Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep?

Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 07/14/19 09:01 PM

Like most of you, I've been mostly adding water to my freeze-dried (or home-prepared) meals, letting them rehydrate in the pouch, and then eating from the pouch. The advantages are obvious: no clean-up except licking your spoon; your pot/mug can be used for a hot beverage; no scorched food if you leave it in the pot on the stove. Also, you can use a bag cozy to keep it hot (though that's one more piece of gear to haul.)

Lately, I've been toying with the idea of rehydrating in my pot. I don't often drink a hot beverage with my meal. I've been noticing that eating from the bag is a bit messier (unless you cut off the top of the bag after it rehydrates) because you're pulling the food from the bottom of, well, a hole. You also end up with a wet, slimy, smelly piece of trash.

Any thoughts about which you'd rather have - no clean-up, or drier, tidier garbage?
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 07/14/19 09:40 PM

If I'm carrying commercial freeze dried meals, I usually eat out of the bag. If I'm carrying meals that I prepared (more common), I usually hydrate in the pot or in another vessel that I brought for that purpose. It's nice to have one pot that is just used to heat water. I can carry one meal in a microwave storage container and then use it for other meals after the first use. The biggest problem that I have with freezer bags is that they almost always leak at the corners.
Posted by: Bill Kennedy

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 07/15/19 04:40 AM

I don't like eating out of a bag, so I use a 2-cup Ziploc screw-top container with a cozy made from an auto sunshield (less than 2oz. combined). I'm not a big eater, so if I use a freeze-dried meal, I divide it in two ahead of time and rehydrate in the bowl.
It stays hot longer, so I can rehydrate a bit longer if needed. As you mentioned, a hot drink is possible this way also. It takes up some space, but a small fuel cartridge fits nicely in it.

So I guess I'm in the drier-garbage camp (pun intended).
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 07/15/19 06:05 AM

I keep thinking that I will try using a separate container instead of the freezer bag and I even bought a collapsible cup but when it comes time to leave I just leave it home.
Posted by: PerryMK

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 07/15/19 07:37 AM

I made a Reflectix cozy that fits over my Jetboil. It is in two parts, main body and lid. The lid is the right size to hold the freezer bag like a bowl. Not as good as eating directly out of a regular bowl but OK.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 07/15/19 04:01 PM

My hatred of washing dishes still outweighs any mess caused by the freezer bag, which will end up in the garbage whether used to rehydrate the meal or just to contain the dry meal. If I were going to switch from the freezer bag, it would be to a plastic Ziplock container with reflectix insulation. (I have one but have never used it) A long-handled spoon is, of course, mandatory for eating from the freezer bag.

I still have two freezer bag cozies from the wonderful Sarbar, who pioneered "Freezer Bag Cooking" and who (after some hiatus caused by moving to Whibey Island and starting an organic farm) is still around at trailcooking.com I believe she is no longer making the cozies, though.
Posted by: JustWalking

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 07/15/19 09:07 PM

I've gone back and forth. Used to eat out of either the freeze-dried food bag, or ziploc bags I repackaged the meals into. Then I started to just reheat in my pot, but found cheesy meals (which I love) a bit of a pain to clean, so I'm back to eating out of bags. But I put the bag into a plastic cup, and roll the sides of the bag down around the cup, to make eating easier and more enjoyable.
Posted by: JustWalking

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 07/15/19 09:08 PM

"A long-handled spoon is, of course, mandatory for eating from the freezer bag."

Not if, after rehydrating the meal, you simply cut the meal bag in half horizontally. Much easier and neater to eat that way.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 07/15/19 10:41 PM

Unless you have to put the bag down, in which case your meal is all over the ground!

Cutting the bag also means you have more garbage--instead of being contained in the used bag, you need a second bag to keep the first one sealed up.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 06/29/20 08:14 PM

yer supposed to take a side of beef tied to a spare horse when ya go campin. Eatin rewarmed powder out of a bag aint the way a man camps. Get real, I mean eat real food when ya camp because you can and not worry about the calories. Just my .02 Jim
Posted by: aimless

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 06/29/20 09:34 PM

Side of beef? You call that real man food? It doesn't even have hair on it! wink
Posted by: a_gunslinger

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 08/25/20 10:20 AM

>>>But I put the bag into a plastic cup, and roll the sides of the bag down around the cup, to make eating easier and more enjoyable.

Thats a good idea.
Posted by: a_gunslinger

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 08/25/20 10:24 AM

I met a hiker once that hated doing dishes and the mess of the freeze dried meal bags. She brought some cheap flimsy paper plates. Dump meal on plate and eat it. After wards she would put a few drops of camp fuel on it, did a hole, then burn the plate. Odd, but intriguing.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Second thoughts about freezer-bag meal prep? - 09/18/20 01:52 PM

When I said side of beef I meant the whole thing including 2 hooves. Jim lol