precooking meals for reheating on playa

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precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby creativecstasy » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:36 pm

Hi eplaya,

I'm a virgin, and superduper jazzed to be going to the playa in a few days. I've read everything I can find on eplaya and other websites. I'm doing a big cooking fest tomorrow afternoon and freezing food to stash in the cooler. I have two big questions, however.

1. I've found lots of references to boil bags. My understanding is you cook food, store it in serving size ziploc bags, freeze flat, and then toss the entire bag in boiling water. Is this correct? Do I need to leave some air in the bag? Are standard freezer bags ok for this purpose? Am I missing anything? ooh, edited to add: how do I know when my boil bag foods are done??

2. Bacon. bacon, bacon, bacon. I've found suggestions about precooking at least partially. My camping partner is wary of this, and wants to just take the raw bacon in our cooler for cooking as desired. Can you tell me your personal opinion on the matter, and why I should go one way or the other?

And, for funsies, this is what I'm cooking tomorrow:
1. Beef stew with veggies and potatoes. BIG pot. This is the food for freezing.
2. m&m cookies! 3-4 dozen. Not frozen, clearly...
3. Israeli couscous with raisins, grilled chicken, and pesto. Might substitute tuna for chicken, haven't decided yet. For eating cold or hot! I'm not planning to freeze this one.

We're bringing lots of other foods, of course, this is just my precooking adventure.

Thanks!
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby snake » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:12 pm

not ziplocks, they will leak...and i don't know how the plastic handles the boiling. most people bought those seal a meal things and it 'heat seals' the ends for no leakage. then freeze. the day you know you are going to use that particular meal, defrost. then boil until the contents are hot. depends on how much you have stuffed into the bags.
i always precook bacon. don't have to deal with left over grease. just reheat on griddle, voila!
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby phil » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:25 pm

On boil-in-a-bag, you have options. It may be that the people are using store-bought food that comes in the boiling bag; it may be that they're using Foodsaver bags, but you need the sealer; it may be that they're using Ziplock freezer bags. If you want to use Ziplock freezer bags, try it at home first and see if it fails. If you're lucky, someone will who has done it will post and clear things up for us. My bet is that even Ziplock freezer bags will leak at some point.

My camping partner is wary of this, and wants to just take the raw bacon in our cooler for cooking as desired.


I have no idea what his wariness arises from. If you can't make him comfortable with pre-cooked bacon, then do it raw. Whatever makes her happy. My suggestion is to cook it fully, then throw it on the griddle to heat it up a little, but if that freaks your partner out, then bring it raw. No biggie.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby Homiesinheaven » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:06 pm

as far as bacon is concerned it all depends on what your kitchen cleaning plan is. some people do it easy and create very little grey water:

-dishes are paper or cardboard for burning
-wipe pots and pans with wipes or paper towels and spraying water and soap

if you've planned for doing dishes and dealing with grey water (it adds up very fast) and want to deal with all the bacon grease then go nuts. in my experience pre-cooked bacon (all pre-cooked food for that matter) is easy and delicious. remember that everything on the playa tastes 1000 times better. ALSO, James Shearhart wrote something called Playa Cookery that i found very valuable last year. it has everything you EVER wanted to know about food on the playa and it can be downloaded for free here:

http://www.box.net/shared/fvj9aka4m4

have a great time!
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby creativecstasy » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:05 pm

Fun fact: Costco has precooked bacon! Found it tonight. Throw on grill for 3 mins and enjoy. Mmmmm.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby Boijoy » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:23 am

I have used Ziploc Freezer Bags for reheating directly into "hot" water not boiling water. We double bag & thaw the frozen food first. That way your only heating it up & not having to boil the water ( which takes a long time on a camp stove.) We've done carnitas, stew, chili, scrambled eggs w/ veggies & pasta sauce this way. Clean up is a snap.

Have fun!!
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby creativecstasy » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:37 am

Boijoy wrote:I have used Ziploc Freezer Bags for reheating directly into "hot" water not boiling water. We double bag & thaw the frozen food first. That way your only heating it up & not having to boil the water ( which takes a long time on a camp stove.) We've done carnitas, stew, chili, scrambled eggs w/ veggies & pasta sauce this way. Clean up is a snap.

Have fun!!



Great to hear your success. How did you know it was done heating?
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby creativecstasy » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:03 pm

For those following along at home - we did NOT end up cooking food in the ziplocks after all. I packed it in ziplocks to the playa in our cooler, and then poured the food directly into a pot or pan for reheating on the stove. Less greywater, less risk of chemicals leaching out. Worked fine. Also, all the food we froze before placing in the cooler was defrosted by the time we got there. Everything was still *cold* mind you, but not frozen.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby Rabbette » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:25 am

Glad to hear you didn't use the zip-lock bags... Zip-lock bags are NOT SAFE for heating foods at all, boiling, microwave (basically any heat is not good and will release chemicals in the plastic into your food.)

Other options for future would be special boil bags (they are a bit pricey) I usually opt for heating up canned foods right in the can. It takes a bit b/c only half of it is emerged in the boiling water, but eventually it heats up with a good stirring.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby Boijoy » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:07 am

don't tin cans have some sort of plastic lineing??
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby phil » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:02 am

Boijoy wrote:don't tin cans have some sort of plastic lineing??


No, that's clouds. Every cloud has a plastic lining.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby AntiM » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:56 pm

Boijoy wrote:don't tin cans have some sort of plastic lineing??


Some do, I noticed it in my baked bean can. But it is some special won't kill you faster than average plastic. I think.

We lined a foil pan with more foil, dumped in a can of chicken and a can of chicken noodle soup, then topped it with biscuits and baked it. YUM! Kinda chicken and dumplings. We love our little propane oven! We made ham biscuits too, I had a vacuum bag of frozen ham chunks and more biscuits. A little mustard and some pickles and that was darn tasty!

I might do teriyaki chicken again too. I quit when we had too many people in camp rummaging through the coolers. We're smaller now, so maybe, maybe.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby Rabbette » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:29 pm

Boijoy wrote:don't tin cans have some sort of plastic lineing??


I have seen some cans like that, but none of the cans we brought with us had a lining. I pre-cooked lots of items that we could just eat and not have to heat'em up.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby phil » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:44 pm

> Less greywater

If you boiled water and dropped in a sealed bag, the leftover water is not greywater.

Bacon:

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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby skibear » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:11 pm

Boijoy wrote:don't tin cans have some sort of plastic lineing??


Yes. Someone just tested baby food in metal cans. ALL of them gave you a
dose of BPA's

I predict the next scandal will be that the majority of the plastic lined cans contain BPA.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby NessaZee » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:52 am

pretty much all companies use cans with BPA-epoxy liners except these seven companies.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby tattoogoddess » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:26 pm

bump.

2013 we will be pre making dinners in food saver bags. now are the food saver bags them self ok to boil or is there a certain kind you have to buy that work?
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby Adri » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:49 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:are the food saver bags them self ok to boil or is there a certain kind you have to buy that work?


They will work as long as you don't over-fill them, make sure you get a good heat seal with your food saver, and know 'boil in bag' is a misnomer. It's more *simmer in bag until eating temperature". If you drop a foodsaver bag in pot of boiling water, the water movement and heat is likely to bust the bag, but a simmer is perfect and leaves you with clean water.

My camp shares cooking responsibilities, so I had to provide a meal one night, but for 13 people (mixed omnis and vegs). I pulled frozen food saver bags full of chana masala and chicken in red gravy out of my dry ice cooler, dropped them in the same pot of simmering water, made rice, and in 30 minutes, everyone was happy.

Highly recommended if you've got a good cooler set up.
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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby msj2u » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:06 pm

I precook all My food, put in baggies, bring disposable pans, empty baggies in and reheat. I have very little grey water and the pans crush down, so little trash.

I use a 2 burner propane stove and after a long day, the meal prep is quick.

Just My 2 cents

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Re: precooking meals for reheating on playa

Postby A-RockLeFrench » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:55 am

I eat breakfast burritos. A lot. Several times on playa. I like to roast chopped potatoes in the oven at home, and freeze in ziplock then just scramble into some eggs on playa.

I'll make a big batch of sautéed or steamed veggies and freeze several smaller bags so they're ready to grab whenever I need some veggies in something. Like my scrambled eggs.

I bring slabs of my home smoke bacon and enjoy the ritual of slicing and cooking it up on the playa, is a pretty solid element of my burn at this point. I couldn't imagine how horrible I'd feel abut myself if I precooked it... But to each his own I guess...

We make sausage balls at home, equal parts by weight cheese, bisquick and good breakfast sausage. Mash it all together and form into 2 inch balls on a cookie sheet and bake until cooked through. Well freeze a couple big bags of those and snack on em all week. They can get fancier with herbs and little tiny chopped up onions.
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