So a week or two ago I pulled into the garage and noticed an empty Foodsaver vacuum sealer box chilling by the trash can. I couldn’t help but laugh. Everyone assumes I’m the kitchen gadget junkie but the gig is up, David, it’s you.
Now… with that being said… sigh, I must admit that I do usually end up loving the items. We don’t buy that many, but the ones David (a thorough -or should I say over?- researcher) decides on are usually pretty sweet. And go figure, the vacuum sealer is no different. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with it at first, but now with a little playing around I’ve found some really neat uses!
1. Weekly Food Prep. It’s no secret that I love prepping food items before the week begins to make for an easier week of eating healthy. I love making things in bulk and freezing for later use, but often items get freezer burn within a couple of days. Now I can use the vacuum sealer to protect food and make it last so much longer. For example, I can make a ton of extra pancakes, flash freeze them on a baking sheet, then vacuum seal them in packs of 2-4 and use as needed with absolutely no freezer burn.
Similarly, I can buy meat in bulk (which clearly we are into… we bought half a cow) and separate into usable portion sizes, vacuum seal and freeze for later use. Perfect for when chicken goes on super sale!
2. Cooking Sous Vide. This is the real reason David wanted it. We are loving experimenting with sous vide cooking and it was getting a bit difficult to keep using water displacement to try and seal our food. So now it’s simple to vacuum seal meat, corn, etc with seasonings and marinade to create flavor-packed meals.
Don’t mind my rogue butter… I’m still learning.
3. Long Term Food Storage. I want to venture into learning more about dry canning using a vacuum attachment for jars and such, right now I am loving it for easily storing soups, stews, chili and broths. Simply freeze the liquid, then transfer to a vacuum seal bag, seal and label. I can’t wait to stock my freezer with homemade options for the fall and winter.
4. Saving an Avocado. Man, avocados are tricky. They don’t save well thanks to the rapid oxidation that happens when the green flesh meets the air. Because of this, I often use an entire avocado in one sitting, but the vacuum sealer allows me to keep it cut, yet freshly green and in the fridge for a lot longer! Simply keep the pit in the half you want to store, vacuum seal it, then store in fridge until you need it.
5. Bananas (or other fruit) for Smoothies. I know I can’t be the only one that freezes bananas, then tosses them in smoothies anyway. With the vacuum sealer, you can cut and freeze the slices on a baking pan, then vacuum seal them. They will stay fresh for months without freezer burn!
*BONUS* Re-sealing chip or cracker bags. You don’t want to use the vacuum function on these because you will crush the chips, but you can just use the seal button and eliminate the need for chip clips! It keeps all the air out of the bag, keeping your chips fresher for much longer. Be warned, this gets rid of the excuse for eating a whole bag in one sitting (wink!).
Do you know of any other uses for a vacuum sealer that you love?
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?