vacuum sealed fish
Got back from my Kenai peninsula fishing trip on Sunday which was a blast. On Monday I was reorganizing my freezer and noticed in at least 50% of the fish that I had vacuum sealed at Kenai Cache, the bag was partially unsealed or coming that way. All fish that I had sealed up in Ninilchik (double the amount as Kenai Cache)are great and the price per pound was a $1 cheaper.
I emailed Kenai Cache about the vacuum seal problem but no response yet. Just wanted to let people know that for $2lb for vacuum seal and freezing, they might want to make sure they are getting the quality they are paying for.
With fillets, this is usually caused by not removing the lateral "pin bones". These bones stick up and will easily puncture vacuum bags. Since the fish is already frozen making removal of the pin bones difficult, your best bet is probably going to be to reglaze the fish (quick dip in cold water and place in freezer for a few minutes), cover the lateral line with a few strips of plastic (cut from the original vac bag material), and then reseal with a new vacuum bag. You might also be able to trim down the tips of the pin bones with a sharp knife running over the frozen fish. This is one of those quality steps that you should take when you first fillet the fish. It's too bad that a commercial processing business did this to you. The fact that you posted it on here is probably going to hurt them greatly.
Originally Posted by JOAT
If it was the pin bones puncturing the bags then that would have been my fault and not an issue that I would have brought up. But the problem was the seal at the end of the vacuum process coming apart. Thanks for the trip on shaving the pin bones though and I'm going to smoke the fish from the open bags and vacuum seal them at home.
Hmmm, that indicates that either the heat setting on the sealer was too low or they really "gunked" up the inside of the bag where the seal was placed with fish slime prior to sealing it.
Originally Posted by MaineWoods
I always freeze the fish solid prior to sealing and then after putting the fillet in the bag, the area where the seal goes must still be clean and dry. Then you have to be sure to use enough heat on the sealer.
In either case, that certainly is an error of the outfit that did the packaging. However, if it was a heat issue due to an equipment problem, it is entirely possible that they weren't even aware of the problem at the time. No one would do a poor sealing job intentionally, so it's just a question of whether it was equipment failure or poor operator technique.