Vacuum Seal Bags: The Secret to Preserving Your Food
Have you ever bought fresh meats, fruits, or vegetables and watched them go bad in the fridge before you ate them? If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that the average American household throws away over 250 pounds of food each year. But a simple solution can help you reduce food waste and save money: vacuum seal bags.
What Is Vacuum Sealing?
Vacuum sealing is the process of removing air from the food’s surroundings and sealing it airtight inside a vacuum seal bag. This creates a vacuum around the food, preventing bacteria, mold, and yeast growth. Thisabsence of air enables the food to be stored longer.
What Are Vacuum Seal Bags?
Vacuum seal bags are special storage containers used in vacuum sealing. They allow the machine to remove air from the bag before sealing it closed, this prevents oxygen from coming into contact with food, making it one of the most effective methods of food preservation.
These sealer bags use multiple layers of material to prevent oxygen from passing through. This is important because oxygen promotes chemical and biological reactions that spoil food such as:
- Microorganisms: Oxygen makes it easy for microorganisms to thrive, which causes yeast and mold to grow.
- Oxidizing enzymes: These enzymes speed up chemical reactions between oxygen and parts of food, which causes food spoilage.
- Oxidizing lipids: It oxidizes fats in food, causing it to spoil and smell bad.
Choosing Quality Vacuum Seal Bags
Choosing quality vacuum seal bags is crucial if you want to get the most out of your vacuum sealer. Not all bags are created equal, and cheaper options can cause problems. To withstand the rigors of sealing, here are some things to look for.
- Sous vide ready.
- Microwave and dishwasher safe.
- Composed of heavy-duty 7-layer, 4 mil thick plastic.
- Made of BPA-free and FDA-approved materials.
- Manufactured by a trusted brand with verified reviews.
What is Sous Vide Cooking?
Sous Vide literally means “Under Vacuum”. The technique involves both vacuum cooking and low temperature cooking. Alternatively, vacuum sealing may be called “Reduced Oxygen Packaging” – or “Modified Atmosphere Packaging” or “MAP”. While not everyone uses reduced oxygen for low temperature cooking, vacuum packaging has the following numerous advantages.
- Optimal heat transfer is achieved by vacuum sealing pouches that conform tightly to the shape of the product in the bag.
- Unlike traditional plastic bags, vacuum bags are water-tight, so they can be easily chilled even if packaged or cooked.
- Cooked and pasteurized sous vide food extends shelf life due to the pouches not letting out oxygen, keeping bacteria in check.
- Cooking in a sealed environment prevents nutrients from being lost. As a result, aromas and flavors are preserved as well.
How to Use Vacuum Seal Bags
The key to effective food preservation is to vacuum seal properly. Here are some tips to vacuum seal food like a pro.
- Don’t overfill the bags. Fill just enough food so you don’t make your bags puff up. Also, aim to have a nice, flat, and organized food to prevent air pockets around your food.
- Cuff the bags before filling them. Cuff the 1 to 1.5 inches of sealing area so that it stays clean and ready to be sealed. If the sealing area isn’t clean, the two sides of the bag won’t stick together resulting in leakage.
- Label your bags. Most vacuum sealing bags have writable space, so you can write its content and the date you sealed them.
Vacuum Sealing is Cost Efficient
Vacuum sealing bags will only cost you a few cents, and they are an excellent investment for every household. Additionally, you can buy them in bulk, which significantly helps you save money.
Here are some ways these food vacuum bags can save you money and time:
You Can Take Advantage of Bulk Discounts
Buying in bulk helps you save money on groceries. But if you’re not careful, it can also lead to much-wasted food. With vacuum seal bags, you can avoid this problem. In addition, some vacuum food bags contain side markings and white labels for added convenience.
Cooking in Batches
It can be tedious to cook meals every single day. Instead, you can prepare a day’s worth of food in one go and then preserve it so you can reheat and eat it later. Thus, you’ll save time and eliminate the hassle of preparing all the ingredients.
Extends Food’s Shelf Life
Foods such as meats, fruits, and vegetables have a short shelf life and can be costly, so letting them go bad means wasting money. However, putting them in vacuum seal bags extends their shelf life, saving you money in the long run.
Vacuum seal bags are an increasingly popular way to preserve food. Also, you can save money on grocery bills and time on meal preparation. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder it’s becoming the secret weapon of home cooks everywhere. Choosing quality vacuum seal bags is vital to achieving successful food preservation.