Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 74

Thread: Fish processing thoughts

  1. #1

    Default Fish processing thoughts

    After a fun year of fishing, I am really starting to wonder if using the old foodsaver to vacuum pack fish is worth it. I don't mind fileting them at the harbor, but it is the hours of work and mess, and I've had some bad luck getting a good seal with mine. Usually friends or family are up and it would be nicer to relax and let someone else do it. The other factor is even at Costco, the foodsaver bags are pricey.

    So my question is, do you get your fillets professsionally packaged and do you think it is worth it? Also, do the professionals have better luck getting a good seal to prevent freezer burn? I have crunched the numbers, and of course it is more expensive than doing it yourself, unless you factor in your time at $20/hr.

    Also, any reccomendations on good places to get this done that are resident friendly?
    Thanks in advance for an advice.

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cwm907 View Post
    After a fun year of fishing, I am really starting to wonder if using the old foodsaver to vacuum pack fish is worth it. I don't mind fileting them at the harbor, but it is the hours of work and mess, and I've had some bad luck getting a good seal with mine. Usually friends or family are up and it would be nicer to relax and let someone else do it. The other factor is even at Costco, the foodsaver bags are pricey.

    So my question is, do you get your fillets professsionally packaged and do you think it is worth it? Also, do the professionals have better luck getting a good seal to prevent freezer burn? I have crunched the numbers, and of course it is more expensive than doing it yourself, unless you factor in your time at $20/hr.

    Also, any reccomendations on good places to get this done that are resident friendly?
    Thanks in advance for an advice.
    I get all mine done professionally, at the rate of 50 cents a pound. Worth it to me! You never get a busted seal or freezer burn when you get it done on a big machine and handle the the packages with care when putting them in the freezer.

    I'll never use a food saver on fish again due to the freezer burn and poor seals. I did that the first 5 years of fishing in AK. The bags aren't cheap either! Foodsavers have probably wasted more fish in AK than the trawl fleet..

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Default

    Pretty much what 270 said, especially when dealing with more than one or two fish. Also, commercial packagers have the ability to flash freeze the product, an important factor in my mind when considering quality. If one lays more than a couple pounds or so of product into a home freezer, it takes a long time to freeze.

    I too think commercially-packaged fish yields better results . . I suspect their machines draw a better vacuum and make a tighter seal.

  4. #4

    Default

    270ti,
    Care to reveal where you are getting it done for 50 cents a pound? That sounds like a good rate to me.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cwm907 View Post
    270ti,
    Care to reveal where you are getting it done for 50 cents a pound? That sounds like a good rate to me.
    Not sure where 270ti gets it done, but Coal Point on the Spit in Homer does it for 85 cents a pound, or $1.05 to pack it and freeze it. If I bring in a big load of halibut I sure prefer paying them to do it than spend a couple of hours doing it on my lame Foodsaver.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  6. #6
    Member Roger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sunshine Alaska
    Posts
    2,050

    Default

    I've only had a few problems with the chepo sealers .I wrap my fish,moose ect in saran wrap first then seal it. If anybody needs bags Fred Myers has buy 2 get one free with coupon this week. Stocked up yesterday
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Coffman Cove, POW, Alaska
    Posts
    753

    Default

    My recommendation is to buy a commercial sealer and be done with it. Alaska Butcher Supply has some dandies. I started with a single bagger and immediately went to a double bagger due to volume on my end. Though the upfront costs are substantially higher you can make your money back pretty quickly with bags at 8 cents a piece.

    Food Saver - $300
    Bags - .80-$1 per bag.

    100# of fish - cost $400
    1000# of fish over 4 years - $1300 + new foodsaver $1600

    Commercial sealer - $1450
    1000# of fish - $80

    Total - $1530

    Add game, cheese, meat, crushing beer cans cause it's fun to do in the big daddy, priceless.
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

  8. #8
    Member chico99645's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    I agree on the foodsavers being a waste of money and expensive bags. I've owned two. There have been many threads on vacumm sealers. I use professional sealers at Seward Resort and I carry a small Magic Vac Sealer from AK Butcher supply that they will repair and clean for basically peanuts and their bags are much cheaper. I use this every place else. I keep a 5 cu freezer in the motorhome to freeze my fish. When I freeze my fish, I put 10-12 packs of fish in a plastic bag or put them in baskets in the freezer to let air around them. That way they freeze well. Then, when frozen, I place them in paper bags and then in crates or bins inside my home freezers. That way, if I have to move some around, there is less wear and tear on the packs of fish with the friction so they are less susceptible to tear, crack or break the seal Doing it this way, fish will last up to 2 years although I donate all my fish at the end of the year which is still in great shape. I personally will never use a processor as I am very finiky on how my fish is clean, stored and prepared. Besides, I want to make sure I get my fish and not someone elses which I know how the fish is preserved from the water to the dinner plate. I've got a friend that does the exact opposite and turns everything in to a processor.,The fish packing place in Ninilchic is where they turn their fish in. Not sure on price, but to them, money is no object.

  9. #9

    Default

    This is what I do and it works great everytime, and this works even with a food saver. Cut your fishing into sizes of your choice and put into gallon or quart sized ziplock bags. Freeze overnight, and then either take the fish out of the bag or leave in, dip in very cold water with ice and a little sugar, put back in the feezer for 5 min and then dip again. Now make sure the bag is not sealed and vacuum seal right away and put back in the freezer. Most of your breaks are from pin bones or sharp edges on the fish, with the fish in the ziplock bag this won't happen anymore, also by dipping in the ice suger water you are creating a glaze on the fish which will stop all air from getting to the fish, works everytime and all my fish is like fresh everytime.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,396

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
    My recommendation is to buy a commercial sealer and be done with it. Alaska Butcher Supply has some dandies.
    Yep. I was pretty skeptical when my brother asked me to chip in hundreds of dollars to own 1/3 of a commercial sealer, but that (along with a commercial grinder) was the best money I've ever spent on fishing and hunting gear. It's a money saver in the long run, and the seal (and thus the meat quality) is so much better. The quality is not even close to comparable. We still have our foodsaver, but we haven't touched it in the past two years.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,448

    Default

    I take all my fish to Coal Point. I pay 1.05 a pound and they do a great job. I dont think i would save all that much doing it myself as packers and bags and not cheap. i think doing it myself i would work for hours at 3.65 an hr. to do it.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cwm907 View Post
    270ti,
    Care to reveal where you are getting it done for 50 cents a pound? That sounds like a good rate to me.
    I'm a SE guy. 2 Girls Fishing in Klawock, on POW. You have to pick it up in 24 hours from dropping it off to get that rate. (just perfect for me) She has a huge vacuum packer, and it does a great job.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chamai59 View Post
    This is what I do and it works great everytime, and this works even with a food saver. Cut your fishing into sizes of your choice and put into gallon or quart sized ziplock bags. Freeze overnight, and then either take the fish out of the bag or leave in, dip in very cold water with ice and a little sugar, put back in the feezer for 5 min and then dip again. Now make sure the bag is not sealed and vacuum seal right away and put back in the freezer. Most of your breaks are from pin bones or sharp edges on the fish, with the fish in the ziplock bag this won't happen anymore, also by dipping in the ice suger water you are creating a glaze on the fish which will stop all air from getting to the fish, works everytime and all my fish is like fresh everytime.
    Yeah, I've tried every trick in the book, but have NEVER had that much success with ANY Foodsaver. IMHO if you want to get the best success for self-processing spend the extra bucks for a "commercial" type of sealer. Or if you're in Homer, use Coal Point (I have no "deal" with them or any sort of endorsement) because they do an incredible job at what I consider a great price.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    ak
    Posts
    97

    Default

    bought the maxima magic vac from ak butcher spply whn they were still at tudor MANY yrs ago. still serves me well-never had any major issues nor any tune up. they said its the strongest non comercial v-pac. i use foodsaver or similar type bags. cheapest-garage sales- the LUCK u OFTEN get!!-i may have 5yrs worth of bags for abt 15$(reuse as much posibl). 1st i wrap in freezer ppr(also fr graj sales).... lil more work but i dont mind bc of the stokeyness i find init- lol. jst gotta handle w/care. still eating '10 summr fish -still good.

  15. #15

    Default

    Where do you get them packed for 50 cents a pound? Ok I read the rest of the posts...for some reason they didn't show up at first.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    I take all my fish to Coal Point. I pay 1.05 a pound and they do a great job. I dont think i would save all that much doing it myself as packers and bags and not cheap. i think doing it myself i would work for hours at 3.65 an hr. to do it.
    Yup! There are "workarounds" for using a cheap***z foodsaver, but even using those "workarounds" I dig numerous bags of fish out of my freezer months later that I just have to feed to my dog. IMHO just spend the money to have a professional outfit like Coal Point do it for you, or spend the money to buy a "professional" machine" and do it yourself. What it boils down to is how much you value YOUR time.

    If you want sporadic results over the next couple of years and then total failure go and buy a Foodsaver. If you want "professional" results ALL the time either buy yourself a "commercial" sealer or have a commercial company like Coal Point do it for you.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  17. #17
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,839

    Default

    Just sayin, but doesn't one of the Owner for Coal Point keep trying to limit our sea duck hunting? I try NOT to go there.

    Not cheap bags, but my cabela's vac packer for about $450 is going strong and I really like it.....would sure like to have a 4 bagger commercial vac packer, but it isn't in the cards for me.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Just sayin, but doesn't one of the Owner for Coal Point keep trying to limit our sea duck hunting? I try NOT to go there.

    Not cheap bags, but my cabela's vac packer for about $450 is going strong and I really like it.....would sure like to have a 4 bagger commercial vac packer, but it isn't in the cards for me.
    All I can say is that 85 cents a pound to vac pack 100 lbs of halibut fillets I'm VERY happy to let them deal with the cost of the bags and the time to let them do it for me.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  19. #19

    Default

    Me and my wife use to do the foodsaver thing for a few years... It just easier to have Anchor Point Seafoods process my fish. I call them just before I hit the tractor launch. Anchor Point Seafoods comes to my camp site and pick up my fish. They have a scale behind their small truck. They weigh my fish, write me ticket and pick up my fish on the way home. Fish never out of water for more than 4-5 hours. At 1.05 a pound is cheap to me.....

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aksportfisher View Post
    Me and my wife use to do the foodsaver thing for a few years... It just easier to have Anchor Point Seafoods process my fish. I call them just before I hit the tractor launch. Anchor Point Seafoods comes to my camp site and pick up my fish. They have a scale behind their small truck. They weigh my fish, write me ticket and pick up my fish on the way home. Fish never out of water for more than 4-5 hours. At 1.05 a pound is cheap to me.....
    That's what I love about Coal Point during the season. When I come in with a boat load of butt that my clients have caught I call them on channel 69 and they send a runner down with a cart and pick the fish up. All I have to do is pick them up from my fish hold and into their cart. Then a couple of hours later, or the next day (depending on how late we come in) the fish are all ready to go.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •