Freezer Bag Cooking

11:46 p.m. on October 11, 2006 (EDT)
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Hi,

In one of my earlier post's I asked about some ideas to lighten my bag. One person suggested ditching most my pots and trying freezer bag cooking. I know there are freezdried foods out there, but they seem expensive. I also looked at the website about it, yet was wondering if anyone had experience with freezerbags and knew how well it worked. I would like to try it out, probably at home before on the trail, I just wanted to know if it was a worthwhile venture.

-Daniel

3:22 a.m. on October 12, 2006 (EDT)
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What's your idea of expensive?

For a three day trip...

My cooking hardware: aluminum 8 cup coffee pot (for boiling water only. leave guts behind), plastic cereal bowl, plastic coffee mug (insulated) and a spoon.

For breakfast I have two packs of instant oatmeal and coffee.

Lunch will be sandwiches:

I mix peanut butter and jelly and put that into a "squeezy tube". I have two days of that.

single serving envelope of tuna or chicken, couple packs of mayo.

sometimes I will hard boil two eggs and pack them. Chop up the eggs and add mayo.

6 hoagie rolls.

Dinner each night will be a mountain house that sells for $6 ea. I'm a Mountain House fanatic. I absolutely love most of their meals. Their clam chowder is awesome. Stay away from "chili mac".

I have cooked and eaten raman noodles in a ziplock freezerbag. Those things are pretty strong. I poured boiling water right in and shook it up and ate it right from the ziplock.

12:46 p.m. on October 12, 2006 (EDT)
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Freezerbag cooking works well for some things, not well for others, just like any other approach. Freezerbag omlettes are pratty good, providing you remember that eggs out of the shell don't keep too long. Same with fresh meat or fish. But pre-cooking and just warming the meal in the freezerbag, possibly with freezing it after cooking, can produce some great gourmet meals without dirtying up a bunch of pots. Using the bag as a container for things like ramen with tuna or chicken also works well (the tuna and chicken coming from the foil packets, not cans - oh, yeah, there is also salmon and a few other meats in the foil packs, which are much lighter than cans).

Something that works well on long backpacks where you can't carry fresh veggies - learn to sprout mung beans (the bean for Chinese bean sprouts) in a plastic jar. This is really welcome about the 5th day of a week-long hike. If you get June Fleming's book on backpack cooking, you can get lots of hints like this.

1:21 p.m. on October 12, 2006 (EDT)
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Daniel, You don't need to buy expensive prepackaged meals to do freezer bag cooking.
Here is a good site with lots of recipes and tips about stoves, pots, etc.
http://www.freezerbagcooking.com
Sarah posts on a number of outdoor site boards under the name "Sarbar." She sells a book, but you can get her recipes off the site for free as well.
Some of the other hiking sites have food specific forums and I'm sure a search will turn up one to your taste.

6:30 p.m. on October 18, 2006 (EDT)
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a.k.a. Bruce Easley

Freezer bags will take a lot of abuse. There are, of course, different mil thicknesses available, but even the thin cheap ones have not leaked on me with boiling water. Couple them with a home dehydrator to be able to make a pretty big variety of things. A favorite is cooking Zatarain's black beans and rice along with some tomato slices, chicken chunks, basil, and lots of parsley, then drying the whole pot's mix. If you aren't using it right away, put it in a freezer bag, roll all the air out and freeze it until you're ready to take it on the trail. Just add boiling water and wait about 6+ minutes for rehydration.

4:36 a.m. on October 19, 2006 (EDT)
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ZIPLOC OMELET
Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into the bag (not more than 2) shake to combine them.
Put out a variety of ingredients such as: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, etc.
Each guest adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag and shake. Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it up.
Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot.

5:39 a.m. on October 19, 2006 (EDT)
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1,238 forum posts

Omelet sounds like a good idea.

How long will these eggs keep in your pack before they spoil?

I'd hate to be burning up that much fuel (from boiling 13 minutes) early in a multi-day trip.

12:10 p.m. on October 19, 2006 (EDT)
(Guest)

Daniel--Years ago I bought a dehydrator and it's been one of the best camping investments I ever made. You can pack entire meals that weigh ounces and when you rehydrate them they taste "fresh." One of my favorite meals is to make spaghetti--a nice treat after several days on the trail! The simplest way is to use sauce from the jar, dry it into basically fruit rollups, and then dry any other goodies like shrooms, onions, carrots, etc etc. I use raman noodles that hydrate immediately. There's no end to what you can make with some experimentation and it tastes MUCH better than the $$ prepackaged stuff.

September 23, 2014
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