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Looking for Dehydrated-Meal-in-Freezer-Bag Cooking Advice
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Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Looking for Dehydrated-Meal-in-Freezer-Bag Cooking Advice on 08/29/2012 20:57:19 MDT Print View

I've only ever had about a 1/2 dozen prepackaged Mountain House / Backpackers Pantry style meals, and always ate them out of the ridiculously large package they came in, so here is my question:

Q: I've repackaged them into Ziplock (brand) Gallon Ziplock bags and plan on putting in the boiling water - waiting - and eating. Should I make / buy a Freezer bag Cozy to speed the cooking time and help me hold it better ? Is it worth the added small weight ? Where do I get one / or what do I use to make one?

Stephen P
(spavlock) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Looking for Dehydrated-Meal-in-Freezer-Bag Cooking Advice on 08/29/2012 21:09:05 MDT Print View

Gallon size? Will they not fit in quart size?

A common material used is called reflectix. You can use foil tape to tape the seams.

Mine weighs under an ounce.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Cozies on 08/29/2012 21:10:49 MDT Print View

Lots of places have cozies. A system I read about here on the forums somewhere that has worked very well for me involves getting a cozy for your put the bag back into the now empty pot once you've added the boiling water, place the cozy with lid on it....wait a few minutes, and then use your pot like a bowl to eat from. Somebody here has a video on the technique, but my memory fails me.

Otherwise, a standard cozy works fine too. AntiGravity Gear is one place where you can get a pot cozy, or standard ones as well.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Cozies on 08/29/2012 21:19:40 MDT Print View

I do mostly Pasta Sides and they fit fine in quart size so i made my cozie to fit that. I used the windshield sunscreen, make sure you use the bubblewrap kind. add water, mix well, put into cozie and let it cook. eat out of the bag, no clean up needed.


Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Cozy on 08/29/2012 21:22:29 MDT Print View

Hi Seth. Ya, a cozy really helps with cook'n up freeze dried and dehydrated meals, especially the latter, as those usually require more and longer heat. You can buy one from Sara Kirkconell at or make one yourself out of reflectex (a type of mylar bubble wrap available at hardware stores). Just be sure to make it incorporating a flat base so it can stand up, i.e., not envelope style.

I made mine out of two neoprene beer can insulators by unstitching each one and then joining the two together using duct tape. The end result is a cozy that is the exact right size to hold a MH freeze dried dinner! After the requsite 10 - 12 minutes of rehydrating it's still too hot to eat, so be careful.

If you're going to repackage, just be sure to use the freezer grade bags, as they're heavier and less prone to leak.

Happy Trails!

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Thanks to all ! on 08/30/2012 05:48:10 MDT Print View

I knew I could rely on the cumulative wealth of the BPL members knowledge ! Thanks for all the great suggestions - I actually found a bubble wrap car windshield thing in my closet -- and will proceed to do some fast and dirty surgery to make my Franken-Cozy come alive !

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Looking for Dehydrated-Meal-in-Freezer-Bag Cooking Advice on 08/30/2012 15:44:58 MDT Print View

Hi Seth - Check out They have cozies and all kinds of stuff, including the book "Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple" by Sarah Svien Kirkconnell. Highly recommend the book. It explains how to do freezer bag cooking. The website has great information, recipes, supplies, etc.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Another option on 08/30/2012 16:26:59 MDT Print View

Instead of a cozy, I put my freezer bag, mug or pot, whichever I am using at the time, in a thin plastic bag and then wrap in an article of clothing. A bandanna usually works fine unless it is cold or windy out. Then I might also throw my sleeping bag/quilt over the top.

The plastic bag helps keep escaping steam and odors from getting in the clothing item.

It also helps to put the whole thing inside your shelter as wind break while waiting for cooking to finish.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Looking for Dehydrated-Meal-in-Freezer-Bag Cooking Advice on 09/05/2012 15:19:25 MDT Print View

I take a 2 serving MH meal and split it into 2 1qt Ziploc bags. I then write on the bags what it is and how much water is needed. If I’m eating above 30°F, then I don’t use a cozy. That way, in 9-10 minutes, the freeze dried is done and cooled enough not to burn my tongue too much.

Below that temperature-- and I use a cozy I cut from a ¼” CCF mat. It’s actually a rectangle that’s held into a cylinder by Velcro. But that way it folds flat and has about 0.2oz weight.


Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
PIG on 09/05/2012 17:35:52 MDT Print View

You can find much better meals at Packit Gourmet ( They all come with the proper sized "freezer bag", and they taste MUCH better. They also recommend using a cozy.