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OregonJim
03-22-2014, 11:21 PM
The recent thread on bear meat got me thinking about how I keep meat for the long haul.
One of the real downsides to hunting out of state is the need to have it processed.
I absolutely love to cut and wrap my own meat and we always are twice as satisfied when we do it ourselves.

I double wrap in plastic before butcher paper when I do it myself.
If I am hunting out of state and had to use a processor, I vacuum pack all the already wrapped steaks and roasts.
I really would like to get plastic next to the meat but this works pretty decent.
I'll vacuum pack the burger three to a pack.
For the really long term (say a second like species in the same year) I will do all three with a layer of foil prior to vacuum packing. I have had three year old fish and abalone that stayed good this way.

Any other methods or experiences?

Musket Man
03-23-2014, 07:03 PM
I usually hunt by myself so once I get an animal I can pack it up in a cooler with some dry ice and head for home so I dont have to worry about keeping it in the field much and I process it when I get home. I vacuum seal everything other then I but some burger and sausage in 1lb bags this year.

OregonJim
03-23-2014, 08:48 PM
I love to vacuum pack as a final step.
Unless the meat is already frozen I have a terrible time losing the suction after a month or so.

Any suggestions?

Musket Man
03-23-2014, 09:07 PM
Biggest mistake I used to make was filling bags to full or making the bags to small. You need enough bag to have room to get in the vacuum chanel and have room to make a good seal. I get the rolls so I can make whatever size bag i want. Also it is important for the bag to be clean where it is going to seal. Its also important to get the bag to seal good in your vacuum sealer when you suck the air out. If its not sealed good (stop vac and it lets air back in before sealing) you wont get a good seal. I always run mine on manual or 'pulse' so I can control it and seal it when I want to. Some things like ground meat have trouble trapping air in the bottom of the bag and you have to leave some room on the sides so it can come out. That is part of why I switched to the bags for burger and breakfast sausage. I used to have alot not seal too and since I started being more particular about those things I rarely have over 1 or 2 bags I have to redo on each animal I process.

Sawfish
03-23-2014, 10:26 PM
Biggest mistake I used to make was filling bags to full or making the bags to small. You need enough bag to have room to get in the vacuum chanel and have room to make a good seal. I get the rolls so I can make whatever size bag i want. Also it is important for the bag to be clean where it is going to seal. Its also important to get the bag to seal good in your vacuum sealer when you suck the air out. If its not sealed good (stop vac and it lets air back in before sealing) you wont get a good seal. I always run mine on manual or 'pulse' so I can control it and seal it when I want to. Some things like ground meat have trouble trapping air in the bottom of the bag and you have to leave some room on the sides so it can come out. That is part of why I switched to the bags for burger and breakfast sausage. I used to have alot not seal too and since I started being more particular about those things I rarely have over 1 or 2 bags I have to redo on each animal I process.

Absolutely! Trying to save money by cutting a vacuum seal bag too short is false economy. I have no problem leaving a tail on the bag so it will seal well. Besides, the bags can be reused, if not for food, then for ammunition, or other equipment.

Hilltop
03-24-2014, 07:55 AM
I love to vacuum pack as a final step.
Unless the meat is already frozen I have a terrible time losing the suction after a month or so.

Any suggestions?

I had this problem a few times with the really cheap vacuum bags. Since I have gone to heavier duty ones, I rarely have an issue. I use the Cabela's bag system for all of my ground burger. I have had no issues keeping burger for up to 24 months. I use the zippered vacuum seal for jerky. Cabela's sells these as well. A little more money but they work great for me. For steaks, fish, and about any other game I vacuum seal with heavy bags.

NDHunter
03-24-2014, 08:07 AM
If you want to save a little money on bags, check out this link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-NEW-8x12-QUART-Universal-Food-Saver-Storage-Bags-for-all-Vacuum-Sealers/191083740856?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D333008%26algo%3DRIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D21235%26meid%3D5712392624190753792%26pid%3D 100011%26prg%3D9374%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D351 002956687

$18 for 100 quart sized bags is cheaper than you'll find anywhere else. I've used these ones in the past and they work well.

After I seal mine, I'll use the "seal only" function and seal them again once or even twice so that there are 2 or 3 seals on every bag. This helps to keep the seal for a long time.

shootbrownelk
03-24-2014, 09:23 AM
I love to vacuum pack as a final step.
Unless the meat is already frozen I have a terrible time losing the suction after a month or so.

Any suggestions?

Partially freeze the meat before sealing, you get all the air out that way. If the meat is unfrozen you get a lot of moisture/blood that makes sealing the bag very difficult. I've never had a problem with losing the seal when I partially freeze the meat, but I did before.

Musket Man
03-24-2014, 10:04 AM
I have had good success with the Cabelas vacuum rolls. They seem easier to seal then the food saver ones and are a bit cheaper.

Never in Doubt
03-24-2014, 10:24 AM
Making sure moisture doesn't get where you're sealing it is key. Wipe the inside of the bag with a paper towel and make sure the meat isn't dripping wet. I've had better luck when I seal twice. Vacuum packing is all I do now, and the meat tastes great.(but it's always eaten in under 12 months)

CrossCreeks
03-24-2014, 11:40 AM
We travel to Wyoming or Colorado almost every year from Tennessee, we bone out the meat put in cooler and ice it down and run duck tape around the cooler lid and never have any problem. Once home we will drain the water off the meat and replinish the ice throwing a little salt on it and the next day well process it ourselves using vaccum sealer. Always taste great ! It seems the salt helps !

OregonJim
03-24-2014, 06:36 PM
Partially freeze the meat before sealing, you get all the air out that way. If the meat is unfrozen you get a lot of moisture/blood that makes sealing the bag very difficult. I've never had a problem with losing the seal when I partially freeze the meat, but I did before.

Lately I roll the bags down and clamp them closed until the meat is frozen then I vacuum and seal.

I really like the idea of double or triple sealing. I haven't tried that yet.
I also leave the bags extra long so I can re seal if it doesn't take.

huntwhenican
03-25-2014, 09:27 PM
I got tired of the cheap vacuum sealers and spent about $900 on a VP210 chamber vac. You never worry about moisture because it creates the vacuum in the chamber and then seals the bag. You can even seal soup or create an water bag for freezing. I seal a lot of fish and rarely have a bag "unseal". I now wonder why I put up with the other style for so long. Bags are about $35-40 per 1000 depending on size.


As for packing in a cooler.......I have made summer fishing trips down the Baja, when we pack to go home we layer ice/rock salt/fish. It lasts for for about 3 days with only adding 1 bag of ice, with daytime temps around 80-100. I use the foil insulating/reflective blankets and mold it to go over the top of the cooler (can't duct tape until out of Mexico due to military inspection check points). If you had the meat cooled and put in a plastic bag it would last for over a week in fall temps, in fact you might find the bottom layer slightly frozen.

marcusvdk
03-27-2014, 01:57 AM
After I seal mine, I'll use the "seal only" function and seal them again once or even twice so that there are 2 or 3 seals on every bag. This helps to keep the seal for a long time.

I do the same thing works pretty well for me. I also do the vacuum sealing on meat i buy from the store for those years that tag soup was the menu. Working at Sams club in the Deli/Meat department helps cause during Christmas we get a discount and it normally toward end of season so i can buy in bulk and fill the freezer with the portions i want if my year was unsuccessful. The other thing i like to do is buy a bunch of vegs and fruits during the growing season from the farms and farmers markets and freeze them into portions. Then i know were my vegs and fruits are coming from and normally at a better rate then the grocery store in the offseason.

shootbrownelk
03-27-2014, 01:17 PM
Lately I roll the bags down and clamp them closed until the meat is frozen then I vacuum and seal.

I really like the idea of double or triple sealing. I haven't tried that yet.
I also leave the bags extra long so I can re seal if it doesn't take.

Jim, I double seal both ends when I make my bags from a bulk roll. I forgot to mention that.