Zip-lock bags are extremely helpful when cooking outdoors. They come in a variety of sizes from 1 pint to 2 gallons. There is no need to buy expensive ones for most uses. You should be able to find off-brands at grocery stores, discount stores, or dollar stores. Here are some ideas and tips for using zip-lock bags to make your outdoor cooking job a little bit easier.
- Pre-measure ingredients and put in zip-lock bags. For example, if you know you need 2 cups of flour for a recipe, measure those 2 cups into a zip-lock bag at home, label it, and all you have to do at the campsite is dump it in. This works great for rice, pasta, sugar, flour, instant mashed potatoes, powdered drink mix, and almost any other similar ingredient.
- Pre-measuring and storing in zip-lock bags also works great for seasonings. Measure all the seasonings for a particular dish into a zip-lock bag. You don't have to take all the individual seasoning containers, nor worry about leaving one behind.
- Put all the zip-lock bags and other ingredients for each meal into a large zip-lock bag (1 or 2 gallon). This keeps everything for the meal in one place. Add copies of the recipes, if needed, to the bag and you are ready to go.
- Pre-mix ingredients and put in zip-lock bags. Cooking pancakes for breakfast? Mix all the dry ingredients together in a zip-lock bag, label it, then add the liquid ingredients to the bag and mix up when ready to cook. No dishes to wash. No cleanup. Just toss the empty bag in the garbage.
- Zip-lock bags are perfect for marinating meat before you grill. You can even freeze the meats with the marinade, which allows you to get them ready far in advance.
- Use zip-lock bags for leftovers and store in cooler. One great idea is to make omelets for the last breakfast with all the saved leftovers (depending on what you have). Just add eggs the zip-lock bags and mix up.
Precook rice or pasta at home and store in zip-lock bags. This makes it much easier to cook at the campsite, because all you have to do is heat it up.
- Precut meat and store in zip-lock bags. You won't have to worry in camp about the messy cleanup needed if you do it at home. If you want to really save time, you can even pre-cook the meats and store in zip-lock bags until you need at camp. Just heat up and you are ready to go.
- Precut vegetables and store in zip-lock bags. Cooking while camping can be more time consuming, but this tip will save you time by allowing you to do it ahead of time at home.
- Store snacks in zip-lock bags. Trail-mix, snack mix, pretzels, dried fruit, etc., store great in zip-lock bags. You can even make separate bags for each member of your family or group so there isn't any quibbling over portions
What ways do you have to use Zip-lock bags?