Vacume sealing cooked meals

Submitted: Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:27
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Does anyone have tips on preparing meals like Veg and rice, casseroles etc, vacume seal and refrigerated ready to heat in micro or boiling water- how long is it safe to store them?
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Reply By: Member -Walkabout(NSW) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 13:26

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 13:26
Have you bought your vacuum sealer yet? Mine came with a booklet that will answer all your questions.
Cheers,
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 13:31

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 13:31
yep - dont do it. theres a good reason why all comercially available vacume packed RTE meals are subject to additianal heat treating after packaging
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Reply By: Member - RFLundgren (WA) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 13:46

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 13:46
Just to hijack the thread a little while we are on the subject of cryovacing :)

What is the situation with the likes of cold meet ect. Sliced chicken roll, ham, salami etc. Is it safe to cryovac, if so for how long will it keep. Just that if we go entended trips it makes it much easier for lunches if it is a single pack we can open for lunch rather than having open packets on the fridge.

Also buying by the kilo is damn site cheaper than buying those little prepacked items. On our last trip bying one of those at a readhouse wsa the equivalent cost of $60 kilo for pretty ordinary ham that you could purchase in Coles for about $14 kilo.

Cheers

Richard

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Follow Up By: slave - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 20:10

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 20:10
One of the butcher shops in Broken Hill sells packets of cold meat that they have vacuum sealed themselves. I think that the useby date was in about 2 weeks.
I know that they did corned beef, chicken roll and ham, but may have done others.

Mrs S
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Follow Up By: Member - RFLundgren (WA) - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 00:17

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 00:17
Mrs S

Thanks for that info. When I get my little machine I will get some cold cuts and experiment before we head out.

Cheers

Richard

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Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 16:04

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 16:04
We do this regularly at home even if not travelling. There's a particularly good Polish deli that make their own smallgoods and we buy 2 week's worth and pack in lots that would last a couple of days. Haven't had a failure yet whereas without the cryovac slices last less than a week.

It's very important that the smallgoods are fresh and definitely not the supermarket variety that they seem to slice a month's worth then keep turning the stack over when the edges wilt!

Generally don't do turkey/chicken. Smoked chicken breast that are packed by the deli seem to last well though.

Adrian
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Reply By: Member - Chris G (VIC) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 15:29

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 15:29
Hi Maggiel
You mentioned 'rice'. A few years ago our Health Inspector ran a little exercise at our business. Coolroom at correct temp. Rice cooked and cooled. Tested sample each day at Govt Lab. By day four it was dangerous to eat. Rice cooks in 12 minutes, easy.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 16:32

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 16:32
You didn't mention vacuum packing!
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Reply By: Middle Jeff - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 15:43

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 15:43
HI
It can be done, but you have to follow some rules. The first thing is to cool it as quickly as possible, easiest way is to pour it onto a tray and get it in the freezer and when it gets down to fridge type temp ( 2 - 6 ) then put it into a container, making sure you get no air pockets and freeze, once frozen you can vacuum pack it. If you have things like mushrooms or cream or any soft veggie it should be good for two weeks below 4 degrees, you can not reheat food in the same bag unless you know someone who can get you some pretty specialised wrap.

You are better off doing rice and potatoes separately for a whole lot of reasons, safer, less energy overall needed and quicker cook time.

With the question about processed meat, if it is already packed look at the use by date and half it, if you get it from a busy deli with a fast turn over at 4 degrees or below I would think 7 to 10 days, just make sure you lay it out flat so you can get max air out of it.

Have fun

Craig
AnswerID: 301702

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 16:31

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 16:31
if you want to freeze it for some reason, why can't you vacuum pack it & then freeze it? It would be a lot easier to get the air out than trying to vacuum pack a solid block.
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Follow Up By: Middle Jeff - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 17:26

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 17:26
Hi Shaker

Home machines you have to lay the bag down and it has a small pipe to suck air out, if it is still liquid then it will suck that in as well, if the liquid gets in the seal then no seal, the best time to vacuum it would be just before it set. Also if you freeze it you can suck harder and remove more air. It is also harder to freeze liquid once sealed in a bag, this does not make any sense and would take way to long to explain ( easier with a drink and fire to sit around ).

I hope this makes sense and I know I am asking you to just believe me, but if it helps I once used to get paid to work these things out.

Have fun

Craig
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Follow Up By: howie - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 18:03

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 18:03
don't have to lay the bags down at all.
i pack stews/curries etc still liquid, just have the machine raised.
and on the sunbeam, the vacuum channel can handle the odd drop in there, the actual suction bit is in the roof of the machines vacuum channel.
i think the sunbeam manual says you can put their bags in hot water to re-heat, will check later.
as for rice, very dodgy stuff if not treated correctly.
just use that rice that you 'fry' in the pan, not the best, but all you need is a quick wipe and its clean.
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Reply By: Shaker - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 16:33

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 16:33
We have a vacuum machine & do pack cooked meals, be careful if they contain onion as it will reduce viable storage time to around 5 or 6 days.
AnswerID: 301707

Reply By: KiwiAngler - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 18:55

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 18:55
I have had a sunbeam vac unit for a few years now and am confused by some of the previous posts re how to and how long for.

I cook all sorts of meals pasta and meat, casseroles, and veges that I have blanched and put into the vac bag and then frozen.

When it is time to eat, if I am at home I take the fork and make a couple of holes and into microwave for a 'couple of minutes'

If I am camping I boil a billy of water, drop the bag (no holes) into the boiling water for a 'couple of minutes'

When shopping I buy bulk packs of meat and chciken, come home split them into 'meal sizes' then vac and freeze - again they stay in the freezer.

I label and date the packs so that I can 'track' them

Some of these packs have been in the freezer for months - I havent got sick and as you can see (by this post) I havent died

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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 19:01

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 19:01
I should add that when I go camping the frozen packs are taken fron my home freezer, placed on my engle (no engle vs Waeco discussions will be entered into:-)) and kept frozen until I cook as described above
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