Freeze-dried candy is on the rise. Make no mistake about it. Modifying candies through the process of freeze drying leaves them with a crunchy texture that melts in your mouth, providing your tongue with the chance to taste and enjoy their sumptuous flavors uniquely. So, if you’re here today wondering what all the fuss is about, then you’ve certainly come to the right place! Because we’re going to be taking a look into the world of freeze-dried candy! So stay frozen to your computer screen for a couple of minutes!
So, what is the best candy to freeze dry? The best candies to freeze dry are made by reputable brands, as they will give the best results. You are modifying the texture of these candies, so you want ones that will be able to go through this process. Candies that aren’t greasy or oily and have a completely different texture to that which freeze-driving will transform them to are best. Otherwise, what’s the point?
That’s pretty high-level stuff.
Chances are if you came here, you’re looking for particular examples.
Don’t worry – let’s now get into five of my recommendations and favorite candies to freeze-dry!
Best Candies To Freeze Dry
Below is a list of my favorite candies to freeze dry. This is, of course, subjective.
There might be some candy experts out there who prefer other candies, but you can bet that we share at least 2 of these on our top lists.
So let’s get into it, starting with…
Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Skittles are perfect on their own.’ Yes, Skittles are one of my favorite candies, whether they’re freeze-dried or normal.
I have loved Skittles since before I can remember.
However, because I’ve loved skittles for so long, I’ve ended up eating tons of skittles. I don’t even want to try and put a number on it.
After all these years, you want to shake things up a bit. And that’s exactly what you can do with Skittles.
When you freeze dry Skittles, they expand to three times their original size. Pretty neat, right?
But guess what? Their texture will also change.
Instead of being much harder and chewier, your Skittles will now be much easier for your teeth to get through.
And they’ll taste different too, still deliciously if you’re wondering. They also make perfect little, or now should be, say big, toppings for any deserts you have.
Top Tip: When freeze-drying Skittles, they may get stuck to the tray. To avoid this, use parchment paper!
Yep, that’s right. I’m putting Peach Rings next up on my list. Now, the Peach Rings market is quite competitive, with there being no monopoly brand that dominates our taste buds.
Instead, there are several great Peach Ring makers for you to choose from.
Remember, stick to a reputable brand, but once you have your Peach Rings, it is time to get freeze drying.
So, why Peach Rings? What’s so great about them when they’ve been freeze-dried?
Well, let me tell you that when you eat a freeze-dried Peach Ring, it will melt in your mouth and send your taste buds to another universe.
They taste so good once they’ve been freeze-dried.
Their texture is also enjoyable, with it becoming more crunchy and chewy.
Trust me, give Peach Rings a go, and you will not be disappointed.
Up next is Gummy Bears.
Yes, it does seem that Gummy Bears seem to find their way onto most top 5 lists.
And whilst they’re known for dominating the normal candy lists, they also do pretty well when it comes to freeze-drying as well.
So, what happens when they’ve been freeze-dried? For a start, they grow to be double their original size.
In a way, you could see it as you’re getting more than your money’s worth by growing your Gummy Bears.
Texture-wise, Gummy Bears become lighter but also crunchier. Some candy experts prefer it; others prefer the original.
Ultimately, it’s down to what you decide.
And as for the taste, well, wowza! Believe it or not, Gummy Bears, once freeze-dried, actually become sweeter and richer in their flavor. That’s why they make it into my top five!
Well, look what we have next up. The Saltwater Taffy. Perhaps you didn’t predict seeing this age-old piece of candy on the list. I wouldn’t have either, had I not been in the know.
After they have been through the process of freeze drying, Saltwater Taffies will taste brilliant as they become sweeter.
They adapt so well to the process that you get to experience them in a new, fresh and exciting way that your taste buds will be begging you for more.
In terms of texture, they’ll become crunchy on the outside and lovely and chewy on the inside.
What’s more, Saltwater Taffies will puff up, meaning they will look very nice for decorating other deserts.
Of course, they do expand just like other candies, and they’re pretty big already, so you might want to consider chopping them in half if having them as a snack!
The final candy on today’s list is Jolly Ranchers, a very tasty treat before going through the freeze drying process. But after? Well, in my opinion, you experience an enhanced flavor!
If you’ve eaten a Jolly Rancher previously, you’ll be very aware that they are very hard.
Once frozen and dried, they will puff up, like many other candies, and become something totally new to enjoy.
What do I mean?
Well, if you can’t wait to try it for yourself, let me try and explain. A Jolly Rancher will become crunchy and airy as well.
The result is a Jolly Rancher that is much easier to chew than normal.
How Do You Freeze Dry Candy?
You freeze-dry candy by dehydrating it and reducing the moisture content as much as you can. There are three main methods of achieving this with candy which is using a freeze dryer, using a home freezer, or the dry ice method.
When it comes to candy, we’re not freeze-drying it to preserve it.
Instead, we’re going to modify the texture, size, and taste of the candy to blow your mind!
If you’re freeze-drying candy at home, the first way to do this is with a freeze dryer.
Unfortunately, freeze dryers are very expensive. I’m talking in the thousands of $ range.
Chances are if you are here, you don’t have one at home – nor the money to invest in one!
So, despite them being a convenient method (with a 15-24 hour turnaround time), we’re not going to delve too deeply.
Today we’re going to mainly focus on the other two methods. So let’s get started!
This method is very simple. Hopefully, you have a freezer at home. If you do, you will need to make space for a tray to fit in.
Then, place your chosen candies on a tray and place them in the freezer.
Then, you wait….between 2-3 weeks. Yes, I know. It’s a long time to wait. But trust me, it will be worth it.
So, it’s probably best to freeze dry in bulk batches!
Let’s face it; you’re going to have to be thinking ahead of time for this.
To ensure your freezer is doing the best job it can, ensure that it is turned onto the coldest setting.
Once they have frozen to the right amount, you can store them in an airtight bag.
You might be wondering why it takes so long. Here’s the thing. The candy will freeze within a few hours of a day. But that’s not what we’re going for here.
If you remember rightly, the process we are exploring is freeze DRYING, not just freeze. Therefore, the extra time the candy stays in the freezer is so that it can dry properly.
To perform the dry ice method, you will need to equip yourself with resealable bags that will survive cold temperatures as well as a cooler.
Put your candy into these bags but don’t fill them up too much. You want there to be just one layer of candy when the bag is lying flat.
Once this is done, pop your bag of candy into the cooler before covering it with dry ice. Get that dry ice all over the bag, including underneath it.
Then it is time to let the dry ice work its magic. So leave it alone for approximately 24 hours.
After that time, take the candy out and store it in airtight bags.
Obviously, the big advantage of this method is that it is much quicker than the home freezer method.
But that doesn’t mean it is all plain sailing.
For instance, this method is not effective when the temperature outside the cooler is warm and humid. So you need the right environment.
Then there’s the lack of margins for errors.
When it comes to resealable bags, you must ensure they are fully closed. Otherwise, moisture can find its way inside to spoil the batch.
Finally, there’s the case of an exploding cooler. This method produces expanding gases that could be a problem.
So make sure that, while your cooler’s lid is mainly closed, there is some way for these gases to escape.
How Long Does It Take Candy To Freeze Dry?
It takes between 20 hours and 2.5 weeks to freeze dry candy, depending on the candy you freeze dry and the method used to do so.
The time it takes for your candy to freeze dry depends on the method you are using, whether it be using a Freeze dryer, a home freezer, or the dry ice method.
Let’s get straight into the average times.
The quickest average time goes to the freeze dryer, which can have your batch ready in 20 hours.
Then it’s the dry ice method which, on average, can deliver a batch in 24 hours.
And in last place is the home freezer method which can take on average up to 2.5 weeks to produce a batch.
Now, whether or not each method performs above, below, or bang on its average will be determined by several factors.
These include how moist the candy is, the quantity you are dry freezing, and the surrounding environment and its temperature.
Do You Need To Defrost Freeze Dried Candy?
You do not need to defrost freeze-dried candy…but you also don’t need to keep it in the freezer either.
In fact, there is actually no need to keep the freeze-dried candy in the freezer at all. The best place for them is a dry environment, whether that be in your fridge or a cupboard.
Why is this? Well, remember what dry freezing did? It got rid of the moisture. So if moisture returns to the candy, it will decompose.
It doesn’t matter how you eat them now. You can eat them straight out of the freezer, or you can eat them after they’ve sat in a cupboard for ages. Seriously, I mean ages.
Freeze-dried candies can last 25 years, even without refrigeration. So long as they’re kept in that special dry place.
Candy That Doesn’t Freeze Dry Well
You want to avoid candies that taste bad after being freeze-dried. If the process doesn’t produce something enjoyable, then what’s the point?
Now you’ve seen the methods for producing freeze-dry candy; you’ll understand that a lot of effort goes into making it.
So, you won’t want to waste your time and energy freeze-drying something that doesn’t taste good.
Of course, you can try trial and error. However, my advice would be to research what candies are proven to be great after the freeze drying process, like my top 5 list, for example.
As for candies, you want to avoid oily ones. How come? Freeze drying extracts the moisture from candy, but it leaves behind oil.
Below is a list of some types of candy that aren’t best suited for freeze drying because of their oily content:
- Candies with Peanut ingredients
- Pure chocolate candies
- Candies with high butter content
- Candies with honey in
- Candies with syrup
- Candies with jam
So candies that fit into those categories don’t do too well after the freeze drying process has taken place.
Then some that don’t change at all. These are candies and other sugary delights that just don’t possess enough moisture.
Here are a few examples:
- Pop Tarts
- Peppermint Pattys
Freeze drying is a process that takes some effort…
…But it’s so worth it!
In fact, I’d run miles for a batch of my favorite freeze-dried candies!
After you’ve tried them, maybe you’ll agree with me.
Can you freeze dry Jolly Ranchers?
You can freeze dry Jolly Ranchers, and these are in fact a good choice of candy that suit this particular process – they puff up and offer something a little different.
Can you freeze dry gummy bears?
You can freeze dry gummy bears. They will double in size and have a lighter and somewhat crunchier and appetizing texture.
Hello, I’m Matthew, a candy expert and enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the candy industry. My passion for candy started at a very young age. Since then, I have worked in numerous, large candy stores, and have been fortunate enough to try out hundreds of brands of candies, different types and flavors. In addition to my work, I enjoy sharing my extensive knowledge with others, and decided to create Sugar Stand in order to do so. My mission is to make the world a sweeter place, one candy at a time.