My spouse and I lean towards being very sensible people, even in our present giving. One year, we gave our family members that didn't already have one a vacuum food sealer. I've had one for 24 years and couldn't bear to be without one.
I guess that I've used one for such a long time that I didn't think about the "learning curve" for operating one of these wonderful appliances. My phone line was burning up with questions from the gift receivers concerning the best way to make use of their new kitchen appliance. So, here we go - a few tips and tricks to operating a vacuum food sealer.
1. Make use of the rolls instead of the pre-cut bags. You may cut them to whatever length you require.
2. Wrap all your items in plastic wrap. That way you may reuse the bag without washing it. That means cheese, bacon, hot dogs, and so on.
3. Make the bags approximately two times as long as you need them to be. That way, as you use partial portions of your item, you have space to reseal the bag numerous times.
4. Pre-freeze all meats in plastic wrap (See # 2), then vacuum seal. Create the serving sizes any size you want, but bear in mind, the smaller the bulk, the quicker the item will defrost.
5. Notice meat with sharp bones. I went through 3 bags once because I did not detect that a bone was punching a hole in my bag. I place a Saran wrap "patch" over the sharp bone. Just construct a little square of several layers of folded up plastic and lay it on top of the pointed part prior to your wrapping it in the plastic wrap - that typically solves the problem.
6. If you're freezing things with liquids, such as gumbo or cooked vegetables with liquid, freeze the food to start with. You can use a ziplock bag, freeze it, then vacuum seal. This may seem a bit uneconomical, but everything keeps longer if it is vacuum sealed. Another word of advice about freezing liquids. When you put your ziplock bag in the freezer, create layers using a layer of cardboard between the packs. That way, they freeze level, similar to an envelope and will not bond together. You can create your vacuum seal bag large enough to contain quite a few packages (See # 3). You can also use freezer bowls, but you'll have to take the item out of the container to vacuum seal it.
7. Pre-freeze things such as pie crust dough and pizza crust dough in batches in plastic wrap, after that vacuum seal them. When you're all set to make use of them, take out the quantity you need and place them in the fridge the day before you require them and they're ready to go. You might prepare more than a few batches at the same time to save time and cleanup.
Using Wide Mouth Canning Jars
1. Nearly all of the vacuum sealers have an accessory that can seal wide mouth canning jars. I use them to seal dried beans, rice, pasta, baking supplies, peanuts, ground coffee, tea bags. The list is endless.
2. Make certain that the lids you make use of have never been used in a canning process or they won't seal correctly. Just attempt to keep them in a different part of your kitchen so you won't combine them in with the other ones. The lids will last for a long time, but if you want new ones, you can get them at any grocery store in the canning aisle. The only part you need is the flat part. Never use the screw top part with this, it is not necessary and can cause the seal to break.
3. Occasionally wash the attachment that fits on top of the jar by using a wet paper towel because on occasion, you may have a small build up of powdery substances, like flour.
4. You may use jars to freeze liquid items such as soups and stews if you have space in your freezer, however this will take up a fair amount of room.
Using Vacuum Seal Canisters
1. Most of the manufacturers offer canisters in many assorted capacities with their systems. I am not sure if they're compatible or not. I would just be safe and use ones that your unit offers.
2. Canisters may be used for any dry supplies like breakfast cereals, grits, oatmeal, potato chips, snacks, bread crumbs, baking staples such as flour, baking soda, sugar, and so on. In other words - any items that you do not want compressed and anything that you would in general store in a canister.
3. I utilize them for fresh vegetables and fruits. I wash the items, dry them and vacuum seal them for refrigeration. The tall canisters are great for green leaf lettuce and celery. I will put together a large salad, vacuum seal it and it will stay fresh for at least a week in the refrigerator. One prep and one cleaning - Sweet.
4. Use the canisters for vacuum sealing sandwich meat. They do a lot better than the bags for this purpose.
5. When vacuum sealing sugar or anything finely ground, put a paper towel or paper coffee filter on the top when you have put it into the canister to prevent any of the dust from getting sucked into the tubing.
6. Most makers offer a container to marinate meat. It is ordinarily rectangular. It is nice, however to be honest, any of the canisters that will hold the amount you need will perform just as well. Just make sure you have enough of the marinade to cover your meat.
Well, these are just a few tips off the top of my head. It ain't rocket science, however sticking to a few rules makes the learning curve a lot easier. Vacuum sealers really are a wonderful way to save money and cut back on waste. There is no telling the amount of money I've saved since I have been using mine for such a long time. I just know that it would be difficult for me to do without one.
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