How To Freeze Dry Gummy Worms

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Freeze Dried Candy

Our kids love our Harvest Right freeze dryer because it magically transforms their favorite food. Especially candy! The whole process just creates an almost entirely different treat that is sometimes out of this world. Here’s how to freeze dry gummy worms to help you create an interesting snack that can keep your kids entertained at home and on long trips.

Why Should I Freeze Dry Gummy Worms?

For this question, the answer is a simple word with three letters.


The gummy worms puff up to 10 times their normal size. So you get this ginormous piece of candy that’s light, airy, fluffy, and so crunchy. If you put the freeze-dried gummy worm next to the original, you would think that the freeze-dried version is a styrofoam toy – until you bite into it.

What’s more, isn’t it annoying that they stick together when you bring the candy with you on a trip? This is because of the moisture content o the candy inside. The heat causes the water to evaporate, and with the sealed package, there’s no room for the moisture to escape.

But with freeze drying, as much as 90%-97% of moisture’s removed. What you have is a candy that’s shelf stable, doesn’t require refrigeration, and can last for 25 years or more.

What Materials Do I Need for Freeze Drying?

You’ll only need a pair of kitchen scissors and sheets of parchment paper. Since the gummy worms expand like crazy, you’ll need to cut the pieces down to bite-size. The parchment paper’s also there to help keep the candies sticking on the tray.

Preparing the gummy worms

When you cut the candies, give them ample space to expand. About 2-3 inches of space between would be good room for them not to touch each other. Cutting and arranging them this way provides enough surface area for efficient freeze-drying.

Do I Pre-Freeze?

We don’t know about you, but candies are one of the foods that benefit most from pre-freezing. Your deep freezer is powerful enough to penetrate through that gummy inside the candy. You need a good amount of ice crystals in the candy for the food to freeze dry properly.

This is one of the reasons why it’s challenging to freeze-dry gummy Worms. Although many say, they get more success with the Trolli brand. These gummies also don’t lose their flavor in the process, so you might want to start with this one.

pile of gummy worms

How To Freeze Dry Gummy Worms

Freeze-drying gummy worms can take a lot of work if you use food-grade dry ice. But with a Harvest Right freeze dryer, the process is as easy as loading the trays and pressing a few buttons.

  1. Prepare your gummy worms as said previously in this blog.
  2. Turn on the machine and press “START > NON-LIQUID.”
  3. Choose “FROZEN” if you pre-froze your candy. This will allow the machine to pre-cool for 15-30 minutes. The chamber temperature should be -8°F (-22 °C) or lower before you put the trays in.
  4. Close the drain valve when the machine tells you to and load the trays.
  5. Press “CONTINUE” and let the machine do the rest for you.

This is one of the exciting candies to freeze dry. If you can forgo the pillow (many are now saying it’s not needed), set up a timelapse camera. It’s so interesting to see the candy puff up as the machine quickly takes out the moisture.

How Many Hours Does It Take To Freeze Dry?

Freeze-drying gummy worms can take 20-36 hours, depending on the heat and humidity of the room. Pre-freezing also significantly shortens the freeze-drying time.

sour gummy worms

How Do I Store Freeze Dried Gummy

We were so excited with our first batch of gummy worms that we took the trays out when they were cold. What happened was the candies slowly went back to their original state.

What we did was warm the trays before taking them out of the freeze dryer. This way, there’s no hint of moisture or condensation that can ruin all those hours of freeze-drying. Just to be sure, test random pieces of candy. If you find any cold or gummy portions, put the trays back for an extra 2-4 hours of freeze-drying time.

To keep your freeze-dried gummy worms fresh, you have two ways of storing them.

Mason jars

This option is ideal when you have kids or family members who can’t get enough of the freeze-dried candy. It’s expensive, yes, but it’s reusable land resealable. You can open the jar, take your feal, and then use a vacuum sealer before storing.

These jars are strong and can stand years of repeated use. Glass is one of the most impermeable materials on the planet, so you can count on the jars to keep your freeze-dried candy fresh.

Mylar bags

Many freeze-drying enthusiasts are fans of Mylar bags for several reasons. Just like glass, they’re made to keep food away from heat, light, and moisture. The difference is they’re lightweight, don’t take up too much space, and are easy to carry around.

Whatever you choose, don’t forget your oxygen absorbers. They remove oxygen and prevent oxidation of compounds in the food. About 1-2 of the 300cc packets are good for every gallon-size of your container.

Freeze-drying gummy worms is totally fun and rewarding. You transform your candy from a gummy, chewy, sweet (or sour) treat, to a light, crunchy candy that explodes flavor in your mouth.

For successful freeze-drying, cut the candy into bite-sized portions. Pre-freeze in a deep freezer so that ice crystals form deep within the center of the candy. The machine can only eliminate moisture when it’s in ice form. Since your candy’s a solid block of ice, the freeze dryer can do its work properly.

Are you interested in freeze-drying gummy worms for your personal use or to sell? Let us know in the comment section.

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