Frozen Roasts Give Better Yield, Taste With Cooking Bag

Paul Summers, president of G & W Packing Company of Chicago has developed such a strong relationship with some of his customers that when he throught he had a good product for them, he asked them to test it to see if it was really right for them.

The product was a meat roast using a nylon film oven cooking bag as a packaging material and the customers were Chicago area hospitals customers Summers called on with regularity.

Developing relationships

The relationship has developed over the years by Summers meeting his customers needs. One way of meeting the needs of his customers has been by holding seminars on meat management, covering the proper methods of cooking and handling meat. His seminars have no sales ptich, only identifying him and his company as sponsors of the all-day events.

Getting the most our of the food dollar has been a constant theme. Hospitals, especially, have to control their costs. They're very receptive to any good ideas to hold expenses down.

While Summers has been holding seminars as sales tools for more than 20 years, through G & W and other companies, his is the only meat packing company in Chicago currently putting on such events.

Seminars can be excellent sales tools, as long as you try to be objective and teach people. We operate on the idea that if you help people, they'll come back to you.

Economical cooking

  • We also believe, and have convinced our customers, that the most economical way to cook roasts is by slow cooking in a cook-in-bag. A cood-in-bag product was tried 25 years ago,' he continued, "but it wasn't successful. It was really a sealed bag rather than a continuous sleeve and gave the meat a steamed taste.
  • I feel the time is right for a cock-in-bag product since great improvements have been made. Summers said he had been looking for the best product to use for his frozen packaged roasts, and found that although there were many available, he was having a hard time finding just the right one. 
  • We saw Reynolds Oven Film at a trade show and decided to give it a try. One of our customers had also seen the Reynolds product and told us about it. It turned our to be just what we were looking for. The oven film is actually a continuous sleeve which can be cut to any length. By sealing both ends, different foods can be cooked together in the same oven without odor or flavor transfer. 
  • Summers and five Chicago hospitals tested the oven film and came up with cooking procedures that best fit their specific needs.

Better yield

Through the hospitals tests, we found a 6 percent better yield is possible by following our procedures and slicing the roast cold, holding and then finishing up cooking. That can mean a savings of up to 75 cents a pound. By cooking the roast at a lower temperature for a longer time and holding it in the bag, the meat doesn't dry out. It gives more servings and stays tender.

Summers said hospital chefs like using a product which comes ready to cook with little or no preparation time. Foodservice personnel also like the oven film package because there is little splashing and spilling so pans and ovens stay cleaner, according to Summers.