How to Freeze Fish or Venison Without a Vacuum Sealer

Frozen Meat

Is your vacuum sealer not working well? Or maybe you don’t want to buy one yet?

You really don’t need one – this method works great, if not better, than cheaper sealers like Foodsavers, and only requires a couple things from the grocery store:

  • Plastic food wrap
  • Freezer paper
  • Freezer tape
Plastic wrap and parchment paper

When we first started hunting we knew almost nothing about it. Our friend in Idaho took us out and taught us from begining to end how to harvest a big game animal and process the meat. We will forever be greatful for him because it’s an intimidating process to do the first time without having someone to teach you.

After this first hunt, he showed us his trick for how he freezes his meat without a vacuum sealer, and since then we have used this simple technique for pretty much every type of wild food we have harvested.

It’s very simple:

  1. Wrap the meat tightly in plastic seran wrap and squeeze out as much air as you can.
  2. Wrap the meat with a second layer of seran wrap, again squeezing to try and get any air out.
  3. Wrap tightly with freezer paper and tape with freezer paper tape.
  4. Remember to Label as you go!

For ground meat, we just form it into one or two pound “logs” that are the shape of a burrito and roll that up in the seran wrap. It works great. We use this method for steaks, roasts, cubes and strips, ground, fillets, and basically any cut of meat you throw at us.

We have found that frozen meats last longer when frozen this way than they do after vacum sealing them with our Foodsaver. Fish with bones do particularly badly after being frozen with a Foodsaver, but this method works great, even for bony fish.

At this point, we pretty much only use the Foodsaver when we want the meat to look nice, and that’s it.

Packaged Lake Trout Fillets
The Foodsaver made this Lake Trout meat look great, but it doesn’t seem to last as long in the freezer.

Someday we will fork up the money to get a really nice vacuum sealer, and I am sure that they are worth every penny. But right now we don’t have the pennies – plastic wrap and freezer paper are cheap and they work great!

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