I try to help readers think “outside the box” when it comes to improvising in an emergency and in this case that means “inside the bag”. When I teach emergency and primitive cooking classes I introduce the idea that conventional cooking apparatus is not needed in order to cook food. I’ll use a trowel or garden hoe to make hoecakes over coals or I’ll make soup in a rotating Gatorade bottle. It generally comes down to providing a barrier between the food and the heat source. In this case a plastic bag is used to contain the raw eggs that are submerged into boiling water to cook.
Boiling water is limited to 210 degrees Fahrenheit and thus cannot “burn” food that is cooked in it. It’s best to use a thicker plastic material as a container so a freezer bag works best. An added advantage is that having a transparent material allows you to monitor the eggs while they’re cooking. As usual, room temperature food elements cook quicker than when they’re frozen. Knowing these simple facts allow you to be both efficient in cooking and creative in your cuisine.
Eggs alone taste great but you can “take it up a notch” and create a gourmet omelet by scrambling the eggs and adding onions, bell peppers, sausage and more. Simply add the elements into a plastic bag, press out excess air and close the seal. You can hold the top of the bag by hand and submerge the bottom into boiling water for about 4 minutes or so. If the bag seems too hot to handle, you can use a stick to poke just under the seal and suspend it over the boiling water.
Although you can eat straight out of the bag after it cools a little, I prefer using a spoon, so don’t forget to bring one along when you try this at your next camp-out.
Plastic is soluble? It looks like a solid and feels like a solid, but what ever you put in (especially when heat is added eg. microwaving in glad ware) molecules of plastic mix with the contents you intend on eating. I don’t let my family eat plastic, and would strongly urge you to research this more before making it a part of your family’s diet. Boiling water cooked eggs long before Ziploc ever made it to the scene, and will continue to cook eggs when it’s long gone.
I’ve heard it’s not really a good idea to cook food in freezer bags or regular ziplock ones because they can leach plastic into your food. Best to use the heavier grade seal-a-meal ones; they’re made for this.
In teaching survival skills I have a short-term focus, enabling a person to survive until they can gain help or find their way out of danger. Not all methods are ideal for long term practice but can save the day in an emergency. I also advocate practicing now so that you will be prepared when an emergency occurs.
I do fully understand an emergency situation, still I don’t know why I’d do this, just lower the egg into boiling water — poached eggs are yummy! – this way you could still pack them without the shell – though I don’t know why you would want to.
I agree with you Ken. In case of an emergency and the real need to EAT arises, there’s no way I’m letting a little plastic (dirt, convenience, etc) stand in the way of feeding those who rely on me.
What ways I see this scenario best suited for is if 1. You don’t know if your water is clean or not (or you can’t make it so) and thus you don’t want to poach the egg right in the questionable water and 2) you need to get it cooked and move on, carrying the egg (or whatever) with you as you move toward more secure surroundings.
You can also cook cake batter this way as well. strange looking but yummy and in emerg situations if you happen across a box it’d be a nice bonus!