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What do you vacu-pack?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by alblancher, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Any ideas for pre-made meals that can be vacu-packed and then just warmed for lunch or when we get home from work?

    How do peanuts and trail mixes vacu-pack.  Seems like every time I buy the Sams sized roasted peanuts they get stale before we finish them.  Any other snack ideas for when we are away from home or on the road?

    Is there a benefit to storing coffee beans this way or will it just loose the seal?

    Thanks,

    Al
     
  2. I smoke whole chickens and then split them in half.  Take the smoked halves and vac seal and freeze them.  When you need a quick meal, just take out as many as you need and drop them into a pot of simmering water.  They come back to life beautifuly (except for the skin).  My mother in law loves these so much I gave her about 6 chickens worth as a mother's day gift.
     
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    We vac seal everyting. Nuts, cheese, chicken, bacon , leftovers and the list goes on for ever. We buy meat and chicken in bulk and seal them up a lot. Lots of guys seal their rubs with them to keep moisture out.
     
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I guess it's best to do vegs separate from the meats when you are trying to pack a lunch for work? 

    Can you microwave in the packet if you cut the corner of the sealed pack or by it's nature will it just melt into one big plastic glob?  Is it just better to open the sealed packs and transfer to a plate then microwave?

    I would really like to find a way to pack my wife's lunch for her, any ideas of good combinations that vacu-pack and freeze well,  that can go into the micro at work and be something she'll actually eat.  We spend close to 80 bucks a week on her going out to eat lunch and she eats a lot of high fat garbage that I am sure isn't healthy for her.

    I'm thinking maybe Jambalaya, chicken sauteed in onions and peppers, chicken salad, along those lines.  The most important thing will be that it can't have too much liquid to start with.

    Pulled pork  and a couple of slices of bread, she has a hot sandwich.   Any other ideas?
     
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Al,

     I have found that you can vac seal anything you want for lunch.

     I vac seal gumbo and etoufee and soup.

     All you have to do is portion out what you want to eat into a container and freeze. Pop it out the container and into the vac ,bag seal it up and back into the freezer. Sherrie keeps a couple of different size bowls and a plate in her desk and just opens the bag sets it in the bowl or plate and nukes it. Once it thaws enough to do so she emptys it out the bag and finishes heating.
     
  6. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I vac-pac everything from fresh meat, cured meat sausages and all my spices, but for pure easiness I love portions of ribs and pulled pork in 2-3 person servings. when I do a smoke I do a bunch extra then freeze them in good size meal portions. When it's time to reheat I like to simmer them in the bag in water till they are warmed through. they taste like they just came off the smoker. That's the way I do it and I'm sticking to it. [​IMG]
     
  7. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All of my smoked meat that we don't get within a day or two of smoking it goes right into the vacuum sealer and frozen. Its easy to warm the meat up in a pot of boiling water then remove the meat from the bag and eat.
     
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Chicken and pasta w/garlic herb butter and parmesan.

    Noodles, ground meat and Marinara Sauce

    Chicken and Rice

    Pork Fried Rice

    Omelots

    Lunch meat and cheese rolled up in romaine lettuce, but do not freeze.

    Roast beef lunch meat stuffed with stuffing rolled and served with gravy

    Turkey lunch meat stuffed with stuffing rolled and served with gravy

    Goulash- Chicken Stuffing and Gravy

    Shepherds Pie firm in a pan and cut squares and freeze.

    Chicken Divan, firm in a pan and cut squares and freeze.

    Hot Chicken Salad, firm in a pan and cut squares and freeze.

    Breakfast Casserole, firm in a pan and cut squares and freeze.

    Ziti, firm in a pan and cut squares and freeze.

    Lasagna, firm in a pan and cut squares and freeze.

    Stuffed Chicken Breast.

    Stuffed and sliced pork loin.

    Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

    Meatloaf....

    I could go on forever but I wont.

    Just have fun with it
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  9. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We vac pac about everything Al.  As Bob said freeze liquids and then pack.  Delicate items such as breads you have to make sure you seal before turning em into crackers!  All dehydrated foods if vac sealed will keep very long.  We vac seal our sausages before freezing.  I like taking a patty of breakfast sausage and a English muffin and vac pac and freeze for a quick breakfast on the go. 
     
  10. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Like many here, we vac seal  many smokes,  I have a steamer I use to reheat and that works very well
     
  11. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks for all the ideas.  It looks like pre-freezing meals is the key.  You know how it is, we both get home from work, don't feel like cooking so off to the Chinese Buffet we go -  at least twice a week.  Eating out for lunch and that often for dinner during the week gets expensive not to mention how bad that stuff is for you.  From all the ideas you have given me I don't see how I went so long without the vacuum sealer!

    I may have to do a bit of research on the particular bags I have to see if they are microwave safe.  Doesn't seem to be a definitive yes or no answer.  Liz doesn't have a stove at work.  Two microwaves, an ice machine, two refrigerators but no cook top.

    Thanks again

    Al
     
  12. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I do alot of Venison, Cheese and fish.
     
  13. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I did an experiment with a grilled ribeye steak, cooked, chilled, vac-pac then freeze. When I wanted to eat it I dropped the whole thing in simmering water to heat it through. It was the best steak! I am into that because when I cook on the grill I don't want to waste all that space and charcoal so I can cook a whole bunch of stuff. I have microwaved boiled peanuts in the bags from FoodSaver and no problems as long as I don't forget to puncture the bag. [​IMG]