How To Freeze-Dry Gummy Bears

How To Freeze-Dry Gummy Bears

Freeze Dried Candy

Gummy Bears are really fun to eat with their gummy, chewy texture. But there’s a way to make eating this candy even more exciting! Here’s how to freeze-dry Gummy Bears and have a crunchy treat you and your kids would love munching!

How Do I Prepare The Gummy Bears?

There’s no need for special preparation when freeze-drying Gummy Bears. You only need to put the candies on the trays lined with parchment paper. Give them at least 1-2 inches of space in between. This will give them room to expand as they form bubbles when water vapor escapes.

Do I Pre-Freeze?

Pre-freezing is an option, especially if you have new software. But if you have an old machine made before 2017, pre-freezing can help. Harvest Right recommends that pre-freezing should be at least 48 hours for best results. But only if you choose to pre-freeze your candies.

How To Freeze Dry Gummy Bears

The exciting new thing about Harvest Right is they now have Candy Mode! You’ll know you can turn this on if your software is v5.x.19 or higher. If you haven’t upgraded yet, you can get the software at the Harvest Right website on their support page. What’s great about the Candy Mode is that it makes the candies soft and easier for your freeze-dryer to work with. There’s an extra process of heating up the trays before freeze-drying. The gummy candies become softer and release their water content better.

However, if you bought your machine before 2017, the upgrade will not work. Or if your software is v3.6.11 or older, the upgrade won’t work for you as well. You’ll know the version of your software by looking at the upper right corner of your screen. But don’t worry, you can still freeze-dry your gummies, only the method is different.

Freeze-Drying with Candy Mode

Here’s what you need to do to activate the Candy Mode on the new software.

  1. Turn on the unit and select “CUSTOMIZE”.
  2. Increase the “Dry Temp” to 135 °F (57 °C). You’ll see the display showing “Candy/High Temperature Mode”.
  3. Set the “Extra Dry Time” for 2-3 hours. There’s no standard dry time on Candy Mode so this will be your only dry time.
  4. Press “SAVE”.
  5. Press “START” and wait for 15 minutes for the chamber to cool down.
  6. When the chamber is ready, turn the Candy Mode “ON”.
  7. Close the drain valve and load the trays.
  8. Close the chamber door and check the seal is tight around the ring.
  9. Press “CONTINUE”.
  10. Select “START” when you’re asked to warm the trays. Candies puff out bigger when you choose this.
  11. The trays will warm for 5 minutes, then the machine will countdown on the pre-set dry time. You can also extend the dry time at this point if you want to.

Freeze-Drying With Older Software Version

Some say they don’t have much success with freeze-drying Gummy Bears on the old software. Here’s what you can do to help increase your success rate.

  1. Turn on the unit and select “CUSTOMIZE”.
  2. Set the “Dry Temperature” to 135 °F (57 °C).
  3. Select “SAVE” (Note that this setting will remain even on the next batch of food. Remember to change this, as high drying temperatures can burn food.)
  4. Select “START > NON-LIQUID”.
  5. Select “NOT FROZEN” for room-temperature Gummy Bears. Choose “FROZEN” if you pre-froze your candy.
  6. Load the trays of candy when the unit tells you to.
  7. Close the drain valve and chamber door. Check that there’s a tight seal around the ring.
  8. Press “CONTINUE” and let the machine process the candies.

Freeze Dry Gummy Bears

How Long Does It Take To Freeze Dry Gummy Bears?

With the Candy Mode, freeze-drying Gummy Bears will be as long as you set your dry time. For older software, it can take 16-20 hours.

You’ll know the candies are ready when they’re puffy and twice or more than their original size. They should be light, airy, and crunchy, with no hint of gumminess. If any of the candy feels cold, soft, or gummy, put the trays back for 2-3 hours of extra dry time.

How Do I Store Them?

If you love freeze-dried Gummy Bears and can’t keep your hands off them, Mason jars are best. They’re easy to open and re-seal and keep the fragile candies intact.

If you’re traveling or wish to store the candies long-term, go for Mylar bags. They’re designed to keep heat, light, and moisture from the food for extended shelf-life. They’re also easy to carry so you can bring the freeze-dried candies with you anywhere. They won’t give that much protection, though, so expect some powdering when the bags are squished.

Remember to place 1-2 of the 300cc oxygen absorbers before sealing. This will help remove any residual oxygen left inside the containers that cause food spoilage.

How Long Do Freeze-Dried Gummy Bears Last?

Freeze-dried Gummy Bears can last for 25 years or more when stored properly. Keep them in a cool, dry, dark place that has a temperature lower than 72°F (22 °C). Maintain the relative humidity at 15% or less to prevent moisture from building up.


Freeze-drying Gummy Bears is one of the most satisfying things you can do with your freeze-dryer. If you can make a timelapse video, you’ll see how they transform as they puff and bubble up in the process. After that, you get this crunchy, airy, twice-as-flavorful candy you can’t get enough of.

The Candy Mode has made freeze-drying the candy easier and faster. But if you can’t upgrade, no sweat. Increase the drying temperature, which will help soften the candy’s surface to help remove the moisture better.

What do you want to do with your freeze-dried Gummy Bears? Let us know in the comment section.

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  1. Janet says:

    We tried to the gummy bears with a big fail. We followed your directions to a tee and still they failed. Do certain brands work better than others? We are doing this for a entrepreneural project with my granddaughter. I need a response ASAP. Thanks!

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