8 Things You Should Know Before Vacuum Sealing Your Food at Home

If you want to extend the shelf life of your food, vacuum sealing is one possible approach you can take. Vacuum sealing removes the air from the bag or container of food before you store it, which keeps the food fresh for a longer period of time.
To seal your food in this way, you’ll need a vacuum sealer machine and some related accessories such as bags or containers. You can typically buy vacuum sealers and the related accessories in a variety of places; they’re usually available for sale in big box stores like Walmart as well as any store that sells meat processing supplies and equipment.
If you’re considering the purchase of a vacuum sealer or you want to educate yourself a bit more about the process of food storage, we hope you’ll check out these 8 things you should know before vacuum sealing your food at home.

1. There Are Two Different Types of Vacuum Sealers

If you have a small kitchen without much space for storing food packaging equipment, you’ll probably want to use a hand-held vacuum sealer. If you have a large kitchen with plenty of space for storing food processing equipment, you might prefer to invest in a larger counter-top style unit such as a Foodsaver vacuum sealer.

2. To Vacuum Food Effectively, You Must Use Appropriate Bags or Containers

Vacuum sealer bags are not all the same quality; be cautious and brand-conscious when purchasing, because they are not all interchangeable.
Foodsaver makes vacuum sealer bags that work well with their own machines. They also manufacture jars and containers that can be used for food storage.
There are cheaper Chinese-made bags that do not hold up well and should be avoided if you need them for long-term food storage purposes.

3. Purchase Vacuum Packing Accessories Wisely

Before you buy bags for your vacuum sealer, you’ll want to consider the other options for accessories that are available. The vacuum sealer bags are convenient, but they are not easy to re-use.
If you want to be able to reuse your vacuum packing accessories, you have multiple options for doing so. Be sure to check out the food storage containers and jars that are meant to be used with your vacuum sealer model.

4. You Need to Follow All Food Storage Guidelines Carefully

Vacuum packing your food does not give you a free pass to ignore common sense food storage guidelines and food safety standards. For example, if you vacuum seal fresh meat, you’ll still need to refrigerate it in the short term or freeze it for long-term storage. The vacuum sealer does prolong the shelf life of the refrigerated or frozen meat, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for refrigerating or freezing the meat in the first place.

5. Marinating Food Is Quicker and Easier With a Vacuum Sealer

Food storage isn’t the only good reason to own a vacuum sealer. Some vacuum sealers can also be used for marinating food faster than it would marinate otherwise. If you use one of the storage containers intended for use with a Foodsaver, you can create delicious marinades for meat or poultry quickly and easily.

6. Make Sure Your Vacuum Sealer Bags Are Clean and Dry Before Sealing

If you’re vacuum packing meat or vegetables, beware of any moisture that may be present on the bags. Moisture can sometimes interfere with the sealing process and make your seal not hold well. Be sure to check that each package is really airtight after sealing; don’t just assume that the seal is good without checking it out.

7. Vacuum Sealed Bags Can Turn Out to Be Odd Shapes and Sizes

If you’re looking for a food storage method that gives you tidy, precise packages that fit neatly in your pantry, food sealing might present you with some challenges and frustrations. Vacuum sealed bags of food can turn out to be lumpy, bumpy and lopsided. They don’t always stack neatly, despite your best efforts to make them do so.
If this will bother you, it would be a good idea for you to invest in the jars or containers instead of the bags. Food preserved in the jars and containers can be stacked more easily than the food preserved in the bags.

8. You Can Vacuum Seal Your Leftovers to Prolong the Shelf Life Before Refrigerating or Freezing Them

Of course you don’t want to waste food; instead of throwing your leftovers away, you can vacuum seal them and then freeze or refrigerate them for later.
Those are 8 of our best tips on what you should know before vacuum packing your food at home. We hope this information is helpful to you as you learn more about food preservation and food packaging.

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