Cryovac Fish

Submitted: Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 16:45
ThreadID: 110090 Views:4486 Replies:9 FollowUps:10
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Hi,
Has anyone had any experience with cryovac'd fish.
All I could find on google was that fish live in cold water so fridge life was very limited.
Interestingly I also found that cryovac'd red meat was recommended to be used in 9 days, we have used it after 7 weeks and it had shown no signs of deteriorating.
We are not about to experiment with the idea, it would just be nice to take along a feed of fish to eat say a week later.
Thanks in anticipation
Cheers
Graham
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Reply By: get outmore - Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 17:13

Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 17:13
shouldnt be any reason why not but definitly fillets - as a butcher we found anything with a bone didnt croyovac as well we put it down to the gasses in the bone possibly feeding bacteria as it would go off around the bone.
9 days is bunkum
meat should last about 9 days just as it is if properly refridgerated (under 3 deg)
certainly the life for crovacced primals in our fridge around 0 degrees was in months not weeks

only thing with fish and chicken for that matter is it doesnt lower in acidity the the same way as red meat
properly hung beef should get around PH 5.5 which further retards bacterial growth.

as for the fish in cold water thing - could well be something in that (im going from memory now) there are physcraphilic bacteria (spelling??) which basically means cold loving bacteria
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham N (SA) - Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 07:15

Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 07:15
Thanks get outmore for your informative reply, our Engel is usually on about 0 degrees and we often have cryovac meat stored in there for around 6 weeks,
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Reply By: duck - Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 17:13

Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 17:13
Had no problems with fillets but like all other meats if it got bones does not last well
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Reply By: mike39 - Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 17:28

Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 17:28
When I have been Gulf fishing with 3 other mates the go is one of those electric vacuum pack sealing gadgets.
Packed fillets straight into the freezer as caught, I have Barra packs here at home, 3yrs. old with no freezer burn whatsoever and taste just as good as fresh.

Not that Barra is the best eating, just the best catching. Black jew would be my preference.
mike
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham N (SA) - Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 07:18

Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 07:18
Thanks mike39 agree about the Barra but there is a hell of a differance between salt water and fresh water barra.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 18:12

Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 18:12
Vacumm packing of fish is a good thing.....I ate vac packed barra this morning for breakfast.

Almost without exception the fish you buy frozen in the supermarktes will be vac packed...there is a good reasona for it.

If you drop onto any of the fishing fourms..( try ausfish)...vac packing is very popular.

cheers
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 18:58

Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 18:58
Graham,

If you are concerned about longevity of the cryovac fish, you could always freeze the pack, and put into your fridge. It'll take a few days to thaw anyway, in the bottom of an Engel/Waeco/whatever.

Bit OT, but one of the secrets of keeping beef "fresh", is to make sure that the exterior of the cut is dry, or kept dry, as much as possible. When I first started working on a station in NT, we'd spend weeks away from the station, with no refridgeration at all. Fresh meat would last up to a week, in winter, and corned meat probably double that.

The fresh cuts that went "off" first were the fatty ones like rump, rib roasts and shoulder. The fat would go sour and suppose it sent the meat off soon after. Have trimmed a piece of rib fillet once that was bright green on the exterior, cooked it as steaks........bloody beautiful!

Some years later, our fresh beef was going off, so used vinegar as a marinade, to take some of the taste away. This is probably aligned to what get outmore said about keeping it somewhat acidic.

Remember once, one of the blokes cooked a full round as corned meat, just before midday. When we got into camp for a feed this big hunk of round was sitting up on the bench. Only another another bloke and myself had any...........within 20 minutes we were both out across the flat with our strides down.......went through us like mercury through a duck! :-)))

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Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 19:40

Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 19:40
yes meat spoils from the outside in with bacteria living on the surface
a dry exterior obviously helps inhibit bacteria - Hung meat primals usually you trim off the dried exterior befor slicing.
Fat doesnt rot as such - it oxidises - goes rancid, not good.
As for marinading in vinigar. normal marinade contains viniger as well as other stuff like salt and suger - besides tasting nice it also makes water unavailable for bacteria so its basically a combination of bacteria inhibiting products that tastes nice
as for meat thats gone slimey and green - thats usually pseudamonis which is what you recognise as spoilage - its not particulary harmfull but obviously smells and is slimey
wiping it away with viniger or trimming the surface off will usually leave edible meat ---- but then sometimes things have just been left too long :) this occurs when the acidity from hanging breaks the cell structure of the meat down too far (thats why hung meat is so tender)
but it releases enzymes and juice from the cells which if left too long will liquify too much and create a breeding ground for bacteria over too longer time --- basically a smelly mess aint no one gonna eat :)
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 09:19

Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 09:19
This whole concept of "dry meat" is important in fish too.

SO many people have the idea of washing fillets and cuts of fish after it is cut.....lots of fish shops, bare fish flesh comes into direct contact with ice and is sprayed down with water in the display cabinet.....this is not a good idea...it degrades the fish and makes it go off faster.

You would not see a butcher washing his cuts of beef or lamb or putting them in direct contact with ice......why should we wash or otherwise contaminate fish flesh with water.

wash your whole fish well, before you begin to process it, by all means wash the gut cavity of gutted and gilled fish.

Wash your hands, your knife and your cutting board with clean water immediately before you start cutting....and maybe between each fish.

But avoid any water contact with cut fish flesh.

This is one of the major benifts of vac packing...it keeps the flesh clean, dry and uncontaminated.

As well as bones, remove the skin and avoid any portions of gut cavity on the fillets.

If you want to be realy fussy...and if you want it to keep, it pays.
dry your knife with a clean cloth before you start cutting and avoid contact between clean cut fish flesh and the cutting board.

if you leave the skin and scales on the whole fish.....cut your fillets and lay them skin side down on the board......then skin them skin side down.....they can be placed direct into pouches or contatiners with minimal contact with anything.
There is even a good argument for a second dry cutting board for portioning large fillets.

cheers

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham N (SA) - Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 11:39

Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 11:39
Thanks Bob, get outmore and The Bantam,
Unfortunately I'm not much of a fisherman and I catch most of my fish at the fish processors (cheaper but not as much fun).
I'm thinking if I cryovac some fillets I have in the freezer and store them in the bottom of the Engel I can have a nice feed of fish four or so days into my next trip, keeping a eye on them to see that they have not thawed out.

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 16:30

Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 16:30
if you are buying fish.

you are by far best off buyng it already vac bagged and frozen.

Much of the fish we buy over the counter has been frozen, thawed and handled.

There are processors that process direct to vac bag...either ashore or aboard the trawler.

some fresh fish markets......note FRESH.....will process the fish and vac pack it for you while you wait.


other than that buy vac and frozen packages from the supermarket.

cheers
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Reply By: gbc - Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 20:03

Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 20:03
I take a portable cryovac on fishing trips to bring fillets home. It is well worth the effort.
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Reply By: Shaker - Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 20:32

Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 20:32
Google "vacuum packing fish", there is heaps of information out there & some very interesting reading!

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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 21:32

Sunday, Nov 09, 2014 at 21:32
Graham - I have a cheap vacuum sealing outfit and regularly cryovac fish fillets that are fresh or have been thawed.
I throw the cryovac pack in the meat tray in the fridge, and try and ensure that we eat it within 4 days.

IMO, trying to keep fish fresh for very long is a risky operation, because fish meat degrades so quickly.
I only trust fresh fish that has been properly frozen, or unpacked fresh fish that is less than 2 days old in the fridge, or 4 days in the fridge if cryovaced.

If you want to eat fresh fish a week or more after you've caught it or bought it - then freezing it, really is the only safe way.

Beef will keep longer in the fridge or freezer, or in cryovac, if the fat content is low.
Lamb seems to keep best of all. I've found lamb tastes better if it's been frozen for about 1 to 2 months, and its still good after 6 mths in the freezer.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham N (SA) - Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 07:25

Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 07:25
Thanks Ron N, that's how I thought it might be. Interesting that you reckon lamb tastes better after being frozen I seem to find it turns out a bit tougher after being frozen.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 10:54

Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 10:54
Yeah, lamb can vary a lot in tenderness and flavour - and I think a lot of "lamb" we get sold, is lamb that has died of old age! LOL

There's also a big difference between the various breeds of sheep as regards meat tenderness and flavour.
You get the sheep bred for wool such as pure-bred Merinos, that are pretty ordinary eating - but the sheep bred for meat, such as the Dorpers, Suffolks, and Merino cross-breeds, are much tastier eating.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - OnYaBike - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:14

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 00:14
I have had a cheap vacuum sealer for a while now but holy crap aren't the chequered bags expensive now! I had to buy some the other week at the local butchers' supplies and it was $88 for 100. Still, they last a while as I usually only use them for camping trips.
The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 01:02

Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 at 01:02
OnYaNBike - I buy the Sunbeam Foodsaver rolls for my el-cheapo vacuum sealer. You cut off the length you want, seal one end, fill it with your food and then vacuum seal it.

If I'm vacuum bagging something like bacon that I open and use, say once a week, then I make the bag longer than needed initially.
I then just cut off the end near the seal, remove the amount of bacon I need, and reseal the bag again.
You can generally do this about 3 times before you need a new bag.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Jarse - Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 19:39

Monday, Nov 10, 2014 at 19:39
I normally buy fillets and cryovac it myself, then freeze it.

I've had salmon fillets frozen for a couple of months and sashimi'd it after thawing. I found it difficult to tell the difference in taste - and we eat a fair bit of sashimi at home.

My conclusion is that if you cryovac and freeze, the fish will last most trips if kept frozen until you need it.
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