Customer Reviews

Based on 87 reviews
94%
(82)
6%
(5)
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Love

Worth the wait.
Worked right out of box did not have to do anything.

Stay fresh v Harvest Right

I love my new Stay Fresh FD. Works flawlessly. No more vacuum errors, added time and countless other issues that I had with the HR. The Stay Fresh takes about half the time to FD a larger amount than the Harvest Right. Better Quality by far. Pic is Apricots

Freeze dryer 7 shelf

Everything is going good with the dryer. Cleaning the shelves is tough they are close together. Other than that everything has been good.

great machine

top quality, and after sales support.

Amazing product with incredible customer service!

You won’t find a better freeze dryer company. High quality product with unmatched customer service! I highly recommend this company!

Love it

The Stay fresh has been really good and very easy to use. I run it almost daily.candy is awesome in it.

Love it

Love it

My first SF, not my first FD

Received my SF in the time limit listed upon ordering. Love it. I'm a little gunshy not gonna lie. This is my 4th FD- you can guess why I'm here. So far- it's been great!

Absolutely love it

Got it in the 8 week mark almost to the day. Still figuring things out getting a feel. Ran fruits for our first cycle and the process took about 18 hours putting some things back in for extra time. No problem. Came out fantastic. Can’t wait to try candy. Machine is made very well and sturdy. So glad I went with the industrial pump. Came already filled with oil.the trays are a bit tight in the holding rack. But other then that we love it! I had a couple simple questions about the unit and Tim replied within minutes. Exceptional costumer service. So far so good.

Should have bought it sooner!!

After experiencing lots of problems with my current freeze dryer (different brand) I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a Stay Fresh Freeze Dryer. It took 5 weeks to ship (due to high demand) and after receiving my unit I can assuredly say that it was worth the wait!! This freeze dryer is built with quality in mind. I love the commercial feel that this unit offers as well as the different options for trays. I ended up buying the unit with the 7-shelf system, but I also bought the 4-shelf accessory so that I could have more space between the shelves if I need them. Overall, I've pretty much run this unit nonstop since receiving it and I am very happy with my purchase. The few times I called Stay Fresh I was able to actually speak with the owner/engineer (Tim) who designed this unit, so my questions were answered perfectly and quickly. I could go on and on about what makes this freeze dryer better than the current options available but here's just my top 5 favorite things about the Stay Fresh.
1. Motorized Ball Valve (on the vacuum port) to prevent oil vapor from contaminating food
2. Temperature sensor to monitor the temperature of the food resulting in faster drying and less energy consumption
3. A control panel that offers basic and advanced functions.
4. Very quiet industrial pump that delivers an exceptional vacuum during the freeze-drying cycle
5. Quality internal parts (relays, GTM wiring harness, stainless drain pipe).

This unit does not have lots of accessories at the time but in a recent conversation with Tim, he mentioned that accessories are right around the corner.

Great unit and worth the investment

Very well-built unit, a few tweaks needed for perfection

For context, we use this freeze dryer along with two others for a small candy business.
Pros:
- Extremely high-quality components, especially when compared to competitor units. The PSU is computer-grade with a very clean output. Relays are solid state and replaceable (without soldering skills). Compressor is beefy for chamber size and achieves a colder trap. No plastic tubing (except the PVC vacuum hose) and very high-quality fittings hold the vacuum very well, and I can usually hold the vacuum pressure lower than 500 mTorr with the pump off for 24 hours.
- The industrial pump is a BEAST! Only downside is the demister isn't designed to channel collected oil back into the unit, so you periodically have to drain off the collected oil and top off the oil in the pump.
- Excellent manual mode (all I use, the regular software looks decent, too) that allows modifying tray temperature during cycle.
- Full tray temperature range available, unlike a competitor that requires you to pay for the "pharmaceutical" model to unlock that feature.
- Truly flat trays that make good contact with the racks and prevent hot spots, unlike competitor trays that are embossed with a logo that distorts the surface

Cons:
- The chamber is relatively small, compared with a competitor "large" unit with similar tray capacity. This unit achieves the extra space by having much lower clearance between shelves. Not a problem if you are preserving food, but for candy, this is a real issue when you are doing candy that poofs up a bit. It hits the heater for the shelf above and sticks. I ran a batch of Jolly Ranchers where I had to pull out the entire tray and use thin cardstock to slide between the top of the candy and the tray heaters to remove the candy without destroying the batch. I think SF has a tray unit available with more head space and less trays, but I don't have it and it lowers the capacity, so I just use our competitor unit for that kind of stuff
- The top and bottom tray slots, especially the bottom, run cooler than the rest. This is, of course, due to proximity of the cold trap, but it has a serious effect on candies that are very sensitive to precise temperature to achieve the desired result. Often times when running those, I don't even use those two tray slots. My recommendation here would be individual thermostats and heater wiring/relays for those two tray slots, then a single thermostat/relay for the rest. Those two definitely need to be regulated differently.
- The stainless steel trays themselves need folded-over edges. I've cut myself many times on the sharp metal edges.

Trays

The only thing I would like to see on the trays is if they were stackable. Other than that, they’re great!

Superior Product with Superior Service

We are really enjoying our Stay Fresh freeze dryer!! It does a super job and we have kept it busy for months now. The Stay Fresh freeze dryer is intuitive and is virtually foolproof. Customer service has been excellent when we’ve had a question. We couldn’t be happier.

Great Company

This Company is Amazing!! The customer support, (Tim) is "MILES" ahead of the rest. I own another freeze drier and after a week of owning it and dealing with the customer service of that company, I decided to buy a Stay Fresh machine and can't be happier. Being in the refrigeration and high vacuum system business for more than 40 years I can tell you that this equipment was built with much thought and quality components to be sure. Maintenance and serviceability are a key focus with this machine, and that is important if it ever needs repairs. Thank you, Tim and your amazing team of experts that produce and " SUPPORT" this this product. If and when I need another freeze drier this will definitely be my first choice. All the Best, Jim C :))

Absolutely LOVE my SF FD!!!!

I would highly recommend a SF FD to anyone who is looking to invest in one. Tim is the best not only only do you get quality product but exceptional customer service which is very difficult to find these days. I own 3 and would buy another.

StayFresh for the win!

I’ve had my StayFresh since xmas running non stop without any issues at all. The customer service is outstanding. Every email I’ve ever sent has been answered by Tim without fail. I would highly recommend!

Excellent product

Runs great without incident, I’m on load 38 now. I typically load each tray with 3 lbs or 2 quarts or 24 large to jumbo eggs, in other words full loads. Flawless. Customer support is second to none. I will buy again, gladly. I’m running my dryer out of my rv.

4 Shelf Std Pump

Still early but 4 loads in and no issues. With our gardening season ahead....looking forward to keeping it busy..Well made and easy to use.

Absolutely love it!

Can’t say enough positive things about this machine and the excellent customer service/support. Highly recommended.

Excellent product! I recommend it to all my friends!

Our Stay Fresh has been working hard since we set it all up and we couldn't be happier. Thanks for such a solid machine. I can't wait to order the larger version one day!

Freeze Dryer (7 Shelf) with Industrial Pump

Super product Easy to use

Playing with candy and this unit is so easy and the industrial pump is a MUST! Once i got through the initial learning curve with help of email support (which was very fast and good) this Machine has been Great! Jump in and try it Now!

Loving it!

Great customer service! Have done about 10 runs so far and everything is perfect and a lot less time than other people with different brands are experiencing.

Best Ever Experience

I love my new freeze dryer. I have done 21 batches to date without any issues. Using the StayFresh is so much more simple than I imagined. I am so glad I went through with buying a freeze dryer and from this company. Customer service is great and so is the z StayFresh community.

Awesome Freeze dryer

I have had my Stay Fresh freeze dryer for about 2 months now and have only run about 6-7 batches so far. The first thing we tried were the Skittles using the pre programmed candy mode. They turned out great, make note not to over fill the trays, these things expand 2-3 times normal size and will clump together and deform, still edible but not sellable. The only other thing I have made so far is freeze dried vegetables using Costco frozen organic veggie mix of Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and yellow squash. For this I just use the frozen food no probe setting and let it go, it ran for about 26 hours total. I love eating this as a snack in between meals or along with my lunch or dinner. The consistency is like eating a cheese puff, but it tastes like veggies. I watched a video of a woman who tried to rehydrate with warm water, that apparently doesn’t work very well. A note about the veggies, you need to make sure the batch is completely dried especially if you are packing in Mylar bags for long term storage. The first batch I made I stopped the machine early, around 16 hours thinking it was done. Apparently some of the denser veggies were not dried all the way through and after a week or so in a sealed bag, all the vegetables lost the crunch, it was like they were stale. Obviously there is a learning curve to using these freeze driers.
I have a background in manufacturing, about 35 years to be exact, I can tell you the build quality of this machine is outstanding. I won’t go into too much detail, there are videos out there where people have removed the panels to expose the inner workings and electronics, those video reviews are worth watching.
This machine is heavy as a mofo, it takes two people to lift it for sure, the pump is a beast as well weighing in at 65 lbs. When running it makes a good bit of noise, the freeze dryer is not so bad, once the pump kicks on it’s pretty noisy. You do not want to place this unit in the living area of your home, it would be best suited in the garage, basement or back room of your home. Something else to consider, it puts off a considerable amount of heat, the pump gets extremely hot, almost too hot to touch. I have this unit in our walk in laundry room sitting on the granite counter top next to the sink, I have to leave the door open otherwise it would get extremely hot in the small room. This isn’t as much a problem given it’s winter and the additional heat is a bonus. However, in the middle of summer when it’s 95 degrees outside and the AC is working hard, you may want think twice before about where you locate the machine. The only real “weak” point I can find is with the wiring harness and how it is attached to the tray heater. The power wires and thermocouple wires feed into the upper back of the heater tray. The wire bundle is held together by shrink tubing except for the last inch or two where the wires enter, they are all exposed. These wire are very thin, you do not want to tug or pull on them at all. This tray stack has to be removed after every batch in order to clean the inside of the freeze chamber and clear the drain tube. My concern is that after enough bending back and forth on these fragile wires, they are going to fail. The other thing I noticed is the edges on the stainless steel trays are very sharp, At some point I’m going to take a fine file to mind to prevent possibly getting cut. I guess time will tell as to how well this unit will hold up, fingers crossed the wiring harness doesn’t fail me.