Learning how to vacuum seal food is a handy trick with a lot of benefits for your kitchen. There’s really no better way to store food safely and for the long term. Vacuum sealing food is a process in which all the air is removed from a bag or package before the bag is sealed. The most effective way to seal food is to use an at-home vacuum sealer, which is relatively inexpensive and will make up any cost with the savings it brings in leftovers and food that won’t spoil. Read on to learn more about the benefits and process of vacuum sealing food!
The Benefits of Vacuum Sealing Food
There are a lot of reasons to vacuum seal food. First, sealing food saves space since it removes all air from the bag. You can fit so much more food into freezers, refrigerators, and pantries, making storage and leftovers so much easier to handle! Vacuum sealing also eliminates freezer burn, since there’s no cold and dry air inside the bag. Actually, the lack of oxygen in the bag has a big impact on storing food safely: moist foods will stay moist, dry foods will stay soft, and there’s no risk of insects because there’s no air inside the bag. It’s also possible to seal valuables or important documents like birth certificates to prevent water or insect damage.
How to Seal Food
- Put food inside the food pouch. Leave at least three inches between the food and the top of the bag. We also recommend folding back the top of the pouch to keep any germs that may have collected there outside the vacuum seal.
- Open vacuum sealer, lift lid. Place the open end of the bag into the drip tray or surface ceiling (depending on your model).
- Close lid. Here the process will diverge depending on what model you have. There may be a button that instructs you to “Start Seal” or “Begin Vacuum.” On the model we carry at Ginny’s, press firmly down on the lid with both hands and wait until the green indicator lights flashes. Then, remove your hands and wait for the vacuuming and sealing to stop.
- When the Sealing light goes off, it’s time to open the vacuum sealer! Remove the bag; now you’re all set to store your food. Write the date the food was sealed on the bag so you can keep track of how long it’s been in storage.
How Long Can You Safely Store Food?
Vacuum sealing food dramatically increases the length of time that food can be safely stored. In general, you can store food 3-5 times longer if it’s vacuum sealed than if the food was stored a different way. Store poultry, steak, and roast in the freezer for up to three years; fish can be stored for two years and ground beef for one year in the freezer; and in the refrigerator, cheese can be stored for four-to-eight months and berries for seven-to-fourteen days. You can also store dried foods in the pantry—coffee beans can be stored for up to 18 months and nuts up to two years with a vacuum sealed bag. Fewer items to pick up at the grocery store every week? Sounds good to us!