I have a big family, and that means that I have to cook a lot of food. With four kids and a hungry spouse, I need to make sure that I make meals that can satisfy everyone while still having leftovers.
Even though my family eats a lot, we still manage to waste food. Since I make so much for every meal, we usually wind up storing the excess in the fridge and then forget about it.
That’s why I started vacuum sealing my food. With the Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealer, I can store my leftovers for much longer than I would otherwise. I can even store bulk ingredients for later.
I usually go shopping at a big box store, which means that I buy tons of food at a time. With the Nesco Vacuum Sealer, I can buy meats and vegetables in bulk and not have to worry about using it all right away.
Today I’ll be talking to you about the benefits of vacuum sealing, and why the Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealer is an excellent choice for you and your family.
What is a Food Vacuum Sealer
To keep food fresh, most of us will place it in a Ziploc bag or inside Tupperware containers and keep it in the fridge.
However, when you put food into a container, you are also trapping air with it. Since oxygen is a major contributor to food decay, the less air you store with the food and the longer it will last.
A food vacuum sealer is a device that sucks the air out of the bag in which the food is stored, so oxidation and decay are less of a problem. Simply put, a food vacuum sealer extends the life of your food.
Benefits of Vacuum Sealing Food
In the US alone, almost forty percent of our food goes to waste. With millions of people going hungry every day, food waste is a huge issue that needs to be addressed.
With a food vacuum sealer, you can do your part to fix this problem by extending the life of your food. Here are the biggest reasons to use a food vacuum sealer.
Factors That Keep In Mind
Not only will you save money on the food that you won’t be throwing away anymore, but you can also save money by buying foods in bulk (which is usually cheaper) and storing the excess in vacuum bags.
Most people assume that the only foods that should be vacuum sealed are those that you store in the refrigerator. However, many dry foods like nuts, flour, and pasta can benefit from vacuum sealing.
Also, if you vacuum seal these types of foods they are less likely to turn stale, nor will they attract pests.
As food ages, the components within it break down, which leads to rancidity and less flavor. By vacuuming sealing your food you are not only keeping it fresh but you are preserving the savory aspects of it by reducing the amount of decay.
If you want to keep certain items dry, like matches or documents, you can vacuum seal them to provide extra protection. Even if you store these items in a relatively dry place, vacuum sealing will protect those items from humidity and any accidents that may occur.
What to Consider When Buying a Food Vacuum Sealer
There are multiple types of vacuum sealers on the market, each with its own benefits and downsides. Here are the top considerations you should factor into your purchase.
Not only will you have the initial cost of buying the sealer, but you will have the long-term cost of buying bags.
If you plan on sealing food regularly, then you want to keep in mind how many bags you will go through and how often you will replace them.
In some cases, you can reuse the same bag, but if you store raw meats you’ll need to toss the bag out after using it.
Handheld vs. Countertop
When choosing a vacuum sealer, you can get a portable model that you hold in your hand or one that sits on the counter. Portable sealers are great for short-term storage, but they may not provide adequate vacuuming for freezing.
The benefit of handheld models is that you can use them anywhere. Countertop models are bulkier and usually more expensive, but they do a better job of sealing and give you a longer shelf-life.
Internal vs. External
If you plan on doing a high volume of vacuum sealing, then you might want an internal sealer. This device has you place the bag inside the unit and provides a much tighter seal.
However, internal sealers are a lot bigger and more expensive. External sealers are ones that only suck the air out from the bag’s opening. While it will not provide as much suction as an internal unit, external sealers are ideal for occasional home use.
Some vacuum sealers will only work with proprietary bags, whereas others may work on a variety of different materials.
If you don’t want to have to purchase new bags all the time, you may want to get a model that can seal anything, including chip bags and Ziploc bags. Some models even have attachments so you can vacuum seal jars too.
Tips and Tricks for Vacuuming Food
Even though vacuum sealing is a fairly straightforward process, there are some things to consider when operating your sealer.
- Don’t put sharp objects into the bag, as they may tear or rip the material.
- Clean the open end of the bag before using the machine to ensure a tighter seal.
- If you plan on storing food that crumbles or is powdered, keeps a buffer zone between the food and the opening so that particles won’t fly into and clog the machine.
- Let the device sit for a minute between seals to cool off and ensure proper operation.
- Do not overfill bags, as this can damage the unit and lead to improper sealing.
- Ideally, freeze moist or juicy foods before sealing so liquid will not clog the machine.
- Do not try to seal hot liquids, as they will bubble up and get into the vacuum.
- If possible, freeze liquids before sealing them.
- Make sure to store perishable foods in the refrigerator after sealing. Vacuum sealing extends shelf-life, but it will not keep foods fresh.
- For best results, freeze fruits and blanch vegetables before sealing them.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Storage compartment included for extra bags.
- Adjustable sealing options.
- Ideal for a variety of foods.
- Reduces food waste.
- Can seal foods in original packaging.
- Automatic operation.
- Versatile sealing options.
- Certain components may break under pressure.
- In rare cases, machine may stop working unexpectedly.
- Somewhat big and cumbersome.
- In some instances, the side clasps may not seal easily.
- Over time, the bag cutter may not work as well.
- One-touch operation.
- Automatic shut-off.
- Uses a piston pump for quick sealing.
- Automatically stops once bag is sealed to prevent over vacuuming.
- Bags work for both dry and wet food.
- Seal other items such as clothes, matches, and anything else you want to stay dry.
- Manually extend sealing time if needed.
- Override function available for delicate foods.
- Roll storage compartment for bags.
- Bag cutter.
- Comes with ten vacuum bags.
Q: Can I use this machine to seal jars as well?
A: If you get the standard model, you won’t be able to use it on jars. However, Nesco does offer a special attachment that is specifically designed to work with jars. This is sold separately, however.
Q: Are the bags BPA-free?
A: According to Nesco, the bags can be used for boiling and microwaving, but the company doesn’t specifically mention if they are BPA-free. If you are worried, you can use almost any brand of vacuum bag with this machine, so you can find ones that are certified BPA-free.
Q: How big is this machine?
A: The exact specifications of the unit are seventeen inches long, five inches tall, and nine inches wide. The size is kind of big, so storing it can be somewhat of a hassle.
Before I got this food vacuum sealer, my family and I were throwing out old food on a weekly basis. Since our fridge fills so fast, a lot of food gets pushed to the back and forgotten. Even though I try to implement a “first in, first out” system, my kids hardly listen, and we still wind up throwing a lot of food away.
Now, however, since I vacuum seal everything (and I mean everything), when food gets shuffled around we don’t have to worry about it going bad right away.
Recently I had bought some fish that I wanted to make, and for some reason, it got moved to the wrong place and I forgot about it. Before, the only way I would know the fish was even there was because it would start to stink.
Thankfully, I had vacuum sealed it beforehand, so once I found it was still fresh and ready to eat. If you’re worried about wasting food or just want to save money on your grocery bill, I would highly recommend the Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealer.