F.A.Q.’s on uses and troubleshooting problems for vacuum sealers. Provides a broad spectrum of answers for the best vacuum sealer. An all inclusive Fresh Food HQ and information for vacuum sealer reviews.
I have a vacuum but it is not very good. How can I make sure it works as well as possible?
To ensure the best airtight seal, make sure the item is as close to the seal as possible. If you do not do this, then the vacuum could be sensing that because the plastic is condensed, the seal is secure. Moving it as close as possible to the seal ensures the maximum amount of suction. This pulls the air from behind the food forcing the bag to suctions behind the food before it can suction in front of the food.
Does this machine require the use of specific bags?
It depends on the brand of vacuum sealer that you have purchased. Each vacuum machine will have it’s own specific bags but some are also interchangeable. Some machines can use many sizes and types of bags.
Can food that has already been cooked be vacuum-sealed?
Any food that has been cooked, with the exception of tomatoes, can be vacuum-sealed. Make sure the food is at room temperature or there is a chance that bacteria will grow within the vacuum seal.
What foods should I avoid vacuum sealing?
Among others, here are the major foods to avoid vacuum sealing: soft cheese, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Many soft or liquid foods will not retain shape and may be pulled into the sealer. Depending on the vacuum sealing machine and the type of storage container will determine the risk of food being suctioned into the machine. Canisters will not have a risk where as certain bags will.
What about frozen food and my vacuum sealer?
Any frozen food can be vacuum sealed, but be sure to be aware of any sharp corners that could puncture the seal. It is best to place a paper towel around the food and then seal the bag. The best thing about using a paper towel is that it will not alter the texture, taste, or quality of the food at all. Also storing in canister style containers can prevent any risk of sealing frozen foods. Regardless of type just ensure that you use freezer safe storage options.
How do I know when maximum vacuum seal is achieved?
Each machine has its own cycle indicator. Certain machines will have a light to show completion others may solely rely on a counter. To determine proper seal you will need to follow your vacuum sealing machines guide book.
Does the vacuum sealer work on products like coffee and tea?
If you are wanting to seal coffee, place a filter over the beans so that the natural oils do not escape during the sealing process. This maximizes freshness. If you are wanting to seal tea, reviews have told us that it stays fresher when used with a FoodSaver bag, and there are even FoodSaver canisters that allow for the utmost freshness with your tea products.
Can I use my vacuum sealer on a mason jar?
Certain vacuum sealers will seal mason jars. However, each machine is different so you must properly research each vacuum sealer machine to guarantee that the machine you have can properly seal a mason jar. There are also certain machines that have specialized jars for vacuum sealing that can achieve the same as a mason jar seal.
What is the difference between a roll and bag sealer?
Certain machines work with only bags or rolls. Some machines can work with either. Vacuum sealed rolls are adjustable because you can cut off of a roll to create a bag that is long as you desire for the item you are sealing. Bags are a predetermined sized and can be purchased in different sizes to accommodate your bagging needs. Some bags also come with specialized sealer ports for use with hoses.
Do bags come with zippers?
Some bags are equipped with a zipper feature. They can be sealed two different ways. Some zip on one end and are heat sealed on the other end. However, some zipper bags have hose ports that you attach a hose into them to remove air and create a seal.
What are some safety concerns?
Depending in the brand of sealer there are different safety concerns. The main concern is ensuring none of cords and parts are damaged prior to use. You also should make sure no cords are hanging or may be a trip hazard or become tangled and cause the machine to be pulled down from where it is being used. You also need to ensure that any heating elements are working properly.
Are there any cleaning protocols?
The basic cleaning requirements are the ensure no food is located on the sealing strip. Also ensure any hoses or connectors are properly cleaned to avoid cross contamination.
Why won't the heat seal work?
There are a few reasons why you can not achieve a heat seal. The first that you can check is to ensure that your heat seal strip is clean and does not have any debris. This can cause a bad heat seal. The other main reason is that your heat strip may be warn out because of over use.
Are there specific materials I can seal with my heat sealing machine?
The typical seal-able items are polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, tyvek, and craft paper with a foil lining or plastic lining, FEP, aclar, foil laminates.
What are the benefits or a vacuum sealer?
Vacuum sealing foods helps to extend their shelf life, refrigerator life, and freezer life. It can also help prevent dry goods from becoming wet. You can also use a vacuum sealer to store household items for a variety of uses such as saving space, storage, and to prevent damage in case of water exposure.
How do you determine the correct bag size?
Each machine should come with their own vacuum packing guide to help determine the correct bag size for certain materials.
Can you cook in vacuum sealed bags?
Certain bags can be cooked in. This is referred to as “Sous Vide” which means to cook under pressure. This process helps to keep nutrients in the food and retain flavor.
Can Vacuum bags be resealed?
Vacuum bags can be resealed. Depending on the type of bag you can simply reseal vacuum bags with zipper and hoses by reattaching the hose. If it is a heat sealed bag you can simply cut off the previously sealed part and make a new heat seal.
Can bags be washed and reused?
Yes. Most vacuum bags can easily be cleaned and reused as long as it can hold what you desire.
Do vacuum sealed bags prevent freezer burn?
You can not guarantee 100% prevention but properly executed vacuum seals can greatly reduce freezer burn.
Are Vacuum Bags Safe?
Each brand varies on what they can safely be used for. However, for over all vacuum sealing and storage all vacuum bags are considered safe.
Do vacuum sealers have different sealing options?
Certain machines offer different sealing options. Some machines can offer a double seal. Different machines may offer a variety of setting options.
Can you marinade in vacuum sealed products?
Certain containers can be used for marinating. There are specific canisters that can be vacuum sealed with specialized hoses to prevent liquid from getting into other parts of the machine.
Can machines be repaired?
Certain brands offer warranties for repair or replacement parts that you can purchase for easy repair at your own home.
Can Vacuum sealed bags be microwaved?
Certain brands of vacuum bags offer microwave safe bags. You will have to check the bags when purchasing to find the correct bags.
Are the vacuum sealer bags considered recyclable?
Yes. The vacuum bags can be recycled under the other category when following recycling guidelines.
Will bugs still be able to get into flour when vacuum sealed?
No. Bugs and other things can not survive in vacuum sealed food because of the low level of oxygen within vacuum sealed containers.
Should you change the heating elements in your vacuum sealing machine?
There are a few reasons to change the heating element. Damage to the heating element is a good indicator that you need to change it. After a lot of use the heating element becomes less likely to perform a proper seal. This is another reason to change the heating element.