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sailingsoul
2006-10-10, 15:21
Your thoughts (on topic) invited. Canning is a time test method for the preservation of food. Weather the product is processed in a can or jar there is no basic difference. That is the general concept with MRE's. However to save weight and space, MRE's use an Aluminum/plastic pouch. The cost of using MRE's includes a premium for these features and more. That being said, do you think it be possible to make our own MRE"s using boilable plastic pouches? The kind used in vacuum sealing systems. After sealing , heating to +160 degree for +10 minutes to sterilize content, thus preventing spoilage w/out refrigeration. I do understand I could just try it and find out . I did want to get any thoughts on topic before I tried. saving some time. This is my first post since joining (joined today) and would like to say Hello to all members . Hello! Thanks for having me. "Sailingsoul"

j.johnson
2006-10-10, 17:15
I think one problem you might have, MRE's are loaded with preservatives. You would not have that in home made foods. I think that is why freezed dried or dehydrated foods work better for the back packer or camper. I could be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time.

Just Jeff
2006-10-10, 18:19
Look at this website - www.freezerbagcooking.com

It's about the only way I cook on the trail anymore. Customize your own menu, be as healthy as you want, and MUCH cheaper than prepared foods. And still lighter than most prepared food packages.

Sarbar runs the website - she's a real hiker who posts on many of these forums. She has a book by the same name - I got one and think it's worth the money - about $12, IIRC.

I don't have any financial relationship w/ her or the book...just think she has a great idea and product.

bird dog
2006-10-11, 00:35
welcome to the site sailingsoul. we look forward to your input. BD

sailingsoul
2006-10-11, 23:57
Thank you BD and all who responded. When one performes canning , you use glass jars which would be heavy and in theory you would have to dispose of the gar and lid or carry home. My drift with maybe using boilable bags, instead of a gars, was to save the weight of jars and cost of buying MRE's, not to mention the preservatives. Having growen up in the city, I haven't any experience with canning. I know that when you can, if you can can, you use a pressure cooker set at 15 psi. At this pressure the temperture is about 250 F. If the bag can stand this temp then wouldn't the contents be sterilized, thus no spoilage, untill opening? One problem might be wether the bag would break due to increased pressure from heating . Well I guess that i'll just have to try it.

KLeth
2006-10-12, 01:45
The idea of using a pressurecooker to sterialize food packages is very good. I am not fully clear on whether you would store homemade "MREs" or got with dried foods. When doing "MREs" in common plastic bags, take note that mold still might form since most plastic bags are not dense enough to keep out spurs. Secondly, fat content in food might get rancid if exposed to oxygene, therefore a oxygene depleter, salt or vaccum is needed to prevent the food from going bad if extended storage is needed.
These issues and the weight issue is why many hikers use dried foods, that can be equally delicious (or better). Still it can be a good idea to sterialize the dried food.

I have with success dried onions, chickpeas (they are normally dry but needs to be boiled -1 hour to break down toxins), ground beef, jerky.
Dried foods can be combined into your own "add two cups of boiling water and wait 10min" delicious meals. Our friend Dropkick has this approach!
All you need to dry food is either an electric oven or a dehydrator that you can build yourself or purchase.

Iceman
2006-10-12, 01:51
Sailingsoul, the problem you will encounter, is that when pressure canning, the canning band and sealing lid are designed to let pressure off as the food boils inside of the jar, yet, when you are done and back off the heat, the resulting vacuum atmosphere inside of the jar causes the lid to suck down tight and seal the contents in a vacuum. This all occurs inside your pressure canner. If you were to place bags inside the canner which you had previously sealed (IE a vacuum sealer...) the bags would explode due to the resulting pressure inside the bag, from the canning environment. If you placed non-sealed bags in the pressure canner, you would lose the vacuum environment when you opened the pressure canner to then "seal" your bags which you have just cooked. If you do this, you may as well do your "canning" in the microwave. No vacuum, just really hot food in a bag...

Also, be advised, certain food groups require different pressure and length of cooking time in the canner. Canning is simple. But on the other hand, you can really screw up some good food (and your intestines) if done wrong.

sailingsoul
2006-10-12, 02:47
Yup! I wondered about expansion, bursting the sealed bags. Not knowing how much the volume would increase. Dried ground beef ? It's possible? In a dehydrator ? At home? Great barking spiders! Color me flabbergasted! Is that like the freeze dried water on ebay? Comes in a small pack about 1 inch sq. You tare it open pour into a pint bottle and add a pint of water., wait 10 min. Yields 1 pint , taste just like water!

KLeth
2006-10-12, 05:06
Dried ground beef ? It's possible? In a dehydrator ? At home? Great barking spiders!
Fry ground beef (no more than 12% fat), stir well until all is brown, add no salt.
Pour away any excess fat, put into widemouthed container pie-pan ect. put in oven at low heat and oven-door semi-open/cracked. Stir ocationally until meat looks and sounds like gravel.
Put in bag or jar, add large pinch of salt and seal. It will be good for around a month or so.
For longer storage, see http://www.endtimesreport.com/hamburger_rocks.html



Color me flabbergasted! Is that like the freeze dried water on ebay? Comes in a small pack about 1 inch sq. You tare it open pour into a pint bottle and add a pint of water., wait 10 min. Yields 1 pint , taste just like water! Yup, you can get all the best stuff at eBay :bandit:

bird dog
2006-10-13, 00:22
Yup! I wondered about expansion, bursting the sealed bags. Not knowing how much the volume would increase. Dried ground beef ? It's possible? In a dehydrator ? At home? Great barking spiders! Color me flabbergasted! Is that like the freeze dried water on ebay? Comes in a small pack about 1 inch sq. You tare it open pour into a pint bottle and add a pint of water., wait 10 min. Yields 1 pint , taste just like water!

That sounds like a Canadian invention. Are you sure that Turk didnt trade the dehydrated water for the prototype GoLite pack he got on eBay? (Sorry Turk, I couldnt resist). BD

bird dog
2006-10-13, 00:24
Iceman, who cares if it works or not? It would be worth it to see the expression on my wifes face when I blow up the kitchen!:ahhhhh:
BD

sailingsoul
2006-10-13, 01:33
Thank you Kleth . You said...."I am not fully clear on whether you would store homemade "MREs" or go with dried foods."
For long term storage I would just buy a quantity 6(month/ 1yr) of commercially processed and packaged food. I was thinking, for when your on the trail . Storage for 1-2 weeks , the whole length of a trip. Let say I was to travel the AT or PCT, when crossing highways I could always take a quick detour into town and buy more food every 2/3 days deplending how "light" I want be. If I was ever to take a camping trip deep into Canada , mexico, Costa Rica or Belize , . I may would want to carry more than 2/3 days . This all might be more trouble that it's worth. Just pulling out a portion of a some emergency supplies would be much easier. What good is having it, if you NEVER use it. ( past the insurance value ) :)

Just Jeff
2006-10-13, 03:01
Just curious - what's the benefit of doing homemade MREs over freezer bag cooking?

sailingsoul
2006-10-15, 21:33
JJ asks "what's the benefit of doing homemade MREs over freezer bag cooking?":dontknow:

While searching w/google I read that "MRE's are basically canning food in a package other than a jar / metal can, using a aluminum / plastic layered material." Not have a source of the same , aluminum /plastic laminate, material actually used with MRE's. I wondered if boilable bags would be a viable substitute. I was not so concerned with achieving the same longevity are real MRE's (years) but just a time of 1 or 2 weeks with out spoilage. Not using preservatives night be considered a plus. Just going w/ freezed dried might be best. Factoring in the weight savings. Thanks all, for the input. :eating:sailingsoul:captain:

dropkick
2006-10-15, 23:58
I like one pot cozy meals -- links to a couple threads about this:
www.hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1819&highlight=cozy
www.hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1015&highlight=cozy

I also do a lot of home dehydrating, but if you don't want to do your own dehydrating you can buy many foods at the store that work.
i.e. Minute Rice, couscous, Ramen noodles, bulgar, oatmeal, veggie flakes, Stove Top Stuffing, dried potato flakes, quick grits, tofu, peanut butter, Cup a soup, gravy mixes, parmesan cheese, pepperoni, jerky, dry italian sausage, sun dried tomatoes, foil packaged tuna, salmon, chicken, or clams, powdered buillion, bacon bits, dried egg powder and much more. (And if you have access to an oriental market, bulk, or health food store you can find even more - tvp, cheese powder, etc.)

You can make a lot of meals from these. I have many preprepared meals bagged and ready in my closet, from items that I bought at the store.

If you want some recipes I have a hiking "cookbook" that I've been putting together to share with some friends and relatives. It's not complete or proofread, but it could give you some ideas.
If you want it I can email it to you in either MS word (184K) or as a PDF (56K)
- I might even be able to save/send it into a Word Perfect format (haven't tried yet).

bird dog
2006-10-16, 17:40
I like one pot cozy meals -- links to a couple threads about this:
www.hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1819&highlight=cozy
www.hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1015&highlight=cozy

I also do a lot of home dehydrating, but if you don't want to do your own dehydrating you can buy many foods at the store that work.
i.e. Minute Rice, couscous, Ramen noodles, bulgar, oatmeal, veggie flakes, Stove Top Stuffing, dried potato flakes, quick grits, tofu, peanut butter, Cup a soup, gravy mixes, parmesan cheese, pepperoni, jerky, dry italian sausage, sun dried tomatoes, foil packaged tuna, salmon, chicken, or clams, powdered buillion, bacon bits, dried egg powder and much more. (And if you have access to an oriental market, bulk, or health food store you can find even more - tvp, cheese powder, etc.)

You can make a lot of meals from these. I have many preprepared meals bagged and ready in my closet, from items that I bought at the store.

If you want some recipes I have a hiking "cookbook" that I've been putting together to share with some friends and relatives. It's not complete or proofread, but it could give you some ideas.
If you want it I can email it to you in either MS word (184K) or as a PDF (56K)
- I might even be able to save/send it into a Word Perfect format (haven't tried yet).

DK - I'd like a copy of it if you ever get the time to email it to me. BD

dropkick
2006-10-17, 03:02
If you want some recipes I have a hiking "cookbook" that I've been putting together to share with some friends and relatives. It's not complete or proofread, but it could give you some ideas.
If you want it I can email it to you in either MS word (184K) or as a PDF (56K)
- I might even be able to save/send it into a Word Perfect format (haven't tried yet).

Don't know why, but when I load the PDF as an attachment it shows that it is 275k instead of 56k and the MS Word file 246k instead of 184k. Don't know why this is other than a glitch in my computer.
As the files are twice scanned before they get sent (once by my computer and once by Yahoo) I know I'm not sending an evil piggybacker, but it is still annoying.

:cguru:

bird dog
2006-10-17, 22:34
I got the email. It looks fine. Ive been looking at my food lately and I am going to definately try freezer bag cooking. Looks simple, and from your recipes, there is lots of variety. Cant wait to try it. BD

Just Jeff
2006-10-17, 23:44
And the best thing is that you can buy the stuff for regular prices at regular grocery stores instead of paying extra for slick packaging and extra chemicals at backpacking shops.