I have created a pretty in-depth freeze dried food storage inventory (make sure you check that one out!), but sometimes you want just a very simple log. A freeze dryer food log and a maintenance log can help you track times, differences between the different trays, maintenance completed or needed, and other important functions to help keep your freeze dryer in great condition long term and help you better understand its processes.
Freeze Dryer Food Log
You may not need to use both the food log and the food storage inventory, but some people will like to have both available. I plan to use both! I’ll use the food log while working through batches in my Harvest Right freeze dryer. Then, I’ll update my food storage inventory every other week or so with the help of the food log. I can easily copy over what was made, stored, and where it was stashed to keep tabs on my long-term food storage goals!
Here’s what my goals were for my food log:
- Keep record of the use of my freeze dryer
- Track how long different foods take to complete
- Note down start time and end times so I can calculate total processing time
- Keep record of added dry time so I can plan better for future loads
- Track food added and quantity for a basic inventory
- Store cost information for food purchases and/or electricity usage
- Easily jot down relevant notes so they don’t get lost, such as weight or if the food was pre-cooked
- Additionally, there is a spot to add tray # to help better understand your freeze dryer and more efficiently place your trays based on which foods take longer
I was able to add all of those details into a concise and easy to use document. Plus, I had to add some color to help make it more enjoyable to use and easier to distinguish the different columns for their needs, such as time tracking in blue and costs in green.
The Freeze Dried Food Log has several drop down selection menus for unit of measurement, category of food, and tray number. This helps to keep the log consistent in look and feel and coordinates perfectly with both our Ultimate Food Storage Log and with our Printable Freeze Dry Food Labels for a cohesive organization system!
Freeze Drying Planning Sheet
If you’ve ever browsed the Freeze Drying Facebook Groups (you can join mine here!) you know there are so many awesome ideas out there to get you thinking, planning, and dreaming up what to freeze dry next! This next tab in the google sheet will help you write down ALL the ideas and make your plan!
My vision for the Freeze Drying Planning Sheet was:
- Keep track of ideas for freeze drying
- Know what to cook next
- Easy reference to recipe/directions
- Inventory what’s in my freezer waiting for the freeze dryer
- Help pair trays that will work well for the freeze dryer
- Keep on top of pre-freezing
- Have a game plan in mind for storage
You can keep notes of what’s in your freezer already and what to freeze next. Or keep track of how many trays you’ll need to help you make a good pairing to freeze dry together for your next batches. There are spots to mark down what cooking method, a recipe to use, how you’ll store it, and any other details you might need!
For example, before my freeze dryer arrived, I started getting to work precooking and freezing food in quart ziploc bags so they were ready to go! I want to use my freeze dryer for a lot of MRE and leftover meals, and freezing produce before it turned bad.
So, keeping track of what I was making, how much room it would take up, and then being able to plan without digging through my freezer was essential! You can absolutely adjust this sheet to fit your planning needs! If you make something from the planning sheet, it’s easy to transfer over to all your notes to the food log tab or to the food storage inventory sheet!
Freeze Dryer Maintenance Log
The maintenance log, in my opinion, is a really crucial record to keep. This will help you take care of your investment as a freeze dryer is not cheap! Having this record will help you with any warranty claims or in keeping track of when your next cleaning or filter change is due.
My goals for the maintenance log was:
- Track oil changes
- Record when new fresh oil is added
- Make note of when the machine was thoroughly cleaned
- Keep a record of any vacuum sealing usage
- Log repairs needed and completed
- Track purchases made for my freeze drying adventures
- Keep record of all associated costs
- Easily organize maintenance into categories for later charting
I think the maintenance and purchase log turned out great! It doesn’t need a whole lot of extra information so it will be easy to keep up-to-date.
The colored category tabs will help me easily locate a specific line item (such as monitoring oil changes) and just helps bring some color to the sheet.
I also really wanted to keep a log of overall expenses. This data can be helpful for anyone using their freeze dryer for business purposes to keep a basic tax record that can be used alongside receipts for expensing these costs.
Since I’m a bit of a numbers nerd, I also wanted to be able to easily see how my investment of a freeze dryer would pay off overtime with use versus purchasing freeze dried foods from a retailer.
How to Customize
Since this freeze drying food and maintenance log is much, much simpler than our inventory tracker, it offers a lot more flexibility! It can be customized to fit your unique freeze drying process!
There aren’t any formulas pulling data around, so this spreadsheet can easily be adapted to fit your own needs. Rearrange columns, delete or hide sections you won’t need, change colors or categories or any other changes you might need.
Data Validation: If you want to change or adapt any of the drop down menus, you’ll do this by selecting on the first box in the column that you’d like to adjust. Then, click “Data” from the menu and choose “Data Validation”.
In the “Cell Range” adjust the formula to run through the end of the column. You’ll do this by simply adding to the range to go through the last row. ‘FD Food Log’!E5:E1000
You’ll see all the selection of list items here and can add or remove new options here. Just add a comma between each selection you add. You may see some small red arrows on your column drop down boxes. Those are indicating there is an error, such as using a category tag that is no longer a valid option. Just click in those cells and choose a new selection!
Custom Text Colors: You can adjust the conditional formatting, which is what automatically colors the text in the Category drop-down selections, to match your preferences or to customize any additional categories you might add.
Just click the first box in the row and column you want to adjust. Then click on “Format” in the menu and choose “Conditional Formatting”. The range here should already be set to include the entire column.
You can then select one of the preset colors and adjust the text to a different title or add a new custom text command. You just want the format rules to be: “Text Contains” and your keyword.
Alternating Row Colors: Select the first box in a column and then choose “Format” from the menu and select “Alternating Colors.”
The range here should already be setup to include the entire column. You’ll want to make sure “Header” is not checked, unless you want to specific a specific color for the first cell in the column.
Then, simply select your color scheme or customize your colors. You can also simply delete the alternating color functions all together, such as if you want to save color for printing, with the delete box at the bottom of the settings window.
How to Print the Freeze Dryer Logs
Printing out a copy of both the freeze dried food log and the freeze dryer maintenance log can make jotting down your notes and tracking your process take just an extra few seconds after throwing in the loads of food.
To print the logs, simply click on the sheet you want to print and choose the print button on the toolbar or from the menu. You can print in either portrait or landscape mode, so don’t be afraid to adjust that setting.
Since there are a lot of rows added to keep your inventory going, you can choose to print just the first 1-2 pages. After adjusting any setting on the first print screen, just choose next which will open the print dialog in your internet browser. From there, you can adjust the setting to print just page 1 and to print in color or black & white.
I highly recommend keeping a digital record of your food and maintenance logs as well, though, so you don’t lose all your data in case you ever lose the printed out sheet of paper! If paper is your main method, you can just update the digital copy once a month or so to keep your record preserved!
Copyright & Use Policies
This Freeze Dried Food & Maintenance Log was created by this blog, Freeze Dry Foodie. It is available for your own personal use. Do not share copies of this file or distribute it to others in any way or fashion.
If you’d like to recommend this tracking log to others, please share the blog post directly. This is important for protecting my copyright and ensuring that new users have all the pertinent details available to them. It also allows users to find additional resources that align with the log!
In other words — please share this post directly, not the google sheet itself!
Freeze Drying Food &
Maintenance Log Google Sheet
You can make a copy of my food & maintenance log for a freezer dyer through google sheets. Because this sheet is being shared publicly, you will NOT be able to edit or adjust the document from the link below. You must first make your own copy!
To do this, simply choose “File” from the menu, and then select “Make a Copy”. You can then name the file whatever you’d like. I also recommend saving it to your bookmarks to easily access later. Hint: Bookmark my blog, while you’re at it. 🙂
Do not request edit access! Whenever I share a google sheet like this, I always get endless requests to edit the document from those who might have skipped ahead to the link. I cannot grant edit access to this log as you’d be editing the sheet and others would be able to see all your information and overwrite your log!
Just make your own copy, and you won’t have any of those problems. You’ll also be able to share your log with whoever you’d like!
Click the link above or right here —> to open the Freeze Dryer Food & Maintenance log google sheet. Don’t forget to save your own copy and bookmark it for easy access later!
Share your feedback:
If you have advice or feedback on this post, can you please let me know in the comments! This will help me, and others, know what works, what doesn’t, and what you’re loving! It can also help me to improve this post and other content to come.