If you're like most people, you probably don't think much about how you vacuum seal your food. However, if you want to get the most out of your vacuum sealer, it's worth taking a few minutes to learn some tips and tricks.
There are many benefits of vacuum sealing food, with the main one being that it is a great way to keep food fresh and flavorful for a long time. If you have ever had food go bad in the fridge, you know how frustrating it can be. But, vacuum-sealed food will stay fresh for weeks or even months. So, whether you are a beginner or a pro, this blog post has something for you!
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your vacuum sealer.
- Freeze Meats First Before Sealing
- Use Folded Wax Paper To Cover Sharp Food Edges
- Label Your Bags
- Fill Just Enough
- Regularly Inspect the Seal
- Cuff the Bag Before Filling It
- Use Zipper Bags for Repackaging Snacks
- Flash-freeze Produce Before Sealing
- Clean Food to Ensure it Stays Sealed
- Use Oxygen Absorbers
- Seal Your Leftovers Individually
- Inspect Your Vacuum Sealer Before Sealing
- Freeze Soup or Greasy Food Before Sealing
- Keep Your Bags Flat When Filling
- Safety Points When Vacuum Sealing
- Final Words
Freeze Meats First Before Sealing
When it comes to freezing meat, the best practice is to freeze it before sealing. Many types of bacteria thrive at room temperature, and doing so will prevent bacterial growth. When it comes to thawing your food, freezing it first can make it safer and make your cuts significantly more delicious. By putting your meat in the freezer before vacuum sealing it, you can ensure that all juices are preserved during the storage stage, which comes in handy when you decide to cook your chosen chops.
Use Folded Wax Paper To Cover Sharp Food Edges
Sealing meats, beef jerky, and dehydrated foods can be hard, especially if your bags are thin. But even with thick bags, punctures are still possible. Using wax paper acts as a layer of protection. Cover your food's sharp edges with folded wax paper for an airtight seal with no punctures.
Label Your Bags
Some vacuum sealer bags and rolls have writable labels to keep everything organized. You can write the dates, contents, quantity and even reheat instructions of your stored food. Label the bags before vacuum sealing since it can be difficult to write on bumpy surfaces. With writable labels, identifying your vacuum-sealed food is easier than ever before.
Fill Just Enough
Don't overfill your bags! Doing this greatly impacts how your vacuum sealer machine seals them. Instead, leave at least 2-3 inches of gap between the seal area and the stored food in the bag to ensure a perfect seal.
Regularly Inspect the Seal
Sealed foods are only safe if the bags do not leak. However, your bag's seal may fail in some instances. Therefore, regularly inspect your sealed food for broken seals or leakage. If you find one, simply cut the sealed section and reseal it.
Cuff the Bag Before Filling It
Before filling the bags, fold the top 2 inches to form a cuff. This will keep the sealing area of the bag clean and ready to be heated. After filling, undo the cuff and then vacuum-seal it.
Use Zipper Bags for Repackaging Snacks
If you like to snack on the go, you know how annoying it is when your food starts to go bad. An opened bag of chips, for instance, is only good for a day or two before it starts to get stale. And once you've opened a package of cookies, it's hard to resist eating the whole thing in one sitting.
Zipper bags offer a convenient solution for snacks that can be vacuum-sealed. The snacks can be opened and used over a few days - depending on the specific food. Once opened, they can't be re-vacuum sealed, but the zipper sealing system keeps most oxygen out, extending the shelf life of your favourite food.
In addition, it keeps the snacks from spilling out of the bag, giving you a convenient and mess-free way to snack. Great for sealing beef jerky, coffee beans, and more. Zipper bags can also be the solution to the common question, “Can you freeze cream cheese?”
Flash-freeze Produce Before Sealing
Flash-freezing helps preserve your food's nutritional value while making vacuum sealing easier. For example, arrange your fruits and veggies on a baking sheet and freeze them for a few hours. Then, you can vacuum seal and store them once they've frozen firm. This method not only preserves nutrients but also prevents freezer burn and makes it easy to grab individual servings as needed.
Clean Food to Ensure it Stays Sealed
Clean food and ensure the seal line area of the bag is free from dirt and debris before vacuum sealing. Otherwise, you run the risk of trapped debris or contaminants such as herbs, spices and juices ruining the seal area. Wash fruits and vegetables or peel them before putting them in the bag. The machine uses heat to fuse the plastic together, so any dirt, debris or a wrinkled bag will prevent a proper seal from forming.
However, if something is trapped in the seal area, the two sides of the bag will not be able to touch and will not seal. Also, trim away any unwanted bones or portions of your meat. By taking these simple steps, you can keep your vacuum sealer working like new for a long time.
Use Oxygen Absorbers
You're probably familiar with the fact that oxygen is essential for human life. But did you know that oxygen can also be damaging to food? Oxygen causes oxidation, which leads to food spoilage. That's why it's important to use oxygen absorbers when storing food for longer periods. Oxygen absorbers are little packets that take oxygen out of the air around your food. This helps prolong the shelf life of your food and helps keep your food fresh. Oxygen absorbers are useful when sealing objects with sharp edges. You may leave a little air in the bags to prevent punctures while the oxygen absorbers remove caustic oxygen.
Seal Your Leftovers Individually
Leftovers are often unappetizing, especially if they've been sitting in the fridge for a few days. So one way to make your leftovers more palatable is to vacuum-seal them individually. That way, you can prevent different flavours from mingling and ruining the taste of your food. And when you're ready to eat, simply pop a single serving into the microwave and enjoy.
Vacuum sealing is also a great way to extend the shelf life of your leftovers so that you can enjoy them in the coming days and weeks. So next time you clean up after a meal, take an extra minute to seal your leftovers individually.
Inspect Your Vacuum Sealer Before Sealing
Before you begin sealing, inspect your machine's gaskets and sealing strips. Any signs of wear and tear will result in uneven sealing or not sealing at all. Examine your gaskets and sealing strips and replace them as necessary. This is a cheap fix that can remedy many problems you may run into.
Freeze Soup or Greasy Food Before Sealing
If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of trying to seal a bag of soup or other wet food, you know what a frustrating mess it can be. Water and grease can quickly ruin a vacuum sealer, and even if you manage to get the food sealed, it can be difficult to store in the freezer without making a mess.
The good news is that there's an easy way to avoid this hassle- FREEZE it first. Bag your food, then freeze it for just long enough to become semi-solid to solid. This normally takes between 4 and 8 hours (overnight).
Before placing the bags in the freezer, we recommend filling them, then folding the top of the bag over 1-3 times and securing it with a (non-sharp) clip. After that, you may safely vacuum-seal it without sucking any fluids out. Your food tastes better when you defrost it later, and doing it this way prevents issues when sealing the bags.
Keep Your Bags Flat When Filling
Do not simply throw your food into the bags. If possible, arrange them, so the bags are flat, and your machine can easily seal your food with no air pockets. Flat-sealed foods are also easier to organize and stack in the fridge. It'll save you time and frustration in the long run.
Safety Points When Vacuum Sealing
Make sure you follow guidelines for food safety practices for vacuum-sealed food. Even though vacuum sealing makes food last longer, it does go bad at some point. Meat and poultry that have been sealed and kept in the fridge should be eaten within the date suggested by the manufacturer.
The USDA says that some dangerous bacteria, like Clostridium botulinum, which causes the deadly poisoning known as botulism, like low-oxygen environments and grow well in vacuum-packed foods. Thus, perishable foods must be kept either in the refrigerator at or below 40 °F or in the freezer at 0 °F.
Vacuum sealing is an excellent method to preserve food while retaining its freshness. With a little practice, you can master the art of vacuum sealing in no time. But don't forget to stock up on quality vacuum sealer bags before you get started.
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