Author Topic: was fridges... now vacuum sealing bread  (Read 1759 times)

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Offline MuruCycles

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was fridges... now vacuum sealing bread
« on: February 14, 2019, 02:33:35 PM »
I'm sure that i read this in the last couple of weeks... (maybe month or so)

someone was saying that they had turned their fridge/freezer into (effectively) a dual zone using a layer of styrofoam I think?

food below the foam was kept extra cold and thus frozen while the food/drinks above the foam stayed nice and cold. (but not frozen)

anyone got any input on this?

does it work?

We're planning a Madigan Line trip this July with a bunch of fatbike mates and... well... I like my bread. Normal plain bread. Love making toast for breakfast. So I'm thinking of ways to utilise our 60L ARB fridge/freezer the best way.

If the foam thing works... I could chuck a couple of loaves (and maybe even some fishes...) in the bottom and freeze them solid. While still being able to use the top for vacuum sealed meats, vegies and drinks.

Yes, we could (with some practice) bake bread every couple of days in a camp oven too. (don't suggest flatbread as i can't stomach it and don't suggest damper either)




« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 04:48:07 PM by MuruCycles »
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Offline Bird

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2019, 02:35:07 PM »
Quote from: MuruCycles
I like my bread. Normal plain bread. Love making toast for breakfast.
Make damper!! LOL! Warm Damper with melted butter... oh yea
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Offline Aussie Iron

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2019, 05:53:17 PM »
We just use a towel over the frozen stuff on the bottom and up the sides a bit and the stuff above the towel stays really cool and generally not frozen..

Dan.
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Offline moeite

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2019, 11:06:34 PM »
Make damper!! LOL! Warm Damper with melted butter... oh yea
And the best damper can be had at the Drovers Run Caravan Park in Marree. Cooked and served by Brent with real butter and Golden Syrup. Yum.
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Offline edz

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2019, 06:44:41 AM »
Tried similar with our 50 lt Waeco, vac packed pre frozen meat on the bottom with two 5 mm sheets of pool noodle type foam on top,  vac packs stayed frozen / semi frozen for about 4 to 5 days,   we had to turn the temp up a bit to stop the drinks freezing [ beer slushies  ], though they were against the basket sides and the fridge was kept pretty full.
 The biggest pain is unpacking  /  repacking to dig stuff out of the bottom each day ..
Have now got a 21 lt Engel  to use as a stand alone freezer  when needed..
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 06:46:34 AM by edz »
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Offline tryagain

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2019, 07:26:26 AM »
The Evakool ones work like this, but this is because the bit that cools it is up one end, so if you put the divider in, and turn it up, that bit turns into a freezer, whilst the other part stays as a fridge.

Not sure if it would work properly without the cooling bit being up the one end/section that could be divided off.

Offline Craig Tomkinson

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2019, 07:38:00 AM »
My mate does it all the time with his Trailblazer but he uses a small esky inside the freezer, anything outside that esky freezes anything inside does not, and it lifts out essy Craig
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 08:06:59 AM by Craig Tomkinson »
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Offline chester ver2.0

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2019, 08:03:34 AM »
Yeah used to do it on my Engl all the time
A bit of yoga mat cut to shape did the trick. Only issue was a above you have to keep unpacking and re packing to get your steaks out

Now have a Primus double door fridge and will never go back
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Offline simmo_33

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2019, 08:32:50 AM »
In our trailblazer we used to use a bit of 12mm plywood to do the same. I ended up putting a hinge in the middle of the board so you only had to shift half the stuff on the top to get to the frozen stuff. You just had to remember which end the particular frozen item was to get it right the first time. The plywood also was a good solid base to put everything else on .eg. apparent "necessities" like vegetables.
Always worked a treat.. You can't kill those Trailblazers, ours is still going strong after 25 years of constant use
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Offline Bird

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2019, 08:40:12 AM »
What bout something like this.. Even an esky would work
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Offline Craig Tomkinson

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2019, 12:22:48 PM »
good idea, Yep my 100lt is still going Simmo, it must be around the same age It was my dads its spent most of its working life at Cape York
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Offline MuruCycles

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2019, 12:48:14 PM »
Yeah used to do it on my Engl all the time
A bit of yoga mat cut to shape did the trick. Only issue was a above you have to keep unpacking and re packing to get your steaks out

so a camping mat would be the same...

our meat will all be vacuum packed so it will be vacuum bagged and stored in collapsible silicone containers and can sit on top. It's honestly just the bread I'm thinking off...

(I know... it seems like a hell of a lot of trouble to go to. But dammit... I like my bread!)

We have a nice new spun steel camp oven (and a bread tray) so we'll do a few practice runs at baking bread before we go as well...

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Offline edz

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2019, 12:58:20 PM »
Maybe try and Vac pak say 4 slices of bread with a wax paper dividers between the slices, Might need some sort of light weight perforated  cage to sit them in though IE: Tupperware container with 1/8 th holes drilled all through it .. So you can flat pak freeze  it  and give it a try at home before you go ..  that way you wont have a big rectangle loaf taking up space ...
https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-freeze-bread-without-crushing-with-the-foodsaver/
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 01:09:33 PM by edz »
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Offline Spada

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2019, 12:59:13 PM »
(I know... it seems like a hell of a lot of trouble to go to. But dammit... I like my bread!)
We have a nice new spun steel camp oven (and a bread tray) so we'll do a few practice runs at baking bread before we go as well...

I always keep a few of these in the camper - https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/727560/laucke-crusty-white-bread-mix

Single loaf pack size includes the yeast sachet. Mix it up in the morning, bung it in the car to rise, bake ready for lunch. left overs for toast the next morning. 1 packet makes 1 loaf, or 4 pizza bases, or about 3 focaccia's
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Offline MuruCycles

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2019, 01:04:44 PM »
Maybe try and Vac pak say 4 slices of bread with a wax paper dividers between the slices, So you can flat pak freeze  it  and give it a try at home before you go ..  that way you wont have a big rectangle loaf taking up space

that was kinda' my thinking.
4 slices of Buttercup to a ziplock bag.
baking paper between slices.
freeze them hard at home.

then line the bottom "layer" of the fridge with multiple packs of them.

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Offline MuruCycles

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2019, 01:08:13 PM »
I always keep a few of these in the camper - https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/727560/laucke-crusty-white-bread-mix

Single loaf pack size includes the yeast sachet. Mix it up in the morning, bung it in the car to rise, bake ready for lunch. left overs for toast the next morning. 1 packet makes 1 loaf, or 4 pizza bases, or about 3 focaccia's

yeh we've used that at home in the breadmaker before. (made some damn nice rolls)

we'll be driving for most of the day, every day. So I was thinking of mixing it up at lunch maybe? letting it rise while driving the afternoon and then baking that evening.

Or will the rough driving wreck the rising effect?

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Offline sparksy

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2019, 07:44:08 PM »
We used to make up a few batches of dough then roll it into balls about the size of golf balls, wrap up in gladwrap  then freeze them.
When packing fridge setup as a freezer to go away, place the balls in bottom of freezer so they take up less space.
Each morning take out a few balls and after they defrost they will rise ready to be baked.
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Offline geopaj

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2019, 07:55:49 AM »
And the best damper can be had at the Drovers Run Caravan Park in Marree. Cooked and served by Brent with real butter and Golden Syrup. Yum.
ill second that! I nice guy too
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Offline MuruCycles

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2019, 04:43:54 PM »
ongoing development in the making bread last longer idea...

Yesterday I was just random googling "how to make sliced bread last longer".

One page suggested vacuum sealing. I know... you're thinking the very same thing that I did. Flat bread... and quick.

The same page suggested freezing the bread first. 4-8 slices at a time, then once frozen, vacuum seal them.

So last night I tried it. Guess what?

flat bread.

Now I only had the bread in the home freezer for about 2, maybe 3 hours. And I have another 4 slices in there since this morning for another attempt tonight.

But then I got to thinking... (ideas man that I am)

what if i used a sandwich sized plastic box. (the kind you might put the kids lunches in)

then drilled a couple of holes in the sides. Enough to allow air to be sucked out by the vacuum sealer, but not enough to weaken the box.

then put the entire thing into a vacuum bag and seal it up.

The box protects the bread from crushing. The holes allow all the air to be sucked out.

What am I missing?

Anyone think it will work?

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Offline Bird

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2019, 04:53:11 PM »
I dont think you'd suck enough air out of the box, as it does not collapse ???

Learn to make damper, have fresh bread daily :)

Why not use sanga bags, and just put 2/4 pieces in each zip lock bag itself. Get a few days out of it.
How long do you plan on needing to store the bread for?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 05:02:42 PM by Bird »
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Offline Hoyks

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Re: was fridges... now vacuum sealing bread
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2019, 05:35:21 PM »
Getting the fridge to work as a dual zone would all depend on where the thermocouple (sensor) for the thermostat sits. If you can get the foam to sit above the thermocouple, then you can use the foam to trap a layer of air around it and it will maintain the temp based on what it reads in that reduced space.

The Engel dual zones only have the cooling bit up one end of the box and a vertical moveable baffle. The others won't work quite as well as there is still room for the air to move around the cooling fins, but will probably work well enough for what you want if you keep the frozen stuff filling the bottom 2/3rds.
I'd suggest you cut up a Kmart closed cell fitness mat as it will insulate well, be able to be rinsed off if there are spillages and is all of $7.50.


I don't think you will have much luck vac bagging bread. The whole point of it is that it is full of air holes. Sucking all of them out gives nothing but disappointment.

As you found, trying to vac bag it with no protection will give you flat bread. Sticking it in a protective structure will probably allow you to draw a vacuum, but will defeat the purpose as it will probably freeze dry the bread and not actually reduce its volume, so when thawed you get prematurely stale bread that still took up too much room in the fridge.
Pulling a really good vacuum will suck the air out of the bubbles, then when you release the vacuum, atmospheric pressure will squish the bread anyway.

My suggestions would be:
a. Stick the load in the freezes overnight before transferring it into the car fridge. If you can get dual zone sort of set up to work, all the better. Try and protect it with some sort of structure (folded cardboard??) as heavy stuff will still squish it.

b. Bake fresh bread. If you couldn't be arsed mixing flour and waiting for it to rise while camping, then get some bread mix and make it up at home. But instead of letting it rise the first time, glad-wrap it and bung it in the freezer. Pull it out at lunchtime and by dinner it should of thawed and hopefully risen and be ready to bake.

c. grab some balls of pizza dough from Woolies and pretend its bread because it basically is really. https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/965942/picasso-pizza-dough-ball

d. learn to love damper.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 05:37:57 PM by Hoyks »
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Offline weeds

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Re: was fridges... now vacuum sealing bread
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2019, 06:22:33 PM »
Grab a travel buddy oven......fresh bread every day, made while driving along.


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Offline edz

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Re: turning a freezer/fridge into a freezer AND a fridge (dual zone)
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2019, 06:56:35 PM »
ongoing development in the making bread last longer idea...




But then I got to thinking... (ideas man that I am)

what if i used a sandwich sized plastic box. (the kind you might put the kids lunches in)

then drilled a couple of holes in the sides. Enough to allow air to be sucked out by the vacuum sealer, but not enough to weaken the box.

then put the entire thing into a vacuum bag and seal it up.

The box protects the bread from crushing. The holes allow all the air to be sucked out.

What am I missing?

Anyone think it will work?



Suggested that back near the start .. Vacuum is vacuum you would think, even if there is a cage holding the bag apart for bread to sit in it should  suck the air out and draw down to a negative pressure around the cage and seal the bag .
bread etc oin a vacuum chamber , so would be the same if done in a cage inside a bag and put under a vacuum . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOfaOPk1sIc
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 07:13:56 PM by edz »
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Offline Craig Tomkinson

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Re: was fridges... now vacuum sealing bread
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2019, 06:58:43 PM »
I am only back a couple of weeks from 3 weeks camping at Inskip pt, I just did what Simmo said he did with his trailblazert, to my old 100lt trailblazer worked unreel just used six  2llt coke bottle full of water to hold the ply half way everything below froze including the 6 coke bottles full of water, and everything above the ply was just fridge, 
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Offline BBull

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Re: was fridges... now vacuum sealing bread
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2019, 07:46:23 AM »
I have a 60l engel and have been trying to turn one end into a freezer and the other into a fridge. The most difference I can get is 5 deg between the 2. I have insulated one basket with numerous insulation but because it sits against the element it still gets a lot of the cold seeping through the insulation. I do have a evakool out of the boat but I would have to modify the whole back of the car as it is different size to the engel.

I will keep playing to try to find some insulation that will not let the cold through.
I mainly want the freezer for fish fillets and bait bombs for my bait cannon when fishing up the beach.