Boiling zip lock bags? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-02-2015   #1
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Boiling zip lock bags?

I am planning on doing individual breakfast burritos for one of my meals and the plan is to have all chopped veggies out and everyone put what they want into a zip lock bag and then throw it into a boiling pot. My question is, if you have used this method for a quick breakfast, what are the best bags to use. Obviously BPA free, but is one brand/model better for higher water temps than others?

I was looking at Ziplock Freezer quart size bags. Good/bad?

Thanks!

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Old 06-02-2015   #2
 
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Never tried this, but I have had lasagna served out of a vacuum sealed bag on the river and it was amazing. I don't know what these bags were made out of, but...

I would be worried about the plastic in a ziplock bag becoming a bit unstable at boiling temperatures because I believe they are made of Polyethylene which melts completely at ~220 F (generalized boiling point of water is 212 F).
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Old 06-02-2015   #3
 
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We do this a lot with scouts using Zip-Lock quart freezer bags.
The only time we had any problem with the bags melting was when they got bumped against the outside of the boiling pot, but never on the water side of the pot.
You can even add bacon crumbles, hash, hashbrowns, or whatever.
Try to get all the air out and add the juicy hot sauces etc after cooking. Cartons of Egg-beaters or other brands work great.
Use sharpie markers to write names on bags.
Squeeze flat to check if done, then dump on a tortilla.
No dishes and plenty of hot water.
Practice before trip.
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Old 06-02-2015   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
We do this a lot with scouts using Zip-Lock quart freezer bags.
The only time we had any problem with the bags melting was when they got bumped against the outside of the boiling pot, but never on the water side of the pot.
You can even add bacon crumbles, hash, hashbrowns, or whatever.
Try to get all the air out and add the juicy hot sauces etc after cooking. Cartons of Egg-beaters or other brands work great.
Use sharpie markers to write names on bags.
Squeeze flat to check if done, then dump on a tortilla.
No dishes and plenty of hot water.
Practice before trip.
We did this with training trips I led with the university I was employed by for their ORPT program. Works nicely with the caveat mentioned above.

We have gone to using one of these for group trips with breakfast burritos:

OXO Steamer

We put the burritos in foil and then stack them to steam. We do them frozen ahead of time so that extends the cook time but I bet you could shorten that noticeably with the approach you are taking. We love it and it takes up almost no room in the kitchen box with the smart way they designed it to roll up.

Best of luck.

Phillip
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Old 06-02-2015   #5
 
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Put rocks or a lid in the bottom of the pot to prevent the bag from touching the hot side of the pot. Otherwise, I've done this before and it works great. It takes longer than you might expect for the burritos to get hot.
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Old 06-02-2015   #6
 
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The plastics in zip locks begin to change around 195F, so there is definitely some chemical release at boiling temps. One time isn't likely to alter your health in substantial ways. That said, you mentioned BPA-free so it leads me to believe you are concerned about chemicals released from plastics into food while heating. If so, you might want to avoid the method you are describing. In fact, many of the alterations from the BPA-scare a few years ago have been worse:

Quote:
In response to market and regulatory pressures, BPA-free PET or PETG resins and products have recently been introduced as replacements for PC resins. However, all such replacement resins and products tested to date release chemicals having EA (measured as %RME2), sometimes having more EA than BPA-containing PC resins or products, especially when stressed by UV light
Techy article but its peer-reviewed. From what I understand its not a big deal for once in a while but in general cooking with plastics at medium to high temperatures has a negative cumulative effect in regards to EAs and many of the BPA-replacements are now being shown to be worse for your health. But if you are drinking canned beer or soda you are likely already getting high doses of EA chemicals as it is.

I have been tempted by Sous Vide cooking for a few years now but will be staying away from it for this very reason. So it goes.

Phillip
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Old 06-02-2015   #7
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on my last grand trip we had most of our meals pre-packed in vacuum seal bags. even breakfast burritos. it worked awesome! super easy, and not many dishes to clean.
not sure about zip lock bags. but the vacuum sealer sure did the trick for us!!
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Old 06-03-2015   #8
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Thanks for the feedback guys. We just did this on our last Lodore trip, but we had a few health conscious folks who wouldn't touch the bags. I have another trip coming up and wanted to know which bags work better than others. We will be having only one meal this way on our upcoming trip, so I don't think there is going to be any long affects from the plastics.

So would Ziplock Freezer bags be the best for this kind of thing or are there better brands?
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Old 06-03-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
We do this a lot with scouts using Zip-Lock quart freezer bags.
The only time we had any problem with the bags melting was when they got bumped against the outside of the boiling pot, but never on the water side of the pot.
You can even add bacon crumbles, hash, hashbrowns, or whatever.
Try to get all the air out and add the juicy hot sauces etc after cooking. Cartons of Egg-beaters or other brands work great.
Use sharpie markers to write names on bags.
Squeeze flat to check if done, then dump on a tortilla.
No dishes and plenty of hot water.
Practice before trip.
Like Rojo says,
We have done this many times, be sure to get the air out when sealing. As the excessive air heats up and expands, it could break the seal.
We always pull the bags out about half way done and squish the eggs up a bit to get even cooking. Put shredded cheese in at the end of cooking and then throw back in for a quick melt.
As long as the bags are in the water, they won't melt. It's if they end up against the pot above the water line that you have a problem.
I've never had issues with melting of bags on the bottom of the pot, but I'm guessing if you overloaded it, it could be an issue. Mostly the bags just kind of float around.
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Old 06-03-2015   #10
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Originally Posted by kazak4x4 View Post
So would Ziplock Freezer bags be the best for this kind of thing or are there better brands?
That's what we always use. Quart size. You to end up with a nice size loaf to wrap in a tortilla.
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