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What Kind Of Burritos Can I Freeze Dry?
I prefer the pre-frozen burritos you can buy at the store. Freeze dying burritos wasn’t the first thing I thought of when I bought my freeze dryer. My kids and their addiction to these tasty little treats had me thinking what a great idea to store for a fast snack.
But frozen burritos aren’t the only options you’re limited to for freeze drying. I recently started making my own tortilla shells and they’re phenomenal in any capacity, plus cheaper to make. So when you do your own tortillas and your own beans, they can be even cheaper to freeze dry and store. However, when you start adding in the meats and other things like cheese, the cost benefits to doing it yourself might make the frozen burritos a better option. That’s a personal decision.
Can I Make Burritos With Freeze Dried Ingredients?
Absolutely! I would reconstitute the items first before making them and tortilla shells might be easier to make from flour and water than to store. They’d become flaky and very fragile after the freeze drying process and being stored. However, refried beans, ground burger, cheese, and peppers would be awesome in a burrito and easy to reconstitute in most situations.
Why do I prefer the Frozen Burritos?
This is simply because of easy of use. I do, however, think doing your own homemade ones would be just as easy and effective, even cheaper. I just like buying the premade ones – especially those with meat. It’s less prep time for me. As a mother and self-employed business owner, that’s a HUGE reason to keep prep time cut down. But if you’ve been doing this any amount of time, you know prepping the food takes the most time. I like to keep my freeze dryer running as much as possible. Shorter prep time means more time running.
What Brands Of Frozen Burritos Freeze Dry Best?
Reser’s brand is terrific, but they’ve upped their prices. If you’re not opposed to Wal-Mart, they have a Great Value brand that is the price Reser’s used to be. If there’s another type of non-name brand, that might be the one you like.
How Do You Prepare Burritos For Freeze Drying?
For either kind of burritos, or anything else that you make, you need to think about how you might use the food item. For me, we want to be able to use the food with or without cooking it. Sometimes, I don’t even want to have to reconstitute the food. This might be because we’re camping, dirt biking, traveling, or hiking and ease of eating needs to be as simple as taking a bite and washing it down with a swig of water. Check out how I did this with my family in Hawaii.
So with that in mind, I like to prepare the burritos according to the instructions on the packaging – in the case of the frozen burritos, I microwave them. If I do homemade burritos, I’ll microwave them for about a minute. If you don’t have a microwave, you might consider baking for a while or heating up in a pan until the insides are melty and gooey like the picture below.
Definitely cut them in half. This way you can see if the contents have been dried.
How Do You Know Your Burritos Are Done Freeze Drying?
I know a lot of people have different techniques to check their freeze drying products for completeness. Some people weigh to see if the water has completely gone. Some people use a tool that measures for water content (these are pretty neat). I like to use my touch – if there’s even a hint of cool to the body of the burrito, I put it back in. I’m from the party that believes you need to pull the food out of the freeze dryer warm and package it while it’s still warm.
You can also see the difference in coloring from the ones above to the ones below. They’re drier and have a less stable looking appearance. In some instances, you can see where the cheese and beans have pulled away from the edges of the tortilla shells.
In the picture below you can see how the tortilla has dried and cracked. It looks almost flaky.
How Do I Package And Store Freeze Dried Burritos
I like to store mine in mylar bags for easy transport. They would look lovely in Mason jars, but you wouldn’t be able to store many in the glass containers without crumbling them. For space economy, you’d do better to put them into a mylar bag with O2 Absorbers and then seal with your heat sealer.
HOW DO I FREEZE DRY BURRITOS?
Many people think it’s next to impossible to do the freeze drying for themselves. This is far from factual. Freeze drying at home is made easy by Harvest Right. They sell three different sizes of freeze-drying machines that do everything in the machine – except prep and package.
That’s up to you.
For all intents and purposes, here at Freeze Drying Mama we use the medium sized freeze dryer. You can check out the sizes offered at Harvest Right here.
What this machine does is first freeze the items on stainless steel trays to -41 degrees or lower. This takes about 10 hours or so.
Then a vacuum pump turns on and creates a vacuum inside the drum. This is the drying stage and will vacillate the heat of the tray up and down to a pretty warm temperature. This makes the frozen items release any water in them in vapor form. The vacuum sucks the moisture to the drum. This collects in ice form on the inner circle of the drum.
Then there’s the final dry which is essentially the same thing, but with a time associated with it and an end in sight!
WHAT SETTINGS DO I USE TO FREEZE DRY BURRITOS
On the Harvest Right freeze drier – this works on all sizes – after putting the trays inside the drum on the shelves, I put in the drum cover (if you don’t have a drum cover, no worries) and then tighten the handle as I lock it shut. On the computer touch screen, I selected START > LIQUID > NOT-FROZEN > CONTINUE. After inputting the settings and making sure my drain tube is closed, I walk away.
COMMON QUESTIONS AROUND FREEZE DRYING BURRITOS
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FREEZE DRY BURRITOS?
I have a habit of saying it’s going to take as long as it takes, because it’s true. Mine typically take about 24 hours (but that was back in Idaho). I live in Missouri now and things are supposed to be a whole lot more humid. The time it takes to freeze dry things hasn’t changed much since we got here, though, so I’ll update you as needed.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO STORE FREEZE DRIED BURRITOS?
Oh, I love this question. Ultimately, I love mylar bags. They’re my favorite way to store anything freeze dried, but a lot of people make great cases for mason jars. As long as you have the item completely freeze dried and stored in a lightless, airless, air tight container with an O2 absorber, your item will be just fine.