Vacuum sealing food is an excellent way to make food last longer and to make your time in the kitchen easier. If you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to get the hang of things. It’s helpful to know what some common mistakes are.
Not Letting Food Cool
If you’re vacuum sealing hot food or food that has been cooked, then you need to make sure it cools a little before you vacuum seal it. If your food is still hot when it’s sealed, then it can cause several problems. If you’re using a chamber vacuum sealer and sealing soup, for example, iit can cause the water content in your food to bubble over the top of the bag and this can cause a serious mess for you. For some foods, the membrane can rupture and this causes your food to lose the ability to retain water. If you cook or warm food up later, you’ll end up with dry food that isn’t pleasant to eat.
When vacuum sealing, you need to get the spacing just right. As the bag is sealed, all excess air is pulled out and you should end up with a border around the food. Typically, this border will be about an inch between your food and the opening of the bag. If you overfill your bags, it will be harder to seal them and you’re more likely to have a leak or a spill. Additionally, you should only fill food in one layer. This makes it easier to seal and if you are using the sous vide method of cooking, you will be able to cook your food more evenly.
Using the Wrong Foods
You can vacuum seal a variety of foods. However, you still want to be careful which foods you use. Some should not be sealed, some cannot be sealed, and some are too difficult to seal. Some foods you shouldn’t seal include soft cheeses. This is because sealing them can sometimes trap bacteria in the bag and cause the food to spoil. If you’re sealing meats or fish that have sharp bones, you can purchase a bone guard or use several strips of vacuum sealing bags to create more of a barrier to prevent this. Unless you are using a chamber vacuum sealer, liquids are also notoriously tricky to seal.
As you begin vacuum sealing, you will learn more about the best methods to use. Experience is often the best teacher and you’ll discover on your own what mistakes can lead to problems. Having the right tools can also benefit you.
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