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Vacuum Sealers

Vacuum sealers, or food sealers, are great to use to preserve food. Preserving food using the refrigerator and freezer to canning and jarring are all great methods, but with the help of a vacuum sealer it can help you extend the lifetime of your food.

There are many types of vacuum sealers on the market and they vary in price and quality. They can range from a very basic hand held vacuum sealer machine that you can use in your home to a commercial vacuum sealer that can be used in food service and preparation. Let’s take a closer look at what food sealer machines actually do, the benefits of vacuum sealing food, and reviews of vacuum sealers.

 Top rated vacuum sealers can come in many forms.

Top rated vacuum sealers can come in many forms.

 

What is a Vacuum Sealer?

A food vacuum sealer is an appliance that extracts oxygen from a bag/package you are storing food in. Once the air is evacuated the appliance seals the bag.

 

Vacuum Sealing Food – Why?

With vacuum sealing you can provide a way to preserve food while maintaining freshness, and it’s also another viable way to reduce food waste and prevent spoilage. The point with vacuum sealing is to remove as much oxygen from a package that is holding food. This entails sucking or evacuating oxygen which will change the atmosphere that the food will be sitting in while it is stored. This is done to prevent spoilage bacteria from growing. This type of bacteria like to have oxygen, and when oxygen is removed the bacteria can’t multiply that fast. This will then slow down the loss of food quality.

Removing the oxygen from the surrounding environment does unfortunately not guarantee the possibility for other bacteria to grow. Even though It does drastically minimize spoilage bacteria from growing, there are still some bacteria that can grow in an anaerobic (without oxygen) environment. One type would be the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which is mostly found in marine and soil sediments as spores. It is only when the spores grow to bacteria that they can be come dangerous.

 

Advantages of Using a Vacuum Sealer

  • There are several advantages of using a food vacuum sealer. A few of them would be:
  • The shelf life of the food will be extended considerably after being vacuum sealed.
  • It can reduce water loss in things like raw meat.
  • Preserves flavor and nutrients
  • Prevents food from being freezer burned
  • Saves you money by buying food in bulk and then vacuum seal parts of the batch.
  • Helps in reducing food waste

 

Types of Vacuum Sealers

There are a few different types of food sealers out there, which can be categorized in different ways. We have listed a few terms you might bump in to.

  • Chamber Vacuum Sealers – This is a type of vacuum sealer that requires you to place the entire bag into the machine and close the cover.  An advantage of this type of machine is that it allows for vacuum sealing of liquids and recipes that are liquid based like soups and stews.  However, these machines are typically going to be bigger, heavier, and more expensive.
  • External Vacuum Sealers – These types of sealers requires putting the bag outside the machine. You then insert the open end of the bag inside the machine. The machine then sucks the air out of the bag and heat seals the bag.
  • Nozzle Vacuum Sealers –  These are external sealers that have a nozzle, which is inserted into the bag sucking all the air out. They can often be foot pedal operated and are often used in the food industry.
  • Handheld Food Vacuum Sealers – Smaller appliances that are often cordless and best for vacuum sealing smaller bags.
  • Tabletop Food Vacuum Sealers – These are the most common type of food sealers in households, and they are portable and can be kept on top of your kitchen table.

 

Choosing a Vacuum Sealer

The best vacuum sealer for you will depend on a few things. Take the following items into consideration when choosing the right vacuum sealer for your situation:

Price: The price of the vacuum sealer may be one of the most limiting factors when you choose the best vacuum sealer for your situation. While we may want the top-of-the-line commercial vacuum sealer, our budget may not allow for it. Make sure to shop around and compare prices. This includes bags. Some food sealers will allow generic bags and some require brand specific. Since you will have to purchase bags on a regular basis, this can add up.

Durability: If you are purchasing a vacuum sealer that will be used for commercial purposes, you will need it to hold up to high demand. If you are using it in your home, you may be able to get by with a basic, handheld vacuum sealer. Check online reviews, blogs, and discussion boards to get input on which models withstand the wear and tear best.

Ease of Use: We would all like the gadgets in our life to be user friendly. The same holds true when choosing a vacuum sealer, especially if you would only be using it periodically. It’s easy to forget settings and functions if you aren’t handling your vacuum sealer on a daily basis. Make sure to research all of the features and functions to determine just how complicated the food sealer will be to use.

Upkeep and Accessories: You will want to investigate the type of “extra” features on your potential machine. While add-ons might be nice, they also might create extra maintenance and expenses. Bells and whistles are great, but look into repair kits and parts that may be associated with maintaining them.

 

Safety Precautions When Using a Vacuum Sealer

When using a vacuum sealer for food preservation, you will want to make sure that you are following the necessary steps to keep the food safe. It is for example recommended that vacuum sealed perishable food is to be kept at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or less. When you prepare foods for packaging you must use clean hands and work with clean and sanitized equipment. Using a vacuum sealer to preserve food is a great option but remember that it is not a substitution for the refrigerator or freezer.  There are still very important precautions that should be taken when vacuum sealing foods.

 


References:
http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/vacuum_packaging.html