When you use vacuum seal bags to store your foods, your food typically maintains its freshness and flavor for much longer than with other methods of storage. By removing all the air from the bag, the vacuum seal packaging ensures that your foods will remain their texture, appearance and taste. Vacuum seal bags can be used on a variety of foods, from dry pantry foods to delicate refrigerated foods.
Use your vacuum sealer to pack your meats and fish during preparation or storage. Vacuum sealing is an effective way of marinating your meats or fish before they are prepared. Place the uncooked meat and marinade into the vacuum bag. As the vacuum seal removes all the air from the bag, the pores of the meat open up, allowing the marinade to absorb completely. You can also use vacuum seal bags to store uncooked meats in the freezer. Separate the meat into your typical portion sizes and vacuum seal each portion; when vacuum sealed, large cuts of meat can be kept in the freezer for two to three years, fish for two years and ground meats for one year.
Vacuum seal cheese to keep it fresher for longer. Cheese is much less expensive if you are able to buy it in bulk. At home, separate the bulk cheese into smaller portions. Place each portion into a vacuum seal bag and store in the refrigerator. Because the cheese will not be subjected to air or moisture, it will stay fresh for a much longer time. When refrigerated in vacuum seal bags, cheese will stay fresh for four to eight months, rather than its normal refrigerator life of one to two weeks.
Vacuum seal your dry, solid foods when storing them for later use. These foods include sugar and brown sugar, which typically become hard when they come into contact with air. By vacuum sealing these food products, you are not allowing them to absorb any moisture from the area. The life of the product will be greatly extended. You can also vacuum seal your coffee beans or coffee grounds to keep them at their highest peak of freshness. However, when drying these dry foods, it is important to ensure that none of the product itself gets drawn up into the seal area of the vacuum bags, as this will affect the proper seal.
Your vacuum seal bags can also be used to store your wedding cake until your first wedding anniversary. Place the fresh cake into the freezer until it is almost completely frozen. Remove the wedding cake from the freezer and place into your vacuum seal bags. The cake can then placed back into the freezer, where it will remain fresh for the next year.
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Vacuum seal bags can also be used more creatively. For example, you can make large meals and snacks at one time and then use your vacuum seal bags to separate the meals into individual portions. The FoodSaver website recommends using your vacuum sealer to make an easy breakfast. Prepare bagels or English muffins with various toppings, such as bacon, eggs, sausage or cheese, and then vacuum package each breakfast sandwich into separate vacuum seal bags. Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator for an easy morning meal that just needs to be re-heated.
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Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.