Once you have purchased a vacuum sealer, you will soon notice that your life in the kitchen has become much easier. You won’t have to waste leftovers and you won’t need to avoid buying cheap products and food when it is on sale, simply because you don’t how to store it and keep it fresh.
A Vacuum sealer will not only help you store food and products in the home, but it can be very useful in other ways too.
When you want to go with your family on a camping trip, for example, all you have to do is seal up all the products that you plan to take with you in a bag and keep them somewhere cold. Then, you can use them whenever you want without having to buy them again and the food won’t take up as much room as it would if you left it in conventional packaging.
You can also use vacuum sealers for storing non-food items as well. For example, important documents such as marriage certificates and birth certificates can be kept completely safe and dry in a vacuum sealed bag. Jewellery that can tarnish in the open air, like silver, can be also be stored in vacuum sealed bags to stop the tarnishing.
The most common use of vacuum sealers, though, is for the storing of food, because vacuum sealing food in bags will keep the food fresh for up to five times longer than conventional packaging, and it also seals in all the flavour and the goodness of the food too.
Using a vacuum sealer really is a piece of cake, but if you don’t know how to use one, here are some easy to follow tips that will help get the most out of your vacuum sealer system.
1. Freeze or Refrigerate Your Food
Before you have even purchased a vacuum sealer, please do bear in mind that vacuum sealing your food doesn’t mean that it will completely protect the food from spoiling. Although vacuum sealing does increase the life of food by up to five times, the food will still need to be kept in the freezer or refrigerator if you want it to stay fresh.
2. Vacuum sealer bags
When it comes to vacuum sealers you can’t just use any bag and expect it to work perfectly, because most machines are designed to work only with specific types of bags. You have to make sure that you purchase the bags that are recommended for use with your vacuum sealer model. Otherwise, the bags may not seal properly or they could get jammed in the machine.
3. Freeze the liquids
If you intend to vacuum seal liquid foods, such as sauces or soups, then make sure to freeze the liquid first and then seal it in the bag. Otherwise, the vacuum sealer may suck the air and the liquid as well, which will make a mess and could damage the machine.
4. Leave some space
When you want to vacuum seal any products in a bag, do not overfill the bag. You need to leave some extra space, at least 4 inches, at the top of the bag. If you don’t, you may not be able to get a good seal. Leaving some spare space also means that, in the event that you don’t get a good seal first time, you can make a second seal a bit further up the bag.
5. Keep the bags smooth as possible
Try as much as you can to keep the bags smooth, because if they become wrinkled, it will create air pockets within the seal, which will prevent the bag sealing airtight.
6. Resealing the bag
A common mistake that people make that wastes a lot of time and bags is that when they notice that a bag is not properly sealed, they try to open it and then repeat the process, or they use another bag. As mentioned above, if you leave a spare four inches at the top of the bag, you can simply make a second seal if the first attempt did not seal the bag properly.
7. Sharp Items
Whenever you plan to vacuum seal an item with sharp edges, such as dried pasta or meat that has bones in it, wrap the food first in a soft item, such as a soft paper kitchen towel, because any sharp objects could ruin the bag and let the air inside it without you even noticing.
8. Oxygen absorber bags
For perfect results, some people use oxygen absorber bags in their vacuum sealed bags, in case there is a tiny hole in the bag that they didn’t notice. Oxygen absorbers contain non-toxic iron powder, which draws any excess oxygen that might be left in a plastic storage bag.
9. Clean your food vacuum sealer
Cleanliness is the key to keeping all kitchen appliances working properly, but especially so if it is a food vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealing different kinds of foods everyday will definitely leave your machine dirty and if you don’t clean it, you can exact to have to buy yourself a new appliance in a fairly short period of time.
Cleaning any brand of food vacuum sealers is a very easy task that you can do in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is wipe it over with a damp cloth and remove and clean out the drip tray regularly. Be sure to pay particular attention to the sealing strip, because traces of food left on the sealing bar will hamper the sealing process.
Ps: if you like going on camping trips and you are worried that your gadgets (cell phones, compass, watch, documents…) might get wet. All you have to do is to vacuum seal them in a bag and then you can stop worrying. As long as they are in their bags, they will stay protected from any water and the damp.