Jul 6, 2023
Hot Dogs will always be fun to have. They’re full of that salty goodness that you can’t stop eating and craving them. They don’t last very long, though. When you keep it long in the freezer, eventually, they’ll get freezer burn. Once the power runs out, they don’t last more than 2 hours at room temperature. So, to make it shelf-stable, the best way to do it is to freeze-dry it.
We’ll be honest with you. Hot dogs are one of the toughest foods to freeze-dry at home. A home freeze-dryer isn’t powerful enough to freeze-dry hot dogs. That’s because of the casing, but most especially fat content.
But the good news is that you can experiment with it. Here’s how to freeze-dry hot dogs to see if it works for you.
The best hot dogs for freeze-drying are the ones with the less fat possible. We get you. The beefy ones are the most flavorful because of the fat in it. But they don’t freeze dry well because fat doesn’t freeze like water.
The good news is you now have a lot of choices for lean hot dogs. You can get turkey, chicken, and pork for variety. Wieners can be a good choice, and turkey franks can also do well. However, the result isn’t going to be what you would expect because your Harvest Right freeze dryer isn’t built to handle this kind of food.
Once you’ve chosen your hot dog variety, you can now start preparing them. The more surface area they have, the better it would be for your machine. You can make long ones, but the end product won’t be as good. You can avoid making a long slit on the surface to expose the center. However, freeze-drying and rehydrating can still be a challenge.
Some suggest that you boil or roast the fat out of the food before freeze-drying. This will help remove most of the fat from the food and hopefully make it easy for your machine to freeze-dry it. After cooking, you can slice the hot dogs into small pieces. The maximum length that you could go is 3/4 inches, with a long slit on the surface.
Pre-freezing food is an option, but it can help reduce the time in your cycle. The new software doesn’t ask if you’re loading pre-frozen food or not. But if you got something going in the freeze-dryer, then park your prepared food in the freezer. Harvest Right recommends pre-freezing to at least 48 hours to freeze the food completely.
To freeze-dry hot dogs, here’s what you do.
The good thing about Harvest Right freeze-dryers is that you can use the default settings. There’s no need to adjust the time and temperature, especially on the new software. You can play with the settings by pressing “CUSTOMIZE” on the startup screen. But note that high drying temperatures can burn food during the cycle.
Freeze-dried hot dogs don’t last too long because of the fat content. Since no one yet has successfully freeze-dried hot dogs at home, your guess is as good as ours.
If you open a container and have a hint of rancid odor, dispose of the food immediately. Especially if you see mold, moisture, and discoloration. Consider any food that doesn’t look, smell, and taste like its original state as spoiled or ruined.
You can use Mason Jars to store your freeze-dried hot dogs if you plan to use them every now and then. They’re convenient and easy to get at your store. You can also use many attachments to vacuum seal them manually or by machine. They are fragile, though, and take up space and allow light to go through.
Mylar bags are great for traveling and long-term storage. You can also make a to-go bag for a quick hot dog meal. You can combine them with freeze-dried mustard, ketchup, onions, beans, and other food you wish to mix.
Just remember to put 1-2 of the 300cc packets of oxygen absorbers for every gallon size of your container. This will help slow down the oxidation process in the food, which can lead to spoilage.
After bagging and sealing, keep the containers in a cool, dry, dark place. Keep the room temperature lower than 72°F (22 °C). The relative humidity should also be 15% or less.
Rehydrating meat is easy. The good thing is that you can use almost any liquid you want to rehydrate. To reconstitute freeze-dried hot dogs, you can use:
Play with the liquid as much as you want. The more adventurous you are, the more flavor options you’ll open up for your freeze-dried hot dogs.
Reconstituting can take about 15-20 minutes in warm liquid. But if you want something with softer consistency, overnight in the fridge will work just as fine.
It’s always fun to try out new things with a Harvest Right freeze-dryer. There are food items you can freeze-dry successfully, while others are challenging. Freeze-drying hot dogs is one of the food products that many recommend not to do. The fat makes it close to impossible to freeze-dry unless you have an industrial freeze-dryer.
Should you decide to make your freeze-dried hot dogs, practice caution. Especially after storing it. Always check the smell, texture, and taste before consuming it.
Would you be brave enough to freeze-dry hot dogs now you know what to expect? Let us know in the comment section.
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