freezing. Remember to use the trays you’ll use for freeze-drying to keep the candies from melting. It also prevents shocking the freeze dryer with a sudden temperature rise.

How To Freeze Dry Airheads

The great thing about freeze-drying Airheads using a Harvest Right freeze dryer is that it has a candy option. Just choose this setting, and the machine will do its work once you hit start.

To freeze dry the candies:

  1. Turn on the machine and choose the candy setting.
  2. If you pre-froze your candies, let the machine pre-cool for 15-30 minutes before loading the trays.
  3. Once the machine is ready, close the drain valve. This will let the vacuum build up inside the unit to help dry your candy.
  4. Load the trays and press continue.

airheads box of 6 bars

How Long Does Freeze Drying Take?

Unless you customize the settings, freeze-drying Airheads can take 16-24 hours. Of course, it can take longer, depending on how hot and humid the weather is. Or if you have other candies in the machine that freeze dries longer.

How Will I Know That The Airheads’ Properly Freeze Dried?

The candies should be light, airy, and crunchy. They would have a bit of resistance to them, but they can still snap easily. Way easier, in fact, than Tootsie Rolls.

If any of the candies are still soft and rubbery, put them back for some extra dry time. And if you also get Airheads that are hard to bite into, like you feel your teeth will snap? They’re not totally freeze-dried. Put the trays back for 2-4 hours extra dry time.

How Do I Store the Freeze Dried Candies?

Using Mylar bags are always the best way to store freeze-dried Airheads. They keep out moisture long-term, especially when you vacuum seal them with oxygen absorbers. Use a straw with your vacuum sealer to suck out all the air from the bag before sealing it. Others use a plastic straw so that when they use the sealer, it melts for a no-fuss seal. This can work, but you have to make sure you seal the mylar bags right. Otherwise, you’ve got a small hole for air to get in. Takes a bit of work and technique, but totally worth it.

Mason jars are also great for storing them. They’re a sight to see, especially when stored on shelves. Freeze drying retains the candies’ bright colors, like having a rainbow display of sweets in your pantry.

How Do Freeze-Dried Airheads Taste Like?

Freeze-dried Airheads have twice the flavor as the original ones. They’re so full of flavor, they make perfect snacks for movie nights, trips to the park, or sudden adventures.

How Long Can Freeze-Dried Airheads Last?

These candies can last 25 years or more, depending on how you store them. Keep them in a room with a temperature not higher than 72°F (22 °C), No need to put them in the fridge since this will cause condensation when you take out the bags. The goal of freeze drying is to remove the need for cold storage.

What flavor of Airheads would you love to try freeze-dried? Let us know in the comment section.

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  1. Joel says:

    Step number 3 in “how to freeze dry Airheads” is in error. Closing the drain valve allows for a partial vacume (less than 500 mTors) not pressure. Thanks for the info.

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