The 10 commandments of food vacuum sealing

10 Commandments of food vacuum sealing

10 Commandments Of Food Vacuum Sealing

  1. Be sure to fully read your manual before operating your vacuum.

    Please read the manual for your food vacuum sealer when you receive it, even if you have been vacuum sealing for years. A lot of the post-sale complaints we get are caused by simple operating errors that are explained with in the manual. It is simple things like where to place the vacuum sealer bag for just sealing and for vacuuming and sealing. How to activate your vacuum sealer. Some vacuum sealers need to have the lid locked down and some require a light push on the lid to get them started.
  1. Do not suck liquid into your vacuum sealer.

    It is important that you do not suck liquid into your vacuum sealer even if it does have a liquid trap or liquid filter. Most food vacuum sealers these days have a liquid trap and heat setting for moisture. Don’t be fooled by these and think that it is ok to now suck liquid into your vacuum sealer. Getting liquid into the seal area is the number one reason for vacuum bags failing to seal or letting vacuum go later. It is really simple, If you get any liquid in the seal it will not seal properly so learn to control liquids. We have some great video tutorials HERE to help you with this. The liquid traps are there in case you have an accident and the higher heat setting will probably not help, It will just make the vacuum sealer run hotter and overheat. The higher heat setting is good for thicker bags and Mylar bags.
  1. Do not try and vacuum seal liquid food without freezing.

    If you are trying to vacuum seal very liquid food such as soup or sauces, please freeze it first and then vacuum seal it. The safest way to vacuum seal liquids is to freeze it in a container first and turn it into a square block for vacuum sealing. It will also stack better in the freezer. If you have very moist fish fillets you can also freeze these first by sitting them flat on a tray in the freezer.
  1. Control liquid when doing seafood.

    The liquid in seafood is a major killer of vacuum sealers. It is important to take measures to stop that liquid from entering your vacuum sealer.
  • Pat fish dry with paper towel.
  • Do not over fill the bag. 2/3 fish 1/3 empty to give working room.
  • Operate on manual so you can seal before liquid contaminates the seal area.
  • Use paper towel at the top of the bag as a liquid trap.
  • Freeze fillets on a tray first
  1. Do not over fill your vacuum sealer bag.

    When filling your vacuum sealer bag fill 2/3 to 3/4 and leave 1/3 to 1/4 empty so you don’t get contamination in the seal and you don’t get creases running up into the seal area. Also, a very common fault is over filling bags. You do need working room at the top of the bag so you can see liquid flow and keep the bag flat in the mouth of the machine. A good hint also is to put a chopping board in front of the vacuum sealer so the bag is raised to the height of the mouth of the vacuum sealer so the bag will sit flat. There should be empty bag between the food and the vacuum sealer once you close the lid.
  1. Do not cut your bag to short if using rolls.

    If using rolls the number 1 issue people get is cutting the bag to short. Your bag should be at least 25% - 30% longer than it is wide. Example 20cm x 28cm, 30cm x 38cm. If you have a 28cm roll and cut the bag length shorter than 28cm you will get all sorts of problems happening that will not allow the bag to hold its seal properly. Your bag should always be longer than it is wide. The only reason people cut short bags is to save money but in reality, you are wasting money if that bag does not seal because it is too short. Rolls are handy to have but should be used to make longer bags than the pre made bags if needed not shorter bags. Also do not cut up pre made bags to make smaller bags, you should buy a smaller pre made bag if needed. Comparing equal lengths, pre made bags are about the same price as rolls.
  1. Replace foam seals on a regular basis.

    Foam seals are something that will wear out and need replacing. This will depend on how you treat your machine and how often you use it. You can turn them over and you can soak them in warm water making sure they are completely dry before re installing. If foam seals are worn or damaged then the vacuum chamber will leak and the vacuum sealer will not reach full vacuum and switch over to seal. So, the foam seals must be in good condition for the vacuum sealer to work properly. Some vacuum sealers will have 1 rubber seal, these will last longer than the foam seals but may stretch over time and also need replacing. Food vacuum sealers supply seal kits for all the vacuum sealers they sell, HERE, such as ZeroPak, Status, Preservac and Lava. But we do not supply seal kits for other brands. You will need to source these from the food vacuum sealer supplier or the manufacturer. The Teflon heat strip over the heat seal bar will need replacing at some stage also. If there is wear or damage on the Teflon tape then replace it. We do sell Teflon tape that will fit any food vacuum sealer HERE
  1. Do not vacuum seal some foods without cooking first.      

Do not vacuum seal any of the onion family (allium in the lily family) unless they are in something cooked like stew or fried rice. Garlic, Shallots, Leeks, etc they may cause botulism. Same goes for raw mushrooms. It can be very dangerous to vacuum seal these foods if they are raw, it may cause food poisoning. If they have been cooked or added to a cooked soup, stew or rice then it is safe to vacuum seal them.

  1. You don’t need to blanch vegetables first.

    Raw vegetables from the Cruciferae and Brassicaceae families which are usually blanched before freezing don’t need to be if being vacuum sealed. The blanching process is lengthy and adds unwanted liquid to the vegetable which makes it extremely hard to then vacuum seal. Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale etc. Blanching stops enzyme activity which the vacuum sealing does anyway and they will be good in the freezer for 12 months. Blanching is an old technique that is used for freezing vegetables if you are not vacuum sealing and is a very important step to preserve the vegetable if you are not vacuum sealing the vegetable. But because vacuum sealing is a process that removes all the air from around the food this process will do the same as blanching which is to deactivate enzymes and stop the loss of nutrients. Also blanching will add a lot of unwanted water to the vegetable which will make it very hard or impossible to vacuum seal. Bananas must be frozen first the vacuum sealed. Apples and the like must be chopped into slices vacuum sealed and frozen.
  1. Test your food vacuum sealer.

    Many complaints received from customers that blame the vacuum sealer for not working we discover it is actually not the vacuum sealer at all. So run a very simple test.
  • Set your vacuum sealer to run on automatic.
  • Do not put a bag or a roll into the vacuum sealer, run it empty.
  • Start the vacuum sealer as if you are vacuum sealing something.
  • If the vacuum sealer vacuums, then switches to seal and then shuts down then this indicates that there is nothing wrong with the vacuum sealer.
  • If the vacuum sealer keeps running and does not switch to seal then the vacuum sealer is faulty. Try pushing down harder on the lid and if this makes it work then it probably just needs a new seal kit.
  • With the lid open, operate it on canister mode. Put your finger over the intake. If the vacuum sealer shuts down then the fault is not inside the vacuum sealer it is in the lid or seals. If the vacuum sealer keeps running then the fault is inside the vacuum sealer.

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