What is Vacuum Sealing
Vacuum sealing is a fast way to prolong the life and freshness of your food. Vacuum sealing takes away the oxygen that microbes need in order to break down food. A vacuum sealer is a small appliance that sucks the air out of a bag or container and then seals it, then for bags a heated strip melts the plastic sides together. One of the great things about vacuum sealing is that it can be used in conjunction with other forms of preservation such as freezing and drying.
What Do I Need
You will need a vacuum sealer and the required bags that work with your vacuum sealer. Many attachments can also be purchased with a vacuum sealer including jar sealers, lids, canisters, bottle stoppers and bags.
How To Use a Vacuum Sealer
This is a general overview for vacuum sealers, refer to your specific machine for instructions. The bags that go with vac sealers usually come in rolls that are one long continuous bag. Cut the bag 3 inches or so longer than the item to be sealed. Place one end in the sealer and press the button. Run the sealer through the entire cycle. The first part of the cycle will run the vacuum and the second part seals. When the one side of the bag is sealed, fill it with the food to be stored. Place the open end into the sealer. Press the button again. The excess air will be removed and the bag will become flat and rigid. Then the bag will be sealed. When sealing the bag make sure the bag is placed evenly with the sealer so that the seal is continuous and complete.
Vacuum Sealing Liquids
For liquids it is best to freeze them first and then put them in the bag. This will prevent the liquid from being sucked out by the vacuum and it will make it easier to stack.
Vacuum Sealing Powdery Foods
Powdery foods should be put into another plastic bag to prevent powder form being sucked out and from interfering with the sealer.
Vacuum Sealing Sharp Edges
Food with sharp edges should be wrapped in a paper towel to keep them from puncturing the bag.
Vacuum Sealing Vegetables
Vegetables should be blanched (blanch by placing them in boiling water or in the microwave until they are cooked but still crisp. Immerse in cold water to stop the cooking process then dry on a towel). After blanching they may also be tray frozen so that they can be frozen together and then later separated into serving size quantities. Most vacuum sealed bags can be heated in the microwave or boiled to prepare the food for eating. Freeze the bags and vegetables should be good for 2-3 years. Fruits can also be tray frozen.
Vacuum Sealing Meat
You can place meat directly into the bag to vacuum seal. They can also be tray frozen to ensure juices stay. Also, if you don’t want to pre-freeze then you can vacuum seal with meat with a paper towel (to absorb extra juices). Store vacuum sealed meats in the freezer and most meats will be good for 2-3 years.
Vacuum Sealing Prepared Dishes and Baked Goods
Prepared dishes and baked goods should be pre-frozen and may be kept for over a year.
Where Can I Learn More
There are numerous books and websites available to help you vacuum seal your goods including www.preservefood.com.