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Thread: Differing Vacuum packing procedures?

  1. #1
    Member Ripper's Avatar
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    Default Differing Vacuum packing procedures?

    I've got a food saver model V845 that I use for vacuum packing fish. I've always tried to lightly 'pre-freeze' my fish before vacuuming to prevent excess liquids from getting into the machine and ruining it. I typically prefreeze for about 1hr to where the fish piece is still flexible and not really frozen, but the juices are mostly frozen. But when I do this, the food saver doesn't seem to pull enough vacuum to really get the air out of the package. I'd say it is 90-95% vacuumed, but I can actually pull on the bag and get it to wrinkle and get a bubble over the fish. It seems that because the fish is still somewhat soft, it can't pull enough vacuum to get all the air out.

    The only way I can get it to get all the air out is to completly freeze the fillets before vacuuming. If I freeze the fish overnight on cookie sheets and then vacuum, it works well because the fillet is more solid and it pulls all the air out around the fillet.

    So my question is, does it hurt anything to completely freeze the fish before vacuuming? I am wondering if it will freezer burn faster by doing this?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Wrap in saran wrap or similar first, then freeze, then vacum seal. I don't want to guess how many hundreds of reds we have done this way. Keeps as long as salmon keeps one year max generally. If you want longer can it.

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    We have always just patted the filets dry with paper towels (or clean towels) then bagged and vac-packed them.

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    Member Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    After I fellit the fish I put them in a cooler between layers of old bath towels, they soak up the moisture and when sealing there is no moisture to cause a problem. Just throw the towels in the washer and ready to go next time.
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    Member Ripper's Avatar
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    I don't really have a moisture problem. The problem I'm having is that when I try to vac the soft fish, it doesn't vac all the way. When I vac something hard (i.e. a deck of cards or a frozen fillet) it'll vac all the air out and be great. But when vac'ing a soft fillet, whether in saran wrap, or with paper towel, or just the fillet, it doesn't get the air out.

    Therefore, I'd like to freeze them solid first and then vac, but i was wondering if they'll freezer burn faster that way?

  6. #6
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
    I don't really have a moisture problem. The problem I'm having is that when I try to vac the soft fish, it doesn't vac all the way. When I vac something hard (i.e. a deck of cards or a frozen fillet) it'll vac all the air out and be great. But when vac'ing a soft fillet, whether in saran wrap, or with paper towel, or just the fillet, it doesn't get the air out.

    Therefore, I'd like to freeze them solid first and then vac, but i was wondering if they'll freezer burn faster that way?
    I prefer to fully freeze the fillets before sealing. I'll give the frozen fillets a few glaze ice coatings (dip or run through cold water quickly). The glaze can help keep from getting freezer burned a bit longer if the seal ends up breaking later in the freezer. I think if you freeze without glazing or wrapping, then the pin bones really stick out and are much more likely to puncture the bags.

  7. #7
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Freezer burn is more about long term exposure to changes in air temperature and loosing moisture. If you pat the filets down and wrap them in saranbefore freezing solid, then sealing you will not have any issues. You probably would not have issues wit freezer burn if you did not wrap in saran while freezing solid, but it might allow the pin bones to puncture the packaging later.
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