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Thread: Astronaut Steaks

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Ishmael View Post
    I would not easily trust myself with meat. But I do wish I had freeze dried my own fruits and veggies instead of buying what I have. Very long shelf life if you can vacuum seal it well.
    That's just it - and that's why, 35 years ago, the Pentagon gave up on freeze-dried MREs.

    That was how the first few years' supply was ordered. Freeze-dried. Incredibly light - my ex's kid brother was in OCS for the National Guard, and he stole a case. Feather light - and packed in tough plastic. Good canoeing rations - and they were so buoyant, they'd not only not sink if you tipped the canoe, they'd keep your duffle afloat.

    BUT. There was a LOT of spoilage. Military stuff gets manhandled, and even heat-sealed in plastic pouches, those freeze-dried meats sometimes wore through the individual packages, leaked and went rancid.

    They experimented with filling the pouches with argon, and finally gave it up in favor of a "retort" process. Cooked, moist, and sealed in semi-inert packing. Similar to how those non-refrigerated milk-cartons work.

    Those things are heavy; but I've got my twelve-year-old emergency supply. Haven't found one that's spoiled, yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    I wonder what a commercial grade freeze dryer goes for?

    I wouldn't skimp on the plastic wrap either.
    dont know. I only looked at home depot. their biggest one goes for about 4k.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustPassinThru View Post
    Exactly.

    I have in my MRE stash...as part of many meals...cheese and crackers. No, not Ritz crackers and not Velveeta cheese...and not the cheese sold out of rural cheese shops.

    The crackers are saltines and the cheese, if you want to call it that...looks like mustard, spreads like peanut butter, and has an odor vaguely like feces.

    When you're hungry, you eat it.
    I happen to like stinky cheese.

    When you are working hard, its also got plenty of salt which is important to replace.

    I wonder if freeze dried cheese is a thing-and I don't mean cheese dust.

    Astronaut ice cream is pretty good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Ishmael View Post
    dont know. I only looked at home depot. their biggest one goes for about 4k.
    I will look into that, but I wonder if a 4k freeze drier is a sucker price.

    Whats the quality, user serviceable, commercial version?

    If it does not exist, why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    I happen to like stinky cheese.

    When you are working hard, its also got plenty of salt which is important to replace.

    I wonder if freeze dried cheese is a thing-and I don't mean cheese dust.

    Astronaut ice cream is pretty good.
    I have some freeze dried shredded cheese . never opened a can though so dont know what to expect.

    At some point it could be easier to just make cheese with ingredients that have decent shelf life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustPassinThru View Post
    That's just it - and that's why, 35 years ago, the Pentagon gave up on freeze-dried MREs.

    That was how the first few years' supply was ordered. Freeze-dried. Incredibly light - my ex's kid brother was in OCS for the National Guard, and he stole a case. Feather light - and packed in tough plastic. Good canoeing rations - and they were so buoyant, they'd not only not sink if you tipped the canoe, they'd keep your duffle afloat.

    BUT. There was a LOT of spoilage. Military stuff gets manhandled, and even heat-sealed in plastic pouches, those freeze-dried meats sometimes wore through the individual packages, leaked and went rancid.

    They experimented with filling the pouches with argon, and finally gave it up in favor of a "retort" process. Cooked, moist, and sealed in semi-inert packing. Similar to how those non-refrigerated milk-cartons work.

    Those things are heavy; but I've got my twelve-year-old emergency supply. Haven't found one that's spoiled, yet.
    I have a problem with some dried vegetables. They have some sharp corners and when the vacuum sealer pulls the plastic down tight, some of the bags apparently get pinhole leaks. Maybe 1/10 have to be redone. Mylar vacuum bags have benefits in the lowest oxygen transfer but the metallic coating can be more brittle than the plain plastic. So for my most valuable stash - black soybeans - I do a double vacuum seal, first in plain plastic and then in mylar. The veggies are a little concerning and I might try a regular food storage bag - left open in the vacuum bag - just to protect the vacuum bag. I need to experiment to make sure the sealing process doesn't inadvertently close the regular food storage bag and prevent the air from leaving. Punching a few holes in the inner bag could help. It will be an experiment at first. It gets time consuming but the alternative is to buy freeze tried stuff in cans at ridiculous prices.
    Last edited by Call_me_Ishmael; 07-02-2020 at 07:44 AM.
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