Until you’ve experienced what a small appliance can do, it’s often hard to know whether you actually need one or not.
And if you’ve ever wondered if it’s worth owning a household food vacuum sealer, then carry on reading!
I love it that food vacuum sealers have two amazing reasons to belong in your kitchen!
They’re perfect for your fridge and freezer, and brilliant for in your pantry.
This small kitchen gadget is a work-horse that saves you time and money and it works really well with other time-saving gadgets like slow-cookers, dehydrators, and the Instant Pot.
Let’s explore what this heavy-lifter kitchen gadget, also known as the food vacuum sealer, can do for you in the kitchen and why you may want to consider getting an OLISO instead.
Here’s a gift-giving idea:
Dehydrate fruit then vacuum seal them for freshness to make seasonal gifts later!
What is a food vacuum sealer?
The concept of a vacuum sealer has been around since WWII before it became an official invention and then used by commercial food packaging plants.
By 1984, the first compact model was available for home use.
The idea is simple and effective.
Whether a vacuum sealer is for commercial or home use, the idea is to remove oxygen from the bag with the help of an electric pump before sealing the edges with heat.
If you’ve ever been on an overnight canoe trip with portaging you can imagine what might need a quick vacuum seal . . . spare car keys and socks, cell phone, and of course your dehydrated homemade snacks and meals!
Your vacuum sealer only needs two things:
- an item to seal (food, cellphone, medicines . . . )
- pre-made bags or a roll of heavy duty plastic so you can make your own.
Some companies sell their dry goods significantly discounted if you buy in bulk.
This is where you save money!
For example, 1 pound of lentils may cost $7 whereas buying in bulk could bring the cost down to just over $2.
You save time later as you won’t need to shop as often for staples.
Why do you remove all of the oxygen?
Once oxygen is removed, the food inside is less likely to become spoiled because harmful bacterial, fungo, and micro-organisms don’t have a chance to grow.
Food naturally stays fresher for longer.
However food can also spoil from too much heat, light, moisture, or oxygen.
So once the oxygen is removed, it’s all about how you store your vacuum sealed food packages.
Why not can or freeze the food instead?
One way to preserve excess fruit and vegetables is by canning.
This process works well, but can take hours and the glass jars take up space which not many of us have. Preferably canned goods should be kept in the cold storage area of our homes.
Another way is to blanch then freeze your crop, however over time this food spoils with freezer burn.
The easiest, quickest solution, whether it’s short or long-term, is with a vacuum sealer. You’ll get the freshness of canned goods and convenience of the freezer.
What a food vacuum sealer can do for you
Here’s the biggest problem with any food, whether it is fresh or frozen . . . it goes stale or rancid from either too much heat, light, moisture, or oxygen.
And, storing food in plastic or aluminium foil is no guarantee for freshness.
Storing food without spoilage or being wasteful, means you need a vacuum sealer.
What is the Oliso Smart Vacuum Sealer and why I love it
Oliso is a kitchen brand name best known for its Smart Hub induction and vacuum sealers.
I love their professional vacuum sealer as it’s a top of the line in kitchen gadgets for many reasons.
- The Oliso Smart Vacuum sealer fits in a kitchen drawer.
- The design allows you to seal a bag of food with liquids or marinades which gives you many more options in the kitchen . . . think cooking Sous Vide with a marinade!
- You do not need to make bags – just re-use them.
The Oliso technology simply pierces the bags to vacuum out air then reseals the puncture.
This amazing feature is a huge advantage over other designs.
- Mentioned in, The Oprah Magazine, Serious Eats, and Popular Science!
I invite you to check out Oliso’s food vacuum sealer and compare the differences.
5 reasons to love a food vacuum sealer
1: You save money
Here’s why a food vacuum sealer is one of my top kitchen gadgets.
It saves me money because I also do a lot of dehydrating when fruits are either in season or on sale.
We have dehydrated Bing cherries in our granola bars all year round which I store in recipe-portioned vacuum-sealed packs and dehydrated fruits whenever they are on sale.
I also love that you only need two things and they’re easy to store;
- a vacuum sealer
- bags or a roll to easily make your own bag
2: You save time when you need it the most
This is how: simply prep and freeze your meals ahead and freeze them.
I like to pull out my slow cooker and cook a recipe for 2-3 meals at a time.
Once cool, vacuum seal and label each bag.
If your family likes meals with a lot of gravy, juice, or sauce, the Oliso vacuum sealer is perfect before you refrigerate or freeze.
Heat and eat when ready for a meal.
3: Reduce food waste with portion control
When my mushrooms and tomatoes never make it into that dish I’d planned earlier, they’re sliced and dehydrated along with raw onion slices and garlic then vacuum sealed.
Later, a quick meal is ready in no time at all.
Boaties love a vacuum sealer to preserve their fresh line-caught fish for as long as possible. Simply filet the fish, reserve one side for a meal and vacuum seal the other and refrigerate.
Vacuum-sealed fresh fish – or meat – lasts much longer in the fridge once the air is removed.
4: Preserve your garden harvest
The best thing about the end of summer are fresh herbs, fruit, and vegetables from your garden.
The more robust herbs can be dehydrated before vacuum packing, then store in the pantry.
Delicate herbs do better vacuum packed, then frozen, or freeze them in ice, for cooking with later.
Knowing which herbs are robust or delicate, helps you not ruin a summer’s harvest of herbs.
You’ll be surprised with how little room vacuum packed herbs take up in the pantry or freezer and also how often you’ll use them once you’ve go them.
5: Sous vide cooking
Sous vide (pronounced ‘sue-veed’) is a French cooking technique which has taken off in home kitchens.
Simply simmer the bag of sealed meat, seafood, vegetables, or eggs in water that is held at a constant temperature.
Once the food is tender, remove, baste, and you could also give it a quick grill before serving.
Sous vide is an easy, set-and-forget-while-it-cooks style of cooking and tasty!
Their SMART HUB combines an induction cooktop with a Smart Hub Top and you get everything you need in 1 square foot of kitchen space!
Imagine slow cooking, searing, sous vide, infusions, yogurt making, broth and soup making all in one!
This super kitchen deserves it’s own post but is mentioned in the highly respected, Bar Tartine, Wired, and Digital Trends!
What if I use Mylar bags instead?
Mylar bags are popular for building an emergency food supply as they can be bought up to 6-gallon sizes, however, for the average homeowner, the authentic ones are pricey.
Look for Mylar bags sold with at least 5mm thickness and made with an aluminium foil layer, and preferably packaged and shipped flat or rolled, not folded.
Folding may create a puncture in your bag.
What is the best basic food to vacuum seal?
Some of the best food to store in vacuum packs for everyday uses are flour, sugar, and rice.
If you’re a survivalist or practise survival skills for a hobby, these three basic ingredients are the hardest to produce on a small scale from your garden.
So, it makes sense to preserve and stockpile these three for as long as possible but to also keep them as fresh as possible.
The next biggest problem you’ll run into with storing any food over time is hungry critters.
To solve this store your bags in 5-gallon buckets with a lid to help keep those critters out.
Who uses vacuum-sealed food?
- Day hikers
- Home cooks
- Hobby farmers
- Anyone who dehydrates batches of seasonal produce for year-round storage