Freeze Drying · Prepping · Preserving

Packing Your Freeze-Dried Items Like The Pros

It’s National Preparedness Month – and part of that is getting emergency food ready.

I had a goal for a long time, and it was to be able to pack my freeze-dried meals & ingredients in commercial grade bags, where I could seal the bags for long-term storage, with the ability to have a zipper to shut the bag back up after adding water, if I was rehydrating them in the mylar bag. I wanted a low bag, for less waste of material, for single serving meals.

In the last two years I was able to make that happen. We invested in first an impulse sealer, then a chamber sealer. No longer did I need to keep meals stored in quart freezer bags, I could prep for a year out if I wanted to – or even 10 years out.

To be able to pack meals like the commercial companies do. For the ultimate sealing, and space saving, you can have compact meals to rip open, pour in boiling water, seal and eat 15 minutes later. Dream of a prepper pantry where you can walk up to, and pull out the meals you want, made from the many FBC recipes on our TrailCooking site we have up, or that you freeze-dried yourself.

You can easily purchase the bags now, the same ones the food companies use, at affordable prices. Only a few years ago, before the rise of home freeze-drying, it was not easy to buy the bags, and the sealers.

There are two methods to do this.

One is simpler, the other is for those who want the tightest seal. and more space saving by removing as much air as possible.

In both methods we used Wallaby MRE bags. These bags can be sourced on Amazon as well in larger packs. They are made of food grade mylar bags, that are rated for boiling water to be added to them. They are short bags, wide at the bottom, forming a bowl. No reaching into a deep bag here, these are simply some of the best bags you can buy. A tip though: These are for single serving meals and you won’t want to go past 2 cups water in them, and more than 1½ cups dry ingredients.

The basic method, using an impulse sealer:

Using the bags, open each bag carefully, and widen the gusset at the bottom. Add in your meal’s dry ingredients. Since you will only be sealing the bags, and not sucking out the air, you can tuck packets in like Olive oil. Be sure to put them in a tiny ziptop sack, like a snack bag, as a barrier before putting into the bag, with the dry ingredients.

Once done, plug in  your impulse sealer, then give it to two times at the top of the bag as directed for your sealer. We go for the 2 taps, so you know it is sealed.

And that is it. Just mark the bag what is in it, date when made, and how much water to add. (Our bags came with white stickers you can write on, and put on each bag.)

For longer term storage, consider adding in an oxygen absorber and or desiccant packet with the dry ingredients.

(Our impulse sealer came with our Harvest Right Freeze-dryer.)

The Avid Armor chamber sealer method:

Last year we picked up an Avid Armor USV32 sealer. Unlike a Food Vac style sealer, these chamber sealers are designed to seal heavy duty mylar bags, especially ones with a built in zip top. They can seal both mylar and plastic bags, by changing the settings. (Ours also seals mason jars.)

Open the sealer, and place the bag in (different models may vary in directions). Ours has the bag pointing the opening to us.

The zipper is not shut on the bag.

Bag in place. Ready to seal the top and start the quick process.

It sucks all the air out of the bag, and seals the bag with a heat strip in the chamber sealer.

After removing the bag from the chamber sealer, we tap the top on the impulse sealer, as a backup seal.

Now the bag is ready to mark what is in it, the date and how much water.

It is an investment, but it is well worth it.

See it it action:

To prepare your meal:

Rip or cut off the top part of the bag, above the zipper (there is a notch on each side, which is below the impulse sealer marks).

Open the bag, so it forms a bowl form.

If you added an oxygen absorber/desiccant packet, take it out and discard. If you had stashed an oil packet, take it out and add the oil to the dry ingredients.

Add in the amount of boiling water called for, stirring the dry ingredients well.

Zip tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Open, stir again and enjoy.

One bonus of these mylar bags is they retain heat well. In summer weather you may not need an FBC Cozy or similar to keep your food warm.

FTC Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that give us commissions on products purchased. These items are what we used above.