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Cozies and to freezer bag cooking
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David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Cozies and to freezer bag cooking on 12/17/2008 13:13:22 MST Print View

I want to get into freezer bag cooking (although my wife tells me that the plastic might leach into the food). I was thinking of making my own cozies out of some insulation type material available at hardware stores. Does anyone have directions on how to do this or suggestions? Also, if I can can't convince my wife to ingest BPA, would the same concept work for my cookpot?

I'm currently eating freeze-dried foods but get tired of 'em about 1 day into my trips.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Ziploc BPA on 12/17/2008 13:19:02 MST Print View

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Cozies and to freezer bag cooking on 12/17/2008 13:44:31 MST Print View

BPA is only found in polycarbonate (eg Lexan) plastic. That is a rigid plastic used for bottles.
Actually, the whole thing is a beat-up in the true Urban Myths class: the actual risk to a walker is truly minimal. But, it does mean the shops get to sell a whole new load of water bottles to replace the Lexan ones ... profit motive.

Freezer bags are typically made from polyethylene, and this plastic has no plasticisers.
Other plastic films and cozy materials may use other plastics, but they still won't be polycarbonate.


Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Cozies and to freezer bag cooking on 12/17/2008 13:51:24 MST Print View

Sarah sells cozies on her website:

Or just use your extra clothing to nestle the ziplock bags into.

Or you can buy that silver insulated stuff at a home depot type store and cut it to size and tape it. See's website to see what it looks like.

Or you can cut quilted fabric a little bigger than the size ziplock bag you use and sew it into a pillowcase shape.

Be sure to check out Sarah's book and Dicentra's OnePanWonders book for great recipes and ideas to launch you on your own creations.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
DIY Instructions on 12/17/2008 15:32:28 MST Print View

I knew I had it around somewhere! Here is an old blog entry I did with links to how to make your own cozy out of Reflectix material (from the hardware store)

Not hard at all to do but fair warning - the rolls are huge ;-)

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: DIY Instructions on 12/17/2008 16:01:12 MST Print View

The rolls ARE large! I've insulated my heat ducts with reflectix and have leftover material and tape.

If folks really want to make their own (or AGG style pot or water bottle cozies) I can sell some by the foot at cost+shipping+paypal_fees (would not be much)

If interested, PM me with amount wanted and I'll quote a price.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Refletix Cozies on 12/17/2008 19:14:44 MST Print View

Here are some that I made for my BPL Firelite Pots. From the left: SUL1100, SUL900, SUL550. If you decide to do this project I would suggest making the Cozy lids long enough to completely cover the sides of the pot. I've noticed a fair amount of warmth coming through the cozy while I'm eating. If the cozy walls are double thickness, due to the top skirt being full length, it will provide a significant increase in heat retention with an insignificant weight gain. Use Reflectix Tape to do the seams.
Firelite SUL Pots - Manny Moe and Jack
Manny, SUL1100, Moe, SUL900 & Jack, SUL550
Manny, Moe & Jack wearing their Reflectix cozies.
Manny, Moe & Jack, with their Refectiz cozies

This is an easy project and only requires Refletix, Reflectix tape & Scissors. Total time for all three was about a half hour.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Reflectix on 12/17/2008 20:45:15 MST Print View

I'm just curious how much you paid for the Reflectix. AntiGravityGear has similar pot cozies for about $10. I like the idea of making my own, but it might be cheaper to buy one, especially since I only have one pot that I use.

Michael Chudzinski
(oknowa) - F
Reflectix on 12/17/2008 22:54:09 MST Print View

Hello Jim,

Pm sent.

Sarah Welton
(CampGirl) - F
Re: Cozies and to freezer bag cooking on 12/18/2008 06:18:11 MST Print View

"although my wife tells me that the plastic might leach into the food"

If you're worried about that you can find some flat bottomed (gusseted), resealable bags on Packit Gourmet that are safe for use with food and boiling water. They're not ok for actually dunking into boiling water though - I think the plastic begins to break down if you do that.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: The bags on 12/18/2008 09:54:06 MST Print View

Btw, I have used the bags from Packit - they work nice. They also fit in the cozies that I sew/sell :-)

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Re: Re: The bags on 12/20/2008 14:59:34 MST Print View

I just went over to the Packit website. Mmmmm...the meals there look good. Are they significantly better than the standbys at REI? I'm thinking of ordering one or two to try out. However, the website says not to put the boiling water in the bag. Does this mean that you would have to use your own freezer bag or pot and put the food in there to cook?

Are your cozies as efficient in retaining heat as the reflectix ones? What kind of material do you use? How does the weight compare? I just got your book, I plan on trying out some of the recipes.

Before I know it, I'll need a dehydrator...


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: The bags on 12/20/2008 16:30:09 MST Print View


In my testings my cozies are about the same overall as Reflectix ones with the bonus of being scrunchable, washable and multi purpose ;-) I use a fabric called Insul Bright for the interior - it is mylar that is punched with another layer.

Now the PIG meals? Yumm-o!! I have reviewed a number of them :-) A number of them though do need to be cooked in a single pot. And yes, they are miles above commercial meals at REI. Real food!

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Frying pan? on 12/22/2008 09:27:43 MST Print View

I'm gonna order some Packit meals real quick for my upcoming trip. I leave on Friday so I won't have time to really fool around with making myown, nor to order one of Sarah's cozies. I'll have to make my own cozy I guess.

I'm also gonna order the boil-in-bags from Packit. Will most of the meals fit into these?

I don't have a frying pan, and I don't feel like I can justify the weight. Alternatives? Is there a way to make scrambled eggs and such without a frying pan?

My cookpot right now is an MSR Titan Kettle, and I just got a BPL Firelite 550 for solo or SUL trips. I typically travel with my wife, though.

Sarah: Do you have any ideas on how to modify the instructions on the PackIt Meals for freezer bag cooking? Or do the instructions already tell you about how long to steep it for?

Edited by dgposton on 12/22/2008 09:28:58 MST.

Tim F
(kneebyter) - MLife

Locale: the depths of Hiking Hell (Iowa)
Re: Frying pan? on 12/22/2008 10:38:17 MST Print View

I have a frying pan from one of the cheapo Wal-Mart/Ozark Trail aluminum mess kits that cost around $5. It weighs 1.75oz without the handle (which isn't needed). It is very thin, but seemed to work OK the two times I used it. It will probably depend a lot on the stove you use. I put it on TOP of a Ti-Tri Caldera Cone with the alcohol stove and it was fine. something to consider.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Frying pan? on 12/23/2008 05:39:21 MST Print View

Could you make something out of those stove liners? Just cut to size, roll up the sides and fashion a handle (or not). A small pie tin could work too. Just a guess.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Packit Gourmet Meals and FBC on 12/23/2008 13:26:22 MST Print View

The stove liner sounds like a good idea, though it seems it might be a bit thin. Maybe a piece of aluminum flashing would work.

I just got my Packit Gourmet shipment today! Wow, I ordered yesterday and already have it. Now, can someone tell me how to modify some of the instructions for FBC? In other words, when the instructions say to "simmer" for 5-7 minutes, does that mean you can steep with a cozy instead?

Any idea how to convert simmer time into FBC time?

To give you an idea of what I ordered, I got

-Bangers and Mash (2 servings)
-Market Pasta Puttanesca (2 servings)
-Diner Deluxe Scrambled eggs
-Ramen Rescue
-A bunch of freeze dried meats and vegetables

and more

I also ordered some of the boil-in-the-bags for FBC. Incidentally, the ones that the meals come with look identical...I wonder if these are boil-safe as well?

I can't wait to try all this out on my Big Bend trip this weekend.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Packit Gourmet Meals and FBC on 12/23/2008 13:55:18 MST Print View

In my experience: If the directions say to boil for more than seven to ten minutes I buy something else. Less than that I just rehydrate in boiled water. That's where the cozy makes such a big difference. More efficient rehydration and keeps my dinner warm all the way to the bottom of the pan/freezerbag/etc.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Re: Re: Refletix Cozies on 12/23/2008 17:50:35 MST Print View


I just bought some reflectix, a big roll was about $20. How do you store your cozy once it's made?

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: Re: Refletix Cozies on 12/23/2008 20:42:40 MST Print View

Are you making pot cozies or freezerbag cozies?

My pot cozies live on the pot. My freezerbag cozies stack with a rubber band to keep them from running amok.

Edited by redleader on 12/23/2008 20:45:07 MST.