How to Use Food Vacuum Sealers for Optimal Freshness
Food storage and preservation has been in practice for centuries. Today, people are conscious of how much food they waste, and are always on the lookout for time-saving solutions. This has meant that vacuum sealers have become a very handy appliance in the kitchen. They take in the goodness of fresh food, and suction out the air to preserve it perfectly for a specified amount of time in the freezer, fridge, or cupboard. When you are ready to eat your sealed food, simply take it out and enjoy it as fresh as the day it was put in.
Initially, the vacuum sealer was used by food manufacturers to prolong the lifespan of their product while shipping it to their customers as food was usually transported over long distances. This practice dates all the way back to the 1940s. What a vacuum sealer does is prevent the growth of molds and bacteria, while keeping your food fresh.
The time and cost-saving benefits these appliances give are undeniable. You may even be ready to invest in one yourself. Luckily, we have included some reviews further on in the article to help you choose a suitable model for your home or kitchen. Before owning one though, you must first learn about the fundamentals to get a better appreciation of the products.
What are Food Vacuum Sealers and How Do They Work?
A vacuum sealer works similarly to a vacuum, but it pulls the air out of containers or bags before sealing them. The oxygen has to be removed from the food’s packaging to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and fungi that contribute to the spoilage of food. If air is left in the food’s packaging, the taste, texture, and appearance can be changed.
Also, vacuum sealers help to protect your food from dehydration and freezer burns. When you vacuum seal your food, you should not leave your food out as vacuum sealing does not prevent all types of bacteria. Some types of bacteria actually thrive best in environments of low oxygen. In order to protect your sealed food, you should have them frozen or refrigerated. Also, you should read up about the types of bacteria your food item is susceptible to before you vacuum seal it, as in some instances, traditional storage methods may be the best choice.
How to Use Vacuum Sealers
Before using a vacuum sealer, there are a few ways to prevent contamination like cleaning and washing everything before sealing. Of course, this washing technique does not apply to dry food like coffee or flour, but to meats and vegetables. The simplest way to use a food vacuum sealer is to fill the bag or container with your desired material. Once the bag or container is filled, depending on the machine, you may have to fasten it to the top of the sealer or feed it into the machine. Once the item is sealed, it is ready for storage.
Dry food products are a lot easier to store and don’t require much preparation. All you have to do is remove the dry food from its original packaging and place it in the sealer bags or container. From there on, you just have to feed the bag or container through the sealer so that the air can be forced out for its conservation. Even if you use a sealer bag, you should still put the item in another bag such as a Mylar or a freezer bag to create an additional barrier that protects your food.
Meat, Vegetables, and Wet Food
With wet food, some sealers recommend that you begin the freezing process before sealing the food as the sealer tends to extract liquid, which dries it out and can cause a lot of mess. Meats and vegetables should be washed and dried before storage. If you intend to store the items, you should store them as soon as you get them from the store. You should be aware of bones as they can tear the bags. Vegetables should be blanched by placing them in a pot of hot water for about four minutes then place it in ice water. The blanching process is used to kill bacteria.
Sous Vide Cooking and Vacuum Sealers
You may have seen this word thrown around quite a bit when the conversation rolls around to vacuum sealers. This cooking method has recently become popular and may be the reason why you want to buy a sealer appliance in the first place.
Sous vide, meaning ‘under vacuum’ in French, originated in the 1700s before two French chefs brought it back in the ‘60s. It is used to describe a cooking style wherein food is placed in a vacuum sealed bag, and then cooked slowly and gently in a water bath that is highly temperature controlled by an immersion circulator, or sous vide.
The selling point of this cooking style can be seen in the way the temperature control ensures a consistent, complete cooking job. Another great bonus is that little to no fat is lost during the process of cooking, resulting in tender and soft textured food. Needless to say, it’s very popular for preparing meat.
What are the Pros and Cons of Using a Vacuum Sealer?
Using vacuum sealers over traditional storage has several benefits. One of the major benefits that it provides is that it preserves the shelf life of your food. For instance, in a vacuum sealed environment, dry food such as the coffee can last for a one to two year period. Refrigerated food like a bowl of soup can last for several weeks, and frozen food like beef and poultry can last for up to three years. Another benefit is that it also helps maintain the freshness of your food, so the taste is not something you will have to worry about.
However, while there are benefits to using vacuum sealers, the machine can cost a lot of money depending on its size. Also, you incur an additional cost of having to buy the packaging material. There are also several misconceptions of vacuum sealing. While it provides a good storage mechanism, when thawing food, you still need to maintain proper practices to prevent bacterial growth. Also, if the food was contaminated before sealing the food’s packaging, the contamination is still going to be there when you unseal the package as sealing is not a heating process.
6 Vacuum Sealers Reviews
Now let’s take at some reviews of top vacuum sealers you can purchase today. Find out about the functions, pros, and cons of 6 top models.
|GERYON Vacuum Sealer, Automatic Food Sealer Machine with Starter Bags & Roll for Food Savers and Sous Vide, Black||Prime||Buy Now On Amazon|
|Aobosi Vacuum Sealer /5 In 1 Automatic Food Sealer Machine for Food Saver and Preservation with Dry&Moist Modes for Sous Vide,Led Indicator Lights& Started Kit of Rolls&Hose for Home&Commercial||Prime||Buy Now On Amazon|
|KOIOS Vacuum Sealer Machine, 80Kpa Automatic Food Sealer with Cutter for Food Savers, 10 Sealing Bags (FDA-Certified), With Up To 40 Consecutive Seals, Dry & Moist Modes, Compact Design (Silver)||Prime||Buy Now On Amazon|
|FoodSaver FM5200 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealer Machine with Express Bag Maker | Safety Certified | Silver||Prime||Buy Now On Amazon|
|Foodsaver V4400 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Machine with Automatic Bag Detection and Starter Kit | Safety Certified | Black & Silver||Prime||Buy Now On Amazon|
|Weston Pro-2300 Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Vacuum Sealer (65-0201), Double Piston Pump||Prime||Buy Now On Amazon|
GERYON Automatic Food Sealer Machine
Price Range: < $50
The first item on our list of products is the GERYON sealer. Here to bring you both quality and affordability, this is an appliance you will not want to miss.
As far as vacuum sealers go, this one should make life considerably easier for you given its multi-layer material heat seals that keep the air out and the food fresh. The brand promises to keep sealed meat fresh in the freezer for between to 2 to 3 years, bread in the bridge for 4 to 8 months, as well as perishable pastry and bread products in the pantry for 3 to 5 weeks.
You can store different types of foods separately in one bag, just press the button to seal it above the first line you vacuumed closed. We love the automatic sealing functionality that gives you a hands-free sealing experience. Go ahead and insert the bag, watch the seal indicator lights to see when the job is done, and you are good to go!
As it is compact with a slim design, this appliance will fit easily into any kitchen. If it can’t fit on your counter space then simply move it into a cupboard or drawer until you need it.
What We Like
- Able to fit bag widths of up to 12”
- Compact and lightweight for simpler storage and easier transportation purposes
- Includes a starter kit with 5 heat-seal bags
- Saves time with its automatic functionality
- Avoid freezer burn with strong suction power that makes sure all the air is removed
- Great for sous vide cooking
- Doesn’t seal moist items as well as the dry foods
Aobosi Vacuum Sealer
Price range: > $50
Not only does the Aobosi seal your food, but it also promises to maintain food 8 times longer than your usual sandwich bags do. Offering up 5 function settings, its sealing properties give it an edge over other vacuum sealers on the market. Besides your usual dry and crispy food items to seal, you can also vacuum pack oily dinners, moist fresh salmon, and powdery foods.
Another great feature of this machine is the silent and simple seal it offers. An intelligent touch screen panel displays the buttons you need, all of which provide one-touch sealing.
If you were feeling a little nervous about your purchase, we’d advise you not to fear. Not only is there a 1-month product trial available to you at no, but it also offers lifelong technical support.
Vacuumed food takes up less space than fresh food does, so if you want to preserve more fresh stuff for longer in your fridge, this is a handy point to know. This particular sealer comes with an air suction hose which you can use for things like clothes bags, wine stoppers, and food canisters to seal things other than the usual food in bags.
What We Like
- Designed with a touch screen panel to select all your food sealant options
- 3D great suction technology
- LED indicator lights
- Easy to clean thanks to the ABS shockproof surface
- Includes a full starter kit to make your clean that much easier. Among these includes an accessory hose port
- This model is also suitable for the sous vide cooking style, allowing for a more even cook
- Lifespan could be a little longer
KOIOS Vacuum Sealer Machine
Price range: $50 to $100
Designed with a sleek, steel exterior, the KOIOS is one of the top range vacuum sealers. Notwithstanding its promise to keep your food fresh for 7 times longer, it goes above and beyond the expectations many a machine has created for us.
It too comes with an accessory hose port to make it easier to suction things other than food in bags. Using it, you can reseal that bottle of wine you opened last night but didn’t finish, or suction the air from your food canister to ensure that your veggies stay fresh over the weekend.
If you are someone who likes to prepare meals in advance, you will find this appliance handy. You can prepare whatever is on the menu for the week, and then seal them separately and place the bags in the freezer. Whenever you are ready, take one out and heat it in the microwave to enjoy food that tastes and feels as fresh as the day you made it.
Both dry and moist food can be sealed in this unit. Just choose the desired setting when you are working on the machine, and it will adjust the levels of oxygen and moisture in the bag accordingly.
If you do experience any problems, free Amazon tech support is included.
What We Like
- High-temperature resistance
- Cutter built-in to formulate bags to the size you need
- 10 sealing bags FDA approved
- Doesn’t work as well if you get it wet – remove as much liquid as possible from food beforehand
Foodsaver FM5200 2-in1 Automatic Machine
Price range: $100 to $150
The next on our list of vacuum sealers is the FoodSaver FM5200. Aside from the aesthetic appeal of this sleek, silver and black appliance, it has numerous functions that will keep you busy long after you’ve first opened it.
An express bag makes means you can measure and make your custom-sized sealer bags that much easier. Aside from that, it also automatically prepares the next bag you are going to use by pre-sealing one end, saving you a bit of time the next time you go to use the machine.
What We Like
- Great storage capability: Food lasts up to 3 years in the freezer
- Easy-view vacuum window is incorporated into the design, making it considerably easier to see where to seal and when to replace the roll
- LED light indicators included to assist the sealing process
- Automatic moisture detection: Thanks to a smart technology mechanism included, any moisture is speedily picked up and switched to a mode of higher airtight capability
- Can slightly be on the noisier side
- May require an extra set of hands to feed the bags through
Price range: $150 to $200
Next up is the Foodsaver V4400. Accompanied by a notorious reputation as one of the safer vacuum sealers, the V4400 promises customers safe appliances that meet UL or ETL testing lab standards.
Not only does this appliance have an automatic bag detection function, but it also has an automatic moisture detection function. Both ensure that you get optimal use from the product. There also is a patented drip tray underneath the unit to catch any liquid that may be expelled during the suction process. Once you’ve finished with it, feel free to pop the tray straight into the dishwasher.
Guaranteed to keep your foods fresh for up to 3 years post sealing, Foodsaver promises to keep food fresh, and freezer burn free. Aside from the features we’ve mentioned, it also includes vacuum seal bags and zipper bags in the starter kit. Plus, a retractable hose means you can seal in those odd-shaped items such as jars.
What We Like
- 5-year limited warranty on offer
- Automatic bag detection function built in to make vacuum sealing simple and easy
- Easy to use
- Tends to be a little slow to seal
Weston Pro-2300 Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Sealer
Price range: $350 to $450
Lastly, we have the commercial-grade Weston Pro-2300 as one of the appliances to keep an eye out for. Aside from the stainless-steel exterior that finishes off the look and assures you of a durable machine, there are a few nifty features to look forward to.
As it is a commercial-grade machine, the Weston Pro is capable of heavy-duty sealing. We are talking compatibility with bags of all sizes, as well as a double piston pump seal bar to finish off the job fast.
As it has a detachable power cord, you can move and unplug the unit to store it away when it’s not in use – we know how precious counter space is when it comes to a busy kitchen serving up plates and plates of food.
Aside from the usual features offered by vacuum sealers, the Weston also comes alongside a see-through acrylic vacuum lid. What the lid does is allow you to see that you are aligning the bag properly, just to ensure there is absolutely no chance of additional unwanted air getting in.
What We Like
- Additional functionality includes the extra-large Teflon bar which allows bags to be sealed that are up to 15-inches wide
- Double-piston pimp to ensure up to 935 Watts of power for faster sealing time
- One-touch automatic mode to seal soft foods. The best part of this option is that you can even seal in your photos!
- Seals and locks in moisture
- Doesn’t last as long, commercial use means heavy use
If you were worried about how to use vacuum sealers for optimal freshness, your fears should have been a bit abated by the instructions provided above. Even if you have some additional worries, you should still consider watching a step-by-step YouTube video as it will give you a visual of the entire process. If you want to get yourself a food sealer, you can check several marketplaces. However, before purchasing one, you should consider reading the product reviews.
Vacuum sealers are not only good economic kitchen appliances for your home, but you can gift it to someone who is conscious about food storage or to one of your friends who is a doomsday enthusiast. Despite its advantages, there is an ongoing cost that you must incur for the food vacuum bags and storage containers. However, the benefits of the sealer seem to greatly outweigh its costs.