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Vacuum Sealing Food

Category Storage
Vacuum Sealed Turkey Breast
Storing food so it doesn't go bad is a tried and true way to stretch your food budget dollars. Vacuum sealing is a great way to store food. This is a guide about vacuum sealing food.
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Solutions

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
July 19, 2007

My newest experiment has been vacuum sealing my food. As one who always loved to "put up" food in glass Mason jars and keep a stocked freezer, the thought of further food preservation intrigued me. Vacuum sealing is a simple way of preserving food. If airborne bacteria can't get to the food, the process of natural breakdown (spoilage) can be avoided. It's the way food is packaged for shipping, so why not try it at home? I'm still on the fence as to whether or not it is saving me money, but I certainly am having fun learning.
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What Is It?

Vacuum sealing is a process of food preservation which utilizes special canisters or plastic bags. Food is placed in the canister or bag which is then attached to a vacuum sealer which removes all the air from the container. This preserves the food for long periods of time. The bags can be opened and resealed (making them smaller each time), and they can be reused, frozen, boiled, and microwaved. Canisters are perpetually reusable, and they allow themselves to be opened and resealed throughout the day.

Less Waste

How many times have you thrown away food because it went stale or was freezer burnt? It's a frustrating task, and although I enjoy buying in bulk I despise wasting food. I'm disappointed when I pull a roast from my freezer that looks like a chunk of ice. Vacuum storage eliminates this problem, allowing me to produce a beautifully colored roast from the freezer months beyond its normal expiration date.

By packaging a head of lettuce, which is pricey in my area of the country during the winter, in a vacuum canister I can preserve it for more than two weeks. All the while it looks as green as the day I brought it home.

I've even sealed leftover steak rolls in a canister and used them eight days later without noticing a difference in their freshness.

Save on Bulk

Bulk purchases ask for vacuum sealing. After buying a large block of cheese at a discount price, I can cut it into four chunks, seal each one in a vacuum bag, and enjoy it for months. Freezer foods stay fresher, bulk packages of cereals and cookies don't go stale, and fresh fruits can last for over a week.

The Cost

Cost is a priority in our household, but so is avoiding waste. I'm not so upset if it costs a few more pennies as long as I don't waste food. However, I'm convinced that the initial investment in a vacuum sealer will pay off. The sealer systems aren't cheap, and neither are the bags and canisters. While the canisters are the priciest items, they earn their keep in that they're endlessly reusable. I haven't sat to do the math about the cost of the bags versus the savings on my meats and vegetables, but I don't think I'm going to do it. Like my canning, I enjoy this method of food preservation. My fridge looks full of fresh produce throughout the week and I'm throwing out very little if anything. Like all preservation methods, there is a cost. Canning requires pressure canners (more costly than the sealer system!), cans, lids, and the energy to boil the water. Freezers also ask for enormous amounts of energy as well as the initial cost of the freezer. In the end is a vacuum sealer any different? You be the judge.

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Comment Was this helpful? Yes

By 7 found this helpful
October 11, 2010

Plastic bags in cereal packages are very sturdy. I use them with my vacuum heat sealer for frozen items and keeping other dry items together. They are very handy in my quilting and sewing area. The sealer also reseals most plastic bags such as chips. Be careful not to use the suction feature or they will be crushed!

By Kathy from Florence, CO

Comment Was this helpful? 7

By 3 found this helpful
August 31, 2010

Since this is a Waste Nothing Group, for those who have Food Saver vacuum sealers or similar brand, and have the attachment to vacuum seal in canning jars, the lids can be reused over and over again. Just pop the lid open by using a table knife blade placed in the top groove of the jar lid threads. Give the knife a slight twist and the lid pops off - no dents in the lid. If you don't own a vacuum sealer, get one and it will become your "best new friend" and a real money saver. No more freezer burned meats!

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Note: Not recommended for actual canning/processing, use only new lids.

Syd's 2 Cents

By Syd from Dunkirk, MD

Comment Was this helpful? 3

By 3 found this helpful
July 29, 2009

Wrap gooshy stuff, like salmon steaks, in plastic wrap before packing with a vacuum sealer. No more non-sealing bags or vacuum-sealers full of juice! Eliminating waste is well worth the use of the plastic wrap.

By Stephanie from Anchorage, AK

Comment Was this helpful? 3

By 1 found this helpful
January 19, 2012

I like to purchase or prepare items in bulk and then use my vacuum sealer to either divide into smaller portions or just make them last longer in the freezer. I've found that bread tends to get frosty and stale if left in the original packaging. If you freeze the bread first and then put it in the vacuum bag and seal it, it doesn't squash the bread and it stays fresh and useable for months.

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This also works for items (soup or entree's that include liquid) so they can be vacuum packed for storage.

By Marie from Olathe, KS

Comment Was this helpful? 1

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 18, 20121 found this helpful

Can I use my vacuum sealer for my jars of fresh tomatoes?

By G Hay

Answer Was this helpful? 1
August 20, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

NO, NO, NO. Tomatoes MUST be processed; bacteria can grow in a sealed jar that isn't heat processed correctly. Vacuum sealing them without heat processing them is literally taking your life into your own hands. You will get food poisoning and could possibly die. DO NOT try it!

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December 27, 20140 found this helpful

I am using a food storage machine. When using the vacuum what setting do I use, dry or liquid?

By Ginger

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 28, 20140 found this helpful

You have a fifty-fifty choice here. I vote for liquid as lasagna is definitely wettish.

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January 3, 20150 found this helpful

I would freeze it first, then then seal it.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 13, 2016

I have had a good crop of capsicums, how would I prepare the capsicums for freezing?

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Answers

May 14, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you so much, I did google it but you gave me more information than I found 

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
August 24, 2012

I want to buy a vacuum storage machine for food. I was wondering if I would need to buy the special food vacuum bags that seem to be advertised with the machines? If so, has anyone got any tips on the best machine to purchase? Thanks.

By Irish Eyes

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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