Retort Cooking

When I go camping in colder weather I would prefer not to do dishes.  Vince, my oldest son, love to do retort cooking ( or foil cooking which I’ll talk about in a different post) when it’s cold out. What is retort?  I like to think of retort cooking like using a microwave on a campout. Right about now you are saying “But you don’t bring a microwave on a campout” (maybe if you have a camper).  Think of a BIG pot of boiling water as being your microwave on a campout.  You can use this pot of boiling water to reheat food you prepared at home.  Here’s the basis for doing retort:

  1. Prepare your meal at home.
  2. Put individual portions into FREEZER ziploc bags. Yes you must use freezer ziploc bags as they hold up to the heat of boiling water.
  3. Freeze the individual potions making sure to lay them as flat as possible when freezing.  By laying flat you allow the largest surface area to be exposed to the boiling to for reheating. And this will help the ice in your cooler to last longer.
  4. Place a layer of aluminum foil around the top of the pan.  This keeps the bag from melting when it hits the side since aluminum foil doesn’t get as hot.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to boiling.
  6. Place 4-8 of your meals into a turkey bag
  7. Remove as much air as you can from the turkey bag and seal it with at tie.
  8. Place the turkey bag into the boiling water
  9. Once the meals are hot remove from the turkey bag from the water.
  10. Enjoying your meal out of the bag or on a plate, bun, tortilla she’ll, etc

I’ve seen Vince’s patrol do the following retort meals:

  • Sloppy Joes
  • Walking tacos
  • Spaghetti 
  • Thanksgiving dinner (mashed potatoes, turkey, grave and veggies)
  • French toast
  • Omelette in a bag (this isn’t cooked ahead of time but assembled in camp and cooked freezer ziploc bags in boiling water)

Future posts:

  • Retort recipes
  • Making a retort holder

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