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Vacuum sealing

Old 08-27-2019, 04:18 AM
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Dry & most of my fish doesn't see water until just before cooking & that's is dried after also.
Old 08-27-2019, 04:27 AM
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You don't have to go crazy with the drying. After cleaning up the filets to eliminate all bloodlines and other crap, I simply arrange them in the freezer bags the way I want them and toss in the freezer. After about 30 minutes, they are pretty close to frozen. That's when I run them through the vacuum sealer. Works great. I have had 2.5 year old filets get lost in the freezer and be perfect.
Old 08-27-2019, 05:49 AM
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Fish are filleted, trimmed of any blood and dropped into a ice brine bath and cleaned well. Portions are tossed into a colander and put in the fridge while I clean up. With excess moisture basically gone they go into bags and sealed. When I was still using the vac style sealers I would put the portions on a non stick metal sheet pan and put in the deep freezer until firm and then vac pack. I also did as above by putting the portions in the bags and then in the freezer before sealing. Preferred the sheet pan method. With a chamber vac it does not matter if there is moisture.

tuna is always wrapped in paper towel and rested in the fridge for several hours before freezing. Never washed.
Old 08-27-2019, 07:25 PM
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For the longest time I read about on here about not using freshwater to wash the fish. I couldn't understand how one could clean fish and not wash it off. Well I started doing it at the beginning of the summer. I take a little longer and try to do better about not getting scales, blood and slime on the fillets. I clean them with paper towels before cooking. I'm can't say 100% that the meat taste tons better, but I feel better about eating it raw or in a ceviche. And also the presentation looks better.

My brother on the other hand, who processes a ton more fish than me. His method is clean the fish and toss the fillets in a bucket of ice water (fresh). He let's it sit in the ice water overnight. Cuts the blood lines out the next day and picks it up/cooks it. Works because his fish is good!
Old 08-27-2019, 07:31 PM
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I bring back 2, 5 gallon buckets of offshore saltwater to clean my fillets before drying and sealing. Freshwater will ruin a saltwaterfish fillet.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Windwood View Post
I bring back 2, 5 gallon buckets of offshore saltwater to clean my fillets before drying and sealing. Freshwater will ruin a saltwaterfish fillet.
this is exactly what I do...
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Old 08-28-2019, 01:48 AM
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I wrap them in saran wrap and put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer for about an hour before vacuum sealing. Pre-freezing them keeps the vacuum sealer from sucking any moisture into the seal, keeping the seal dry is critical to a good seal that'll last.
Old 08-28-2019, 03:45 AM
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I would be more concerned at the level of cleanliness the fish cleaning table is over worrying about "if the filet touches" fresh water when eating raw- now or in the near future. The moment you put that knife blade thru the skin there is the possibility of transferring anything from skin to meat. Next thing how many people actually clean their hands when filleting a fish. Think about it- all the places you touch that filet while cutting it out.

Cooking fish and dousing it with spices, oil, butter, etc you would never know the difference between a fish that had been washed off with fresh water over saltwater. The only thing that would make the flavor change is the bloodline.

My process at the boat ramp- filet fish, wash off with provided water source (generally fresh), stuff in bag, and completely cover in ice. Once in my kitchen and ready to vacuum seal. Wash off with fresh water and make final cuts of bloodline or any unwanted pieces. Then portion meals, pat dry, and place in vacuum bag.
Old 08-28-2019, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by J Lightning View Post
I would be more concerned at the level of cleanliness the fish cleaning table is over worrying about "if the filet touches" fresh water when eating raw- now or in the near future. The moment you put that knife blade thru the skin there is the possibility of transferring anything from skin to meat. Next thing how many people actually clean their hands when filleting a fish. Think about it- all the places you touch that filet while cutting it out.

Cooking fish and dousing it with spices, oil, butter, etc you would never know the difference between a fish that had been washed off with fresh water over saltwater. The only thing that would make the flavor change is the bloodline.

My process at the boat ramp- filet fish, wash off with provided water source (generally fresh), stuff in bag, and completely cover in ice. Once in my kitchen and ready to vacuum seal. Wash off with fresh water and make final cuts of bloodline or any unwanted pieces. Then portion meals, pat dry, and place in vacuum bag.
This is exactly my thought process, and what I do as well. Fish cleaning tables are loaded with bacteria
Old 08-28-2019, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by J Lightning View Post
I would be more concerned at the level of cleanliness the fish cleaning table is over worrying about "if the filet touches" fresh water when eating raw- now or in the near future. The moment you put that knife blade thru the skin there is the possibility of transferring anything from skin to meat. Next thing how many people actually clean their hands when filleting a fish. Think about it- all the places you touch that filet while cutting it out.

Cooking fish and dousing it with spices, oil, butter, etc you would never know the difference between a fish that had been washed off with fresh water over saltwater. The only thing that would make the flavor change is the bloodline.

My process at the boat ramp- filet fish, wash off with provided water source (generally fresh), stuff in bag, and completely cover in ice. Once in my kitchen and ready to vacuum seal. Wash off with fresh water and make final cuts of bloodline or any unwanted pieces. Then portion meals, pat dry, and place in vacuum bag.
The freshwater immediately changes the meat. It toughens the outside very quickly.
Old 08-28-2019, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Windwood View Post
The freshwater immediately changes the meat. It toughens the outside very quickly.
What are yall doing with all the fillets while you're cleaning an entire box of fish in the summer heat?

When I get home I always fill a large stainless bowl with freshwater ice and some salt, then put my fillets in there while I clean the rest of the fish.

Pretty sure they would literally cook if I just piled them up on the cleaning table in direct sun. My thing has always been to keep everything as cold as possible. I put fish straight into a saltwater ice slurry and put fresh fillets in ice, water, and salt bath until I get inside and vacuum seal them. Used to freeze them in water for years before vacuum sealing.

Definitely open to try something different and if it means better preservation of the fish....
Old 08-28-2019, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by triplejs View Post
When we catch a lot of fish we don't let anything go to waste. We vacuum seal everything we're not using immediately. My question is when you guys vacuum seal your fish, do you dry them first before sealing them or do you seal them wet and then dry them when you're going to eat them
We use a Vac Master 215 commercial vacuum sealer here at the lodge and that thing is the dog's balls! We dry the fillets with paper towels, bag, vacuum seal. and then strait to the freezer. If you have more time and patience it is best to paper towel dry the fillets, let the fillets sit in the fridge over night, and then paper towel dry them again before vacuum sealing.
Old 08-28-2019, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mpellet View Post


I dry my filets and then vacuum seal.
This ^^ My vacuum sealer will pull streams of water across the seal and prevent a solid seal.
Old 08-29-2019, 07:59 AM
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We bring back a 5 gallon of fresh seawater from way out and use that to clean fish. We also bring another one to boil the crab in.
Old 08-31-2019, 09:40 AM
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I pat the fillets dry, place them on a sheet covered with parchment paper, then freeze them for about an hour. Place the fillets in bag and seal. In addition to helping ensure a solid seal by having no free moisture, this method also keeps the fillets in shape, not “mushed”. The fillets do not stick to parchment paper, and it leaves no residue like wax paper would.
Old 08-31-2019, 10:39 AM
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vac master, as he said is the way to go, so many uses -- I even use it on fishing tackle --- the machine is the bomb
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:25 PM
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I'm a professional chef first and foremost, then a fisherman. I rinse the whole fish if necessary, then fillet it. I only rinse fish with blood on it, nothing else is needed usually. Get the blood off of it before filleting!

Fillets go in a clean bag before putting it on ice. If skin is removed, then cut out blood line, then in the clean bag, then into cooler while transporting.

Vacmaster SVP-15 is a chamber vacuum sealer, unlike Foodsaver. Foodsavers are fantastic until you get into higher volume processing, where bag cost outweighs the machine costs. Vacmaster bags are only 8-10 cents each when bought in bulk.

We've never rinsed fillets prior to sealing, or patted the fillets dry, or frozen in water bath or brine. Rinsing is only necessary when the fish is already starting to spoil. And we would never need to rinse because the cutting boards are dirty, because...who even uses dirty cutting boards????

Water will rarely improve the quality of a vacuumed fillet. You are only adding a dilutant to the fresh fillet! It's like diluting a martini- why do it? Patting fillets dry is adding a dirty step to a simple process, and increasing the chances of foreign matter entering into a very pure, clean process.
Old 09-02-2019, 06:00 PM
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I must be the only one who gets slime, blood, and scales on his fillets that need to be rinsed before vacuum sealing....
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:24 PM
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Me too
Old 09-03-2019, 04:48 AM
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Ok I have figured it out

If you plan on eating it raw DON'T ever allow the filet to touch fresh water. In the event fresh water touches it, immediately discard the filet due to it has ruined the filet.

If all else fails dump a bunch of spices and cook it under high heat and you won't know the difference.

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