“I bought my vacuum sealer after watching an online ad out of excitement and it has since been lying in my kitchen cupboard, never having seen the light of the day.”
Sounds Like You?
Well, don’t worry! There are many out there just like you! But don’t blame this amazing gadget on your sloth. There is still time to utilize this amazing item. Here are a few tips that will help you freeze food for longer and save up on a few bucks at the same time!
- Rule # 1: Pre-freeze
Every time you try to vacuum out the air from a bag of fruits, meatballs, etc., the food gets squished. You wonder why you should use the vacuum sealer at all! Well, news is that you’re not doing it the right way. When freezing food items like berries, freeze them on a plain sheet, before putting them in a packet and vacuum sealing them. Moreover, in case of soups, freeze them in plastic bowls or containers.
- Rule # 2: Freeze Certain Foods Uncooked
Because of the differences in the consistency and type of food, each food when frozen will not heat well. While there are soups and other semi-liquid food items that reheat well, it is very likely that something like meatballs might remain cold from the inside. So it is better to freeze it uncooked.
- Rule # 3: Label Everything
When putting anything in the freezer, label it properly with the name of the food item as well as the day it is stored. This will ensure that you do not mistake tomato puree with chili sauce. Moreover, each food item has a certain expiry date even when it is frozen.
You do not want to forget when you store a certain item and use it after its expiry. Labeling packs also ensures that your refrigerator is organized.
- Rule # 4: Do Not Limit It To The Freezer
Though vacuum sealing keeps all kinds of food preserved, it is not effective to freeze food only. If you vacuum seal the foods with their boxes in your pantry, you will be able to increase their shelf life as well. So do not limit the use of the vacuum sealer.
Food items like flour, cheese, etc. can all be vacuum sealed. In case of powdered food like flour, just make sure that the vacuum sealer does not directly come in contact with the powder. To avoid that, you can keep the powdered form in its original packing instead of shifting it completely in the plastic pack.
- Rule # 5: Double The Deal
For smart cooking, make everything that can be frozen in twice the quantity as you normally would. Eat the first half and freeze the second one to enjoy it later on. This is especially helpful if you are working. You can go a few days without having to cook anything.
All you gotta do is take that extra food you froze a few days ago, heat it and enjoy a cooked meal without having to lift a finger.
- Rule # 6: Get Those Special Vacuum Sealer Bags
Yes, a lot of people will convince you to use just any bag to store food items. However, if you want to vacuum seal them, it is important that you get those special bags because only those will be effective in completely sucking the air out.
- Rule # 7: Divide and Rule
It is always more intelligent to freeze food in portions rather than freezing it all up together. For instance, if you have bought minced meat that should last you a week, divide it into 7 or 5 or 3 portions (however often you intend to cook it) and freeze in separate packs.
This will ensure minimum exposure to the air and better preservation. Moreover, while you can reuse the bags after washing them, it is advisable not to use those in which you have stored meat. This is because meat might leave bacteria behind.
- Rule # 8: Buy In Bulk
All this time that you have been especially careful not to buBuy-in-bulky meat in bulk because it might go bad, well that time is over! Get it in bulk. It will cost you less. Once you have brought it home, you can always freeze it after vacuum sealing it.
With the above rules in your mind, not only will you be able to use your vacuum sealer properly but keep your food fresh for a longer period as well.