Vacuum sealers are well-known for storing food. Since most people buy food in bulk or large quantities since it’s cost-effective, most households are left to wonder how to store food without spoiling it.
Vacuum sealers rose to fame in the early 2000s and have been getting positive reactions these past few months. Read below to know how to operate one.
Unboxing and setting up Vacuum Sealer
Most vacuum sealers require enough space to be placed on. Choose a horizontal and flat surface that would be stable enough to bear the weight of your equipment.
The surface should not be a damp environment, nor should it be placed near any flammable material. Remember to select a place where it’s not easily accessible to children.
Take note of the compatibility of the device’s voltage with your electrical network or socket. If unsure, call an electrician immediately.
Familiarizing with Device
Before turning your device on, make sure you are familiar with which is which. Every brand has its design and features so make sure you know which button you’re going to press and which parts of the device you are not supposed to touch.
Use the specified bags and rolls designed for vacuum sealers. Never use a plastic or saran wrap as a substitute. Each vacuum sealer brand has its own recommended bags and rolls per device.
However, should you ever use other brands, make sure that it is appropriate and safe. Check the label and make sure that these rolls and bags are vacuum compatible and microwaveable.
Sealing a Bag
Give at least a 3-inch length allowance when sealing a bag. This is to make precautionary steps should there be a need to cut a small portion of the bag. At the same time, it will give enough space for your hands to not be too close with the vacuum sealer.
Simultaneously, creating an allowance will help the food overfilling the bag. If you plan to reuse the bag, add another inch or two length allowance.
Removing Air from Bag
Avoid wrinkles when you insert the bag or roll it into the device. Wrinkles in bags can cause leakage while sealing food. To avoid this, use to hands to gently stretch the bag until the vacuum starts pumping.
If by chance you will find any air or wrinkle in the bag, you can simply cut the bag open and reseal it again. Too much air may cause poor vacuuming.
If you’re sealing accessories with sharp edges such as shells or tools, make sure to wrap them properly and nicely as to avoid ripping or tearing the bag. The same goes for food with sharp or rough edges such as meat bones.
Sealing and Vacuuming Process
After making sure that there your vacuum sealer is rightfully and safely placed, watch out for possible hitches. If there are none, then you can proceed with sealing your food. While every brand has different features and functions, they follow the same process.
- Prepare the bag filled with food.
- Pay attention to the open end of the bag. Make sure there are no ripples nor excess air on that part.
- Place the open end of the said bag at the plastic chamber of the vacuum cleaner.
- Press down the cover firmly and carefully, with two hands if possible. If you hear a click, then you are good to go.
- Press the Vacuum/Seal button. Usually, there will be lights indicating that the vacuum sealer is sealing the food bag. Once the lights turn off, it indicates that the bag is sealed.
- When the vacuum sealer indicates the process is done, unlock the vacuum chamber by pressing the Cover Unlock button. You can now carefully inspect your freshly sealed bag.
Tips and Preparation Guidelines
While sealing and vacuuming allow your food to last longer without affecting the freshness and quality, there are still more things to be done.
For long term storage, you can freeze or refrigerate the packed food at or below 40 degrees Celsius which will help stave off molds and bacteria from your food.
Also, listed below are some of the things you need to know when storing food using a vacuum sealer.
Prep Guide: Meat and Fish
Pre-freeze meat and fish for an hour or two before using a vacuum cleaner. It helps the meat retain its juiciness and guarantees a better sealing process.
Again, if the food has sharp edges, remember to wrap or cover these edges. In the case of pre-frozen meat cuts, you can use a table napkin.
Prep Guide: Vegetables
Veggies need to be blanched first before vacuuming to prevent it from losing flavor and texture. Make sure to refrigerate after.
Prep Guide: Fruits
Pre-freeze for two hours or until completely frozen. To prevent fruits from sticking with others, pack or wrap individually or according to the desired amount.
Prep Guide: Powdery Foods/ Coffee
Place a paper towel or coffee filter at the open end of the bag to prevent the minuscule particle from entering the vacuum sealer chamber.
Prep Guide: Liquids
To vacuum liquids such as sauce or broth, completely freeze it using a container mold. Once it does, separate the frozen liquid from the container and transfer the frozen liquid to the bag. Proceed as intended.
While all instruction manuals come with troubleshooting guidelines, if unsure, it’s best to immediately call an electrician or contact customer service.
The trick to making full use of any device is knowing what makes it tick. By knowing what makes it tick, you’ll know when and how you can avoid pitfalls and extra expenses for repairs.
However, even though vacuum sealers help you store food and other things for a longer time, in the end, if you won’t pay attention, the food that you’ve painstakingly stored might end up bad. So, make sure to do it properly.