If you rarely use your vacuum sealer and just place it on your kitchen counter, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Regular use of this remarkable appliance can save you some money, especially through extending your food’s life. What’s more, it allows you to shop and even cook in bulk. Here are some eight pointers outlined below to help you save both money and time through freezing your food with a vacuum sealer.
1. How do you Pre-freeze?
Bear in mind that when you place fresh berries in a freezer bag devoid of air, they will be crushed. Hence, make sure that you spread out and pre-freeze food items such as vegetables, meatballs, and fruits on cookie sheets. Also, pre-freeze various saucy items like pasta and soups in plastic containers.
Before you pre-freeze your foods, ensure that you pack it down with a spatula or even spoon to get rid of air bubbles. Afterward, when the items are frozen, remove them from the containers used in the pre-freeze process before you vacuum seal them.
2. When do you Freeze Cooked versus Uncooked Food?
Some meals such as sauces and soups reheat quite nicely even after freezing. On the contrary, there are other foods that you can put together and vacuum seal without having to cook them. For instance, each time I get a well-priced 3-pound pack of ground turkey, I usually mix and pre-make three batches of meatballs. As such, whenever meatballs are on my menu, I only need to get the frozen ones and cook them without having to deal with the hassles of mixing and forming them. Doing so not only saves the time needed to prepare meals but also allows you to get freshly cooked dishes with limited effort.
Freezer dishes are undeniably the ideal way to save a considerable amount of time, especially when preparing weeknight dinners after a long day at work. You can consider our time-saving and delicious solutions such as slow cooker freezer recipes, IKEA frozen meatball recipes and freezer-ready casseroles.
3. Label your Packages
You think remembering the package that contains the tomato sauce you prepared in July is easy? Well, six months down the line when you use the wrong package in preparing your meals, you will be forced to reconsider your packing process. To keep the confusion at bay, always try to label or write the name of each dish you make and include the date of preparation. Although a permanent marker is highly advisable for this process, you can also utilize a label maker.
4. Vacuum seal your Food not just for Freezing
Bear in mind that vacuum sealing can extend your food’s shelf life in both your pantry and refrigerator. In case you have bought a big chunk of cheddar, vacuum seal half of it until you are done eating the first piece. What’s even more impressive about vacuum sealing is that it stretches the life of your dry foods, on condition that you leave a barrier between the power and the vacuum sealer. For instance, you do not need to remove the original packaging that comes with flour, instead seal the entire package.
5. Double your Recipes and Freeze the Remainder
From now henceforth, always double any meal you know that freezes well. Instantly, ensure that you vacuum seal the additional dish in a bid it preserve it even at its peak. For example, disposable foil pans are an ideal way for storing dishes such as enchiladas. With two trays of the dish, cook one for dinner and vacuum seal the rest. Therefore, when you want to have some enchiladas next time, all you need to do is defrost and heat them.
6. Get yourself the Bags
Not all bags out there are designed for use with a vacuum sealer. You need to get the ideal ones for proper sealing. In fact, these special bags are made specifically for your vacuum sealer machine, as they can keep both moisture and air out while offering a completely tight seal.
7. Portion your Food Appropriately in the Bags
Most bags can be cleaned and even reused. Nonetheless, others like the ones used in preserving raw meat are not suitable since they may contain bacteria remnants. Even with that in mind, it is recommended that you freeze each meal according to portions the bags can handle. For example, when you purchase the three-pound pack of ground beef, divide it into three pieces of one pound each and freeze them.
8. Be your own Butcher
Owning a vacuum sealer will help you make some savings, mainly when you use it in preserving meat. You simply need to purchase steaks in bulk, and then seal and freeze them individually for eating whenever you want.