Tip #25 A Poor Man's Vacuum Sealer For Fish!
Freezer Burn! The bane for fish and game stored in the deep freeze for future consumption. And as someone who has packaged a lot of Alaska's bounty over the years, I've always had problems preventing a deterioration of the meats in my packages before I could use them up.
This tip here is one of those "instantaneous lightbulbs" that should have lit up many years ago. But its never too late for improvements.
Some time back I began packaging all my halibut and salmon in freezer-type ziplock bags. And despite the "human vacuum approach" to sucking the air out of the bags, I still ended up with portions of the fish eventually "burning." So I began adding water to the baggies and then squeezing all the air out and most of the water before zipping it shut. This works great and I've eaten fish that was two seasons old that was good enough for my tastes. The problem was it was difficult to get the majority of the water out of the bag due to the irregular shapes of the fish and so valuable space was taken up in the freezer just storing unnecessary ice.
Then I went to send a fish box to family members outside and realized I was paying a premium price for shipping a lot of ice in the bags of fish. I could have fit another 5 pounds of fish in the box if there hadn't been so much water/ice in each package.
This evening while packaging a bucket full of sockeye fillets for smoking later this fall I discovered a great way to "vacuum seal" your fish packages with very little water in the bags. It takes up much less space in the freezer, seals the surfaces of the fish to prevent freezer burn and if you ship it out to friends and family you are getting more fish in each box.
Here's The Tip!
While maintaining a steady flow of water out the open seal, place the bag on the counter and lay the sealing edge of the bag over the edge of the sink so that its below the level of the bag of fish. The water will continue to drain and the bag will create a tight seal against the contents of the package with almost no water left. Just before the last of the water is completely drained (and would suck air back into the bag) quickly zip the last part of the seal closed. You now have a package that is air-tight, not prone to any freezer burn, and takes up little additional space in the freezer or fish box for storage or shipping.
I'm sold! Works like a charm.
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