How To Freeze Dry Blackberries

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Freeze Dried Fruits

Blackberries are one of the popular berries to freeze dry. This is because the balance of sweet and tart flavors is spot on when you eat these berries at their peak ripeness. That goes to say, when they’re not in season, it takes a strong person to take their tartness and love it. So here’s how to freeze dry blackberries so you’ll get that sweet tartness you love no matter what season.

How Do I Prepare Blackberries For Freeze Drying?

Unlike blueberries and grapes, you don’t need to do much prep work to freeze-drying blackberries. This is because they don’t have that tough outer skin that prevents drying.

Most importantly, though, you need to clean them. Place your berries in a colander, then give it a quick rinse under cold or cool water. Others dunk the colander in a bowl of cold water several times to keep the berries intact and conserve water.

After washing, let the blackberries drip dry. You can spin them in a salad spinner but do so gently and carefully. Afterward, place them on a clean kitchen cloth or paper towel to remove any excess water.

If you want smaller bits of freeze-dried blackberries, it would be better to cut them with a knife. A food processor or a chopper is too fast and strong for these delicate berries. You’ll end up with a mushy product that you can only use for powder. But if this is what you’re after, then why not? It would be great for enhancing your desserts and drinks.

fresh blackberries on wooden surface and bowl.

Do I Pre-Freeze Them?

Some pre-freeze their blackberries before freeze-drying, and some don’t. Pre-freezing, though, cuts the freeze-drying time and helps you lessen the wear and tear of your machine.

It’s a way to also cut down on electric bills, especially if you already got a deep freezer running. Makes things efficient, too, if you’ve got a lot of food lined up for freeze-drying.

If you pre-freeze the berries, use the same freeze-dryer tray. Line it with parchment paper to keep the berries from sticking. Especially if you’ve cut them or decided to pulse them a bit in a food processor.

How to Freeze Dry Blackberries

Freeze-drying blackberries in a Harvest Right freeze dryer is easy.

  1. Turn on the machine and choose “NON-LIQUID > NOT FROZEN.”
  2. Let the unit pre-cool for about 15-30 minutes if you pre-froze your blackberries before freeze-drying. This will let it cool down to -8°F (-22 °C) or lower.
  3. Close the drain valve when the machine tells you so. This helps build pressure inside the chamber, which is the key to sublimate the ice into vapor.
  4. Load the trays and close the chamber door tightly.
  5. Press “CONTINUE” and let the machine do its work.

How long Does It Take To Freeze Dry Blackberries?

The length of time to freeze dry blackberries varies in each batch. This is because of several factors like the weather, how hot/cold it is in the freeze dryer room and moisture content of the blackberries.

But some experienced having a freezing time of 3-5 hours and a dry time of 28-34 hours. Others experienced having a longer cycle of 36-38, even 40.

freeze dried batch of blackberries

How Will I Know That The Berries Are Done Freeze Drying?

The best time to check if the berries are done freeze-drying is while the trays are still warm. This way, you’ll have a good feel of the berries. Taste the berries randomly as well.

A fully freeze-dried blackberry should be light, airy, very dry, and crunchy. If you get a cool, moist, and soft piece, put the trays back for an extra dry time of about 3-5 hours.

Some experience difficulty with freeze-drying blackberries. One even said they had a batch running for a good 52 hours. It was about 15 lbs worth of berries, which is a lot.

We could take a guess at this because it could be for a lot of reasons. One is that the berries weren’t pre-frozen or a bit wet when put in the freeze dryer. Someone also said their batch ran longer than raspberries because they almost liquified them.

How Do I Store Freeze Dried Blackberries?

We love using Mylar bags for storing our freeze-dried fruits and berries for a couple of reasons. First, they don’t take up a lot of space, so you can keep almost as much as you want in your storage room. They’re very lightweight, too, so you can take your freeze-dried blackberries on trips, hiking, and camping. Most importantly, they keep away air and moisture. Vacuum seal it, and it will keep your food good to eat for years.

But if you’re the one who occasionally craves freeze-dried food every once in a while, go for Mason jars. You can open and reseal with a simple vacuum sealer or attachment to your food saver.

Keep in mind to add oxygen absorbers to take out residual oxygen in the bag. About 1-2 of the 300cc packets are suitable for every gallon-size container. You can go a bit more, but that would be essentially wasting a good packet. But you can’t go for less because you wouldn’t eliminate the container’s residual oxygen.

How Long Do Freeze-Dried Blackberries Last?

Your freeze-dried blackberries will last 25 years or more if done correctly and stored properly. Just ensure they’re properly sealed and stored in a dark, cool place. The temperature should be below 72°F (22 °C), and the relative humidity should be maintained at 15% or less.

What do you plan to do with your freeze-dried blackberries? Let us know in the comment section.

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