Vacuum sealing is an excellent way to keep food fresh and extend its shelf life. A vacuum sealer is a goldmine of usefulness for the homesteader or the person who cooks a lot at home and concerned about food wastage. But, how to use a vacuum sealer properly? Items ready to be sealed are first put in a special heat seal plastic bag. As soon as the bag is placed in an electronic vacuum sealer, a machine quickly removes all the air and heat seals the bag. The effect is an airtight, long-lasting seal that keeps food fresh and stops it from going bad in the freezer. In the freezer, refrigerator, or pantry, sealed items can be kept long. Read on to know more facts about this ‘tiny but mighty’ machine.
Vacuum Sealer Uses
Vacuum sealer became widely popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After that, they faded into the culinary industry’s background. Until recently, sous vide cooking became the newest home chef craze. As sous vide cooking is popular in professional kitchens, vacuum sealers have become a popular home option. Whether for sous vide or others, a vacuum sealing machine offers many advantages. Let’s see what can you vacuum seal using this packing machine.
1. Meat and Cheese Storage
Buying perishables like meat and cheese in bulk and saving the leftovers can help you save money, which makes a solid incentive to get yourself a vacuum sealer. Air is a key food preservation foe. Mold can form on an open block of cheese stored in the fridge for a few weeks. Reduce the risk by reducing air and using vacuum food sealer machine.
2. Using a Dry Sealing Method, Seal Jars
You should not store spices, nuts, and yeast in a bag unless they are used in little amounts frequently. Instead, vacuum seals them in a glass jar. The jar accessories for many vacuum sealers are sold separately. You can swiftly open the jar, take what you need out, and fast close it again. Unfortunately, vacuum bags require constant cutting open, wasting plastic.
3. Enhance the Flavor, Marinating
Another wonderful advantage of vacuum sealing is that it can be used to marinade and season food to enhance the dish’s flavor. Combine marinades or seasonings with chicken, fish, or beef and vacuum seal to give your cooking experience a quick and wonderful boost.
4. Freezer Burn Prevention
Foods that have been vacuum-sealed are more resistant to freezer burn and dehydration. Freezer burn happens when air comes into contact with the water crystals surrounding food in the refrigerator freezer. Vacuum sealing helps prevent this from happening by prohibiting air from coming into contact with the food. Freezer burn is not harmful to your health; however, it degrades the taste and texture of the food it is cooked in.
5. Preserve Non-perishable Items
Other than for use in the kitchen, a vacuum sealer can be used to safeguard important documents (such as birth certificates, car titles, and your will) from water damage in the event of a flood or burst water pipe. In addition, items that can degrade over time, such as bandages and pharmaceuticals, can be vacuum sealed and stored in your emergency pack. It’s also a good idea to lock items that shouldn’t be exposed to water, such as matches.
6. Maintain the Freshness of your Wine
A vacuum sealer is capable of accomplishing this. A bottle stopper attachment allows you to refasten open bottles of wine to keep them fresh for later use. These should not be used with effervescent wines. Because the vacuum seal removes all of the air, spirited beverages will become flat due to the vacuum seal. These attachments can also provide oils and vinegar, especially homemade oil decoctions and pricey, specialist items.
7. Sous Vide
Cooking sous vide does not necessitate the use of a vacuum sealer. All you need is water and a zip-lock bag to use your immersion circulator for cooking steak, poultry, fish, and more. However, if you enjoy sous vide cooking and do it frequently, a vacuum sealer will spare you the headache of dealing with zip-lock bags. It also lets out as much air as possible, preventing the bag from floating while cooking.
8. Ingredients can be Saved for Subsequent Use
Does your refrigerator have that big bunch of cilantro for a recipe that only asks for a tablespoon? Undesirable leftovers wilt in days. The tomato plant is overproducing, and you don’t want the delicious fruit to waste. A vacuum sealer can keep most fruits, veggies, and herbs fresh for weeks or months.
These are some of the best things to vacuum seal using the sealer to save them from spoiling.
How to Use a Vacuum Sealer?
- Add your ingredients to a vacuum bag (or bags, if necessary).
- Turn on the vacuum sealer by attaching the bar sealer to the bag’s top.
- Remove the bag from its seal. It’s all set to go now.
- If you’re vacuum sealing a liquid item, such as soup, the simplest solution to prevent dehydration and maintain the health of your vacuum sealer is to freeze it beforehand. Once you have a frozen block, vacuum packing it and refreezing it makes sense.
- Allow plenty of room for the bag to seal properly while filling. A leaky bag negates the purpose of sealing. Leave 3 inches (8 cm) to provide a good seal. In general, the more room left for sealing, the more likely you are to reuse the sealing bag.
- Make sure you use the right vacuum sealing bags. Incorrectly inserted bags can damage your machine, even if they operate for you. The usage of a smooth bag also helps seal well. An inadequate seal may come from using sealing bags that have been crumpled up in a drawer. You can fix a bad seal by moving the bag down a little bit if there is space. Leaving as much room from the top for your seal is recommended.
- Remember that anything sharp can penetrate the bag’s plastic if you are vacuum-packing goods other than food. The plastic should be protected from sharp objects with tissue paper or fabric.
- Storage is also vital. You should still preserve food properly even if you vacuum pack it. While dry ingredients can be kept at room temperature, most foods must be refrigerated or frozen to avoid freezer burn.
Types of Vacuum Sealing Machine
Chamber and bar vacuum sealers are the most common varieties.
- Suction bar sealers work by sucking the air out of the bag when it is attached to the machine. Because the sealer removes both liquid and gas, it must be used exclusively with dry ingredients to avoid drying out the meal and potentially destroying the machine.
- Using chamber vacuum sealers, liquids can be preserved more complexly. Instead of directly vacuuming the bag, these sealers extract the air from the surrounding area, thus making the bag airtight. The bag gets compressed and sealed as a result of this process.
Best Foods to Vacuum Seal
- Meat, fish, and poultry: Vacuum seals work wonders on meat, fish, and poultry, keeping them fresh.
- Pre-made dishes/Leftovers like lasagna or casseroles or your dinner from the previous night can also be sealed and kept fresh.
- Liquids/Dairy: You can even vacuum seal dairy items and liquids like sauces or soups if you have the right equipment. Pour into vacuum-seal bags, leaving plenty of room at the top, and freeze until somewhat hardened. And then vacuum seal without fretting about liquids leaking out. Use deli containers.
- Fruits and vegetables: Apples, oranges, grapes, and cranberries can be vacuum sealed and refrigerated. Because these fruits have already lost moisture, preserving them in an airtight container is critical. Vacuum seals them to use tomatoes, potatoes, beans, carrots, and other vegetables year-round. They’ll taste amazing. You might need to blanch some veggies before vacuum sealing.
- Spices and herbs: Excess moisture can quickly damage or destroy your herbs and spices. To extend the shelf life of these items, store them in a dry, airtight container. But remember to name your herbs and spices when you transfer them to vacuum-sealed bags. While these dishes look identical, substituting one for the other can ruin your dinner.
- Popcorn kernels: Vacuum-seal, a handful of popcorn kernels, to make your popcorn bags. You can’t microwave these bags, but keeping large portions vacuum-sealed keeps bugs and rodents out of your movie-night snack.
- Cereals and Rice/Pasta: Transfer grains and pasta from unwieldy boxes to large vacuum-sealed bags to make things easier. Keep these carbs on hand to prepare a quick and substantial dinner. Cereal boxes can take up a lot of room. Keep sugary delights apart from whole-wheat nibbles by storing cereal in resealable vacuum-sealed bags.
Nobody can deny that vacuum sealers are a great addition to most houses. They allow for precise packing and long-term storage. Not to mention they help reduce food waste by extending the shelf life of almost any food, significantly improving your kitchen’s productivity. Hopefully, now you know how to utilize a vacuum sealer effectively. It’s reasonable that learning so many different models can be difficult. So find a suitable model for your efficient use.