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Author Topic: storing crab meat ALa vacuum gadget  (Read 3762 times)
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Big AL
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« on: January 23, 2004, 03:45:30 PM »

Hi every one, I was going through the postings and noticed a few references to using crab meat that was from fresh caught crabs during the past season. Question ? How do you pack it in vacuum bag ? How long does it last ? does it retain it's flavor ? Etc. Reason for asking my son just bought a unit and I thought it might be worth while to borrow it this season. Thanks for any information, Big AL, keep smiling  Smiley Wink
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ran_c
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2004, 09:22:19 PM »

vacuum pack bags work really well if it is industrial. the cheap vacuums from walmart don't work well. the seal gets wet and it doesn't seal off. also moisture gets in the machine and it shorts out. i have a industrial vacuum packer and it work really well....it should it cost 1800.00 i use it to pack softshells and fish fillets. the shelf life for frozen seafood in a good vacuum bag is around 1 1/2 to 2 years. at least that is what local packing plants tell me.
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Crabpop
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2004, 09:32:09 PM »

Big Al, those vacuum seal bagging units are to storing crab meat and crab cakes as what chicken is to catchin' crabs.
Here's how to do it.
First, and foremost, the crab meat or crab cakes must be quick frozen before placing in the bag to vacuum.  If not frozen, the vacuuming process will cause the crab meat and crab cakes to become crab pancakes.  SO, form the fresh crab meat and crab cakes (make from your favorite recipe) into balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Place the cookie sheet into your freezer for about 1 hour, until the crab meat and crab cakes are very firm (press down on them and if they begin to collapse, put them back in the freezer for another 30 minutes...you want them to retain their ball shape).  When hard enough, place them in the bag and separated by space.  The bag should look something like this:

----------
  O   O  |
  O   O  |
  O   O  |
----------

I still have 4 bags of crab cakes (with 6 cakes per bag)
in my freezer from Jul-Sep of last year.  Not a sign of freezer burn, dryout, or frost inside the bags.  I put the package date on each bag.  The crab cakes taste just as great as the day they were made -- maybe a little better because the ingredients have mingled.  So, just remember to quick freeze first.  Oh yeah, I forgot.  Your son and you are gonna have a falling out.  You're never gonna give him back the vacuuming unit.  Guaranteed!
So, go out and buy one.  They range in price from $90 to
around $140. You're gonna love it! Grin Grin

Crabpop
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Crabpop
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2004, 09:38:14 PM »

I totally agree with what ran_c said above.  This is another reason to freeze the crab into crab balls or crab cakes first.  You're not dealing with anything wet when you vacuum seal the bag and there's no moisture to prevent a good seal or residue to get sucked into the vacuum pump.  Freezing first works!  Grin

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Big AL
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2004, 03:53:12 PM »

Hey guys, thanks for all the good advise. Now all I have to do is learn how to catch enough crabs to be able to try your ideas out. Not toooooo long now.
                               thanks again, Big AL, keep smiling Smiley Wink
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2004, 08:25:33 PM »

great idea crabpop. hey big al, we are glad to help whenever we can. all you all need is some warm weather and ya'll will be knee deep in crabs again. well, i guess tomorrow i will have to boil me a dozen blues and a couple pounds of stone crab claws....lol. happy eatin Grin
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