Vacuum sealers are great little tools you can use to preserve food. A vacuum sealer removes the air from your packaging, sealing the food in and keeping it fresh for storage. Food can retain its freshness by up to five times longer with this method, and since there's no oxygen in the packaging, there's virtually no risk of mold or spoilage.
You can also learn how to use vacuum sealers to store seasonal clothing. The sealer compresses the clothing, allowing it to fit into smaller storage spaces, thus saving room in your home. Silverware stays clean and free of corrosion when vacuum packed, since it doesn't come in contact with air. There are all kinds of handy uses for a vacuum sealer.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when buying a vacuum sealer:
- Remember that vacuum food sealers are not to be used as an alternative to refrigeration. Items that need to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer should still be kept there even if they have been vacuum packed.
- Manual vacuum pumps do not remove all of the oxygen in a container, and they can only be used with canisters or jars. These can be handy for general food storage, but will not completely prevent mold or staleness.
- Plastic bag sealers that are fan-operated also do not remove all of the air from the bags. Again, they are handy for prolonging the shelf life of your stored foods, but are not as reliable or effective as commercial electric sealers.
- Electric pump vacuum sealers are the only vacuum sealers that completely eliminate oxygen from the sealed bag. Food stored with electric sealers will be safe from exposure to air, insects, and mold.
- Manual pumps are the least expensive type of system, and electric pumps are the most expensive.
- Electric pump vacuum sealers should come with an indicator or gauge that will beep or somehow let you know when a vacuum seal has been achieved. This is important so that you can be sure your food is safe.
- When using a vacuum sealer on a glass jar, be careful not to overdo it. This is where a gauge is most important; glass can implode when too much suction is applied.
- When using vacuum sealer bags to store food in, those made of polyethylene are the strongest and most reliable.
- Make sure that your vacuum sealer remains as dust-free as possible. If sealing containers that hold powdery substances like spices or sugar, use a coffee filter or a few layers of cheesecloth over the jar adapter to prevent too much of it being sucked inside. There are commercial filters available on some models - check to see if the sealer you're considering has this feature.
Once you've started storing your food with vacuum sealers, you'll be hooked. Vacuum sealing is truly a great way to prevent insects and mold from infesting your food, and your grocery dollars will be stretched farther because you'll be throwing away much less stale or spoiled food.