Vacuum-sealed meat needs to be refrigerated

Successful vacuum sealing - the ultimate guide

In this advisory article I will show you tips and tricks with which you can vacuum seal faster, more efficiently and more reliably. Because not only are certain points to consider when choosing the device, but there are also useful tips for the vacuuming process itself. Over the past few years I have gained various experiences in numerous tests, which I would of course like to share with you here.

Table of Contents

What is vacuum sealing?

The term vacuum has its origins in Latin and means in translation "the emptiness". This could be produced by humans for the first time in 1644. However, it took another 343 years until the first vacuum sealer and was first introduced to the world in 1987 by Hanns Kristen.

During the vacuuming process, air is drawn from a bag or vessel. A distinction is made between two different types. The partial and the complete vacuum.

  • Complete vacuum sealing: Here, 100% of the air is withdrawn. Under normal circumstances, the full vacuum can only be generated under laboratory conditions. In this guide we therefore deal with the process of partial vacuum.
  • A vacuum sealer creates a partial vacuum. This is enough to make your food last much longer.

    Partial vacuuming: The air is not completely withdrawn, as is the case with a full vacuum, but only between 80% -90%. This is more than sufficient for normal household use. This allows you to double to eight times the shelf life of food. You can find detailed information about this in my shelf life table. This happens due to the lack of contact with oxygen. Because food reacts with air and spoils over time. This process is significantly slowed down by vacuuming. The advantage here is that, in addition to the longer shelf life, all nutrients, aromas and vitamins are retained. So your goods do not suffer any loss of quality.

How does a vacuum sealer actually work?

For vacuuming, I recommend a professional vacuum sealer (also called vacuum sealer). The principle of a vacuum sealer is actually quite simple and always takes place in the same four steps:

  1. You fill the product to be preserved into a special vacuum bag (all information and offers on suitable vacuum bags).
  2. The opening of the bag is correctly placed in the vacuum well.
  3. The vacuum sealer now begins to draw the air out of the bag through a built-in pump. This happens under constant pressure, which is only light at the beginning and slowly increases.
  4. If the pressure is strong enough, the vacuum sealer automatically switches from vacuuming to welding. The bag is sealed absolutely tight by means of heat. This means that air no longer penetrates the bag and your food, coins, clothing, etc. are reliably protected from putrefaction, oxidation and moisture.

The modern vacuum sealers are a vacuum generator and a film sealing device in one. The best part is that everything works fully automatically and you usually only have to press one button. It couldn't be easier and even laypeople can handle it without any problems.

Vacuuming clearly explained using the vacuum cleaner principle: You can better imagine the principle with a common household vacuum cleaner: You simply place the opening of your vacuum bag on your vacuum cleaner pipe. The suction then draws all of the air out of the bag. What remains is an almost complete vacuum. However, a vacuum cleaner is only worthwhile for vacuuming items of clothing, bed linen or duvets - but not for food. A vacuum sealer does this job more efficiently and better anyway.

Here I show you the top 3 vacuum sealer recommendations from my extensive tests.

What are the advantages of vacuum sealing?

You benefit from vacuum sealing in many ways. In addition to the increased durability, the smaller space requirement and protection against external influences, there are many more advantages. Here is a very extensive list:

  • Longer shelf life:Thanks to vacuum sealing, you can extend the shelf life of food by eight times. I recommend you to take a look at my shelf life table for different foods.
  • Freezer burn protection: You probably also know this problem: You freeze your food and over time, unsightly white to gray-brownish spots develop on it - the freezer burn. This occurs mainly in places that are constantly exposed to fresh air. The cause for this can be temperature fluctuations, for example. This is done by simply opening the refrigerator door. The temperature rises briefly and the water evaporates on the surface of your goods. This creates small water droplets. These then freeze again and ice crystals form - the so-called freezer burn sets in, which over time causes your frozen product to dry out. You can recognize this by the unsavory, gray-brownish spots. You can counteract this with a vacuum sealer. Because the air is completely withdrawn, there can be no places that are directly exposed to fresh air. The food industry also takes advantage of this, for example by packing meat in cling packaging. However, these are often very large and unnecessarily waste space in your freezer compartment. With vacuum sealing at home, you not only avoid freezer burn, but also save a lot of space.
  • Preservation of all flavors, nutrients, vitamins and minerals:With vacuum sealing you can not only make your food last longer, but also preserve the taste at a fresh level over a longer period of time. The reason for this, of course, is again the deprivation of oxygen. Without oxygen, the decomposition process slows down significantly and the flavors, nutrients, vitamins and minerals are retained for longer.
  • The space requirement of food is minimized by vacuuming.

    Save space:Everyone knows the situation in their freezer: You just went shopping and have bought frozen products again. Unfortunately, your freezer compartment is full and there is no more room for your freshly bought chicken thighs. However, you can significantly improve this problem with a vacuum sealer, if not even solve it. Because thanks to vacuum sealing you can save a lot of space. Your clunky supermarket packaging and food storage containers are a thing of the past. There is often more air in these than food. But with a vacuum bag and a vacuum sealer you can reduce your vacuum goods to the minimum and freeze them without any air. This means you have much more space for your supplies and you can survive every corona crisis.

  • Marinating meat efficiently: Are you tired of always buying the marinated meat? Mostly over-spiced, hidden under thick mariande and nothing left to taste of the meat. But do you really want to put in the meat yourself every time, which takes at least 12 hours until all the aromas are absorbed into the meat? The answer is clearly YES. Because you no longer have these problems with vacuuming. With a vacuum sealer, you can marinate meat in a vacuum bag without any problems. And that within minutes.
  • Protection against odors: Many of you like to freeze cheese. The problem with some types of cheese, however, is the smell and this can then spread throughout the refrigerator. But thanks to vacuum sealing in a vacuum bag, odors are a thing of the past.
  • Portion meals: Whether the pot roast with dumplings is really enough for everyone and will fill everyone up? You will certainly ask yourself this question when you have another party where you have to cook. So that you go to your limits, you will always cook a little more. Much more. But what to do with all the food when everyone is already full and their belly is already hanging over their belt. Before I bought my first vacuum sealer, I always ate the leftovers for the next few days. As long as I was sick of the food in the truest sense of the word. But thanks to the gentle vacuuming, I can now freeze the food in portions and take it to work. And on days when I also have an appetite for pot roast with dumplings. The food tastes freshly cooked even after weeks.
  • With the Sous Vide process, you can prepare it in a particularly gentle and authentic way.

    Sous Side Procedure The Sous-vide method describes the particularly gentle preparation of meat and fish in a water bath under vacuum. Since the topic is beyond this article, I have devoted a separate chapter to it.

  • Reducing food waste: Although the refrigerator is almost full and the storage cupboards are full, we keep buying new groceries. Food often disappears in the back of the refrigerator and is forgotten. After a few days, mold forms and you dispose of it. This risk is reduced thanks to vacuum sealing, as your food has a longer shelf life. In addition, vast amounts of water, electricity, arable land and other resources are used to produce various foods. So you can see that you too can do something for our environment by buying a vacuum sealer. This means that the vacuum bags can also be used several times. Provided, of course, that you wash them off properly. You can find more about this in the vacuum bag guide.
  • Time savings for guests: You can prepare your food beforehand and vacuum seal these portions. This gives you more time for your guests and only has to warm up your dishes. Your friends will thank you and nothing stands in the way of a sociable game evening with the host.
  • Save money: On average, we Germans throw away every eighth groceries we buy. That is approx. 82kg per person per year and a total of 7 million tons. If we were to convert that into euros now, that would be around € 250 per person. I see enormous savings potential here.
  • Vacuuming clothes not only saves space, it also helps against the infestation of clothes moths.

    Protection against pests: Clothes moths and Co. are annoying parasites that sometimes make life difficult, especially when your favorite shirt is once again eaten through with holes. The special vacuum bags for clothing provide a remedy. This means that pests no longer have a chance of getting to your belongings. And why mothballs or other chemical substances should disappear from your household as quickly as possible, I'll explain in more detail in my pest infestation guide.

  • Increasing the value of coins: Thanks to vacuum sealing, you can maintain or even increase the value of your coins. This is mainly due to the fact that silver coins are susceptible to the formation of patina and lose their shine in the process. With the help of the vacuum, your coins are protected from the chemical reaction of silver, oxygen and hydrogen sulfide (found in our ambient air) and can thus retain their shine.

What are the disadvantages of vacuum sealing?

First of all: vacuum sealing has many advantages and only a few disadvantages. Nevertheless, I do not want to hide this of course:

  • Acquisition costs of the vacuum sealer: You need a suitable vacuum sealer for the basic equipment for vacuuming, which usually costs between 35-300 euros one-time - depending on requirements. In my test reports I go into more detail about price and performance and present a wide range of models. There is something for every budget.
  • Vacuum bags, rolls or containers? The prices and areas of application are very different.

    Acquisition costs of vacuum bags and accessories: You absolutely need special vacuum bags or rolls for this. These usually cost between 15-30 euros. For the preservation of liquids such as sauces or soups, I also recommend special vacuum containers for around 15 euros. So you have to invest money in the beginning. But I promise you that these acquisition costs will be amortized quickly. After all, you save a lot of money with a vacuum sealer because your food has a longer shelf life and you have to dispose of less of it. You can also reuse vacuum bags. On the subject of vacuum bags, I have an extra article including purchase recommendations and offers.

  • Volume during the vacuum process: Unfortunately, you cannot change the volume of your vacuum sealer. Since the time of a vacuum process only lasts between 10-20 seconds, you can usually overlook it. As part of my tests, I still point out if there is a particularly strong noisemaker behind a vacuum sealer.

What can all be vacuum sealed?

Food

With vacuuming, food can be sealed airtight and odorless.

Food can be vacuum sealed very well. Whether meat, fish, fruit / vegetables, sauces, baked goods, herbs, leftover food, wine or whole dishes - everything is ideal for vacuum sealing. You not only extend the shelf life by up to 8 times, but you also save money at the same time. Due to the longer shelf life, your food does not spoil as quickly and you have longer time to consume it. Thanks to the unique vacuum bag, all of the air can be extracted from the bag. This means that all of the oxygen escapes and the spoilage process is reduced. All nutrients, aromas and vitamins are retained. In this way, your freshly vacuum-sealed food can keep its taste for a long time.

Clothing and textiles

to travel

When traveling with limited luggage, it is particularly important to reduce the space required to the bare essentials. Travel vacuum bags help with this.

Packing suitcases made easy: Before every vacation, the question arises: "What do I take with me"? This can be a huge challenge, especially on long journeys with constantly changing climatic zones. But there is a trick that puts an end to the annoying squeezing of your things. The magic word is vacuum sealing.

In this way, you can reduce the volume of your clothing to the maximum and no longer have to leave any items at home. The clothes stay dry, which is a huge advantage, especially for backpackers. Another plus point: you can vacuum seal your items of clothing in different bags. This saves you the hassle of searching in your suitcase. You only ever open the bag that you need for the current occasion / situation. For this I recommend the vacuum bag to roll up.

Note weight limits: But make sure that you do not exceed the weight of the suitcase / backpack. You have more space in your luggage, but the weight remains the same. In other words, the more clothes you can fit in, the heavier the suitcase / backpack will be.

wardrobe

If you want to get more space in your closet, a vacuum bag with an integrated clothes hanger can be of great help. This allows you to vacuum-seal clothes without any problems and then stow them away. The bag has a hook at the top that you can use to hang it up. A holder is attached to it, which is located inside the bag. A coat hanger in a bag, so to speak. Your clothes and their own hangers are hung on this holder.

This is done very easily by opening the zipper of the bag, hanging your clothes in and then closing it again. The rest is done as with a normal vacuum bag. A vacuum cleaner draws the air out of the bag via a valve on the bag.

Then you can hang your clothes in your closet in a space-saving, pest-free and dust-free manner. Shirts and crease-prone textiles stay in shape longer.

Duvets / pillows

Almost all of us have a winter blanket and several pillows. Maybe even seasonal bed linen. When not in use, most of these are stowed in the bed box and take up a lot of space. But there is also a solution for this. A vacuum bag with an attached valve. The duvet is placed in a bag with a zip fastener and closed. Then you can remove the air from the bag with the help of a commercially available vacuum cleaner. Manufacturers state that you can save up to 75% space.

Precious metals

goldGold coins or other gold pieces do not have to be vacuum-sealed. Pure gold coins retain their original state for centuries in the air and do not tarnish or form stains. The quality is therefore retained even without vacuuming.
silverEvery coin collector knows the problem. The valuable silver coins (also with silver cutlery or similar) lose their silver luster over the years. Their surface becomes dull and rough and over time it becomes darker and darker. Initially, small yellowish spots appear, which then turn brownish over time and later black. This oxidation occurs because silver forms an oxide layer with oxygen. This then reacts with hydrogen sulfide, which is found in traces in our normal ambient air. This creates silver sulfide on your silver coin. The so-called patina formation begins.To combat this oxidation process, it is advisable to vacuum seal silver coins. The coin is deprived of oxygen and no suspended particles can settle. As a result, the process of oxidation cannot be stopped completely, but it can at least be slowed down significantly.
Palladium / platinumPlatinum and palladium are currently the fastest growing metals (from an economic point of view). They are much harder than gold and have a similar property to this. Thus, coins made of platinum or palladium do not necessarily have to be vacuum-sealed either.

miscellaneous

Matches, batteries, first aid kits

These are all essential utensils that you need for a camping trip, hiking or
for other trips. Thanks to the vacuum sealing, these are protected from moisture,
take up less space in your backpack due to the vacuum and are instant in an emergency
ready to use.

Metal components

Components made of metal, electronic goods and other metallic materials should always be vacuum-sealed.
Thanks to vacuum sealing, the parts are permanently protected from dust, dirt, moisture and
Damage protected. This also avoids the rusting process.

Paint cans

Small paint cans are ideal for vacuum sealing. Due to the vacuum created, the paint does not dry out and you can use it at any time. So you save yourself the constant purchase of new paint cans and save your wallet.

Tool

Tools that you don't use constantly should be cleaned after each use and then vacuum-sealed. This means that the annoying rust no longer has a chance. This is because the vacuum removes all of the oxygen. The oxidation processes, which are responsible for rust formation, no longer have a chance.

Which foods can be vacuum-sealed?

flesh

The Rommelsbacher VAC 285 has a food button. This means that meat juice can no longer run into the device during vacuum sealing.

Since meat is perishable, there are a few points to consider when vacuuming. So it is important that the cold chain for meat is never interrupted. You should therefore always vacuum seal your meat fresh and chilled, otherwise germs can set up quickly. Another important point is to always dab your meat with a kitchen towel before vacuuming it. Otherwise, the meat juice could run into your vacuum sealer due to the high pressure of your vacuum pump. There is not only a huge mess, but can also result in a leaky weld seam. It is therefore important that there is never any liquid at the level of the weld seam. To be on the safe side, I always recommend making two or three welds.

If you are spontaneously invited to a barbecue evening again, then the vacuum sealer is your best friend in this case too. You can marinate meat with a vacuum sealer inside
of a few minutes and no longer takes hours. You can read about why this is so and what you have to pay attention to in my guide “Marinating meat efficiently in a vacuum bag”.

fish

Since fish is even more perishable than meat, you should also make sure that you always adhere to the cold chain. After all, nobody wants to be in the hospital with fish poisoning. It is also essential to vacuum seal the fish when it is freshly caught. It is important that this is removed beforehand and the remaining liquid is dabbed off with a kitchen towel.

Always vacuum your fish at low pressure, as this is better for the structure of the fish. Manual pressure regulation, as offered by many vacuum sealers, is best suited for this.

Thanks to vacuum sealing, your fish tastes much fresher than fish from the freezer when it is defrosted. The reason for this is explained very simply: When frozen fish in a normal freezer bag, there is defrost water. This flushes out a large part of the flavors, minerals and nutrients. The taste is lost in the process. With vacuum-sealed fish, there is no defrosting water and all the flavors, minerals and nutrients are retained.

fruit and vegetables

With vacuum sealing, food is sealed in bags and as much oxygen as possible is removed from them.

There are a few things to consider when vacuuming fruit and vegetables.

  • At Pears, apples, bananas etc. it is important to peel them beforehand. They can then be vacuum-sealed raw and will last many times longer than before.
  • Blueberries, raspberries and other soft fruits belong to the pressure-sensitive foods. These should be vacuum-sealed with the manual pressure regulation. The fruits are protected and you end up with no porridge. If your vacuum sealer does not have manual pressure regulation, freeze your fruit briefly beforehand. This means that they can no longer be crushed so easily.
  • Vegetables such as all Cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, beans and snow peas contain gases. This is why they are not suitable for vacuuming in their raw state and must be blanched before vacuuming.

cheese

Cheese can also be vacuum-sealed just fine. The advantage is not only the longer shelf life, but also the protection against odors. Because some types of cheese have a very bad smell and can turn your fridge into a real stinker den.

Sauces and other liquids

Sauces and liquids can be vacuum sealed with any device. However, there are a few things to consider. I recommend my guide "What do you have to pay particular attention to when vacuuming liquids?"

Bakery products

Bread and rolls can be vacuum packed and then frozen. With bread rolls, you proceed in the same way as with pressure-sensitive berries: Vacuuming is either done using manual pressure regulation or you can freeze your rolls briefly beforehand. Otherwise the pressure of the vacuum pump would be too strong and would process your rolls into a flat cake.

This problem does not exist with bread. It is best to vacuum and freeze it whole. Its full aroma is retained. Unfortunately, this has one disadvantage: after defrosting, you have to use up your bread within 2-3 days. What can be done about it? Freeze your bread in slices. But only ever put as many slices in your vacuum bag as you use in one day. The disadvantage of freezing slice by slice is the dehydration. Once thawed, these should be used within a day. Otherwise you only have a dried out slice of bread in front of you the next day.

Herbs

Herbs of all kinds can be frozen wonderfully. It is important to always vacuum and freeze them as a whole. This is because the important essential oils, flavors, minerals, vitamins and nutrients are retained.

Leftover food

Leftover food, such as the peel of your vegetables, should never be thrown away. These can still be used. To do this, you gradually freeze the trays and vacuum seal them again and again in the same vacuum bag. When the bag is full, you can put all the bowls together in a saucepan and make your own vegetable stock. If desired, it can then be frozen in portions and is ideal for sauces or other dishes.

Wine

Everyone who has ever drunk wine knows this problem: The friends are gone, but they are
Bottle is still half full. Where to put it? The cork no longer fits on it and the wine loses it
over time aroma. Vacuuming also helps here. The oxygen is drawn from the bottle
pulled and the wine can no longer tip so quickly. The only thing you need for this is a
Vacuum hose and a special vacuum cork, e.g. the bottle cap from MAGIC VAC.
The cap fits easily on any bottle. This has an opening at the top, with which you can
Can pull vacuum out of the bottles. As a result, the taste and quality remain 3-5 times longer
receive.

Whole dishes

Have you ever cooked way too much for your family and don't know what to do with all the food? Then simply vacuum seal the entire menu without any problems. Your cooked dishes stay fresh and tasty and you can thaw them again as needed. The good thing is, you don't have to throw anything away and you also save a lot of money. This means that overpriced canteen meals or fast food are a thing of the past. The dishes can easily be taken to work and reheated there.

How much does the shelf life of certain foods increase with vacuum sealing?

What should be considered when vacuuming food?

My general tips for successful vacuuming:

  • Always use fresh food: You should always use fresh food for vacuuming. The fresher the food, the longer its shelf life. This is because the germ content of fresh foods is lower than that of stored foods. It's best to vacuum seal your groceries on the same day you bought them.
  • Remove damaged areas: Damaged areas on your food should always be removed. Otherwise, the risk of vacuuming up any bacteria or germs is too great.
  • Create perfect hygienic conditions: Hygiene is very important when vacuuming. If you vacuum-seal germs, it is not only harmful to your food, but in the worst case it can also be harmful to you. Therefore, you should absolutely observe the following hygiene points:
    • Cleaning your vacuum sealer is also one of the necessary hygienic measures.

      Always wash your hands before processing your food.

    • Always work with a clean knife and wash it off when you use one
      want to prepare other food.
    • Ideally, use disposable gloves. This will reduce the risk of germs.
    • Keep your work surface clean and wipe it with a kitchen towel in between.
    • Use stainless steel or stone surfaces. They are much easier to clean and germs cannot multiply on them.

Additional procedure for meat