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Backcountry Kitchen The Backcountry Kitchen forum is for the discussion of food and cooking gear related topics for backpacking trips (e.g. menus, recipes, stoves, fuel...).


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  #21  
Old 05-30-2013, 08:29 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandpa
I personally have a hard time getting a good seal on a freezer bag in a cozy once I've dumped hot water into it.
I understand. I suppose the zip closure has been typically used by those wanting to keep the dehydrated food in the bag until it's eaten. Something like a Foodsaver bag can be sealed (or vacuum-sealed) until use, but it doesn't allow easy re-closure in the field.

By the way, I tell others to look for bags that have "boil" or "cook" as part of their name. The word "freezer" is a red flag and really doesn't fit with what we're actually doing. [I like to call this style of cooking "Cook in Bag" or something similar.]

The Cook in Bag (CIB) method has been around for many years, and it doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. It appears that most backpackers do this style of cooking to save weight. And it helps to preserve the food until it's consumed.

It caught on with me, primarily due to the poor taste and problematic ingredients of (early) commercial offerings. So I made my own - to eat what I wanted and avoid what I didn't want.

Like I've stated on a variety of backpacking subjects, I'm the same person in the wild as I am at home. I don't eat CIB meals at home, so I do whatever I can to avoid them in the wild.

I'm doing my best to fall somewhere in between CIB and Jeremiah Johnson (i.e. dehydrated meals and smoked meat hanging off my pack).

It's nice that there are some appropriate bag choices available.

Reality
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  #22  
Old 06-19-2013, 03:27 PM
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NebrBorn NebrBorn is offline
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I was concerned about the boiling water in bag so I went to the sites of the two main products I buy. I am less concerned now but would like to know of any other concerns. Here is what the FAQ said at one of them, (but both sites were similar).

"In 2002, we became aware of an email that was being widely circulated, which warned consumers about the alleged dangers of using plastics in the microwave."
"..., products are 100% dioxin free."
"..., products can be used with confidence when label directions are followed. "..., Bags meet the safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temperatures associated with defrosting and reheating food in microwave ovens, as well as room, refrigerator, and freezer temperatures."
"..., does not use BPA in its plastic products,..."
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  #23  
Old 06-20-2013, 08:25 AM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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If I was a thru hiker eating these meals for months at a time, I might be more concerned with chemicals leaching out, however, I only get to backpack a few times a year so I don't think I'd be exposed to any lethal dangers. At 61, the potential of increasing cancer risk thirty years from now isn't too far up my worry list.

All that being said, I try to increase safety whenever reasonably possible. I appreciate the info you just provided.

I made a custom cozy for a squarish Ziploc plastic container with snap on lid and have insulation that fits over the top as well. I sometimes reconstitute meals in that, however, I don't know if that plastic is much different from a hazard standpoint. When hiking, I store some of my eating gear in that container.
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  #24  
Old 06-20-2013, 11:12 AM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NebrBorn
"..., products can be used with confidence when label directions are followed.
It's very likely that the freezer bags do not come with directions about pouring boiling water in them.

My approach to finding things having to do with cooking or "boiling" in plastic is to not use things designated as "freezer" as a definitive indicator (to say the least).

One thing is certain, if I have the opportunity to select something more appropriate, beforehand, then that's what I'll do. If it's an emergency situation, I'll use whatever is necessary.

There are many options available today, that make even the use of the word "freezer" for what we do seem narrow to say the least. Using the word to suggest or indicate what to purchase or use is one thing, but to categorize a longtime cooking activity that is done with so many other (perhaps more appropriate) containers/options is gets more than a few to scratch their heads. [ Please check out the poll.]

When I hear or read the term "freezer" in the context of this style of cooking, I know it was picked up online in the past several years (or passed on from the same). I knew it would be a title that would not stand the test of time, because the word "freezer" would become even less needed to describe or label what we (collectively) are doing. Those that don't understand this will later - perhaps when even the commercial manufacturers using the term for their products drop it.

I'm glad we all have options and opinions. I'm into SCF - Sherpa Carrying my Food.

Reality
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  #25  
Old 01-15-2014, 12:52 PM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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For those who don't feel fully secure with the manufacturer's statement above, Ziploc also makes a bag called Zip 'n Steam, which is designed for steam cooking in a microwave. My wife had some in the pantry and I tried them on a backpacking trip a couple weeks ago. I put the ingredients in the bag, dropped the bag in a cozy and added boiling water. A few minutes later, my grandson and I enjoyed the meal. Neither of us has grown or lost any useful appendages in the last couple weeks.
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  #26  
Old 01-15-2014, 01:46 PM
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Wildfield Wildfield is offline
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Grandpa,

We use the zip n steam bags on car camping trips to cook rice. They work great although I can't comment on if the bags leach any unwanted chemicals at 212 degrees.

Last Fall I went on a weekend hike and used it to prepare oatmeal. I stored a serving of oatmeal in the zip n steam. At bed time, I added a normal amount of water. By morning the oats had absorbed the water to the proper consistancy. I boiled water in a pot, turned the stove off upon boilage, and put the bag of oats in the hot water for about 5 minutes, just to heat up the oatmeal.

It worked just fine.

My main concern with using it on longer trips is its kind of a one-and-done sort of thing. Difficult to clean and not sure if it will start to break down if you try to use more than once.

Darryl
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  #27  
Old 01-15-2014, 02:09 PM
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philman philman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandpa
For those who don't feel fully secure with the manufacturer's statement above, Ziploc also makes a bag called Zip 'n Steam, which is designed for steam cooking in a microwave.

I picked up a box of those a couple of months back to give them a try. The only thing I didn't care for was the small-ish bottom. They work fine but I've been looking for something with a larger expandable bottom that will be more like an actual bowl.

A couple of weeks ago, while sewing a flat-bottomed stuff sack, the thought came to mind that I might be able to do the same thing with our food-saver. Using the small bulk-roll bag material for a prototype, I came up with this:



Image shows the bowl, bottom side up. Cool! Now here's hoping it works. I haven't tried adding boiling water to it yet so proceed with caution. If this works, I'll use the larger bags (size?) for actually re-packaging my meals, vacuum sealing the open end to finish it off.

I should have added that I did fill with water (cold) and no leaks. My concern once boiling water is added is the bottom seals de-laminating. We'll see.

Last edited by philman : 01-15-2014 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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