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#146636 - 02/19/11 10:34 AM Repackaging bulk items
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
My grandmother gave me one of those vacuum sealer thingies, which I have yet to try out. But I was wondering what I can repackage down from bulk, and what I need to buy in small packages.

Specifically, summer sausage. I have a foot-long stick (Hillshire Farm), but that's way too much for one meal. Can I cut it into three or four pieces and vacuum seal them? How long will that be good?

What about items in cans? Pineapple, olives, etc.

Some things are pretty obvious. Like minute rice, couscous, etc. Those are shelf-stable and should be ok. It's the canned "refrigerate after opening" stuff I'm curious about.

Thanks for the help!
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#146637 - 02/19/11 11:23 AM Re: Repackaging bulk items [Re: Barefoot Friar]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1733
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
There are several problems with using a vacuum sealer with backpacking food. First, with dry materials, especially those containing things like noodles and other sharp-cornered items, is that the package will soon spring a leak where the plastic is tightly stretched over a sharp point. Second, vacuum sealed packages form an irregular-shaped, hard mass. Packing these "masses" leaves a lot of air space in your food container. Third, if you vacuum seal anything with grease or oil in it (eg. Fritos, nuts etc.), the grease or oil will migrate through the entire package. Finally, if you try to vacuum seal liquids, they will get sucked into the vacuum sealers plumbing making a major mess. Otherwise, they work just fine.
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#146639 - 02/19/11 11:39 AM Re: Repackaging bulk items [Re: Pika]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I have a FoodSaver model with a "wet" setting that handles wet food okay. It's built to do that without drowning the components.

However - if you must take a bear canister, the last thing you want is a bunch of vac-sealed bricks. Unless you master the art of vac-sealing them in such a way that they all fit together neatly like tetris blocks within the shape of your particular canister. That, I would love to see.

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#146644 - 02/19/11 01:32 PM Re: Repackaging bulk items [Re: Barefoot Friar]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
That summer sausage is going to spoil quickly once you've cut it up and repackaged it, unless you can find a way to do this under completely sterile conditions. The same is true for canned stuff. Best to look for (or make your own) dehydrated, which is lots lighter.

It's better to buy small packages of sausage, etc. that you can eat all at one time once opened. Check the links on Sarbar's Trail Cooking website for sources.

Hard cheeses, such as real cheddar (not the processed stuff), parmesan, manchego (to name a few) will keep for weeks even after the wax coating is cut off. Wrap the cut surface in cheesecloth and air dry it when you can. Any mold on the surface can be trimmed off. That won't work with meats, where the mold (and associated bacteria) travel throughout the meat.
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#146659 - 02/19/11 05:40 PM Re: Repackaging bulk items [Re: lori]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1726
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By lori
Unless you master the art of vac-sealing them in such a way that they all fit together neatly like tetris blocks within the shape of your particular canister. That, I would love to see.



Me too! Great line, Lori!
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#146663 - 02/19/11 08:31 PM Re: Repackaging bulk items [Re: OregonMouse]
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
Thanks, OM, that's what I was afraid of. The cheese I knew about, but I wasn't sure about the meat and didn't want to find out the hard way.

As for canned food... yeah, I know it's way too heavy, but what I had in mind was a first-night meal. I'll drop back and punt.

@Lori and Pika: You're right, of course. I'll stick to ziplocks. wink


Edited by Bear (02/19/11 08:32 PM)
_________________________
"Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls."

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#149036 - 04/08/11 04:39 PM Re: Repackaging bulk items [Re: lori]
hikemikehike Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4
Ive used the foodsaver brand for years and have had great experiences with it!

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