Eight useful tips to know before you start vacuum sealing

Fresh Locker

  1. Before using your new vacuum sealer, remember that it is not a substitute for refrigeration or freezing. Also, when choosing which foods to vacuum seal, only use foods that are fresh; sealing food that has already begun to deteriorate only slows down the process.

  2. When reheating vacuum bags in the microwave, always puncture the bag open to allow air to escape. You can also simmer the bagged food to allow it to retain is flavor – all the flavor stays sealed in the bag – in the water at all a low simmer at 170°F (75°C).

  3. You should pre-freeze meat and fish for an hour or two before vacuum sealing it to retain the flavor and juices as well as providing a better seal.

  4. Try putting a folded piece of paper towel between moist food and the seal area to prevent any juices from being sucked into the machine.

  5. You should vacuum seal cheese after each use. Remember to leave some extra space in between the cheese and the seal area so that when you open it, you still have room to reseal the bag. Keep in mind, though, that you should only vacuum seal hard cheeses because soft cheese can still harbor anaerobic bacteria.

  6. When it comes to vegetables, we recommend a technique called blanching before sealing them. The process stops the naturally occuring enzyme action that could lead to loss of flavor, color, and texture. To blanch vegetables, place them in simmering water or in a microwave until they are cooked, but still crisp. Blanching times can range from 1 to 2 minutes for leafy greens and peas, 3 to 4 minutes for snap peas, sliced zucchini or broccoli, 5 minutes for carrots, and 7 to 11 minutes for corn on the cob. After blanching, immerse the vegetables in cold water to stop the cooking process. Always remember that all vegetables (including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, etc.) naturally emit gases, during storage, therefore, after blanching, it’s best if they’re stored in the freezer.

  7. When vacuum packaging powdery items like flour, it’s best to use their original packaging inside of the vacuum bags. Otherwise, the fine powder could get sucked into the machine and cause enough damage to shorten the life of the sealer.

  8. Before you vacuum package liquid such as soup stock, pre-freeze them in a casserole dish, loaf pan or ice cube tray until solid. Remove the frozen liquid from pan and vacuum package in the vacuum bags. You can then stack in the freezer. When you’re ready to use, just cut a corner of bag and place in either a microwave dish or drop into water at a low simmer below 170°F (75°C).

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