How to Use a Vacuum Sealer

Vacuum sealer and food in vacuum sealer bags

Vacuum sealers are a great addition to household kitchens as they protect and prolong your foods from going bad up to 5 times longer than traditional containers. From preserving your fresh game meat after a successful hunt, or savoring those fresh summer fruits, vacuum sealing your food prolongs the spoiling process caused by bacteria that is produced from oxygen. If you’re just starting to vacuum seal your foods or you are a seasoned veteran, this guide will refresh or teach you simple steps on how to successfully vacuum seal your food for future consumption. Our experts have chosen four key steps to always remember and follow when vacuum sealing your food. 

Why is Vacuum Sealing beneficial?

Vacuum sealing on average can prolong the shelf life of your food up to 5 times as long as using traditional sealment methods. Placing your food in an airtight sealed bag removes all of the oxygen and prevents bacteria from eventually growing and causing your food to spoil. Vacuum sealing also prevents freezer burn from spoiling your foods while sitting in a freezer for long periods of time.

Save More Food

Introducing vacuum sealing to your kitchen will automatically save you food for future use down the road. Say goodbye to throwing away spoiled leftovers that have been sitting in the fridge or freezer for too long. Some Vacuum sealed foods can be stored up to multiple years before they reach their limit. Removing the oxygen inside an airtight sealed bag essentially stores your food “like new” until it’s opened again, preserving freshness for long periods of time. You can vacuum seal cooked or uncooked foods as well, depending on your intended future uses.

Save On Kitchen Time

Ready to cook up a delicious meal with venison or fish? Save yourself the prep time and effort it takes to blend together a feast when you could have your food ready in a flash. Open up your vacuum sealed food and add it to the feast in just seconds. Vacuum sealer machines allow you to pre-cook your foods and vacuum seal them to be ready to be used in future meals. Simply pre-cook or store your foods uncooked in a vacuum sealed bag to add to future meals as a time-saving amenity.   

Save On Expenses

If you are someone that continually drives up the grocery bill to add products to your pantry, a vacuum sealer machine will save you money in the long run. Vacuum-sealed foods are always ready for use in the future as fresh as the day you placed them in the bag. Buy foods in bulk or hammer down on saving leftovers with a vacuum sealing machine. Eventually, you will start to see the spending go down and the foods you buy routinely being eaten and used to the fullest. 

The Vacuum Sealing Process

1. Food Preparation Before Bagging

Whether you’re prepping cooked or fresh vegetables, cutting bones off of meat and fish, or resizing foods to be put into vacuum sealed bags, you want to make sure your foods are prepped and prepared to be vacuum sealed properly. After deciding what foods you want to vacuum seal, keep softness and size in mind when placing into vacuum sealable bags. Sharp objects can possibly pop the bag during the vacuum sealing process such as bones in meat or foods that are too big or shaped oddly. Fruits for example are not always the best shaped foods to put into an airtight vacuum sealed bag. Sometimes cutting your fruits beforehand and flash freezing them is the way to go.

2. Choosing the Right Bags

Beef sticks in a vacuum sealed bag

When it’s time to vacuum seal your food, you’ll want to choose bags that are made to be vacuum sealed. SCHEELS sells vacuum sealable bags from LEM from all different shapes and sizes. From single bag packs to bag rolls, our vacuum sealable bag options give you versatility in choosing how much you are going to vacuum seal. When it comes to placing your food into a vacuum sealable bag, you’ll want to roughly base the bag size off the food you’ll be sealing. Using bags that are too big for your food, will ultimately waste bags and you’ll find yourself needing to make a shopping run sooner than you think. Too small of bags can cause the bag to pop during the vacuum sealing process without enough room to properly seal. Remember to always leave room between the vacuum sealable end of the bag and your food so the vacuum sealing machine can properly remove all of the oxygen and air from the bag.

3. Time to Vacuum Seal

Nesco vacuum sealer

Now that you have your food prepared and inside your vacuum sealable bag, it’s time to vacuum seal! Whether you’re using a standard table-top vacuum sealer or a handheld sealer, the functionality of the device is pretty straight forward. Insert the sealable end of your bag into the vacuum sealer and follow your model’s instructions. Vacuum sealers on average take about less than a minute to fully consume oxygen and seal your bag. Most models feature buttons that guide you along the sealment process for a swift and easy procedure. After the first couple of times using your machine and bags, you’ll become a vacuum sealing pro in no time at all.

4. Proper Food Storage

Once you have your food properly vacuum sealed inside your bags, it’s time to properly store your food. Depending on what types of food you vacuum sealed, you can store them in various different places. A general rule of thumb is to store your vacuum sealed foods where you would normally preserve them without being vacuum sealed. Vacuum sealing takes traditional storage methods and just prolongs the life of the food. Perishable and non perishable foods alike should be placed where you would normally store them. You’ll want to make sure to freeze meats and fish as well as vegetables for long term storage. Other foods such as fruits can also be put in the freezer for future use. Non perishable foods can be put right back in the pantry where they normally would be stored. Lastly, don’t forget to date your bags so you remember how long it’s been since they’ve been vacuum sealed.

If you have any more questions about vacuum sealing machines, bags, or accessories, contact your local SCHEELS or speak to one of our SCHEELS Experts for more information.