3 Simply Methods for Vacuum Sealing
Vacuum sealing is a method of food packaging that removes all air from the packet and then seals the bag tightly shut with a watertight seal. Vacuum sealing can be done manually or it can be done automatically with an automatic vacuum sealer. If you use an automatic vacuum sealer, all you have to do is place the food items in a special type of plastic bag or film and then the appliance will remove all the air from the packet and then seal the bag tightly closed.
By vacuum sealing a bag, oxygen is removed from the packet, so it will greatly extend the shelf life of the food inside the packet.
Vacuum sealing can be used to preserve all kinds of food for extended periods of time, including meats, nuts, cheese, coffee, cereals, smoked fish, potato chips, etc. It can also be used to preserve foods like vegetables, liquids or fresh foods. Foods that have been sealed in a vacuum pack can be expected to last up to five times longer than foods contained in conventional packaging and, for foods that are stored in a freezer, vacuum packaging will also prevent freezer burn.
Read More: Best Vacuum Sealer Reviews
Method 1 – Vacuum Sealing With a Straw
If buying a vacuum sealing machine seems like an expensive option to you, you can vacuum pack food manually, which is of course the cheapest way of vacuum sealing. Here’s how to vacuum seal food the cheap and easy way. You will just need two things for this first method; a zip-top bag and a drinking straw.
Vacuum sealing removes the air from the packaging, which slows the effect of oxidation on the product, which is partly what causes food to spoil. Removing the oxygen also helps to slow the growth of bacteria in the food. Food stored in a vacuum pack will keep fresh for longer. Vacuum packing also reduces the amount of space that the food will take up in the refrigerator or freezer, so you will have room to store more food.
This manual straw method may not be as effective as a vacuum sealing machine, but you can go with it for its low expense, and it does still work. Here’s the procedure for manual vacuum packing with a drinking straw.
- Take a freezer safe plastic zip-top bag and place your food in the bag.
- Zip it almost totally closed, leaving just a small slit for inserting a straw.
- Insert the straw into the slit and suck all the air out of the bag.
- When all air is out, pull the straw quickly out and lock up the zip bag as fast as you can.
- That’s all you need to do to vacuum seal food very easily at home without a machine.
Method 2 – Vacuum Sealing with Water (Recommended)
There is another process for vacuum sealing at home with the help of water. For this method, all you need is a large tub of water, or you could do this in a kitchen sink filled with water. It’s really easy, and when you see how it’s done, you will be amazed at just how simple this method is. The steps are as follows:
- Take a small plastic zip-top bag and put food or whatever you want to seal in the bag. Keep the bag open just a little bit in one corner.
- Lower the plastic zip-bag slowly into a full bowl of water, right up to the edge of the open corner of the bag, but don’t let any water spill into the bag.
- Remove any air pockets from inside the bag with your hand.
- When all air has come out of the bag, quickly seal up the open corner of the bag to complete the airtight seal.
Method 3 – Vacuum Sealing with a Microwave
If you have cooked leftovers that you want to keep fresh, you can vacuum pack the leftovers with nothing more than a zip lock bag and your microwave. Here are the very simple steps to vacuum pack food with a microwave:
- Place the food in an open zip-lock bag.
- Place the open zip-lock bag in the microwave.
- Microwave the bag for approximately 30 seconds
- Remove the bag from the microwave and quickly zip it up.
The heat and the steam created by microwaving the food will have forced most of the air from the bag and, when you zip up the bag and leave it to cool, what little air there is left in the bag will contract and you will be left with a pretty passable vacuum sealed bag.
These are undoubtedly the cheapest ways to vacuum seal food in a bag, but the results that you will get will never be as effective as the vacuum that a vacuum sealer system can create. A mechanical vacuum sealer is also much easier and quicker to use, especially if you have lots of food that you need to prepare for storage. If you’d like to find out more about vacuum sealer appliances and learn how to go about choosing the best vacuum sealer for your kitchen, please feel free to take a look at our Best Vacuum Sealer Reviews and Buying Guide.