Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hillbilly Ingenuity: Butcher Paper Dispenser

It's butchering and packing time again, and the question of how to package meat is one we often consider. We once used vacuum seal bags and a vacuum sealer, but found that to be time consuming and expensive. The cost was not worthwhile since we were consuming the meat far faster than the recommended shelf life, so the extra protection from freezer burn just wasn't necessary. Additionally, the wear and tear on my machine caused it to fail in a fairly short amount of time. Zipper bags are more economical and convenient, but not always strong enough or reliable enough of a seal. So we are currently experimenting with a double wrapping of plastic wrap and butcher paper.

The only problem with this method so far is convenience. Admittedly, the ability to write on the paper or tape directly is great. The two wraps are economical when purchased from a commercial supply house. The paper, however, is unwieldy, and heavy, and does not come with any kind of dispenser/cutter as the plastic wrap does. Our partner/neighbor/friend put together a device to help deal with that issue.

Meat Packing Station/My Dining Table
The structure is basically like a commercial paper dispenser. The box is made of scrap plywood. The roll is supported by a piece of concrete reinforcing metal bar. The cutter is a piece of 90 degree angled aluminum which was repurposed from the lid of a terrarium, held down by bungee cords. There is even room underneath for a box of plastic bags.

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