Until not so long ago, conservation techniques such as salting or pickling were fundamental for survival itself, but with the arrival of the refrigerator in homes and the availability of products throughout the year we have been leaving them aside. However, apply methods such as vacuum packaging to preserve food It has many advantages.
Today we have a good range of domestic vacuum packaging machines designed to extend the shelf life of all kinds of ingredients and foods, in the short, medium and long term. That variety can mislead a little when you first approach these machines; Then we review the basic notions about this technique with a selection of models that adapt to different budgets and needsLive to the PalateHow to pack vacuum sausage correctly. Trick to save
What is vacuum conservation and what are its advantages?
To consider the advantages of this method, we must first remember why the food or the prepared food itself is spoiled. Fundamentally it is the action of microorganisms the one that causes that deterioration, that use the oxygen of the air like source of energy, without forgetting the oxidation that produces the own O2 of the outside.
That's why conservation methods are always based on techniques that isolate and protect food from the outside, or generating environments that hinder the activity of microorganisms. Do not forget that even frozen food lasts forever, what we achieve is to slow down the deterioration, but not stop it completely.
Vacuum packaging consists of storing food in containers to which the maximum possible amount of air is extracted inland. The container is closed or sealed tightly, isolating the product, thus protecting it from the outside, from the action of oxygen and other agents such as moisture or odors that may affect its quality.
The main advantages of this system are:
- Extend the shelf life and preservation of raw and cooked foods.
- Avoid contamination or premature deterioration.
- Maintain nutritional quality for longer.
- Preserve also the organoleptic qualities, avoiding the loss of flavor, aromas and natural textures.
- Save organizational space in the fridge, freezer or pantry.
- It allows you to save on the shopping list, taking advantage to buy products on offer in large quantities.
- It is a great method to store seasonal products for many months when they are at their best.
- It greatly helps reduce food waste.
- It is a good tool to plan meals in advance.
- It allows to cook at low temperature with the technique of sous-vide.
Short term vacuum packing machines
Not everyone needs to pack food for several months; Short-term packaging is intended for more everyday use where you want avoid typical household waste. It is very useful to make sure that vegetables or fruits endure in perfect condition many more days, or to plan meals throughout the week without fear of spoiling.
They are also smaller devices and usually cheaper. They are very practical packaging machines also to prepare food to take away or to protect the pantry from insects, damp and odors. And they are a great option for households with few family members, or people who live alone and are forced to buy more quantity of product than they can consume.
This system is the most basic and comfortable if we only seek to extend the conservation of our food throughout the week, or to maintain the quality of cut fruits, vegetables or prepared dishes. It is also great for marinating with less risk of food spoilage, and ensures better conservation during transport to the workplace.
The mechanism is very simple: the three vessels have a special opening in which the included vacuum pump fits to extract the air inside. further can be used in the microwave, oven and dishwasher safe, and are fit to eat directly from them. This set of three units, plus the pump, leaves us for 18 euros on Amazon, although there are more containers of other sizes.
Vacuumsaver Set of Vacuum Tuppers Square, Transparent and Green, 31x59x47 cm, 3 UnitsToday on Amazon for € 18.00
Ibili vacuum jars
The Ibili vacuum jars have a vacuum sealing mechanism incorporated in the container lid itself, so that we don't need to use any external bomb or gadget. There are different sizes and shapes, although we like this series of square format that allows you to stack them easily. The 1-liter costs 19.86 euros on Amazon.
Ibili 788610 - Square stackable vacuum container, 1000 mlToday on Amazon for € 19.86
FoodSaver FFS010X vacuum packing machine
This machine is very compact and takes up little space, so it is practical to store it in any closet or, better, have it always on top of the kitchen. It has a different design from traditional packaging machines, being designed vertically, very comfortable and easy to use.
It allows short and medium term packaging in the brand-style taper containers, of which there is a wide variety of sizes and shapes, and can also be used with the typical zip closure bags. It is also on sale at a very good price, only 39 euros, and includes five 0.95 l bags and a 700 ml fresh container.
Foodsaver Fresh Appliance Vacuum Packing Machine, 25 W, Stainless Steel, BlackToday on Amazon for € 39.00
Long term vacuum packing machines
They are the most "classic" packaging machines, following the usual design of these devices for domestic use, elongated and with an opening where the sealing bags fit. Its function is the most long-term packaging, usually using brand-specific packaging rolls, although it is possible to find bags from other manufacturers compatible with different models.
It is best to opt for a model to stop vacuum sealing at will, to pack more delicate products such as cookies, bread or red fruits, and that adapt to reusable bags of different size and zip closure, not just rolls.
This packaging machine has the great advantage of its compact design and small size, to be a machine that adapts to 30 cm bags. And it stands out from other models in which it has been incorporated a magnet to be able to place on the refrigerator door without bothering too much, and so having it always at hand.
It also has three packaging modes, allowing you to store more delicate foods, and supports compatibility with other brands' bags. It is on offer at 39.99 euros and includes a pack of bags to start using it directly.
ABOX Vacuum Packing Machine, V69 Automatic Vacuum Sealing Machine, 10 Vacuum Bags and Boat Tube, 3 Vacuum Modes for Food and Container, with Bottom Magnets, WhiteToday on Amazon for € 39.99
Tefal Vacupack Classic
This Tefal crusher is not very bulky and can be comfortably stored vertically so that it is not too much in the kitchen. It works with individual bags of the brand itself, of different sizes, and has a very simple use thanks to the option to seal and package automatically.
With the possibility of stopping the process, it also allows more fragile elements to be preserved, and it is even possible to simply seal the bag, without emptying it inside. Includes 18 bags of two sizes different to start.
Tefal Vacupack Classic Vacuum Packing Machines, 110 W, BlackToday on Amazon for € 65.90
This is one of the most popular models of the well-known American brand FoodSaver, with double click closure system and the characteristic vacuum mode and fully automatic sealing. Small, compact and lightweight, it works with external bags because it lacks an inner roll holder, and also includes a valve for use with reusable zip bags and brand lid containers.
Foodsaver FFS014X - Vacuum Packing Machine + RollsToday on Amazon for € 66.56
Multifunction vacuum packing machines
In a higher range - and generally higher in price - we find packaging machines that offer much more play in the kitchen. They are machines that allow you to keep short, medium and long term, which are therefore usually compatible with bags, rolls and containers in a taper style. Some in addition add extra functions, such as the closure of wine bottles, wet packaging or special marinating function.
These packaging machines are also more bulky, so they are worth it only if we are really going to put them to good use at home. The truth is its mechanism is still simple and it is not difficult to get used to using them almost daily, and they end up going to account. They usually have internal roll holder, which allows us to pack very large foods or adapt size of the container completely to our liking.
Very economical For all the features it offers and the good user reviews, this vacuum packing machine offers vacuum and only sealing mode, serves for dry and also wet foods, and includes accessories for sealing wine and hoses to connect to different jars and containers.
For less than 50 euros we have a multifunctional machine with a good starter kit in which there are five bags and an extra long vacuum roll.
Bonsenkitchen Automatic Vacuum Packing Machine Automatic Vacuum Packaging Machine with Fresh Food Film Cutter, Embasadora Including Vacuum Bags, Black Sealer VS3802Today on Amazon for € 48.99
Is one of the most complete of the brand, with roll holder and cannula for medium-term containers integrated in the machine itself, specific program for wet and dry foods, marinade mode and only sealing function.
Therefore it is a good bet for those looking to make the most of advantages and versatility of vacuum packaging, if you are not sure which type of preservation suits you best. It adapts to all types of sizes and preparations.
Foodsaver FFS017X Vacuum Packing Machine, 120 W, Stainless Steel, Gray and BlackToday on Amazon for € 109.00
This state-of-the-art machine includes all the functions of vacuum packaging with the greatest innovations of the brand, optimizing the time and operating efficiency. The usage system is simpler and faster, and reduces the amount of material needed for packaging, making the most of each container.
The simple box has two large bags, three small bags, three zip bags and a long roll to place inside, which adapts to the size we want thanks to manual packaging with automatic sealing and integrated cutting. Extra bags or containers can be purchased separately.
Foodsaver FFS006X-01 Vacuum Packing Machine, 125 W, Stainless Steel, Gray and BlackToday on Amazon for € 175.00