Vacuum bags vs butcher paper

rooster440

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What’s “better”? I’ve been using a vacuum sealer for years and love it. Occasionally I pull a bag out of the freezer that lost its seal though. Is plastic and butcher paper a better option? I do a lot of out of state hunts and typically process my own and I’m thinking paper and plastic might take up slightly less room in my truck as well. Thoughts?


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coop22250

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I’ve done both, we vac pack fish, wrap meat.

What I’ve started doing and seems to work well, is wrap whole muscles rather than pieces. Take the loin, cut it into say an 8” piece, double wrap in cling wrap, then wax lined freezer paper. Same with big chunks of the round, etc. I like this as I can make whatever I want when I get it out, stew, stir fry, steaks, roast, I’m not locked into what I choose when processing. Also cuts processing time down to nothing flat, easier to get all of the air out of big pieces instead of individual cuts.


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Laelkhunter

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The importance of removing as much air as possible from the package is what protects the meat. If you use butcher paper before vacuum sealing, there will still be some air trapped in the package. I have wrapped some meat in clear plastic wrap (Saran wrap) before vacuum sealing. The plastic wrap seems to collapse better to allow more air to be removed from the package. Mostly I just vacuum pack without wrapping the meat, and if I go in the freezer to get some meat, I will take a package that seems to have lost it's seal. This usually happens after the meat has been frozen, and the package gets nicked by moving it around in the freezer. I just use those first.
 

nettereo16

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I don't have a strong opinion on either.

I will say vac sealed packages require you to be more gentle when sorting through freezer. I noticed when they take on air it was usually because I had moved them around too hard and they got a tiny puncture more than the seal failing.
 

Tenstrike

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Use the combination of commercial butcher plastic wrap and butcher paper. Go to a commercial paper supply company and by a large roll of butcher plastic, it comes in a box that works as a dispenser. Get a good stand for a roll of butcher paper. When processing your game, first wrap in the plastic with the focus on removing as much air as possible. Then wrap in butcher paper. Your meat will last a long time in the freezer. Enjoy.
 

Wapiti1

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I have found no method that lasts as long as good vacuum sealing. I've also found that the bags I get make a big difference. Weston bags seem to be better than most other brands, and I like the bags from VacuPack the best.

Get bags that are sous vide capable. They are tougher than standard bags.

I haven't wrapped meat or fish for many years.

Now, best of both worlds would be vacuum seal and then wrap in butcher paper to protect the sealed bag. There is no way you will get as much air out with simple plastic wrap.

Jeremy
 

Ucsdryder

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I did heavy duty plastic wrap and wax paper, both from LEM. I used fairly large pieces of both so most pieces are double wrapped by both wraps. I can’t imagine it won’t outlast any vacuum seal.
 

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spur60

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I vac seal everything. waterfowl, pheasants, deer, antelope, and broke down portions of bulk domestic animals.
Have very few issues with punctures or seals giving up, but I keep my two deep freezers organized. Just re-organized my wild game freezer last night. after finishing up cutting up & vac'ing my antelope.
 

Wrench

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Its not uncommon for me to find 3 year old meat when I reorganize the freezer. I use ziploc freezer bags in freezer paper.

One of the killers overlooked is the type of freezer. A frost free simply sucks for long term storage.
 

SaltySailor

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Palmer, Alaska
I've been using a vac-sealer for years with great results. My issue with it is the insane cost of quality vac-sealer bags! When my vac-sealer dies, I'm going to start doing plastic wrap/butcher paper.
 

gelton

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I can't seem to remember where I saw this, very well could have been here on rokslide, may have been on meateater, but someone did a test once and found that butcher paper and seran wrap keep longer than the vac bags.
 

IdahoHntr

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Idaho Falls
In my experience plastic wrap and butcher paper last longer. Maybe, it's cause I'm not careful enough with the vac bags or maybe they just plain aren't as good as plastic and paper, but either way, the paper and plastic produces a product I can move around as much as I want without worry and the meat will last longer than it takes for me to eat it. No reason to mess with bags that might end up losing their seal somehow. I still vac seal some things, but only stuff that will be eaten shortly, like fish for us, but any meat that I want to last gets plastic and paper.
 
OP
rooster440

rooster440

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Maybe I’ll try the plastic and butcher paper this year!


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bperdue21

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VA
I used the vacuum sealer one year before I went back to seran wrap and freezer paper. All mine is generally gone in a year and I can plastic and paper wrap it quicker and cheaper than the vacuum sealer.
 

Ucsdryder

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Maybe I’ll try the plastic and butcher paper this year!


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im in for the wrap and butcher paper for 110 delivered. I think it’ll do about 7-8 elk. Pretty dang cheap!
 

sndmn11

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Morrison, Colorado
I don't have a strong opinion on either.

I will say vac sealed packages require you to be more gentle when sorting through freezer. I noticed when they take on air it was usually because I had moved them around too hard and they got a tiny puncture more than the seal failing.

That is my experience as well. I found stacking them so they are vertical rather than horizontal, like books at the library, helps a little bit.
 

butcherboy

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Jul 20, 2014
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Kirtland, NM
For cost and longevity, plastic wrap and freezer paper is the best. Notice I said freezer paper and not butcher paper. Freezer paper is coated with polyethylene, not wax. Butcher paper is just white paper. For vacuum sealing I would wrap in plastic wrap first then vacuum seal. If the bag pops in the freezer and loses it’s vacuum then the there is still a layer of protection with the plastic wrap.

Commercially, we wrap everything in plastic then freezer paper. Vacuum seal ham, bacon, jerky, snack sticks, etc. the ham and bacon are still wrapped in plastic first.
 

LanceS4803

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Oct 9, 2020
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I had a processor use butcher paper, and not freezer paper. We lost a lost of meat to freezer burn.
 
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