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Freezer bag Spaghetti and sauce
Do you put the cooked spaghetti and sauce in the same freezer bag and freeze, and then toss that bag in boiling water for X minutes at dinnertime in camp?
I do - I put it in a vacuum-seal bag but only sealed, since that boils better than a ziplok freezer bag. I also use shells instead of spaghetti strands because the strands can tend to turn to mush with the reheating.
Actually I do lots of stuff that way. Chili, stir fry (I make the instant rice at camp), pulled pork, sloppy joe, crock pot stew. By the time my hunting clothes are changed the water is boiling and the main course is well along, with no pots and pans to clean up later.
Ditto Jaq except I use the regular spaghetti noodles. Just cook them a little al dente before vacuum bagging.
Thanks, Jaq! I have always cooked the pasta at camp and just brought the frozen sauce. I wondered if the noodles would be mushy. Using shells is a good idea. Maybe I'll precook some rigatoni and sauce w/ pepperoni and mushrooms and try a dry run here this winter and see how it works. Thanks again! Tim
Just cooking until al dente is a good point, too!
Are you guys serious about that . Here is how it's done you make your special chilli recipe at home, when it is done cooking you put them into jars, As the chilli is still hot you close your jars. they can stay like that for long time .. when you get to camp boil your pasta it only takes 15 minutes and warm-up your chilli and put it together ... Nice and fresh
We use gallon ziplocks, frozen flat so they fit like a deck of cards into a 5 day cooler. We have to wash the pot, but freezing the spaghetti mixed doesn't seem to bother the texture.
Don't like the jars since they have to come home and if we got a few bou, space was an issue.
Trick to emptying the bags into a pot is to cut the bottom of the bag open, put end in pot and open the seal. Keeps the vacuum effect from holding the meal in the bag.
Boiling vaccuum seal bags work better for us than ziplocs. Had ziplocs melt on bottom of the boil pot.
Done it with stews as well. Treat your pot like a MW and you're good to go :)
Big Fin's Link
This is our program every year... We actually freeze them in vacuum sealed bags but them place them in gallon zip lock bags to boil. We have had a few bust open, not cool. It just cuts down on dishes and is so easy. We do everything from chicken Alfredo to stuffed peppers this way.
Here is a video we did on making meals at home and taking them to camp.
For those meals of spaghetti, stew, etc. that are a bit too soupy for a vacuum sealer, put the contents in an vacuum bag and place the unsealed bag in your freezer until it starts to firm up. Once it gets close to freezing you can seal the bag without the contents prohibiting a tight seal on the bag.
That pot of water is on the stove at all times...ready to go.
That pot of water is on the stove at all times...ready to go.
Chili should be eaten with a fork!
Chili should be eaten with a fork!
Here's a typical boil-in-bag dinner for me. Cowboy chili with brown rice. I just push the rice to one side of the bag and the chili to the other, vacuum seal, freeze flat. When at camp, drop in boiling water for around 8 min. and done! Damn good eating.
Another way to get air out of vac bag liquid such as soup is to place the sealer on a cutting board or two positioned at the edge so is now a bit above the kitchen counter and carefully tilt the bag of soup or whatever so the open end is now at the level of the sealer pad and work the air up the incline and push the bag against the sealer while lower the sealer pad and seal without vac function.
While not related to freezer bag meals in general, but in relation to reheating previously prepared meals, portable grills function pretty much exactly like an oven if you don't open the lid every 2 minutes. Admittedly this will take longer, but for things like lasagna, casseroles, pizza or garlic bread I think the extra time is worth it and wrap it in foil and throw it on the grill.
I forgot a new one I learned this year - Knorrs Alfredo with frozen cocktail shrimp added. Shrimp Alfredo, frozen and sealed, boil and Yum! If I freeze them flat I can get a dozen meals in my little camper freezer. In a cooler it doesn't hurt if they eventually thaw out later in the week of you don't have access to more ice. No different than keeping spaghetti or stew in the fridge for a few days.
Can't believe everybody who base camps doesn't do this with premade meals. So easy to make, easy to fix in camp, healthy and great tasting.
I did the same in NM this year. Lasagna is my favorite like this.
It is too fancy for my buddy from WY...he just rolls with a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter. :)
You see pasta in the stores all the time. I do this all the time. I have some sloppy joe made up for a hunt in a couple weeks.
That's a great tip on vacuum sealing the soups and stews. Never have thought of that. God Bless men
Skull, that's sounds good, but chili in the woods? could be dangerous while hunting lol.
I've always pre-made all my meals then seal in a vacuum sealer bags. I put the meals in the bags in .....SERVING SIZES ....., place on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer until they are just about frozen which will keep all the liquids from "sucking" out during the vacuuming process.
Lasagna is always a big hit - same thing - servings sizes in freezer till almost frozen prior to vacuum sealing.
When I make chicken pasta Primavera (for the pasta, I use bow ties) when I get ready to vacuum seal I always add some mixed vegetables - I don't like mushy vegetables so I cook them to the point of "almost" done and when I add the Primavera sauce I make sure I add extra otherwise it has a tendency to be a bit dry - better to be a bit "over juicy" than a bit dry.
Another meal: BBQ steak with potatoes, mushrooms, vegetables - (could also use BBQ chicken).
Steak - BBQ to rare - let cool to room temperature then place in bag in freezer - place small pad of butter on it then vacuum seal. ....... fried Mushrooms in butter (real butter not margarine) let cool to room temp then in bag in freezer to cool. (some like to fry onions with the mushrooms)........... chunk up potatoes to 1 inch cubes, season and place on a cookie sheet - cook in the oven till almost done, let them cool, place in a vacuum bag in freezer till almost frozen......... cook mixed vegetables till almost done - place in V bags - cool in freezer - place small pad of butter in each bag.
Boil till really hot - Paper plate (we use the wicker paper plate holders for stability) - paper plate goes in the fire, plastics go in trash bag - no clean up.
I conversed with Jaquomo over the past years about saving money, having super easy meals, and eating like a king in camp. We talked over a Busch heavy or two during archery season as he was eating something tasty and I sat across the table eating ghetto Ramen like a broke college kid or a Mountain House like a college kid with a student loan problem. Either way, his food always looked better than my prison meal and I decided to put this idea into action this fall.
I listened to his advice and ended up eating better and cheaper than past years. I cooked and sealed ribs, brats, bacon, and chili at home and then just boiled them for the third rifle deer hunt this year. Brats were probably my favorite, but after a day out hunting, everything tasted tremendous! Between the food, great company and having a wall tent, I had one of the best hunts of my life!
I always bring a few ribeyes, brats or vegas dogs but those always go on the portable grill. Same deal as the boil in bag....no clean up, great eating!
I do it often and with other things to use best freezer bags you can find and put something in bottom of pot to keep bag from melting, make it thin, if thick heating takes so long I have had bags break.
So how long do you guys reckon this type of meal setup would be good for in a spike camp? I'm talking placed in a garbage bag, and then put into the creek. As much as I enjoy MH and Ramen, by day #10 it starts wearing out it's welcome. If pre-made meals could get me to day #5 that would help, a lot!
Deerslayer, the creek is probably as chilly as your fridge. Or a cooler with ice for that matter. How long will spaghetti sauce, leftover stew, etc keep in your fridge? Do a couple test meals at home and try it out, but I'd have no problem with mine going 4-5 days. Your challenge with a spike camp will be pack weight. That's where dried-reconstituted meals valuable for an extended trip.
If they were frozen hard when you packed them in, and kept in a cold creek I would expect they would be absolutely fine for five days. That is, unless the bear finds them.
I usually keep a couple in a cooler, along with ice and beer in my truck. If I go out, I can take them back in with me.
Get the fresh-made pasta at the grocery store, heat with sauce of your choice. One-pot cooking at its best. Depending on the length of your trip, plan on the first meals being fresh stuff, later meals frozen and thawing slowly. Good quality freezer (not 'storage') zip-lock bags for transport. Weigh nothing for pack-out.
We've been packaging all types of pre-made meals in seal-a-meal bags for years. Virtually anything we cook for dinner we make enough for two or more meals, and stock pile them so we're always ready to go. Make sure to use the heavy duty bag material designed for simmering and microwaving. For soups, stews, and other liquid foods, we freeze them first in square tupperware. It comes out of the tupperware very easily after freezing and the square shape makes packing in a cooler more efficient. The other advantage is, after you thaw/reheat your meal in boiling water, you already have wash water ready for the few utensils you use. We also use a steamer basket in the pot to keep the bag off the bottom of the pot. It makes food prep and cleanup, so much faster for any type of camping, or even for a quick dinner at home.
When I do spaghetti I bring ramen noodles, they rehydrate better than regular noodles.