Anatomy of the Vacuum Food Sealer

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Vacuum Food Sealer

The vacuum food sealer may be the most effective kitchen tool that you’ve never used. The powerful juicer, the commercial strength blender, the gourmet-grade crock pot are all now frequently seen items in the modern family kitchen, but the vacuum sealer remains a rather elusive appliance in the domestic environment. This is a pity, because it is a rather remarkable and vastly useful machine.

Demystifying the Appliance

The vacuum sealer primarily works through the principles of air pressure.  Small fans drive air out from the plastic storage bag that the food is placed in, dramatically decreasing the pressure in the bag, and causing the outside air pressure to collapse the bag and drive out all the air within. The machine is programmed to sense when the air has been completely driven out, and will seal the plastic bag at that point. They do this by melting the plastic at or around the opening. It is important that the seal airtight so that no air escapes.

Drawbacks

One issue that many non-commercial grade vacuum sealers have a problem with is moisture-sealing. While many foods, such as fruits and raw meats, are inherently moist, the real problem comes when the food is intended to be packaged with sauce or marinades. The liquid may seep into the area where the heating element creates the seal in the bag, and the bigger the area that needs to be sealed, the more likely it is for liquids to prevent the area from sealing properly.

Manufacturers are aware of this, which is why vacuum sealers have in-built troughs to capture the moisture. Unfortunately, the troughs of some sealers are built-in, and it is difficult to clean them once they get full and furthermore have delicate gaskets that are easily damaged. More and more vacuum sealers, however, have removable troughs that enhance the cleaning process. The reliability of the gasket, however, varies from brand to brand.

Vacuum Sealing Your Food

It’s important to understand how any of your appliances work, especially the electronic ones. Now that you know the principles that make a vacuum sealer work, go out and purchase a suitable model, and watch as freezer burn disappears from your fridge, your kitchen waste decrease, and your food tastes better and fresher for longer.

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