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Learn How to Freeze Dry Candy Easily at Home

how to freeze dry candy

Those delightful, crispy, and chewy treats take your taste buds on an exciting journey! Freeze-drying emerges as a powerful method for preserving food, especially for extended storage, effectively eliminating moisture that can compromise product quality. When employing this technique with candy in a freeze dryer, presents unique advantages, setting it apart from conventional candy preservation methods. Freeze-drying candy preserves its natural flavors and essential nutrients. Interested in how to freeze dry candy?

Freeze-drying proves to be an enjoyable family effort that everyone can engage in, so gather your favorite people and preferred sweets – let the fun begin!

What’s Freeze-Drying?

Freeze drying extends food shelf life by sucking out moisture. True freeze-drying demands a specific appliance, not just a freezer or dry ice setup. Texture plays a significant role in distinguishing standard candy from freeze-dried versions. This happens due to rapid freezing at extremely low temperatures, a familiar concept from high school chemistry – water expands when frozen.

Unlike their initial crunchiness, freeze-dried candies melt in our mouths. Freeze-dried candy’s mouth-feel differs significantly.

In freeze drying, food chills to temperatures between -58 and -112 degrees Fahrenheit, product-dependent. This freezes it into a solid state, distinct from gas or liquid. Subsequent drying occurs through pressure reduction and dual heat cycles. 

The outcome? Food with minimal water content and the easiest way to understand how to freeze dry candy at home. Unlike chewy heat-dehydrated food, freeze-dried delicacies effortlessly melt in your mouth.

How to Create Freeze-Dried Candies?

1. Opt for the freezer method:

freezer
Image Credit: Reddit
  • Grab your candy with moisture. 
  • Spread it on a tray with parchment paper to prevent stickiness.
  • Into the freezer for a chill session of 2-3 weeks – let that candy solidify. 
  • Recover your candy, collect it in freezer bags, and find a cool, dry shelter.
  • Allow a few hours for it to reach room temperature before indulging in your crunchy, chewy delight!
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2. Freeze-dry candy using dry ice

how to freeze dry candy
Image Credit: The Candy Space
  • Toss your preferred candy into freezer bags, loosely sealed, inside a cooler.
  • Let dry ice work its magic for 24 hours on a low-humidity day—don’t seal the cooler.
  • Open the bags, and transfer candy cautiously to new ones.
  • Stash in a cool, dry spot (pet and sibling-free zone) for a taste journey!
  • Properly freeze-dried DIY candy maintains its original color. 
  • To dehydrate candy using this technique, a specialized machine, a freeze-dryer, is essential. 
  • Sweets are arranged on trays within the freeze-dryer, initiating a temperature drop in the chamber. Ranging from -50°F to -30°F, these low temperatures ensure thorough freezing.
  • Achieving the desired low temperatures triggers the machine to create a vacuum within the chamber.
  • With reduced pressure, heat infiltrates the chamber. Due to low pressure, as temperatures surpass 32°F, ice crystals in the sweets don’t liquefy; instead, they evaporate.
  • While freeze-drying yields unique results, a drawback is the need for specialized equipment, namely a freeze-dryer machine. Given their potential cost, opting to buy ready-made freeze-dried sweets may be more practical for occasional consumption.

Tips for how to freeze dry candy 

  • When freeze-drying candy, avoid tray overload for an even outcome. 
  • Ensure sweets have ample space as some candies expand during this process.
  • Unwrap candies, and arrange them on parchment-lined trays, maintaining even distribution. 
  • Smaller candies freeze better; break up large ones if needed. Freeze the tray until the candies solidify.
  • Place the frozen candies in the freeze dryer, set the freezing temp to zero, and the drying temp to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Check for dryness; the candy should be dry, not sticky. If not, a second run in the freeze dryer works wonders. 
  • No worries about overdrying; moisture removal is the goal.
  • Let the dry candy rest at room temperature.
  •  Store in an airtight container with desiccant packets for extended shelf life. 
  • Keep them away from sunlight and moisture, just like other freeze-dried treats.
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Top Picks for Freeze-Drying Candy

Moisture levels play a crucial role, resulting in diverse results. Not all candies are fit for the freeze-drying. Chocolates, high in fat, don’t work well. Skittles, fruity delights, offer a crispy punch, intensifying their fruity goodness.  The Gummy worms and bears, when freeze-dried, bring a crunchy texture, enhancing flavor profiles. Marshmallows, when freeze-dried, add a crispy touch—perfect as cake decorations or thoughtful gifts.

top pick sweets
Image Credit: Etsy

Hard candies, transformed into crispy delights, shed stickiness and prove ideal for cake decoration. Cotton candy, freeze-dried, retains its melt-in-your-mouth essence but in a delightful crisp form. Experiment with a small batch to find your preferred outcome. Peanut butter or caramel bars are great freeze-dried too. Just cut them up small so they dry out right. Then, you’ve got a super snack.

Why choose Freeze-Dried Candy?

  • Its prolonged shelf life outlasts regular candy, offering a pragmatic choice.
  • With reduced water content, freeze-dried candy becomes lightweight, effortlessly portable, and easy to rehydrate—ideal for outdoor activities like fieldwork or trips, requiring minimal effort for revitalization.
  • Moreover, freeze-dried candy proves versatile in culinary endeavors, easily transformed into powder for pastry and cake decoration. These perks position freeze-drying as an appealing choice for preserving and utilizing candy.

Benefits of Freeze-Dried Candy

Welcome to the candy experiments on how to freeze dry candy. Dive into the taste test fun with various treats. 

  • Freeze-dried candies bring smiles to your dental health. 
  • Swiftly dissolving, packed with nutrients akin to regular sweets. 
  • Feather-light and travel-ready. Despite their often larger size, freeze-dried treats shed weight by ditching the water baggage.
  • Extended shelf life? Properly stored, these goodies stay munch-worthy for a jaw-dropping 25-30 years.

Conclusion 

Freezing candy in a freeze-dryer is a great trick to how to freeze dry candy and jazz up old sweets. Works great on candies that are still good but nobody’s eating. Freeze-drying them puts a cool spin on regular sweets and brings out more taste. Go ahead, try freezing different candies. You’ll be amazed at what you find when you learn how to freeze dry candy treats.

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