Contributors to this thread:
Best way to reheat pre-maid meals?
Looking for opinions on the best way to reheat pre-maid meals? Freeze in disposable aluminum bread pans and heat in a Dutch oven / Coleman stove oven or freeze in vac Pac bags and boil?
I vote for boil. A lot less messy and much easier.
I have always used food saver bags freeze flat and boil in water . Cut top off and serve. Hunt
I do all mine in vac pac bags and boil. But I don't vacuum the bags. Making up a bunch of Knorr's fettucini alfredo and adding precooked shrimp right now. Yummy, simple.
At base camp - generator or inverter off truck and a microwave! Freeze meals in disposable microwaveable containers in the size you want and then heat them up in the microwave. No prep time. No clean up. No stress.
Vac pack, freeze, then boil the vac pack to prepare to eat.
What’s your reason for not vacuum sealing them, Lou? To give a bit of expansion space when they heat up, or something else?
Microwave gets my vote as well! ;-)
I use disposable tin foil pans and set on the gas grill with the lid shut for about 20-30 mins.. easy peasy no mess nothing to clean
I have a pot of water on the stove at all times. Turn it on when I get back to camp and drop in a vac bag of dinner. By the time I get out of my hunting clothes, drink a beer, and restock the pack, it's done.
t-roy vacuuming out any air would leave more space for expansion. But I think the difference would be minimal. I don't know why Lou would skip the vacuum and leave air inside the seal.
So, what's up Lou? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Probably doesn't like vacuuming liquid! It's a pia.
I have learned to freeze stews/chilis/soups/anything wet in square shaped containers and pop them out of that container and THEN put the nice stackable consistent sized frozen dinners in a vacuum bag and seal. Addresses the trouble with vacuuming liquids and makes food pack better/tighter in a cooler for long trips. and not being oblong maybe stay frozen a bit better...
I do the same as KHunter, works for me.
Short freeze liquids/wet meals then vacuum seal. If ya camp near a water source, boiling makes sense to me. You can also bring some hard veggies that will last like taters, carrots, squash, string beans and wrap in foil with some seasonings and olive oil then toss in the campfire to cook.
No matter what I do, and use a lot of above, as I get older, I sleep more,,, ha hha
I put the meals into the vac bags, place in the freezer for couple, three hours ... then vac seal, that way the vacuum process doesn't suck the juices out.
With pasta, vaccuming tends to squish it and make it mushy. Either way, I always cut open a top corner to vent it when boiling. Never found a need to maintain the vaccum while it's reheating.
Al dente if you're going to reheat it, Lou. :-)
I tried something this morning. I bought a can of ravioli and sealed it into 2 meals.
My vac sealer has a moist setting so it takes some air out and then seals without pull the juices out.
Now I’m freezing them flat and can reheat in a pot of water.
Cost = $2.50 for 2 meals. I can’t spend the time and ingredients for that price.
I tried the boil frozen meal thing for our group of 4 it didn't save a lot of time on cooking but clean up yes. The problem for 4 is its a lot of food and requires a big pot. I did Jacq's shrimp and alfredo but I could have probably did it faster out of the pack in 10 minutes with pre cooked shrimp which would have been faster than the frozen pre made meal. It works well for some items that require lots of prep but for us not for other meals. Pre made ribs and meat it was a good idea.
Good zip lock bags food spread flat (think pancake not ball). Put in pot of hot water with something on the bottom to prevent direct contact. Outside of a microwave there is no faster way top reheat. Nothing in your kitchen could do better. FYI canned ravioli fit perfectly into a jetboil to reheat with a little water under can. crack lid. Takes a while but sure easy. 1/6 the cost of mnt house and tastes as good.
I pre-make Burritos and other meals to take on my hunts. If I am truck camping I just lay them on the dash of my truck in a ziplock bag or even plastic resealable container and leave them there all day in the sun between the windshield and the sunshade. It will melt the cheeze in the burritos and many time I have to let the meals cool before eating them. This even works when it is cold out during late season hunts. This works very well for me as I am lazy and prefer to get more sleep than waiting for dinner to heat up.
Breakfast burritos, rolled in aluminum foil. To heat, add a little bit of water, just enough to make some steam and not get into the foil in a small pot just big enough for the burrito(s). Burrito from cooler (not frozen) into pot and heat on stove on low heat, like 5 to 10 minutes. Too hot and you get a blackened breakfast burrito, but they're not bad :-)
I wish I had a maid.......
Surprised that none of the weight weenies have mentioned this one yet.....
“bought a can of ravioli.....Cost = $2.50 for 2 meals.”
But then you have to eat garbage instead of food. I get being short on time but chef boyardee? at that point just bring that can o nasty and forgo the freezing? LOL, just razzing you a little...pre leftover list sale jitters... To each his own of course.
we take a deep freeze - a small one - a small inverter generator and a microwave... Everything is precooked - we throw it in the ice chest that morning - its completely thawed by evening. zap it for 2-3 min and enjoy home cooked goodness.... we quarter - debone and drop the elk meat in the deep freeze as well.... cuts way back on ice....
cnelk you have it backwards....2 cans for 1 meal. Don't know if I could do that. Used to love it as a kid, but not so much now. I guess a guy could make his own and seal it up...lol.
And as if Mtn House isnt garbage - for $9.
Sure, better garbage for more $$
How long would you trust a thawed, vacuum sealed meal that had meat or cheese containing recipes etc.? Assume you left for backpack hunt with them frozen solid, would you trust them for a week on the mountain?
backpack style hunt- not car camping, just hiking in and setting up tent and living there for a week on mountain?? Not hunting backpacks! can do that at walmart
Sorry, guess my response didn't get the point across. The pre-made vacuum sealed and frozen meals discussed on this thread are most likely kept on ice in a cooler at base camp until time to drop them into a boiling pot of water....and then consumed at base camp. Can't imagine anyone hauling that stuff around in a backpack on a week long hunt?
WRT the canned, why freeze it when it's canned already? If cleanup an issue or want to eat out of bags.... freezer ziplocks work. I can remember cracking open a can of.... um, food.... and go right direct to the campfire or camp stove, heat, eat out of can. Cleanup, water, can weight, etc. is no issue when truck/base camping. You can literally take the kitchen sink.....
Many years ago a hunting buddy's dad always left his trailer in the field all deer season. He told us boys we could use it one week, (he was tagged out). Just bring water or whatever, no worries about food.... lots of food, all stocked up. He was right..... 4 or 5 CASES of those little Vienna sausage.... that was it, that was all. 40+ years ago. I still can't even look at one to this day.....
Ah hell...someone beat me to it.
I used vacuum bags because I dont trust ziplocks to stay sealed. Clean up is much easier and just because Im truck camping, no it doesnt mean I can bring the sink
Well this was inspirational since I'm truck camping this year.....so I started sealing leftover meals to reheat in boiling water during my hunt the first week of elk archery. Got two packs of butterflied porkchops with gravy and stovetop. I'm thinking some hamburger steaks with mashed potatoes would be tasty. And some lentil/split pea soup with smoked ham chunks. I'm coming back FAT from elk camp this year!!!