How To Freeze Dry Hamburger

Freeze Dried Meats

If you’re a meat lover, you know what it’s like to crave a burger in the middle of the night… sometimes, even in the middle of nowhere! But with food prices constantly increasing, it’s a challenge to maintain food security and enjoy the food you love. So right now, we’ll teach you how to freeze dry hamburger in your stock and save for future consumption.

What Hamburger Can I Freeze Dry?

When we talk about freeze-drying hamburger, we’re talking about the meat. The bread, cheese, pickles, and other stuff will be on a separate how-to. It’s better to freeze-dry the components of a hamburger sandwich individually rather than the whole thing put together. This is because different freeze dried food rehydrates at different times.

So what kind of hamburger meat can you freeze dry? You can use either fresh ground beef, or frozen beef patties. You can also use plant-based burgers for a vegetarian version.

Raw or cooked?

You can freeze dry either raw or cooked hamburger patties. Both will do well, but each has its pros and cons.

Raw Hamburger

For the raw hamburger, you have the convenience of processing it immediately. However, there’s one component that the freeze-dryer will take out of it: myoglobin. It’s that red juice oozing out of your meat or steak often mistaken as blood. That liquid gives the burger that appetizing color and juicy, tender texture. Since freeze-drying takes out myoglobin, expect your raw, freeze-dried hamburger to be on the dry, a bit on the dull side.

Cooked Hamburger

For a cooked hamburger, you must cook it properly to render off the fat. The best way to do it is on a grill since the fat will fall off. Frying on a pan will only make the burger swim in its own grease and reabsorb the oil. Also, after cooking the meat, don’t let it rest for too long. As the burger rests, it will reabsorb the fat, making it difficult to freeze-dry. However, when you do the taste test after freeze-drying, you’ll notice that it will be softer and juicier than its raw counterpart.

After cooking, you’ll notice some grease coming out of the patties. Use a paper towel to wipe off as much oil as you can. Others rinse the patties in water, then pat dry with a paper towel for added measure. It may seem like extra work, but this small step will go a long way when it comes to extending shelf life.

What Do I Need To Make Freeze-Dried Hamburger?

You only need a few things to successfully and efficiently freeze-dry hamburger.

  • Digital Kitchen Scale – this will help you properly portion your patties and also calculate the liquid you need for rehydration.
  • Parchment paper – ever notice grease coming out when you freeze-dry bacon and hotdogs? The same will happen with your burgers. The parchment paper will help catch that fat and keep it away from your meat.
  • Dividers – this is optional, especially if you’re using fresh ground meat. You can space the dividers depending on your tray size and patty weight.

How To Freeze Dry Hamburger

Here’s how to freeze dry hamburgers based on your software.

For software v5.0 and lower

  1. Turn on your Harvest Right freeze dryer and press “START > NON-LIQUID”.
  2. If you pre-froze your hamburger, choose “PRE-FROZEN”. If not, choose “NOT FROZEN.” Remember not to mix frozen and non-frozen trays.
  3. Give the machine 15-30 minutes to pre-cool. This happens automatically.
  4. When the machine is ready, it will tell you to load close the drain valve and load the trays.
  5. Seal the freeze dryer door and press “CONTINUE”.
  6. Let the machine do its work.

If you want to adjust the cycle times, click “CUSTOMIZE > ADJUST CYCLE TIMES” and set your final dry time.

For Higher Versions v5.x.24

  1. Turn on the machine and “START”.
  2. Give the machine 15-30 minutes to cool down or until it reaches your initial freeze temperature.
  3. Once it’s ready, it will tell you to close the drain valve and load the trays.
  4. Close the chamber door, ensuring that there’s a tight seal around the ring.
  5. Press “CONTINUE” and wait for the machine to finish its work.

How Long Does It Take to Freeze Dry Hamburger?

Depending on several factors, freeze-drying hamburger can take 31 hours or more. Use a moisture meter to ensure you process your meat properly. It will send off an alarm when it detects moisture inside the meat. Moisture is the main cause of food spoilage. No matter how well-sealed your food is, all your efforts will go to waste if it’s moist.

How Do I Store Freeze-Dried Hamburger?

The best way to store freeze-dried hamburger is in Mylar bags. They keep out light, air, and moisture away from the food and are designed for long-term storage. Before sealing, make sure to put 1-2 of the 300cc packets of oxygen absorbers per gallon size of your container.

How Do I Rehydrate Freeze-Dried Hamburger?

Rehydrating both cooked and raw hamburger can be done using almost any liquid. You can use beer, broth (beef or vegetable, depending on your patty), or vodka for added flavor. If you’re fine with your burger’s taste, water will also work.

Use room temperature liquid to rehydrate. Because of the low temperature, rehydration can take 15-30 minutes. Just add enough liquid to cover the patties then let it soak. Then you can put the burgers on the grill or pan to heat up to temperature. You don’t have to cook the raw patties for too long because they’re already dry

How Long Does Freeze-Dried Hamburger Last?

Unlike freeze-dried fruit or vegetable, freeze-dried hamburger can only last 5-10 years. This is because of the fat that’s still left inside the meat. Still, this is way better compared to 1 year in the freezer, and hours on room temperature.


Freeze-drying hamburger is the best way to save up on food. If you buy and stock up now, you’re less affected by the constantly increasing prices. You also have meat that you can bring with you outdoors without having to carry extra coolers. The difference with fresh ones? Just a minimal amount. You can still enjoy the flavor of your hamburger. Besides, the burger’s flavor is mostly on the condiments, not on the meat itself.

Would you freeze dry raw or cooked hamburger? Let us know in the comment section.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    My husband and I raise our own beef. I have several hundred pounds of meat in my freezer at all times. I recently purchased a Harvest Rignt Medium unit. I was originally going to make ground beef patties and freeze dry them raw, but after reading your post I’m concerned about flavor. So, my question is, when you freeze dry cooked hamburger patties, how done do they need to be? We don’t care for well done patties.

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